Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

News Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Who Rules America Recommended Links Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization The Far Right Forces in Ukraine as Trojan Horse of Neoliberalism American biblical nationalism and religious far right Economic nationalism
American Exceptionalism Anti-globalization movement Immigration, wage depression and free movement of workers Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization TTP, NAFTA and other supranational trade treaties Neoliberalism and Christianity Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism  Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  
Debt slavery The Grand Chessboard American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Merchants of Debt Greece debt enslavement Eroding Western living standards Ukraine debt enslavement Russian nationalists
New American Militarism Predator state Neoconservatism Madeleine Albright as a precursor of Hillary Clinton Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia Robert Kagan Wolfowitz Doctrine Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism
National Security State Neo-fascism Elite Theory New American Militarism Christian Theocratic Movements Financial Humor Quotes Humor Etc
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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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Dec 04, 2017] Brainwashing as a key component of the US social system by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Whitehead documents how hard a not guilty verdict is to come by for an innocent defendant. Even if the falsely accused defendant and his attorney survive the prosecutor's pressure to negotiate a plea bargain and arrive at a trial, they are confronted with jurors who are unable to doubt prosecutors, police, or witnesses paid to lie against the innocent defendant. ..."
"... The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that "official sources" lie repeatedly and never tell the truth? ..."
"... The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. We have failed God. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character." ..."
"... The failure of the American character has had tremendous and disastrous consequences for ourselves and for the world. At home Americans have a police state in which all Constitutional protections have vanished. Abroad, Iraq and Libya, two formerly prosperous countries, have been destroyed. Libya no longer exists as a country. One million dead Iraqis, four million displaced abroad, hundreds of thousands of orphans and birth defects from the American ordnance, and continuing ongoing violence from factions fighting over the remains. These facts are incontestable. Yet the United States Government claims to have brought "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. "Mission accomplished," declared one of the mass murderers of the 21st century, George W. Bush. ..."
"... The question is: how can the US government make such an obviously false outrageous claim without being shouted down by the rest of the world and by its own population? Is the answer that good character has disappeared from the world? ..."
"... Or is the rest of the world too afraid to protest? Washington can force supposedly sovereign countries to acquiesce to its will or be cut off from the international payments mechanism that Washington controls, and/or be sanctioned, and/or be bombed, droned, or invaded, and/or be assassinated or overthrown in a coup. On the entire planet Earth there are only two countries capable of standing up to Washington, Russia and China, and neither wants to stand up if they can avoid it. ..."
"... For whatever the reasons, not only Americans but most of the world as well accommodate Washington's evil and are thereby complicit in the evil. Those humans with a moral conscience are gradually being positioned by Washington and London as "domestic extremists" who might have to be rounded up and placed in detention centers. Examine the recent statements by General Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Cameron and remember Janet Napolitano's statement that the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus from terrorists to domestic extremists, an undefined and open-ended term. ..."
"... Americans with good character are being maneuvered into a position of helplessness. ..."
"... When Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was asked if the Clinton's regime's sanctions, which had claimed the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, were justified, she obviously expected no outrage from the American people when she replied in the affirmative. ..."
"... ... Americans are "intentionally ignorant" of other countries' rights and sovereignty while other countries had been well-informed of America's malicious intents of destroying other countries' rights and sovereignty ... ..."
"... No, I don't think Americans are intentionally ignorant, any more than other nationalities. What they are tribal. Tribal peoples don't care whether their policies are right or wrong; they are instinctively loyal to them and to those who formulate them. ..."
"... "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." -- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda ..."
"... "Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." ..."
"... "When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility." ..."
"... In todays information age, ignorance is a choice. ..."
"... Adorno famously pointed out in 1940 that the "Mass culture is psychoanalysis in reverse." ..."
"... He doesn't blame the masses because he simply points out the fact that Americans are completely ignorant and blindly believe anything MSM spoon-fed to them. ..."
"... Paul Craig Roberts believe that the people are capable of creating a better and more just society. Instead the people have voted against their own best interest and overwhelmingly believe the propaganda. ..."
"... "... the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise ..." ..."
"... Cognitive Dissonance ..."
"... "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled." ..."
"... The article above was another illustration of the ways that the typical reactionary revolutionaries, Black Sheeple, or controlled opposition groups, respond to recognizing the more and more blatant degrees to which there has been an accelerating "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY CONTINUE TO STAY WITHIN THE SAME OLD-FASHIONED BULLSHIT-BASED FRAME OF REFERENCE, INSTEAD, AROUND AND AROUND WE GO, STUCK IN THE SAME DEEPENING RUTS, since they do NOT more fully "face the facts" regarding how and why the only realistic solutions to the real problems would require developing better organized crime. INSTEAD, they continue to promote the same dualities based upon false fundamental dichotomies, and the associate bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals ... ..."
Jul 25, 2015 | Zero Hedge

Original title: The Eroding Character Of The American People

Paul Craig Roberts

How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.-Bob Dylan, "Hurricane"

Attorney John W. Whitehead opens a recent posting on his Rutherford Institute website with these words from a song by Bob Dylan. Why don't all of us feel ashamed? Why only Bob Dylan?

