Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

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And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

-- Howard Zinn

Neoliberalism creates powerful nationalistic impulses die to its failure of fulfill its promises. Disappointed, impoverished, and, especially, unemployed people are easy recruits for far right movements.  In this sense the situation is similar to Bolshevism, which after being discredited as ideology (which was based on the promise of rising standard of living and eventual overtaking the capitalist West in prosperity) failed to keep the country together because of  growing (and lavishly supported both in propaganda and financially by the West) wave of nationalism which swept the USSR into oblivion. Disintegration of the USSR was based on two major factors -- betrayal of the "nomenklatura" which switched to neoliberalism, and abandoning Comminist ideology (in which actually nobody believed after 1970th)  and the tide of nationalistic sentiments.

Now nationalism is on the rise in all major Western countries. Such events as Brexit and election of Trump are links of the same chain of events.

Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an neoliberal economic order and ideology. Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich is generally hostile to nationalism. It often purposely destabilize  the nation-states to open them to transnational corporations ("creative destruction" of sort), the dominant political players under neoliberalism. For example, when the federal government of Canada adopted neoliberal policies one immediate consequence was the termination of the funding programs  for the francophone community cultural programs (along with the termination of the welfare programs). Indeed, the Official Languages Act itself was overhauled.

The United States' pursuit of global primacy is based upon a complex melding of neoliberal economics and hegemonic politics which produce strong anti-American sentiments in various part of the globe, fueling nationalism.  US imperialism is inherently predatory  and profoundly different from the productive capitalism that had been the basis of American economic success. It is essentially a War and color revolutions based racket. It has important difference with classic colonialism: what traditional colonialism tried to achieve with standing armies now is achieved using financial instruments and tiny strata of  "comprador elite" within the given country.  Putting the nation into debt-bondage proved to be even more effective in extracting resources from the countries then the old colonial rule. 

Ethno-nationalism is not the only form of nationalism in existence. Moreover, Ethno-nationalism is in decline, as it is now discomforting intellectually and morally for many people. But two other, more modern and no less powerful forms of nationalism emerged: "cultural nationalism" and "economic nationalism".

As social scientists demonstrated nationalistic sentiments are often a product of culture, often deliberately constructed by the local elite to achieve pretty nefarious and selfish goals.  Still the culture can as solid core of nationalism as ethnicity. this new form of nationalism became an important player on the world scene.

Ukrainian color revolution of February 2014 (EuroMaydan), despite surface slogans about Eurointergation, was fought and won by Western Ukrainian nationalists, which later tried to impose their will on the rest of the country provoking the civil war in Donbass (with substantial help from Russia, which decided to support Russian speaking population against Ukrainian nationalists cultural assault).  While they were ethnic nationalists in the past, now they by-and-large converted in cultural nationalists, which oppose not Russians as a national by Russian culture and language and try to instill Ukrainian culture and language in the country were the majority of population speaks Russian.

So far the net result was a destruction of the Ukrainian economy due to break-up of Soviet era ties with Russian industries and abandonment of Russian market (while Ukrainian goods are no values as much in Western markets and face various often artificial barriers in EU). In 216 the impoverishment of the population reached the Central African states level (less then $2 dollar a day for the majority of population).

Americans generally are strongly negative to the idea of ethnic nationalism and that's is one of the best features of Americans as a nation. After all, in the United States people of varying ethnic origins live in peace. For example within two or three generations of immigration,  ethnic identities of Western and Eastern European immigrants are attenuated by cultural assimilation and intermarriage. In general, immigrants to the United States usually arrive with a willingness to fit into their new country and reshape their identities accordingly. But for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities still sometimes take more ancient ethnic or religious form, producing powerful claims to political power. In the past, the creation of nation-states in Europe has often the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. 

While the apogee of ethno-nationalism was probably in 1930th and during post war decolonization,  ethno-nationalism while in decline still remain a powerful social force in some countries. In many way ethno-nationalism is still linked with national socialism.  But traditional national socialism version of ethno-nationalism  was slowly but surely replaced by what the form that is based on colon culture and language --  "cultural nationalism". I think that  American Exceptionalism is one of the most interesting examples of this type of nationalism. And the fact that US flags in the USA are everywhere definitely signify its strength in mind of the people. Unlike many European state were driving a car with the national flag would be considered bad manners, in the USA it is OK behaviour.

The US elite as the leading imperial elite that overtook British elite on the world stage achieved great mastery in using divide and conquer strategy by inciting nationalistic feelings all over the world. This mastery (despite Bush "Chicken Kiev" speech)  was especially demonstrated in facilitation the break-up of the USSR. It was nationalism that had blown up the USSR when it started experiencing economic difficulties and crisis of the political doctrine under which it was created as well as suffering from the losing Afghan war.

It is interesting to note that the crisis in the USSR was amplified due to supply of modern technology. Personal computers inside the country which broke traditional hold on distribution of literature by Communist Party (which rules the country as a religious sect, crushing even minor deviations form holy doctrine), were very similar to Stringers hand held missiles in Afghan war, which deteriorated Russian air superiority, and limited the use of helicopters (with a pretty nasty effect 30 years later).  This along the  money with which the USA and Saudi financed radical Islamic fundamentalism  converted Islamist revels it into a powerful political force. Political Islam was if nor born then strengthens in Afghan war.  Which paradoxically is another example of "cultural nationalism", were the religion serves as the cementing force and identification of us vs. them. .

People often forget that Osama bin Laden was essentially a recruiting agent on Saudi Intelligence payroll during the USSR Afghan war.  In this sense tragedy of 9/11 was simply a blowback of previous efforts to defeat the USSR in Afghan war by whatever means possible. And one of those means was spreading of Wahhabism and what can be called "Islamic cultural nationalism". 

As author of the note Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11? observed:

I would indeed go further and say that Islamic schools infuse a dangerous and un-Islamic Islam-supremacist, and indeed now sectarian Wahhabi-supremacist view vis-à-vis all other religions and cultures and this is at least partly responsible for many of the problems Muslims face around the world today.

In other words with  the ascendance of neoliberalism nationalism re-emerged as a powerful countervailing force.  Brexit was just the first powerful manifestation of this effect.

likbez : , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 02:47 PM
Neoliberalism creates an impulse for nationalism in several ways:

1. It destroys human solidarity. And resorting to nationalism in a compensational mechanism to restore it in human societies. that's why the elite often resorts to foreign wars if it feels that it losing the control over peons.

2. Neoliberalism impoverishes the majority of population enriching top 1% and provokes the search for scapegoats. Which in the past traditionally were Jews. Now look like MSM are trying to substitute them for Russians

3. Usually the rise of nationalism is correlated with the crisis in the society. There is a crisis of neoliberalism that we experience in the USA now: after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, when the ideology is discredited, but forces behind it are way too strong for any social change to be implemented. Much like was the case during "Brezhnev socialism" in the USSR.

So those who claim that we are experiencing replay of late 1920th on a new level might be partially right. With the important difference that it does not make sense to establish fascist dictatorship in the USA. Combination of "Inverted totalitarism" and "national security state" already achieved the same major objectives with much less blood and violence.

Secessionist movements

In the post-Second World War period until 1989, superpowers were committed to upholding existing state boundaries. While decolonization was permitted, the borders of states were treated, in international law and practice, as permanent—non-negotiable—features of the international state system.

Secessionist movements are based on groups that have a strong national identification, and are fuelled by nationalism. Minority nations, in multination states, often criticize state policies on the grounds that they implicitly privilege the majority national group on the territory. They have resisted majority control over certain aspects of state policy, and have made claims for state protection of their culture or for recognition of their distinct identity. This usually means that they want their language to be used in official capacities and their children to be educated in their language and about their culture. They typically demand their own political institutions, to enable them to control their own affairs.

As a political principle nationalism postulates that the political and national unit should be congruent. That naturally leads to secessionist movements. It has many variations and in weaker form presuppose  the moral significance of the national community, its existence in the past and into the future, and typically seeks some form of political protection to safeguard its future existence.

One advantage of viewing nationalism as a normative theory about the value of national membership and national communities is that it can account for the key policies or demands of nationalists. On this conception, the demand for national self-determination is an important plank in many nationalist movements although not, contra Gellner, a fundamental principle of nationalism. Nationalists may, and often do, seek complete independence or state sovereignty. However, in some cases, where the costs of independence are too high, or the benefits of independence too precarious, nationalists may seek other forms of institutional recognition.

,,, ,,, ,,,

the category 'nation', like 'friends' and 'lovers', falls into the second group. It is contingent on its members' sustaining a certain image of it based on their perceptions and feelings—although of course there are a number of conditions which lead to the construction of an image of a nation, such as shared religion, language, law, geographical isolation, colonial policies, bureaucratic decisions, and the like.

... ... ...

David Miller lists five elements that together constitute a nation: it is, he writes 'a community (1) constituted by shared beliefs and mutual commitments, (2) extended in history, (3) active in character, (4) connected to a particular territory, and (5) marked off from other communities by its distinct public culture'. 12 This definition also suggests that the subjective identification is crucial.

... ... ...

One common line of argument, associated with the work of Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, and others, is that national identity is linked with broad historical forces. National forms of identity become prominent in the modern period as a result of industrialization, and the social and bureaucratic changes that accompany industrialization—or precede it, in the case of states aspiring to be industrialized. In Gellner's formulation of the argument, the modern economy is crucially dependent on standardized modes of communication and cultural practices, and people's life chances are shaped by the language in which they communicate, as well as other cultural forms of interaction. This is in contrast to the premodern period when cultural or linguistic differences were politically irrelevant.

That means that the language and culture  became the most important components which defines the boundaries of national identity, while all other characteristics that define nationality, such as specific for given ethnos DNA, receded. That consideration gave rise of élite-manipulation models of nationalism. They view national identity as the product of actions by political or economic élites, who foster national identities for their own (self-interested) ends. More sophisticated élite-manipulation theories describe élites as encoding violence or antagonism as ethnic or national which could be described in other ways—as criminal or class violence, say—for their own ends. Nationalism  is merely a means for élites to preserve or enhance their own power and status in the society. This is a variation of the old Plato's argument that the masses are easily duped and so cannot steer the ship of state. The fact that nations are socially constructed does not suggest that they are less real or are to be regarded with suspicion. Some people focus on the fact that they are 'imagined' communities to suggest that they may have no basis in 'reality'.

The social image is important because it is impossible for all its members to engage in face-to-face contact with each other at all times. Therefore members must refer to their perception of the image of the nation. Of course, on this definition, many, if not most, communities, except the very smallest, are imagined in the same way. Religious communities are imagined; my university is imagined; even my extended family is imagined. 26 But they may all be important, and legitimate, bases of identification.

That means that it is more accurate to describe national identities as existing along a continuum, with the language, the habits or customs or character of the group on one end and the institutional structure of state on the another. For example, in immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, where groups of people left their various 'homelands' to become part of a different political project, immigrant groups do not have the "national territory" as a basis to reproduce their own culture en masse and the political identities in question—the Canadian, Australian, and American identities — are genuinely available to them, in the sense that the host society did not exclude them from the political project and the political project propose to then a new, "born again"  cultural and political identity. In case the have like, for example in Quebec -- their nationalism assumes the forms that are typical for Old World.

Similarly in the case of France, ethnic groups were incorporated or integrated into France prior to the Age of Nationalism, and assimilation was largely effective. There has been some attempt to revive these minority nationalisms, but minority nations typically lack much shared (institutionally separate) history—since Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Languedoc and Burgundy were all incorporated into France prior to 1500.  They lack an institutional basis, as well as social differentiation. The nationalisms are accordingly very weak. The French formula cannot be applied to other areas, where separate institutional or bureaucratic structures were in place by the time of mass democratic participation and the politicization of national and cultural differences by the bureaucratic modern state.  But the reaction against immigrant communities, especially Muslim community was very strong.

At the same time, as little as forty years ago, Britain was thought to be a homogeneous society, with strong class politics, but little in the way of national politics. Now, however, the conglomerate 'British' national identity seems to be eroding and is challenged by Scottish, Welsh, and to a lesser extent—and mainly in reaction to the other two nationalisms—English national identities.

The issue of rights to territory is also important because one basis of the distinction between immigrant groups and national groups is that the latter have territory and the former do not. Whether a group has territory is therefore crucially important, not only to this conceptual distinction, but it also affects, on at least one influential argument, the kind of rights and entitlements that attach to the groups.

Given the chronic availability of nationalist and ethnic idioms in modern polities, one might expect economic crises to foster heightened nation-statist or ethnic exclusion.  Intensified efforts to blame national and ethnic outsiders for economic distress, to protect domestic producers and workers against foreign (or ethnically “alien”) competition, or to treat politically vulnerable minorities as scapegoats. And earlier crises furnish ample precedent for such efforts. This review has suggested, however, that economic crises do not automatically or uniformly generate such responses and that nationalist and ethno-political responses to the present crisis have so far been relatively muted.

The credit crisis on 2008 was mainly interpreted in nation-statist terms and was blamed (outside the United States) on the American profligacy, American-style casino capitalism, the global financial system, or an externally imposed neoliberalism.

Until Brexit nationalist reaction of the crisis of neoliberalism  — or reactions with a more or less pronounced nationalist components were not successful outside a few countries such as Hungary and Russia. Legal and institutional constraints, complex forms of economic interdependence, and prevailing cultural idioms have all worked to inhibit radical measures designed to protect domestic producers or labor markets (although more limited forms of protection were widely implemented).  Even in the USA, the citadel of neoliberalism, the disenchantment with neoliberalism led to the rise of such politicians as Sanders and Trump.

It is   too soon to assess consequences of Brexit on neoliberal globalization, but it is clear that the growing wave of nationalism is able at least to slow if not revert that recent neoliberal "advances" in this direction. If you add coming oil crisis the future of neoliberal globalization now looks more and more uncertain.

As Indonesian Chinese massacre of 1998 proves modern societies are sill not above finding ethnic scapegoats in case of severe economic crisis:


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[Oct 12, 2017] Secession and Catalonia What is a Nation

Oct 12, 2017 | www.unz.com

It becomes complicated. If the question of secession -- and not just secession of, as in the case of California, but of any entity -- really be examined, then wide variations in culture, history, ethnicity, economics and politics should be considered, taken into consideration.

While secession can be a viable and satisfactory solution to insoluble national problems, it is not always in every case advisable. There may be good reasons for a region, or a state, or a province to depart from a larger entity. I would argue strongly that the painful decision by the Southern states of the United States to secede from the American union in 1860-1861 was largely justified on historical, cultural and economic reasons, not to mention the politics involved.

Actually, the departures of those eleven states (or, actually, thirteen if you count the illegally thwarted departures of Kentucky and Missouri) came in two waves: the first began with South Carolina and continued with the exit of several Deep South states. Lincoln's call in April 1861 for troops to suppress South Carolina shocked the constitutional sensibilities of additional states in the Upper South, several of which had resisted the initial impulse to join the secession. And by early summer the Confederate States of America was a functioning nation, albeit a country facing invasion from its powerful former co-citizens.

But, I can think of instances when secession -- that is, the break-up of larger nations or empires -- is not only inadvisable, but positively injurious not only to the whole, but also to the respective seceding parts. The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically. What was produced by the Treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon was a succession of angrily dissatisfied, uber-nationalist states and displaced ethnic minorities imprisoned in new, arbitrary and irrational geographical expressions, waiting for the next powder keg to explode.

Interestingly, it was the heir to the wizened old Kaiser, Franz Josef, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who advocated additional decentralization of the old empire, with a third, Slavic kingdom, to join Austria and Hungary in a tripartite monarchy. That he and his wife, Sophie, were cruelly assassinated in Sarajevo in July 1914 by a Serbian nationalist, not only put into motion the coming of the First World War, but stymied what might have been a revitalized, regionalist future for the creaky old Habsburg Empire.

The castration of the ancient Russian homeland more recently is another case of good (American) intentions gone awry: the creation of new artificial states such as Byelorussia and Kazakhstan was not only historically and politically wrongheaded, but economically ill-advised. President Vladimir Putin's statement -- rightly understood -- that the break-up of the Soviet Union was one of the greatest disasters of the 20 th century was intended in this sense (and not , as some Russophobic Neocons attempt to construe it, as a lament for Communism!).

Talking to a friend recently, I expressed some serious skepticism about the recent plebiscite in Catalonia on the question of secession from Spain. My friend, knowing of my longstanding defense of secession historically when it concerns the South, was surprised. I attempted in a very brief discussion to explain why I demurred in the Catalan case, but the conversation was cut short.

What I would suggest is that the simple slogan that secession is always good policy is not really defensible, historically, culturally, economically, ethnically, or politically.

In the case of Catalonia, my arguments against secession are multiple, and range from the very practical and statistical, to the historical and cultural.

Let's start with the historical and cultural. Basically, the medieval County of Barcelona was united under the crown of Aragon in the mid-12 th century. The de facto dynastic union of Aragon and Catalonia (ruled by the Counts of Barcelona) became a de jure one, a legal one, in 1258. Thus, for eight centuries the region has been united with Spain. While the Catalan language, which while distinct from Spanish, is also similar to it, remained the lingua franca of rural areas, Castilian Spanish began to be spoken in more urban areas. But like the other kingdoms and principalities that came together to create Spain, Catalonia retained many of its customs, and regional and historic rights, within the new Spanish monarchy.

Historically, Spain was a composite, a dynastic federation and union of the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Leon, Aragon, Valencia, and then, the Kingdom of Navarra and the Basque territories in the north of the country, plus the formerly Muslim Kingdom of Granada in the South. Indeed, even at the time of the great monarch, Philip II -- supposedly, according to Anglophile and Protestant propagandists of the 16 th century, that all-powerful authoritarian monarch of the early modern era -- Spain was known as "las Espanas," that is, "the Spains," to indicate that King Philip was not actually the absolute king of a unitary, centralized royal state, but rather the monarch over a collection of fiercely regionalist states, each with its own traditions, history and parliaments (or "cortes"), but all together composing a country. Philip was dependent on them for financing his government. Each of those regions, those ancient components, of Spain had legal codes ("recopilaciones de leyes") which guided jurisprudence; those historic and regional rights were called "fueros," which we would render in English to mean "states' rights." Eventually portions of those statutes and legislated customs were cobbled together in a common law for the entire country. Nevertheless, the historic regions jealously guarded their respective traditions, languages, customs and fueros, and continued to do so throughout the remainder of Habsburg Spain into the early 19 th century.

Not only because of the dynastic question, but precisely over those fueros much of Spain underwent a series of bloody civil wars in the 19 th century. And what many foreigners find ironic and incomprehensible is that it was the so-called royalist "absolutistas," the defenders of the ancient regime and the old monarchy, the traditionalists who took the name "Carlists" after the dispossessed rightful heir to the throne, Don Carlos V ("de jure" king of "las Espanas") in 1833, who actually defended the historic regionalism and subsidiary of the old regime. For them it was a powerful king who ruled from Madrid, but who was also limited in his powers by the historic, unbridgeable rights of the "kingdoms" that made up the country, which guaranteed more essential and more local liberties to the citizens. Like the martyred King Charles I of England, who declared at his illegal trial that he was more the defender of the "rights of the good people of England" than the rump parliamentarians, the traditional monarchs in Spain, with the legacy of the patchwork of historic states and their sacralized customs and legal "recopilaciones,"offered far more self-government, far more "liberties" than any centralizing liberal state could or ever would.

During those several civil wars in the 19 th century, Catalonia stood, by and large, with the traditionalist defenders of the ancient regime, the Carlists. It was the Carlists who defended the fueros and who advocated the return of a strong king who actually had power, but whose powers were also circumscribed by the historic regions and traditions of the country. It was the Carlists -- and some of their most perceptive political philosophers (e.g., Jaime Balmes, Francisco Navarro Villoslada, Juan Vazquez de Mella) -- who understood that 19 th century liberalism, despite it slogan of "liberty and equality," would actually do away with and suppress those old regionalist statutes and protections, those intermediate institutions in society, that secured more liberties for the citizens.

Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si." But that means that approximately just 30% of the electorate truly favors independence. And those political groups that most zealously support such a move are on the Left politically. They see the region, which is the most economically successful area of Spain and the most "Europeanized," as able to get a better deal economically within the European Union. They welcome globalism and a unitary European government with themselves also at the helm sharing power.

Of course, it is always good to hit the bloated central government in Madrid in the eye, but at what price?

The present-day proponents of independence do not represent the ancient and best traditions and historic legacy of Catalonia. Their advocacy of Catalan independence is not a comfortable fit with the long history of that region. The nationalism they advance owes far more to the liberal statism of the 19 th century than to the Catalan heritage of local and regional self-rule. Catalonia is not a nation-waiting-to-be-born; its association as one of the integral and historic, largely autonomous regions within Spain is its tradition. Catalonia can best find its destiny in reasserting its role as a largely self-governing region -- but within the historic federation of the Spanish kingdom.

ThreeCranes > , October 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Good time to address the issue of secession. Krugman was just talking about this at the NYT and like most liberals he assumes that secession is a threat that the coastal states can wield over the benighted interior states. But is this truly a real threat?

I don't think so. First, when the South seceded, the North dragged them back. Today, if every county that voted Trump were to break away from Hillary voters they would take with them the most productive farming, manufacturing, mining, electricity generating sectors of the economy. The coastal Hillary voters are the banking, information sectors of the economy. Now which of the two is independent? Which is dependent?

Right. That's why secession by the heartland would no more be tolerated today than secession was in 1860. The coastal "Elite" are entirely dependent on the heartland for their basic commodities and yet they have no loyalty to the people who dwell there and further, want to displace them with outsiders and can't wait for them to die (even gunning them down in public spaces).

Secession? Hail yeah!

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes You make some good points here.

The coastal "Elite" are entirely dependent on the heartland for their basic commodities and yet they have no loyalty to the people who dwell there and further, want to displace them with outsiders and can't wait for them to die (even gunning them down in public spaces).

True. Most of them also have no significant real life skills which matter, bar some hipsters obsessed with organic food–many of them are trying, actually, to grow it and that is a plus. But yes, most people you describe here never spent a day on manufacturing floor, or in the uniform, or anywhere which requires serious labor and uncomfortable existence.

ThreeCranes > , October 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov But more, Andrei. All the hydroelectric dams are locate inland, the mineral deposits, the fertile soil and so on. The coastal are to the people of the heartland as an absentee landlord is to his tenant farmers.

Before 1965, virtually every business located in the downtown of cities of under say, 250,000 citizens was locally owned (some exceptions, Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Ward). Now, every business is a franchise whose central office is in New York City et al. The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing, now own, via money loaned into existence by the Central Bank, America's small town economies. That this doesn't have to be so is proved by the fact that it wasn't always so.

America was a better place to live before the local economies were destroyed and displaced by the global one. We are currently suffering from a plague like the ones imported from the East during the dark days of the Black Death and for the same reason. We are being exposed to the toxic effects of moving people and goods around the world with no regard for the effect this has on local ecologies–cultural or natural. That this is literally killing us is a matter of indifference to our coastal elites.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes

The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing

Agree. But then again, we live in the world where Facebook "capitalization" is several times larger than that of Boeing, which provides half of the world with needed actual high-tech products. B-787 is a marvel. We have Tesla which is one of the most outstanding (together with Musk's "Mars mission") frauds in history. A madhouse. But while agreeing with you in principle, I also have to make some clarifications, I also observed how many, namely from logging industry on the West Coast didn't want to take new opportunities, granted paying less than their logging professions, to turn their life around. The opportunities were there, they just refused. Opportunities were in aerospace, in excellent Air Washington Program (I took advantage of it to get some CNC courses for general horizons expansion) , granted that it required math and more brain-work than usually is required from logging. But no, they just wanted it the way they wanted it. Knowing how logging worked on the West Coast I kinda see why they wanted it back but it will never be back the way it was. Next step for them once it doesn't come back? Well, we have here a massive growth of pot dispensaries, that will take care of the labor force (bitter sarcasm).

Miro23 > , October 11, 2017 at 3:03 am GMT

Catalonia can best find its destiny in reasserting its role as a largely self-governing region -- but within the historic federation of the Spanish kingdom.

One of the best articles ever on Unz, with a great presentation of the historical roots of modern Spain. Maybe it underplays the role of 20th Century leftist internationalism (i.e. Bolshevism light or otherwise) but still , it would correctly see radical international leftism as a new arrival on the scene, mostly burning itself out with the exit of Spanish feudalism .

But, I can think of instances when secession -- that is, the break-up of larger nations or empires -- is not only inadvisable, but positively injurious not only to the whole, but also to the respective seceding parts. The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically.

I'm not so sure about this.

Austria-Hungary, prior to its collapse, wasn't a respectful alliance of largely self-governing regions. There were a lot of other things going on – most notably hopeless race wars focused on Vienna.

Just as an example:

"In the old Austria, nothing could be done without patronage. That's partly explained by the fact that nine million Germans were in fact rulers, in virtue of an unwritten law, of fifty million non-Germans. This German ruling class took strict care that places should always be found for Germans. For them this was the only method of maintaining themselves in this privileged situation. The Balts of German origin behaved in the same way towards the Slav population."

"Hitler's Table Talk". Conversation Nº 109 15th-16th January 1942

and,

"The rise of the Jews in Austria-Hungary may well have been the most sudden , impressive rise of Jews in modern history."

" .all public life was dominated by Jews. The banks, the press, the theater, literature, social organizations, all lay in the hands of the Jews . The aristocracy would have nothing to do with such things . The small number of untitled patrician families imitated the aristocracy; the original upper-middle class had disappeared .. The court, the lower middle class and the Jews gave the city its stamp. And that the Jews, as the most mobile group, kept all the others in continual motion is, on the whole, not surprising."

Albert Lindeman, "Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews"

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

@Anonymous The interior has very little population though and would have trouble holding territory. The interior's farmland could be sabotaged and destroyed and its access to major waterways and water traffic would be cut off. The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.

The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.

Actually, it is the other way around. What coasts? If in the East it could be viewed as a somewhat continuous urban chain in the North-East, the West Coast "elites" reside mostly in Seattle, Portland, SF urban areas, which, while large, are in effect the places of compact residence. As such, they are fairly easily isolated, not to mention the fact of undeniable emasculation of their male residents. They can not find often their own ass with their two hands in a brightly lit room, let alone "lay siege" to anything. This is not to speak of the fact that all, without exception, urban centers depend entirely on "interior" for food. As per interior main cities–as latest elections showed, Ohio or Indiana, which are interior and do contain serious urban centers are not "elitists" states. Neither is Texas, which is also a major urban and port state. In other words, it is a very complex picture.

simplyamazed > , October 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT

Although I agree that this historical overview of Catalonia since the 1200′s is quite good, I still have a few quibbles and one big caveat. First quibble: Catalonia was joined to the kingship of Aragon, but was functionally separate from the State of Aragon and generally left alone by the various kings over the next several centuries. Second quibble: Catalonia rebelled quite regularly since the 1400′s when its neighbours sought to encroach on traditional Catalan rights and prerogatives. It has never been long an easy member of what became the Spanish nation following the reconquest.

My caveat is the part of the history that has been left out. Catalonia existed as a distinct entity or one allied with its (now) French neighbour. Catalonia has had strong ties with its Mediterranean neighbours and with France during its long historical period of development following the fall of Rome in the West. During the existence of El Andelus under caliphate rule and later after various statelets splintered off of the caliphate, Catalonia often allied with the muslim states as well as having strong ties northward. Many of its feudal rulers were descendents of Visigoths who descended out of the decaying Roman Empire and set up rule in many parts of Iberia. This long formative period of Catalan history can still be felt in many Catalan customs and in the Catalan language.

So, is it surprising that a large portion of the people of Catalonia might have a strong independent spirit and outlook. However, I agree that independence in today's context needs more than a vibrant history, language and customs. It needs a strong and functioning administration, government and military to defend itself and its borders. It needs to preserve and protect and grow its economy. It also needs international recognition.

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm GMT

That Mythical Pro-Spanish Majority in Catalonia

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/10/mythical-pro-spanish-majority-catalonia/

The media constantly pumps out the lie that there is a silent anti-independence majority in Catalonia, which is merely curiously invisible.

Consider this. The highest turnout ever at an election in Catalonia was the 74.9% in the 2015 Regional Election, with 4,130.196 people casting their vote. At Spanish general elections turnout is even lower, at 69%. A minimum of 25.1% of the population never vote at all. Of that 25% who do not vote, some will be dead, or moved away, but most are probably just not civilly engaged.

The trick of the pro-Spanish lobby is to boycott polls on Independence, and then claim that this minimum 25% of the electorate who never vote at all anyway, are anti-Independence and participating in the boycott. In truth there are absolutely no grounds to attribute the minimum 25% habitual non-voters as anti-independence. Particularly the dead ones.

So in fact the 2,044,038 votes cast in favour of Independence on Sunday, that survived the police and could be counted, already amounted to 49.6% of the highest number of votes ever cast in any election in Catalonia. When you add in the hundreds of thousands of votes confiscated by the police, and the voters who were deterred by the terrible violence, there is no doubt whatsoever that Sunday's referendum would have seen a healthy majority for Independence on any probable turnout figure ..

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

Most participants here will know virtually nothing about Spain, Catalonia, or even successful confederal models in Europe. Long, complicated topics, so I will make only a few short comments here.

1. The present spanish monarchy essentially involved a murderous dictator designating a king. A poisonous contradiction (restoring a monarchy) was mostly accepted to escape from the murderous dictatorship. There are "republicans" who would like to end the monarchy throughout Spain, including Catalonia. The issue of constitutional reform is now on the table and the Spanish would be wise to get rid of such an anachronism. The country has suffered every time that it has had foreigners as kings, starting with the "germans" Carlos I and Carlos II who bled Spaniards for numerous wars in Europe. The present royal family is of French (the Borbons) and German (Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glücksburg) ancestry. The grandmother of the present king (Felipe VI) can be seen (together with her brothers) dressed in the uniform of the Hitler Youth in numerous web sites.

2. Cataluña is not the only area of Spain that "rebels" against right-wing, centralized control. Similar sentiments are present (to more or less degree) in Pais Vasco, Galicia, Valencia, Baleares, Canarias, . Spain has a centuries long history of failing to deal with the pluri-national nature of the country and seems to be failing once again.

3. There are models of pluri-national confederations/nations that are exemplary instances of how to deal with such problems. Switzerland is perhaps the best known. The "Eidgenossenschaft" (confederation) of the german-speaking areas dates from about 1250 and initially involved seven independent countries, each of which retained its own sovereignity. The model was soon after copied in the french- and italian-speaking areas of modern Switzerland. The present confederation includes 27 kantons (the federal constitution guarantees that they remain sovereign nations, i.e. in principle can withdraw) and 4 different languages. The Kantons retain power over taxes, education, welfare, citizenship, .. Direct democracy reigns at both the national and kantonal level, i.e. citizens can reject/initiate laws by referendum, including kantonal/national taxation/expenditure.

4. Spain actually has a mixed system in which certain "autonomia" (states – Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon) have a status somewhat like Kantons in Switzerland, e.g. a separate status with regard to taxation.

Probably the best thing that Spain could do would be to copy the Swiss model and get rid of the monarchy. Probably even Cataluña could be convinced to join such a model.

AP > , October 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm GMT

Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si." But that means that approximately just 30% of the electorate truly favors independence.

1. The 40% is because the Madrid government interfered with the vote.

2. In the 2016 American election, turnout was 54.7% of whom 46.1% voted from Trump. That's 25.2% of the electorate favoring Trump. In the 2012 election, turnout was 54.9%, 51.1% of whom voted for Obama. That's 28% of the electorate favoring Obama. A higher percentage of Catalonia's electorate favor independence than American electorate favored the last two US presidents.

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm GMT

@AP Macron in France is even less favored by the electorate. But the mainstream media will never mention that.

The Single Party French State as the Majority of Voters Abstain

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/21/the-single-party-french-state-as-the-majority-of-voters-abstain/

.. Macron's victory was both overwhelming and underwhelming. All records of abstention were broken; for the first time in over a century, a majority of eligible voters stayed away from the polls in the first round of the parliamentary elections, and abstention rose to 57% in the second round. He owes his landslide to less than 20% of registered voters ..

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes But more, Andrei. All the hydroelectric dams are locate inland, the mineral deposits, the fertile soil and so on. The coastal are to the people of the heartland as an absentee landlord is to his tenant farmers.

Before 1965, virtually every business located in the downtown of cities of under say, 250,000 citizens was locally owned (some exceptions, Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Ward). Now, every business is a franchise whose central office is in New York City et al. The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing, now own, via money loaned into existence by the Central Bank, America's small town economies. That this doesn't have to be so is proved by the fact that it wasn't always so.

America was a better place to live before the local economies were destroyed and displaced by the global one. We are currently suffering from a plague like the ones imported from the East during the dark days of the Black Death and for the same reason. We are being exposed to the toxic effects of moving people and goods around the world with no regard for the effect this has on local ecologies--cultural or natural. That this is literally killing us is a matter of indifference to our coastal elites. A cogent analysis by all Three Cranes (Martin, Niles, and Fraser?

Seriously, I would offer a partial counter-argument, but only a partial one. The rest of the country buys enormous quantities of fruits, vegetables, and nuts (the jokes write themselves) from California, right? I assume CA would be glad to keep selling to the rest of the USA, but with the farther-left, more anti-white government that would come to power in an independent CA, who knows. They might elect to sell only to other countries, and China and India can buy up anything CA can produce in that regard.

On the other hand, as California grows ever more over-populated, it further exceeds the carrying capacity of this territory. Among other baleful effects, we see that California droughts become more common, more prolonged, and more severe.

There are increasing battles over agricultural producers' access to the scarce water supplies of this State. Dire results seem almost inevitable as the population is allowed to keep growing without an end in sight.

In fact, the loons who run Cali now -- and the even loonier loons who will run an independent Cali -- will make it a badge of honor to show how many Mexicans they can admit to settle on their land, and how fast. That will intensify the drought and hasten the day when Cali can no longer maintain anything like its current ag output. God help them, and us, when that day comes.

ThreeCranes > , October 11, 2017 at 8:48 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov


The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.
Actually, it is the other way around. What coasts? If in the East it could be viewed as a somewhat continuous urban chain in the North-East, the West Coast "elites" reside mostly in Seattle, Portland, SF urban areas, which, while large, are in effect the places of compact residence. As such, they are fairly easily isolated, not to mention the fact of undeniable emasculation of their male residents. They can not find often their own ass with their two hands in a brightly lit room, let alone "lay siege" to anything. This is not to speak of the fact that all, without exception, urban centers depend entirely on "interior" for food. As per interior main cities--as latest elections showed, Ohio or Indiana, which are interior and do contain serious urban centers are not "elitists" states. Neither is Texas, which is also a major urban and port state. In other words, it is a very complex picture. This is going to be a bitter pill for Steve Sailer to swallow, but his beloved California is not the preeminent region in America's economy.

"According to the Brookings Institution, if it stood alone as a country, the Great Lakes economy would be one of the largest economic units on earth (with a $4.5-trillion gross regional product). It contains most of an area urban planners have viewed as an emerging Great Lakes Megalopolis which has an estimated 54 million people."

"If the state were considered separately, it would rank as the sixth largest economy in the world, behind rest of the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that California's GDP was $2.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier."

Let California go. We don't need them with their mealy, inedible vegetables.

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT

@Anonymous You make a great point about the prospect of economic blockade, in effect, by coastal independent Cali against the inland portion of the State that presumably remains with the USA.

First of all, the inland and more rural-to-suburban counties must demand to leave Cali before Cali secedes. They could comprise the new U.S. States of, say, East California and North California.

Second, the non-seceding States -- and by extension the USA -- MUST keep territory leading to the coast, and significant frontage on the Pacific Ocean in northern, central, and southern California, for reasons economic and military above all.

If merely the LA and SF metroplexes, broadly construed, secede, leaving the majority of the State's counties to stay in the USA, that might not be so bad for the rest of the USA.

Here is the website of a California political party advocating eventual negotiated independence:

https://californianational.party/

They are waaaaaay too far left for me, but then, (1) that's why they want to leave the USA, and (2) that's why my wife and I would almost certainly have to pick up stakes and leave LA if Cali seceded, because something like the Cali National Party platform would surely garner a BIG supermajority of support in many of Cali's coastal counties.

P.S. But would the rest of the USA have the balls to prohibit all immigration from the new Third World coastal "Republic" of California? That would need to happen for it to benefit (and not continue gradually balkanizing and destroying) the rest of the USA longer-term.

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Texas may not be nearly as much a home to America-hating elites as LA, SF, NY, and DC, to be sure, but politically it will become part of that coalition seeking to replace and subjugate European-Americans nationwide. As you know, Texas is going Mexican, and its politics are about to change drastically.

In its current size and form, much of Texas even ten years from now cannot be counted as a reliable ally or as a place for Americans to seek refuge from violence, discrimination, etc.

Perhaps Texas, too, is in need of a peaceful, negotiated break-up into smaller, more manageable, more culturally / socially cohesive States. This needn't entail secession, just new U.S. States whose people are allowed the broad autonomy guaranteed them by the Tenth Amendment. (yeah, I know, cue the laugh track)

I often think that simply adhering to our Constitution would greatly dampen the ardor and perceived need for secession. The Constitution called for very limited powers for the federal government, and conversely very broad autonomy for the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy. Why would California "need' to secede if they were allowed to have whatever laws they want on abortion, homosexual marriage, universal government-funded or government-provided healthcare, etc.? Why would Texas need to secede if they were allowed to have quite the opposite laws, without interference or threat from the fed gov (including the un-elected legislators known as the federal judiciary).

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov P.S. There are entire counties in south Texas where the population is almost 100% Mexican. Not just right on the border, either.

This phenomenon of immi-vasion keeps spreading northward while we Americans focus on the REALLY important issues like preventing Russians in Crimea from reuniting with Russia & demanding more "rights" for mentally ill people ("transgenders").

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT

@hyperbola Most participants here will know virtually nothing about Spain, Catalonia, or even successful confederal models in Europe. Long, complicated topics, so I will make only a few short comments here.

1. The present spanish monarchy essentially involved a murderous dictator designating a king. A poisonous contradiction (restoring a monarchy) was mostly accepted to escape from the murderous dictatorship. There are "republicans" who would like to end the monarchy throughout Spain, including Catalonia. The issue of constitutional reform is now on the table and the Spanish would be wise to get rid of such an anachronism. The country has suffered every time that it has had foreigners as kings, starting with the "germans" Carlos I and Carlos II who bled Spaniards for numerous wars in Europe. The present royal family is of French (the Borbons) and German (Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glücksburg) ancestry. The grandmother of the present king (Felipe VI) can be seen (together with her brothers) dressed in the uniform of the Hitler Youth in numerous web sites.

2. Cataluña is not the only area of Spain that "rebels" against right-wing, centralized control. Similar sentiments are present (to more or less degree) in Pais Vasco, Galicia, Valencia, Baleares, Canarias, . Spain has a centuries long history of failing to deal with the pluri-national nature of the country and seems to be failing once again.

3. There are models of pluri-national confederations/nations that are exemplary instances of how to deal with such problems. Switzerland is perhaps the best known. The "Eidgenossenschaft" (confederation) of the german-speaking areas dates from about 1250 and initially involved seven independent countries, each of which retained its own sovereignity. The model was soon after copied in the french- and italian-speaking areas of modern Switzerland. The present confederation includes 27 kantons (the federal constitution guarantees that they remain sovereign nations, i.e. in principle can withdraw) and 4 different languages. The Kantons retain power over taxes, education, welfare, citizenship, .. Direct democracy reigns at both the national and kantonal level, i.e. citizens can reject/initiate laws by referendum, including kantonal/national taxation/expenditure.

4. Spain actually has a mixed system in which certain "autonomia" (states – Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon) have a status somewhat like Kantons in Switzerland, e.g. a separate status with regard to taxation.

Probably the best thing that Spain could do would be to copy the Swiss model and get rid of the monarchy. Probably even Cataluña could be convinced to join such a model. I need to learn more about the structure of the government in Spain, and its recent history. Your comment was VERY helpful, thank you

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

@AP And imagine if the US had a two-round system for our presidential elections, i.e., top two vote-getters from the first round advancing to a run-off.

We could have seen MILLIONS more people voting Green or Libertarian instead of Trump or Clinton. That system would tell us the real popularity of these "major-party" candidates, which is pitifully low when people feel that they have a realistic alternative and a way to express it through their vote.

Trump and Clinton probably wouldn't get even 30% of the votes each in such a first round. Even farther below the support that Catalonian voters just showed for independence.

Go Catalonia!
Go Scotland!

And while we're at it, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, LA and San Francisco, Portland and Seattle."

Matra > , October 12, 2017 at 2:31 am GMT

@hyperbola I don't consider Spain v Catalonia any of my business so I'm neutral but Murray seems to be an ideologue more interested in narrative than truth. He even claims today's Spaniards had Muslim ancestors, a typical leftist talking point. He's not very credible.

Miro23 > , October 12, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT

@RadicalCenter

The Constitution called for very limited powers for the federal government, and conversely very broad autonomy for the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy.

Very broad autonomy to decide means that they would have to use this autonomy – which is a shockingly different mindset from what exists at present. Each citizen would have to be personally involved in evaluating issues, attending meetings and voting – and the only way I could see this happening is if Civic Democratic participation was compulsory.

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw

My assumption is that most citizens would be too busy or too lazy and disinterested to participate, so it would have to be mandatory, with a penalty of loss of voting rights or even loss of citizenship. The idea is that you are only a citizen as long as you act as a citizen, and it would almost certainly need to combine with a period of compulsory military service for all male citizens to concretize the idea.

the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy.

Monetary and foreign policy would have to come back to the states as well. Foreign policy needs to be firmly rooted in full participative state decision making, and FED/Treasury national level credit creation completely halted (we know where that money goes).

The Alarmist > , October 12, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT

With respect to Northern California, the author misses the obvious precedent of West Virginia, which in 1861 was carved out of the western parts of a recently seceded Virginia.

The Alarmist > , October 12, 2017 at 5:21 am GMT

@RadicalCenter Then there's the issue of what to do with the launch facilities of Vandenberg AFB. Will this relationship be like Russia leasing Baikonur from Khazakhstan? Do we have any reason to fear a nuclear armed Southern California with Ballistic Missile Technology? Should Mr. Trump start a pre-emptive bombing campaign now?

Miro23 > , October 12, 2017 at 5:41 am GMT

@Miro23

The idea is that you are only a citizen as long as you act as a citizen, and it would almost certainly need to combine with a period of compulsory military service for all male citizens to concretize the idea.

Also, out-of-state military service would help Americans to get to know each other (Californians to Ohio, Texans to California, Alabamians to Washington State, New Yorkers to Montana or Hawaiians to Alaska).

szopen > , October 12, 2017 at 6:04 am GMT

The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically.

Of course the dissolution of A-H was necessary and it's further existance would be absurd – it woudl also destablize the Europe, because of constant frictions within it. Historically, Poland, Czechia etc were historic nations, who were unwilling to be ruled by Austrians (even though in 1914 Austrians were the best from the three partitioners). I don't know why double standards with respect to southern states and my own country. Don't Poles deserve the same right to live in their own country as southerners?

Hans Vogel > , October 12, 2017 at 7:15 am GMT

Interesting point of view, though I beg to differ on a point or two.

It would seem that your presentation of Catalan claims to independence lacks a few key observations. The union of Spanish crowns actually dates from the late 15th century with the marriage of Queen Isabel of Castile to King Ferdinand of Aragon. While they each continued to rule over their own kingdom, they did coordinate some key policies. Their daughter Juana "la Loca" was the first to rule over the two kingdoms together. "Spain" became a Habsburg land when Juana's son Charles I succeeded in 1517. Spain continued to be ruled by Habsburgs until 1700, when Charles II died without leaving an heir. The heir apparent was Louis XIV's grandson Philip, a Bourbon. However, the Netherlands and England did not want him to succeed and therefore they recognized Charles VI, son of the German Emperor, as King of Spain. In the ensuing War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713/4), the Dutch and English conquered Gibraltar and occupied Catalonia. In the end they had to accept that while Catalonia supported Charles VI, most of the rest of Spain preferred Philip. Once firmly on the throne, the new monarch did not exactly favor Catalonia, to put it mildly. However the seeds for Catalan separatism had now been planted in fertile soil.

As for the point of what constitutes a nation, the answer is simple: anything at all, whether geographic location, language (which really is a "dialect with an army"), wealth, economic specialization, religion (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks all speak the same language, but Serbs are Orthodox, Croats Roman Catholic and Bosniaks Mohammedan), etc.

Basically, the key elements for constituing a nation are money, time, perseverance, violence and propaganda.

pyrrhus > , October 12, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT

The tyrannical actions of Madrid against a referendum that probably would have failed otherwise, fully justify secession (at least as a threat) at this point. Another point, misunderstood by the author, is that the Catalan language is the primary language spoken in Barcelona and the region around it, and is the official language of the universities and Government. The Basques, who are the most creative group in Spain, also are chafing under Madrid's rule .

Jo King > , October 12, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT

"1258. Thus, for eight centuries the region has been united with Spain".
This is completly false, Spain simply HAS NOT 8 centuries of existence, learn History first, wright after. americans and History, what a difficult relation.

Verymuchalive > , October 12, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

@Miro23 Yes, an excellent article from Prof Cathey.
And you are right, Miro23, about the role of C 2oth "leftist internationalism" which continues to envelope Barcelona. People living very bourgeois lifestyles would come up to you and spout often very extreme left wing opinions, which you knew they had no intention of following in real life.
My brother, a Post Grad in Spanish History, had to teach in Barcelona for a year as part of his course. I visited him several times. He came to despise Barcelona and its phony Toytown anarchists and other leftists. Neither he nor I have ever felt the desire to return.
Without these Toytown leftists, I doubt there would have been a Referendum at all. Puigdemont needed their support and this was his bribe.

animalogic > , October 12, 2017 at 9:43 am GMT

@hyperbola You are spot on hyperbola. The author here tries to "stick his thumb on the scale"
" Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si."[my emphasis]
His conclusion ? The plebiscite/referendum lacks popular validity.
Absent, of course, is Madrid's direct sabotage of the vote: ballots "stolen", & voters obstructed from voting (sometimes violently, also psychologically).
Nor, if memory serves, is the 40% that much less than the voter turn- out for some other countries, such as the US.

Alfred > , October 12, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

The story that the WWI is the direct result of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke is an example of Fake News at its best.

In reality, the English planned to take down Germany long before WWI. The Entente Cordiale with France had secret clauses that neither the British parliament nor most of the Cabinet knew anything about.

Winston Churchill switched from Conservatives to Liberals in order to get the Liberals to start the war. As First Lord of the Admirality, he agreed with the French that their fleet should stay in the Mediterranean and the Royal Navy would defend their Atlantic coast.

The British public were in favour of the Prussians and against the Russians and French. All of that was changed in a concerted propaganda campaign that went on for more than 10 years.

Belgium was not a neutral country – the main pretext for getting the UK into the war – as it planned with the British the details of how a large British expeditionary force should deploy into Belgium to fight the Germans – long before 1914.

Lastly, Germany was the last country to mobilise. So much for "German Aggression".

Gene Tuttle > , October 12, 2017 at 10:03 am GMT

Excellent summary of the issue!

I spent much of September in Spain, often trying to reconcile my conviction that Catalan separatists were wrongheaded provincials heading down a dangerous path with my past sympathies for some secessionist movements elsewhere. This article, with its compact history review, was helpful in describing some of the nuances differentiating diverse separatist movements. It shows that different conclusions about which ones are justified need not reflect a double standard.

animalogic > , October 12, 2017 at 10:29 am GMT

@Matra "I'm neutral but Murray seems to be an ideologue . He even claims today's Spaniards had Muslim ancestors, a typical leftist talking point."
Maybe he is an ideologue, but you certainly are.
Although I guess the practice of history is itself typically leftist.
Imagine claiming that modern Spaniards may have Muslim ancestors when Muslim's controlled much of Spain (in ever decreasing area) from 711AD to 1492. I wonder whether a few drops or more of Muslim/Arabic blood my snuck into all that European blood over the course of 100′s of years ?

szopen > , October 12, 2017 at 10:31 am GMT

@Hans Vogel

Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks all speak the same language

It's more complicated than that. There are several dialects in ex-Yugoslavia, crossing through the ethnic lines. The are three dialects in Croatia, and I was told that one (official language) is almost same as Serbian, while two others are as different as almost a different language. If some Croat is here, he could confirm.