I wonder how many of Bob Dylan's fans understand what he is telling them. American justice has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. It only has to do with the prosecutor's conviction rate, which builds his political career. Considering the gullibility of the American people, American jurors are the last people to whom an innocent defendant should trust his fate. The jury will betray the innocent almost every time.

As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book (2000, 2008) there is no justice in America. We titled our book, "How the Law Was Lost." It is a description of how the protective features in law that made law a shield of the innocent was transformed over time into a weapon in the hands of the government, a weapon used against the people. The loss of law as a shield occurred prior to 9/11, which "our representative government" used to construct a police state.

The marketing department of our publisher did not appreciate our title and instead came up with "The Tyranny of Good Intentions." We asked what this title meant. The marketing department answered that we showed that the war on crime, which gave us the abuses of RICO, the war on child abusers, which gave us show trials of total innocents that bested Joseph Stalin's show trials of the heroes of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the war on drugs, which gave "Freedom and Democracy America" broken families and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world all resulted from good intentions to combat crime, to combat drugs, and to combat child abuse. The publisher's title apparently succeeded, because 15 years later the book is still in print. It has sold enough copies over these years that, had the sales occurred upon publication would have made the book a "best seller." The book, had it been a best seller, would have gained more attention, and perhaps law schools and bar associations could have used it to hold the police state at bay.

Whitehead documents how hard a not guilty verdict is to come by for an innocent defendant. Even if the falsely accused defendant and his attorney survive the prosecutor's pressure to negotiate a plea bargain and arrive at a trial, they are confronted with jurors who are unable to doubt prosecutors, police, or witnesses paid to lie against the innocent defendant. Jurors even convicted the few survivors of the Clinton regime's assault on the Branch Davidians of Waco, the few who were not gassed, shot, or burned to death by US federal forces. This religious sect was demonized by Washington and the presstitute media as child abusers who were manufacturing automatic weapons while they raped children. The charges proved to be false, like Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," and so forth, but only after all of the innocents were dead or in prison.

The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that "official sources" lie repeatedly and never tell the truth?

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. We have failed God. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character."

Was the American character present in the torture prisons of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and hidden CIA torture dungeons where US military and CIA personnel provided photographic evidence of their delight in torturing and abusing prisoners? Official reports have concluded that along with torture went rape, sodomy, and murder. All of this was presided over by American psychologists with Ph.D. degrees.

We see the same inhumanity in the American police who respond to women children, the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, with gratuitous violence. For no reason whatsoever, police murder, taser, beat, and abuse US citizens. Every day there are more reports, and despite the reports the violence goes on and on and on. Clearly, the police enjoy inflicting pain and death on citizens whom the police are supposed to serve and protect. There have always been bullies in the police force, but the wanton police violence of our time indicates a complete collapse of the American character.

The failure of the American character has had tremendous and disastrous consequences for ourselves and for the world. At home Americans have a police state in which all Constitutional protections have vanished. Abroad, Iraq and Libya, two formerly prosperous countries, have been destroyed. Libya no longer exists as a country. One million dead Iraqis, four million displaced abroad, hundreds of thousands of orphans and birth defects from the American ordnance, and continuing ongoing violence from factions fighting over the remains. These facts are incontestable. Yet the United States Government claims to have brought "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. "Mission accomplished," declared one of the mass murderers of the 21st century, George W. Bush.

The question is: how can the US government make such an obviously false outrageous claim without being shouted down by the rest of the world and by its own population? Is the answer that good character has disappeared from the world?

Or is the rest of the world too afraid to protest? Washington can force supposedly sovereign countries to acquiesce to its will or be cut off from the international payments mechanism that Washington controls, and/or be sanctioned, and/or be bombed, droned, or invaded, and/or be assassinated or overthrown in a coup. On the entire planet Earth there are only two countries capable of standing up to Washington, Russia and China, and neither wants to stand up if they can avoid it.

For whatever the reasons, not only Americans but most of the world as well accommodate Washington's evil and are thereby complicit in the evil. Those humans with a moral conscience are gradually being positioned by Washington and London as "domestic extremists" who might have to be rounded up and placed in detention centers. Examine the recent statements by General Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Cameron and remember Janet Napolitano's statement that the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus from terrorists to domestic extremists, an undefined and open-ended term.

Americans with good character are being maneuvered into a position of helplessness. As John Whitehead makes clear, the American people cannot even prevent "their police," paid by their tax payments, from murdering 3 Americans each day, and this is only the officially reported murders. The actual account is likely higher.