Kirt > , October 12, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT

I tend to support popular secessionist movements reflexively, since the ability to opt out is the only thing that gives real meaning to consent of the governed. But if Spain is determined to drown this attempt in a Lincolnesque bloodbath, the Catalans better ask themselves if it is really worth it. Some of us onlookers will wish them well, most won't care, but no one will ride to their rescue.

Jake > , October 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm GMT

The brief synopsis of Spanish history is helpful, and Catalonia is the issue. But the article opens with California, which is the primary interest of almost all of us in terms of secession. Not necessarily CA, but the USA Empire.

Yes, if California secedes, its many 'conservative' peoples and their towns and counties will be even more at the mercy of the ultra looney Left of Hollywood and San Francisco. But that is not a deal-breaker of the idea. The secession of 13 colonies of the British Empire meant that in each of those 13 colonies sizable numbers of pro-Empire people were made very unhappy at losing their concept of nation.

The fact is that there will be no classic secession within the current USA Empire, no state or 2 or 13 will leave with the rest remaining as the USA. If anything comes, it will be a divorce. The entire compact will be abolished, with property divided.

And yes, that splitting of states will mean that we will see movements out of one into the other. We will see more conservative people living in, say, CA or MA or MN, moving to NC or MO or TX. We will see Liberals living in VA and FL and AR fleeing to NY or Chicago or Portland or Seattle.

Wally > , October 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes 'Elite' states secede? Could be interesting.

- 45% of California, for example, is Federal land.

- Without US taxpayers money CA would be a 3rd world country completely filled with unemployable & dumb illegal immigrants.

- Think about this brief list made possible by the US taxpayers / federal government, money CA would not get and then tens of thousands of CA people would lose their jobs (= lost CA tax revenues):

aerospace contracts, defense contracts, fed gov, software contracts, fed gov airplane orders, bases, ports, money for illegal aliens costs, federal monies for universities, 'affirmative action monies, section 8 housing money, monies for highways, monies for 'mass transportation', monies to fight crime, monies from the EPA for streams & lakes, monies from the Nat. Park Service, monies for healthcare, monies for freeloading welfare recipients, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg

- Not to mention the numerous counties in CA which will not want to be part of the laughable 'Peoples Republic of California'.

- And imagine the 'Peoples Republic of California Army', hilarious.

[Oct 10, 2017] National balkanization is very problematic in the context of bringing substantially enhanced economic rights and opportunities to a broad spectrum of the oppressed in a nation's population is consistent with recent history elsewhere especially the former Yugoslavia

Notable quotes:
"... "Behind the assault on the working class in Spain is a European and indeed global crisis of capitalism. After a quarter century of social cuts and escalating imperialist wars across the Middle East since the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991, European capitalism is in an advanced state of collapse. Particularly since the 2008 Wall Street crash and global economic crisis, the ruling elites in Europe and America all sought to strengthen the military and police agencies, while imposing devastating austerity on the workers. ..."
"... Spanish capitalism is economically moribund. Spain's unemployment rate stands at a massive 17.8 percent and at 38.6 percent for the under-25s. One in four unemployed have not had a job for at least four years. 2.5 million workers came off the unemployment rolls not because they found jobs in Spain, but because they emigrated to find work elsewhere." ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Northern Star , September 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

Profoundly illuminating analysis of the Catalonia situation the observation that national balkanization is very problematic in the context of bringing substantially enhanced economic rights and opportunities to a broad spectrum of the oppressed in a nation's population is consistent with recent history elsewhere, e.g the former Yugoslavia.

"Behind the assault on the working class in Spain is a European and indeed global crisis of capitalism. After a quarter century of social cuts and escalating imperialist wars across the Middle East since the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991, European capitalism is in an advanced state of collapse. Particularly since the 2008 Wall Street crash and global economic crisis, the ruling elites in Europe and America all sought to strengthen the military and police agencies, while imposing devastating austerity on the workers.

This left Spain -- like Greece, Portugal, Italy, and much of Eastern Europe -- in ruins. Spanish capitalism is economically moribund. Spain's unemployment rate stands at a massive 17.8 percent and at 38.6 percent for the under-25s. One in four unemployed have not had a job for at least four years. 2.5 million workers came off the unemployment rolls not because they found jobs in Spain, but because they emigrated to find work elsewhere."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/30/cata-s30.html

Evgeny , September 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Just read Anatoly Wasserman's take (in Russian):

https://www.nalin.ru/kak-vlast-ispanii-dobivaetsya-otdeleniya-katalonii-6000

He makes a point that by banning the referendum, the Spanish Government unwittingly promotes the cause for independence of Catalonia. Since the referendum is deemed to be illegal, the only ones to attend it would be pro-independence-minded people, which would result in the high percentage of vote for the independence. Consequently, pro-independence leaders would be able to capitalize on that result by claiming that it reflects the will of the people (despite the low voter turnout).

[Oct 09, 2017] Amazon.com Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges published this book eight years ago and the things he predicted have sadly been realized
Notable quotes:
"... his screed is a liberating tonic against the crazy-making double-speak and the lies Americans are sold by our country's elite in order to distract us from the true threat and nature of the Corporate State, from the cult of celebrity, to how our nation's Universities have been hijacked to serve the interests, not of the public, but of our corporate overlords. It explains the self-same conditions in all aspects of our society and culture that we now must face, the ever-shrinking flame of enlightenment being exchanged for the illusory shadows on a cave wall. ..."
"... He fearlessly and incisively calls us out on the obvious farce our democracy has become, how we got here, and highlights the rapidly closing window in which we have to do something to correct it. It is a revelation, and yet he merely states the obvious. The empire has no clothes. ..."
"... One of the most powerful aspects of this book was in regard to how our Universities are run these days. I may be in the minority, but I experienced a life-changing disillusionment when I gained entrance to a prestigious "elite" University. Instead of drawing the best and the brightest, or being a place where scholarship was valued, where students were taught critical thinking skills, the University I attended was nothing more than an expensive diploma mill for the children of the wealthy. In the eyes of the University, students were not minds to be empowered and developed, but walking dollar signs. ..."
"... Instead of critical thinking, students were taught to OBEY, not to question authority, and then handed a piece of paper admitting them to the ruling class that is destroying America without a moral compass. Selfishness, deceit, disregard for the common good, and a win-at-all-costs attitude were rewarded. Empathy, curiosity, dissent, and an honest, intellectually rigorous evaluation of ourselves and our world were punished. Obviously I am not the only one to whom this was cause to fear for the future of our country. ..."
"... The chapter involving the porn trade that is run by large corporations such as AT&T and GM (the car maker, for crying out loud) was an especially dark, profanity-laced depiction of the abuse and moral decay of American society . ..."
"... He is correct in his belief that the continual barrage of psuedo-events and puffery disguised as news (especially television) has conditioned most of Americans to be non-critical thinkers. ..."
"... Entertainment, consumption and the dangerous illusion that the U.S. is the best in the world at everything are childish mindsets. ..."
"... The are the puppet masters." As extreme as that is, he is more credible when he says, "Commodities and celebrity culture define what it means to belong, how we recognize our place in society, and how we conduct our lives." I say 'credible' because popular and mass culture's influence are creating a world where substance is replaced by questionable style. ..."
"... Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. ..."
"... Visibility has replaced substance and accomplishment; packaging over product, sizzle not steak. Chris Rojek calls this "the cult of distraction" where society is consumed by the vacuous and the vapid rather than striving for self-awareness, accomplishment and contribution ("Propaganda has become a substitute for ideas and ideology."). Hedges builds on Rojek's descriptor by suggesting we are living in a "culture of illusion" which impoverishes language, makes us childlike, and is basically dumbing us all down. ..."
"... Today's delusionary and corrupted officials, corporate and government, are reminiscent of the narratives penned by Charles Dickens. Alexander Hamilton referred to the masses as a "great beast" to be kept from the powers of government. ..."
"... Edmund Burke used propaganda to control "elements of society". Walter Lippmann advised that "the public must be kept in its place". Yet, many Americans just don't get it. ..."
"... Divide and conquer is the mantra--rich vs. poor; black vs. white. According to Norm Chomsky's writings, "In 1934, William Shepard argued that government should be in the hands of `aristocracy and intellectual power' while the `ignorant, and the uninformed and the antisocial element' must not be permitted to control elections...." ..."
"... The appalling statistics and opinions outlined in the book demonstrate the public ignorance of the American culture; the depth and extent of the corporatocracy and the related economic malaise; and, the impact substandard schools have on their lives. ..."
"... This idea was recently usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court where representative government is called to question, rendering "our" consent irrelevant. Every voting election is an illusion. Each election, at the local and national level, voters never seemingly "miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" to eliminate irresponsible and unresponsive officials. ..."
"... Walt Kelly's quote "We have met the enemy and he is us" prevails! ..."
"... It's also hard to follow at times as Hedges attempts to stress the connections between pop culture and social, political. and economic policy. Nor is Hedges a particularly stylish writer (a sense of humor would help). ..."
"... The stomach-turning chapter on trends in porn and their relationship to the torture of prisoners of war is a particularly sharp piece of analysis, and all of the other chapters do eventually convince (and depress). ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

H. I. on May 13, 2011

This Book Explains EVERYTHING!!!!!

Hedges cogently and systematically dismantles the most pernicious cultural delusions of our era and lays bare the pitiful truths that they attempt to mask. This book is a deprogramming manual that trims away the folly and noise from our troubled society so that the reader can focus on the most pressing matters of our time.

Despite the dark reality Hedges excavates, his screed is a liberating tonic against the crazy-making double-speak and the lies Americans are sold by our country's elite in order to distract us from the true threat and nature of the Corporate State, from the cult of celebrity, to how our nation's Universities have been hijacked to serve the interests, not of the public, but of our corporate overlords. It explains the self-same conditions in all aspects of our society and culture that we now must face, the ever-shrinking flame of enlightenment being exchanged for the illusory shadows on a cave wall.

As a twenty-something caught in the death-throes of American Empire and culture, I have struggled to anticipate where our country and our world are heading, why, and what sort of life I can expect to build for myself. Hedges presents the reader with the depressing, yet undeniable truth of the forces that have coalesced to shape the world in which we now find ourselves. The light he casts is searing and relentless. He fearlessly and incisively calls us out on the obvious farce our democracy has become, how we got here, and highlights the rapidly closing window in which we have to do something to correct it. It is a revelation, and yet he merely states the obvious. The empire has no clothes.

One of the most powerful aspects of this book was in regard to how our Universities are run these days. I may be in the minority, but I experienced a life-changing disillusionment when I gained entrance to a prestigious "elite" University. Instead of drawing the best and the brightest, or being a place where scholarship was valued, where students were taught critical thinking skills, the University I attended was nothing more than an expensive diploma mill for the children of the wealthy. In the eyes of the University, students were not minds to be empowered and developed, but walking dollar signs.

Instead of critical thinking, students were taught to OBEY, not to question authority, and then handed a piece of paper admitting them to the ruling class that is destroying America without a moral compass. Selfishness, deceit, disregard for the common good, and a win-at-all-costs attitude were rewarded. Empathy, curiosity, dissent, and an honest, intellectually rigorous evaluation of ourselves and our world were punished. Obviously I am not the only one to whom this was cause to fear for the future of our country.

Five stars is not enough. Ever since I began reading Empire of Illusion, I have insisted friends and family pick up a copy, too. Everyone in America should read this incredibly important book.

The truth shall set us free.

By Franklin the Mouse on February 5, 2012

Dream Weavers

Mr. Hedges is in one heck of a foul mood. His raging against the evolving of American democracy into an oligarchy is accurate, but relentlessly depressing. The author focuses on some of our most horrid characteristics: celebrity worship; "pro" wrestling; the brutal porn industry; Jerry Springer-like shows; the military-industrial complex; the moral void of elite colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Berkeley and Princeton; optimistic-ladened pop psychology; and political/corporate conformity.

Mr. Hedges grim assessment put me in a seriously foul mood. The chapter involving the porn trade that is run by large corporations such as AT&T and GM (the car maker, for crying out loud) was an especially dark, profanity-laced depiction of the abuse and moral decay of American society .

He is correct in his belief that the continual barrage of psuedo-events and puffery disguised as news (especially television) has conditioned most of Americans to be non-critical thinkers.

Entertainment, consumption and the dangerous illusion that the U.S. is the best in the world at everything are childish mindsets.

The oddest part of Mr. Hedges' book is the ending. The last three pages take such an unexpectedly hard turn from "all is lost" to "love will conquer," I practically got whiplash. Overall, the author should be commended for trying to bring our attention to what ails our country and challenging readers to wake up from their child-like illusions.

Now, time for me to go run a nice, warm bath and where did I put those razor blades?...

By Walter E. Kurtz on September 25, 2011
Amazing book

I must say I was captivated by the author's passion, eloquence and insight. This is not an academic essay. True, there are few statistics here and there and quotes from such and such person, but this is not like one of those books that read like a longer version of an academic research paper. The book is more of author's personal observations about American society. Perhaps that is where its power comes from.

Some might dismiss the book as nothing more than an opinion piece, but how many great books and works out there are opinion pieces enhanced with supporting facts and statistics?

The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is about celebrity worship and how far people are willing to humiliate themselves and sacrifice their dignity for their five minutes of fame. But this is not just about those who are willing to make idiots out of themselves just to appear on television. This is about how the fascination with the world of rich and famous distracts the society from the important issues and problems and how it creates unhealthy and destructive desire to pursue wealth and fame. And even for those few who do achieve it, their lives are far from the bliss and happiness shown in movies. More than one celebrity had cursed her life.

Chapter two deals with porn. It offers gutwrenching, vomit inducing descriptions of lives and conditions in the porn industry. But the damage porn does goes far beyond those working in the "industry". Porn destroys the love, intimacy and beauty of sex. Porn reduces sex to an act of male dominance, power and even violence. Unfortunately, many men, and even women, buy into that and think that the sex seen in porn is normal and this is how things should be.

After reading this chapter, I will never look at porn the same way again. In fact, I probably will never look at porn at all.

Chapter three is about education. It focuses mostly on college level education and how in the past few decades it had increasingly changed focus from teaching students how to be responsible citizens and good human beings to how to be successful, profit seeking, career obsessed corporate/government drones. The students are taught that making money and career building are the only thing that matters. This results in professionals who put greed and selfishness above everything else and mindlessly serve a system that destroys the society and the whole planet. And when they are faced with problems (like the current economic crisis) and evidence that the system is broken, rather than rethink their paradigm and consider that perhaps they were wrong, they retreat further into old thinking in search of ways to reinforce the (broken) system and keep it going.
Chapter four is my favorite. It is about positive thinking. As someone who lives with a family member who feeds me positive thinking crap at breakfast, lunch and supper, I enjoyed this chapter very much. For those rare lucky few who do not know what positive thinking is, it can be broadly defined as a belief that whatever happens to us in life, it happens because we "attracted" it to ourselves. Think about it as karma that affects us not in the next life, but in this one. The movement believes that our conscious and unconscious thoughts affect reality. By assuming happy, positive outlook on life, we can affect reality and make good things happen to us.

Followers of positive thinking are encouraged/required to purge all negative emotions, never question the bad things that happen to them and focus on thinking happy thoughts. Positive thinking is currently promoted by corporations and to lesser extent governments to keep employees in line. They are rendered docile and obedient, don't make waves (like fight for better pay and working conditions) and, when fired, take it calmly with a smile and never question corporate culture.

Chapter five is about American politics and how the government and the politicians had sold themselves out to corporations and business. It is about imperialism and how the government helps the corporations loot the country while foreign wars are started under the pretext of defense and patriotism, but their real purpose is to loot the foreign lands and fill the coffers of war profiteers. If allowed to continue, this system will result in totalitarianism and ecological apocalypse.

I have some objections with this chapter. While I completely agree about the current state of American politics, the author makes a claim that this is a relatively recent development dating roughly to the Vietnam War. Before that, especially in the 1950s, things were much better. Or at least they were for the white men. (The author does admit that 1950s were not all that great to blacks, women or homosexuals.)

While things might have gotten very bad in the last few decades, politicians and governments have always been more at the service of Big Money rather than the common people.

And Vietnam was not the first imperialistic American war. What about the conquest of Cuba and Philippines at the turn of the 20th century? And about all those American "adventures" in South America in the 19th century. And what about the westward expansion and extermination of Native Americans that started the moment the first colonists set their foot on the continent?

But this is a minor issue. My biggest issue with the book is that it is a powerful denunciation, but it does not offer much in terms of suggestions on how to fix the problems it is decrying. Criticizing is good and necessary, but offering solutions is even more important. You can criticize all you want, but if you cannot suggest something better, then the old system will stay in place.

The author does write at the end a powerful, tear inducing essay on how love conquers all and that no totalitarian regime, no matter how powerful and oppressive, had ever managed to crush hope, love and the human spirit. Love, in the end, conquers all.

That is absolutely true. But what does it mean in practice? That we must keep loving and doing good? Of course we must, but some concrete, practical examples of what to do would be welcome.

By Richard Joltes on July 18, 2016
An excellent and sobering view at the decline of reason and literacy in modern society

This is an absolutely superb work that documents how our society has been subverted by spectacle, glitz, celebrity, and the obsession with "fame" at the expense of reality, literacy, reason, and actual ability. Hedges lays it all out in a very clear and thought provoking style, using real world examples like pro wrestling and celebrity oriented programming to showcase how severely our society has declined from a forward thinking, literate one into a mass of tribes obsessed with stardom and money.

Even better is that the author's style is approachable and non judgemental. This isn't an academic talking down to the masses, but a very solid reporter presenting findings in an accurate, logical style.

Every American should read this, and then consider whether to buy that glossy celebrity oriented magazine or watch that "I want to be a millionaire" show. The lifestyle and choices being promoted by the media, credit card companies, and by the celebrity culture in general, are toxic and a danger to our society's future.

By Jeffrey Swystun on June 29, 2011
What does the contemporary self want?

The various ills impacting society graphically painted by Chris Hedges are attributed to a lack of literacy. However, it is much more complex, layered, and inter-related. By examining literacy, love, wisdom, happiness, and the current state of America, the author sets out to convince the reader that our world is intellectually crumbling. He picks aspects of our society that clearly offer questionable value: professional wrestling, the pornographic film industry (which is provided in bizarre repetitive graphic detail), gambling, conspicuous consumption, and biased news reporting to name a few.

The front of the end of the book was the most compelling. Especially when Hedges strays into near conspiracy with comments such as this: "Those who manipulate the shadows that dominate our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for illusion. The are the puppet masters." As extreme as that is, he is more credible when he says, "Commodities and celebrity culture define what it means to belong, how we recognize our place in society, and how we conduct our lives." I say 'credible' because popular and mass culture's influence are creating a world where substance is replaced by questionable style.

What resonated most in the book is a passage taken from William Deresiewicz's essay The End of Solitude: "What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge -- broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider -- the two cultures betray a common impulse.

Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves -- by being seen by others. The great contemporary terror is anonymity. If Lionel Trilling was right, if the property that grounded the self, in Romanticism, was sincerity, and in modernism it was authenticity, then in postmodernism it is visibility."

Visibility has replaced substance and accomplishment; packaging over product, sizzle not steak. Chris Rojek calls this "the cult of distraction" where society is consumed by the vacuous and the vapid rather than striving for self-awareness, accomplishment and contribution ("Propaganda has become a substitute for ideas and ideology."). Hedges builds on Rojek's descriptor by suggesting we are living in a "culture of illusion" which impoverishes language, makes us childlike, and is basically dumbing us all down.

This is definitely a provocative contribution and damning analysis of our society that would be a great choice for a book club. It would promote lively debate as conclusions and solutions are not easily reached.

By S. Arch on July 10, 2011
A book that needs to be read, even if it's only half true.

Empire of Illusion might be the most depressing book I've ever read. Why? Because it predicts the collapse of America and almost every word of it rings true.

I don't know if there's really anything new here; many of the ideas Hedges puts forth have been floating around in the neglected dark corners of our national discourse, but Hedges drags them all out into the daylight. Just about every social/cultural/economic/political ill you can think of is mentioned at some point in the text and laid at the feet of the villains whose insatiable greed has destroyed this once-great country. Hedges is bold. He predicts nothing less than the end of America. Indeed, he claims America has already ended. The American Dream is nothing more than an illusion being propped up by wealthy elites obsessed with power and the preservation of their lifestyle, a blind academia that has forgotten how to critique authority, and a government that is nothing more than the puppet of corporations. Meanwhile, mindless entertainments and a compliant news media divert and mislead the working and middle classes so they don't even notice that they are being raped to death by the power-elite and the corporations.

(Don't misunderstand. This is no crack-pot conspiracy theory. It's not about secret quasi-mystical cabals attempting world domination. Rather, Hedges paints a credible picture of our culture in a state of moral and intellectual decay, and leaders corrupted by power and greed who have ceased to act in the public interest.)

At times Hedges seems to be ranting and accusing without providing evidence or examples to substantiate his claims. But that might only be because his claims have already been substantiated individually elsewhere, and Hedges's purpose here is a kind of grand synthesis of many critical ideas. Indeed, an exhaustive analysis of all the issues he brings forth would require volumes rather than a single book. In any case, I challenge anyone to read this book, look around honestly at what's happening in America, and conclude that Hedges is wrong.

One final note: this book is not for the squeamish. The chapter about pornography is brutally explicit. Still, I think it is an important book, and it would be good if a lot more people would read it, discuss it, and thereby become dis-illusioned.

By Bruce E. McLeod Jr. on February 11, 2012
Thorough and illuminating

Chris Hedges book, "Empire of Illusion" is a stinging assessment and vivid indictment of America's political and educational systems; a well-told story. I agree with his views but wonder how they can be reversed or transformed given the economic hegemony of the corporations and the weight of the entrenched political parties. Very few solutions were provided.

Corporations will continue to have a presence and set standards within the halls of educational and governmental institutions with impunity. Limited monetary measures, other than governmental, exist for public educational institutions, both secondary and post-secondary. Historically, Roman and Greek political elitists operated in a similar manner and may have set standards for today's plutocracy. Plebeian societies were helpless and powerless, with few options, to enact change against the political establishment. Given the current conditions, America is on a downward spiral to chaos.

His book is a clarion call for action. Parents and teachers have warned repeatedly that too much emphasis is placed on athletic programs at the expense of academics. Educational panels, books and other experts have done little to reform the system and its intransigent administrators.

Today's delusionary and corrupted officials, corporate and government, are reminiscent of the narratives penned by Charles Dickens. Alexander Hamilton referred to the masses as a "great beast" to be kept from the powers of government.

Edmund Burke used propaganda to control "elements of society". Walter Lippmann advised that "the public must be kept in its place". Yet, many Americans just don't get it.

They continue to be hood-winked by politicians using uncontested "sound bites" and "racially-coded" phrases to persuade voters.

Divide and conquer is the mantra--rich vs. poor; black vs. white. According to Norm Chomsky's writings, "In 1934, William Shepard argued that government should be in the hands of `aristocracy and intellectual power' while the `ignorant, and the uninformed and the antisocial element' must not be permitted to control elections...."

The appalling statistics and opinions outlined in the book demonstrate the public ignorance of the American culture; the depth and extent of the corporatocracy and the related economic malaise; and, the impact substandard schools have on their lives. This is further exemplified by Jay Leno's version of "Jaywalking". On the streets, he randomly selects passersby to interview, which seems to validate much of these charges.

We are all culpable. We are further susceptible to illusions. John Locke said, "Government receives its just powers from the consent of the governed".

This idea was recently usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court where representative government is called to question, rendering "our" consent irrelevant. Every voting election is an illusion. Each election, at the local and national level, voters never seemingly "miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" to eliminate irresponsible and unresponsive officials.

Walt Kelly's quote "We have met the enemy and he is us" prevails!

By Richard Steiger on January 14, 2012
Powerful in spite of itself

There are many flaws with Hedges' book. For one thing, he is given to writing sermons (his father was a minister), hurling down denunciations in the manner of the prophet Amos. The book also tends to be repetitious, as Hedges makes the same general statements over and over. It's also hard to follow at times as Hedges attempts to stress the connections between pop culture and social, political. and economic policy. Nor is Hedges a particularly stylish writer (a sense of humor would help).

His last-second "happy ending" (something like: we're all doomed, but eventually, somewhere down the line, love will prevail beacuse it's ultimately the strongest power on earth) is, to say the least, unconvincing.

SO why am I recommending this book? Because in spite of its flaws (and maybe even because of them), this is a powerful depiction of the state of American society. The book does get to you in its somewhat clumsy way.

The stomach-turning chapter on trends in porn and their relationship to the torture of prisoners of war is a particularly sharp piece of analysis, and all of the other chapters do eventually convince (and depress).

This book will not exactly cheer you up, but at least it will give you an understanding of where we are (and where we're heading).

[Oct 09, 2017] If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, Or New England - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Our masters then ..."
"... Were still, at least, our countrymen. ..."
"... How Catholicism fell from grace in Ireland , Chicago Tribune, ..."
"... coup d'état ..."
"... Men of 1916 had much in common with Bolsheviks | But October Revolution and Easter Rising had radically diverging ideologies , ..."
"... on all sorts of subjects ..."
"... for all kinds of outlets. (This ..."
"... no longer includes ..."
"... National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and ..."
"... and several other ..."
"... . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: ..."
"... ( also available in Kindle ) and ..."
"... People who are impoverished proclaim their allegiance to their community, because they are looking for help . Hence nationalism and especially religion. ..."
"... I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL. ..."
"... I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades. ..."
"... "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them.

It is of course the case that our co-ethnics may be crazy beasts -- North Korea 's a nation ; Khmer Rouge Cambodia was a nation -- while the foreigners in that distant city might be benign and wise , or at any rate not life-threatening. The Middle East under the Ottoman Empire was not an exemplar of peace and justice, but it doesn't compare badly with today's Middle East.

The great British national conservative Enoch Powell, who fifty years ago gave those eloquent warnings about the evils of mass immigration, once said that if Britain were at war he would fight for Britain , even if it was a communist dictatorship.

The Greek poet in Byron's Don Juan , living under the Ottoman Turks , likewise looked back to the Greek tyrants of antiquity and sighed :

Our masters then

Were still, at least, our countrymen.

I'm basically on the same page with these nationalists, but with reservations. When the Vietnamese army put an end to the Khmer Rouge government by invading Cambodia, most Cambodians hailed them as liberators. Perhaps I would have, too; perhaps even Enoch Powell would have.

So there are qualifications to be made about nationalism, especially small-country nationalism or sub-nationalism. You're not drawing from a big pool of political talent there. I have mixed occasionally with Scottish and Welsh nationalists; let's just say I wasn't impressed.

Sub-nationalism like Catalonia's is also in contradiction to nationalism proper. Who's the truer nationalist: the Spanish citizen who would fight and die for Spain, or the Catalan separatist who feels the same way about his province?

Here you're in the zone of differences that can only finally be decided by force of arms.

You don't have to recall horrors like Cambodia or North Korea to develop some caution about nationalism. Growing up in mid-20th-century England, we had an instance of passionate nationalism -- or sub-nationalism, depending on your point of view -- right on our doorstep . That was of course Ireland.

The Irish had been struggling for centuries to attain self-government. In 1921, after some revolutionary violence , they got autonomy ; then in 1937, full independence.

Irish nationalism was a peculiar thing, though. The Irish had the nationalist impulse , all right: they wanted to be ruled by their own people, not by foreigners. Yet they also had strong trans -nationalist sentiments by virtue of being devout adherents of Roman Catholic Christianity -- a trans-nationalist enterprise if ever there was one.

Having won their independence, the Irish signed on to every trans-national organization that came along. When I took my wife on a tour of the United Nations headquarters in 1987, our tour guide was an Irishman, and we heard a lot of Irish accents around the building.

Likewise with the European Union, on which the Irish are very keen. The sour joke in Britain thirty years ago was that having fought eight hundred years for their independence , the Irish had then sold it for a package of EU agricultural subsidies.

That's not altogether fair. But looking at Ireland today gives you a jaded perspective on Irish nationalism. The seminaries are full of Nigerians [ How Catholicism fell from grace in Ireland , Chicago Tribune, July 92006] the cab drivers are all Polish ; and the current Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is an open homosexual whose father was an Indian born in Bombay.

For this the heroes of 1916 faced the firing squads?

You may say that the right to national independence includes the right to national suicide. I suppose it does. Still, as a fan of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's observation that "Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities," I lament the transformation of Ireland, the Land of Saints and Scholars, into an airport departure lounge -- with the rest of Britain not far behind, indeed in some respects ahead .

"What was long divided must unite, what was long united must divide." Hearing that now we Americans of course think of the secession talk that seems to be getting more and more common on the blogs, including very smart and sensible ones like the Audacious Epigone .

If Catalonia, why not California, or Texas, or New England?

All right; history has its ebbs and flows, to be sure, and to stand athwart them crying "Stop!" is most likely futile. As a conservative, though, I rather strongly favor leaving the big old nations as they are, absent some obvious and pressing need to break them up.

So without knowing much about Catalonia or its independence movement, I'll register myself as guardedly skeptical, on general grounds. America for Americans; Spain for Spaniards; nationalism over trans-nationalism and sub-nationalism both .

Last week I wrote about the coming centenary of the Bolshevik coup d'état in Russia. At the New York Times they're already starting to hang out the bunting.

The tension between nationalism and imperialism was a factor in Lenin's revolution. Tsarist Russia was an empire; it included numerous non-Russian nationalities. What plan did the Bolsheviks have for them?

Irish historian Frank Armstrong had a thoughtful op-ed on this in Wednesday's Irish Times , contrasting the Bolshevik coup of 1917 with the Easter Rising in Ireland the previous year.[ Men of 1916 had much in common with Bolsheviks | But October Revolution and Easter Rising had radically diverging ideologies , October 5, 2017] . He points out the tension among Bolsheviks, notably Stalin, between, on the one hand, the orthodox Marxist line that "the proletariat has no homeland" and nationalism is a reactionary bourgeois impulse, and on the other hand, admiration for revolutionary violence like that practiced by the Irish rebels.

Armstrong doesn't go anywhere much with his op-ed, but it's a useful reminder that nationalists and trans-nationalists can find themselves thinking the same thoughts.

Here's where I renew my call for a worldwide alliance of nationalists along the lines of the old Comintern, the Communist International.

We can call this alliance the Natintern, the Nationalist International. I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a suitable anthem, to be called of course The Nationale .

email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013 .

Randal > , October 7, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT

A good discussion of a complex topic. Touches on conservatism versus radicalism as well, which I think affects whether one is likely to support sub-nationalism against an established nation, even one's own.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

I noted recently that there is an interesting contrast between the British government's concession, in the case of Scotland, to the sub-nation of the inherent right to unilateral independence based merely on a majority of the sub-nation's population supporting it, and Spain's adherence to the opposite (and much more widespread) principle that secession is a matter for the nation as a whole, or simply treasonous sedition.

Someone has pointed to Quebec as another case where the point was conceded to the popular will of the sub-nation, and the whole process of the British withdrawal from colonial empire could be viewed as being the same (although there was a deal of US coercion and implicit threats of secessionist violence involved, along with the basic fact that thanks to WW1 & WW2 the British elites knew they lacked the strength to hold onto their colonies).

Clearly the constitutional positions of Scotland and of Catalonia are very different, but I think the governments of both Spain and Britain could have found ways to rationalise making the opposite choice to the one they took, if they had wanted to. Perhaps it comes down to the British government being confident they would win a referendum, but the Spanish government fearing they would not.

Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften > , October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

"If Catalonia, why not California, Texas, or New England?" Don't you know what happened to the South's attempt to secede! Do some homework, writer.

The Scalpel > , Website October 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

It seems to me you are countering the "What was long divided must unite, what was long united must divide," philosophy with one of "This far but no farther." You even recognize that your point of view cannot prevail but prefer it anyway. Well here's to you Don Quixote! May separaratism never come to La Mancha.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

Death is the inevitable end of any civilization. If not now, then when the sun gives way. There is no escape.

Anatoly Karlin > , Website October 7, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

I have recently been thinking that one of the strongest and most consistent geopolitical trends of the past one hundred years has been an explosion in national entities. We went from around 50 in 1900 to around 200 today.

But it wasn't always like this. I haven't seen any data on this, but the number of states or state-like entities must have exceeded a thousand during the medieval period, before the rise of the great gunpowder empires.

And there's no logical reason for this fragmentation not to continue, at least so long as the world remains generally peaceful with the associated lack of selection against small (i.e. militarily weak) states. As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially). Much like the inexorable forwards march of liberalism, can this even be stopped?

Randal > , October 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

And there's no logical reason for this fragmentation not to continue, at least so long as the world remains generally peaceful with the associated lack of selection against small (i.e. militarily weak) states.

But is there any reason to expect it necessarily to continue, given that it appears to be an aggregate function of a number of different processes, some of which are no longer in force, some of which are countervailing and might well become more dominant in future?

It certainly isn't just a function of the world becoming more peaceful and therefore smaller states being more viable – after all the process you describe began before the two world wars. The breakup of the big continental European empires is a different process from the later breakup of the colonial overseas empires, which again is a different process from the collapse of the Soviet empire or of Yugoslavia. They all have in common that they represent the loss of central authority over sub-nations, but they all result from different causes.

Then you have the much vaunted general loss of real sovereignty in the modern globalised world. Many of the newly "independent" entities probably have less freedom of action than many vassals of the Holy Roman Empire. And you have the rise of the EU. How genuinely sovereign will the constituent nations be as the EU develops further towards a United States of Europe?

For all the effort expended, there are few real examples of the long established nations of Europe fragmenting other than as the result of military defeat. Scotland, Wales, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Lombardy, etc, are all still part of the larger states of which they are sub-nations.

Sean > , October 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

Enoch Powell said the European community was the economic wing of a military alliance (Nato). A couple of countries (Greece for one) were told they could not join the EC unless they were in Nato.

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially). Much like the inexorable forwards march of liberalism , can this even be stopped?

Oooooh, did someone screech a boogeyman term? Who cares? Let it fragment. Reduce the size of the state -- always a good thing. The higher the ratio of citizens to wannabe rulers, the better.

Sean > , October 7, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT

Catalonian like Scottish nationalism is largely motivated by resentment by region that perceives itself as being used by a milch cow. Ireland was more authentically nationalist. Powell said the British state was always keen to divest itself of Ireland , but originally wanted the fig leaf of home rule.

According to Paul Johnson in the Offshore Islanders, Ireland was a net drain of Britain (that might also have been true of the Empire be the beginning of the 20th century. Arthur Balfour was right their could be no halfway house.

Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them.

People who are impoverished proclaim their allegiance to their community, because they are looking for help . Hence nationalism and especially religion.

. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-barber/atheism-to-replace-religion-by-2041-a-clarification_b_3695658.html
Research has shown that religion declines not just with rising national wealth but with all plausible measures of the quality of life, including length of life, decline of infectious diseases, education, the rise of the welfare state, and more equal distribution of income. Clearly there is less of a market for religion in societies where ordinary people feel secure in their daily lives. In the most developed countries, such as Japan and Sweden, the quality of life is so good that the majority is already secular.

Religion in an affluent society has not a snowball's chance in hell . When it was the poorest country in Europe, Scotland was a byword for religious fanaticism. A crypto-clerical Irish state had economic growth that was the poorest in western Europe and possibly all Europe. But once hyper-capitalism transformed Ireland, it became like everywhere else–only worse. They don't need the Church now–or nationalism. With war you would see nationalism. It is not nationalism that produces war but more the other way about. Germany got tired of great powers marching across it. Cambodia and North Korea too. For a resurgence of worldwide nationalism, a global war more true in the Clausewitz sense (ie unlimited) than anything imaginable would be needed.

WorkingClass > , October 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm GMT

"Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them."

I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL.

I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

Pat Boyle > , October 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

Some things expand – others decline. For example the total number of languages is dropping quickly I'm told. Every now and then there will be a media story about some old tribesman who dies and with him some language. The tone is always "Og was the last person on earth to speak (some obscure language)". When I read that I always wonder if he was the last speaker- who was he conversing with? It seems to me that a language is truly dead when the second to last speaker dies.

But if one of the root causes for nationalism and splitting off from the old country is language, with fewer languages shouldn't we have less nationalism?

There is also the 700 channel phenomenon. I have 700 TV channels (I think). The people who purport to understand such things tell us that newscasters are killing off regional dialects. Surely if we all speak the same more or less same language in more or less the same way, that will lessen the pressures to split off and form your own country. No?

Chinese shopping malls I see on the web look a lot like the malls in California. South Korea might give up the Korean language and adopt Chinese or Japanese. But they could adopt English. If they wanted to become the 51st state that would help.

jeppo > , October 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially).

The US could (and maybe should) break up into 50 different nation-states, while the entity known as the "United States" could evolve from a unitary nation into a transnational organization, similar to the evolution of the European Union except in reverse.

Meanwhile the EU could easily grow into 50 or more states, the former Soviet Union another 50, India a couple dozen, Africa an unknowable number etc. But even if the fringe areas of China broke away, that would still leave a homogeneous Han core of more than 1 billion people.

So in any widespread international fragmentation scenario, China probably wins. And that's OK, as long as Europeans/whites are allowed to maintain sovereignty over at least parts of Europe and North America.

On the other hand, if open-borders Spain and other suicidal Western countries (including the US and Russia) are allowed to survive in their present form, then they are all demographically doomed as white-majority nations.

peterAUS > , October 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT

@Randal A good discussion of a complex topic. Touches on conservatism versus radicalism as well, which I think affects whether one is likely to support sub-nationalism against an established nation, even one's own.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

I noted recently that there is an interesting contrast between the British government's concession, in the case of Scotland, to the sub-nation of the inherent right to unilateral independence based merely on a majority of the sub-nation's population supporting it, and Spain's adherence to the opposite (and much more widespread) principle that secession is a matter for the nation as a whole, or simply treasonous sedition.

Someone has pointed to Quebec as another case where the point was conceded to the popular will of the sub-nation, and the whole process of the British withdrawal from colonial empire could be viewed as being the same (although there was a deal of US coercion and implicit threats of secessionist violence involved, along with the basic fact that thanks to WW1 & WW2 the British elites knew they lacked the strength to hold onto their colonies).

Clearly the constitutional positions of Scotland and of Catalonia are very different, but I think the governments of both Spain and Britain could have found ways to rationalise making the opposite choice to the one they took, if they had wanted to. Perhaps it comes down to the British government being confident they would win a referendum, but the Spanish government fearing they would not.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

Well .a little correction if I may.

Ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism is definitely much stronger in self-sacrifice and will to fight. Definitely. But, in this case, I am not quite sure that Catalan seccseionists aren't actually exactly that.

I have a feeling that underneath that "citizenist' veneer there is that "ethnic and blood and soil" element. If if that is the case you actually, secession wise, have a perfect combination: ethnic solidarity and open mind; open mind technically, technologically and, of course, tactically.

You probably visit ARRSE. Take a look as some of posts by Brits (and ex-military most likely) who live there. Those hint, strongly, at "ethnic element" in this move. I mean, really, at the end of the day, why this can't be as Slovakia and Czech Republic? Or Baltic states? Or Macedonia (before Kosovo, that is .)? If it goes shooting it could be Slovenia. Short and effective for secession.

Of course, from there it can go through Croatia into, even, Bosnia. Uglier and much uglier. I doubt it can go Chechnya or Kosovo. Just not the environment, IMHO.

I see the problem here as deeply emotional and irrational element (by secessionists) versus modern, soft, civilized logic of Western world (by EU, NATO, US).

The sheer willpower by secessionists, in this case, can simply sweep all that logic aside. If .if ..that's that "real" nationalism.

We, outsiders, don't know that. Only Catalans do.

Jonathan Mason > , October 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

I don't see any good reason why Texas should not have independence if the people who live there want it. It is bigger than many independent nations like Lithuania or Moldovia that were once parts of the USSR.

If even tiny places like St. Kitts and Nevis can be independent nations, why shouldn't constituent United States disunite if they want to, or form new groups of United States? The constituent states of the US at present time are growing so that they all look the same, so I would like to see more diversity of lifestyles.

Jonathan Mason > , October 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

You could get gored by a Texas longhorn instead.

Truth > , October 7, 2017 at 8:08 pm GMT

That's not altogether fair. But looking at Ireland today gives you a jaded perspective on Irish nationalism. The seminaries are full of Nigerians

Atila, you're being paged!

Truth > , October 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm GMT

If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, or New England?

Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm GMT

@Truth

If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, or New England?
Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

On the other hand, if a defined population holds a referendum and votes by, say 3/4 majority to separate the political bonds that bind, why not? Is the Constitution a suicide pact? Is it forever and ever, no matter what?

Anon > , Disclaimer October 7, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith "Defending the Constitution" during the American Civil War almost turned it into a suicide pact. Hundreds of thousands were killed or wounded, the South impoverished for the next century, and angry resentments persist to this day.

Buzz Mohawk > , October 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm GMT

There are quite a few Americans now whom one could call Neo-Confederates. They argue for what they claim was the right and rightness of the historic Southern secession. Some speak of doing it again. I wonder what Derb would say to them?

Hibernian > , October 8, 2017 at 12:11 am GMT

" -- with the rest of Britain not far behind "

Ireland was English ruled for centuries, and part of the United Kingdom for about a century and a quarter (Six counties still are.), but it was never part of Britain. Hibernia and Brittania are two separate islands, a fact of geography apart from politics, culture, etc.

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 12:43 am GMT

@WorkingClass

I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

You wouldn't win a vote on secession (too complicated with borders, currencies, passports etc), but you might win a vote on the return of States Rights as envisaged in the Constitution:

Tenth Amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people".

So go back to the original idea, and mostly RAISE TAXES LOCALLY AND SPEND THEM LOCALLY. Combine this with the removal of the Washington/FED right to create credit and the removal of most Presidential powers and that's the end of Washington.

And BTW you could also change the name of the "United States" to the "Confederation of American States" or "American Confederation" in recognition of the fact that states don' t have to be united, but could still respect each other's decisions and differences of opinion.

Let Texas be Texas and California be California.

It's also a useful way to stop foreign military adventures, since local voters would have to discuss the issue beforehand, budget for the expense and raise a special tax.

Priss Factor > , Website October 8, 2017 at 3:18 am GMT

Question. The race problem in America. Was it slavery or race? Imagine the following thought-experiment. 300 yrs ago, suppose the colonists brought over 300,000 white or Asian slaves and 300,000 free black Africans.

Suppose, at some time, the white or Asian slaves were freed whereas blacks were never under slavery.

Today, which group would be causing the most problems? White or Asian descendants of slaves or black descendants of free blacks?

I think blacks would still be causing the most problem.

Genocide is worse than slavery, and it's been said pre-American Indians got 'genocided'. But they cause far less problems than blacks(and despite their great poverty).

Blacks were bound to cause more problems because of biological factors. They are more muscular, more aggressive, and less reflective.

Cato > , October 8, 2017 at 4:30 am GMT

@jeppo

But even if the fringe areas of China broke away, that would still leave a homogeneous Han core of more than 1 billion people.

Yes, but how many mutually unintelligible dialects would be spoken within that "homogeneous" Han core?

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 8, 2017 at 5:10 am GMT

@Anon

"Defending the Constitution" during the American Civil War almost turned it into a suicide pact. Hundreds of thousands were killed or wounded, the South impoverished for the next century, and angry resentments persist to this day.

Indeed. IMO, had the seceding southern states been allowed to go their own way, in all likelihood they would have abolished slavery of their own accord within two decades. Possibly, reunification of several states would have eventually occurred, and the America of today would have a much stronger, more unified country and a less oppressive government.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 8, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

Is America a nation? It is a country, but to call it a nation seems a bit too far. Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common. Nothing.

Truth > , October 8, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith I believe that congress has to ratify any state leaving the union, but I could be wrong.

Grandpa Charlie > , October 8, 2017 at 5:41 am GMT

@WorkingClass

"I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL." -- WorkingClass

Hear ye! Especially when globalism is of the corporatist variety -- and is there any other now in 2017? Small nations generally don't stand a chance nor do the large nations unless their politic is a functional democracy -- actually ruled for and by an educated and aware electorate. In the case of small nations, they are like the states of the USA when the states compete for which can give more to huge corporations in hopes of the corporations relocating and bringing capital and jobs to Nebraska, Georgia, Texas, etc. and the winner is Global Capital, Inc..

In the case of large nations go ask Donald Trump.

Grandpa Charlie > , October 8, 2017 at 7:18 am GMT

@Miro23 As Justice Clarence Thomas has pointed out (I believe it was in dissenting opinion in Gozales v. Raich ), the SCOTUS with their radical judicial activism (from both the 'liberal' and the 'conservative' sides if the Court) have effectively repealed the Tenth Amendment.

I agree with Thomas on that score, but that doesn't mean that I agree with those who find merit in the Confederacy's claim that the Tenth Amendment justified formation of the CSA and the bombardment of Fort Sumter by the Confederate States Army, thus beginning the Civil War.

If the Tenth Amendment were intended to nullify Article I, Section 10, then it needed to spell it out within the Amendment.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

-- U.S. Const., Art. I, Section 10

Sure, there are arguments to the contrary, but this approach is by far the most practical and truly conservative approach. The solution to the problem is difficult but plain enough. The people need to make clear to themselves and to their representatives in Congress that they do not want to see Congress surrendering its powers under the Constitution, whether that be to the Executive or to the Judiciary; and, the Congress then needs to rein in the activism of the SCOTUS, exercising their powers as given in Art. III, Sect. 2:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. -- U.S. Const.Art. III, Section 2

This approach to the necessary reforms is hoping for a lot from the American people, and it will be a long and difficult pull to effect it, but any other course will be either more difficult or will entail disaster. Many Americans have given up on reform within the Constitution, and have given up on the Constitution, and thus they would gladly court disaster today, thinking that we already have disaster but what is the way out if not by way of the Constitution?

unit472 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

One great big fly in the ointment of any nation is the rise of the global corporation and finance. If the CEO of GM could claim during his Senate confirmation hearing back in the first Eisenhower Administration that there was no conflict of interest from his being Defense Secretary because 'what was good for GM was good for America" ( and vice versa) that is no longer true because GM and most other major companies have no 'national' base just markets.

As we are seeing right now large companies based out of Catalonia are scrambling to register their business address elsewhere to escape any punitive sanctions that might be levied by Madrid or Brussels against a putative Catalonian state.

Unless a 'nation' is large enough to fight back against the dominant power of large corporations ( and really today only the United States and China are) national independence is mostly an illusion.

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT

@Priss Factor I would have two answers to this.

First, that slavery is mostly a rhetorical tool in the ongoing Jewish/ SJW race war against Anglo Americans (of course ignoring the Jewish involvement). The reality of US slavery was that black slaves were valuable property, and as such, were mostly adequately housed and fed. They were owned and sometimes abused but apart from legal definitions, I can't see much practical difference in their situation when compared to much current US minimum wage (or illegal) work.

There was a recent comment on Unz from someone running three fast food jobs with hopelessly long, tightly controlled hours and lousy conditions. This work allowed him to support his family in a minimal way. You could argue that he was not a slave and was "free", but in what real sense is he any different from a slave. Same as Mexican illegals picking fruit. They probably work as hard as black slaves did for a minimum of food and shelter.

Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities. But it's still a mean. People like Carson and Obama can be way above the national average on intelligence and good luck to them.

A positive idea, is that different average ability levels aren't used to identify superior or inferior races – but rather to see individuals co-operatively contributing at their own particular level to a project (e.g. family or workplace). Some are at a higher level, and some at a lower level, but that's true of any organization, and doesn't stop people co-operating with a fair (not equal) share out of the rewards.

But it isn't going to happen in a divisive SJW environment where the media and education constantly push a racial narrative, and it's not going to happen with mass immigration that overwhelms any efforts at integration.

And, of course, it's all much easier with one race, one country, which is more or less how the world developed naturally over millennia.

However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents – pushing forward as an organized racial block to appropriate power for Jewish racial advantage – even to the extent of expending $ trillions of US resources for the benefit of Israel.

Randal > , October 8, 2017 at 9:35 am GMT

@peterAUS I agree that there are certainly strong ethno-centric elements to the nationalism in Catalonia, as presumably there always are in nationalist movements of any size. My point is really that the movement itself is unable to mobilise those sentiments effectively – among the most powerful human motivating factors around, which is exactly why globalists place such a big emphasis on delegitimising their expression, criminalising and silencing them – probably because they are hobbled by their own leftist internationalist political philosophy (see the political origins of the main Catalan separatist parties).

The sheer willpower by secessionists, in this case, can simply sweep all that logic aside.
If .if ..that's that "real" nationalism.

We, outsiders, don't know that.
Only Catalans do.

Yes, we can't know it for certain. But we can try to assess it from the available indicators, and my assessment fwiw is that that is not going to happen in the Catalan case, for various reasons.

Only a fool or a liar would claim certainty on such an issue, though.

Randal > , October 8, 2017 at 9:36 am GMT

@Hibernian Yes, Derbyshire was a little lax using the term "Britain", when he should have written: " with the rest of the British Isles not far behind "

anon > , Disclaimer October 8, 2017 at 11:40 am GMT

There are enormous economic advantages in having a large, national economy. You have a large domestic market, you can have a highly diversified economy, and you have a national currency. The best way to view this is from the outside. Decades of largely failed development economics are entirely consumed with how to overcome the advantages of the large, highly developed economies.

Industrialization's secret sauce was scale -- which a large national economy can support. This is so obvious and fundamental that it seems to be invisible. But also -- a large national economy also has 'diseconomies' and people have had to focus so long on those that it is understandable that the advantages no longer have the proper mindshare.

I view the US as both very strong as well as an underachiever.

Regardless. If a sub-nation splits off and then, for example, adopts the Euro, belongs to the EU, and is a member of NATO, then it isn't much of a nation. Leaving aside the question of military, would an independent California continue to use the dollar? And have free trade and open borders with Oregon and Nevada? And have a free trade agreement with the current 49 US states? If so, then there isn't all that much point. If not, then there are real costs and likely much higher costs than the states can imagine. The West Coast does quite will in global trade. And not in small part because Boeing is subsidized and US Tech firms and Media share a currency with the rest of the country that don't have the same export strength. Not unlike Germany, who benefit from a Euro that is much weaker than a stand alone Mark would be.

And finally -- like it or not -- the US will be dealing with a country (China) that will have massive scale advantages.

jeppo > , October 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT

@Cato Yes, but how many mutually unintelligible dialects would be spoken within that "homogeneous" Han core?

There are seven major subgroups of spoken Chinese. Of those Mandarin is by far the largest, with about 950 million first language speakers, or 70% of China's total population. So even if China was reduced to its Mandarin core it would still be a massive nation.

Numinous > , October 8, 2017 at 1:21 pm GMT

Enoch Powell was a hypocrite. He was an imperialist and wanted to be Viceroy of India. Yet when a few workers from Pakistan and Jamaica made it to his country, he became a demagogue braying about rivers of blood. To him it was always "nationalism for me but not for thee."

Jonathan Mason > , October 8, 2017 at 2:40 pm GMT

@Light Roast

It's in the northeastern corner of Spain, actually.

In that case, which corner is the Basque country around Bilbao and San Sebastian? Maybe that is not a corner at all. Spain seems to have 2 north east corners, but you might want to call the Barcelona corner the south east corner as it sits on the Mediterranean facing of the Iberian peninsula, rather than the Atlantic coast or Bay of Biscay.

In any case, if you really want to nit pick, Barcelona is below the corner formed by the Mediterranean and the French frontier and faces towards the Balearics.

And are Almeria and Gibraltar and Huelva located at corners, and what are they called?

Spain is actually shaped like the tilted head of a bull, with the two horns extending over Portugal and below France, so it has a lots of angles and corners and is not as square or rhomboidal as one might think.

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm GMT

@Miro23 "The reality of US slavery was that black slaves were valuable property, and as such, were mostly adequately housed and fed. They were owned and sometimes abused but apart from legal definitions, I can't see much practical difference in their situation when compared to much current US minimum wage (or illegal) work."

First, Europeans brutally and viciously stripped a group of people from their homeland and of their identity. Second, Europeans conferred to slavery as being "valuable" and as "property"; in other words, "gimmedats". Why didn't Europeans work the land themselves? Were they THAT lazy? Third, black slaves were generally abused by their masters; they were given the bare necessities, but not education nor individual rights. Fourth, how do YOU feel about modern day slavery? Based on your logic, you and your family would have no quibble if ripped from your homeland and forced to till someone else's fields.

"Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities."

IF true, these differences do NOT justify the enslavement of people.

"However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents "

Why are you so obsessed with Jews?

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT

@Anonymous "Is America a nation?"

Absolutely.

"Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common."

Human beings live here. They are Americans or are part of the United States. They share a common language, customs, and ways of life.

Propagandist Hacker > , Website October 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm GMT

the Derb does not favor breaking up the large nations what a surprise after all, he is a conservative and conservatism is nothing if not a propaganda arm of Big Business and keeping large nations together is important to Big Business profits how else can Big Business thwart the will of the white majority? After all, the governments of large nations such as america are not really controllable by the white majority and instead are controlled by .wait for it Big Business!

In general, the larger the nation, the less united and cohesive the nation and the easier it is for Big Business to control it the smaller the nation, in general, the more unified and cohesive .so the people are more united and they are more in control of their own government .large nations like the USA are not united and cohesive .and thus easier for Big Business to control the media and the GOP are against the Catalonia revolt a Catalonian nation would be more united and cohesive than the larger nation of Spain with Catalonia Big Business will lose out .a Catalonian nation would be better able to control its own immigration and no more cheap labor for Big Business no more consumer demand via immigration..oh no and no more cheap domestic labor for upper class propagandists like the Derb

Jonathan Mason > , October 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT

@Corvinus

Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common."

Human beings live here. They are Americans or are part of the United States. They share a common language, customs, and ways of life.

Having human beings living in a country only differentiates it from uninhabited territory, so is not a very useful distinction as Antarctica and Greenland and the Arctic seem like the only really large land masses that are not inhabited, and they all have one thing in common–they are very cold.

Actually Spanish is spoken as the primary language in Puerto Rico, and there are other countries, for example Canada other than Quebec, where the way of life might have more in common with Alaska than with Puerto Rico or Hawaii, which also has its own language, though it is secondary to English.

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 7:18 pm GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith Non sequitar–an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises

Slavery is a moral scourge.Moral scourges need to be eradicated. Therefore, slavery is a moral scourge that needs to be eradicated. **

Please point out how the conclusion ** does not logically flow from the previous statements.

"Unlikely. Industrialization would have rendered Southern slavery non-competitive."

Southern slave owners, as well as northern business owners, would have employed slaves rather than imported foreigners to do the backbreaking labor. Then, your ancestors would likely not come to America, and that would have been an absolute shame.

"Also, spare me your personal moralizing, eh, Corv?"

The same way you personally moralize about the scourge of liberals, the elites, and the Jews?

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Corvinus

First, Europeans brutally and viciously stripped a group of people from their homeland and of their identity. Second, Europeans conferred to slavery as being "valuable" and as "property"; in other words, "gimmedats". .Third, black slaves were generally abused by their masters; they were given the bare necessities, but not education nor individual rights.

How slaves were treated probably depended on who their owners were. Slavery is obviously wrong but it doesn't automatically mean that the SJW trope "slaves were generally abused by their masters" is true.

Fourth, how do YOU feel about modern day slavery? Based on your logic, you and your family would have no quibble if ripped from your homeland and forced to till someone else's fields.

I never said that. I was talking about modern day, "free market" hard minimum wage work for excess hours, in return for a bare survival wage, and the similarity to slavery.

"Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities."

IF true, these differences do NOT justify the enslavement of people.

Try reading what I wrote. No one is trying to enslave anybody. The whole point is that mean racial differences are irrelevant given 1) the amount of variation about the average and 2) people of different abilities being able to harmoniously and usefully work together in most real life situations.

"However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents "

Why are you so obsessed with Jews?

I know that it's taboo to mention the fact the Jewish 2% of the US population have an outsized influence on Congress, the media, the FED/Treasury and US foreign policy, and they have got it through a long term policy of ethnic patronage (i.e. racism).

The true obsession is US media concern with hiding the fact.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:39 pm GMT

Sorry Mr Derbyshire. I know that you're an American by choice while I'm merely one by ancestry, but it seems to me and to many others that the need to disaggregate is obvious and pressing. If I thought that there was even a remote chance of returning the republic to something reasonably like the one I grew up in during the 1950s and 1960s, I'd certainly make the effort to effect that change. But we're past the point of no return. Too much of the nation is now a polyglot melange of Third Worlders. The only hope now is to try to save those parts of the Heartland that may yet be pulled back from the brink.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@Miro23 There's at least as good a chance of disaggregation as there is of returning to federalism. I'd say it's a considerably better chance. The globalists/multiculturalists in the blue regions (blue islands in a sea of red) will never consent to federalism. They might not be able to prevent other regions from breaking away.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie The Constitution is a dead letter. It is routinely flouted by both parties. One of the parties clearly despises it except when judges that they appointed can interpret it to mean the opposite of what it clearly means. If what you are suggesting were possible, I'd be in full agreement with you, but that ship has long since sailed.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm GMT

@anon I have no problem trading with the people of California, and I'd hope that they'd have no problem trading with me. But I don't want to live under the sort of laws that Californians want to live under. Best solution: We go our separate ways, but still cooperate where such cooperation is seen to be beneficial to both the parties.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm GMT

@Corvinus Your grasp of the realities of the slave trade is weak indeed. Those who "stripped" the homeland and identity from the African slaves were the Africans who kidnapped them (or enslaved them by judicial process) and then sold them to European and Arab slave traders. The European and Arab slave traders (and those who bought the slaves from them) are not without serious fault, but they were simply availing themselves of a trade that had existed for centuries.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT

@Corvinus Less and less a common language.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Propagandist Hacker the Derb does not favor breaking up the large nations...what a surprise...after all, he is a conservative...and conservatism is nothing if not a propaganda arm of Big Business...and keeping large nations together is important to Big Business profits...how else can Big Business thwart the will of the white majority? After all, the governments of large nations such as america are not really controllable by the white majority and instead are controlled by....wait for it...Big Business!

In general, the larger the nation, the less united and cohesive the nation...and the easier it is for Big Business to control it...the smaller the nation, in general, the more unified and cohesive....so the people are more united...and they are more in control of their own government....large nations like the USA are not united and cohesive....and thus easier for Big Business to control...the media and the GOP are against the Catalonia revolt...a Catalonian nation would be more united and cohesive than the larger nation of Spain with Catalonia...Big Business will lose out....a Catalonian nation would be better able to control its own immigration...and no more cheap labor for Big Business...no more consumer demand via immigration..oh no...and no more cheap domestic labor for upper class propagandists like...the Derb I should like to see John Derbyshire respond to this? Ahoy, Mr Derbyshire, are you reading the comments?

Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY) > , October 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm GMT

"Here's where I renew my call for a worldwide alliance of nationalists along the lines of the old Comintern, the Communist International. We can call this alliance the Natintern, the Nationalist International. I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a suitable anthem, to be called of course The Nationale."

We already have a stirring anthem; we just need new lyrics.

I wonder whether this Billy Bragg (the name itself is humorous) is sincere, or is an anti-Communist parodist. His exaggerated British accent sounds comical (e.g., "comraids"), and his lyrics, with their imperfect scansion, read like a mock on political correctness:

Stand up, all victims of oppression / For the tyrants fear your might / Don't cling so hard to your possessions [a taunt at John Lennon's "Imagine"?] / For you have nothing if you have no rights / Let racist ignorance be ended
Let no one build walls to divide us / Walls of hatred nor walls of stone [Hear that, Trump?] / Come greet the dawn and stand beside us / We'll live together or we'll die alone

Daniel Chieh > , October 9, 2017 at 3:43 am GMT

@Cato Trends in China are toward centralization, not separation.

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 7:23 am GMT

@Grandpa Charlie The South tried to break away from the Union – and the result was the Civil War.

The idea is to stay within a looser Union (American Confederation?), whereby States can still respect and cooperate with each other, but with a lot smaller role for Washington, and correspondingly greater role in looking after their own affairs (raising and spending taxes locally).

Power would switch back to the State/County level and require plenty of citizen participation (almost certainly obligatory) which wouldn't be a bad thing.

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 7:42 am GMT

@Daniel Chieh

Trends in China are toward centralization, not separation.

There are different opinions on this:

The true foot soldiers of the political and economic program of Xi and Li are the people who have the most power in the current system – the local party leadership. This includes the heads of the 2,862 counties, 333 prefectures and 31 provincial-level divisions (not counting Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). Put this group of just roughly 3,200 together, and you have the most important constituency of all for Xi and Li.

The loyalty and competence of provincial leadership in contemporary China is critical. Many of the key leaders from this group in fact sit on the Central Committee.

https://thediplomat.com/2013/11/in-china-all-politics-are-getting-more-local/

[Oct 08, 2017] Russian views on the separatist referendums in Iraq

From comments: "US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere. The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

This is the comparatively simpler one of the two: there is no way Russia is going to take the risk of alienating Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Furthermore, "independent Kurdistan" is so clearly a US-Israeli project that there is no constituency in Russia supporting this concept. Or is there?

Let's not forget the for all the official smiles and declarations of mutual friendship, Erdogan is not, and will never, be trusted by the Kremlin. Furthermore, let's not forget that Russia and Turkey fought 12 (twelve!) wars (1568-1570, 1672-1681, 1686-1700, 1710-1713, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856, 1877-1878, 1914-1918). Neither should we forget the role Turkey played in supporting Takfiri terrorism in Chechnia. Or the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria. Oh and there is the issue of the Russian bomber shot down (with US assistance) over Syrian airspace. So, all in all, there is a lot in the past and the Russians will not ignore it. While it is most definitely not in the Russian national interest to fully support an independent Kurdistan anywhere (meaning not in Turkey, not in Iraq, not in Iran and not in Syria), a Realpolitik approach would strongly suggest that the Russian have an objective interest in keeping the Kurdish issue festering just to have a potential leverage against Turkey. Is that cynical? Yes, absolutely. I am not saying that this is morally/ethically right, only that there will be those in Russia who will make that case.

I think that the real issue for Russia is this: is peace between Russia and Turkey even possible? I personally believe that it is and, not only that, but I even believe that peace between Russia and Turkey is absolutely necessary. And that, in turn, means that it might even be inevitable. Let me explain.

First, 20 th , 19 th , 18 th , 17 th and 16 th century dynamics are simply not transferable to the 21 st century. If the geographical factors have not changed during the past centuries, military realities have. Yes, Russia and Turkey still can compete for influence or for the control of the Black Sea, but for the first time in history the outcome of a Russian-Turkish war has become absolutely predictable: Russia wins, Turkey loses or even disappears entirely. The Russians know that, and so do the Turks. This is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Second, I would argue that Russia and Turkey have common problems and common enemies. Sure, Turkey is still a member of NATO, I don't think that will change anytime soon, but this membership is in the process of losing a lot of its substance. The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US, is a stark illustration that with friends like the US Turkey needs no enemies. So look at it from the Turkish point of view: what do Russia and the US want for Turkey? The US want Turkey to be a US colony and use against Russia, Iran and the Arab states in the region and in support of Israel. What does Russia want from Turkey? To be a predictable, reliable and truly independent partner with whom Russia can work. Now if you were Turkish, which option would most appeal to you?

Third, former enemies can become partners – just think of France and Germany for example. That can happen when objective factors combine with a political will and jointly "push" towards a fundamental transition from enemies to partners. I am increasingly inclined to think that this might be happening between Russia and Turkey.

I don't think I am being Pollyannish here. And yes, there are still plenty of problems in Turkey which can flare-up, including Ergodan's megalonania, neo-Ottoman imperial delusions, a nasty type of Ottoman Islamism, Turkey's toxic policies towards Cyprus, Greece and Serbia, etc. But Russia cannot complain about the blind stupidity of East-Europeans who fail to grasp the fundamental differences between the old USSR and the new Russia while at the same time acting as of modern Turkey was the old Ottoman Empire. There are moments in history when what is required from wise leaders is to have the intellectual courage to understand that something fundamental has changed and that old dynamics simply do not apply. At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North.

Fourth, the Kurdish question also presents a serious indirect risk for Russia: even if Russia is not directly involved, any tensions or, God forbid, war between any combination of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq would be a disaster for Russia because all of these countries are, to various degrees, Russian allies. Any conflict between these countries would weaken them and, therefore, weaken Russia too.

For all these reasons, I am personally convinced that having a festering Kurdish problem is not in the Russian national interest. However, neither is it in the Russian national interest to try to become deeply involved in this issue. At most, the Russians can offer to act as intermediaries to help the parties find a negotiated solution, but that's is about it. Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.

Israel and the US will do everything they can to prevent Turkey from integrating itself into regional partnerships with Russia or Iran, but this might not be enough to prevent the Turks from realizing that they have no future with the EU or NATO. In the AngloZionist Empire some are more equal than others, and Turkey will never be granted any kind of real partnership in these organizations. The bottom line is this: Russia has a lot to offer Turkey and I believe that the Turks are beginning to realize this. Russia can, therefore, do much better than to simply support Kurdish separatism as a way to keep pressure on Ankara. " The enemy of my enemy is my friend " is too primitive to be at the foundation of Russia's policies towards Turkey.

For all these reasons I don't see Russia supporting Kurdish separatism anywhere. Russia has nothing to gain by supporting what is clearly a US-Israeli project aimed at destabilizing the entire region. I believe that the Kurds themselves have made a huge historical mistake by aligning themselves with the US and Israel and that they therefore will now reap the bitter fruits of this strategic miscalculation: nobody in the region supports a "2nd Israel" (except Israel, of course) and neither will Russia.

kimms > , October 5, 2017 at 6:25 am GMT

"Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik.

dervis > , October 5, 2017 at 10:20 am GMT

It is shameless to say that -the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria- after admitting that Kurdistan and for that matter ISIS is so clearly a US-Israeli project. American arrogance

dervis > , October 5, 2017 at 10:23 am GMT

@kimms "Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik. You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.

Johnny Rico > , October 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT

At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North

.

Whatever.

You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

And the future is over-rated.

The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment.

[Oct 08, 2017] Russian views on the separatist referendums in Spain

Notable quotes:
"... Historically, the USSR was on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today. However, there is also s sympathy between Russia and Spain and the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony. ..."
"... The question which divides a lot of Russians is this: is Russia better off with a strong EU because a strong EU might be more capable of standing up to the US or is Russia better off with a weak EU because a weak EU weakens the Western 'front' against Russia? My personal opinion is that EU is doomed anyway and that a collapse of the EU would be a good thing for the people of Europe as it would bring closer the inevitable decolonization of the European continent. This suggests to me that while the eventual outcome of the current crisis is probably irrelevant to Russia, the fact that a crisis is happening is to Russia's advantage. ..."
"... the Kremlin's position that " this is an internal Spanish issue " is probably supported by a majority of experts. Russia has nothing to gain by involving herself in this crisis and she therefore won't do so. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Catalonia

Catalonia is far away from Russia and the outcome of the crisis there will have no real impact on Russian national interests. But on a political level, Catalonia is highly relevant to the Russian political debates. See for yourself:

The case of Catalonia can be compared to Crimea: a local referendum, organized against the will of the central government. In contrast, when Kosovo was cut-off from Serbia in total illegality and without any kind of referendum the entire West gave this abomination a standing ovation. The Russians then issues stark warnings about the precedent this set and thereafter South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea happened. Is the secession of Catalonia not the next logical step? Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?! It is rather funny, in a bitter-sweet way, to see how 'democratic' policemen beat up peaceful demonstrators whose only "crime" was to want to cast a ballot in a box. A lot of Russians are now saying that Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there. Needless to say, the way the Madrid government handled this situation further damage the credibility of the West, the EU and the entire notion of "civilized Europe" being "democratic".

My feeling is that the way the central government handled this event alienated most Russian who are simply baffled by the utter stupidity and needless brutality of the police crackdown during the vote: what in the world were the cops trying to achieve?! Did they really think that they could prevent the vote? And what is the point in then denying that a referendum did take place? Or what about the praise for the police and their behavior? I have to say that for all my pro-Spanish biases, the way Madrid handled it all truly seems fantastically stupid and self-defeating to me.

Historically, the USSR was on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today. However, there is also s sympathy between Russia and Spain and the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony. Still, a lot of Russian commentator did speak about Madrid's "Fascism" in handling the events in Catalonia, and footage of anti-separatists screaming Francoist slogans did not help.

Some Russians, however, mostly liberal, caution about supporting separatism movements in Europe because Russia herself in multi-national and because of the risk of the separatist fad coming right back to Russia. I don't think that this is much of a real risk for Russia. Not after Chechnia. I just don't see any region in Russia really interested in trying to secede from the Russian Federation. If anything, I see more potential for various region on the other side of the Russian border wanting to join Russia (Novorussia to begin with).

The question which divides a lot of Russians is this: is Russia better off with a strong EU because a strong EU might be more capable of standing up to the US or is Russia better off with a weak EU because a weak EU weakens the Western 'front' against Russia? My personal opinion is that EU is doomed anyway and that a collapse of the EU would be a good thing for the people of Europe as it would bring closer the inevitable decolonization of the European continent. This suggests to me that while the eventual outcome of the current crisis is probably irrelevant to Russia, the fact that a crisis is happening is to Russia's advantage.

I think that most Russians have positive feelings towards both Spain and Catalonia. The only clearly negative feelings I have seen over the past couple of days are elicited by the brutal and dumb way Madrid handled this crisis: most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians. But other than that, the Kremlin's position that " this is an internal Spanish issue " is probably supported by a majority of experts. Russia has nothing to gain by involving herself in this crisis and she therefore won't do so.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about "police brutality" in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

Granted to some extent it's necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn't necessary to restate it as though it's objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment's cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I'm conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists' goal on secession) in making it clear that the "referendum" was illegal – it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it's certainly possible that Puigdemont's analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn't appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even "soft" separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

The separatists will be left depending on a "hail Mary" to rescue them – a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 9:55 am GMT

Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?!

The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member ( pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo .

John Doran. > , October 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

The stupidity of the Spanish "politicians" both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

It's almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It's more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, "from the Nile to the Euphrates" is at work in the M.East.
The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

John Doran.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@Randal


Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?!
The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member ( pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo . Solana is despicable.
Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

@John Doran. The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

The stupidity of the Spanish "politicians" both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

It's almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It's more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, "from the Nile to the Euphrates" is at work in the M.East.
The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

John Doran.

The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans

LOL!

It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" – oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

Catalan separatists:

"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

FB > , October 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Randal


The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
LOL!

It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

Catalan separatists:

"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.) Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime

The details that you overlook are fatal

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force' and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops

The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard

This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons

Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties

What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies

Anatoly Karlin > , Website October 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.

Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.

Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

Daniel Chieh > , October 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin


... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/


... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

This is what I suspect as well. It might matter more if Spain was a major trading partner with Russia, but I don't think that has been the case in recent history. I don't think there is a significant expat community of either Spanish in Russia or vice versa, either.

Watching the EU step a few more steps, zombie-like, toward her inevitable end must be faintly amusing, though.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT

@FB Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality...

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime...

The details that you overlook are fatal...

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local...what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force'...and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops...

The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see...there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard...

This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence...the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders...

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots...they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons...

Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests...during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties...

What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault...

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies...

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime

Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local

No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently

I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so – usually not much in practice.

Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away – police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

Carlo > , October 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm GMT

@Johnny Rico


At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North
.

Whatever.

You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

And the future is over-rated.

The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment. "You Russians are still trying to push Utopia."
What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.

Mao Cheng Ji > , October 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin


... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/


... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans.

In general, everybody is hostile to everybody else, particularly when the establishment media are endlessly propagating hostile narratives, the US influence being (as the man said) a major factor in that. The phony 'global attitude' survey shows the favorability of the US in Germany dropping 20-30% in one year, and yet the US is exactly the same country. These numbers are meaningless.

Carlo > , October 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it. Well, Spain allowed for some years the Russian Navy to stop for provisions in Ceuta. Only last year they finally capitulated to NATO pressure. Locals also noticed that Russian sailors and officers were always polite and ordered, never entering into brawls or getting drunk in public, after a well-orchestrated worldwide propaganda campaign like this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/as-aleppo-burns-spain-resupplies-the-russian-navy_us_5808b794e4b00483d3b5d06a

[Oct 06, 2017] That 'Israel Lobby' Controversy History Has Proved Us Right The Forward

Notable quotes:
"... The result, we also argued, does more harm than good to both the United States and Israel. For the United States, the "special relationship" undermines America's standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, has encouraged a more confrontational approach with Iran and Syria, and contributes significantly both to America's terrorism problem and to needless and costly debacles like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. For Israel, unquestioning U.S. support for almost all its actions has allowed the decades-long subjugation of the Palestinians to continue unchecked, undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and threatening Israel's future as a democratic and/or Jewish state. ..."
"... Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries. ..."
"... There is little question the lobby remains a potent political force today. The "special relationship" is firmly intact: An increasingly prosperous Israel continues to receive billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, and it is still largely immune from criticism by top U.S. officials, members of Congress or contenders for public office. ..."
"... Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the co-author (with John J. Mearsheimer) of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | forward.com

Seven years ago, John Mearsheimer and I published a controversial article and subsequent book examining the impact of the "Israel lobby" -- that is, a loose coalition of pro-Israel individuals and organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Christians United for Israel, just to name a few. We argued that decades of unconditional U.S. support for Israel -- the so-called "special relationship" -- is not explained by U.S. strategic interests or by shared values, as is often claimed, but is due primarily to the political efforts and activities of the lobby.

The result, we also argued, does more harm than good to both the United States and Israel. For the United States, the "special relationship" undermines America's standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, has encouraged a more confrontational approach with Iran and Syria, and contributes significantly both to America's terrorism problem and to needless and costly debacles like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. For Israel, unquestioning U.S. support for almost all its actions has allowed the decades-long subjugation of the Palestinians to continue unchecked, undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and threatening Israel's future as a democratic and/or Jewish state.

We made it clear that the lobby was not a monolith controlling every aspect of U.S. Middle East policy, but rather a collection of disparate groups and individuals united by the aim of defending Israel's actions and deepening the special relationship. We explicitly rejected the idea that anything nefarious was going on, explaining that AIPAC and related organizations were simply part of a powerful interest group like the farm lobby or the National Rifle Association. Their efforts to influence U.S. policy are "as American as apple pie." And we used the term "Israel lobby" to highlight that not all American Jews support these policies and that some key members of the lobby (such as Christian Zionists) aren't Jewish. The book also emphasizes that none of these groups or individuals is solely responsible for the choices U.S. leaders make.

As the article and book predicted, a firestorm of criticism followed their publication, including more than a few accusations that we are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our aim was to elicit a debate that would help move America's foreign policy in a wiser direction and increase Israel's chances of achieving a durable, peaceful two-state solution with the Palestinians. By successfully squelching any criticism of Israel in almost any form, and by encouraging military action against Israel's foes, the lobby -- in our view -- had led us away from both.

Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries.

There is little question the lobby remains a potent political force today. The "special relationship" is firmly intact: An increasingly prosperous Israel continues to receive billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, and it is still largely immune from criticism by top U.S. officials, members of Congress or contenders for public office. Being perceived as insufficiently "pro-Israel" can disqualify nominees for important government positions; one need look no further than Chuck Hagel's contentious confirmation hearings -- and the 178 times Israel came up -- to see how crucial a role being pro-Israel plays in achieving political success in this country. People who criticize Israel too pointedly can still lose their jobs. Wealthy defenders of Israel such as Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban play outsize roles in American politics, especially on Israel-related issues. A number of hard-line individuals and groups in the lobby remain staunch opponents of the sensible 2016 nuclear deal with Iran and may eventually help convince President Trump or the Congress to overturn it.

The clearest illustration of the lobby's enduring power, however, is the Obama administration's failure to make any progress on settling the Israel-Palestinian conflict. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were strong supporters of Israel, and both believe a two-state solution is, as Obama put it, "in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest and the world's interest." But even with backing from pro-peace, pro-Israel organizations such as J Street, their efforts to achieve "two states for two peoples" were rebuffed by Israel, working hand in hand with AIPAC and other hard-line groups. So instead of seriously pursuing peace, Israel expanded its settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, making it more difficult than ever to create a viable Palestinian state.

Given AIPAC's enduring influence in Congress and its unyielding opposition to any meaningful compromise with the Palestinians, Obama and Kerry ultimately could offer Israel only additional carrots (such as increased military aid) to try to win their cooperation. Like their predecessors, they could not put pressure on Israel to compromise by threatening to reduce U.S. support significantly. As a result, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little incentive to make a deal. So, the two-state solution, which the United States has long sought and Netanyahu has long opposed, is now further away than ever. This outcome is bad for the United States and for Israel.

Despite the lobby's continuing influence, however, there is a more open discussion of Israel-related issues today than there was before we wrote our article and book. Together with long-term trends in the region and the United States, the ability to speak more openly about Israel is likely to diminish the lobby's impact on U.S. foreign policy in the future.

For starters, despite joining forces with Netanyahu to oppose the Iran deal, AIPAC was unable to convince Congress to reject the agreement. This failure signaled a rare defeat for the lobbying group, and a triumph for J Street and other groups that had backed the deal.

Furthermore, the taboo of publicly criticizing Israel, the lobby or the special relationship has been broken. In recent years, writers such as Peter Beinart, John Judis, Dan Fleshler and others have written important works examining the role of pro-Israel groups in American politics and criticizing their impact on U.S. foreign policy. Prominent journalists such as Thomas Friedman, Andrew Sullivan and Roger Cohen have penned their own criticisms of Israel's policies and the lobby's activities. More Americans have become aware of the complexities of life in Israel-Palestine and are more sympathetic to the needs and desires of both populations.

There is also a growing divide within the American Jewish community over what is best for Israel itself. Scholars like Dov Waxman, Steven Simon and Dana Allin have documented that American Jews today are less reluctant to criticize Israel's policies or the actions of the Israeli government. The creation of the pro-peace lobby J Street, the rapid growth of progressive groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, and the success of controversial online journals critical of Zionism, such as Mondoweiss, show that attitudes about Israel are more complicated than in the past. Reflexive support for whatever Israel does is no longer the default condition for many American Jews.

These developments are especially evident among young people, and as Waxman emphasizes in his 2016 book "Trouble in the Tribe," they have amplified divisions between the Orthodox and more liberal branches of Judaism. One sees this trend in a recent poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee, which found that nearly 80% of American Jews disapprove of the job President Trump is doing but 71% of Orthodox Jews support Trump. The main reason? Orthodox Jews tend to see Trump as more supportive of Israel. Yet even among the Orthodox, a recent survey by Nishma Research found that only 43% of those between 18 and 34 "actively support" the Jewish state, compared with 71% of those over 55.

These trends stem from a core tension: The vast majority of American Jews remain deeply committed to liberal values, while Israel has been moving away from them for many years now. There is a certain tension between liberalism and Zionism, because liberalism assumes that all humans possess the same set of basic rights and it emphasizes mutual tolerance, while Zionism is a nationalist movement that in its current iteration privileges one people at the expense of another. Until 1967, however, that tension between liberal and Zionist values was muted because most Israelis were Jewish and the second-class status of Israel's Arab minority did not receive much attention.

When Israel gained control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the resulting subjugation of millions of Palestinians brought that tension to the fore. The occupation of the Palestinian territories has endured for half a century, and today, certain sections of Israel's government are openly committed to retaining the West Bank in perpetuity and creating a "Greater Israel." This policy not only involves denying the Palestinian subjects meaningful political rights, but also leads Israel to react harshly whenever the Palestinians respond with violence and terrorism (as happened in response to the two intifadas and in Israel's repeated assaults on Gaza), further tarnishing its image in the United States and elsewhere.

But as former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert each warned, in the long run, denying the Palestinians a viable state of their own will turn Israel into a state akin to apartheid South Africa. Such a state will be increasingly difficult for Israel's supporters -- and especially liberal American Jews -- to embrace and defend against the inevitable criticism that will be directed at it. Furthermore, the steady rightward drift of Israeli politics -- exemplified by the 2016 "transparency law" marginalizing Israeli human rights organizations, as well as by Netanyahu's decision to renege on a plan to allow non-Orthodox Jewish men and women to pray together at the Western Wall -- also clashes with the political values of most American Jews.

Even more disturbing, the Israeli government has begun to turn a blind eye to incidents of genuine anti-Semitism, when doing so is seen as safeguarding other priorities. Netanyahu was slow to condemn the anti-Jewish and neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, for example, and he declined to criticize Trump's waffling response to these disturbing events. Netanyahu also remains on good terms with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban despite Orban's anti-Semitic campaign against financier George Soros. Indeed, Netanyahu's son Yair Netanyahu recently posted to Facebook an explicitly anti-Semitic meme about Soros, thereby earning a swift condemnation from the ADL.

These and other events have accelerated what Waxman describes as a "splintering" among pro-Israel organizations. Past depictions of a weak Israeli David surrounded by a hostile Arab Goliath no longer ring true against the reality of a prosperous, nuclear-armed Israel that denies millions of Palestinian Arabs basic rights and uses its vast military power to keep those disenfranchised subjects powerless and afraid. Israel still faces a number of security challenges, but, contrary to what used to be the conventional wisdom, it is not weak, isolated or vulnerable to conventional attack. Instead, it has become a fiercely nationalistic state pursuing increasingly illiberal policies, which makes it increasingly hard for liberals to defend with enthusiasm.

These trends, however, have yet to affect Israel's most ardent defenders here in the United States. If anything, their efforts to silence criticism of Israel have reached new heights. How else can one explain the AIPAC-sponsored Senate bill that would make it a crime in the United States to participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, legislation that the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights have rightly denounced as a direct threat to free speech?

Even if they succeed in muzzling some criticism in the short term, over time these tactics will turn off many Americans, including large numbers of American Jews who prize freedom of speech, tolerance and human rights, and who understand how important those values are for preserving the security of minority populations everywhere.

Barring a major shift in Israel's political trajectory, therefore, the fissures within the lobby -- and in the American Jewish community more broadly -- are likely to widen. If the balance of power in that community shifts in favor of more moderate and pro-peace groups, then there may be a glimmer of hope. "Two states for two peoples" will be harder to achieve today than it would have been under either President Clinton or President Obama, but political pressure from a powerful, pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby in the United States is probably the only development that would convince U.S. leaders to act as fair-minded mediators and persuade the Israeli government to grant the Palestinians a viable state of their own. Over the long term, that may also be the only way to preserve a secure Israel and the strong bonds of the U.S.- Israel relationship.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the co-author (with John J. Mearsheimer) of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/383901/that-israel-lobby-controversy-history-has-proved-us-right/

[Oct 04, 2017] How Kurdish Independence Underpins Israel's Plan to Reshape the Middle East by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser. ..."
"... Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US. ..."
"... Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official. ..."
"... Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power. ..."
"... The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency. ..."
"... Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war. ..."
"... Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East. ..."
"... The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities. ..."
Oct 04, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week's referendum of Iraq's Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

Palestinian support for the Kurds is not difficult to understand. Palestinians, too, were overlooked when Britain and France carved up the Middle East into states a century ago. Like the Kurds, Palestinians have found themselves trapped in different territories, oppressed by their overlords.

Israel's complex interests in Kurdish independence are harder to unravel.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the sole world leader to back Kurdish independence, and other politicians spoke of the Kurds' "moral right" to a state. None saw how uneasily that sat with their approach to the Palestinian case.

On a superficial level, Israel would gain because the Kurds sit on plentiful oil. Unlike the Arab states and Iran, they are keen to sell to Israel.

But the reasons for Israeli support run deeper. There has been co-operation, much of it secret, between Israel and the Kurds for decades. Israeli media lapped up tributes from now-retired generals who trained the Kurds from the 1960s. Those connections have not been forgotten or ended. Independence rallies featured Israeli flags, and Kurds spoke of their ambition to become a "second Israel".

Israel views the Kurds as a key ally in an Arab-dominated region. Now, with Islamic State's influence receding, an independent Kurdistan could help prevent Iran filling the void. Israel wants a bulwark against Iran transferring its weapons, intelligence and know-how to Shiite allies in Syria and Lebanon.

Israel's current interests, however, hint at a larger vision it has long harboured for the region – and one I set out at length in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US.

Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official.

Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power.

The inspiration for this idea lay in the occupied territories, where Israel had contained Palestinians in a series of separate enclaves. Later, Israel would terminally divide the Palestinian national movement, nurturing an Islamist extremism that coalesced into Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In this period, Israel also tested its ideas in neighbouring southern Lebanon, which it occupied for two decades. There, its presence further stoked sectarian tensions between Christians, Druze, Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency.

Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war.

Although often assumed to be an unfortunate side effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington's oversight of the country's bloody disintegration into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish fiefdoms looked suspiciously intentional. Now, Iraqi Kurds are close to making that break-up permanent.

Syria has gone a similar way, mired in convulsive fighting that has left its ruler impotent. And Tehran is, again, the target of efforts by Israel and its allies in the US to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord, backing Iran into a corner. Arab, Baluchi, Kurdish and Azeri minorities there may be ripe for stirring up.

Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East.

The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net .

[Oct 04, 2017] Diaspora is typically more nationalistic then residents of the particular country. This is true for example for Israeli, Ukranian, armenian, Georgian and other Diaspora in the USA

Oct 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

Brother Nathanael Kapner, Website October 4, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Dear Phil,

I speak as a former Jew, now an Orthodox Christian.

I grew up in an upper-middle class B'nai B'rith synagogue and believe me, MOST American Jews support the warmongering program of the establishment Jewish Lobbies and think tanks.

I speak with authority here having grown up INSIDE the Jewish community. Oh, many Jews might say to the goyim, 'I'm against all this war talk.' BUT with their fellow Jewish 'lantsmen' BEHIND CLOSED DOORS they're ALL for war against Israel's perceived enemies.

Every Sabbath Shacharit (morning) service growing up in the 50′s we sang Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem. It was part of our 'religion' that what's bad for Israel is bad for all Jews.

Today that would include all the nations that oppose and/or countering the Zionist project: Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and now Russia.

+Brother Nathanael Kapner

[Oct 02, 2017] On Catalonia's Referendum

Notable quotes:
"... Some people in Catalonia, a rich and culturally distinct area in north-east of Spain, want to secede from the larger country. According to polls (pdf) less than half of the people in the area support the move. The local government prepared for a referendum and called for a local vote. ..."
"... Catalonia has a GDP per capita of some $33,580/year. For Spain as a whole the GDP per capita is $26,643/year. Many factors account for the difference. Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists with its capital Barcelona and its beaches. It has a well developed industry. But the "rest of Spain" is also, by far, its biggest market. ..."
"... In general the splitting off of sub-states from the bigger, established nations weakens both. It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones. While the motives in this or that case are understandable, they are also, in my view, shortsighted. ..."
"... It's contradictory and ridiculous. Propagating for "independence" while staying within the gargantuan Borg-collective EU doesn't make any sense whatsoever. One also has to wonder were the usual suspects are in this case. Soros? ..."
"... It is possible that Madrid has sent in the police because other countries in Spain's neighbourhood (hint, hint) fear that Catalonian independence may be a precedent for moves towards self-government and separation in their own territories and are leaning on the Spanish to stop the Catalans. It is possible also that austerity programs adopted by governments in various European countries are helping to drive separation and independence movements. These movements potentially threaten EU unity. ..."
"... if this would be some ex-soviet county or Asian or African country all the hell broken loose for "right to vote" and for "independence". The world master's would call emergency meeting for the Security Council and unanimously vote in for demand of that "people". ..."
"... It'll be interesting to see if all the trolls agitating for Barzanistan independence will be out again in force here...and with the same level of hysteria... I wager they will be conspicuous by their absence... When it comes to secession movements, the key word is 'targeted'... Good for Kosovo...bad for South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Crimea... Good for Iraqi and Syrian Kurds...bad for Turkish Kurds... Good for Bosnia splitting from Yugoslavia...bad for Serbs splitting from Bosnia... Is anyone still fooled...? ..."
"... Actually it is 38.6% [youth unemployment] according to this: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ but you would not that from Eurostat. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/macroeconomic-imbalances-procedure/youth-unemployment-rate ..."
"... "Then the U.S. came down like a sledgehammer again on Yugoslavia when on November 5, 1990 Congress passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513. A section of this law, without previous warning, cut off all aid, credits and loans from the U.S. to Yugoslavia within 6 months. Also, the law demanded separate elections in each of the republics that made up Yugoslavia, requiring State Department approval of election procedures and results before aid to the separate republics would be resumed. In February 1991 the Council of Europe also demanded that Yugoslavia hold multi-party elections or face an economic blockade." Death sentence has been made the US. Need more? ..."
"... Catalonian independence Referendum it is illegal (against the Spanish constitution) have no warranties of any kind, and will be cooked as needed in order to get more subsides and money from the government in Madrid. It is used by nationalistic politicians as a smoke curtain to hide behind in order not to be put to jail after 30 years of corruption. They are not called unofficially the 3% commission Party for nothing. ..."
"... Also say that Catalonian GDP it is actually 17% of Spain's GDP, with about 15% population of Spain. Who's subsidizing who's it is not clear. But related to Spain's External Debt, Catalonia account for about 25 % of it, not to mention 1000s of business have left (and are leaving the region every year) for other parts of Spain since at least 20 years. ..."
"... Before talking of secession check facts. The Catalans don't want to be out the EU, just to have a different relation with Spain. No big deal if not for big money. ..."
"... Ah, yes, than to support "independence" of the Yugoslav republics BND and CIA started to ship weapons trough Austria and Hungary. The Serbs had been already armed to the teeth from depot of ex army. ..."
"... Helmut Kohl and Genscher (US puppets) actively participated and hastily recognized independence of Slovenia. The US' puppet Milosevic (via Lawrence Eaagleburger) and Serbian establishment was all the way to dismantle Yugoslavia. ..."
"... It is funny word "legal" or "illegal". According to the west political philosophy, Vox Populi is Vox Dei so what is legal or illegal it is matter of the power and who has monopole on power (security forces), who interpreting the law. ..."
"... Second thing since the PP is typical capitalist party with only aim to serve foreign financial centers and looting own people I very much doubt they are into legality of any kind. This is power struggle, where perception and rhetoric and emotions are very important in order to "win". ..."
"... Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive. Need to say more? ..."
"... It is even more disturbing considering direct similarities between Crimea and Donbass events of 2014 where Nazi central government violently suppressed local authorities responding to local people demand for autonomy or independence, freedom from fascism. ..."
"... Regardless of political advantages right of people to self determination is in the UN charter and unfortunate moral relativism expressed by b is not serving over all goal of ending global western hegemony of oligarchic class. ..."
"... Catalonia indeps. seek to become a 'new country' that would replicate the EU model: the rich country loves its folklore - language, costume, habits, etc.- and does not pay for the poor elsewhere through taxation, only thru negotiated contribution to 'solidarity' or other voluntary participatory funds. -- See e.g. in EU, Germany and Greece. ..."
"... At the same time, the EU has always had the aim of 'regionalising' areas for them to come under the remit of the new Central Command (EU Brussels), thus gradually diluting the power of the 'old' Nation-State(s), for now a stealthy process. ..."
"... Why has Spain has been so heavy handed? Perhaps because of what happened during the Greek crisis? Recall that Tsipras called a referendum whose result was surprisingly anti-EU. "There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties" - Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President ..."
"... How would you know if US succumbed to "German pressure"? What I remember is the "international community" gave Yugoslavia an offer they could not possibly accept. Typical Mafia governance, per the Judeo-Roman (the actual correct term for the Western civilization, an not the incoherent Judeo-Christian) Regime. ..."
"... There is a saying in Iran: A fool throws a stone in a well and 40 wise men can't take it out. ..."
"... I did so for a very simple reason. The European nations had in the previous 25 years destroyed the nation of Yugoslavia. Then in 1999 NATO went to war against Serbia to give the province of Kosovo independence. Not only that but the Spaniard Javier Solana was the one who pushed NATO into attacking Serbia because it would not give independence to Kosovo. My reaction to Javier -- eat dirt asshole, what goes around comes around. Now it is Catalonias turn to gain independence. ..."
"... "If I remember correctly the U S was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure..." Very laughable, so client state an issue order to hegemonic power. Germans FP is not run by Germans, when we are talking about political strategic decisions that have affect on international order. Germany is not the creator it is followers. Secondly, Germany is no such power that can cause calamity of such proportion either in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Libya. Anywhere. ..."
"... As for US help, god help those who US is helping. The US started with dismantling of Yugoslavia in 1984 (or immediately after Tito death), and by cultivation of the Serbian elite (by Zimmmeran, Eagleburger, Scowcroft), investment in Serbia and exporting Yugo cars, handguns from Zastava etc. in the US. And wide "cooperation" of Universities from US with Serbian one. ..."
"... Does this equation hold? NATO + Stasi = NWO ..."
"... My guess is that politicians on both sides are doing what they do best - stay in power by wipping up nationalist feelings. ..."
"... Once again as is becoming far too apparent on this board we many posts from people arguing for what suits them personally. American posters whose slow indoctrination against a united Europe is from America's hypocrisy in enjoying the advantages of a simple market whilst fearing the huge economic and political power a truly united Europe will eventuate in, support Catalans because like Agent Orange they feel more secure when Europe is weakened. ..."
"... On the other hand euros who like united Europe in principle but rightly resent the neoliberal monolith the EU has morphed into, oppose the Catalan secession because they are concerned about further EU destabilization. That is foolish Catalonia would stay part of the EU and any reformed EU must decentralize some decision making to better reflect the local circumstances, while it does a much better job of becoming more 'unitary' in other ways. Yes many Germans hate that idea because they have been enjoying the German imperialism by stealth which is the current EU model, but unless they do become much more understanding of the economic injustices that current EU policies exacerbate, there will be no EU and if that happens these issues will stop being sorted by ballot and go back to the 'old way' of Europeans killing each other in the pursuit of economic advantage. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Some people in Catalonia, a rich and culturally distinct area in north-east of Spain, want to secede from the larger country. According to polls (pdf) less than half of the people in the area support the move. The local government prepared for a referendum and called for a local vote.

Polling stations were set up for today. But Spanish laws do not allow for such polls or a separation. Catalonia, like other Spanish regions, already has a good degree of autonomy. If Catalonia were to secede the Basque areas in the north would likely follow. Spain would fall apart. Under Spanish law the referendum is illegal. The central government sent police to prevent the procedure. Street melees ensued.

A lot of mistakes have been made by the central government. It was stubborn in negotiations. It reacted too late to - at least partially - reasonable demands. Its insensitivity only incited resistance to it. But it is also responsible for the country as a whole. The behavior of local government is not much better. It is just as conservative, in its own way, as the government in Madrid.

Catalonia has a GDP per capita of some $33,580/year. For Spain as a whole the GDP per capita is $26,643/year. Many factors account for the difference. Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists with its capital Barcelona and its beaches. It has a well developed industry. But the "rest of Spain" is also, by far, its biggest market.

A richer part of the country does not want to subsidize the poorer ones. But it still wants to profit from them.

In general the splitting off of sub-states from the bigger, established nations weakens both. It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones. While the motives in this or that case are understandable, they are also, in my view, shortsighted.

During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s Catalonia and Basque areas were the last Republican strongholds against the winning right-wing Nationalists. That history lives on in today's conflict. No one should wish to repeat it.

Anon | Oct 1, 2017 6:22:41 AM | 1

Its interesting to watch western MSM and western politician doing everything to smear the right of local people to establish their own state.

And of course, Putin is blamed for this event also!

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 6:36:27 AM | 2
French gov radio explaining as if it was just a light joke that "pictures of people with bloody faces started to circulate on social media" and that the police shot rubber bullets. https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/journal-de-12h30/journal-de-12h30-dimanche-1-octobre-2017
at 2'

Imagine if it was in Russia or Syria..

Lea | Oct 1, 2017 6:49:00 AM | 3
It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones.

I respectfully disagree. If memory serves, places like Switzerland, which is not in the EU, or tiny Cuba defend themselves very well. And don't see that Russia has been particularly easy to manipulate after the general plundering that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union was stopped by Putin.

On the other hand, the EU countries bloc, which would count as one large country, is mercilessly manipulated by its non-elected bureaucrats, corporate lobbies, and exterior influences (see the recent CETA, which was imposed without any democratic process whatsoever).

But yes, at least momentarily, the breaking-up of a country is bound to economically weaken its seceded parts, which is something different. IMHO.

mia | Oct 1, 2017 6:57:39 AM | 5
It's contradictory and ridiculous. Propagating for "independence" while staying within the gargantuan Borg-collective EU doesn't make any sense whatsoever. One also has to wonder were the usual suspects are in this case. Soros?
Jen | Oct 1, 2017 7:10:36 AM | 6
Unfortunately Madrid's reaction to the referendum - which the Spanish government should have foreseen as early as the Scottish independence referendum back in 2015 - has probably helped to legitimise the Catalonian referendum and made it look more important than it actually is to the Catalonian public. Madrid should have advised the public that the referendum was illegal under Spanish law, explained its case as to why, and left targeted would-be voters pondering the consequences if they had chosen to participate.