What Whitehead describes and what I have noticed for many years is that the American people have lost, in addition to their own sense of truth and falsity, any sense of mercy and justice for other peoples. Americans accept no sense of responsibility for the millions of peoples that Washington has exterminated over the past two decades dating back to the second term of Clinton. Every one of the millions of deaths is based on a Washington lie.

When Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was asked if the Clinton's regime's sanctions, which had claimed the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, were justified, she obviously expected no outrage from the American people when she replied in the affirmative.

Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise.

benb

The American people have been scientifically mis-educated, propagandized, and beaten down. A disproportionate number of the under 30's are societal DOAs thanks to ... weaponized TV. But I am being too optimistic...

PrayingMantis

... Americans are "intentionally ignorant" of other countries' rights and sovereignty while other countries had been well-informed of America's malicious intents of destroying other countries' rights and sovereignty ...

BarnacleBill

No, I don't think Americans are intentionally ignorant, any more than other nationalities. What they are tribal. Tribal peoples don't care whether their policies are right or wrong; they are instinctively loyal to them and to those who formulate them.

Also, I have to say that I believe the US empire is a long, long, way from collapse. It is still expanding, for goodness sake. Empires collapse only when the shrinking process is well under way. (The recent Soviet Empire was exceptional, in this regard.) It will take several more generations before the darkness lifts, I'm afraid.

macholatte

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed.

It's now official, PCR is a complete dipshit.

Hey Paul, how about you get your head out of the clouds and stop looking down your nose at everyone long enough to read a couple of books about brainwashing and then get back to us. Maybe you start with this: http://edward-bernays.soup.io/post/19658768/Edward-Bernays-Propaganda-19...

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."
-- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

OldPhart

"Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise."

I think that happened August 13, 1971, but didn't get fully organized (as in Mafia) until 2000.

PT

The majority have their nose to the grind stone and as such can not see past the grind stone. They rely on "official sources" to put the rest of the world in order for them, but have no time to audit the "official sources". Would public education suffer if mothers and fathers were monitoring what the children were learning? But who has got time for that when both parents are working? How many non-work organizations were your parents and grand-parents involved in (both the wage-earner and the housekeeper)? How many organizations are you involved in?

Do you constantly hassle your local politicians or do you just say, "I'll vote 'em out in four years time"? (Yes, I know, you just don't vote. Fair enough, this question is for the voters.)

Yes, some of us are guilty of not fighting back. We had "Shut up and do as you're told" and "Well, if you're not happy with what you've got then work harder" beaten into us. Some of us are a little awake because, despite all our efforts, the grind stone was removed from us and then we got to see the larger picture of what lies behind the grind stone. Others are still busy, nose to the wheel, and all they see is the wheel.

And that is before we even consider HypnoToad on the Idiot Box. Some "need" the idiot box to help them wind down. Some can no longer enjoy the silence. (Remember Brave New World? It's true. Many people can no longer stand to be around silence, with nothing but their own thoughts.) I tell everyone that TV is crap. Radio is crap. Newspapers are crap. Turn that shit off for six months to a year, then go back to it and see what you really think of it. But they can't handle the thought of being away from "the background noise".

Ever spoken to grandparents who remember wars and depressions? And even amongst the rations and the hardships they still find positive memories? Time to talk to them again. Or not. I guess we'll get first-hand experience soon enough.

AlaricBalth

Allow me for a moment to share a brief anecdote about the new "American Character".

Last Sunday I was at the local supermarket. I was at the bakery counter, when suddenly a nicely dressed, Sunday best, non-Caucasian woman barrels into my cart riding a fat scooter. She rudely demands from the counter person a single cinnamon bun and then wheels off towards the front. Curious, I follow her up the aisle as she scarfs down the pastry in three bites. She then proceeds to stuff the empty bag between some soda bottles and scooters through the checkout without paying for her item. In the parking lot she then disembarks from her scooter, easily lifts it into the trunk of her Cadillac and walks to the drivers side, gets in and speeds off with her kids, who were in the back seat.

Amazed at what I had just witnessed, I went back into the store, retrieved the empty bag, included it in my few items at checkout and then went to the manager to share this story with him. He laughed and said there was nothing he could do.

The new "American Character" is that of a sense of entitlement and apathy.
I weep for the future.

Headbanger

Having character is not politically correct. Plus there's no need to develop character anymore because there's no jobs requiring any!

Consumption is the ONLY value of the inDUHvidual today.

And the less character they have, the more shit they'll consume to feel fulfilled cause they can't get that from themselves.

clymer Sat, 07/25/2015 - 07:34

Macholatte, i don't think PCR is writing from a point of view that is haughty and contemptful of the American people, per se, but rather from a perspective that is hopeless and thoroughly depressed after contemplating what the American people of many generations ago has taken for themselves as natural rights from a tyrranical government, only to see the nation slowly morph into something even worse than what was rejected by the founders.

"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within...
He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist."