I would like to say also that it's not like B to simply say that Madrid sent the police in to disrupt the referendum and leave it at that, and that nations splitting into two or more smaller states become more open to outside interference and manipulation. It is possible that Madrid has sent in the police because other countries in Spain's neighbourhood (hint, hint) fear that Catalonian independence may be a precedent for moves towards self-government and separation in their own territories and are leaning on the Spanish to stop the Catalans. It is possible also that austerity programs adopted by governments in various European countries are helping to drive separation and independence movements. These movements potentially threaten EU unity.

0use4msm | Oct 1, 2017 7:13:24 AM | 7
Separation and holding a referendum are two different things. Separation may not be allowed according to the Spanish constitution, so the Spanish government could simply ignore the result, just like referendum results are nearly always ignored by the government in my own country (the Netherlands). But how can the mere act of placing pieces of paper in a box itself be considered illegal, to be answered with by police batons and rubber bullets?
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 7:14:52 AM | 8
There were two interesting programs on France24 about the Catalan referendum. From what i gathered, the president of Catalunya said the latest polls they had were not even giving a majority to the yes, but the refusal of Madrid to let a democratic referendum was worsening the situation. Catalunya has been trying to beg Madrid for discussions for years on several issues but it seems that the king and the Madrid gov are just so corrupt they refuse to open files normally.
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 7:22:24 AM | 9
"Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists of its capital Barcelona and its beaches." ???
oh really, you mean the Costa Brava etc do not attract millions of Brits/Germans/Scandinavian countries? Not to mention the Saudis who land with a dozen of planes each year? But where is the money going?
el sid | Oct 1, 2017 7:39:18 AM | 10
Don't believe the hype. Madrid (PP) and Catalunya (CiU) are equally corrupt. In fact CiU no longer exists as all it's party offices have been embargoed by the judges. But jolly useful for distracting people from austerity programmes. (People who lose jobs, on average, earn 12% less in their new jobs in Spain).

The NWO plan is to bring down the nation states. Worked jolly well in Yugoslavia, nearly worked in Syria. Glued to the telly, so can't give links, but recently Thierry Meyssan reported on a speech by Princeling Macron. In the future we will no longer have nation states, just city states. Germany and Italy became Nation States in the 19th century because they realised that city states had no future, no defence, no "sovereignty".

john | Oct 1, 2017 7:56:39 AM | 11
constitutional crisis is the new global malignancy, and it's a lumpy one, like hemorrhoids.
Debsisdead | Oct 1, 2017 8:02:35 AM | 13
One of my favourite places in the world to hang out is a former fishing village about I dunno, 60 Kilometers north of Barcelona, a town called Cadaques and a staunchly Catalan village. Many of the tourists who have flooded the joint speak better Spanish than the locals who still prefer the Catalan language in their day to day conversations.

When I first visited, sometime in the 80's, France still banned Catalan festivals (Catalonia per se is divided pretty much in half on the Mediterranean coast between France & Spain), so French Catalans would come south to towns like Cadaques to celebrate their culture. The locals ripped them off blind and took great amusement in doing so. Most of the French Catalans had lost their language, so for many of them it was sorta like the way the Scots families in Aotearoa celebrated "the Highland Games" a sort of dedicated hobby, whereas for Catalans still held captive by the Madrid/Castillan oppressor who they last fought less than 50 years before, this was no hobby, it was their life.

The similarities between england's conquest of Scotland Wales and Ireland, and Castile's butchery and oppression of Catalonia and the Basque Country is strong.

The chief difference being that Culloden was fought 200 years ago and the Spanish Civil War less than 100 years. The wounds are still fresh and as Catalans describe it, the portion of the Constitution which prevents their self determination is thanks to General Franco who was meant to have retired by then, but his meglomania had him insist the new constitution which he was not meant to be involved in drafting, included provisions to keep Basque and Catalan kissing Castile's arse.

The Catalans have always been more, shall we say indirect, when it comes to resisting than the Basques, but they are no less determined, I have no doubt that Rajoy's stupidity in cranking up opposition to the ballot in order to distract from investigations of widespread corruption in the People's Party will guarantee an independent Catalonia sooner, rather than later.

Just as I have no doubt that the englander's crazy decision to bolt from the EU rather than fight to alter it will actually precipitate many of the changes the EU needs to make. A reformed EU will mean that many of the artificial nation states put together by greedy euroroyalty will wither and reduce to their constituent parts - because well run smaller states are always more likely to provide a better more humanist way of life than the mega nations with populations closing on 100 million, where even those states which claim to be 'democracies' are controlled by a political elite who rarely interact with those outside their clique. Trying to communicate with functionaries of a mega state makes attempting to get human service outta Microsoft, Apple or Google, a piece of piss in comparison.

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 8:06:31 AM | 14
if this would be some ex-soviet county or Asian or African country all the hell broken loose for "right to vote" and for "independence". The world master's would call emergency meeting for the Security Council and unanimously vote in for demand of that "people".

But the country in case is Spain, NATO member, EU member. The country that belong to the Western and Cristian "civilization". Secession is no-no either as a word or an event.

Someone posted that this would jeopardize the EU. I would say to hell with EU if this going to do harm to blood suckers that I am for Catalan independence.

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 8:15:12 AM | 15
el sid | Oct 1, 2017 7:39:18 AM | 10

Difference PP is Franco's party. It is fascists party. Second thing, that "B" posted about the Spain's GDP $33,580 is just nonsense. Globalist love to post these figures as a measure of (fictional) wealth. Hey, B go and ask youth in Spain (~25%) what's their "GDP". "B" also mention the Constitution. I wonder who wrote that and when?

flankerbandit | Oct 1, 2017 8:18:35 AM | 16
It'll be interesting to see if all the trolls agitating for Barzanistan independence will be out again in force here...and with the same level of hysteria... I wager they will be conspicuous by their absence... When it comes to secession movements, the key word is 'targeted'... Good for Kosovo...bad for South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Crimea... Good for Iraqi and Syrian Kurds...bad for Turkish Kurds... Good for Bosnia splitting from Yugoslavia...bad for Serbs splitting from Bosnia... Is anyone still fooled...?
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 8:20:44 AM | 17
Actually it is 38.6% [youth unemployment] according to this: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ but you would not that from Eurostat. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/macroeconomic-imbalances-procedure/youth-unemployment-rate
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 8:32:42 AM | 20
https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/5114

https://www.globalresearch.ca/media-disinformation-on-the-war-in-yugoslavia-the-dayton-peace-accords-revisited/899

"Then the U.S. came down like a sledgehammer again on Yugoslavia when on November 5, 1990 Congress passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513. A section of this law, without previous warning, cut off all aid, credits and loans from the U.S. to Yugoslavia within 6 months. Also, the law demanded separate elections in each of the republics that made up Yugoslavia, requiring State Department approval of election procedures and results before aid to the separate republics would be resumed. In February 1991 the Council of Europe also demanded that Yugoslavia hold multi-party elections or face an economic blockade." Death sentence has been made the US. Need more?

But you have no brain since you read and "understand" selectively.

F.MAN | Oct 1, 2017 8:46:34 AM | 21
you said:

"During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s Catalonia and Basque areas were the last Republican strongholds against..."

you are falling into the independentist rethoric. Pais basco was in the hands of nationalist as early as 1937 at the end of the first year of war (more than half of the Pais Vasco was Pro Nationalist because of religion and ideology) please inform yourself better before write thing like this.

Catalonia lasted till the end, because of geographical consideration (it was in the rearguard, deep into Republican lines) but with its typical nationalistic ideology it just made thing quite complicated for the republic to defend itself. Not to mention a a civil war inside the civil war (see "sucesos de Mayo")
confronted with national troops it simply couldn't stand and fell apart after the Ebro Offensive.

Catalonian independence Referendum it is illegal (against the Spanish constitution) have no warranties of any kind, and will be cooked as needed in order to get more subsides and money from the government in Madrid. It is used by nationalistic politicians as a smoke curtain to hide behind in order not to be put to jail after 30 years of corruption. They are not called unofficially the 3% commission Party for nothing.

Also say that Catalonian GDP it is actually 17% of Spain's GDP, with about 15% population of Spain. Who's subsidizing who's it is not clear. But related to Spain's External Debt, Catalonia account for about 25 % of it, not to mention 1000s of business have left (and are leaving the region every year) for other parts of Spain since at least 20 years.

Things are not that clear, once you put an eye on the facts. Off course the Nationalist rhetoric is that with independence will come a Golden Age for Catalonia, but when did a politician tell the truth?

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 8:53:34 AM | 22
Before talking of secession check facts. The Catalans don't want to be out the EU, just to have a different relation with Spain. No big deal if not for big money.
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 8:53:47 AM | 23
Ah, yes, than to support "independence" of the Yugoslav republics BND and CIA started to ship weapons trough Austria and Hungary. The Serbs had been already armed to the teeth from depot of ex army.

Helmut Kohl and Genscher (US puppets) actively participated and hastily recognized independence of Slovenia. The US' puppet Milosevic (via Lawrence Eaagleburger) and Serbian establishment was all the way to dismantle Yugoslavia.

somebody | Oct 1, 2017 8:58:26 AM | 24
22
That exactly is the problem. Either there is a EU where countries redistribute income within the EU (as countries do within as in richer regions supporting poorer ones), then Catalonian and others independence is no problem. Or, as is, the exit of a region takes money out of the rest of the country. The current mood in Germany for a common EU economy is "no way".
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 9:03:27 AM | 25
What I don't understand is why the Catalans did not apply a B plan since yesterday. Assange say they blocked apps etc but why not distributing an envelope with a stamp, addressed to the Brussel Commission or any other international party. A few millions envelopes cannot be hidden under a carpet.
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 9:10:12 AM | 26
@F.MAN | Oct 1, 2017 8:46:34 AM | 21

"Catalonian independence Referendum it is illegal (against the spanish constitution)...."

It is funny word "legal" or "illegal". According to the west political philosophy, Vox Populi is Vox Dei so what is legal or illegal it is matter of the power and who has monopole on power (security forces), who interpreting the law.

Second thing since the PP is typical capitalist party with only aim to serve foreign financial centers and looting own people I very much doubt they are into legality of any kind. This is power struggle, where perception and rhetoric and emotions are very important in order to "win".

Blue | Oct 1, 2017 9:12:23 AM | 27
The Spanish government has overreacted to the referendum. The question is why? They should have let it go. The vote may have been no, and even if yes, it was unconstitutional and the Catalan gov't could do nothing. No one would recognize them.

Obviously, the vote was/is a negotiation tactic for more autonomy, not separation. The fascists in Madrid have made it a referendum on European democracy.

Kuerbovich | Oct 1, 2017 9:19:12 AM | 28
The economic driver is there, b. But not only. Spain is a complex nation of nations, that has been hold together by force. The last time the Spanish people tried to deal with democratically, through the Federal Republic of 1931 the army started a civil war whose effects, in terms of murder, torture and prison lasted way long after they won the war. People in Catalunya, Basque Country or Galicia were harassed and humiliated because of having a different language and culture other than Spanish. The Constitution of 1978, that opened the way to have a democratic Spain, was agreed between some formerly illegal political parties and the Franquista establishment, leaving to the king and to the army the protection of the unity of the country.

Since the politically-contral Constitutional Court mutilated the Catalan Stature if Autonomy, the Spanish government has kept its door closed to all Catalonian REI indications. Indeed, the Catalan government is plagued by corruption, as the Spanish ruling party is. But the bottom of the question is the right of the people to decide who should be ruling them. One can agree or not on the decision taken, but this right, to me, is undeniable and there always be people ready to fight for it

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 9:20:14 AM | 29
Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive. Need to say more?
Kalen | Oct 1, 2017 9:25:01 AM | 30
B response seems disappointing. Completely ignores that Spain is a Catholic fascist country since Franco coup and civil war ended in 1939 only because Hitler support and German Luftwaffe , bombing civilians, before Nuremberg committing a war crime. should we forget about it Orwellian style?

It is even more disturbing considering direct similarities between Crimea and Donbass events of 2014 where Nazi central government violently suppressed local authorities responding to local people demand for autonomy or independence, freedom from fascism.

Regardless of political advantages right of people to self determination is in the UN charter and unfortunate moral relativism expressed by b is not serving over all goal of ending global western hegemony of oligarchic class.

Well, suppose defenders of democracy in the west and worshipping elections to the level of going to war in MENA to assure democratic elections and democratic rule , now eat their feces of gigantic hypocrisy. Police thugs beating up elderly people waiting to vote, Trump is silent, DEMS are silent, MSM is silent. What possible crime requiring police violence is casting a ballot?

Spain was and is a fascist state so is EU fascist emporium, those election looks identical to April 1933 election under Hitler emergency rule, tens of thousands voters were beaten or arrested by police at polling stations and that included various party members as well as the very candidates running in the election who were beaten and arrested while trying to cast a vote.(most still were elected while in prisoner)

All those phony defenders of democracy choked, only deafening silence, no word, no condemnation of police violence, no defending right to vote revealing themselves all of stooges of deep state run by oligarchic class set sim for mass extermination of population and terror.

And all of that what for? When simple declaration of illegality of the vote by Madrid would have suffice, why so desperate violent move that only will increase the number of Catalonians voting yes.

Here is the answer.

What most are missing is the fact that Madrid panic response is not about Catalonia it is about Basque country. The Catalonia issue in fact stems more from 2008 crisis and their carrying most of cost of Spanish recovery, they want to get better share of they money they send to Madrid and have been utterly ignored and disrespected by Madrid de facto fascist regime.

In fact like Scotland, [what killed their referendum] they want to stay in EU and probably last year referendum would have failed anyway so why not done then and got over with it last year.

It is because it would set a precedent of region leaving the Spain peacefully while Basque country was not able accomplish it for over several decades, as the only Spanish anti-fascist force to fight Franco fascists [liberation struggle continued by ETA] before and after WWII until 1975 and later fascists who just changed uniform for democrats.

The famous Picasso painting Guernica is about a Franco defiant Basque city leveled by German Luftwaffe [air force, killed hundreds] sent by Hitler to destroy democratically elected Republican government of Spain just a year or so before WWII stated in Sept 1939 while west was watching.

Dave S | Oct 1, 2017 9:43:11 AM | 31
For those of you who wish to hear an opinion that maybe somewhat different than the left leaning thing you read here. I offer this post from bionic mosquito http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.ca/2017/10/mes-que-un-club.html?m=1
Out of Istanbul | Oct 1, 2017 9:46:33 AM | 32
Why would any legal system centered around ensuring oligarchic control ever contain within it a "legal" means from exiting that system? Calling people to respect such laws is calling them to respect the rule of the master.
Noirette | Oct 1, 2017 9:51:37 AM | 33
politico has a potted recent legislative history while i'm not up on all the details it looks ok: http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-referendum-independence-timeline-how-did-we-get-here/

Yes b, the Central Gvmt. has been singularly rigid, disdainful and all-out dumb. Creatitivity zero. They seem to have made many mis-steps, no doubt escalating the pro-independence crowd.

Ex. A non-binding referendum is always a good idea, but was suspended by the Const. Court, as was a new form of the same, called some "participatory process".. but it went ahead anyway. (36% turnout, v. low, 80% for independ. 2014 see link.) The oppo to get some 'real' numbers on board, and have all the issues 'aired' was lost.

Catalonia indeps. seek to become a 'new country' that would replicate the EU model: the rich country loves its folklore - language, costume, habits, etc.- and does not pay for the poor elsewhere through taxation, only thru negotiated contribution to 'solidarity' or other voluntary participatory funds. -- See e.g. in EU, Germany and Greece.

At the same time, the EU has always had the aim of 'regionalising' areas for them to come under the remit of the new Central Command (EU Brussels), thus gradually diluting the power of the 'old' Nation-State(s), for now a stealthy process.

The Catalan indeps. are not radical pre-cursors here, prob. they were encouraged by the 'seeming' impact, success, of some color revolution play-books, the engineered identity or 'community' politics to split ppl, groups.

Rajoy is a Merkel pet and there is no way the EU will get involved with this potential regional break-away. Were Catalonia to become independent, it would have to apply to join the EU. Ouch.

see mia @ 5, jen @ 6, poster @ 7, mina, and el-sid @ 10 on city states.

Imho the breakaway impulse, like in many places, is fuelled in a large part by HIGH youth unemployment. Another topic for another day.

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 9:52:31 AM | 34
The Spanish (Fascist) Deep State: https://theintercept.com/2017/09/30/catalonia-cia-report-mossos-el-periodico/ All those false flags operation in Spain have a mark of a fascists.
Victor J | Oct 1, 2017 9:57:44 AM | 35
In the name of democracy I will not let you vote.
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 10:02:02 AM | 36
Now the French Prime Minister has waded into the debate and suggested an independent Catalonia could signal the end of Europe. He said on the radio channel La Ser: "It means in a certain way the end of what Europe is, which is a federation of nation states. "If one of these states decides to change its borders, the consequences can be very important at a time where Europe is fragile."

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/859915/Catalonia-referendum-latest-news-independence-Spain-Manuel-Valls-end-of-Europe

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 10:04:04 AM | 37
I read the other day that Valonia (Belgian federal unit) send the best wishes to Catalans.
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 10:08:30 AM | 38
Huh...according to ex French PM ramifications and consequences of Catalan independence are way far reaching than the one would assume. That's might explain extreme and repressive measure from Madrid.
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 10:14:11 AM | 39
Also, the EU has not said a word since one year that the referendum has been announced for this month.(Initially for September and postponed)
Muslim Dude | Oct 1, 2017 10:16:02 AM | 40
1. I think that the Madrid government saw this as something they had to do in order to save Spain from "being destroyed" (as they would see it, as if they did allow the previous referendum a few years ago but this time the Catalan authorities had said they would essentially declare independence and take control of borders if the vote was in favour of independence).

2. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some pressure exerted by the Spanish military on the Madrid government. The military is acutely aware that it is heir to a state which was once the most powerful in the world (Charles V etc) and at its height ruled more territory than the current Russia occupies. Spain lost the Americas but the Spanish state in Madrid was always acutely aware of the fact that the part of Iberia which they ruled, excluding Portugal, was comprised of different ethno-linguistic groups which could, like Portugal, seek to secede.

This insecurity is what drove Franco's anti-Catalan policies of the mid-20th century.

A figure from the Spanish military did allude to military intervention a few years earlier.

3. The EU is clearly supporting Madrid with its conspicuous silence, whereas (as others had correctly pointed out) if it was in some ex-Soviet or non-white region, they would have been the foremost champions of "freedom" and "the right to democracy".

France also has Catalans (though their identity has been heavily diluted) in its borders but not only that Catalan is very similar to Occitan which was widely prevalent in the south of France and would get strengthened with the emergence of a Catalan state.

France's separatist issues also extend to Brittany and Corsica.

4. Most Catalans are opposed to independence because whilst they view themselves as a separate nation (culturally-linguistically) they still view themselves as part of Spain. They holiday in other parts of Spain, have Spanish (non-Catalan) relatives, friends, spouses, have studied and worked in other parts of Spain. However this issue is not merely about abstract and altruistic concepts of freedom and self-determination it can also be seen as dirty politicking by corrupt politicans from both Barcelona and Madrid.

The Catalan politicians most likely want to have the same sort of fiscal independence that the Basques have and are using the threat of independence/secession as a bogeyman with which to exact concessions from Madrid.

5. This doesn't detract from the fact that Madrid has been very irresponsible and due to its insecurity about the dissolution of Iberia's largest state has been very insensitive and harsh towards legitimate Catalan demands for greater freedom/autonomy which Catalans have actually tried to acquire within the framework of the Spanish legal structure.

Catalan separatists have never used violence.

6. What will happen?

I think ultimately Madrid will be forced to speak to Barcelona and some sort of agreement will have to be made whereby the Catalan region may get the same or slightly the same powers and status as the highly decentralized Basque region.

7. The US (CIA) media seem to be somewhat sympathetic towards the Catalans, hence possibly indicative of the often perceived US desire to weaken its EU rival.

pio | Oct 1, 2017 10:18:10 AM | 41
"At least half of the members of my party are members of the Catalan Friends of Israel Association. Israel is a democratic state, and we support the steps it takes for survival, and the survival of the Jewish people. We have no intention of criticizing what its government does. We seek cooperation with Israel, and we hope it will support our independence movement. It is clear that an independent Catalonia will be a close friend of Israel – there's no doubt about that."
read more: https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/catalan-leader-predicts-independence-in-about-two-years-and-close-friendship-with-israel-1.468285
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 10:19:05 AM | 42
But I doubt that Rajoy has made such decision on its own. I doubt he has guts for it, nor strength. He is just apparatchik. In addition he doesn't have loyalty except to globalists and money. Barcelona is too lucrative and rich to be leave alone. Some foreign factor must be involved in his decision making process.
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 10:23:47 AM | 43
Valls is not French Prime Minister, but former FM, and a Catalan binational.
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 10:26:14 AM | 44
houps, maybe i've foreseen something and some ppl might become "Catalan bi nationals"; just to say he is Catalan.
Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 10:28:52 AM | 45
" Most Catalans are opposed to independence because whilst they view themselves as a separate nation (culturally-linguistically) they still view themselves as part of Spain."

See this before write anything of that sort: http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/sondeo-GAPS-preve-participacion-referendum_0_691531939.html

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eldiario.es%2Fcatalunya%2Fpolitica%2Fsondeo-GAPS-preve-participacion-referendum_0_691531939.html&edit-text=

Maybe your translation is different. ;) It seems to me that Madrid doing exactly what Barcelona need.

F.MAN | Oct 1, 2017 10:47:44 AM | 47
answering Chauncey Gardiner and comment 26
the questions is ...
1.- Do we live in a Country under the Rule of Law? or are we living in the Jungle...

if the answer is yes, there is a rule of Law, under which all citizens have equal rights and are equally accountable for their acts, then the Referendum is Illegal, and the politicians promoting it should be in jail. If the answer is that the rule of the Jungle is the good one, then there would be no referendum because they would have been in Jail long time ago.

Julian | Oct 1, 2017 10:53:09 AM | 48
The actions in Catalonia today show the true colours of the EUSSR. They also show why the UK was so wise to vote for so-called "Brexit". I predict a Catalan declaration on Tuesday - and that is when the fun will really start. First thing to look for would be La Liga expelling all Catalan clubs from the League effective immediately - which will throw European football into chaos for a start! Then the markets will likely start going a little crazy - particularly in Spain obviously!
Curtis | Oct 1, 2017 11:01:58 AM | 49
After reading b's bit, I knew there would be comparisons to other "breakaway" attempts especially from areas that are doing better economically or with resources like the Kurds in Iraq or the Benghazi area of Libya. Flankerbit caught the double standards at play. It's funny when some in the US suggest secession of either California or Texas or some other state.
Anon | Oct 1, 2017 11:15:55 AM | 51
Julian

Catalan referendum will probably yield a "NO" so why would they claim a declaration?

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 11:18:23 AM | 52
The point was that reading your post one believes he is the current FM and speaks about a political issue, while the reality is that he spoke/was asked because he often mention his roots (and is no longer FM)
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 11:30:07 AM | 53
Good twitter accounts to follow in this live: http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/live/2017/10/01/vote-sous-tension-en-catalogne-suivez-notre-direct_5194278_3214.html some of the security forces have refused to attack the people and have protected them against the guardia civile
Bob Beal | Oct 1, 2017 11:39:21 AM | 54
This statement shares the skepticism about this secessionist movement: Oppose the state crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum!
For working class unity! No to separatism in Spain! Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 30 September 2017
On the eve of the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fall of the fascist Franco regime. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/30/cata-s30.html

and do the subjects of this article: "In Catalonia's 'red belt' leftwing veterans distrust the separatists" "Nationalism is not the answer to Spain's problems, say an older generation who fought against General Franco."

Excerpts (link at bottom):

"All four [interviewees] dismiss the independence movement as a distraction from more pressing social issues, claiming it has proved a useful smokescreen for the Catalan government's spending cuts.

""What's happening now is that everyone has been told that Spain is the origin of our problems," says Salas. "They are being fed a version of Catalan history that has nothing to do with reality and this has radicalised young people around independence..."

""It's about class. I don't have a problem with the person standing next to me, it's the one above me who's the problem.""

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/red-belt-catalonia-labour-movement-referendum

Anon | Oct 1, 2017 11:56:07 AM | 55
Disturbing video of the police brutality: [VIDEO] https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/914442627910705152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Personally I cant watch that from start to finish...
flankerbandit | Oct 1, 2017 12:15:36 PM | 56
Chauncey Gardiner @19 and 20...

What's your problem...?

As Curtis @49 observed, my comment @14 was about the double standards quite visible now...

As for Yugoslavia...I do not need to be lectured on that topic...see my comment 123 on the Barzanistan thread...also my 114 on same thread...

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/by-the-grace-of-israel-the-barzani-clan-and-kurdish-independence/comments/page/2/#comments

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 12:25:31 PM | 57
They have announced this referendum for a year, have been supported by major figures (Savall, the Barça); it is normal that the consultation can be held and the Spanish gov could simply have said "we won't recognize the results". This demonstration of violence shows the real face of the EU and will be one more nail in the coffin.
ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 12:27:05 PM | 59
b, you spend a lot of your time shitting on the US. Where is the outrage at the fascist gestapo tactics of the EU? Contrary to your claim, the last poll shows a huge surge in support for independence. https://mishtalk.com/2017/09/30/last-minute-poll-shows-huge-80-percent-surge-for-independence/

The Catalans were peacefully exercising their right to self-determination by coming out to vote today. The Spanish national police behaved like the goons they are at the behest of the EU & Spanish establishment. Yes, they are concerned that their precious EU project may fall apart! It will. It is only a matter of time.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/1o?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=refgoogle

What happens if the Catalan government announces that the majority voted to secede and declares independence? Are the EU goons gonna suppress it with military force?

ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 12:33:30 PM | 60
Julian @48

Exactly! Since the Spanish national guard created the chaos by attacking voters and stealing ballot boxes, a proper referendum with control of voting was not permitted. The Catalan authorities were consequently forced to inform the people that they could print the ballots at home and vote in any voting station. They can announce whatever result they want now as all the counting systems have been disabled by the Spanish national guard.

What does anyone think the Catalan authorities conducting the referendum are going to announce?

alaric | Oct 1, 2017 12:57:39 PM | 62
The proponents of the Catalonia referendum and independence present themselves as forces of democracy but they are the opposite. They have consistently failed to get even 50% support for independence and so they have proceeded with an illegal referendum on independence. Who is going to vote on that and who is going to count the votes (the independence movement and its supporters). The referendum is illegal and does not meet an criteria for fair voting. They are opposing democracy because they consistently lose when they go the democratic route.

That puts the Spanish government, which itself screwed up and handled this quite poorly, in a very difficult position but i think many will disagree with the course the central government has taken. Many Spaniards hate the Catalan independence seekers precisely for what they are doing today and because at the basis of the independence movement is the same consistent message: "We Catalan have more money than Spain so screw you Spain." Ah yes screw you Spain but keep paying us. That seriously pisses off a lot of Spanish and many would love to see Catalonia leave but sans the very beneficial relationship that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain now. Net: i doubt there will be an outpouring of sympathy for those participating in the referendum today from the rest of Spain.

ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 1:06:03 PM | 63
This is how the EU thugs behave. https://twitter.com/saulocorona/status/914531619310063617
ruralito | Oct 1, 2017 1:11:39 PM | 64
@31, Libertarianism is a euphemism for Gangsterism. What's to stop someone seeking "self-fulfilment" or "self-realization" from deciding that organizing and arming his own militia is the path to enlightenment? Erik Prince comes to mind. Jim Jones, another eg. Bibi Netanyahu fits the bill too.

And what the heck is bionicmosquito? toohipformyshirt?

Anon | Oct 1, 2017 1:21:26 PM | 65
ab initio

Assange have called on EU to condemn Spain's human rights violations. Silence is the answer. https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/914442627910705152

alaric | Oct 1, 2017 1:23:14 PM | 66
@ab initio

"This is how the EU thugs behave."

I would guess that most of those troops are from outside of Catalonia and as i posted many and perhaps most Spaniards are a wee bit annoyed with Catalonia's behavior which is seen as rather self centered, arrogant and illegal (cause it is illegal). Tensions are running high and the troops are probably going to behave in a less than kind manner. I really doubt the voters are just allowing the troops to close down polling stations and take voting machines sans a fight so I would ask what happened before the scenes in the video. The referendum is Illegal and the vote lacks impartiality and validation. Nonetheless, the Spanish government is handling this very, very poorly.

The best thing for the government would be to film what happens to police as they try to peacefully close down polling stations and to completely refrain from violence. That takes a pretty strong man to do because i bet the cops would get beaten up.

The Spanish press reporting on this is, as you might expect, very anti catalonia and they are listing the numerous violations and lack of transparency in the vote. The government should have allowed them to vote and refused to acknowledge the results.

Jackrabbit | Oct 1, 2017 1:36:09 PM | 67
Why has Spain has been so heavy handed? Perhaps because of what happened during the Greek crisis? Recall that Tsipras called a referendum whose result was surprisingly anti-EU. "There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties" - Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President
Curtis | Oct 1, 2017 1:43:13 PM | 69
the tourist view (Rick Steve's) https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/video/tv-show/barcelona-and-catalunya Quick referendum analysis (CaspianReport) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K56C2cpCQZM
likklemore | Oct 1, 2017 1:47:19 PM | 70
Mina @ 57

OR the Spanish government in Madrid could have followed Canada: Quebec twice voted to separate, in 1980 and 1995. Canada allowed the vote; National politicians and notables participated in the Quebec campaigns, presenting the case to remain in Canada. Madrid takes its orders from the Technocrats in Brussels. Today's brutality to stop the vote guarantees Catalan's urge for independence won't go away. Voting on Independence, Quebec Style.

ab initio | Oct 1, 2017 1:50:44 PM | 71
Alaric @66

The Boston Tea Party was illegal too!

Unlike the UK or Canada which allowed the Scots and Quebecois their right to vote, Spain did not. What should the Catalans have done? This did not happen overnight. They repeatedly asked the Spanish government to allow them to vote. If the referendum was open then it is quite possible the majority of Catalans would have voted to remain in Spain. With the authoritarian response of Spain hiding behind "legalism" they have now screwed the pooch and enabled Catalonia to claim the majority voted to secede.

Mieszko I | Oct 1, 2017 2:09:29 PM | 72
Whomever supports the Catalan "independence" should think long , and hard, about its purpose, as there a several Russian regions that could be instigated into doing the same. Also, if Catalonia has a democratic right to secede, then what about the "Kurdish" regions of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Syria ?

Democracy is longer what it seems, as people can be goaded into voting for their own suicide. It has proven itself to be a easily manipulated, failed system of governance. Be careful what you wish for.

ashley albanese | Oct 1, 2017 2:33:01 PM | 75
Chauncey gardiner 20

If I remember correctly the US was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure, largely on Croatia's part that tipped the US - I suspect grudgingly - into her actions with Germany on the Balkans .

nobody | Oct 1, 2017 2:43:27 PM | 77
If I remember correctly ...

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 1, 2017 2:33:01 PM | 75

How would you know if US succumbed to "German pressure"? What I remember is the "international community" gave Yugoslavia an offer they could not possibly accept. Typical Mafia governance, per the Judeo-Roman (the actual correct term for the Western civilization, an not the incoherent Judeo-Christian) Regime.

There is a saying in Iran: A fool throws a stone in a well and 40 wise men can't take it out.

And here we are ..

ToivoS | Oct 1, 2017 2:45:48 PM | 78
A few years ago I attended a big Catalonian demonstration in Barcelona. This consisted of a line, about 1000 miles long that snaked through Catalonia but the big demonstration was in Barcelona. Very very impressive. What was very conspicuous was a large contingent of Basques right in the middle of the main square, with about 500 of them. They were flying their flags and most definitely supporting Catalonian independence. It was very inspirational. I joined them with their chants.

I did so for a very simple reason. The European nations had in the previous 25 years destroyed the nation of Yugoslavia. Then in 1999 NATO went to war against Serbia to give the province of Kosovo independence. Not only that but the Spaniard Javier Solana was the one who pushed NATO into attacking Serbia because it would not give independence to Kosovo. My reaction to Javier -- eat dirt asshole, what goes around comes around. Now it is Catalonias turn to gain independence.

nobody | Oct 1, 2017 2:55:58 PM | 79
Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 1, 2017 2:45:48 PM | 78

You are right, of course, that it is all a big heaping steaming pile of global hypocrisy. It is pervasive and it is clearly the m.o. of Mb>every single one of these mafia regimes ruling over us in the planet.

Some "Grieved" barfly the other day was moaning about "god bothered" folks like me. Permit me to clear up the situation for you, dear grieved one:

There is a subset of humanity [presumed] that claims a "Natural Right to Rule". We the "god bothered" assert, on the contrary, that "Only God Rules". We do not deny the uneven distribution of Gifts, such as beauty, intelligence, capability, will power, discipline, physical prowess, artistic ability, etc. We accept all that.

What we do NOT accept is that a certain class of [so-called] Humans on this planet have an Inherent Right to Rule.

You, "grieved" one, are they one who drops all his weapons and armour before entering a battle. Boo hoo for you and your lot.

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 3:00:27 PM | 80
"If I remember correctly the U S was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure..." Very laughable, so client state an issue order to hegemonic power. Germans FP is not run by Germans, when we are talking about political strategic decisions that have affect on international order. Germany is not the creator it is followers. Secondly, Germany is no such power that can cause calamity of such proportion either in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Libya. Anywhere.

As for US help, god help those who US is helping. The US started with dismantling of Yugoslavia in 1984 (or immediately after Tito death), and by cultivation of the Serbian elite (by Zimmmeran, Eagleburger, Scowcroft), investment in Serbia and exporting Yugo cars, handguns from Zastava etc. in the US. And wide "cooperation" of Universities from US with Serbian one.

nobody | Oct 1, 2017 3:08:54 PM | 81
Indeed. In fact, the utterly defeated, occupied, and civilizationally lobotomized Germans, needed permission from that bitch Thatcher before they could reunify Nato-fatherland with Stasi-fatherland. Rusty-Bucket-Lady on German unification. .
nobody | Oct 1, 2017 3:23:20 PM | 83
Does this equation hold? NATO + Stasi = NWO

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/f1tEEyLCDJk/hqdefault.jpg

mireille | Oct 1, 2017 3:37:42 PM | 84
An ignorant post B. You should stick with what you know. I'm starting to wonder if this forum has been taken over by some agency.

If you live with Catalans, you know that they are a distinct people. I know the French side but they share the same distinct culture. Their wealth comes from a culture of hard work and excellence, similar to the wealth of Northern Italy. If Spanish Catalonia separates they will exceed all expectations. French Catalonia, The Basques, and Spanish Galicia will follow. If French Catalonia goes the whole of Languedoc and probably Brittany will become more restive. Large governments are inherently parasitic and increasingly obsolete. We see this everywhere.

Regarding the Kurd comparison: the Barzani mafia are crypto Jews and work for Israel. The Catalans do not share this fatal defect.

Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 3:43:05 PM | 85
http://www.english.iswnews.com/616/bernard-levy-a-mysterious-man-who-was-hid-in-chaos-of-iraqi-kurdistan-referendum/
somebody | Oct 1, 2017 4:13:32 PM | 88
Posted by: mireille | Oct 1, 2017 3:37:42 PM | 84

I wonder how you will decide on Catalonyan citizenship, ius sanguinis or ius solis? Can the "destinctive culture" be preserved by ius solis? Catalan language courses? Citizenship for speaking the language? How will you draw the borders? By civil war?

My guess is that politicians on both sides are doing what they do best - stay in power by wipping up nationalist feelings.

Quintus Sertorius | Oct 1, 2017 5:14:41 PM | 95
F.MAN | Oct 1, 2017 6:10:29 PM | 98
Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive. Need to say more?
Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Oct 1, 2017 9:20:14 AM | 29

WOW! I dunno where you get that information, but he has nothing to do with Lehman Brothers... please read his profile in Wikipedia, which is quite accurate. I don't like him, I think he is one of the worst presidents ever Spain had. But seriously, he is no ex Lehman Brothers. he can not speak English for starters.

Debsisdead | Oct 1, 2017 6:13:44 PM | 100
The easiest way to discern a weak argument is when a non-sequitur such as "it's illegal because it's against the law" is dragged out and that is all I see from those hunting around for an excuse to decry a bunch of people, totally unaided by any external support arguing for freedom from oppression.

Once again as is becoming far too apparent on this board we many posts from people arguing for what suits them personally. American posters whose slow indoctrination against a united Europe is from America's hypocrisy in enjoying the advantages of a simple market whilst fearing the huge economic and political power a truly united Europe will eventuate in, support Catalans because like Agent Orange they feel more secure when Europe is weakened.

On the other hand euros who like united Europe in principle but rightly resent the neoliberal monolith the EU has morphed into, oppose the Catalan secession because they are concerned about further EU destabilization. That is foolish Catalonia would stay part of the EU and any reformed EU must decentralize some decision making to better reflect the local circumstances, while it does a much better job of becoming more 'unitary' in other ways. Yes many Germans hate that idea because they have been enjoying the German imperialism by stealth which is the current EU model, but unless they do become much more understanding of the economic injustices that current EU policies exacerbate, there will be no EU and if that happens these issues will stop being sorted by ballot and go back to the 'old way' of Europeans killing each other in the pursuit of economic advantage.

It can never be wrong or illegal for people to seek change through ballot - if the 'law' says it is then the law is an ass. It is that simple especially in these circumstances when Catalans are voting in spite of the external forces lining up against them - not because of them. A truly united Europe is the best way forward by far but there must be real change throughout the 'sovereign states' and the unprincipled Brussels gang to accommodate this.

[Oct 02, 2017] Independence for Catalonia is a bad idea

Leaving Spain and staying in EU is kind of neoliberal play, not exactly nationalism. Something like Ukrainian Maydan. As for rich parts of the county want to secede from more poor parts, the tale of Ukraine and Georgia which were more well-to-do parts of the USSR are interesting examples what can happen in suchcases.
Kosovo opened the Pandora box of "parade of independence declarations" in Europe. And now EU and, especially Germany, needs to eat its own dog food.
Notable quotes:
"... What you are saying is that the Spanish state has no rights to remain a coherent unitary state but, rather, must allow itself to be disintegrated by the political whims of this or that group. In such manner, every extant state could look forward to quick death at the ballot box. ..."
"... "The right in international law of a people to self-determination cannot be constrained by the domestic legislation of the larger state from which that people is seeking to secede. NATO itself went to war ostensibly to enforce the right to self-determination of the Kosovans, which Kosovan secession was claimed as illegal by Serbia in precisely the same terms the Spanish claim. The hypocrisy of NATO governments is breathtaking (as always)." Craig Murray https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ Interesting comparisons with Scotland and Kosovo. This is another fight in which I have no dog. Thirdeye -> outthere... , 02 October 2017 at 02:35 AM Even worse, in the case of Kosovo the group claiming the right to self-determination were ethnic Albanians who migrated to Kosovo in the late Ottoman period and claimed the primacy of their group's collective rights over those of the Serbs, the original inhabitants. That situation is a lot like what's going on with the Rohingya who were brought to Burma by the Brits, with the same undercurrent of Islamist agitation. ..."
"... The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy showed bad judgment in my opinion in preventing the referendum from taking place. The UK allowed the Scots to have their vote and campaigned on why the Scots would be better off in the UK. The Scots rejected independence. Similarly Canada permitted Quebec to vote and campaigned on the benefits. The Quebecois voted against separation. ..."
"... How about Ordoliberalim? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordoliberalism ..."
"... The Catalan and similar movements are going to become a feature of this century as a direct result of globalism. This was made plain at least twenty years ago. ..."
"... The downside of fragmentation is that the world is modeled on the Westphalian state concept, and all our treaties with each other are predicated on the state enforcing them on their citizens. As nation states lose that ability, the outcome is war. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Lemur, 01 October 2017 at 03:06 PM

From the perspective of the post-liberal right, a little chaos is a small price to pay for scuppering the globalist world order. I see no reason (outside of bourgeois considerations) to hold sacred the existence of states who merely demarcate zones of competition between disparate groups, or who serve the need of international capital for 'political stability.'

The 20th century was dominated by three political models, which arose in response to mass society - Fascism, Communism, and managerial liberalism. A combination of institutional instability and the alliance of the latter two took out the first one. The second collapsed under the weight of a centrally managed economy. The latter thought it had 'won' because it was the last man standing. But this model is accumulating irreparable system failures of its own, because its fundamental premises are flawed too (endless growth, individuals are the primary unit of society, freedom is 'doing whatever you like', the distribution of goods and services is the sum of a stable society).

Whenever there is disorder in the universe, chaos clears a space for the natural order to reassert itself given the contingencies of the time. Western thought has understood this since Heraclitus ('flux'). The winds of change are blowing, and contra the the Scorpions song, its not toward the universal brotherhood of man. We are in the beginning of a transition, a liminal phase. The West is transmogrifying into a new forms, which cannot be explained in the terms of the old models.

Babak Makkinejad -> Bandolero ... , 01 October 2017 at 07:57 PM
What you are saying is that the Spanish state has no rights to remain a coherent unitary state but, rather, must allow itself to be disintegrated by the political whims of this or that group. In such manner, every extant state could look forward to quick death at the ballot box.
BrotherJoe -> Lemur... , 01 October 2017 at 07:08 PM
Well said sir, well said.
Balint Somkuti, PhD -> Babak Makkinejad... , 02 October 2017 at 05:09 AM
"Fascism, Communism, and Managerial Liberalism are different facets of the same mechanistic Bourgeois rationalism that discarded with religion"

whole heartedly agree.

Thirdeye -> Lemur... , 02 October 2017 at 02:14 AM
Whenever there is disorder in the universe, chaos clears a space for the natural order to reassert itself given the contingencies of the time.
Uh..... Second Law of Thermodynamics?
outthere , 01 October 2017 at 03:40 PM
"The right in international law of a people to self-determination cannot be constrained by the domestic legislation of the larger state from which that people is seeking to secede. NATO itself went to war ostensibly to enforce the right to self-determination of the Kosovans, which Kosovan secession was claimed as illegal by Serbia in precisely the same terms the Spanish claim. The hypocrisy of NATO governments is breathtaking (as always)." Craig Murray https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Interesting comparisons with Scotland and Kosovo. This is another fight in which I have no dog.

Thirdeye -> outthere... , 02 October 2017 at 02:35 AM
Even worse, in the case of Kosovo the group claiming the right to self-determination were ethnic Albanians who migrated to Kosovo in the late Ottoman period and claimed the primacy of their group's collective rights over those of the Serbs, the original inhabitants. That situation is a lot like what's going on with the Rohingya who were brought to Burma by the Brits, with the same undercurrent of Islamist agitation.
Jack , 01 October 2017 at 03:41 PM
Sir

The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy showed bad judgment in my opinion in preventing the referendum from taking place. The UK allowed the Scots to have their vote and campaigned on why the Scots would be better off in the UK. The Scots rejected independence. Similarly Canada permitted Quebec to vote and campaigned on the benefits. The Quebecois voted against separation.

In the non-binding referendum done some years back nearly half the Catalans rejected an independent state. If the Spanish had allowed an open referendum and campaigned against secession the outcome would very likely have been that separation would have been rejected. In an open referendum those opposed to secession would have been empowered to campaign and vote against separation.

In this case the Spanish government chose to disrupt the referendum by using police force. The separatists chose to come out in the streets to exercise their right of self-determination. The videos of police violence are a public relations disaster for the Spanish government and will only steel the resolve of the separatists. Since the Spanish national police were attacking polling stations and taking away ballot boxes by force, this created a pretext for the Catalonian authorities to tell their supporters they could print their ballots at home and deposit at any polling station.

Additionally since the Spanish police have disabled all vote counting software systems the Catalonians can count and come up with any result they choose.

This situation can only escalate now. The lesson of the referenda in Scotland and Quebec was not learned.

The EU project of a common currency and monetary policy is fundamentally flawed unless they move towards a fiscal union as Macron is suggesting. Centrifugal forces are gathering strength not only in Europe but also here in the US.

begob -> Jack... , 02 October 2017 at 08:35 AM
Centrifugal forces are gathering strength not only in Europe but also here in the US.
Perhaps, but in Catalonia's case (and Scotland's too) secession is planned with a view to joining the EU in their own right.

I expect the authoritarian trend in some former COMECON countries will be a greater threat to the EU.

David Lentini , 01 October 2017 at 05:05 PM
I see much of the sentiments of the Catlonian independence movement as a major vote of no confidence in the central Spanish government, which is a complete whore to the global bankers and the EU's autocrats. The tyrannical attitudes of Junkers & Co. are driving the action along these fault lines with the resulting seismic activity. The central governments have no one to blame but themselves.

Of course, the EU might like to see this sort of unrest as an excuse to declare martial law and establish themselves as the outright controllers of Europe.

kxd -> David Lentini... , 01 October 2017 at 05:55 PM
Except the pro-independence leaders and supporters are also Pro-EU and have declared that their newly formed free state will seek to join the EU and hope to be accepted with no qualm (delusional) or some even argue that when they declare independence they won't actually be leaving the EU.

So where that does leave your argument?

(disclaimer: I don't care one way or another about Spain nor Catalonia, I have no skin in that game, though I generally lean towards favoring secessionist movements in principle.)

Sam Peralta , 01 October 2017 at 05:39 PM
Col. Lang

The early returns are showing a massive landslide victory for the Catalan separatists. I have not seen any data yet on the turnout or the ratio of registered voters that actually cast ballots.

" Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence.

He said the door had been opened to a unilateral declaration of independence. "

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41463719

How will the Spanish government now respond if the Catalan parliament declares independence? Will they send in tanks? The media would have a field day with that. What will the EU apparatchiks do?

Col. Lang, you are right. If the Catalans succeed in becoming independent, then it will only embolden all the other separatist movements in Europe. The next few days will be interesting to see how this escalates.

turcopolier , 01 October 2017 at 05:46 PM
All

As you probably have figured out by now, my rhetorical positions in posts do not always match my actual positions. It will, in fact be interesting to watch if Europe and North America devolve into their natural fragments. I hope I am here to watch. BTW "The Vietnam War" is available on Comcast "on demand." pl

sege -> turcopolier ... , 01 October 2017 at 06:02 PM
IMO that ship has long sailed for Quebec at least. My father came here as an FOB immigrant in the 80s and enthusiastically voted "Oui" in '95 along with his fellow transplants that had accompanied him on scholarship way back then, all of whom along with him had by then picked up native wives. The newer breed of immigrant is more in tune with "Multicultural Paradise" vision of canada. And the younger quebecois generation couldnt care less, even as the language itself continues to degenerate, especially in montreal.
iowa steve , 01 October 2017 at 06:10 PM
Not unexpectedly there are some pundits who attribute Catalonia's independence vote to the nefarious hand of Putin the Omnipotent.
Walrus , 01 October 2017 at 06:13 PM
Col. Lang, with respect. How would you contrast the Catalan position with the Southern states? - "to force upon the central power its own separation"?

I am saving the Ken Burns Vietnam for later.

voislav , 01 October 2017 at 06:25 PM
This is a natural progression of the dismantling of the nation state supremacy over the past 30 years. The break-ups of Soviet Union and Yugoslavia established the precedent that the constituent parts of a state can break off without a supporting referendum or agreement with the central government. This culminated with the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo independence that established that any group can declare independence. There is no internationally recognized legal requirement for such declaration and the group does not have to have any legitimacy through election or referendum. Enforcement of the territorial integrity of a country depends solely on its monopoly of force, there is no legal recourse.

The issue Europe is facing now is that the economy is being driven off the cliff by the German mercantilism, giving rise to populist nationalism. So now Europe, having supported the principle of self-determination elsewhere (where convenient), will have to suppress it by force at home while maintaining a veneer of democracy.

Britain and Canada managed to skirt the issue by relying on media and financial inducements to obtain a favourable vote. Spain will be a real test as the referendum will be inevitably followed by some sort of declaration of independence, leaving central government with no choice but to escalate the into violent repression.

One way or the other, this will open a lot of rifts in Europe. Many people will see this as illegal crackdown on democratic rights, while others will see it as legitimate suppression of separatism. Countries with ethnic issues will likely side with Spain, but others will likely side with Catalan self-determination rights. So far most EU governments are not reacting, but the pressure to do so will increase quickly.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/01/catalan-referendum-eu-leaders-remain-muted-over-police-crackdown

LeaNder -> voislav... , 02 October 2017 at 06:49 AM
The economic perspective via Agence France Press on Al Jazeera:

*****
About a decade ago slightly led by someone's core arguments on an issue surfacing here repeatedly, I looked into self-determination and more recent academic debates. Legally it is balanced by the right to territorial unity. Never mind my personal opinion concerning e.g. Crimea. What about California?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination#Current_issues

Kosovo introduced a more recent legal frame in international law. But concerning Catalonia there is of cause also national law: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalan_independence_referendum,_2017

******
You should update this term slightly, I had to smile, admittedly: The issue Europe is facing now is that the economy is being driven off the cliff by the German mercantilism

How about Ordoliberalim? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordoliberalism

That's at least the recurring critique by e.g. Yanis Varoufakis et all.

What about the idea of keeping some type of balance between what you earn/tax and what you spent? Or redistribute? ... MRW seems to feel money only needs to be printed, debts don't matter.

Walrus , 01 October 2017 at 06:31 PM
The Catalan and similar movements are going to become a feature of this century as a direct result of globalism. This was made plain at least twenty years ago.

The cause is the weakening of the nation state as an organising principle because of the weakening of national identity. People now have a multitude of choices about their identity thanks to global information flows. For example you can now identify as LGBT, Jedi Night, MS13, libertarian, etc. etc. The old 'brands" - English, Spanish, Italian, Australian, etc. are now breaking down into a multitude of subsets with which people can identiify.

However its not just "identifying"; its organising around that identity that is the problem. By way of example, it appears to me (and I may be wrong) that the entire BLM movement is purveying a black American identity that is based on a "them and us" model that views conflict as inevitable. In Australia we have a serious criminal gang problem with members identifying as Hells Angels, Comancheros - imported American identities. Twenty years ago that would have been quaint.

The downside of fragmentation is that the world is modeled on the Westphalian state concept, and all our treaties with each other are predicated on the state enforcing them on their citizens. As nation states lose that ability, the outcome is war.

Clueless Joe -> Walrus... , 01 October 2017 at 07:42 PM
Mike: Only the province of Catalonia voted on it. Baleares and Valencia don't want to join them, but of course you have plenty of foolish irredentists who want to take them back, and even French Roussillon to boot.

That's even more reasons for EU countries to not recognize that process, because if they're allowed to succeed, no current border will ever be safe in Europe; you'll always find some goons ready to declare independence for their village, or for it to join the country next door, or to want to annex the neighbouring town beyond the border, under any flimsy pretext.

Jack: "As nation states lose that ability, the outcome is war." Well, the outcome is more than war. The obvious final outcome is the war of all these newly self-styled communities against all the other communities. Then, after immense bloodshed and suffering, when people will be fed up and depressed after years of war, some major groups, ethnies, religions or leftover nations will stand and regroup the bludgeoned and nearly destroyed smaller groups and populations, who will gladly go under their umbrella if they can ensure peace at long last.

I defer to Col. Lang about the constitutional right of the Southern States. Here, Catalonian independantist leaders clearly violated not only the Spanish Constitution, went against Spanish Supreme Court rulings, they even went against their own Catalonian courts who were opposed to the referendum and bypassed the Catalonian parliament, because they knew many parties would opposed the referendum as well. To be blunt, that idiot Rajoy is acting out now and relies on violence because Catalonian people couldn't be bothered to protest against authoritarian leaders who don't give a damn about legality, both Spanish and Catalonian ones, and Catalonian police couldn't be bothered to jail them.

And there's no way this is a backlash against "capitalist globalism" or whatever, the current bunch of independantist leaders are just as corrupt as the Spanish ones, and the way they did their wannabe referendum is proof enough they're ready to rule their future country like Orban, or even Lukashenko.

Babak Makkinejad -> Clueless Joe... , 02 October 2017 at 05:55 AM
Agreed.
mike , 01 October 2017 at 06:53 PM
I'm with Jack. Both Spain and Iraq should take lessons from the Scot and Quebec models. Catalonia has never been truly Spanish, always repressed and treated with contempt by Madrid. IIRC even Cervantes denigrated Catalonians 400 years ago, calling them thieves in his Don Quixote novel.

What of Majorca and the other Balearics, was the referendum held there as well as in Barcelona? Are they not all mostly of ethnic Catalan descent, or have they been Iberianized? Or they may well prefer stability and the plentiful tourist euros and greenbacks instead of the possible volatility of a referendum.

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg -> mike... , 01 October 2017 at 10:14 PM
Europe is in such a state of uncertainty and tumult, I have to wonder how long people in the periphery of some of these states will consider such stability as a net benefit. The slow strangulation of Greece is an example to all.
turcopolier , 01 October 2017 at 07:23 PM
walrus

I am unfamiliar with the Spanish constitution but in the case of the US in 1861 the Southern states had a constitutional right to secede. pl

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg -> turcopolier ... , 01 October 2017 at 10:11 PM
That's actually totally true. Some northern states at one point had themselves threatened to secede. The south just lost the military chess match.
Cortes -> turcopolier ... , 02 October 2017 at 09:38 AM
The current Spanish Constitution made the peaceful transition from the Franco era possible, at the price of denial of the legal right to secede. A more mature democracy, not needing to look over its shoulder for the emergence of another Tejero (who threatened the Parliament) from the ranks of the Army could have gone the same route as Quebec and Scotland. Not Spain. There are plenty of "unresolved issues " out there. The most interesting, but depressing, thing I've observed over the last 18 months or so has been the campaign to denigrate the autonomous police force of Catalonia, culminating with a blame game over the recent terrorist outrages. I'm not sure that there won't be telling responses to that, let alone the hamfistedness of the central government over the past few months.
ISL , 01 October 2017 at 08:33 PM
Dear Colonel,

I will make a prediction that in 100 years, if there is a peaceful earth with a climate that supports advanced civilizations, the world will be redefined into city states (or single planet-wide nation aka star trek, but I think there were several global wars in between in that future history).

Until fairly recently, empires with free movement within were the rule of the day. The EU has attempted to resurrect empire, but in the world of good communication, the inevitable inequalities are tearing the project apart (ignorance is bliss). The city and its surrounding agricultural lands is a natural economic unit, and if you blob two city states into one economic unit (e.g., a nation state), absent eternal subsidization (as in Rome versus Milan), one city and its environs settles into terminal decline relative to the other. The end result is that after a few hundred years, every country is dominated by one city with the rest on economic life support (i.e., subsidization).

Current EU policy is optimal for Germany and thus by definition sub-optimal for all other countries. The end result is the current state of affairs with the EU one Italian vote from collapse. This would have happened eventually - for example, Italy has not had a good year of economic growth since it joined the euro (but many good years before). However, the US generated arc of instability and resultant refugee waves brought the chickens home to roost in the now, not in a few decades.

Catalan is a symptom, and EU opposition is not a cure, its a band aid (as is the EU treatment of Greece), but the EU repeatedly over-rules democracy (vote again until you get the right vote), which as long as it also provided rising incomes (on debt) was accepted.

Many years ago I read a book that described the rise and decline of cities in different countries but cant recall or google find the title (not Jane Jacobs' treatise).

Detroit is an excellent example - US economic policy matches that of the financial centers. Only if Michigan was to separate, could Detroit reverse its fortunes - possibly but unlikely given the quality of US political leadership - or more to the point, how bought they are in our very expensive electoral system.

Babak Makkinejad -> ISL... , 02 October 2017 at 05:50 AM
No, no, no. That model does not exist any longer, what relationship does Mexico City, Seoul, Peking, Tehran, London, New York, DC have with the surrounding country side?
r whitman , 01 October 2017 at 09:29 PM
Borders always change. In my lifetime I have seen the borders of the USA change 3 times.
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 01 October 2017 at 10:10 PM
Since, as has been pointed out, Catalonia would remain in the EU, it seems on the surface to make little difference whether Catalonia remains part of Spain anymore than if Bavaria remains part of Germany or Lombardy part of Italy.
The real problem for Madrid's poobahs is how can they keep paying extortion money to German, French and American banks if they lose a major urban center like Catalonia. I'm sure they assume (and probably correctly) that Basque country would follow quickly in departure.
Aside from that, the extreme and rapidly accelerating centralizing tendencies of the neoliberal world order (the Brussels brain trust throwing national sovereignty out the window when issues of finance and immigration come up for instance) have created a reaction that might look likely to undo the EU project, but in a way, create a crisis which could be exploited by those seeking further centralization.
Babak Makkinejad -> Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg... , 02 October 2017 at 05:52 AM
The Catalans, like the Knights of Malta can become an independent state without land. They are not legally entitled to the Lands of Catalonia.
kxd -> Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg... , 02 October 2017 at 06:03 AM
Catalonia would NOT remain in the EU. I stated that the pro-independence leaders and supporters WANTED to remain in the EU but that is a pipe deam they are selling each other because the EU would not recognise any unilateral declaration of independence and Spain would never vote for Catalonia to join anyway.
Balint Somkuti, PhD , 02 October 2017 at 06:03 AM
Multiethnical states tend to fall apart see Sovietunion, Yugoslavia, or Czechoslovakia. Wonder how long such anti-minority states like Greater Romania and Ukraine will last.

OTOH with such gigacompanies such as google, or microsoft the creation of small, fragmented, and financially weak states clearly favor the masters of globalization.

[Oct 02, 2017] The Wildest [Israeli] Dream : Bombing Iran by Jacob Heilbrunn

Aug 11, 2010 | nationalinterest.org

"Another question Israeli planners struggle with: how will they know if their attacks have actually destroyed a significant number of centrifuges and other hard-to-replace parts of the clandestine Iranian program? Two strategists told me that Israel will have to dispatch commandos to finish the job, if necessary, and bring back proof of the destruction. The commandos -- who, according to intelligence sources, may be launched from the autonomous Kurdish territory in northern Iraq -- would be facing a treacherous challenge, but one military planner I spoke with said the army would have no choice but to send them."

Yikes! This comes from a sprawling, informative, must-read piece by Jeffrey Goldberg that appears in the Atlantic. Goldberg says he's been on the trail for seven years now. He provides a conspectus of the reasons that Israel might try to go solo in taking out Iran's nuclear capabilities. He deftly discusses the Israeli mindset (Auschwitz) and interviews Obama administration officials who emphasize that nothing is off the table. (Why would they say otherwise?)

The most intriguing part of Goldberg's article comes in his discussion of the influence of Ben-Zion Netanyahu, a scholar of the Spanish inquisition, upon his son. Goldberg describes the 100th birthday party for the old man who, we are told, announces:

"Our party this evening compels me to speak of recent comments made about the continued existence of the nation of Israel and the new threats by its enemies depicting its upcoming destruction," Ben-Zion began. "From the Iranian side, we hear pledges that soon -- in a matter of days, even -- the Zionist movement will be put to an end and there will be no more Zionists in the world. One is supposed to conclude from this that the Jews of the Land of Israel will be annihilated, while the Jews of America, whose leaders refuse to pressure Iran, are being told in a hinted fashion that the annihilation of the Jews will not include them."

This is rather sinister stuff. Iran would have no compunctions about wiping out the Jewish state, if it could do so without endangering itself, which it cannot. But Netanyahu's lucubrations appear to suggest, if I'm not mistaken, that America's Jews are, at best, cowards, at worst, quislings, not applying sufficient pressure upon its leaders to attack Iran because they can obtain a dispensation from the Iranian threat. Meanwhile, Israel, alone, friendless, reliant upon itself, must act, whether or not the rest of the world objects.

Mikronos , May 8, 2017 5:08 PM

"iran would have no compunction in wiping out the Jewish state."

Not only is that conjecture statedly dependent on some sense of invulnerabilty it is also predicated on an as-yet non-existent abilty to do that - as well as any indication of planning, intent or anythng else not also credible as a 'reaction' to an increasingly real threat posed by a warlike, and nuclear-armed State of Israel.

Which, by the way, is the subject of the piece, another as-yet-unfulfilled Israeli survivalists' dream - next year in Teheran - or the smoking druis thereof.

tbenton62 Mikronos , May 11, 2017 11:32 AM

Israel has never stated any intent of destroying or occupying Tehran or any other capital, what you have is Tehran or the leaders of Iran have said they desire to see Israel destroyed, are trying to develop weapons to make this a possibility, are funding terrorist whom say the same thing, I would think Israel is 100% in the right to stop this ability.

Mikronos tbenton62 , May 15, 2017 3:27 PM

Look up 'Eretz Israel' the successor movement to Zionism. Israelis ,or some of them, think that Israel won't be 'whole' until it regains the 'kingdom' it held under David and Solomon and rebuilds the Temple. The Iranians are quite careful to phrase the destruction of Israel restricted to its government. Actually,, like many Israelis , they 'heart' each other - their governments don't. .

[Oct 02, 2017] the unbalanced evolution of homo sapiens 'Double standard hypocrisy' Serbian president on EU denouncement of Catalan refere

Oct 02, 2017 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

'Double standard & hypocrisy': Serbian president on EU denouncement of Catalan referendum Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused the EU of hypocrisy and double-standards following its denouncement of the Catalonian referendum as illegal, while acknowledging the independence of the breakaway province of Kosovo.
" The question every citizen of Serbia has for the European Union today is: How come that in the case of Catalonia the referendum on independence is not valid, while in the case of Kosovo secession is allowed even without a referendum, " B92 quoted Vucic as saying during a news conference.
" How did you proclaim the secession of Kosovo to be legal, even without a referendum, and how did 22 European Union countries legalize this secession, while destroying European law and the foundations of European law, on which the European policy and EU policy are based? "
On Monday the European Commission echoed the Spanish government's stance that the referendum held in Catalonia was illegal, describing the events on Sunday, which saw voters being beaten by Spanish riot police, as an "internal matter". By contrast in 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution urging its member states to recognize Kosovo's independence.
" This is the best example of the double standards and hypocrisy of the world politics, " Vucic said.

[Oct 01, 2017] Gaius Publius The American Flag and What It Stands For

Oct 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Yves Smith By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . GP article archive here . Originally published at DownWithTyranny

A scene from the Hard Hat Riot, March 8, 1970 ( source )

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave
-- " The Stars-Spangled Banner "

Bottom line first. The main point of this piece is -- we should stop pretending.

In light of the recent protests by black athletes during the playing of "The Stars Spangled Banner" before football games -- the "stars-spangled banner" being the American flag, so-named in Francis Scott Key's memorable (and musically deficient) American national anthem -- it seems fair to ask, What does the American flag stand for?

Let me offer several answers.

A Symbol of Abolition and Militarily Forced Unity

During the Civil War, the American flag went from being a simple banner to a powerful symbol of the Union (and the union) cause (my emphasis throughout):

The modern meaning of the flag was forged in December 1860, when Major Robert Anderson moved the U.S. garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Author Adam Goodheart argues this was the opening move of the American Civil War , and the flag was used throughout northern states to symbolize American nationalism and rejection of secessionism . [emphasis added]

In the prologue to his book 1861 , Goodheart writes:

Before that day [in December 1860], the flag had served mostly as a military ensign or a convenient marking of American territory, flown from forts, embassies, and ships, and displayed on special occasions like American Independence day. But in the weeks after Major Anderson's surprising stand, it became something different. Suddenly the Stars and Stripes flew -- as it does today, and especially as it did after the September 11 attacks in 2001 -- from houses, from storefronts, from churches; above the village greens and college quads. For the first time American flags were mass-produced rather than individually stitched and even so, manufacturers could not keep up with demand. As the long winter of 1861 turned into spring, that old flag meant something new. The abstraction of the Union cause was transfigured into a physical thing: strips of cloth that millions of people would fight for, and many thousands die for .

Note two things about this transformation from flag to symbol. First, it represents military conquest -- originally the reconquest of the South, "strips of cloth that millions of people would fight for, and many thousands die for."

Second, those conquests are always presented as defensive -- in this case, "preserving the Union" as opposed to re-annexing territory whose inhabitants were exercising, however good or ill their reasons, the right of self-determination, a prime example of which was the nation's own Revolutionary War of 1776.

The Flag of a Warrior Nation

To expand the second point: We like to think of our warrior nation's wars as fought in defense -- with the flag representing that brave defensive posture -- but I can't think of a single defensive war after the War of 1776, save World War II (a war whose causative attack, some historians argue, we invited).

The War of 1812 was, in large part, a failed U.S. attempt to annex Canada while the British were tied up with Napoleon on the European continent (see also below). The Mexican American War was fought, ultimately, as a result of a dispute over Texas, which had seceded (irony alert) from Mexico and was subsequently welcomed into the U.S. In other words, a war of territorial expansion.

In the Civil War, the U.S. government took the position of the government of Mexico a decade and a half earlier and fought to disallow the secession of Southern states from the national government. One could call that war, among other things, a war to retain territory. Of course, the Civil War was also a war to abolish slavery, but that entirely moral motive came relatively late in the discussion .

The Spanish-American War was also a war of territorial expansion, as Gore Vidal, among many others, so well elucidated . Out of that war, along with other possessions, we acquired the Spanish-speaking island of Puerto Rico, which we're now mightily abusing.

World War I was certainly not a defensive war, whatever else it was. The sinking of the Lusitania , for example, owed as much to American banking and industrial support France and England and the resultant German blockade of England, one that ships carrying U.S-sourced war matériel refused to honor, as it owed to the barbarity of "the Hun," however propagandistically that attack was later portrayed.

Both the Korean War and the Vietnam War were products of U.S. intervention into the Cold War in Asia, though with some differences. In Korea, the U.S. was helping South Korea (a post-World War II created nation ) repel an invasion from North Korea (a similarly created nation).

In Vietnam, the U.S. and its World War II allies violated an agreement with Ho Chi Minh, who had fought with them against the Japanese, not to return Vietnam, his homeland, to French colonial rule. Vietnam was returned to the French, however, and Ho went back to war. He defeated the French in 1954, Vietnam was temporarily partitioned so the defeated French could evacuate, and unifying elections were set for 1956. Realizing that Ho Chi Minh would win overwhelmingly, the U.S. under Secretary of State John Foster Dulles allowed Vietnam south of the demilitarized zone to be declared a separate nation , and Ho again went back to war, with results that are with us today.

It goes without saying that neither of the Iraq wars were defensive, nor are the multiple places in the Middle East with insurrections we are currently bombing, droning, or supporting those (the Saudis, for example) who are doing both with our help.

What does the American flag stand for, militarily? Certainly not defending the nation from attack, since we've so rarely had to do it. Our enemies would say it stands for national aggression. Which leads to the next point.

A Symbol of National Obedience

Take a look at the image at the top. During the Nixon era, enemies of Vietnam War protestors and draft dodgers appropriated the flag as a symbol of their own aggression and anger -- anger at "the hippies"; at free love (which to a man they envied); at "unpatriotic" protests against the nation's wrongdoing; at anything and anyone who didn't rejoice, in essence, in the macho, patriarchic, authoritarian demands for obedience to right-wing leaders like Richard Nixon.

That's not an overstatement, and everyone reading this knows it, given just a little thought. Why do cops wear flags on their uniforms, for example, but not nurses? Ignore the cover-story explanations and ask, is it "national pride" and patriotism the police are expressing, or something closer to the authoritarian anger shown in the image above?

To the Black Lives Matter movement, the answer is obvious. Thus it should be to the rest of us. The obvious reason why cops wear flags is rarely stated though, so I won't say more of it here, except to add the following: The complaint against football players who "took a knee" in protest to American racism -- perpetrated in large part by aggressive, race-angry, flag-decorated police -- is that they don't "honor the flag" and what it represents.

Perhaps, unknowingly, that's exactly what they're doing.

So we're back to the question -- what does the American flag represent beyond its meaning as a heraldic device? What does the American flag stand for?

The answer, of course, is all of the above. Again: all of the above. We should stop pretending.

"The Stars Spangled Banner"

Which brings us back to Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem. Jonathan Schwartz (of A Tiny Revolution ) astutely writes this at The Intercept in a piece subtitled "The National Anthem is a Celebration of Slavery":

Before a preseason game on Friday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner." When he explained why, he only spoke about the present: "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Twitter then went predictably nuts , with at least one 49ers fan burning Kaepernick's jersey .

Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner." Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you'll see why "The Star-Spangled Banner" is not just a musical atrocity, it's an intellectual and moral one, too:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

"The Star-Spangled Banner," Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don't ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.

And about those slaves

[O]ne of the key tactics behind the British military's success was its active recruitment of American slaves.

Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their "owners." Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington .

So when Key penned "No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave," he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who'd freed themselves . His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself .

Thus we come full circle, from the Hard Hat Riot by those who would morph from "Silent Majority" into "Reagan Democrats" and then form part of the Donald Trump base (the racist part), to those who angrily hate the "anti-flag" protesters. All of them fans of police in their most brutal manifestation. All of them fans of American football, a violent sport, as Donald Trump admiringly reminds us . All of them fans of aggressive, manly, "no one pushes us around" wars. And all of them fans of obedience to authority, so long as it's the one they also obey.

What does the American flag stand for? We may as well all stop pretending and admit it -- it stand for all of the above. Every bit of it. Because that's what its wearers want it to stand for.

[Sep 30, 2017] After article was rejected and publishers yawned, Walt and Mearsheimer finally managed to published The Israel Lobby in 2005

Notable quotes:
"... actually gave up on the article and book years before it was published ..."
"... no other outlet in the United States would publish it ..."
Sep 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

The authors of The Israel Lobby went on Chicago radio station WBEZ last week to reflect on their achievement after ten years. No, not 60 Minutes. Not The New York Times. Not MSNBC. But WBEZ radio.

It is a great interview by Jerome McDonnell about a stupendous achievement. As I wrote ten years ago, this book is up there with Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, Upton Sinclairs The Jungle and Ralph Naders Unsafe at Any Speed, as a bombshell that will help transform society.

Below are some choice bits from the interview.

Publication ruined both mens chances to serve in government or in university administration. Mearsheimer:

I had no interest whatsoever in a government position. But I did think that when we wrote the piece, that it would mean that we would never get a high level government position. Even medium level government position. It would also make it almost impossible for us to get any meaningful administrative job in the academic world.

Mearsheimer was then 59 years old and in Chicago. But Steve Walt was a sprightly 50 and on I-95, on the Harvard springboard to presidential elbows. The book forever changed his horizon:

I was academic dean in the Kennedy School. I think its fair to say that both universities did stand by us in the sense that they didnt put any formal censure on us. There were various ways of what you might call informal marginalization at least for a while, because the leaderships in both universities were very nervous about the fallout. Universities dont really like controversy very much.

I did understand that this was probably going to eliminate any possibility of government service in my case, which is something I do regret, because its something I would have appreciated, had that opportunity presented itself at some point down the road.

Walt went on to say that they had to do it. If we werent willing to do that, then hardly anybody else would be. We couldnt lose our jobs. We didnt necessarily need government employment to pay the mortgage.

The two men actually gave up on the article and book years before it was published because doors kept closing. Here is some of the history.

Mearsheimer spoke about the idea first at the American Political Science Association meetings in Boston in 2002; and a friend said the Atlantic wanted to commission an article on that very subject. The Atlantic magazine assigned Walt and Mearsheimer in 2002. Then it got cold feet and killed the piece in early 2005. At that time, Walt said, the two scholars thought that no other outlet in the United States would publish it , but they could flesh it out as a short book, so they consulted a number of publishers and a couple of literary agents.

We got what you would call polite interest but nothing you could call enthusiasm. At one point we basically decided to drop the project entirely.

Jesus H. Christ.

After that, though, an editor who had a copy of the piece showed it to a scholar at UCLA who reached out to Mearsheimer and said the London Review of Books might be interested. The LRB version was eventually published in March 2006 , and provoked an immediate firestorm, Walt said.

Ironically once it provoked that firestorm, suddenly publishers and literary agents recognized that there was a product people were interested in and suddenly they were contacting us and offering us book contracts.

Mearshimer said it was the internet that published that piece as much as the LRB:

The internet was indispensable for making this article available to people all over the world. If this had been published in the London Review of Books in 1985 or 1990 when there was no internet, hardly anybody would have taken notice. But in the age of the internet, this article just ricocheted all over the world very, very quickly.

Rashid Khalidi at Columbia University told me that the morning after the piece had hit the internet, 14 different people had sent him a link for the piece. It was such a big bombshell.

Now here is the sad conclusion. Mearsheimer:

I dont think we– or anyone else– has had much influence on policy. I think the lobby is still as powerful as ever. Its now more out in the open, and thats not necessarily a good thing for a lobby, but its still remarkably effective. This is why you saw all those Republicans falling all over themselves in the 2016 Republican primaries to say how devoted they were to Israel, because they understand that you dont want to cross the lobby.

Or to put that another way: This interview was not on 60 Minutes, MSNBC, or the New York Times!

The authors deal with the fact that the lobby failed on the Iran deal. They never said that the lobby could not be defeated; but that delivering a defeat would require spending a lot of political capital, as President Obama did. And P.S. the lobby isnt finished with the Iran deal! (Republished from Mondoweiss by permission of author or representative)

Dan Hayes > , September 29, 2017 at 4:26 am GMT

The academic courage of Mearsheimer and Walt brings to mind the late Richard Herrnstein who in good conscience felt that his tenured position required him to defend and propagate the truth even if not popular (what would now be classified as non-PC).

Joey > , September 29, 2017 at 6:25 am GMT

the link for the interview if your interested

https://www.wbez.org/shows/worldview/coauthors-reflect-ten-years-after-publishing-controversial-book-the-israel-lobby/8e147fc6-dfa8-459c-894d-d2b8bf7eccf6

Mark James > , September 29, 2017 at 6:31 am GMT

The Israel Lobby was a volume that fatefully examined the influence of the State of Israel and its strength of power over broad aspects of money-driven American politics.
They (the IL) need to be put in their place. It cant be done without access to significant media outlets who are intimidated by how the IL works.
Thank goodness they could not stop the Iran deal which caused the vilifying of Obama. Israel indicating that the president was the new focus of antisemitism in the 21st century. Congrats to Walt-Mearsheimer on their anniversary of a great book as we hope to gain traction in minimizing the foreign influence in our policies and political figures.

ThereisaGod > , September 29, 2017 at 7:51 am GMT

Dershowitz wrote on Fox News website:
Quote

The retweeted article by Phillip Giraldi itself contains the usual anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are guilty of dual loyalty; they control politicians, the media and entertainment ; they want the U.S. to fight wars for the country to which they have real allegiance – Israel; they are dangerous to America. Giraldi has been pushing this garbage for years and Plame is one of his fans.

Hard not to be an anti-Semitic troll in these circumstances because the truth about the Israel Lobby IS anti-Semitic (to use the chosen gibberish terminology of those who use this term as a weapon)..

Randal > , September 29, 2017 at 8:29 am GMT

Or to put that another way: This interview was not on 60 Minutes, MSNBC, or the New York Times!

Reinforcing the fact that the most urgent problem is not really either antisemitism or jewish dual loyalty, just as it is not racism or antiracism, but rather it is the fact that in each case one side is largely successful in suppressing the free expression of the other, thus biasing the public debate and therefore opinion and therefore policy. The result is policy warped out of true in favour of the powerful identity and other lobbies behind the creation and maintenance of these taboos, whether foreign policy (wars fought in the interests of foreign nations) or domestic (the ongoing attempt to suppress free speech by creating a hate speech exception, active suppression of traditionalist, nativist, Christian etc liberties, globalism, promotion of mass immigration, etc).

The value of Unz is precisely that it stands against that suppression, to publish the Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media.

One of the more controversial pieces here recently was Giraldis piece arguing that there is a problem with dual loyalty amongst jewish nationalists in positions of influence in the US biasing policy towards wars they see as favouring Israel ( Americas Jews Are Driving Americas Wars ). The details can be debated, though nobody yet has come up with any convincing counter to the basic thrust of his piece and most criticisms have been aimed at its tone or at straw men. But what is really important about that piece, and the reason he and it should be supported even by those who do not necessarily agree with his point or the way it was expressed, is precisely that it simply could not be published in any mainstream media outlet, and indeed Giraldi was promptly sacked from even a fringe political publication merely for having had it published elsewhere.

It has been argued persuasively that we cannot be confident of the truth of any position once we have refused to allow the arguments against it to be heard. It may also be the case that genuine freedom of political expression is an unachievable ideal, but at least we should try to get as close as possible to that ideal, rather than meekly surrendering to the leftist position that says some opinions are too dangerous to be heard.

Mr. Anon > , September 29, 2017 at 2:53 pm GMT

@Avery {Dershowitz wrote on Fox News website:
Quote"The retweeted article by Phillip Giraldi itself contains the usual anti-Semitic tropes: Jews are guilty of dual loyalty }

Dershowitz spearheaded years-long efforts to have Pollard released.
A Jewish-American man, born in Texas, who worked for the foreign State of Israel, spied on his putative home country of US of America, and caused great harm and damage to United States.

Pretty hard not to conclude that Dershowitz's loyalty to his putative home country is somewhat tarnished. If Deshowitz et al had any real smarts they'd throw the filthy traitor under the bus and forget about him.

But obviously they can't: and the question is "Why?".
And the answer is 'The gentleman doth protest too much' .

If Deshowitz et al had any real smarts theyd throw the filthy traitor under the bus and forget about him. But obviously they cant: and the question is Why?.

No, they know exactly what they are doing. There is a reason why Israel and its supporters lobbied for leniency for Pollard. It is important for the continued recruitment of new spies that the recruiter demonstrate loyalty to the old ones, even after they get caught – especially after they get caught. The Russians did the same thing. Dershowitz, and the others who advocated Pollards release, wanted Pollard to be well taken care of, because they want there to be more Pollards.

[Sep 27, 2017] Anthem Sprinting ! Crooked Timber

Sep 27, 2017 | crookedtimber.org

This reminds me of one of Ray Bradbury's short stories, "The Anthem Sprinters," based on his experiences in Ireland while working on John Huston's Moby-Dick. The story isn't available online (though brief summaries can be found here and elsewhere, but the plot is straightforward enough, concerning an American visitor's discovery of a peculiar national sport. Since there was a requirement after all cinema performances that the Irish national anthem, a peculiarly lugubrious number called "The Soldier's Song," be played, and since Dublin cinema goers were more enthusiastic about getting to the pub to get a round or two in before closing time than about demonstrating their fidelity to the national ideal, they used to rush towards the exits in a class of a race, to avoid having to stay and stand through the rendition. Bradbury's suggestion that this was transformed from a disorganized herd-like stampede into an actual sport is probably poetic exaggeration, but I don't doubt that the underlying practice existed.

I'm sure that I'm not the only imported American to find the required sincerity of American nationalism a bit disorienting – it's not what I grew up with in a country where even the greenest of 32 counties Republicanism was shot through with ambiguities. It's not just a right wing thing either (the Pledge of Allegiance having been famously written by a socialist). Nor did I realize until the recent controversy that one of the verses of the "Star Spangled Banner" apparently looks forward to the death of American slaves freed by the British who fought in their regiment. A little more ambiguity and anthem-dashing might be no bad thing.

Jim Harrison 09.26.17 at 4:00 pm

Standing for the anthem or repeating the pledge of allegiance a pure gesture of loyalty. The meaning of the words don't matter. Jerusalem is the de facto anthem of England, but the wild radicalism of its author is long forgotten. And I doubt if very many Frenchmen are all that bloodthirsty or still mad at Bouillé. The real issue isn't the lyrics but to whom one must express fealty; and the apt analogy, especially in the Trump era, is to the Roman practice of sacrificing to the Emperor. Trump, who personalizes everything and hasn't got a patriotic bone in his body, is accusing the gladiators of lese majeste.

rootlesscosmo 09.26.17 at 4:09 pm ( 2 )

Movie audiences in England likewise used to rush for the exits in order not to be trapped by the obligatory playing of "God Save the Queen."
Glenn 09.26.17 at 4:24 pm ( 4 )
Great points,

I would be interested to see how many flag and anthem symbol worshipers would run to the exits if the ceremony followed the games in America, instead of preceding them.

How many would sacrifice their speedy exit from the parking lots in order to perform a ritual showing of respect?

JanieM 09.26.17 at 8:30 pm ( 15 )
It didn't just start randomly in 2009.

http://atlantablackstar.com/2016/09/19/defense-department-paid-sports-teams-53m-taxpayer-dollars-play-anthem-stage-over-the-top-military-tributes/

JanieM 09.26.17 at 8:44 pm ( 17 )
http://www.snopes.com/nfl-sideline-anthem/

Snopes article on the NFL and the military and $.

[Sep 27, 2017] Philip Giraldi's Remedy for Wars by Israel Shamir

Accept in Jewishness of neocons is counterproductive. They perform their role because this is what MIC which controls and pays them want them to perform. The fact that there are selected for this role is no different then large percent of Jews in academia: they provide to be talented propagandists.
Some commenters definitely mix effects of neoliberalism on the US society with the influence of Jews. That's pathetic.
Notable quotes:
"... [Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments will be trashed.] ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

...The recent example is a piece by Philip Giraldi on the Unz.com, which still produces waves on the web. In his piece he rolled the list of Jews who were keen on Iraq invasion, and who are pushing the US now into an attack on Iran: "David Frum, Max Boot, Bill Kristol and Bret Stephens, Mark Dubowitz, Michael Ledeen And yep, they're all Jewish, plus most of them would self-describe as neo-conservatives."

Giraldi proposed to keep Jews out of the positions of influence on the foreign affairs, in order to keep the US out of wars it does not need. Giraldi wrote: "We don't need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver."

Actually, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote at the time (in April 2003): "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."

I also wrote things in the same vein during Iraq invasion, and it is good to see that this thesis did not die but keeps resurging from time to time. One could add that these very persons are pushing for conflict with Russia, demonise Putin and attack Trump, though the Orange Man tries to fulfill their wishes as an eager Santa Claus of diligent Lizzie.

While agreeing with Giraldi on the malady, let us discuss the remedy. Would keeping Jews out of foreign policy making actually help? Did the US keep out of wars before the Rise of Jews in late 1960s? The Jews weren't specially prominent before that time, and certainly weren't overrepresented in the establishment. A Jewish couple, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg has been fried on the electric chair in 1953, and there were few objections. McCarthy terrorized Jews. The word Holocaust had yet to make its first appearance (in 1968). Jews were still kept out of clubs and out of high level politics. Israel had been threatened by the US (in 1956) rather than assisted.

And still, the free-from-Jews US had fought in Korea the terrible three-year long war (1950-1953), and in Vietnam (up to 1974), invaded and caused regime change in Guatemala and Iran, violently interfered in elections in France and Italy, and had fought the fierce Cold War against the USSR. In all these campaigns, the US Jews were actually for peace and against war. The Jews were nowhere in power when the US fought its wars against Spain and Mexico. The non-Jewish US made a coup in Iran, and non-Jewish and not-pro-Israel President Carter tried to invade Iran. Jews weren't involved in the conquest of Panama, in Nicaragua intervention, in Granada operation.

Perhaps the Jews had moved the arena of wars to the Middle East and out of Latin America. Less Jewish-influenced America would rather invade Venezuela than Iraq or Iran. But is it so wonderful?

The idea of correcting or channelling the excessive Jewish influence is a reasonable one, but can this goal be achieved by keeping Kristol and Krauthammer out of media (an excellent thought anyway)?

The Jewish prominence in the US is inbuilt in the US culture and tradition. Karl Marx wrote that "in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression". He said that all Yankees are Jews, behave like Jews, aspire to be Jews and even are circumcised like Jews. So it is natural that real Jews succeed better in being Jews than their Gentile neighbours. Werner Sombart added that Jews were prominent from the very dawn of America and they created American-style capitalism the way that fits them. The Jews are prominent now because America is custom-built for Jews to fit and suit them, he said.

This is what should be corrected, and then the Jewish scribes, these Krauthammers will be out of business of inciting wars. Stop subscribing to Jewish success model, and the Jews won't be able to influence the Senate. Make the US Christian as Christ taught, share labour and wealth, aspire to God instead of Mammon, make the first last and the last first, love thy neighbour and the problem will be solved.

If this is too tall an order, make it a smaller one. Unseating Ledeens and Frums (and I think they deserve tar and feathers all right) will not do the trick unless the rich Jews are un-wealthed. Without excessive Jewish wealth, there will be no excessive Jewish push for wars. And provided that more than half of all US wealth is in few Jewish hands, freeing it will make a colossal effect of improving life of every American, even every person on earth.

And why to stop there? The super-rich non-Jews are as Jewish as any Jew. They share the same aspirations. Strip them of their assets. Why should we worry whether Jeff Bezos is a Jew by blood or faith, or he is not? He behaves like a Jew, and that is enough. Establish a ceiling of wealth, a counterpart of minimal wage. This idea has been mulled: Jeremy Corbyn called for the maximum wage. Taxes can do it easily – in wonderful Sweden of 1950s, top tax rate was 102%. Or this can be achieved in a more festive way of stripping the richest men of their ill-gotten wealth on the main square of Washington, DC on Mardi Gras Sunday. Do not say this is a punishment for their diligence – other way around, this is assistance on their way to spiritual improvement. Too many assets imprison the spirit.

This would be good for Jews and for all concerned: while the average Jewish wealth in the US had been lagging below total average (that is as long as Jews were less wealthy than Gentiles), the Jews acted in the interests of the people. Around 1968-1970 the Jews became more wealthy than all Americans, and that was it: they ceased to strive for the common good.

Jews could be a force for good if their excessive tendency to collect material goods is nipped in the bud. So it was in the USSR: as the Jews could not make money, they went into science and worked for the common good. Even oligarchs could be good managers instead of pain in the neck for the society.

This is not more complicated than booting Max Boot out of writing business. So why to go for a palliative if you can go for the jugular?

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

Anonymous > , Disclaimer September 27, 2017 at 4:27 am GMT

I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI

SimplePseudonymicHandle > , September 27, 2017 at 5:33 am GMT

@Anonymous I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI... The US entered WWI in 1917

Grandpa Charlie > , September 27, 2017 at 5:45 am GMT

Israel Shamir is an entertaining writer and sometimes informative (especially about Russia). But he is prone to hyperbole. For example:

[N]on-Jewish and not-pro-Israel President Carter tried to invade Iran

Perhaps the Jews had moved the arena of wars to the Middle East and out of Latin America. Less Jewish-influenced America would rather invade Venezuela than Iraq or Iran. But is it so wonderful?

– Shamir

The Special Forces operation to extract USA's hostages in Iran fell way short of anything that anyone would call an "invasion." As for Venezuela:

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) fired back at President Trump on Friday, saying Congress "obviously isn't authorizing war in Venezuela" after Trump said he wouldn't rule out using a military option in the country.

"No, Congress obviously isn't authorizing war in Venezuela," Sasse, a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, said in a statement. "Nicolas Maduro is a horrible human being, but Congress doesn't vote to spill Nebraskans' blood based on who the Executive lashes out at today."

– The Hill

This entire article is based on Shanir's exaggerationa: First, as I recall, Giraldi never suggested any form of censorship of news media or commentary; more likely Giraldi would like to see effectively less censorship, especially censorship on behalf of Israel and Zionism. Second, Giraldi, as I recall, never made his suggestions as promising an end to war in general. Third, Giraldi never suggested that removing Jews from positions of influence relating to USA's global security/strategy would keep the USA out of all unnecessary wars, only that it would help in getting the USA out of unnecessary wars in the ME -- wars that do not enhance and indeed detract from our national security.

I feel certain that Giraldi knows as much as anyone about the evil influence of the Military Industrial Congressional Complex -- which obviously includes major gentile players as well as Zionist neocons. For me, the matter is simple: anyone whose loyalty is divided between the USA and Israel should be barred from any position of influence in USA's military or related governmental activities. The same is true for anyone whose loyalty is divided between the USA and the People's Republic of China or Ireland or Russia or the Vatican or wherever.

Edgar > , September 27, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

It's been a week or so since I read Giraldi's piece, but I recall him saying keep Jews in the US out of policy matters relating to Israel. "Put the Jewish members in charge of Korea Policy. . . " I believe was Giraldi's example. You seem to be punching a straw man with your otherwise pedestrian argument. But thanks for supporting Giraldi's basic thesis!

Now these pitiful William-F-Buckley-tards should put Giraldi's article back up; Shamir confirms that Giraldi is right.

Priss Factor > , Website September 27, 2017 at 6:19 am GMT

While agreeing with Giraldi on the malady, let us discuss the remedy. Would keeping Jews out of foreign policy making actually help? Did the US keep out of wars before the Rise of Jews in late 1960s? The Jews weren't specially prominent before that time, and certainly weren't overrepresented in the establishment.

This is an interesting question, but there is a difference between Then and Now.

In the past, US expansionism was part of the global norm. Imperialism was common and accepted all over the world. Ottomans ruled over a giant empire. Russians kept expanding into Siberia and Central Asia. It also swallowed parts of Central Europe. Manchus took over China and gobbled up more territory as part of Chinese empire. There were native imperialist wars in Africa before white man came. And Mexico was also the product of empire building. Spanish took it from Aztec Imperialists, and the Conquis took more land. And Spanish also took Philippines. Brits and French were creating vast empires. US was created out of empire-building and continued as such.

So, US warmongering in the past was part of the world norm. Everyone did it. Also, empire-building was seen as glorious for the Whole People. So, even though the elites benefited the most, there was a sense of shared glory among all Britons over the British Empire. All Frenchmen were to share the glory of the French Empire. And US expansion into SW territories was great not only for elites but for Anglo settlers who built new lives in those areas. And it was even good for Mexers in the region because Anglos did so much than Mexers had done before when SW territories had belonged to Mexico. It's like Ramon has it pretty good working for gringos. He was like the Guillermo of his day.

Alfred > , September 27, 2017 at 6:34 am GMT

@Anonymous I thought the ascent of Jewish power in America started in 1913?

One year after that, America entered WWI... WWI was planned and executed to plan by a British elite – just like the 2 Boer wars. In all these wars, wealthy Jewish bankers helped get them started – the Cassels and the Rothschilds principally. Many leading British politicians – e.g. Winston Churchill and his father – were deeply in debt to these people. The much touted "Balfour Declaration" was the product of a British prime minister who was in debt to them – as was his uncle Lord Salisbury.

Randolph Churchill died with debts of the order of $8m in today's money to these bankers. It is all well-documented.

Suggested reading:

"The Secret Origins of the First Wold War" by Gerry Docherty and Jim MacGregor

https://amzn.com/1780576307

However, blaming ordinary Jews or American Jews for WWI is as ridiculous as blaming the French for their corrupt Poincaré or the ordinary British for the warmonger Churchill.

Grandpa Charlie > , September 27, 2017 at 6:53 am GMT

@Grandpa Charlie It occurs to me that it's possible that Shamir intended the article as humor, as camp, as a parody of ((anti-Jewish)) commentary here at UR. It's complicated.

Proud_Srbin > , September 27, 2017 at 7:03 am GMT

Mother Nature, no make monoliths. Monolithic nations or states do not exist, have never existed and never will.

Kiza > , September 27, 2017 at 7:05 am GMT

This article is a mix of truths and bull. But the key problem with the article is that it never mentions the main tool of the Zionists – the petrodollar and the main conduit of the Zionist power in US – The Federal Reserve. Luckily, China and Russia are working on dethroning FED by diminishing petrodollar. This will have the world-wide beneficial effect of deglobalisation: removing the ability to print money indefinitely will curb the ambitions of both "the rich Jews and the rich who want to be Jews" to rule the World. Power will become distributed again and the Jews will have to compete with the Chinese for domination.

Diminishing petrodollar is a much healthier solution than the Marxist's solution of removing wealth from the wealthy Jews and wannabe Jews. Once one starts removing wealth from individuals, one does not know where and when to stop.

Tom Welsh > , September 27, 2017 at 7:53 am GMT

@Anonymous It's quite hard to know such things for certain, since a lot of highly-paid professional effort has gone into concealing them from public scrutiny.

For some reason I am reminded of George Carlin's weirdly logical observation, "One can never know for sure what a deserted area looks like".

Art > , September 27, 2017 at 7:56 am GMT

Around 1968-1970 the Jews became more wealthy than all Americans, and that was it: they ceased to strive for the common good.

For the next 30 years through excessive debt the Jew Allen Greenspan, head of the Fed, put a stake in the heart of America's economy – end of story.

Jew dominated corporate America turned its head away from its fiduciary responsibilities to customers, employees, neighbors, investors, and country – they instead turned to raw, naked, personal greed. Junk bonds got the ball rolling.

In America you no longer do business with your neighbors – you must do business with Wall Street – Wall Street gets a slice of all your spending. Guess what – unlike you neighbors – Wall Street doesn't give dam about you – PERIOD.

Companies change ownership with the tough of a keyboard creating great uncertainty for all those invoved. This creates instability.

Ownership must be returned to local people. Then stability will return to culture.

Think Peace -- Art

The Alarmist > , September 27, 2017 at 8:23 am GMT

Remember the old adage for success in the world of WASPs: "Think Yiddish, dress British."

A serious case can be made for replacing the income tax, which has the potential to keep people from becoming wealthy, with a wealth tax, which has the effect of making people pay in proportion to their longer-term success and influence in the system. A millennial might say that this would be a more sustainable way to run things.

Randal > , September 27, 2017 at 8:45 am GMT

This is not more complicated than booting Max Boot out of writing business. So why to go for a palliative if you can go for the jugular?

If you think that imposing a general prohibitive wealth tax or somehow banning being rich is "not more complicated" than simply recognising the problems of dual loyalty and ulterior group motives, both in general and in particular relation to jewish elites, and addressing them in some form, then you would seem rather unrealistic to me.

There has been no convincing argument raised against Giraldi's point – the closest to a response so far seems to be the one you raise here – that jews aren't the only people or groups pushing the US towards war, which is rather irrelevant, and the insistence that not all jewish people do so, which is both obvious and likewise irrelevant.

Regardless, and whether or not one agrees with Giraldi's particular diagnosis of one aspect of the ills of modern US sphere society (I do, broadly), one should support him and it anyway simply because its expression is so obviously being punished by those who seek to suppress it. His prompt dismissal by the contemptible American Conservative illustrates the truth of the point made by those who complain of politically correct censorship being used by identity lobbyists and those who kowtow to them to control dissent.

The latter is a far bigger problem in the societies of the modern US sphere than the particular issue of foreign policy identified by Giraldi.

Jean de Peyrelongue > , Website September 27, 2017 at 9:14 am GMT

I like what is being said:
Before the 1960s the Jews in the US were not occupying the front stage but their influence was far from being negligeable. They were acting like a fifth column and as such, they have been active in triggering and supporting the Bolsheviks revolution, in getting the US to enter WW I and latter on WW II.
It is also obvious that when they were not occupying the front stage, they were courting the people in the US and in all the countries where they were living; to get accepted and their contribution to the societies was important.
Today as they are running the show in the western world, they are acting like slaves drivers and are treating others like they treat the Palestinians.
Having conquered the US and its dominions in Europe, they want to get the rest of the world. They never have enough. It looks like they want to take a revenge against all the others like they have done against the Russian during the revolution. They are no more working for improving the world but for running it and wreaking a revenge for having living the Diaspora .

The only way to stop them driving us to Armageddon is to have them bankrupted; the whole world might be in jeopardy but that is the only way to avoid a nuclear apocalypse.

Paul Harrison > , September 27, 2017 at 9:22 am GMT

[Choose a single Handle and stick with it, or use Anonymous/Anon. Otherwise, your comments will be trashed.]

I have never found Jews particularly cheap or materialistic. Maybe as a Scot I have a warped perspective. Denied the chance at noble titles or churchly favor, money has been their only path to power and distinction. What I do see as a problem is the combination of extreme ability and extreme solidarity. Put that together with their adversarial relationship to the gentile world developed over the centuries and you have a recipe for harmful culture war. Producing sexy movies and violent rap, the war on Christmas, the attempt to limit free speech -- all are forms of aggression or payback for aggression, as I see it. To be sure, not all Jews or even most feel this emotion, but the ones that do work hard to promote it. According to Pew Research, 94% of self-identified Jews identify as pro-choice. The next highest group is mainline Protestants at 59%. Such a great disparity suggests to me that the issue is largely symbolic for them. I suspect you would find similar disparities on gun rights, attitudes to pornography, and religion in the public square. It's rare for Muslims or Hindus to complain about having to hear Christmas carols, but many Jews want to sick the Homeland Security SWAT Team on the school choir if a few syllables of Hark the Herald Angels are overheard. For that reason, I feel more threatened by the billions of Adelson, Bezos, Saban, Soros, and Singer than by Gates or Buffett, even though the latter are also quite liberal.