ThroxxOfVron

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise. "

"I think that happened August 13, 1971 "

The entirety of the Western Hemisphere, not just 'The United States', was seized by invaders from Europe.

It is not an 'American' disease: it is a European disease and always was.

The indiginous populations of the Western Hemisphere were suystemaically and with forethought expropriated, ensalved, and slaughtered. The indiginous persons that dwelled within the geographical domain that presently comprise the USA were still being margialized, forcibly relocated, and murdered, long after the so-called 'American Civil War' had been decided.

...& As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage.

Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere.

If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off.

The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes.

...& has Europe changed since the West was settled? Did Europeans even stop their warring amonsgst themselves?

See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

That would be: Hell NO.

Neither in Europe itself, nor in the settled West.

The Pacific Ocean wasn't named for calm waters.

It was named thusly because it is the natural geographic boundary where the mayhem and brutality and genocide ceased, if only because the greedy and ruthless Europeans had run out of land in the Western Hemisphere with people upon it to plunder and murder...

El Vaquero

The US will collapse within the next decade if some serious new technology is not developed and the infrastructure to use it is put in. There is too much debt and not enough material resources to continue growing the ponzi scheme that is our monetary system at an exponential rate without something breaking. The question is, will it be at the end of this boom-bust cycle, or the next? And if you look at what is being done on the financial front, which is the backbone of our neo-empire, that is shrinking.

The USD is slowly falling out of favor. There will come a point where that rapidly accelerates. We've been in a state of collapse for 15 years.


Abitdodgie

ignorance is choice these days and Americans love it.

AetosAeros

Not only a choice, but the ONLY choice they are prepared to accept. Cognitive Dissonance at it's finest. And to make matters worse, in only the best American fashion, we've asked if if it can be Supersized to go along with the Freedom Lies we feed ourselves.

I've seen the enemy, and....

But only if I'm willing to look in the mirror. Today's American doesn't look for what's right there in front of him/her, we look for all the new 'Social Norms' that we aren't living up to. This article is completely on target, and I hope Roberts hasn't decided to do any remodeling, cause too many idle nails guns make for a great Evening News sidebar mention.

Damnit all to hell.

Fun Facts

Fun Facts's picture

Rubicon727

We educators began seeing this shift towards "me-ism" around 1995-6. Students from low to middle income families became either apathetic towards "education" or followed their parent's sense of "entitlement." Simultaneously, the tech age captured both population's attention. Respecting "an education" dwindled.

Fast forward to the present: following the 2007-8 crash, we noted clear divisions between low income vs middle/upper class students based on their school behavior. Low to slightly middle income students brought to school family tensions and the turmoil of parents losing their jobs. A rise in non-functioning students increase for teachers while the few well performing students decline significantly.

Significant societal, financial shifts in America can always be observed in the student population.

reader2010

Mission Accomplished.

"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility."

- Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, 1985

Lea

"The American people have been scientifically mis-educated".

You've got the answer there. The education system is the root cause of the problem. I'm from Europe, but if I've understood correctly, the US education policy is to teach as little as possible to children, and expect them to fill in the gaps in the Universities, past a certain age.

Only, it can't work. Children WILL learn, as childhood is the time when most informations are stored. If the schools don't provide the knowledge, they will get it from the television, movies or games, with the consequences we can see: ignorance, obsession with TV and movies stars, inability to differentiate life from movies, and over-simplistic reasoning (if any).

In Europe, we knew full well children learn fast and a lot, and that was why the schools focused on teaching them as much general knowldge as possible before 18 years old, which is when - it is scientifically proved - the human brain learns best.

Recently, the EU leading countries have understood that having educated masses doesn't pay if you want to lead them like sheep, so they are perfidiously trying to lower the standards... to the dismay of parents.

My advice, if I may presume to give any, would be to you USA people: teach your children what they won't learn at school, history, geography, literature (US, European and even Asian, why not), a foreign language if you can, arts, music, etc; and keep them away from the TV, movies and games.

And please adapt what you teach them to their age.

Refuse-Resist

Bang on! One anecdotal example: insisting that all 3rd graders use calculators "to learn" their multiplication tables. If I didn't do flashcards at home with my kids they wouldn't know them.

As somebody who majored in engineering and took many many advanced math courses, I always felt that knowing your 'times tables' was essential to being successful in math.

What better way to dumb down otherwise intelligent children by creating a situation where the kid can't divide 32 by 4 without a calculator.

Trigonometry? Calculus? Linear Algebra? Fuggedaboudit.

doctor10

The CB's and MIC have Americans right where they want them.

the consequences of 3-4 generations of force feeding Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny

ThroxxOfVron

Some of US were never fucking asleep. Some of us were born with our eyes and minds open.

We were, and are: hated, and reviled, and marginalized, and disowned for it.

The intellectual repression was, and is, fucking insane and brutal.

Words such as ethics and logic exist for what purpose?