Wrenchturner > , September 27, 2017 at 9:23 am GMT

@Anonymous This is typical obfuscation. Goyim we didn't have power we just controlled the newspapers.

Serg Derbst > , September 27, 2017 at 9:43 am GMT

Why focus so much on Jewish wealth? The main problem of the American system has a simple name: capitalism. It is wealth and excessively rich people as such, who are the problem, and with a certain amount of wealth, you stop giving a fork about your religious, ethnic, national, or other alliances. All you care about are interests rates. Rich people also have a tendency to turn psychopath and get hooked on power – after all, you need to utilize that money, and you can only buy so many yachts, ferraris and mansions, right?

Scratch capitalism by changing the monetary system from a debt money system to a full or free money system, in which private banking based on loans and credits is called out for what it is: criminal fraud. The debt of the many – including government – is the wealth of a few. You wouldn't have this sick connection between wealth and poverty, if money creation wasn't based on debt, and only allowed to a (computerized and automated) fourth state power called the monetative. Read German thinkers to understand that, start with Karl Marx to understand the social and spiritual errors of capitalism, read Silvio Gesell and, more up-to-date, German economist Bernd Senf and Austrian economist Franz Hörmann to understand the possible alternatives. Educate yourself about The Wörgl Experiment to get an historical example from Austria where Free Money worked wonders before it was scrapped by the bankster elite and their political servants during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Only free money could guarantee free markets (and you wouldn't even need taxes anymore). In capitalism with debt money, all you ever get is monopolies and corporate cartels.

Add to that a real democracy – no congress, no parliament, no parties, the legislative shall only be the people based on direct democracy. We now have the technological means to realize what has never been realized in human history: free markets, democracy, and something which could be called communism. Don't flinch from reading this last word, the stuff you commonly refer to as communism must be called bolshevism and has had nothing to do with actual communist ideals, which can never be realized in a centralized fashion as in capitalism (centralized wealth) or in bolshevism (centralized state power). But thanks to IT at our disposal, it can now be realized in form of free money and direct democracy.

daniel le mouche > , September 27, 2017 at 9:44 am GMT

'Stop subscribing to Jewish success model, and the Jews won't be able to influence the Senate. Make the US Christian as Christ taught, share labour and wealth, aspire to God instead of Mammon, make the first last and the last first, love thy neighbour and the problem will be solved.'

Would that this were possible. Great ideas in this article, but realistically, could any of it be implemented? It would take great anti-Jewish fervency, which, as you note, Americans don't have as they have always behaved as Jews.

Greg Bacon > , Website September 27, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

What about the American Jewish bankers–like Schiff–that bankrolled Lenin and his thugs to sneak back into Russia, then proceeded–with his Jewish buddies–to steal the Revolution from Russians that had deposed the Czar?

Lenin's Bolshevik Jew radicals turned that Christian nation into a Commie nightmare, murdering around 60 million Russians in the process and turned a Christian nation that had been on friendly terms with the USA into an implacable foe, eventually leading to a five decades long 'Cold War.'

The USSR Commies tried to export their madness to Europe, specifically Germany, which led to the popularity and rise of Hitler and eventually WW II.
During WWII, FDR had a number of Jewish advisers, like Henry Morgenthau, Jr. whose post-WW II plan for Germany was so punitive, it gave Germans the will to fight harder in the closing days to prevent the plans implementation, thereby dragging out the war.

It was President Truman's support for creating Israel–by stealing it from Palestine–and his recognition of that apartheid nightmare that led to many an ill, including 9/11.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2006/06/03/truman-and-israel/

I like Mr. Shamir's writings, but I think he needs to hit the history books again and refresh his memory.
Just stay away from Wikipedia, which publishes a lop-sided version of the past.

[Sep 25, 2017] American exceptionalism extract a price from common citizens

Highly recommended!
Widespread anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.
Notable quotes:
"... The world knows the military industrial complex that has worked over years, and year to create the ugly tentacles throughout what was once our government has been usurped. Dollars. All these rastards see is dollars. Not human life. Not the potential of that lost life in science, math, technology. Just dollars. ..."
"... or heavens sakes the voters in Arizona returned the worst of ALL Warmongers to congress. ..."
"... I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs. ..."
"... I'm from California. Technically the USA. My take on things is we United States of Americans are exceptional. Most of us are exceptionally ignorant and violent. That is exceptionally sad. ..."
Jul 01, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

NemesisCalling | Jun 30, 2017 8:21:54 PM | 31

For all the haters of us ugly americans, just remember that we at this blog are suffering in our country standing up for the truth, pitted against our neighbors, coworkers, and friends in the arena of political debate and decrying the massive injustice of our foreign aggression. I won't call ya out by name, but lumping us forlorn sacks into your "untouchable" category reeks of reactionary arrogance that is, to pay patrons at this fine blog their due, beneath you.

In the mean time, American issues = issues concerning the empire thay we all want to see destroyed. Liberating Americans should also be on your wish list.

lex.talionis | Jun 30, 2017 9:14:01 PM | 36
Amen @31

The world knows the military industrial complex that has worked over years, and year to create the ugly tentacles throughout what was once our government has been usurped. Dollars. All these rastards see is dollars. Not human life. Not the potential of that lost life in science, math, technology. Just dollars.

For heavens sakes the voters in Arizona returned the worst of ALL Warmongers to congress. And you, the World, think for a moment we, citizens in this colony, have a snowball's chance in hell reeling these creatures in all by ourselves are sorely mistaken. We can't even get the voters to learn their votes equal WAR with what ever Party they are aligned with. Get real. Our challenge is yours. Help us!

h | Jun 30, 2017 8:38:56 PM | 32

@Nemesis

Well said...!

I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.

Playing groups of people against one another is the oldest domination trick in the world, but it seems to work every single time...sad! ;-)

smuks | Jun 30, 2017 8:50:51 PM | 35

@ Nemesis and all,

I'm from California. Technically the USA. My take on things is we United States of Americans are exceptional. Most of us are exceptionally ignorant and violent. That is exceptionally sad.

I am very glad to have found MoA and the crew of experts. I have learned so very much.

Big up b! Booyakah as they say in JA. God help us.

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump's UN Speech A Pleasant Surprise!Especially On Immigration, Refugees by John Derbyshire

Sep 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

What I saw in the speech was a long-overdue redressing of the balance. Of course nationalism is not an unqualified good; of course nationalism has its pathologies. But you can say the same of globalism.

One thing Donald Trump's election victory last year demonstrated is that many of us think globalism has gone too far, has over-reached, especially in the absurd and nation-destroying doctrine of Open Borders. We want to redress the balance. The good thing about Trump's speech; It sounds as though he wants to redress that balance, too.

[Sep 23, 2017] The Dangerous Decline of U.S. Hegemony by Daniel Lazare

Notable quotes:
"... By Daniel Lazare September 9, 2017 ..."
"... But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi ..."
"... If the U.S. says that Moscow's activities in the eastern Ukraine are illegitimate, then, as the world's sole remaining "hyperpower," it will see to it that Russia suffers accordingly. If China demands more of a say in Central Asia or the western Pacific, then right-thinking folks the world over will shake their heads sadly and accuse it of undermining international democracy, which is always synonymous with U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... There is no one – no institution – that Russia or China can appeal to in such circumstances because the U.S. is also in charge of the appellate division. It is the "indispensable nation" in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, because "we stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future." Given such amazing brilliance, how can any other country possibly object? ..."
"... Next to go was Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, sent packing in October 2001, followed by Slobodan Milosevic, hauled before an international tribunal in 2002; Saddam Hussein, executed in 2006, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed by a mob in 2011. For a while, the world really did seem like " Gunsmoke ," and the U.S. really did seem like Sheriff Matt Dillon. ..."
"... Although The New York Times wrote that U.S. pressure to cut off North Korean oil supplies has put China "in a tight spot," this was nothing more than whistling past the graveyard. There is no reason to think that Xi is the least bit uncomfortable. To the contrary, he is no doubt enjoying himself immensely as he watches America paint itself into yet another corner. ..."
"... Unipolarity will slink off to the sidelines while multilateralism takes center stage. Given that U.S. share of global GDP has fallen by better than 20 percent since 1989, a retreat is inevitable. America has tried to compensate by making maximum use of its military and political advantages. That would be a losing proposition even if it had the most brilliant leadership in the world. Yet it doesn't. Instead, it has a President who is an international laughingstock, a dysfunctional Congress, and a foreign-policy establishment lost in a neocon dream world. As a consequence, retreat is turning into a disorderly rout. ..."
"... The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy ..."
Sep 21, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The bigger picture behind Official Washington's hysteria over Russia, Syria and North Korea is the image of a decaying but dangerous American hegemon resisting the start of a new multipolar order, explains Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
September 9, 2017

The showdown with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a seminal event that can only end in one of two ways: a nuclear exchange or a reconfiguration of the international order.

While complacency is always unwarranted, the first seems increasingly unlikely. As no less a global strategist than Steven Bannon observed about the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. strike: "There's no military solution. Forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don't die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don't know what you're talking about. There's no military solution here. They got us."

This doesn't mean that Donald Trump, Bannon's ex-boss, couldn't still do something rash. After all, this is a man who prides himself on being unpredictable in business negotiations, as historian William R. Polk, who worked for the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, points out . So maybe Trump thinks it would be a swell idea to go a bit nuts on the DPRK.

But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi with Russia, it also means that the President is continually surrounded by generals, spooks, and other professionals who know the difference between real estate and nuclear war.

As ideologically fogbound as they may be, they can presumably be counted on to make sure that Trump does not plunge the world into Armageddon (named, by the way, for a Bronze Age city about 20 miles southeast of Haifa, Israel).

That leaves option number two: reconfiguration. The two people who know best about the subject are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both have been chafing for years under a new world order in which one nation gets to serve as judge, jury, and high executioner. This, of course, is the United States.

If the U.S. says that Moscow's activities in the eastern Ukraine are illegitimate, then, as the world's sole remaining "hyperpower," it will see to it that Russia suffers accordingly. If China demands more of a say in Central Asia or the western Pacific, then right-thinking folks the world over will shake their heads sadly and accuse it of undermining international democracy, which is always synonymous with U.S. foreign policy.

There is no one – no institution – that Russia or China can appeal to in such circumstances because the U.S. is also in charge of the appellate division. It is the "indispensable nation" in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, because "we stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future." Given such amazing brilliance, how can any other country possibly object?

Challenging the Rule-Maker

But now that a small and beleaguered state on the Korean peninsula is outmaneuvering the United States and forcing it to back off, the U.S. no longer seems so far-sighted. If North Korea really has checkmated the U.S., as Bannon says, then other states will want to do the same. The American hegemon will be revealed as an overweight 71-year-old man naked except for his bouffant hairdo.

Not that the U.S. hasn't suffered setbacks before. To the contrary, it was forced to accept the Castro regime following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and it suffered a massive defeat in Vietnam in 1975. But this time is different. Where both East and West were expected to parry and thrust during the Cold War, giving as good as they got, the U.S., as the global hegemon, must now do everything in its power to preserve its aura of invincibility.

Since 1989, this has meant knocking over a string of "bad guys" who had the bad luck to get in its way. First to go was Manuel Noriega, toppled six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall in an invasion that cost the lives of as many as 500 Panamanian soldiers and possibly thousands of civilians as well.

Next to go was Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, sent packing in October 2001, followed by Slobodan Milosevic, hauled before an international tribunal in 2002; Saddam Hussein, executed in 2006, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed by a mob in 2011. For a while, the world really did seem like " Gunsmoke ," and the U.S. really did seem like Sheriff Matt Dillon.

But then came a few bumps in the road. The Obama administration cheered on a Nazi-spearheaded coup d'état in Kiev in early 2014 only to watch helplessly as Putin, under intense popular pressure, responded by detaching Crimea, which historically had been part of Russia and was home to the strategic Russian naval base at Sevastopol, and bringing it back into Russia.

The U.S. had done something similar six years earlier when it encouraged Kosovo to break away from Serbia . But, in regards to Ukraine, neocons invoked the 1938 Munich betrayal and compared the Crimea case to Hitler's seizure of the Sudetenland .

Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dealt Washington another blow by driving U.S.-backed, pro-Al Qaeda forces out of East Aleppo in December 2016. Predictably, the Huffington Post compared the Syrian offensive to the fascist bombing of Guernica .

Fire and Fury

Finally, beginning in March, North Korea's Kim Jong Un entered into a game of one-upmanship with Trump, firing ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, test-firing an ICBM that might be capable of hitting California , and then exploding a hydrogen warhead roughly eight times as powerful as the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. When Trump vowed to respond "with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before," Kim upped the ante by firing a missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

As bizarre as Kim's behavior can be at times, there is method to his madness. As Putin explained during the BRICS summit with Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, the DPRK's "supreme leader" has seen how America destroyed Libya and Iraq and has therefore concluded that a nuclear delivery system is the only surefire guarantee against U.S. invasion.

"We all remember what happened with Iraq and Saddam Hussein," he said . "His children were killed, I think his grandson was shot, the whole country was destroyed and Saddam Hussein was hanged . We all know how this happened and people in North Korea remember well what happened in Iraq . They will eat grass but will not stop their nuclear program as long as they do not feel safe."

Since Kim's actions are ultimately defensive in nature, the logical solution would be for the U.S. to pull back and enter into negotiations. But Trump, desperate to save face, quickly ruled it out. "Talking is not the answer!" he tweeted . Yet the result of such bluster is only to make America seem more helpless than ever.

Although The New York Times wrote that U.S. pressure to cut off North Korean oil supplies has put China "in a tight spot," this was nothing more than whistling past the graveyard. There is no reason to think that Xi is the least bit uncomfortable. To the contrary, he is no doubt enjoying himself immensely as he watches America paint itself into yet another corner.

The U.S. Corner

If Trump backs down at this point, the U.S. standing in the region will suffer while China's will be correspondingly enhanced. On the other hand, if Trump does something rash, it will be a golden opportunity for Beijing, Moscow, or both to step in as peacemakers. Japan and South Korea will have no choice but to recognize that there are now three arbiters in the region instead of just one while other countries – the Philippines, Indonesia, and maybe even Australia and New Zealand – will have to follow suit.

Unipolarity will slink off to the sidelines while multilateralism takes center stage. Given that U.S. share of global GDP has fallen by better than 20 percent since 1989, a retreat is inevitable. America has tried to compensate by making maximum use of its military and political advantages. That would be a losing proposition even if it had the most brilliant leadership in the world. Yet it doesn't. Instead, it has a President who is an international laughingstock, a dysfunctional Congress, and a foreign-policy establishment lost in a neocon dream world. As a consequence, retreat is turning into a disorderly rout.

Assuming a mushroom cloud doesn't go up over Los Angeles, the world is going to be a very different place coming out of the Korean crisis than when it went in. Of course, if a mushroom cloud does go up, it will be even more so.

* Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

Read also: The Brazilian Coup and Washington's "Rollback" in Latin America

[Sep 20, 2017] Transnational Writers and the Politics of the English Language by Nyla Ali Khan

Notable quotes:
"... Despite the creation of a new global order, has not transnationalism led to the politicization of identity in the form of fundamentalism, xenophobia, and a fanatical espousal of tradition, as many critics observe? It is increasingly doubtful that transnational practices are generally counter-hegemonic. ..."
"... The dissemination of transnational practices entails the transterritorialization of various socioeconomic, political, and cultural practices and identities that frequently bolster the formation and reconstitution of the nation-state. ..."
"... As Arjun Appadurai observes in his book Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization ..."
"... Yet transnational politics often lead to cultural and religious fanaticism by emphasizing a conception of identity between the "authentic" and the "demonic." ..."
Sep 20, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
Despite the creation of a new global order, has not transnationalism led to the politicization of identity in the form of fundamentalism, xenophobia, and a fanatical espousal of tradition, as many critics observe? It is increasingly doubtful that transnational practices are generally counter-hegemonic.

The dissemination of transnational practices entails the transterritorialization of various socioeconomic, political, and cultural practices and identities that frequently bolster the formation and reconstitution of the nation-state.

As Arjun Appadurai observes in his book Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization , diasporic communities such as the ones formed through the phenomena of transnationalism in the West Indies, Malaya, Fiji, Mauritius, Eastern and Western Africa, the U. K., and the U. S., "safe from the depredations of their home states . . . become doubly loyal to their nations of origin" (49).

Transnationalism implies a process in which formations that have traditionally been perceived as restricted to well-defined political and geographical formations have transgressed national borders, producing new social formations. Yet transnational politics often lead to cultural and religious fanaticism by emphasizing a conception of identity between the "authentic" and the "demonic." It is important to offer a critical dialogue between the works of transnational writers and the contemporary history they encounter, using history to interrogate fiction and using fiction to think through historical issues.

[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] There are powerful pr-war forces in Washington beyonf Jewish lobby, however, there is definitly a very active, powerful, organized, and influential minority of people, who identify as Jewish, are restless and effective warmongers and Israel-firsters

May be Jewishness is of secondary importance, and connections to MIC should be considered first.
Notable quotes:
"... They see dragging America into Israel's wars in the Middle East as furthering Israel's national security interest. Only a fool would deny the obscene amount of power the Zionist faction wields in the USA. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

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.

QS > , September 19, 2017 at 11:49 am GMT

Phil Giraldi's title, admittedly, is infelicitous because it gives ammunition to ADL and their ilk to label the article, guess what, Antisemitic, their favorite slur.

Though again I disagree with the choice of his title, which makes it an easy target, I understand Giraldi's frustration at witnessing the apocalyptic blow AIPAC delivers to the sustainability of the United States as a country.

Obviously, not all Jews in DC's and NYC's elite are driving us to war, and of course many non-Jews are. It remains incontrovertible, however, that a very active, powerful, organized, and influential minority of people, who identify as Jewish, are restless and effective Israel-firsters.

They see dragging America into Israel's wars in the Middle East as furthering Israel's national security interest. Only a fool would deny the obscene amount of power the Zionist faction wields in the USA.

[Sep 19, 2017] The Fateful Triangle Russia, Ukraine and the Jews - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... The USA would benefit tactically from drawing Ukraine into the EU orbit, as this would strengthen our hand; however, on a larger strategic scale it would further inflame Russia, a potentially dangerous thing. ..."
"... Shamir, regardless of the unflattering things he has to say about various groups of Jews, makes a few pretty specific and generally plausible, though not ironclad, arguments: ..."
"... Russia tried to pull Israel and American Jews to his side without success. ..."
"... Israel is neutral towards Putin's Russia. ..."
"... Ukrainian Jews are siding with the new pro-EU, anti-Russia government. ..."
"... Jews in the US and Europe are divided, but organized Jewry in these places is generally anti-Russia ..."
"... Ukrainian nationalism was encouraged in Austrian Galicia in the 19th century as a force vs. Russia and also against any rise in Polish nationalism. The Ukrainians were encouraged in their traditional hatred of Poles and in a rather new hatred of Russians. To this day the most nationalistic part of Ukraine is in the West, the former Polish territories once under Austrian rule. ..."
"... [In comments, capitalization represents "shouting" and commenters who shout too much may have their remarks trashed.] ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

The erotic reliefs of Hindu temples with their gravity-defying and anatomy-challenging positions have found a new modern competitor in the Ukrainian crisis. Each party wants to get the Jews on their side, while claiming that the other side is anti-Jewish and a Jewish puppet at once. This impossible, Kama-Sutraesque position is the result of extremely confusing alliances: the Kiev regime lists devout Jews and fiery antisemites among its mainstays. The leading figures of the regime (including the president-elect) are of Jewish origin; strongman and chief financier Mr. Igor (Benya) Kolomoysky is a prominent Jewish public figure, the builder of many synagogues and a supporter of Israel. The most derring-do and pro-active force of the regime, the ultra-nationalists of the Svoboda party and the Right Sector, admire Hitler and his Ukrainian Quisling, Stepan Bandera, "liberators of Ukraine from the Judeo-Muscovite yoke". Jews are ambivalent, and the sides are ambivalent about them, and a most entertaining intrigue has been hatched.

The Russians tried to pull Israel and American Jews to their side, with little success. President Putin condemned the antisemitism of the Svoboda party; he mentioned the desecration of the Odessa Jewish cemetery in his important talk. The Russians re-vitalised the World War Two narrative, fully identifying the Kiev regime with the Bandera gangs and the Nazi enemy. Still, this rhetoric is not taken seriously by Jews who refuse to feel threatened by cuddly Kolomoysky. "These Nazis are not against Jews, they are against Russians, so it is not a Jewish problem", they say.

The Kiev regime mirrored the Russian attitude, if not Russia's tactics. Being rather short of facts to brandish, they faked a leaflet from Donetsk rebels to local Jews calling upon them to register and pay a special poll tax "for the Jews support the Kiev regime". This rude and improbable hoax was immediately and convincingly disproved, but not before it was used by, no less, Barak Obama and John Kerry. The American Jewish newspaper of record, The Forward , obfuscated the issue by saying that Russians and Ukrainians are antisemites by birth and their denials are to be taken with a grain of salt. This mud-slinging was effective – the hoax has made the front pages, while its debunking was published on the back pages.

The Russians had the facts on their side, and the West knew that: the US refused entry to Oleg Tyagnibok and other Svoboda leaders (now members of Kiev government) because of their antisemitism as recently as in 2013. But Russian appeals to Jewish and American sensitivities failed to make an impact. They know when to feign indignation and when to hush. Pro-Hitler commemorations are frequent in Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, and cause no lifting of a censorious brow, for these countries are solidly anti-Russian. In March of this year, the Obama administration's special envoy on anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, flatly denied everything and said to the Forward that Putin's assertions of Svoboda's antisemitism "were not credible". The US wants to decide who is an antisemite and who is not; like Hermann Goering wanted to decide who is a Jew and who is not in the Luftwaffe. In the Ukrainian crisis, the Jews remain divided, and follow their countries' preferences.

Israel is neutral

Recently Prime Minister Netanyahu called President Putin. Putin is always available for and always courteous to Netanyahu, as opposed to President Obama, who shows signs of irritation. (Admittedly Obama has to listen to Netanyahu much more often and for hours.) Netanyahu apologised that he wouldn't be able to come to St Petersburg for Israeli Culture Week; instead, old reliable Shimon Peres, Israel's President, will make the trip. He apologised for leaking the news of this visit cancellation to the media, as well.

This is quite typical for the Israeli PM: at first, he asks for an invitation, Russia extends it, then he cancels his visit and leaks it to the press, thus earning brownie points with the Americans. He did it at the Sochi Olympic games, and now again, in St Petersburg. This is his way of expressing Israeli neutrality.

Israel is explicitly neutral in the Ukrainian crisis. Israelis walked out and did not vote on the UN GA Crimea resolution at all, annoying its American sponsors. The Israelis had a flimsy excuse: their Foreign Office was on strike. The Americans weren't satisfied with this explanation. Strike or not, vote you must!

We learned from our Israeli colleagues the details of the Putin-Netanyahu phone conversation, which elaborated the reasons for Israeli neutrality. Israel is worried that as an asymmetric response to the US sanctions, Russia would deliver its potent air defence systems to Iran and Syria. Iran and Russia had signed a weapons supply contract a few years ago, Iran duly paid; then the shipment was suspended. Iran went to court demanding a massive compensation for the breach of contract. Likewise, the Syrians were supposed to get the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, able to protect its skies from Israeli raids. The deliveries commenced; PM Netanyahu beseeched Putin to put it on hold. Initially Putin objected, stressing the defensive nature of the system. Netanyahu told the Russian president that the S-300 would allow the Syrians to cover the whole North of Israel, at least all the way to Haifa, rendering important airfields unusable and endangering civil aviation as well. Putin agreed to stop the deliveries.

Vladimir Putin is friendly to Israel. He promised he would not allow the destruction of Israel; he promised to save its population if the situation should become truly dangerous. During the recent visit of PM Netanyahu to Moscow, Putin was not carried away by Netanyahu and Liberman's hints of possible Israeli re-alliance with Moscow instead of Washington. He told the Israelis that their ties with the US are too strong for such a re-alliance being conceivable. Putin said that Russia is satisfied with the present level of friendship and does not demand that Tel Aviv weaken its ties with Washington. Putin visited Israel a few times, he received the Israeli PM in Kremlin. The Israeli ambassador Mme Golender sees Putin more often than do her American or French counterparts.

This friendly attitude has a down-to-earth reason: Putin is not fluent in English or French, while Mme Ambassador speaks Russian to him, eliminating the bothersome need of an interpreter. A deeper reason is Putin's background: a scion of liberal elites, brought up in St Petersburg, schooled by ultra-liberal Mayor Sobchack, anointed by Boris Yeltsin, Putin is naturally friendly to Jews and to Israel. This friendly attitude annoyed some Russian ultra-patriots, who excitedly circulated his photo taken in the obligatory kippah near the Wailing Wall. They also counted and recounted the names of Jewish oligarchs in Moscow.

True, some of them – Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Hodorkovsky – had to flee their Russian homeland, but the Russian president is surely not the Jewish-tycoons-Nemesis and the-new-Hitler he is sometimes made out to be. Abramovich and Friedman, to name just two, retain his trust and access. Putin does not mind any oligarch (Jewish or Gentile) – as long as he stays out of politics.

Putin is also friendly with Jewish intellectuals and gentlemen-of-the-media, even if they are outright hostile to him. Masha Gessen, Jewish Lesbian Putin-hater and magazine editor; Alexey Venediktov, Jewish chief editor of Echo Moskvy , a popular liberal medium that attacks Putin every day; many others enjoy access to Putin, – while no Russian nationalist including Dr Alexander Dugin can boast of having met with the president privately.

Putin's affability does not turn him into a bountiful source for every Jewish initiative. He stopped S-300 deliveries to Iran, but rejected all Israeli overtures asking him to ditch Iran, or Syria, or Hamas. In the course of their last phone conversation, Netanyahu claimed the Israelis discovered proofs of Iranian nukes. Putin politely expressed his doubts and re-addressed him to IAEA. He agreed to receive the Israeli "experts" with their proofs in Moscow, but nothing came of it. Russia's support for Palestine is unwavering, – there is a Palestinian embassy in Moscow, too.

Putin supported building of a spacious Jewish museum in Moscow and personally contributed to its budget – but Russian street advertising proclaims the Resurrection of Christ, Eastertide, and His Nativity at Christmas. No "season's greetings", but open affirmation of Christianity. Russia is not like the US or EU, where external signs of Christian faith are forbidden, Easter and Christmas can't be mentioned and whatever Jews request must be done immediately. Western Jews are annoyed (so their organisations claim) by public displays of Christian faith, but Russian Jews do not mind; moreover, they intermarry, convert and enter the Church in previously unheard of numbers. They are not strongly pro-Israeli, those that were already left for Israel.

So the Jews of Russia are not an influential factor to the Russian President. Putin will do what is right according to the Christian faith, and what is good for Russia, as he understands it -- and he can't be convinced to give up really important points. Other considerations – such as friendship with Israel – would normally take a much lower place in his priorities. However, in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis, as the Russians are worried by sanctions and by threats of isolation, they try to pull Jews to their side. This makes them increasingly susceptible to Israeli manipulation, whether state-authorised or a private venture.

Last week, Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld visited Moscow. In 2003, he famously threatened Europe with nuclear destruction (the "Samson Option"), saying "Israel has the capability to take the world down with us, and that will happen before Israel goes under". Now he has explained to Russians Israel's new policy: While the US enters the period of its decline, Israel must diversify and hedge its bets by drawing close to Moscow, Beijing and Delhi, he wrote in Izvestia daily. Perhaps, but without going too far. A flirt – yes, switching sides – not yet.

Israel prefers to stick to its neutrality. This is easy, as the Israeli populace (excepting its Russians) is not interested in Russian/Ukrainian affairs, does not know the difference between Russia and the Ukraine and is rather unfriendly to Russians/Ukrainians. This goes for both the Left and Right; the Israeli Left is even more pro-American than the Israeli Right. As for Russian Israelis, they are equally divided between supporters of Russia and supporters of Kiev regime. While observing niceties towards Russia, Israel does not intend to side with Moscow. The Jewish oligarchs of Ukraine – Kolomoysky, Pinchuk, Rabinovich – are integrated within the Kiev regime, and they support Israeli right-wing on a large scale. Israeli businessmen are invested in the Ukraine, and the oligarchs are invested in Israel. Kolomoysky controls YuzhMash, the famed missile construction complex in Dnepropetrovsk, and holds the secrets of the Satan ballistic missile, the most powerful Russian strategic weapon. He allegedly intends to share these secrets with the Israelis. If Israel were to side with Moscow regarding Ukraine, the breach with Washington would be unavoidable, and Israel does not intend to provoke it.

Some marginal Israeli right-wingers support Russia; they claim that they represent Israeli public opinion and government. They try to collect on their promises before they deliver. However, this is not an ordinary scam: they are trying to turn Russia into a supporter of right-wing Zionism.

Consider Russian-Israeli far right activist Avigdor Eskin. He impossibly claims that the Israeli government has already decided to jump from the US train to join the Russian one, that Israeli commandos are on their way to fight for the Russians in Donetsk, that Israeli authorities intend to strip Mr Kolomoysky of his Israeli citizenship. Naturally, all that is a load of bunkum, but Russians swallow it hook, line and sinker.

Avigdor Eskin is a colourful personality: a convert to Jewish faith (his mother is not Jewish), an observant Jew, an ex-Kahanist who was arrested in Israel for an alleged attempt to desecrate Al Aqsa mosque and a Muslim cemetery, and who served two or three years in Israeli jail; he styles himself a "Rabbi" and wears a full beard. After serving his time in jail, he moved to Russia and built a network of Israel supporters among the Russian far right. His message is "Israel is a true friend of Russia, while Muslims are Russia's enemies". He also adds that Israeli settlers are anti-American and pro-Russian. (If you believe that, the tooth fairy is the next step.)

Recently he claimed that the Aliya Battalion of "experienced Israeli commandos and sharpshooters" came to warring Donbass to fight on the Russian side against the Kiev regime troops. The Aliya Battalion is a battalion in the sense Salvation Army is an army. This is an Israeli NGO, established by Russian Israelis of far-right Zionist persuasion and of some Russian military background. It is not a part of Israeli Army. For a short while, the NGO provided guards for Jewish settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, but the settlements stopped using them as they were extremely unreliable. They boasted of murdering Palestinian civilians, of torturing and killing children, but this was just a sick sadist and racist fantasy, people say. Afterwards, the Battalion leaders turned its name into a profitable scam, roaming American Jewish communities and collecting donations for their supposedly secret activities. As this scam was exposed by Israeli TV (RTVI network; it is available on the YouTube ), they had disappeared from the public eye. Now Avigdor Eskin resurrected the old scam, and made a lot of headlines in the Russian media.

Eskin found a soulmate in prominent Russian media man Vladimir Solovyev. The Solovyev is of partly Jewish origin, lived abroad, then returned to Russia; he runs an important political show Sunday Evening on Russian TV. The Saker (a well-known blogger) described him as follows: "This show is hosted by a famous personality, Vladimir Solovyev, who is a very interesting guy. Solovyev is a Jew, and he is not shy about reminding his audience about it, who was even elected as a member of the Russian Jewish Congress. He is also a Russian patriot, and he is an outspoken supporter of Putin and his policies. His position on the Ukraine is simple: he as a Jew and as a Russian has zero tolerance for Ukrainian nationalism, neo-Nazism or Banderism. He is a determined and total enemy of the new Kiev regime."

It is possible Solovyev is going through some personal identity crisis: from celebrating his Russian roots, he moved to proclaiming his Jewish origin. Alternatively, it is possible (and more likely) that the Russian decision-makers want to pull Jews on their side, and Solovyev is acting with US Jews in mind. Stalin did it, so Putin could repeat the trick. In 1942, as Nazi onslaught threatened Russia, Stalin had sent some Russian Jews to the US, to speak Yiddish to Jewish communities and lobby for the USSR. The American Jewish community surely carries some clout Now Solovyev and others are trying to influence Jews abroad; or at least to show to their superiors they are trying.

The price Eskin extracts for his fantasy stories is high. In Solovyev's prime time programme, he called for the destruction of al Aqsa mosque and for the building of the Jewish temple on its place. He called Palestinians "the people of Antichrist". Even in Israel such statements can't be voiced on public TV. In confused Moscow, Eskin was feted and given a place in another important political programme, that of Arcady Mamontov. Who is conning whom: is Eskin conning his Russian hosts, or are his media hosts using him to con their superiors, or are their superiors trying to con the Russian people? Or is Israel hedging its bets? Who knows?

Ukrainian Jews beg to differ

Jews came to the Ukraine a thousand years ago, perhaps from Khazaria. This is not a homogeneous community; rather, they represent several communities. A lot of them emigrated to Israel; even more moved to Russia. They speak Russian and usually do not speak Ukrainian, though they picked up the vernacular over last twenty years. Normally, they wouldn't care about Ukraine's independence, as Jews traditionally side with the strong, be it Poles under Polish rule, with Russians under Moscow rule, or with Germans under Vienna or Berlin. Now many of them have decided to side with the US or EU. One of the reasons why so many people of Jewish origin do well is that the ruling ethnic groups trust the Jews and rely upon their loyalty to the powerful and lack of compassion for their Gentile neighbours.

Another reason is the vague definitions. For last three or four generations, Jews have intermarried freely; children of these mixed marriages are often considered 'Jews'. These are the 'Jews' to the present regime; often they have only one Jewish grandparent.

Ukraine, following its independence in 1991, moved into the Western sphere of influence, but Eastern Ukraine (Novorossia) retained its Russian character and links. Jews did well in both parts. Mr Kolomoysky is a prominent member of the Jewish community, and a mainstay of the Kiev regime. He is a ruthless businessman, famous for his raiding of others'properties and for his Mafia connections. Rumours connect him with many killings of business adversaries.

On the other side, in Kharkov, the Mayor and the district Governor (nicknamed Dopah and Gepah) are Jewish, and they can be considered pro-Russian. It was thought that Kharkov would become the centre of rising Novorossia; president Yanukovich fled to Kharkov hoping to find allies and supporters. But Dopa and Gepa disabused him, so he continued his flight all the way to the Russian city of Rostov. Their decision to remain loyal to Kiev did not work well for them: one was shot, and the second one has been imprisoned and his attempt to run for president thwarted.

Kharkov is also home to Mr. Hodos, a wealthy and prominent Jew who fought most valiantly against Habad, the Jewish spiritual movement of which Mr Kolomoysky is a prominent member. The Jews of Novorossia apparently support the general pro-Russian trend, though there are exceptions. Practically all Ukrainian Jews have relatives in Russia, and had Russian education.

Israel has a strong network of agents in the Ukraine. They snatched a Palestinian engineer and flew him to an Israeli dungeon, and that could not be done without support of Ukrainian security services. However, the stories of Israeli soldiers fighting in Ukraine are somewhat exaggerated: these are individuals of dual citizenship who act at their own will, not a state representatives.

US Jews are divided

US Jews are divided on the Ukraine, as they were divided on Palestine. Friends of Palestine, people with a strong anti-imperialist record and sound knowledge of East European history – Noam Chomsky and Stephen F. Cohen -- recognised and renounced the US attempt to sustain their hegemony by keeping brazen Russia down. A subset of people, Gilad Atzmon aptly called AZZ (anti-zionist zionists), Trots and other faux-Leftist shills for NATO like Louis Proyect – called for American intervention and brayed for Russian blood.

The notorious Israel Lobby is strictly anti-Russian. The State Dept. official Victoria ("Fuck EU") Nuland personally directed the Kiev coup; she handpicked the government and the president of the new American colony on the Dnieper River. Her husband, Robert Kagan, is a founder of FPI, the successor of infamous PNAC, the extremist Zionist think tank which promoted wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and pushed for a war with Iran. Now they attack Russia, but they do not forget about their support for Israel.

Consider a young American gender activist and journalist, James Kirchick. He entered the Neocon network by shilling for the Lobby. He pink-washed Israel ("Israel as the best friend of gays on earth, while the Palestinians are homophobes who deserve to be bombed"). After doing the Israeli stint, he moved on to fighting Russia. He worked for the CIA-owned and US Congress-funded Radio Free Europe; stage-managed the sensational Liz Wahl's on-air resignation from the RT and protested alleged mistreatment of gays in Russia. His dirty tricks were revealed by Max Blumenthal , a Jewish American journalist, a known anti-Zionist (working together with a Palestinian Rania Khalek).

While Israel is neutral re Ukraine, Israeli friends in EU and US are hostile to Russia and supportive of American hegemony, while friends of Palestine stand for Russia's challenge to the Empire. The French Zionist media philosopher Bernard Henri Levy is an example of the former, while Michel Chossudovsky of Global Research is a representative of the latter. Leading critical ("anti-Zionist") websites Counterpunch, Antiwar, Global Research sympathise with Russia, while pro-Israeli sites are hostile to Russia.

Zionists are nasty and vicious enemies, but they make even worse friends. Edward N. Luttwak is friendly to Russia; he called upon the US to make up with Russia. Strategic union of Russia and America is necessary, he says. Who cares about Ukraine? And here is his pitch line: Russia should fight China for the US benefit. Another Zionist friend, Tony Blair, also calls for peace with Russia – so Russia can fight the Muslim world for Israel. Quite similar to Eskin who offers his pathetic support to Russia in order to neutralise her positive influence and defence of Palestine.

The bottom line: Israel remains neutral for its own reasons. While Jews as individuals differ on Ukraine, there is a correlation with their stand on Palestine and on Syria. Enemies of Putin in Russia, Ukraine, Europe and US do support Israel and are hostile to Palestine, to Syria of Bashar, to Venezuela of Chavez. And the most dangerous lot are those who support Israel and Russia, as they are surely plotting some mischief.

Language editing by Ken Freeland

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm GMT

Who is this Shamir fellow? Can his views be trusted? I doubt it. He has his own axes to grind. Is he related to Itzhak Shamir, the former Israeli PM and terrorist?

We should judge the Ukrainian-Russian conflict like the Sunni-Shiite conflict. We have no dog in that fight.

SFG > , June 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm GMT

Shamir's a known anti-Zionist. (My opinion? I personally favor a two-state solution with a big wall down the middle. Everyone gets a country, and keep 'em apart.) The USA would benefit tactically from drawing Ukraine into the EU orbit, as this would strengthen our hand; however, on a larger strategic scale it would further inflame Russia, a potentially dangerous thing. What's probably best for America? Staying out.

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm GMT

Look Israel Shamir up in wikipedia. He appears to have obscured his real identity, his real name, his real positions. He is accused of anti-Zionism, which in my book is no crime. He is also accused of Holocaust denial, which would be serious if true. In any case, he seems a controversial character and not one to rely on for basic understanding of what is going on between Ukraine and Russia.

Cahokia > , June 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm GMT

None of that negates the content of this article.

This is one of the most informative assessments of the role of Israel in the Ukraine civil war and of the relationship between the Russian government and world Jewry.

The bottom line is that Israel is skilled at pitting "the nations" against each other to its advantage, including the U.S.

One interpretation of Jewish elite and neoconservative influence in America is that it has been devoted to ensuring that Washington face off against every and any foreign opponent in recent decades *except* China. Just when the Bush administration might have started to confront the PRC, 9/11 happened. Then with the war in Iraq over and Afghanistan winding down, the neocons start a war in Ukraine and initiate a Cold War with Russia.

My interpretation is that Israel knows that China will inevitably be a world superpower and intends to cultivate it, with an eye to making the People's Republic it's principal patron once it has leached America dry.

fnn > , June 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm GMT

Shamir also mocks the realities of the Holodomor and the Cambodian genocide. Maybe all the Communist Holocausts. On Cambodia:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/09/18/pol-pot-revisited/

Johnny F. Ive > , June 14, 2014 at 4:28 pm GMT

I've seen some of the stuff he said from other sources and he really nailed Proyect. It is obvious that Israel seeks a foreign policy based on what it thinks is its national interest. They have no reason to anger Russia and the US will not abandon one of its masters. Putin doesn't want to get on Israel's bad side, but I cannot imagine why he would want to have the kind of relationship Israel and the US has. I'm all for Israel switching sides, and letting the Russians deal with it. It would further endear Putin to the Chechens who threaten Russia. Russia is over there within striking distance of Salafi Jihadist. Russia was going to be the target for Mohammad Atta, but America's special relationship with Israel made it the target instead.

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm GMT

Shamir devious ways automatically make him suspect. Yes, he knows a lot. But it would be wiser to get information from elsewhere. As for Cahokia, beware of paranoia.

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 5:50 pm GMT

Shamir has become the target of many Jewish or Zionist writers. But don't assume from that that he is ok. You can be anti-Zionist and still be a jerk, a criminal, or a fraud. Anti-Israel Lobby people need to beware of their own possible paranoia.

Yes I know, paranoics can also have real enemies. But the Zionists thrive on their enemies going bonkers and discrediting themselves with conspiracy theories and other nonsense.

We need anti-Zionists who are intelligent, rational, mentally healthy, and sensible. Are there any?

matt > , June 14, 2014 at 6:02 pm GMT

norman ravitch,

Do you always feel like you have to determine whether someone is an "enemy" before you evaluate the truth or falsity of what they say?

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 7:45 pm GMT

Truth or falsity takes a lot of time and work and resources. In a pinch the stature and reputation of someone giving so-called facts and opinions is very important and provisionally the only thing you may have.

Much historical analysis which passes for objective cannot be and is not objective. People believe things and call them facts.

SFG > , June 14, 2014 at 8:25 pm GMT

"We need anti-Zionists who are intelligent, rational, mentally healthy, and sensible. Are there any?"

What's an anti-Zionist?

A Zionist is someone who believes Jews should have a state in the current land of Israel. They can be a one-stater, a two-stater, or any variety; they don't even actually have to support Israel's current foreign policy or demand it receive any aid, only its right to exist.

Therefore an anti-Zionist takes the opposite position, i.e. Israel has no right to exist. Not that many people actually want to take that position outside of the alt-right and far left. There are few anti-Zionists as you describe, and they tend to engage in ridiculous statements like claiming the Holocaust didn't happen.

Supporting Israel's foreign policy and covert operations is another story altogether. Israel and the USA are two nations with interests that are frequently at variance, despite the best efforts of AIPAC to obscure this. Israel's covert operations are devoted solely to the interests of the state of Israel, which is what you'd expect; the problem is the manipulation of the USA to keep its covert operations from behaving in the same fashion.

If you mean sane and intelligent *critics of Israeli foreign and domestic policy* Walt and Mearsheimer come to mind, and there are hundreds of others. Not so many on the mainstream right, which is part of the reason this site exists.

Full disclosure: I am half-Jewish, though my fellow-feeling for the tribe has weakened *considerably* after the Iraq war. I'm half considering converting just to give Dershowitz and the SPLC the finger.

norman ravitch > , June 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm GMT

What is anti-Zionism? What is Zionism? Israel is an integral nationalistic state; integral nationalism places the individual under the dominance of the ethnic or racial state. It grew up in Europe where the Jews picked it up as a means of self-defense.

Arabs practice integral nationalism with a Muslim fanatical bent when they deny Jews the right to live among them, even though Jews have lived in the Middle East before the Arabs came and before Islam.

An anti-Zionist opposes integral nationalism, which is the father of Fascism. Most European countries either have abandoned integral nationalism or are too ashamed to admit they still prctice it. Hungary is moving towards it. So might Rumania. Both are trying to eliminate their gypsy population and perhaps their Jewish populations as well. The very question in Ukraine is whether the Ukrainian nationalists are integral nationalists or not. In the past they have been, but they may now have changed. Who can tell?

SFG > , June 15, 2014 at 12:28 am GMT

Yeah, and how's abandoning integral nationalism working out for them? Thing is, even if you think you're post-ethnic, other ethnic groups are still ethnic, and will take the land away from you.

My opinion? Hungary for the Hungarians, Romania for the Romanians, Israel for the Jews, Palestine for the Palestinians. And yes, we have to split up the country to make that last pair work. The Holocaust wouldn't have happened if the Jews had had an Israel to go to.

Integral nationalism doesn't make sense in the USA, or many places in the New World. Agreed. We have our own path, and it involves heavy assimilation and patriotism to make the country work. But if you have one ethnic group, you can't have conflicts, and I think that's what the Old World with its blood-soaked history needs.

As for the Ukrainians? I think they want Putin out of their country, and I don't blame them. It's one thing to admire Tsar Vlad as a defender of Russian interests, but that doesn't bode well for Ukrainians. But I don't support the USA getting involved–it's not worth starting WW3 over.

Yakov > , June 15, 2014 at 2:58 am GMT

What's wrong with this site? Why it keeps publishing anti-Semitic propaganda?
'One of the reasons why so many people of Jewish origin do well is that the ruling ethnic groups trust the Jews and rely upon their loyalty to the powerful and lack of compassion for their Gentile neighbours.'

As a Russian Jew, I view Russians and Ukrainians as part of one nation. It's unfortunate that the coup in Kiev, was financed and organized by the US and EU has caused the government to lose its legitimacy and led to the rebellion in the eastern regions. It's also unfortunate that the Ukrainian government chose to suppress Russian language in the Russian speaking provinces. It so easy to be fluent in both languages and if you know one of them. US and EU supported policies that they had opposed in places like Sri Lanka in their efforts to weaken Russia or out of pure stupidity. At this point, I think the eastern provinces will end up joining Russia, unless Kiev immediately grants them the federal autonomy that they are seeking.

norman ravitch > , June 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm GMT

The reason this site has so much anti-semitic propaganda is that frustrated people -- those who blog here -- are always looking for a simple explanation and for a long time finding it in the Jews has been common.

One can be against the excesses of Zionism without being anti-Jewish, but it is easier to damn all the Jews with the same brush. You cannot blame the negroes because no one would believe that stupid people is capable of anything but vice and crime. So blame the Jews.

Of course some Jews, like the Likud and its PM Netanyahu, do behave in an arrogant and outrageous way. Also Jews tend for good reason to be paranoid and self-promoting. Also offensive are the stupid evangelicals who find reasons in the irrational apocalyptic writing of the bible.

Avoiding anti-Jewish expression may be difficult for some but it is worth the effort.

SFG > , June 15, 2014 at 4:00 pm GMT

I'll disagree with Norman here, and address Yakov. I can only speak at length about the USA, which is the only nation I have lived in.

Assume for the moment Jews are better than average at climbing the socio-economico-political ladder, for a variety of reasons (high verbal IQ, neuroticism applied usefully, historical concentration in fields with strengths that overlap with those required to succeed in politics). There's quite a bit of evidence for this.

Furthermore, assume that Jews (this is the kicker) are *differentially represented across the political spectrum*. There are sensible historical reasons for this–the Right was frequently antisemitic, murderously so in Germany, almost as deeply so in Russia (Yakov may have heard stories of the Black Hundreds from his grandparents). In America, the Right is tied up with Christianity, and Jews are not Christians, almost by definition. (A converted Jew is technically still Jewish but no longer belongs to the Jewish community in any practical sense.)

Furtherfurthermore, even when on the Right, Jews tend to retain certain positions at variance with mainstream conservatism, such as embracing immigration. There may be historical reasons for this as well–this is not so clear to me. Still, it's not too hard to see why you could look at George Soros and Sheldon Adelson (who no doubt despise each other) and see a Jewish conspiracy to flood America with brown people.

Additionally, many of the leading lights of the left, particularly in the media (Walter Lippmann and Jon Stewart, from 2 different eras) are Jewish, and American Jewish culture was tied up with leftism for a long time. So it's not surprising that conservatives looking for a conspiracy can find one among the Jews.

*Is* there a conspiracy? I tend to think the historical and cultural aspects of American Judaism (as outlined above) tend to produce a flood of bright left-wingers which has the effects described above, that it is a matter of tendencies and people doing what comes naturally. However, while having some Jewish relatives and growing up between West End Avenue and Central Park West, I have never been behind the scenes in the media or government, so it is entirely possible that I cannot see the strings behind the puppets. We know companies pay millions of dollars to buy politicians through campaign contributions, so I am willing to believe other types of backroom deals occur as well.

As for Unz: well, most of the media's Jewish, so naturally people pissed at the media get pissed at the Jews too. I tend to think a lot of the problems with the media would occur with Christians in charge–they have to please the public, so they have to produce lots of crap people want to buy, and like everyone in history they have to avoid annoying the powerful–but who knows? Certainly Israel's probably gotten a better rap than it deserves (though being judged as a 'white' country, their sins tend to be magnified as well).

Jeff Albertson > , June 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm GMT

Norman goes, from his first comment, total ignorance of the author, to complete expert after two hours of googling, citing Wikipedia which is notoriously unreliable on these subjects. Is he familiar with the phrase "going off half-cocked"?

Oscar Peterson > , June 15, 2014 at 6:11 pm GMT

Norman Ravitch,

I don't understand your perspective, and I don't find your response to Matt (#9) quite adequate. You say that truth or falsity take time and resources to establish, so "in a pinch" reputation can stand in place of analysis of the particular argument that is being made. That is just dressing up ad hominem arguments in nice clothes. In any case, reputation is at least as time-intensive in assessing as a narrowly-focused substantive argument.

Shamir, regardless of the unflattering things he has to say about various groups of Jews, makes a few pretty specific and generally plausible, though not ironclad, arguments:

1. Russia tried to pull Israel and American Jews to his side without success.
2. Israel is neutral towards Putin's Russia.
3. Ukrainian Jews are siding with the new pro-EU, anti-Russia government.
4. Jews in the US and Europe are divided, but organized Jewry in these places is generally anti-Russia

Do you agree or disagree with any or all of these points? It requires no trust in Shamir to render a judgment on them. Your many posts in this string never address any point of substance in the article. They simply repeat the insinuation–I can't really call it an argument–that Shamir is untrustworthy, whatever that really means. You have made seven posts that all, in various ways, suggest that we be suspicious of Shamir while avoiding any specific critiques of any kind. I find your obvious interest in this string–almost half the comments are from you–very interesting and rather bizarre–or maybe not so bizarre.

norman ravitch > , June 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm GMT

OK, I have given too much attention to Shamir! Granted. I find his comments uninteresting generally and the whole topic of Jews and Russia/Ukraine uninteresting.

If you want information about these issues read Steven Cohen and Timothy Snyder, very different in perspective but real authorities about whom you need have no worry.

I don't think any of us wants to get into Ukrainian-Russian squabbles about:

1. Are Ukrainians a separate people or only provincial redneck Russians?
2. Are Ukrainians or Russians the best example of inheritors of the Kievan Principality of Rus?
3. Should there be an independent Ukraine and independent Belarus at all?

norman ravitch > , June 15, 2014 at 8:34 pm GMT

For those who care (but why should you care?)

Ukrainian nationalism was encouraged in Austrian Galicia in the 19th century as a force vs. Russia and also against any rise in Polish nationalism. The Ukrainians were encouraged in their traditional hatred of Poles and in a rather new hatred of Russians. To this day the most nationalistic part of Ukraine is in the West, the former Polish territories once under Austrian rule. The Poles of course suppressed Ukrainian nationalism. The typical Ukrainian nationalistic slogan was: Poles beyond the San (river border with ethnic Poland) and the Jews to the gallows!

norman ravitch > , June 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm GMT

Yes, I know. I promised to cease and desist! I shall try.
You have to promise not to bait me.

SFG > , June 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm GMT

Honestly, Norman, it's a comment thread. Say what you want, that's the whole point. Just be aware that citing only the source in arguing against an argument is technically argument ad hominem and therefore a fallacy. (Silly example, because I don't believe in Godwin: if Hitler said 2+2=4, 2+2 does not equal 5.)

The left does it too–'mansplaining', 'check your privilege', etc.

Jeff Albertson > , June 15, 2014 at 11:28 pm GMT

I knew it! Damn 19th century Austrians. Oh when will the world be safe from their machinations? I think we have discovered a new master baiter here. I wonder if he's related to Dianne Ravitch? Let's see what the last guy to edit the Wikipedia page has to say

quercus > , June 15, 2014 at 11:37 pm GMT

@Chahokia. "What Jews and Chinese Have in Common" by Michael Goldfarb in BBC News Magazine, 8th of February 2014. An extremely juvenile piece (e.g., Jews like Chinese food) if ever I read one, but nonetheless, perhaps evidence of your claim?

@Norman Ravitch. Who is Norman Ravitch?

quercus > , June 15, 2014 at 11:40 pm GMT

. Your observations reflect, to me anyway, someone able to stand outside his/her cultural, religious, or ethnic baggage, and look at the world for what it is and people for whom they are.
Thank you.

norman ravitch > , June 15, 2014 at 11:52 pm GMT

Let's stop worrying about the Jews and Ukrainians. Let's worry about all the Americans who have died in vain. In the Civil war they died to give Lincoln glory and to free those miserable excuses for human beings, the negroes. In WWI they died for British Imperialism. In Vietnam they died to make JFK and LBJ look good. Now they have died for George W. Bush's manias and fantasies.

Let's send no more live Americans to die in the Middle East. Send A bombs and H bombs instead. Wipe out those diabolical Muslims once and for all. It couldn't be done in the Crusades but now we can and we should.

Ron Unz > , June 16, 2014 at 1:57 am GMT

Although I try to avoid injecting myself into comment-threads, I greatly appreciate the participation of those who do, especially when they reflect a variety of different perspectives and sometimes might have reasonable knowledge of the subject.

Also, as our Comments Policy indicates, http://www.unz.com/masthead/#comments-policy , we tend to moderate with a light hand and allow a wide range of vigorous and clashing perspectives, sometimes including extreme ones.

However, our Comments Policy also strongly suggests participants would avoid cluttering up a comment thread and craft their remarks carefully. So when a single individual provides one-third or more of the total comments in a thread, the likelihood of additional comments being approved may sharply decline regardless of other factors. The same may be true when too many comments across the entire website are submitted in a single day.

Yakov > , June 16, 2014 at 4:10 am GMT

There is a joke about an old Jew standing by a newstand and reading anti-Semitic magazines. Another Jew sees him at it and askes in indignation:
- You are an old man! Aren't you ashamed of yourself reading these magazines?
- Not at all – replied the old man – When I read the Jewish papers all I hear is about anti-Semitism and how weak and persecuted we Jews are. When I read the anti-Semitic papers I find out that we rule the world!

Cahokia > , June 16, 2014 at 5:23 am GMT

Times have changed Yakov! If you read the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet, the New York Times, or Time magazine, you will indeed hear how you rule the world.

But it's curious – if someone observes that some other ethnicity dominates a nation, it is not necessarily assumed that said person is a bigot. If you note that white people still control the levers of power in the West, only ideological right-wingers will call you a racist.

But in the case of Jews, any accounting of their power which is expressed with less than complete adulation is automatically ascribed to anti-Semitism.

Hanshaw > , June 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm GMT

This is a brilliantly clever and wry piece of writing – can you imagine, if elected, a person with Hillary Clinton's kind of grasp of international affairs EVER coming to a grips with a world that is covertly 'influenced' – I shall not say 'ruled' – by the kinds of character described herein? Like her recent predecessors Hillary will naturally go with the flow and contribute nothing: just as she already did at State. Damn depressing but I imagine it has always been pretty much like this; only maybe less so.

Scott Locklin > , Website June 16, 2014 at 5:11 pm GMT

"If you want information about these issues read Steven Cohen and Timothy Snyder, very different in perspective but real authorities about whom you need have no worry."

Timothy Snyder is a gibbering propagandist who will tell you whatever the State Department wants you to hear at that particular moment about the political situation in Ukraine. You're better off reading the Lonely Planet guide to Ukraine (which, FWIIW, is also horrible). While I don't think much of Shamir; this article contains far less bullshit about Ukraine than a typical Snyder piece.

Norman Ravitch > , June 16, 2014 at 10:59 pm GMT

I intentionally coupled Tim Snyder with Steven Cohen, they have very different views but are worthy of respect.

Scott Locklin has opinions but no stature.

Scott Locklin > , Website June 17, 2014 at 12:17 am GMT

Yeah, that's sort of like the "choice" people are presented with in American elections: two varieties of baloney; the old Soviet apologist, and the neocon liar.

As for you: you've already been exposed for what you are. This week's obsessive compulsive NB ding dong.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 17, 2014 at 2:22 am GMT

Jews tend to retain certain positions at variance with mainstream conservatism, such as embracing immigration.

Why do you insist on promoting this falsehood?

1) The "Jews opened the borders to feel safer in a multicultural nation" is a deception* fabricated by Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald's sources, which throughout his career he's distorted beyond their original meaning, show pre-WWII American Jews (whose elite at the time was conservative) weren't interested in in non-white immigration. By 1965 the entire American elite wanted an end to national origins and, given his history of deception, there's no particular reason to trust MacDonald's version of events the Jews were the main force behind the act.

2) Jews want less immigration:

http://cis.org/ReligionAndImmigrationPoll

In contrast to many religious leaders, most members think immigration is too high.

Jews: 50 percent said it is too high; 5 percent said is too low; 22 percent just right.

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/10/12/2741253/poll-jewish-support-for-obama-falling

The survey asked its Jewish respondents: "A new law in Arizona gives police the power to ask people they've stopped to verify their residency status. Supporters say this will help crack down on illegal immigration. Opponents say it could violate civil rights and lead to racial profiling. On balance, do you support or oppose this law?"

The result was a slim majority in favor of the law: 52 percent to 46 percent.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_B._MacDonald#Academic_criticism

MacDonald has particularly been accused by other academics of academic fraud, saying that he has promoted anti-Semitic propaganda under the guise of what he says is a legitimate and academic search for truth.[27] He has also been accused of misrepresenting the sources he uses in that regard. Fenris State University professor Dr. Barry Mehler cited for example a quote from a 1969 dissertation by Sheldon Morris Neuringer titled American Jewry and United States immigration policy, 1881-1953 where MacDonald surmised that when Neuringer noted Jewish opposition in 1921 and 1924 to the anti-immigration legislation at the time was due more to it having the "taint of discrimination and anti-Semitism" as opposed to how it would limit Jewish immigration, MacDonald wrote, " Jewish opposition to the 1921 and 1924 legislation was motivated less by a desire for higher levels of Jewish immigration than by opposition to the implicit theory that America should be dominated by individuals with northern and western European ancestry." "It seems to me Mr. MacDonald is misrepresenting Mr. Neuringer in this case and I posted my query hoping that a historian familiar with the literature might have a judgment on MacDonald's use of the historical data," Mehler wrote, citing other examples.[28]

Yakov > , June 17, 2014 at 5:45 am GMT

'Times have changed Yakov! If you read the Forward, the Jerusalem Post, Tablet, the New York Times, or Time magazine, you will indeed hear how you rule the world.'

I don't read these publications, for everyone's benefit can you please provide a few links that will support your point? Namely, that the Jews rule the world. If you fail to provide them, the joke is on you.

There is some confusion about the nature of Zionism on this board that I would like to clarify. Zionism is a national liberation movement of the Jewish people, who are the indigenous inhabitants of the land Israel. Nobody questions the Arabs rights to Arabia why are the Jews' rights to Judea are not recognized by many? Anti-Zionism usually equals anti-Semitism.

SFG > , June 17, 2014 at 10:34 am GMT

"In contrast to many religious leaders, most members think immigration is too high."

Good point. I guess I should have said that *elite* Jews are enthusiastic immigration proponents–as with most things, there is a gap between the people and their overlords. This has the effect of resulting in the whole population being blamed for something they didn't actually support.

quercus > , June 17, 2014 at 11:45 am GMT

. " liberation movement of the Jewish people, who are the indigenous inhabitants ."
Actually, no, Yakov, Jews were NOT the indigenous inhabitants of that land. If one accepts there might be some truth in the biblical narrative, the people now referred to as "Jews", left Egypt, wandered around for 40 years, got into fights with other people, engaged in some internecine warfare, until finally, they TOOK OVER the land of Canaan, murdering most of its inhabitants.

A sordid bit of history that has been repeated throughout human history all too frequently. The only difference to this story is the claim made that some divine being promised the land to non- residents.

As a US citizen, I was born in a place that is held by force against others who might seek to make a claim, and according to the laws of those who hold it by force, I am 'told' I have a right to remain on this land. Is that 'right' right? That is one of those deep philosophical questions people far more intelligent than you or I have been pondering for millennia.

Yakov > , June 17, 2014 at 1:54 pm GMT

Philosophers can question anything including their own existence. Quercus, this is not a philosophical question but a question of healthy national identity and practical solution to an existential problem of the existence of the Jewish nation. Keep it simple: nobody questions that Arabia belongs to the Arabs, why Judea doesn't belong to the Jews at least from the Jewish perspective? Is this hard to understand? Is it hard to understand that Greece belong to the Greeks and not to the Turks?

Anonymous > , Disclaimer June 17, 2014 at 8:08 pm GMT

Not a good analogy. There are nothing but Arabs in the Arabian peninsula so there is no real question of Arabs vs others. There is no equivalent of Eastern European Jews coming in from the outside and trying to take control, so again, the analogy doesn't work. Of course, the Saudis have essentially claimed that all of the peninsula should be ruled by them (minus Yemen). That's why the Omanis have had to fight them off in the past. The basic principle of humans trying to take stuff from others applies on the AP as well as anywhere.

Zionism might be seen as a national liberation movement, but like many such movements, it comes at the expense of other nationalities. Arabs made up 90% of the population of IS-PAL in 1900. Jews snuck in under the protection of British imperial control and through superior organization, funding, and military capability, achieved control of the area. They are on their way to a gradual elimination of the Palestinians by driving down Palestinian birth rates, and coercing the migration of young Palestinians who need to find work. Eventually, it is hoped, the demographics will allow the annexation of all of "Eretz Israel" and a final solution to the Palestinian problem.

The fact that Jews owned a small chunk of the West Bank 2000 years ago and expanded that into a larger mini-empire for a century or two is no justification for the ongoing, gradual ethnic cleansing of the Arabs none of whom ever wanted to live under the iron heel of a Jewish state.

The Jews are not the only ones to take control of land this way, but there is absolutely no reason for the US to subsidize the process. Quite the contrary given what a strategic liability the Jewish state is for us.

Yakov > , June 18, 2014 at 2:39 am GMT

You are certainly entitled to your opinion that Israel is a strategic liability to the US. I will not contest this point.

The rest of your post is a distortion of the facts, which I also will not contest.

I only hope that you understand that Judea to Jews is at least like Arabia to Arabs, or Kosovo to Serbs, or Ararat to Arminians.
The greatness of us, Jews, is that after 2,000 years of exile http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaea_Capta_coinage we came back and reestablished ourselves in our ansestral land speaking our ancestral language. What other nation can show such a powerful national identity?

Karl > , June 18, 2014 at 12:54 pm GMT

It's easier to learn to read Hebrew newspapers fairly well, than to learn to understand spoken Ebonics.

I advise all interested parties to read the Hebrew press.

fnn > , June 18, 2014 at 3:19 pm GMT

Keep it simple: nobody questions that Arabia belongs to the Arabs, why Judea doesn't belong to the Jews at least from the Jewish perspective? Is this hard to understand? Is it hard to understand that Greece belong to the Greeks and not to the Turks?

Ethno-states are de facto illegal within the EU. It's likely a hate crime for a white Englishman (as traditionally understood) in England to call England an Anglo-Saxon country. When BNP was on the ascent the term "indigenous English" was regularly attacked in the mainstream press as devoid of meaning. Raceless/non-ethnic "constitutional patriotism" and "proposition country" formulations are the norm in the West. This is true even with respect to nationalist or separatist parties like SNP, Sinn Fein/IRA and the Catalan separatists.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 18, 2014 at 10:44 pm GMT

You are certainly entitled to your opinion that Israel is a strategic liability to the US. I will not contest this point.

I'll contest it.

A strategic liability compared to what other nations? Our support of Taiwan's independence against a China which is quite a ways more militarily dangerous than any Arab military. Or the thousands of troops and nuclear missles we defend South Korea with?

The strategic resources invested in Israel, $3 billion in aid which is mostly a subsidy for US arms manufacturers and diplomatic support, are puny relative to those we've devoted to numerous other countries.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 18, 2014 at 10:57 pm GMT

Ethno-states are de facto illegal within the EU.

So what? It was European gentile elites (Jews are single digits of the Western Euro elite because of WWII) who created their immigration policy .

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm GMT

I guess I should have said that *elite* Jews are enthusiastic immigration

In which case antisemites have no standing to even criticise Jews when they lie about the history of Jewish support for immigration and when gentile elites support immigration as much and even where Jews have little influence (e.g. Sweden).

Rove and Grover Norquist are Norwegian and Swedish, respectively. Tom Donahue of the Chamber of Commerce is Irish as are/were Ted Kennedy, John McCain and the WSJ's Bob Bartley who wanted a constitutional amendment stating "there shall be open borders.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 18, 2014 at 11:14 pm GMT

you will indeed hear how you rule the world.

America's elite is more or less 80% gentile. Jewish American overrepresentation is generally 20%, but can be pushed higher if partially Jewish elites like Pinch Sulzberger, Steve Ballmer, and John Paulson are counted as fully Jewish.

So while Jews certainly have outsized influence it can't honestly be called controlling or that gentiles have no say in affairs when gentiles are at ~80% and where Jews and gentiles both support basically the same policies.

The case "Jews control everything" is even weaker in Western Europe where their gentile elite is usually over 90% and Jews are in the single digits.

Ron Unz > , June 18, 2014 at 11:48 pm GMT

Participants should try to combine several replies into a single comment, addressing them individually by using a sequence of @s. Multiple successive comments by the same individual tend to clog up the comment-thread.

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 2:10 am GMT

We got a little sidetracked from the main topic of this article. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union the Slavic republics had abandoned their traditional policy of anti-zionism and anti-Semitism. The new policy had caused the Russian Jewish expatriates like myself to change our attitude as well. Israel is my true home, but it is natural for a person to be attached to the place of his birth. I love Russia, it's people, land, language, and literature. The former Slavic republics are friendly to Israel and the Jews. The Jews are portrayed fairly in the Russian media, contemporary literature and cinema. I enjoy dealing with Russians. Until now the same could have been said for Ukraine and Belarus. There is all the reason for growing cooperation.This may not sit well with numerous anti-Semites on this blog, but in the current Russian-Ukranian conflict Israel and the Jews don't have dog in the fight. I do support Russian position but as a Russian patriot whose grandparents and uncles fought and died for that land, not as a Jew. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to identify with Russia after a bitter past relationship.

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 2:13 am GMT

In response to my last post (#39–showing as "anonymous") you say:

"Our support of Taiwan's independence against a China which is quite a ways more militarily dangerous than any Arab military. Or the thousands of troops and nuclear missles we defend South Korea with?"

It's interesting that you use Taiwan as a contrast to Israel. In fact, we do NOT support Taiwan's independence. We maintain a "one-China" policy and we take no official position on Taiwanese sovereignty. We have modified our position on Taiwan and distanced ourselves from that entity over the years precisely because our post-WW II relationship with the ROC became a strategic liability. In order to build a strategic relationship with the PRC to counter the Soviet Union. This strategy proved successful in 1989, and we have further modified our position based on OUR and not Taiwan's national interests.

We have NEVER done that with Israel. George Marshall predicted that Israel would be a strategic disaster for the US, and he was right. Our self-destructive relationship with Israel has alienated much of the Arab and Muslim worlds and greatly weakened our long-term position in the Middle East and elsewhere. Our pro-Israel policies are gradually opening space for peer rivals in the region. In the past, we could delude ourselves about the high and growing costs of the Israel relationship, but now, it is obvious to all except those whose first loyalty is to Israel. Taiwan is an excellent contrast because it is an example of modifying a decreasingly effective strategy in order to realize new and emerging strategic goals.

With regard to Israel, we need to impose a peace with Palestine that conforms to our strategic needs. If Israel will not go along, we need to abandon it completely. We also need to impose a nuclear free agreement on the region–one that applies to ALL countries in the region. Again, either Israel follows our directives or we end all our subsides and diplomatic support.

Your South Korean example is totally irrelevant. Our relationship with the ROK has been and continues to be strategically useful.

So, one of your examples actually supports MY point and the other has no bearing on the question at all.

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 3:32 am GMT

@Oscar Peterson

'With regard to Israel, we need to impose a peace with Palestine that conforms to our strategic needs'.
Where in the Middle East or the world at large has US been able 'to impose a peace that conforms to our strategic needs'?

' Again, either Israel follows our directives or we end all our subsides and diplomatic support'. Is this the relationship that you advocate with every sovereign state?

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 4:21 am GMT

,

In cases where we (and the Europeans) subsidize both parties, we absolutely can use our leverage to compel the parties to a settlement that suits our strategic needs. We have never been shy about using that leverage on the Palestinians. It's time we started using it with full force on Israel: Here's what you, Israel, have to do to retain our support. If you want to go it alone, fine. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

"Is this the relationship that you advocate with every sovereign state?"

Absolutely. Our financial and diplomatic support are a privilege, not, as Israel seems to think, a right. We expend them–or we SHOULD expend them–in pursuit of OUR strategic interests, NOT simply because some other country has needs. Either Israel takes measures to change its current status as a US strategic liability, or we should dump it post haste. The first step, of course, is to defang our den of disloyal vipers better known as the Israel lobby.

SFG > , June 19, 2014 at 10:20 am GMT

" I do support Russian position but as a Russian patriot whose grandparents and uncles fought and died for that land, not as a Jew. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to identify with Russia after a bitter past relationship."

Weird. I would never have guessed that considering what all the Russian Jews over here in the USA say. Thanks!

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 11:06 am GMT

And what would is your answer to my first question?

'With regard to Israel, we need to impose a peace with Palestine that conforms to our strategic needs'.
Where in the Middle East or the world at large has US been able 'to impose a peace that conforms to our strategic needs'?

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm GMT

Weird. I would never have guessed that considering what all the Russian Jews over here in the USA say. Thanks!'

What do they say?

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm GMT

"Where in the Middle East or the world at large has US been able 'to impose a peace that conforms to our strategic needs'?"

What does that have to do with the specific question of Israel and the Palestine? We subsidize an Israeli state that is undermining our position in the world. If your point is that Israel may be unwilling to accede to the conditions that would rectify that problem, then you may be right. If that is the case, then we need to rid ourselves of the Israeli albatross and let it fend for itself.

norman ravitch > , June 19, 2014 at 4:10 pm GMT

Israel is the price we pay for:
1. Anti-Jewish immigration policy before and during WWII.
2. Guilt for the Holocaust in which all the European nations and America allowed the Germans to do their dirty work in decreasing the number of troublesome Jews around.

Other countries do not have these guilt feelings because Americans are for the most part more decent human beings.

Still, we can treat Israel, over a half century later, with realism and a consideration for our own national needs. Israel should now be no more important to us than Finland.

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm GMT

Norman Ravitch,

The US has never owed any group, whatever its circumstances, entry into this country, nor did we owe the Jews of Europe anything more than we owed the Tutsis and considerably less than we owe the Cherokees et al. The US should in no way be expected to compensate for the systemic problem of Jewish alienation of host populations which continues today.

Organized Jewry has, in the past, very adroitly and successfully spearheaded the effort to generate guilt feelings which, combined with considerable resources and extremely hard-ball politics, has left us with the unfolding strategic disaster we now confront.

Don't know why you say that Americans are more decent human beings than the rest of the world. Americans had the good fortune to take possession of a resource-rich and population-depleted continent where the zero-sum condition of scarcity was considerably reduced (though that is now changing.) That did not stop us from wiping out much of the native population (that had survived smallpox) and establishing a slave culture. If the native Americans had already developed immunity to European diseases and moved beyond a mesolithic level of development before we got here, the conquest of North American would have looked like Canaan or the Caucasus or Algeria or Palestine. To our credit, we have transcended these aspects of our culture to a large extent. But your implication that Jew-friendliness is some unique criterion for "decency" is absurd and, despite your last paragraph, evidence of self-obsession.

I obviously DO agree with your conclusion, but the issue is not simply what we "should" do but how we overcome the power of an Israel Lobby that has much of our governmental structure in it pocket. I'm rather afraid that "decency" will be inadequate to that task.

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 7:41 pm GMT

@Norman Ravich

Do I understand correctly that your comparison with Finland is intended to say that US should abandon Israel at times of war like it had abandoned Finland. And this is in the US strategic interest?

@Oscar Peterson

So to sum up your point in a somewhat crude manner: any country that is the recipient of us aid and diplomatic support should be treated like a prostitute? And this is in the US strategic interest?

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 10:31 pm GMT

"So to sum up your point in a somewhat crude manner "

Well your summary is certainly crude. US global strategy is not a charity operation. There is room for aid, but the aid recipient, must at the very least, not be a strategic liability. Israel, in particular, does not meet this criterion. I have outlined above the direction I think Israel is heading in its own strategic thinking, and this is totally at odds with a sound and productive regional US strategy in the Middle East. Israel has a profound sense of entitlement to all sorts of support, and this mind-set must be broken. Either that, or over the side it must go.

Yakov > , June 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm GMT

@Oscar Peyerson

'I have outlined above the direction I think Israel is heading in its own strategic thinking, and this is totally at odds with a sound and productive regional US strategy in the Middle East.'

What is this sound and productive regional US strategy?

'Either that, or over the side it must go.'

Why? Is it only because Israel is a strategic liability? Any country that is a strategic liability to the US 'should go over the side'? This is the policy that is in the US interest?

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm GMT

Weird. I would never have guessed that considering what all the Russian Jews over here in the USA say. Thanks!'

What do they say?

Yes, what do they say, SFG? Be detailed. Let's see if you can impress Yakov, an authentic FSU Jew, who'll know if you're a fake. I'm sure you're up to the task.

It's interesting that you use Taiwan as a contrast to Israel. In fact, we do NOT support Taiwan's independence. We maintain a "one-China" policy

$12 billion* in weapons sales means we do support Taiwanese independence. We maintain strategic ambiguity over Taiwan and strongly hinted our direct military intervention is possible if China tries to seize the island. Clinton moved warships to the Straight of Formosa in the 1990s when China was doing some saber rattling.
If there's been no break with Taiwan, why aren't you raising even a 1/100th of the protest to end relations with Tawain as with Israel?

Our self-destructive relationship with Israel has alienated much of the Arab and Muslim worlds

The Oscar Peterson Doctrine: America must any alliance with any nations in a territorial dispute against Muslims.
Your policy means the end diplomatic relations with the following nations:

1) Greece – conflict with Turkey over Crete and, in the past and maybe the future, Constantinople)
2) India – conflict with Pakistan and native Muslims over Kashmir
3) Russia – conflict over Chechnya)
4) China – conflict with Central Asian Muslim separatists

Taki, especially, should be out in the streets demanding the small, unimportant strategic liability on the Mediterranean, Greece, cede control of Crete to Turkey, to please the Arab street – or else have Athens carpet bombed.

We also need to impose a nuclear free agreement on the region–one that applies to ALL countries in the region.

Which means you would end all relations with nuclear armed Russia, China and India to please Muslims.

* http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/tightrope-diplomacy-us-arms-sales-taiwan

Congressional pressure (especially from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives) is mounting on the Obama administration to sell Taiwan more advanced weaponry. House members inserted an amendment in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act urging President Obama to sell Taipei the F-16 C and D models. Reports circulated in Taiwan that a senior Republican, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, assured Taiwanese officials during a visit to the island earlier this year that the United States would approve the sale of Apache attack helicopters in 2014 and Patriot missiles in 2015[

Oscar Peterson > , June 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm GMT

"Any country that is a strategic liability to the US 'should go over the side'? This is the policy that is in the US interest?"

Yes.

norman ravitch > , June 19, 2014 at 11:53 pm GMT

Russian and Ukrainian anti-semitism was entirely religiously based. It was never racial. It was the Jews who were racially hostile to the Slavic populations. Jews who converted to Russian Orthodoxy were fully assimilated into Russian society and culture.

In any case, why any Jew in Russia or Ukraine wants to remain there is hard to understand. Why don't they all go to Israel, as most of them have? Many prefer to come to the USA where the standard ov living is higher. The greatest embarrassment of the Zionists is that so many Jews have never wanted to live in Palestine-Israel.

norman ravitch > , June 19, 2014 at 11:54 pm GMT

Scratch a rabbi and you find a mullah or ayatollah!

Doesn't matter where: Israel, America, Russia, Timbuktu.

Oscar Peterson > , June 20, 2014 at 1:13 am GMT

"The Oscar Peterson Doctrine: America must [forswear] any alliance with any nations in a territorial dispute against Muslims."

Well, now you're just being obtuse. That absurd inference doesn't follow in the slightest from anything I have said. Russia and China are geopolitical rivals and their Muslim problems in the Caucasus and Xin Jiang are a strategic boon to us. We are not the strategic guarantor of either of these countries, and their treatment–or mistreatment–of their Muslim minorities does not reflect on us in anyone's perception except maybe yours. India/Kashmir basically falls in the same category. Though we have developed closer relations with India over the last 15 years, the Kashmir issue is not laid on our doorstep. It could potentially become a problem for us in the future, so we will see. The Turkey-Greece acrimony has diminished greatly over the last decade, and, for now, is not a significant issue. In short, none of your examples come close to substantiating your argument, if we can really call that an argument.

The case of Israel is obviously a very different one, which even you must be able to grasp. Unlike the three large Eurasian powers you reference, Russia, PRC, and India, the US has no subjugated Muslim minority concentrated in a distinct geographical region of the country. In great power competition, this is a big point on our side and explains in part why we were once so warmly welcomed in the Middle East. We are well down the road to squandering that estimable strategic advantage through our support to the infiltration of Eastern European Jews into the region and to the subsequent imposition of a Jewish state on unwilling Arabs. Unlike the other cases, we ARE responsible in large part for what Israel has done. As the Zionist ambition for Eretz Israel gravitates towards the gradual elimination of the Palestinian population and the ultimate annexation of the the remaining Palestinian land, the ill will of Muslims worldwide, but especially in the Muslim heartland of the ME, is set in stone, threatening the highly advantageous position we achieved after WW II, even as we have to contend with rising powers and a weakened economy.

Our relationship with Israel is an unfolding disaster for us and must be either changed to suit OUR–not Israel's–requirements or discarded entirely.

It is evidently your self-appointed task to defend the interests of Israel as you see them. Are you an Israeli citizen? I hope so–or, at least, that you are not an American.

Yakov > , June 20, 2014 at 1:15 am GMT

@Norman Ravitch
It was the Jews who were racially hostile to the Slavic populations.'

In what way may I ask?

@Oscar Peterson

Maybe you can find a few minutes to explain what is this 'sound and productive regional US strategy'? I think the whole board can benefit from your explanation.

@Ron Unz

Ron, I'm for freedom of speech for everybody, but I don't see how we benefit from baiting and inflammatory comments if we are trying to have a serious discussion.

Ron Unz > , June 20, 2014 at 1:42 am GMT

I'm for freedom of speech for everybody, but I don't see how we benefit from baiting and inflammatory comments if we are trying to have a serious discussion.

That's a perfectly valid point. However, in one of your earlier comments you stated:

Zionism is a national liberation movement of the Jewish people, who are the indigenous inhabitants of the land Israel. Nobody questions the Arabs rights to Arabia why are the Jews' rights to Judea are not recognized by many? Anti-Zionism usually equals anti-Semitism.

Now it seems to me that throughout a large portion of the world's population, that comment of yours would be considered extremely "baiting" and "inflammatory." So perhaps I should have refused to publish it or even banned you as a consequence.

The central problem is that on controversial topics, people have a wide variety of different standards regarding what they perceive as unacceptable positions to take.

Yakov > , June 20, 2014 at 1:58 am GMT

@Ron Unz
I'm new to the blog and just wanted to understand your approach. Thanks.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 20, 2014 at 3:53 am GMT

Russia and China are geopolitical rivals and their Muslim problems in the Caucasus and Xin Jiang are a strategic boon to us. We are not the strategic guarantor of either of these countries, and their treatment–or mistreatment–of their Muslim minorities does not reflect on us in anyone's perception except maybe yours. India/Kashmir basically falls in the same category.

The Peterson doctrine is even better applied to China and India than Israel. Both nations depend on America for their economic development. What better way to prove our friendship than to deliver an ultimatum to two large, powerful nations to give up territory to Islam or be completely cutoff from the United States as you want Israel to be?

We are well down the road to squandering that estimable strategic advantage through our support to the infiltration of Eastern European Jews into the region

If Muslims care that deeply about the oppression of fellow Muslims, why is Putin able to simultaneously enjoy good relations with both Arab states and Israel while repressing Chechens more brutally than Israel does the Palestinians?

Unlike the other cases, we ARE responsible in large part for what Israel has done.

By the standard you judge Israel, we are certainly responsible for India's mistreatment of Kashmiris. Israel and India enjoy the military cooperation, weapons sales, and diplomatic support from America. Which makes us a co-conspirator to India's crimes against Kashmir. Isn't it time we join our Muslim brothers and end diplomatic ties with India?

The Turkey-Greece acrimony has diminished greatly over the last decade, and, for now, is not a significant issue

If Crete isn't a potential flashpoint, the Greeks and Turks don't know it. Both sides maintain armed forces near their border, which tells us their militaries do think the chances of armed conflict is high.

If Greece and Turkey think war is possible, so must the Peterson doctrine. In the (plausible) chance they go to war over Crete, then your logic means we break off all relations with Christian Greece until they agree to all of Islamic Turkey's territorial demands.

If it were up to you, you would break off relations with Greece if they refused, wouldn't you?

Yakov > , June 20, 2014 at 3:56 am GMT

@ Norman Ravitch

Scratch a rabbi and you find a mullah or ayatollah!

Doesn't matter where: Israel, America, Russia, Timbuktu.'

How is this relevant to our discussion? Do you feel this way only about ayatollahs and rabbies or about clearly in general? Why?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnwI2jcQ2Ww&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Yakov > , June 20, 2014 at 3:57 am GMT

I meant cleargy.

Oscar Peterson > , June 20, 2014 at 6:23 am GMT

Your posts are becoming progressively more ludicrous. Just throw a lot of stuff against the wall and see if anything sticks, eh?

"The Peterson doctrine is even better applied to China and India than Israel. Both nations depend on America for their economic development. What better way to prove our friendship than to deliver an ultimatum to two large, powerful nations to give up territory to Islam or be completely cutoff from the United States as you want Israel to be?"

Obviously, the point is not to "prove friendship" with Muslims or anyone else. It's to pursue and manage interests. Your simplistic understanding of our relationship with Russia and China is laughable. And no one views the US as connected in any way to the actions of those two towards Muslims in their respective states. The Zionist infiltration of Palestine under the protection of the British Empire and the subsequent conquest of Arab land is not accepted by Arabs in particular and Muslims in general. Why should it be? We made a huge strategic error in ever supporting the establishment of the Jewish state in the first place. Now it must be brought to heel or put on the other side of a "separation fence." That should be obvious to anyone who places US interests first.

"If Muslims care that deeply about the oppression of fellow Muslims, why is Putin able to simultaneously enjoy good relations with both Arab states and Israel while repressing Chechens more brutally than Israel does the Palestinians?"

Putin has plenty of problems with the Arabs–some of the same ones that we do. The Saudis have funded the Chechen-Dagestani insurgency on and off over the years and implied that they could leash or unleash terror campaigns there depending on the Russian position on Syria, which should tell you something right there. Second, simply having good relations in the near term with decaying state regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt while alienating the broader population–which will translate into a more hostile leadership sooner or later–is very poor strategic thinking. We need to solve our Israel problem NOW while we still DO have relatively good relations with many states. Third, the psychological impact of the Zionist-chosenist conquest of Palestine in the Arab Muslim heartland is much deeper and broader than mistreatment of Muslims around the periphery of Islam in Chechnya, Xin Jiang or Kashmir. This is why we suffer more from our debilitating relationship with Israel than the other cases you are so desperately referencing.

"By the standard you judge Israel, we are certainly responsible for India's mistreatment of Kashmiris. Israel and India enjoy the military cooperation, weapons sales, and diplomatic support from America. Which makes us a co-conspirator to India's crimes against Kashmir. Isn't it time we join our Muslim brothers and end diplomatic ties with India?"

How would "ending diplomatic ties with India" help the US? Unlike the case of Israel/Palestine, no one is associating us with the Kashmir problem. And unlike Israel, India actually provides us with strategic benefits vis-a-vis China. India is not a strategic liability. Israel IS a strategic liability. Is that simple enough for you?

"If Crete isn't a potential flashpoint, the Greeks and Turks don't know it. Both sides maintain armed forces near their border, which tells us their militaries do think the chances of armed conflict is high. If Greece and Turkey think war is possible, so must the Peterson doctrine. In the (plausible) chance they go to war over Crete, then your logic means we break off all relations with Christian Greece until they agree to all of Islamic Turkey's territorial demands."

First of all, if you can't even tell the difference between Crete and Cyprus–which is actually the issue you are trying to raise–then you shouldn't even use the example. There is no problem in Cyprus that threatens US interests–period! Just give it up.

Now what about an answer to my question from my last post: Are you a loyal Israeli or a disloyal "American?" How many passports do you hold? Where DO your loyalties lie? Not with the US, that's for sure!

norman ravitch > , June 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm GMT

My point is that the rabbis have made the Jews what they are. You can fill in the blanks.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer June 20, 2014 at 4:59 pm GMT

@Oscar Peterson

Maybe you can find a few minutes over the weekend to explain what is this 'sound and productive regional US strategy'? I think the whole board can benefit from your explanation.

Many people have conflicting loyalties and deal with them through their lives. Why this focus on Jews only?

norman ravitch > , June 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm GMT

They focus on Jews because of the Zionist Lobby. But you are right, many focus on the Jews out of principle -- the principle of anti semitism -- and find a use for their focus later. Because this website encourages unorthodox thinking and opinion it necessarily encourages Jew haters, as well as other haters.

norman ravitch > , June 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm GMT

There wasn't much anti Irish opinion when all Irish politicians here were going out of their way to support the terrorist Irish Republican Army. Look at Congressman Pete King of NY and all the Irish politians in Massachusetts. Perhaps some were afraid of appearing anti-Catholic. Anti-Catholics no longer are afraid thanks to the pedaphile crisis.

On the subject of anti-Catholics, probably Protestants and secular men molest minors and women just as much and perhaps more than Catholic priests, but it is easier to criticize a Church which has failed to be what Jesus asked it to be. No one expects Protestant churches to be what Jesus expected of them, as they have never seemed very Christian to some of us Romanists.

Oscar Peterson > , June 20, 2014 at 6:52 pm GMT

@Anon

"Many people have conflicting loyalties and deal with them through their lives. Why this focus on Jews only?"

Because the multiple loyalties of Israel's zealous supporters, including Zionist Christians and others who are gulled into passively supporting this destructive relationship are having a particularly pernicious effect on the position of the US in the world and, by extension, on the future security and prosperity of the American people. This is not some academic or theoretical point. Does it not make sense to you to focus on more significant, rather than less significant, issues? Of course, you can disagree with the premise–that this phenomenon is especially threatening–as other posters here have been doing, but I don't find the disagreement in any way compelling. On the contrary, I find the arguments presented either delusional or deeply dishonest or a mixture of the two.

@ Norman Ravitch

Your point about the IRA is a valid one. Peter King is a hypocrite in too many ways to list here. The two issues are actually quite similar up to a point. A lobby's power saddles the US with a systemically bad policy. But the difference is that the damage done to long-term US interests and strategy stemming from Israel and its vicious lobby is incomparably more devastating than that of the Irish or Cuban or any other conniving interest group. So, don't try to use the Irish terror lobby to deflect the long-overdue exposure of the psychopathic Israel lobby and its own, especially deleterious brand of dual loyalty.

norman ravitch > , June 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm GMT

I AM NOT SEEKING TO DEFLECT CRITICISM OF ISRAEL BY FOCUSING ON IRELAND. I HAVE BEEN AS CRITICAL OF THE ZIONISTS AS ANYONE. YOUR SUSPICION LEADS ME TO BELIEVE PERHAPS, ONLY PERHAPS, YOU HAVE OTHER ISSUES AT HAND.

Too much concern with the Jews raises a whole host of questions. The Israel Lobby and the Zionist question are not the most outrageous in recent American history.

Oscar Peterson > , June 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm GMT

@ Norman Ravitch

"I HAVE BEEN AS CRITICAL OF THE ZIONISTS AS ANYONE."

Yes, I've seen your bit about how our relationship with Israel should be like the one with Finland. But there is no prospect of it being anything like Finland. What are YOUR prescriptions to make the relationship more like Finland? What actions are you willing to take to make it like Finland? Do you believe it will just happen by itself? Do you or do you not agree that our relationship with Israel is, in fact, inimical to our interests and to our long-term welfare?

"Too much concern with the Jews raises a whole host of questions. The Israel Lobby and the Zionist question are not the most outrageous in recent American history."

To be honest, I'm not that interested in the questions it raises for you. That seems like a smokescreen to me. And what does it mean to say that "the Israel Lobby and the Zionist question are not the most outrageous in recent American history?" Well, yes, of course there are other issues, but IF they are of so much greater concern to you, why are you wasting time here when you could be focused on THEM wherever it is that they are being addressed and debated? Frankly, your criticism of Zionism and, specifically, of our Israel problem appears to be of the distinctly "faux" variety.

Stop whining about "too much concern with the Jews" and give us your appraisal of the US-Israel issue, your understanding of its strategic context and implications, and any broad prescriptions you might have. I have already done so in my posts (though Yakov continues to pester me for further restatements), so I am most interested to hear you go beyond the rather vague and mystical pronouncements you have been making about Israel and Finland.

SFG > , June 20, 2014 at 10:19 pm GMT

"Yes, what do they say, SFG? Be detailed. Let's see if you can impress Yakov, an authentic FSU Jew, who'll know if you're a fake. I'm sure you're up to the task."

LOL I haven't been keeping up with this thread. But if Unz wants comments, he knows what to publish.

The two I knew complained of anti-Semitism and the occasional beatings. They had nothing nice to say about Russian culture.

And no, I'm not a fake, though I have no clue how I'd prove that online. I could be three skinheads in a bunker in Terre Haute, a guy in a shack in Boca Raton, or a guy chomping a pastrami in a deli on the corner of Park and Lexington. Though if you're for real you'll be able to pick out the mistake in my last paragraph.

norman ravitch > , June 20, 2014 at 11:12 pm GMT

What do you wish me to say? Yes, Israel is not an ally that does us much good. Yes, it has interests not at all compatible with American interests. But all countries have interests that clash and yet can be temporarily reconciled in the interest of something greater. What I refuse to do, as you anti-semites (yes, I think perhaps this is a correct name for y'all) do is to identify Israel and its interests as permanently evil. What could be more evil than Islam, a medieval semitic revenge against Christianity and true intellectual honesty. The Jews are not as bad as the Muslims, historically speaking. Perhaps they might have been had they had power; but they didn't.

Oscar Peterson > , June 21, 2014 at 1:16 am GMT

OK–your comment is interesting at any rate.

But what a contradictory mess: "What I refuse to do, as you anti-semites (yes, I think perhaps this is a correct name for y'all) do is to identify Israel and its interests as permanently evil. What could be more evil than Islam, a medieval semitic revenge against Christianity and true intellectual honesty. The Jews are not as bad as the Muslims, historically speaking."

A condemnation of "anti-semitism" immediately followed by the equation of semites, Islam and evil–all in two sentences! Not sure what you mean by "permanently evil," and I don't agree with your characterization of Islam, but that's another subject that we don't need to get into.

Well, I'm done with this string. Bonam noctem.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 21, 2014 at 1:35 am GMT

The Zionist infiltration of Palestine under the protection of the British Empire and the subsequent conquest of Arab land is not accepted by Arabs in particular and Muslims in general.

Islam is hanging on to a number of holy sites they acquired through not so moral ways. Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria. The last remaining Zoroastrians called, they'd like Persia back.

We made a huge strategic error in ever supporting the establishment of the Jewish state in the first place.

America got involved in the Middle East to block Soviet Russia from gaining hegemony over the world's oil supply. As a NATO allied proxy state, Israel proved useful enough.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower_Doctrine

Putin has plenty of problems with the Arabs–

And doesn't let them dictate who can be allies with. If he can get away with angering Muslims in select cases why can't we?

Second, simply having good relations in the near term with decaying state regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt while alienating the broader population–which will translate into a more hostile leadership sooner or later–

Again, Putin is doing just that without shedding a tear for the 'democratic' Arab street. Syria's Assad and Egypt's new military junta all have his backing:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/10635530/Vladimir-Putin-backs-Egypt-army-chief-Abdulfattah-al-Sisi-for-president.html

Third, the psychological impact of the Zionist-chosenist conquest of Palestine in the Arab Muslim heartland is much deeper and broader than mistreatment of Muslims around the periphery of Islam in Chechnya, Xin Jiang or Kashmir.

Muslims have endless territorial claims that will never be satisfied unless the entire globe converts to their absurd religion.

They also consider their loss of Al-Andalus as an even greater Naqba than Israel's war of independence. If Islamic immigrants in Spain were to demand their neighborhood secede from Spain and rejoin Morocco, would you demand Spain to surrender their demands?

Unlike the case of Israel/Palestine, no one is associating us with the Kashmir problem. And unlike Israel, India actually provides us with strategic benefits vis-a-vis China. India is not a strategic liability. Israel IS a strategic liability.

Were you aware Pakistan is Muslim? Pakistanis associate India's occupation of Kashmir with American meddling and they've consistently been one of the most anti-American of all Islamic nations. In order to stay consistent with your doctrine, our diplomatic ties with India relations must go.

First of all, if you can't even tell the difference between Crete and Cyprus–

I obviously meant Cyprus.

As for the possibility of conflict over it, both Turkey and Greece have invested significant military assets to fight the other, both on the island and in the rest of the Aegean. Their armies wouldn't be deployed unless they think there's a realistic chance of war.

With both Greeks and Turks think war is possible, what would you do in that case? If you followed your strategy of placating Muslim territorial demands, you would have to break off relations with Greece and side with Islamic Turkey; we can't have Dar Al-Islam upset.

Yakov > , June 22, 2014 at 2:34 am GMT

'The two I knew complained of anti-Semitism and the occasional beatings. They had nothing nice to say about Russian culture.'

I grew up in a working class neighborhood and beatings or rather fights were a permanent feature of our lives. To live with dignity I trained in boxing from the age of eleven. By my bar-mizva I was more than holding my own. Russians do fight a lot and for a Jew in a tough neighborhood life can be a nightmare. So what they told you is true. The Russians, in my times, did not like Jews as a group but liked having Jewish friends. I was popular with Russian girls not just because I was smart and a good fighter that offered protection, but as I realized later on, because the Jews have a name of not drinking, not being physically abusive and, yes of course, for having money.

If they had nothing good to say about Russian culture it reflects poorly on them.

John Cole > , June 23, 2014 at 10:15 pm GMT

This thread is great fun in that it educates and entertains. I realise it's necessary to take the extremes with a grain of salt.

Yakov > , June 24, 2014 at 1:20 am GMT

I've read that there wasn't a family in Finland that hadn't suffered a casualty in its was with the Soviet Union. Would it be so terrible if this little nation had a powerful lobby in Washington to influence the US government to support its territorial integrity? Wouldn't it be in the interests of the US to support a democratic, European and Christian nation against a barbaric conquest? Would American people sympathize with Finland? Wouldn't they find it in their hearts to to save this little nation? Firm American support could have prevented that war.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 24, 2014 at 1:49 am GMT

Oscar,

If Greece and Turkey fight a war doesn't the logic of your Israel doctrine call for us to favor Islamic Turkey and break off all support for Greece?

If not, why not?

SFG > , June 25, 2014 at 1:28 am GMT

"To live with dignity I trained in boxing from the age of eleven. "

That's it then. The combination of fighting and erudition in Russia always struck me as odd–but then again, that is one of the things about other cultures; they do not fit into the mental schemes you are familiar with.

"Would it be so terrible if this little nation had a powerful lobby in Washington to influence the US government to support its territorial integrity?"

Oh yeah, I'd definitely support the Finns over the Russians. But should they become a major recipient of US aid and get us in a hairy mess with a rival power? We're staying out of the Ukraine because we don't want to start WW3. I mean, don't get me wrong; when the Arabs finally overrun Israel and water their camels in the ruins of the semiconductor factories, it will be a huge civilizational loss (though we may be able to get us some PhDs with no loyalty to China). But is it good for the Americans to have the Arabs hate us? Is Israel still worth any strategic advantage?

Yakov > , June 25, 2014 at 4:01 am GMT

'I mean, don't get me wrong; when the Arabs finally overrun Israel '

What makes you think so? Please listen to the first 3 minutes.

' Oh yeah, I'd definitely support the Finns over the Russians. '

Russians don't have any beef with Finland, it was Stalin and USSR.