What are these expressions of? A bygone time? Abstractions?

Those that have tried to preserve their self awareness, empathy, and rationality have been ruthlessly systematically demeaned and condemed for confronting our families, our culture and institutions.

We all have a right to be angry and disgusted and distrustful of the people and institutions around us.

I am very fucking angry, and disgusted, and distrustful of the people and institutions around me.

But I still have hope.

Nothing lasts forever..

This self-righteous nation called The United States, this twisted fraud of a culture called America, is most dangerously overdue for receipt of chastisment and retribution.

It would be best if the citizenry of the United States taught themselves a lesson in stead of inviting Other nations and cultures to educate them.

A serious self education may be tedious and imperfect; but, it would be far far cheaper than forcing someone to come all the way over those oceans to educate Americans at the price they will be demanding for those lessons...

I do not require representation. I will speak my own mind and act of my own accord.

Every time other so-called Americans take a shit on me for thinking and speaking and acting differently it is a badge of honor and a confirmation of my spiritual and intellectual liberty. They don't know it but they are all gonna run out of shit before I run out of being free.

ThroxxOfVron

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise. "

"I think that happened August 13, 1971 "

The entirety of the Western Hemisphere, not just 'The United States', was seized by invaders from Europe.

It is not an 'American' disease: it is a European disease and always was.

The indiginous populations of the Western Hemisphere were suystemaically and with forethought expropriated, ensalved, and slaughtered. The indiginous persons that dwelled within the geographical domain that presently comprise the USA were still being margialized, forcibly relocated, and murdered, long after the so-called 'American Civil War' had been decided.

...& As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage.

Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere.

If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off.

The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes.

...& has Europe changed since the West was settled? Did Europeans even stop their warring amonsgst themselves?

See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

That would be: Hell NO.

Neither in Europe itself, nor in the settled West.

The Pacific Ocean wasn't named for calm waters.

It was named thusly because it is the natural geographic boundary where the mayhem and brutality and genocide ceased, if only because the greedy and ruthless Europeans had run out of land in the Western Hemisphere with people upon it to plunder and murder...

Mini-Me

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise."

I agree with the first part. As for the latter, "government," by definition, is a criminal enterprise. It doesn't start out pure as the driven snow and then change into something nefarious over time. Its very essence requires the initiation of violence or its threat. Government without the gun in the ribs is a contradiction.

The fact that those in power got more votes than the losing criminals does not magically morph these people into paragons of virtue. They are almost without exception thoroughly deranged human beings. Lying is second nature to them. Looting is part of the job description. Killing is an end to their means: the acquisition and aggrandizement of power over others, no matter how much death and destruction results.

These people are sick bastards. To expect something virtuous from them after an endless string of wanton slaughter, theft and abuse, is simply wishful thinking.

Jack Burton

I agree with Paul Craig Roberts. He asks "Why" and "How." Well, Paul, here is my answer. Decades of Public Education and over 50 years of mass media monopoly. In an age where FOX is the top rated News station and CNN is considered liberal? Where kids in Public school are offered Chocolate milk and frozen pizza for school breakfast before going to class rooms with 30-40 kids. When Texas political appointees chose school text book content for the nation? A nation where service has ended, replaced with volunteer soldiers signing up for pay and benefits, instead of just serving as service, like we did in the 70's?

Paul Craig Roberts points out the police war against the people. That comes right from the very top, orders filter down to street cops. Street Cops are recruited from groups of young men our fathers generation would have labeled mental! But now they are hired across the board, shaved heads, tatoos, and a code of silence and Cops Above Justice.

The people have allowed the elites to rule in their place, never bothering to question the two fake candidates we are allowed to vote for.

Jtrillian

There is a difference between IGNORANCE and STUPIDITY. As Ron White said, "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID".

In todays information age, ignorance is a choice.

Part of the problem that no one is talking about or addressing is the population explosion. And it's not linear. Those who are the least educated, fully dependent others for their survival (welfare), the most complacent, and often with violent criminal records are breeding the fastest.

Evolution is not guaranteed. It can be argued that the apathy we experience today is a sign of the human race de-evolving. It takes a certain amount of cognitive ability to observe and question what is going on.

Further, the society we have created where "60 is the new 40" creates very little time to pay attention to what is going on in the world. Many people rely on mainstream media which is not really news any more. When six corporations control more than 90% of the news, it's the message of the corporate elite that we are fed. This becomes painfully obvious when you start turning to other sources for information like social media and independent news. Mainstream media today is full of opinion bias - injecting opinion as though it were fact. They also appeal to the lowest commmon denominator by focusing on emotionally charged topics and words rather than boring facts. Finally, the mainstream media is extremely guilty of propaganda by omission, ignoring important events altogether or only presenting one side of the story as is being done with regard to ISIS, Syria, and Ukraine today. People who watch the mainstream media have no idea that the US played a significant role in arming ISIS and aided in their rise to power. They have no idea that it was likely ISIS that used chemical weapons in Syria. They have no idea that the US has propped up real life neo nazis in high government positions in Ukraine. And they have ignored the continuing Fukushima disaster that is STILL dumping millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean every single day.