SFG > , June 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm GMT

It's not that important who won in Lebanon. The Israelis are massively outnumbered and the USA is going to get sick of supporting them. Short-term, they can't be beat; long-term, they are doomed. Why would we succeed where the Crusaders failed?

Russia and Finland? Fair enough.

The Undiscovered Jew > , June 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm GMT

Oscar,

If Greece and Turkey declare war on each other, shouldn't your doctrine compel us to abandon Greece?

Come on, you paleocons are always crying about not having your arguments direcly confronted. Now your logic is being challenged and you can't even give a straight answer. How are you going to get the mighty ethnostate off the ground if you can't so much as handle a little internet debate?

But is it good for the Americans to have the Arabs hate us?

What good would come from them liking us?

Yakov > , June 29, 2014 at 5:15 am GMT

The point of the video was not that Israel had won but WHY it had won.

Why would we succeed where the Crusaders failed?'
I assume that 'we' are the Jews. There are no guarantees, but it looks good for us. Just like Armenia fights for its land so will we because we are the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel. Remember – it's not the size of the man in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the man.

Russian TV had a long program on the Israeli army where they interviewed immigrants from FSU currently serving in the IDF. At the end they asked a question which remained open: why is Israel able to have an army that gives it's young people a positive experience wheras Russian army fails to do so? What was different about IDF? Was it the army or the character of the people that made it different? In Israel kids after high-school spend a year in a military preparatory program being trained by professionals in order to get into elite combat troops and pay for it out of their own pocket. Can you name any other country where this happens?

SFG > , June 30, 2014 at 11:40 am GMT

"I assume that 'we' are the Jews. There are no guarantees, but it looks good for us. Just like Armenia fights for its land so will we because we are the indigenous inhabitants of the Land of Israel. Remember – it's not the size of the man in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the man"

Numbers are a big deal too–a single US Army squad would eventually fall to the Taliban after they ran out of bullets. Without allies Israel cannot win.

As for the Russians–I can well see why Russia would look to the Israelis for ways to restore national pride, and it is a change of tone from the past. But an army isn't supposed to give its young people a positive experience, it's supposed to defend the country. Being in an elite Israeli combat unit gives you a leg up on jobs in the future in high tech, which can be quite lucrative. I'm not Russian, but I don't get the sense 'doing well' in the Russian Army puts you on track for anything except a Russian Army job, which isn't much fun even if you do like the army. Israel, for all its problems, isn't nearly as corrupt as Russia.

Markus > , July 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm GMT

The truth is "antisemitic". (Nevermind todays jews are a mix-mash of southern Europeans, semites and asians)

Yakov > , July 3, 2014 at 3:28 am GMT


'Without allies Israel cannot win.'

True, and this is what diplomacy and lobbying are for.

'I'm not Russian, but I don't get the sense 'doing well' in the Russian Army puts you on track for anything except a Russian Army job. '

In Russia it's generally considered proper for a man to serve in the army as an expression of patriotism and manhood. It certainly wins you points with women.

' Being in an elite Israeli combat unit gives you a leg up on jobs in the future in high tech, which can be quite lucrative.'

All it does is to serve as an indicator of your character qualities and, if you are an officer, of your managerial ability. I don't think anybody goes into the army to get high tech jobs. On the other hand many employees wouldn't hire someone who hadn't served in the IDF.

Kyle McKenna > , July 4, 2014 at 1:39 am GMT

Endless, endless ranting and obsession with The Tribe.

Forget the rest of humanity–it's all about The Tribe!

Yakov > , July 6, 2014 at 3:20 am GMT

@Willam Catto

This post IS about the Jews. You haven't made it clear in your comment if you are addressing Ron Unz for posting disproportionately about Jews, or commenters on this post. I cannot speak for Ron, but speaking for myself I believe that my comments were related to the subject at hand and are not indication of an obsession.

As an example, can you post a comment about humanity that would be germane to the subject at hand?

Anonymous > , Disclaimer July 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm GMT

UNZ must limit comments of thsoe people who go after whoever dare to talk about zionist Jews who have taken over world politics and economic and kill at will.
The troll "norman ravitch", to me, is the following zionist agent who pose as 'anti imperalist' , but in fact is a propagandist for zionist war machine, USG and its stooges in Washington. Last time was trying so hard for an invasion of Syria where it failed.

This stooge writes with different names to fool others, but at the end he himself.

http://louisproyect.org/2014/06/16/blood-spirit-the-family-and-soil-a-response-to-israel-shamir/

SFG > , July 16, 2014 at 12:31 am GMT

"UNZ must limit comments of thsoe people who go after whoever dare to talk about zionist Jews who have taken over world politics and economic and kill at will.
The troll "norman ravitch", to me, is the following zionist agent who pose as 'anti imperalist' , but in fact is a propagandist for zionist war machine, USG and its stooges in Washington. Last time was trying so hard for an invasion of Syria where it failed."

You mean he should limit people who disagree with you? I'm not disagreeing with you about the power of the rest of the media, but comments on an Internet bulletin board?

Anonymous > , Disclaimer July 16, 2014 at 11:37 am GMT

{You mean he should limit people who disagree with you?}

As long as the person in the link, censors any comment that slightly differs from his reactionary
position, then other outlets MUST do the same.

Bill Jones > , July 18, 2014 at 2:45 am GMT

@SFG A Zionist is a racist.

SFG > , July 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm GMT

Bill Jones:

Sure, but most of the people here are in favor of racism. So why does every other race get a homeland but Jews?

I think Israel's situation is untenable in the long run, but I don't see why they can't exist as long as they can.

Yakov > , July 20, 2014 at 3:43 am GMT

@ Bill Jones

'A Zionist is a racist.'

Any more than a Dashnak or a Chetnick?

Director > , July 29, 2014 at 12:57 am GMT

@Cahokia I agree. However what do the Chinese think of this? The Middle Kingdom suck up to Jerusalem?

Shuddh Bharatiyaan > , July 29, 2014 at 9:10 pm GMT

"The erotic reliefs of Hindu temples with their gravity-defying and anatomy-challenging positions have found a new modern competitor in the Ukrainian crisis."

Hindjews!

http://www.satirewire.com/news/may02/hinjews.shtml

RELIGIOUS MERGER CREATES 900 MILLION HINJEWS
Attainment of Nirvana Still Goal, But Not So Important
That You Should Miss Cousin Vijay's Bar Mitzvah

Anonymous > , Disclaimer June 19, 2015 at 5:07 am GMT

@norman ravitch A very old thread this is, I know. But hey, it costs me nothing to post this, so

"miserable excuses for human beings, the negroes"

Does your kind even understand how vile you are?

"Wipe out those diabolical Muslims once and for all."

The most diabolical of all His creations, has usually had very pale skin. Maybe you should try the above, then perhaps you could get a taste of His wrath, sooner than later.

You guys are living proof that He created a group of humans to have inordinate privilege and success in this life, which will blind them to the truth about the meaning of being here, transgress so much, that they will be completely left out from an everlasting success later. You think that is a good bargain?

Varenik > , June 19, 2015 at 8:37 pm GMT

@SFG " I do support Russian position but as a Russian patriot whose grandparents and uncles fought and died for that land, not as a Jew. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to identify with Russia after a bitter past relationship."
Seconded.

Rita Lama > , October 30, 2015 at 8:39 pm GMT

@Yakov 'Arabs', 'Greeks' and 'Jews' You are comparing three different things

Igor > , December 1, 2015 at 6:45 pm GMT

Jews are enemies of the whole nojewish populations of the palnet.
we have to treat them as such. all of them. with no exception. they killed 70 millionof my fellow slavic sisters and brothers.
look at this quote:
"These Nazis are not against Jews, they are against Russians, so it is not a Jewish problem", they say.
does not need anything else, but 7.62×39.

Anonymous > , Website Disclaimer December 25, 2015 at 5:51 pm GMT

@Johnny F. Ive [In comments, capitalization represents "shouting" and commenters who shout too much may have their remarks trashed.]

As a Christian President Putin's job is to be a "PEACE MAKER" a title that use to be worn by the United States, back in the days when Christians were in control of our government, but as the Zionist jews took control of our governmental institutions and communications systems, from printed to electronics, America became KNOWN AS THE BULLY OF THE WORLD, and reason why nobody has respect for it any more, been fearful of a nation does not command RESPECT, instead it creates HATE AND DESPISE FOR AMERICA AROUND THE WORLD WHO IN ITS RIGHT MIND COULD MAKE THE CLAIME THAT THEY LOVE CHAOS, AND THAT IS WHAT AMERICA AND ISRAHELL REPRESENT AMONGST NATIONS.

[MORE]
As far as Putin goes He KNOWS WHO THOSE PARASITES IN ISRAHELL ARE THEY CAME OUT OF WHAT WAS ONCE THEIR CHAOTIC EMPIRE KNOWN AS THE SOVIET UNION AN EMPIRE THAT THE ONLY THING THAT KEPT THEM AS THE TERROR OF THE UNIVERSE WAS THAT AFTER STEALING ALL THE SECRETS OF WHAT IT TOOK TO BUILT A NUCLEAR WAR HEAD THANKS TO THE AMERICAN JEW WHO GAVE IT TO THE JEWS IN RUSSIA, WHILE EVERY THING ELSE RELATED TO ECONOMICS WAS A TOTAL DESASTER JUST LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO WITH NATIONS THAT THEY DESTROY, BEFORE SPLITING OUT LIKE RATS LEAVE A SINKING SHIP THEY ARE MASTERS AT DOING THAT AFTER ALL THEY BEEN DOING IT FOR CENTURIES.

So President Putin knows that the leaders of all chaos around the world are the international Zionist jews. that is why He is making a stand against their satanic philosophy. and why perhaps Russia as a Christian nation may end up having to confront those satanic parasites.

Anonymous > , Website Disclaimer December 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm GMT

@Kyle McKenna the reason why so much attention is been placed on the damn tribe is because they are like a cancer in the body of humanity if humanity does not take care of that cancer all of humanity will die.

we are playing the part of the medical interns that are exchanging information as to how to go about getting rid of that cancer. in order to survive because is coming to that point for the world to deal with either get rid of 50 million jews or getting rid of billions of humans that have been treated like slaves through out their life time and it has not been able to see the end of the tunel yet, because many lazy non Christians prefer to burry their pea brain in the sand that find the truth to their every day problem

Anonymous > , Website Disclaimer December 25, 2015 at 6:06 pm GMT

@Bill Jones Billy been a racist is a mild way of calling the jews and their behavior, you can be a racist because you don't want to associate yourself with someone but that does not means that you want to kill them.

a damn JEW IS A DAMN ROUGH BEAST THAT UNLESS IS TAMED OR DESTROYED THEIR HATE TOWARDS ANY ONE THAT IS NON JEW WILL BE DESTROYED NOT ONLY IN THEIR EVERY DAY LIFE BUT IN ITS TOTAL LIFE LIKE SENDING YOU 6′ UNDER AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO GIVE THEM AREASON TO BE HATED THEY JUST HATE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A DAMN JEW LIKE THEMSELVES.

Anonymous > , Website Disclaimer December 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm GMT

@The Undiscovered Jew WE THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA DID NOT THE STRATIGIC MISTAKE TO LET THE JEWS INVADE PALESTINE EVERY THING WAS ORCHESTRATED BY THE JEWISH MAFIA ON BOTH SIDES OF THE POUND AMERICA HAD ALREADY BEEN INVADED AND BROUGH UNDER SUBMITION BY THE EARLY PART OF THE 1900′S.

And England was taken over by the jews through intermarriage with the royals several centuries ago that English queen they have and all its rothen family are JEWISH, AND SO IS ALL OF OUR GOVERNMENT IN AMERICA WITH VERY FEW EXCEPTIONS.

in the middle > , January 8, 2016 at 4:24 am GMT

@Yakov Mr. Yakov:

If Jewish people are indigenous inhabitants of Israel, and it is their land, then why are you and I still outside this so called land of Israel? Lets send the Italians back to Italy, Irish, etc. NO, otherwise the US will be a semi desolate place, with natives only inhabiting this vast land. I met three fellow Jews in the service, and only one was likeable. The other two were overbearing and jerks. I never told them I was Jewish from my mother's side; I also met another Israeli back in California, who was from Yerushalem, en Israel, a really nice guy.( Oh, the nice Jewish person in the service, was Baptist, he had left the faith of his parents.)

I read what happened in Ukraine, back in the Holodomor, and the participation of Jews in the Armenian killings, Russian killings, ad unfinutum. I'm still digesting all these listings, and cannot feel desperation if indeed we did it. Did we?

[Sep 17, 2017] Who Is the Real Enemy by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
"... And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation. ..."
Notable quotes:
"... And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation. ..."
"... Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times ..."
"... Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy ..."
"... What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf. ..."
"... You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran. ..."
"... The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him. ..."
"... That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding. ..."
"... The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard. ..."
"... Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago. ..."
"... The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest. ..."
"... The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer. ..."
"... Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them. ..."
"... There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals. ..."
"... Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential. ..."
"... Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that. ..."
"... Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance. ..."
"... And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country. ..."
"... The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world's largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation.

Also, I would characterize international terrorism as a faux threat at a national level, though one that has been exaggerated through the media and fearmongering to such an extent that it appears much more dangerous than it actually is. It has been observed that more Americans are killed by falling furniture than by terrorists in a year but terrorism has a particularly potency due to its unpredictability and the fear that it creates. Due to that fear, American governments and businesses at all levels have been willing to spend a trillion dollars per annum to defeat what might rationally be regarded as a relatively minor problem.

So if the United States were serious about dealing with or deflecting the actual threats against the American people it could first of all reduce its defense expenditures to make them commensurate with the actual threat before concentrating on three things. First, would be to establish a solid modus vivendi with Russia and China to avoid conflicts of interest that could develop into actual tit-for-tat escalation. That would require an acceptance by Washington of the fact that both Moscow and Beijing have regional spheres of influence that are defined by their interests. You don't have to like the governance of either country, but their national interests have to be appreciated and respected just as the United States has legitimate interests within its own hemisphere that must be respected by Russia and China.

Second, Washington must, unfortunately, continue to spend on the Missile Defense Agency, which supports anti-missile defenses if the search for a modus vivendi for some reason fails. Mutual assured destruction is not a desirable strategic doctrine but being able to intercept incoming missiles while also having some capability to strike back if attacked is a realistic deterrent given the proliferation of nations that have both ballistic missiles and nukes.

Third and finally, there would be a coordinated program aimed at international terrorism based equally on where the terror comes from and on physically preventing the terrorist attacks from taking place. This is the element in national defense that is least clear cut. Dealing with Russia and China involves working with mature regimes that have established diplomatic and military channels. Dealing with terrorist non-state players is completely different as there are generally speaking no such channels.

It should in theory be pretty simple to match threats and interests with actions since there are only a handful that really matter, but apparently it is not so in practice. What is Washington doing? First of all, the White House is deliberately turning its back on restoring a good working relationship with Russia by insisting that Crimea be returned to Kiev, by blaming Moscow for the continued unrest in Donbas, and by attacking Syrian military targets in spite of the fact that Russia is an ally of the legitimate government in Damascus and the United States is an interloper in the conflict. Meanwhile congress and the media are poisoning the waters through their dogged pursuit of Russiagate for political reasons even though nearly a year of investigation has produced no actual evidence of malfeasance on the part of U.S. officials and precious little in terms of Moscow's alleged interference.

Playing tough to the international audience has unfortunately become part of the American Exceptionalism DNA. Upon his arrival in Warsaw last week, Donald Trump doubled down on the Russia-bashing, calling on Moscow to "cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran." He then recommended that Russia should "join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself."

The comments in Warsaw were unnecessary, even if the Poles wanted to hear them, and were both highly insulting and ignorant. It was not a good start for Donald's second overseas trip, even though the speech has otherwise been interpreted as a welcome defense of Western civilization and European values. Trump also followed up with a two hour plus discussion with President Vladimir Putin in which the two apparently agreed to differ on the alleged Russian hacking of the American election. The Trump-Putin meeting indicated that restoring some kind of working relationship with Russia is still possible, as it is in everyone's interest to do so.

Fighting terrorism is quite another matter and the United States approach is the reverse of what a rational player would be seeking to accomplish. The U.S. is rightly assisting in the bid to eradicate ISIS in Syria and Iraq but it is simultaneously attacking the most effective fighters against that group, namely the Syrian government armed forces and the Shiite militias being provided by Iran and Hezbollah. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that at least some in the Trump Administration are seeking to use the Syrian engagement as a stepping stone to war with Iran.

As was the case in the months preceding the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003, all buttons are being pushed to vilify Iran. Recent reports suggest that two individuals in the White House in particular have been pressuring the Trump administration's generals to escalate U.S. involvement in Syria to bring about a war with Tehran sooner rather than later. They are Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey, reported to be holdovers from the team brought into the White House by the virulently anti-Iranian former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times that "wants to use American spies to help oust the Iranian government," a comment that reflects complete ignorance, both regarding Iran and also concerning spy agency capabilities. His partner in crime Harvey, a former military officer who advised General David Petraeus when he was in Iraq, is the NSC advisor on the Middle East.

Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy magazine as having developed into "a pivotal moment that will determine whether Iran or the United States exerts influence over Iraq and Syria." Other neocon promoters of conflict with Iran have described their horror at a possible Shiite "bridge" or "land corridor" through the Arab heartland, running from Iran itself through Iraq and Syria and connecting on the Mediterranean with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf.

The problem with the Trump analysis is that he has his friends and enemies confused. He is actually supporting Saudi Arabia, the source of most of the terrorism that has convulsed Western Europe and the United States while also killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslims. Random terrorism to kill as many "infidels and heretics" as possible to create fear is a Sunni Muslim phenomenon, supported financially and doctrinally by the Saudis. To be sure, Iran has used terror tactics to eliminate opponents and select targets overseas, to include several multiple-victim bombings, but it has never engaged in anything like the recent series of attacks in France and Britain. So the United States is moving seemingly inexorably towards war with a country that itself constitutes no actual terrorist threat, unless it is attacked, in support of a country that very much is part of the threat and also on behalf of Israel, which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go. Saudi financing and Washington's propensity to go to war and thereby create a deep well of hatred just might be the principal causative elements in the rise of global terrorism. Do I think that Donald Trump's White House has the courage to take such a step and change direction? Unfortunately, no.

Jake > says: July 11, 2017 at 4:12 am GMT

The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic. And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud. So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites.

Priss Factor > , Website , July 11, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT
US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests. That's about it.

Priss Factor > , July 11, 2017 at 4:49 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at YouTube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

Replies: @Z-man

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.
Israel, the REAL enemy! , @K India is looking to unload hindus to U.S? Quite the opposite. India is 'losing' its best brains to the U.S so its trying to attract them back to their country. For eg: The chief- architect of IBM's Watson is a Hindu Indian and so is the head of IBM's neuro-morphic computing. These people are advancing western technology.... civilian and also defense (IBM is collaborating with the American defense organization DARPA) instead of helping India achieve technological competence. And most of other super intelligent Indians also India is losing them to the west.

(i dont hate the west for doing that. Any country in amercia's place would have done the same. It is india's job to keep its best brains working for it and not for others. And india is trying its best to do that albeit unsuccessfully.)

Wally > , July 11, 2017 at 5:02 am GMT

The US govt. does what "that shitty little country" tells them to do.

The True Cost of Parasite Israel. Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

RobinG > , July 11, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

100 Words #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda.
."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

#UNRIG – Robert David Steele Weekly Update

@Durruti Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed - with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet - both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

MEexpert > , July 11, 2017 at 5:50 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran.

The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him.

That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding.

The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard.

jilles dykstra > , July 11, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
The western world is dependent on oil, especially ME oil. Saudi Arabia was made the USA's main oil supplier at the end of 1944. The Saud dynasty depends on the USA. That the Sauds would sponsor terrorism, why would they ? And which terrorism is Muslim terrorism ?

Sept 11 not, Boston not, Madrid and London very questionably. We then are left with minor issues, the Paris shooting the biggest. That Saudi Arabia is waging war in Yemen certainly is with USA support. The Saudi army does what the USA wants them to do.

Ludwig Watzal > Website , July 11, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT
Mr. Giraldi, you forgot to mention Israel as one of America's biggest liabilities besides Saudi Arabia. But with such amateur dramatics in the White House and on the Security Council, the US is destined for war but only against the wrong enemy such as Iran. If the Saudis and the right-wing Netanyahu regime want to get after Iran they should do it alone. They surely will get a bloody nose. Americans have shed enough blood for these rascal regimes. President Trump should continue with his rapprochement towards Russia because both nation states have more in common than expected.
animalogic > , July 11, 2017 at 7:32 am GMT
I'm a little disappointed in this article. Not that it's a bad article per se: perfectly rational, reasonable, academic even. But unfortunately, it's simply naive.
"Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Realize who the real enemy is ? Come down hard on the Saud's ? No -- really ?

The titanic elephant in the room -- that US foreign policy is not governed by "rationality" but by "special interests" seems .missing. Israel, the Saudi's themselves, the MIC & so on & so forth ARE the special interests who literally "realise" US Policy.

Paul > , July 11, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

200 Words Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.)

Replies:

@Wizard of Oz

I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? ,

@Corvinus

"Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag."

Adjust tin foil hat accordingly.

Realist > , July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am GMT

"The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia"

Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago.

Chad > , July 11, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT
I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this.

I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security.

Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves.

USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw.

It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood – "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo.

Replies:

@Jake

Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud,

Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Anonymous > , July 11, 2017 at 9:33 am GMT

@Priss Factor

US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests.

That's about it. That's most of unz.com summed up in a single sentence!

Johnny Smoggins > , July 11, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

The casus belli of America's hostility towards Iran is the 3000 year old grudge that the Jews have been holding against Persia.
Z-man > , July 11, 2017 at 11:22 am GMT
@Priss Factor

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at youtube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yB69UkJGwk

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Israel, the REAL enemy!

eah > , July 11, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT
The WH should focus on the USA.
Replies: @Sowhat And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.

Greg Bacon > Website , July 11, 2017 at 11:41 am GMT

The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest.

You won't see Israeli troops in the streets, since their confederates control the economy thru their control of the FED and US Treasury and most of those TBTF banks, which we always bail out, no matter the cost.

The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer.

The WH is also Israeli territory, especially now with a Jew NYC slumlord now Trump's top adviser and his fashion model faux Jew daughter egging Daddy on to kill more Arab babies, since she can't stand the sight of dead babies

Wizard of Oz > , July 11, 2017 at 11:50 am GMT

@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report?

Replies:

@Sowhat

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/

@NoseytheDuke

A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

Sowhat > , July 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm GMT

@eah The WH should focus on the USA. And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.
anarchyst > , July 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.

The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders"–goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses

Replies:

@ThreeCranes

Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians--except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe. , @bjondo Jews/Judaism bring death, destruction, misery.

Muslims/Islam (minus Western creation of "Muslim"terrorists) brought golden ages to many areas.

Christianity and Islam elevate the human spirit. Judaism degrades.

bjondo > , July 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

SA is the tail wagged by US. US is the tail wagged by internal Jew. Israel/Jewry the enemy of all.

Terrorism is Israeli weapon to take down Sunnis and Shias.

US is Israel's go-to donkey.

Sauds gone tomorrow if wished. And they may be with Arabia broken into pieces. Yinon still active.

Agent76 > , July 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
June 7, 2017 We Have Met the Evil Empire and It Is Us

Life in America was pure injustice, the lash and the iron boot, despite the version of history we have been given by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations who "re-invented" America and its history through taking control of public education in the late 1940s. You see, the multi-generational ignorance we bask in today is not unplanned. The threat represented by advances in communications and other technology was recognized and dealt with, utterly quashed at birth.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/06/07/we-have-met-the-evil-empire-and-it-is-us/

ThreeCranes > , July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT
@anarchyst Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.
The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders"--goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran...you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses... Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians–except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe.

Sowhat > , July 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/
virgile > , July 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm GMT
Trump is torn between Israel's permanent need to weaken its powerful neighbors (Iraq, Iran) and the necessity to protect the USA from terrorists attacks.

Iran is an hypothetical threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia has proven to be a threat to the world.

SolontoCroesus > , July 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
Saudi Arabian Manal al-Sharif is the latest (((MSM))) media darling; she wrote a book about being imprisoned for driving in Saudi Arabia. She is attempting to expand a movement to strike down the Saudi ban on women driving. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-women-driving-ban.html

At the same time, (((MSM))) gleefully focuses on Iranian women who are wearing white hijab in protest of restrictions on women's attire in Iran. http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/05/24/why-women-and-some-men-in-iran-are-wearing-white-headscarves-on-wednesdays/

I think these women ought to get together.

In Iran, women drive.

In Tehran and other Iranian cities including Iran's holiest, that is, most conservative cities like Mashad. there are taxi companies owned and run by women.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/turnstyle/iranian-women-take-the-wh_b_879041.html

Tehran traffic makes NYC look like Mayberry RFD; many Iranians use small motorcycles to commute and take care of daily chores. It's not at all uncommon to see an Iranian woman in full chador driving a motorcycle with a child and parcels in tow.

Iranian women could offer to teach the women of Saudi Arabia to drive.

What could Saudi women teach Iranian women?

NoseytheDuke > , July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

siberiancat > , July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

Why is is so difficult to avoid this ugly term 'regime'? Does it really add anything to the discourse?
anonymous > , July 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT
There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals.

They live the royal life thanks to being able to use the money from their nation's resource wealth as their own personal kitty, living in palaces, buying obscene amounts of jewelry and other luxury goods, and so on. They'll never give that up and being a close ally of the US affords them protection which of course they pay for. They may be seen as an enemy by the average person but not at the elite level with whom they all consort and roll around in the money with.

LondonBob > , July 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT
http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential.

Don Bacon > , July 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that.
Corvinus > , July 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT
@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) "Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag."

Adjust tin foil hat accordingly.


Father O'Hara > , July 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT
@Jake The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic.

And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud.

So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites. SECOND worst,my friend.

Jake > , July 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Chad I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this.

I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security.

Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood - "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo. Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Durruti > , July 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT

1,000 Words @RobinG #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda.
..................."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxcnaNND4XM

#UNRIG - Robert David Steele Weekly Update Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed – with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet – both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

SolontoCroesus > , July 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT

Scholars at Mercatus Center, George Mason Univ. https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings

are studying US states and ranking them according to financial stability measures. The states with biggest problems -- Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut -- are in the mess they are in largely because of pension liability issues: some pensions are unfunded or underfunded.

I recall that ten years ago about a dozen Jewish organizations formed the "Iran Task Force," ** whose primary activity was to persuade managers of State pension funds to divest from Iran-connected companies; that is, corporations & banks, etc. that did business with Iran. I recall very clearly that Arnold Schwartznegger was the poster child for California's vanguard role in divesting from such nasty nasty companies, in accord with the wishes of Jewish Israel-firsters.

Perhaps the Mercatus scholars could prepare an exercise in alternative financial history: What shape would the US economy, and the various States's economies, be in if the US were NOT so overwhelmingly influenced by Israel firsters, and were NOT persuaded, Against Our Better Judgment, to entangle themselves in Israel's nefarious activities?

____
** The 2007 Iran Task Force is NOT the same as the group formed in 2015 or so, embedded in US House/Senate, with Joe Lieberman and Michael Hayden playing prominent roles in attempting to influence the Iran Deal.

The 2007 initiative was sponsored by groups such as ZOA, RJC, AIPAC, etc., and / or spun off groups such as Foundation for Defense of Democracy, United Against Nuclear Iran.

[Sep 17, 2017] Brexit outcome was theater in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it.

The first robin does not make spring...
Notable quotes:
"... Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience. ..."
"... What about Viktor Orbán? What about the whole Visegrad Group? What about Marine Le Pen? Do you side with them, or against them, in their struggle against the wholesale cultural transformation of Europe through mass immigration? ..."
"... The Empire "lowerarchy" only needs entertain the voter masses during the theatric event popularly known as POTUS elections. They know that the People never get a candidate choice which is not pre-approved. ..."
"... In fact, I intuit that The Empire appreciates having even major "idiot" donors to their uni-Party campaign theater. ..."
Sep 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

utu > , September 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@ChuckOrloski

Good points, Priss Factor, and I will add one for your consideration.

At Davos 2017, Anthony Scaramucci assured the congregation that "President Trump is the last hope of the globalists."

I am mindful how powerful forces of Deception can cunningly co-opt populism / nationalism to their N.W.O. advantage.

A question.

Do you believe international banksters gave the Brits an opportunity to decide whether "in or out" of the EUROPEAN UNION?

I think the Brexit outcome was theater, a globalist "invasion" & occupation of planet-scale perception.

Thanks and I trust you will reply!

===

I think the Brexit outcome was theater

Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience.

Vinteuil > , September 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT

@Vinteuil If The Powers That Be (TPTB) in Europe constantly attacked Islam & demanded the repatriation of Muslims to their homelands, the Dinh/Revusky thesis would at least *make sense.* The hatred of Muslims by TPTB would explain why they go to such trouble to fake all these attacks.

But, in fact, said powers endlessly insist that Not All Muslims Are Like That, and do everything they can to import more of them.

Angela Merkel, anybody? Jean-Claude Juncker? The entire European MSM? I mean, hello?

And they stigmatize anybody who doubts the wisdom of this policy - like, say, Marine Le Pen or Viktor Orbán - as "far right" extremists! Serious question, VD/JR:

What about Viktor Orbán? What about the whole Visegrad Group? What about Marine Le Pen? Do you side with them, or against them, in their struggle against the wholesale cultural transformation of Europe through mass immigration?

ChuckOrloski > , September 11, 2017 at 9:12 pm GMT

@utu I think the Brexit outcome was theater

Yes, in the sense that it had nothing to do with fulfilling the expectations of people who voted for it. But certainly it may had something to do with weakening the EU under German and to lesser extent French leadership. Releasing thousands of refugees from Turkey to Europe in 2015 in the direction of Germany was probably also a part of weakening the EU plan. The wholehearted welcoming of refugees by Merkel and German elites is a part of a theater as well but for a different audience. Utu,

For me, the title of this article alone is a learning experience.

The Empire "lowerarchy" only needs entertain the voter masses during the theatric event popularly known as POTUS elections. They know that the People never get a candidate choice which is not pre-approved.

In fact, I intuit that The Empire appreciates having even major "idiot" donors to their uni-Party campaign theater.

Thanks for conveying wisdom!

[Sep 13, 2017] Fascism was a form of far right naationalism. Jabotinsky centered his spiritual being in Rome, and greatly admired Mussolini and sought to incorporate his ideas in Revisionist Zionism

Sep 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

August 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT SolontoCroesus > > , August 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

All discussions of what nowadays fascism is, our could mean, end like rivers in the desert.

Poetic, jilles dykstra, but as an Italian given to bluntness, I'd state it somewhat differently: Most people who sling the epithet "fascist" do not know what the hell they are talking about. I suggest they read Giovanni Gentile's Origins and Doctrine of Fascism

http://www.lancasterlawoffice.com/Media/Gentile,%20Origins%20and%20Doctrine%20of%20Fascism.pdf

It's going to require a bit of effort -- a lot of effort, in fact to fully understand Gentile and what he/Mussolini hoped to achieve through Fascism -- The effort will likely tax the most ambitious of our stenographer/journalist class: you'll have to take on board an understanding of Italy's fragmented history, and especially of Italy's relationship to Catholicism: it's easy for me, I lived it, but Brian Lamb was absolutely flummoxed when Maurizio Viroli tried to explain to him that Italians incorporate within themselves holy-joe pious Catholic practices with utter disdain for Church strictures -- https://www.c-span.org/video/?160904-1/niccolos-smile

As an Italian, I would, of course, play some beautiful music in the background. Tchaikovsky gathered charming Italian folk music and composed the dynamic Capriccio Italien:

PS Our Jewish/zionist friends might find it intriguing that Jabotinsky centered his "spiritual being" in Rome, and greatly admired Mussolini and sought to incorporate his ideas in Revisionist Zionism.

[Sep 01, 2017] Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism

Sep 01, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Asher Schechter at ProMarket discusses Raghuram Rajan's views on the rise of populist nationalism:

Raghuram Rajan: Populist Nationalism Is "the First Step Toward Crony Capitalism" : The wave of populist nationalism that has been sweeping through Western democracies in the past two years is "a cry for help from communities who have seen growth bypass them."
So said Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, during a keynote address he gave at the Stigler Center's conference on the political economy of finance that took place in June.
Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion.
In his talk, Rajan focused on three questions related to current populist discontent: 1. Why is anger focused on trade? 2. Why now? 3. Why do so many voters turn to far-right nationalist movements?
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

There's quite a bit more. I don't agree with everything he (Raghuram) says, but thought it might provoke discussion.

DrDick , August 31, 2017 at 11:03 AM

Frankly, "crony capitalism" has always been the primary one, as even Adam Smith noted.
Paine , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
The understanding of exploitation
Of wage earning production workers
Is a better base then the 18 th century liberal ideal of equality

Exploitation and oppression are obviously not the same
even if they make synergistic team mates oftener then not
So long as " them " are blatantly oppressed
It's easy to Forget you are exploited
Unlike oppression
Exploitation can be so stealthy
So not part of the common description of the surface of daily life

Calls for equality must include a careful answer to the question
" equal with who ? "

Unearned equality is not seen as fair to those who wanna believe they earned their status
Add in the obvious :
To be part of a successful movement aimed at Exclusion of some " thems " or other
Is narcotic
Just as fighting exclusion can be a narcotic too for " thems "

But fighting against exclusion coming from among a privileged rank among
The community of would be excluders
That is a bummer
A thankless act of sanctimony
Unless you spiritually join the " thems"

Now what have we got ?

Jim Crow thrived for decades it only ended
When black arms and hands in the field at noon ...by the tens of millions
were no longer necessary to Dixie

Christopher H. , August 31, 2017 at 11:54 AM
"Pointing fingers at these communities and telling them they don't understand is not the right answer," he warned. "In many ways, the kind of angst that we see in industrial countries today is similar to the bleak times [of] the 1920s and 1930s. Most people in industrial countries used to believe that their children would have a better future than their already pleasant present. Today this is no longer true." ...

I thought this sort of thinking was widely accepted only in 2016 we were told by the center left that no it's not true.

"Rajan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, spoke about the "concentrated and devastating" impact of technology and trade on blue-collar communities in areas like the Midwest, the anger toward "totally discredited" elites following the 2008 financial crisis, and the subsequent rise of populist nationalism, seen as a way to restore a sense of community via exclusion."

Instead the center left is arguing that workers have nothing to complain about and besides they're racist/sexist.

gregory byshenk , September 01, 2017 at 08:54 AM
'"These communities have become disempowered partly for economic reasons but partly also because decision-making has increasingly been centralized toward state governments, national governments, and multilateral [agreements]," said Rajan. In the European Union, he noted, the concentration of decision-making in Brussels has led to a lot of discontent.'

I'd suggest that this part is not true. Communities have become politically disempowered in large part because they have become economically disempowered. A shrinking economy means a shrinking tax base and less funds to do things locally. Even if the local government attempts to rebuild by recruiting other employers, they end up in a race to the bottom with other communities in a similar situation.

I'd also suggest that the largest part of the "discontent" in the EU is not because of any "concentration of decision-making", but because local (and regional, and national) politicians have used the EU as a convenient scapegoat for any required, but unpopular action.

[Aug 28, 2017] Is it possible to be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic?

Aug 28, 2017 | www.unz.com

August 26, 2017

Huggbear > , August 26, 2017 at 6:54 am GMT

Is it possible to be anti-Zionist without being anti-Semitic?

I think they would because the term has very bad connotations now. It has morphed its original meaning, but the short answer is definitely YES although most Jews in California would not agree. Let's try and understand :

There is great confusion about what Zionism actually means and how it is defined and where the term arose from. To understand ANTI-ZIONISM it is good to understand a little history.

HOW THE TERM AROSE

Zion is a hill near Jerusalem (now in the city), widely symbolizing the Land of Israel. Zionism was nationalist and political movement of Jews and Jewish culture that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel roughly corresponding to Palestine, Canaan or the Holy Land.

WHY ZIONISM AROSE

[MORE]
Since the first centuries CE, most Jews have lived outside the Land of Israel (Eretz Israel, better known as Palestine), although there has been a constant minority presence of Jews. According to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Eretz Israel was a land CONDITIONALLY promised to the Jews by God according to the Hebrew and Greek Bibles and the Quran, respectively but conditional upon righteous behaviour.

The Diaspora began in 586 BCE during the Babylonian occupation of Israel. The Babylonians destroyed the First Temple took the Israelites back to Babylon, which was central to Jewish culture at the time and gave rise to their venerated "book" – The Babylonian Talmud.

Many subsequently returned to Israel to rebuild the Temple when the Babylonian King died and set about rebuilding the Temple.

After the 1st century Great Revolt and the 2nd century Bar Kokhba revolt , the Roman Empire expelled the Jews from Judea , changing the name to "Syria Palaestina".

The Bar Kokhba revolt caused a spike in anti-Semitism and Jewish persecution. The ensuing exile from Judea greatly increased the percent of Jews who were dispersed throughout the Diaspora instead of living in their original home intermarrying with other races kept the numbers up along with the mass conversion of Khazaria to Judaism in the 8th Century. ( these "new" Jews subsequently populated the Polish hinterland known as "The Pale of the Settlement" and spoke Yiddish. They are the original Ashkenaz.

In the 17th century Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676) announced himself as the Messiah and gained many Jews to his side, forming a base in Salonika. He first tried to establish a settlement in Gaza, but moved later to Smyrna. After deposing the old rabbi Aaron Lapapa in the spring of 1666, the Jewish community of Avignon France, prepared to emigrate to the new kingdom.

The readiness of the Jews of the time to believe the messianic claims of Sabbatai Zevi may be largely explained by the desperate state of Central European Jewry in the mid-17th century. The bloody pogroms of Bohdan Khmelnytsky had wiped out one-third of the Jewish population and destroyed many centres of Jewish learning and communal life due to their association with Usurious practices and the Talmudic "Worldview" .

Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central and eastern Europe as a national revival movement, in reaction to anti-Semitic and exclusionary nationalist movements in Europe.

Soon after this most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.

A religious variety of Zionism supports Jews upholding their Jewish identity defined as adherence to religious Judaism, opposes the assimilation of Jews into other societies, and has advocated the return of Jews to Israel as a means for Jews to be a majority nation in their own state.

There are other varieties of Zionism. One called cultural Zionism was founded and represented most prominently by Ahad Ha'am, fostered a secular vision of a Jewish "spiritual centre" in Israel, this is to be contrasted with Political Zionism which was established with the political goal of creating a Jewish state in order to create a nation where Jews could be the majority, rather than the minority they were in the many nations in the diaspora.

THE AUTHOR OF MODERN POLITICAL ZIONISM

Theodor Herzl, is considered the ideological father of Zionism, considered Anti-Semitism as an eternal feature of all societies in which Jews lived as minorities, and that only a separation could allow Jews to escape eternal prosecution.

"Let them give us sovereignty over a piece of of the Earth's surface, just sufficient for the needs of our people, then we will do the rest!" he proclaimed exposing his plan."

Major aspects of the Zionist idea are represented in the Israeli Declaration of Independence :

1.The Land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

2.After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

3.Impelled by this historic and traditional attachment, Jews strove in every successive generation to re-establish themselves in their ancient homeland. In recent decades they returned in their masses.

Herzl came to reject his early ideas regarding Jewish emancipation and assimilation and to believe that the Jews must remove themselves from Europe and create their own state. Beginning in late 1895, Herzl wrote "Der Judenstaat" (The State of the Jews), which was published February 1896 to immediate acclaim and controversy.

The book argued that the Jewish people should leave Europe if they wished to, either for Argentina or, preferably, for Palestine, their historic homeland. The Jews possessed a nationality; all they were missing was a nation and a state of their own.

In "Der Judenstaat" he writes:

"The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries!see, for instance, France!so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level."

Only through a Jewish state could they avoid anti-Semitism, express their culture freely and practice their religion without hindrance.

Herzl's ideas spread rapidly throughout the Jewish world and attracted international attention. Supporters of existing Zionist movements, such as the Hovevei Zion, immediately allied themselves with him, but establishment Jewry vilified him and considered his ideas as a threat to their attempts at integration and a rebellion against God.

The book concludes:

"Therefore I believe that a wondrous generation of Jews will spring into existence. The Maccabeans will rise again. Let me repeat once more my opening words:

The Jews who wish for a State will have it.We shall live at last as free men on our own soil, and die peacefully in our own homes.The world will be freed by our liberty, enriched by our wealth, magnified by our greatness. And whatever we attempt there to accomplish for our own welfare, will react powerfully and beneficially for the good of humanity"

Herzl publicly met Wilhelm II in 1898. The meeting significantly advanced Herzl's and Zionism's legitimacy in Jewish and world opinion.

Unlike Herzl, the founder of political Zionism, Ahad Ha'am strived for Israel to be "a Jewish state and not merely a state of Jews".

ANTI-ZIONISM

Advocates of Zionism view it as a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a persecuted people residing as minorities in a variety of nations, to the homeland to which they had a historical connection.

Throughout the first decade of the Zionist movement, there were several instances where Zionist figures supported a Jewish state in places outside Palestine, such as Uganda and Argentina. Even Theodor Herzl, the founder of political Zionism was initially content with any Jewish self-governed state.

However, other Zionists emphasized the memory, emotion and myth linking Jews to the Land of Israel and migrations began to Holy Land.

Despite using Zion as the name of the movement (a name after the Jebusite fortress in Jerusalem, which became synonymous with Jerusalem), Palestine only became Herzl's main focus after his Zionist manifesto 'Judenstaat' was published in 1896, but even then he was hesitant.

In 1903, British Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain offered Herzl 5,000 square miles in the Uganda Protectorate for Jewish settlement. Called the Uganda Scheme, it was introduced the same year to the World Zionist Organization's Congress at its sixth meeting, where a fierce debate ensued.

It should also be noted that throughout the 1930s when MOST European countries were asking Jews to leave their countries not just Germany, there was a progressive exodus eastward through Germany where camps were built to house the mass migration on their way. Some of these later turned into the extermination camps of the Holocaust as Nazism began to oppose Zionism and, arguably, its progeny Communism / Bolshevism.

In the early days both Hitler and the World Zionist organisation shared the same objective of populating Palestine with returning Jews. The agreement between Hitler and the Zionist movement was known as the Ha'avara Agreement. In other words most European countries wanted the Jews OUT and the reason for this is another long discussion but boils down to their "Worldview" fostered by the Babylonian Talmud and the focus on Usurious business practices. Europe, at that time, was principally Catholic and viewed USURY and SODOMY as category partners in immorality.

More worrying is the discussion topic promoted by the Rothschild dynasty in the World Zionist Conference in the early 1900s that discuss Zionism becoming a World Dominant Ideology with NWO ambitions.

Critics of Zionism view it as a colonialist,racist and exceptionalist ideology that led advocates to violence during Mandatory Palestine, followed by the forced exodus of Palestinians, and the subsequent denial of their human rights.

Furthermore the Zionist Ashkenazi sect have NWO order aspirations and push their worldview through the Neo-Con movement that has taken Washington captive since 1991. They formulated the PNAC ( Plan for the New American Century) and leading policies like "Open Immigration" that destroy American and indeed Western Nations from within by using Muslims as the "tip of the spear" to destroy our inherited culture.

When a "Group" that governs the political agenda of the USA – TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE USA – requires a very serious spotlight on them.New American Century (PNAC), which has essentially dictated Bush regime "defense" policies since early 2001:

These PNACzi's. Credited with this incredible yet frightening nonsense are the following higher-ups in the current false US "presidential" regime: Paul Wolfowitz, then with the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University I. Lewis Libby, then with the Wall Street firm of Dechert Price & Rhoads and the following well-known "neo-cons" and for the most part Zionists:

1. Roger Barnett, U.S. Naval War College Alvin Bernstein, National Defense University
2. Stephen Cambone, National Defense University
3. Eliot Cohen, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
4. Devon Gaffney Cross, Donors' Forum for International Affairs
5. Thomas Donnelly, Project for the New American Century
6. David Epstein, Office of Secretary of Defense, Net Assessment
7. David Fautua, Lt. Col., U.S. Army
8. Dan Goure, Center for Strategic and International Studies
9. Donald Kagan, Yale University
10. Fred Kagan, U. S. Military Academy at West Point
11. Robert Kagan, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
12. Robert Killebrew, Col., USA (Ret.)
13. William Kristol, The Weekly Standard
14. Mark Lagon, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
15. James Lasswell, GAMA Corporation Robert Martinage, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment
16. Phil Meilinger, U.S. Naval War College
17. Mackubin Owens, U.S. Naval War College
18. Steve Rosen, Harvard University
19. Gary Schmitt, Project for the New American Century
20. Abram Shulsky, The RAND Corporation
21. Michael Vickers, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment
22. Barry Watts, Northrop Grumman Corporation
23. Dov Zakheim, System Planning Corporation .

If a particular group become a Power Elite and manage a country to the detriment of the Nationalist structures in a non patriotic way we are bound to ask Why? and what is the common link between them, namely, Zionism, for this is the Political Ideology that is confused with the "homeland" idea.

Thus the new anti-Zionism and is being incorrectly equated with anti-Semitism emanates from the far-right, the political left, and a growing Muslim population within European nations. A statistical analysis shows that 150 million people across Europe have "serious anti-Semitic" or "demonic view of Israel" because of conflation of all Israelis with this poisenous ideology.

Cooper, Abraham and Harold Brackman. "Hitler's e-book blitzkrieg.( http://www.jewishjournal.com/cul&#8230 *Jewish Journal* . 15 January 2014. 15 January 2014.

CONCLUSIONS

Zionism is a loaded term which can mean many different things as a consultation of Wikipedia will inform you. Generally, the Anti-Zionists will be those who oppose the territorial claims as set out in the Zionist agenda of 1919 and illustrated in the map at the top of this blog.

The "homeland" of the Jews in a State that is pluralist within the geographic boundaries that comply partially with the conditionality of the "Abrahamic covenant", the territorial gains by successive wars, the sanction of international Law, the support of the UN , the recognition of the Palestinians . These latter who numbered 1 million in 1948 compared with the Jews 300,000 in that land.

Thus what we have is a complex and developing issue that could lead to Nuclear Wars and which is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon and certainly not under the current American Neo-con influences.

Drain that Swamp and fast!

[Aug 21, 2017] Why Explaining US Internal Strife Through Russian Influence Is Lazy and Unhelpful by Alexey Kovalev

Notable quotes:
"... By Alexey Kovalev, an independent journalist living and working in Moscow. Follow him on Twitter: @Alexey__Kovalev. Originally published at openDemocracy ..."
Aug 19, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
August 19, 2017 by Yves Smith Yves here. This is a well-argued debunking of various "evil Rooskie" claims and is very much worth circulating. Stunningly, there actually are people asserting that white supremacists and the figurative and now literal hot fights over Confederate symbols (remember that Confederate flags have been a big controversy too?) are part of a Russian plot. Help me. Fortunately their views don't seem to have gotten traction outside the fever-swamp corners of the Twitterverse.

Author Kovalev's bottom line: When you are doing the same thing Putin and his propaganda machine does, you're doing something wrong.

By Alexey Kovalev, an independent journalist living and working in Moscow. Follow him on Twitter: @Alexey__Kovalev. Originally published at openDemocracy

On 11-12 August, violent clashes erupted between the far-right Unite the Right movement and anti-fascist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. One woman died when an alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer rammed a car into a crowd of counter-protesters. There were numerous injuries and a major national crisis erupted in the United States resulting from and inspired by the rapid rise of white nationalist, neo-Nazi and other similar sentiments far to the right of the political spectrum.

As it often happens these days, numerous people on Twitter immediately jumped in, pitching the so-called "hot takes" -- rapid, hastily weaved together series of tweets with often outlandish theories of what really happened. These instant experts, who have come to prominence in the wake of the Trump presidency, have carved out a niche for themselves by taking the most tangential or non-existent connection to anything Russian and "connecting the dots" or "just asking questions". The most egregious example is Louise Mensch , a former UK conservative pundit (and sometime MP) now residing in the US. Mensch is the most extreme example of a Twitter-age conspiracy-mongering populist . But there are other people, with more credible credentials, who are also prone to demanding that "ties with Russia" (via individuals, events and institutions) be investigated.

Immediately following the events in Charlottesville, the writer and consultant Molly McKew and Jim Ludes of the Pell Center , among others, chimed in with their "hot takes", repeating each other almost word for word: "We need to closely examine the links between the American alt-right and Russia." These parti