To sum up, democracies only work when people pay attention and participate. People are either too stupid, too overworked, are are looking to the wrong sources for information.

Until we break up mainstream media, remove incentives for those who cannot even care for themselves to stop breeding, and make fundamental changes to our society that affords people the time to focus on what is happening in the world, it will only get worse.

Much worse.

serotonindumptruck

A dying empire is like a wounded, cornered animal.

It will lash out uncontrollably and without remorse in a futile effort to save itself from certain death.

Enough Already

The problem is that we have no "Constitution." That is a fable. The constitution of the separation of powers has been undermined from almost day one. Witness the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

In the centuries since then, there has been no "separation of powers." Marbury v Madison (1803) gave the Supreme Court the right to "decide" what the "law" was. Although, only in the 20th century did the "Supreme" court really start "legislating" from the bench.

We're just peons to the Overall Federal Power; the three "separate" parts of the federal government have been in collusion from the first.

But like all empires, this one is in the final stage of collapse; it has just gotten too big.

gswifty

Yes sir. Globalization has failed us. The infinite growth paradigm has failed us, as we knew it would. Castro's Cuba, based in a localized agrarian economy, is looking pretty good about now. Localization is the only way back to sustainability.

napples

Books? Who said books? You mean reading books? Let me throw a couple out there:

I read 'The Image: A Guide To Pseudo-Events In America' last year, it was published 50+ years ago by a very recommended writer and accomplished historian. Boorstin's observations are truer today and even more concerning thanks to our modern, ubiquitous "connectivity".

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159979.The_Image

Another by Boorstin, The Discoverers was my fav, like Bryson's 'Short History' on steroids:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_J._Boorstin

I'm currently trying to fathom all of the historical implications of the claims Menzies is making in his book '1434', where apparently everything I learned about history is a lie. While he's making a lot of claims(hoping some sticks?) I'm not truly convinced. It is a very good, believable thought experiment. It almost makes perfect sense given the anglo/euro history of deceit & dishonesty, but I digress:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Menzies

This one took a long time to grok, Dr Mandelbrot tried to warn us:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/665134.The_Mis_Behavior_of_Markets#

Benoit's friend & protege tried to warn us too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Swan_%282007_book%29

Put them together and you get the financial meltdown's 'Don't say we didn't warn you' manifesto from 2006(not a book, but a compelling read):
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5372968a-ba82-11da-980d-0000779e2340.html

OK, I'm tired. Time to unplug.

reader2010

Adorno famously pointed out in 1940 that the "Mass culture is psychoanalysis in reverse." It takes 75 years for someone such as PCR to reiterate. He doesn't blame the masses because he simply points out the fact that Americans are completely ignorant and blindly believe anything MSM spoon-fed to them.

George Orwell once remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we believe in the authority of what Adorno called Culture Industry and MSM, no matter what. Today we are indeed in another Dark Age


PoasterToaster

"Americans" are not one person. Individuals are not fungible. Reasoning from the "average American" leads to false conclusions.

reader2010

Jacques Derrida says, "The individualism of technological civilization relies precisely on a misunderstanding of the unique self. It is the individualism of a role and not of a person. In other words it might be called the individualism of a masque or persona, a character [personnage] and not a person." There are many Americans but they all play the same role in the Pursuit of Happiness, aka wage slaves, career slaves, debt slaves, information junkies, and passive consumers.

Moccasin

Paul Craig Roberts believe that the people are capable of creating a better and more just society. Instead the people have voted against their own best interest and overwhelmingly believe the propaganda.

When do the people or the society take responsibility for its greater good or own the crimes of those they put into power?

Blaming the aristocracy or the oligarchs seems like a scapegoat when the people have never stood up to the corruption in a cohesive or concerted way. imho, After a few generations of abuse and corruption the people need to take responsibility for their future. I expect that most will just buy into the charade and live the lie, on that basis as a society we are doomed to live in a corporatocracy fascist state.

Aldous Huxley called it a scientific dictatorship, Edward Bernays referred to us as a herd.

Moccasin

In the USA being white, monied and having the capacity to afford a good education is privileged. To his credit he speaks to the greater population, the 'average citizen' and not the plutocratic class.

MSorciere

What we have is the result of conditioning and commoditizing a population. The country is filled with consumers, not citizens. Teach the acquisition of money and goods as the main goal and individualism as the only acceptable social unit. We end up with a nation of insatiable sociopaths, ruled by power-hungry psychopaths.

Divisive politics, jackbooted authority from the DC scumpond down to the cop on the beat, the constant preaching of the cult of the individual as a sustitute for true liberty... all of these have served to destroy a sense of community and decentness between Americans.

The ONLY thing that could threaten the ruling class is a banding together of the people - in large numbers. 'They' have purposefully and effectively quashed that.

Chupacabra1977

When you let jews run your society this is what happens. Go Goy go!!!!!

TrulyStupid

Shifting responsibility to the usual suspects is simply a manifestation of the American moral collapse. Man up and do some self evaluation.

T-NUTZ

"what I have noticed for many years is that the American people have lost, in addition to their own sense of truth and falsity, any sense of mercy and justice for other peoples"

Unfortunately, Paul, the American people have lost any sense of mercy and justice for their own people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXRDq9nKJ0U

Phillyguy

Painful as it may be, we need to rationally look at US history/society. The nascent US was formed by stealing land from the native population and using human capital (read African Slaves) to generate wealth (it took a civil war with circa 500K casualties to stop this- one could argue the US "civil war" never ended). More recently, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940, we dropped atomic bombs on Japan. Currently, the US/NATO war theater extends from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, Persian Gulf, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa (Saudi/US war on Yemen), the Maghreb and E Europe and Russian Border.

Radical Marijuana

"... the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise ..."

Governments were created by the history of warfare, which was always organized crime developing on larger and larger scales. In the context, the greater problem is that people like Paul Craig Roberts are reactionary revolutionaries, who provide relatively good analysis, followed by bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals.

The "American People" are the victims of the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy. As Cognitive Dissonance has previously stated on Zero Hedge: "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled."

It is practically impossible to exaggerate the degree to which that is so, on such profound levels, because of the ways that most people want to continue to believe that false fundamental dichotomies and impossible ideals are valid, and should be applied to their problems, despite that those mistaken ideas cause the opposite to happen in the real world, because those who promote those kinds of false fundamental dichotomies and their related impossible ideals, ARE "controlled opposition."

Rather, the place to begin would be by recognizing that all human beings and civilizations must necessarily operate as entropic pumps of energy flows, which necessarily are systems of organized lies operating robberies. Everyone has some power to rob, and power to kill to back that up. Governments assembled and channeled those powers. There was never a time when governments were not organized crime. There could never be any time when governments were not organized crime. The only things that exist are the dynamic equilibria between different systems of organized lies operating robberies. Those dynamic equilibria have become extremely unbalanced due the degree that the best organized gangs of criminals were able to control their opposition.

Paul Craig Roberts, as well as pretty well all of the rest of the content published on Zero Hedge, are presentations of various kinds of controlled opposition groups, most of which do not recognize that they are being controlled by the language that they use, and the philosophy of science that they take for granted. THAT is the greatest failure of the American People, as well as most of the rest of the people everywhere else. They believe in false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals, and therefore, their bogus "solutions" always necessarily backfire badly, and cause the opposite to happen in the real world.

After all, the overwhelming vast majority of the American People operate as the controlled opposition to the best organized gangs of criminals that most control the government of the USA. Therefore, the FAILURES of the American People are far more profound and problematic than what is superficially presented by guys like Paul Craig Roberts, and also, of course, his suggested bogus "solutions" are similarly superficial.

The ONLY things which can actually exist are the dynamic equilibrium between different systems of organized lies operating robberies. The degree to which the American People, as well as most of the rest of the people in the world, FAIL to understand that is the degree to which they enable the best organized gangs of criminals to control them, due to the vast majority of people being members of various controlled opposition groups. Controlled opposition always presents relatively superficial analysis of the political problems, which are superficially correct. However, they then follow that up with similarly superficial "solutions." Therefore, magical words are bandied about, that express their dualities, through false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals.

Governments must exist because organized crime must exist. Better governments could be achieved through better organized crime. However, mostly what get presented in the public places are the utter bullshit of the biggest bullies, who dominate the society because they were the best organized gangs of criminals, who were also able to dominate their apparent opposition. Therefore, instead of more realistic, better balancing of the dynamic equilibria between different systems of organized lies operating robberies, we get runaway developments of the best organized gangs of criminals being able to control governments, whose only apparent opposition is controlled to stay within the same bullshit frame of reference regarding everything that was actually happening.

The mainline of the FAILURES of the American People have been the ways that the international bankers were able to recapture control over the American public "money" supply. After that, everything else was leveraged up, through the funding of the political processes, schools, and mass media, etc., being more and more dominated by that fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system. Of course, that FAILURE has now become more than 99% ... Therefore, no political possible ways appear to exist to pull out of that flaming spiral nose dive, since we have already gone beyond the event horizon into that social black hole.

Most of the content on Zero Hedge which is based upon recognizing that set of problems still acts as controlled opposition in that regard too. Therefore, the bogus "solutions" here continue to deliberately ignore that money is necessarily measurement backed by murder. Instead of accepting that, the controlled opposition groups like to promote various kinds of "monetary reforms." However, meanwhile, we are actually already headed towards the established debt slavery systems having generated debt insanities, which are going to provoke death insanities.

In that context, the only realistic resolutions to the real problems would necessarily have to be monetary revolutions, that may emerge out of the future situations, after the runaway debt insanities have provoked death insanities. Indeed, the only genuine solutions to the problems are to develop different death control systems, to back up different debt control systems, which must necessarily be done within the context that governments are the biggest forms of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals.

The various controlled opposition groups do not want to face those social facts. Rather, they continue to want to believe in the dualities expressed as false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals, which is their greatest overall FAILURE. In my view, the article above by Roberts contained a lot of nostalgic nonsense. There was never a time when there were any governments which were not based on the applications of the principles and methods of organized crime, and there could never be any time in the future when that could be stopped from being the case.

The greatest FAILURE of the American People, as well as most of the rest of the world's people, has been to become so brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit world view, that there is no significant opposition that is not controlled by thinking inside of the box of that bullshit. The government did NOT transform into a criminal enterprise. The government was necessarily ALWAYS a criminal enterprise. That criminal enterprise has become more and more severely UNBALANCED due to the FAILURE of the people to understand that they were actually members of an organized crime gang, called their country. Instead, they were more and more scientifically brainwashed to believe in bullshit about everything, including their country.

The ONLY connection between human laws and the laws of nature is the ability to back up lies with violence. The development of the government of the USA has been the developed of integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. Those systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS have been able to become more extremely unbalanced because there is almost nothing which is publicly significant surrounding that core of organized crime but various controlled opposition groups.

Of course, it seems politically impossible for my recommendations to actually happen within the foreseeable future, as the current systems of debt slavery drive through debt insanities to become death insanities, but nevertheless, the only theoretically valid ideas to raise to respond to the real problems would have to based upon a series of intellectual scientific revolutions. However, since we have apparently run out of time to go through those sorts of paradigm shifts sufficiently, we are stuck in the deepening ruts of political problems which guys like Roberts correctly present to be the case

... HOWEVER, ROBERTS, LIKE ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE, CONTINUE TO PRESUME UPON DUALITIES, AND THEREFORE, HAVE THEIR MECHANISMS REGARDING "SOLUTIONS" ABSURDLY BACKWARDS.

Rather, we should start with the concept of SUBTRACTION, which then leads to robbery. We should start with the recognition that governments are necessarily, by definition, the biggest forms of organized crime. Governments did NOT transform into being that. Governments were always that. The political problems we have now are due to the best organized gangs of criminals, which currently are primarily the biggest gangsters, which can rightly be referred to as the banksters, having dominated all aspects of the funding of politics, enough to capture control over all sociopolitical institutions, so that the American People would more and more be subjected to the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy, which was built on top of thousands of years of previous history of Neolithic Civilizations being based on backing up lies with violence.

The runaway systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS, or the integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, that more and more dominate the lives of the American People are due to the applications of the methods of organized crime, and could not be effectively counter-balanced in any other ways. However, the standing social situation is that there is no publicly significant opposition that is not controlled to stay within the same frame of reference of the biggest bullies, which is now primarily the frame of reference of the banksters. Indeed, to the degree to which people's lives are controlled by the monetary system, they are debt slaves. Moreover, the degree to which they do not understand, and do not want to understand, that money is necessarily measurement backed by murder, then they think like controlled opposition groups, who have their mechanisms absurdly backwards, when they turn from their superficial analysis of what the political problems, to then promote their superficial solutions of those problems.

I AGREE that "Americans need to face the facts." However, those facts are that citizens are members of an organized crime gang, called their country. "Their" country is currently controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals. However, there are no genuine resolutions for those problems other than to develop better organized crime. Since the controlled opposition groups that are publicly significant do not admit any of the deeper levels of the scientific facts regarding human beings and civilizations operating as entropic pumps of energy flows, but rather, continue to perceive all of that in the most absurdly backward ways possible, the current dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies continue to become more and more extremely UNBALANCED.

In the case of the article above, Roberts does NOT "face the facts" that governments were always forms of organized crime, and must necessarily be so, because human beings must live as entropic pumps of energy flows. Rather, Roberts tends to illustrate how the controlled opposition takes for granted certain magical words and phrases, such as "Liberty" or "Constitution," that have no adequate operational definitions to connect them to the material world.

We are living inside of an oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, which has applied the progress in science primarily to become better at backing up lies with violence, while refusing to allow scientific methods to admit and address how and why that has been what has actually happened. Therefore, almost all of the language that we use to communicate, as well as almost all of the philosophy of science that we take for granted, was based on the biggest bullies' bullshit, which is now primarily manifested as the banksters' bullshit, as that bullshit developed in America to become ENFORCED FRAUDS.

ALL of the various churches, corporations, and countries are necessarily various systems of organized lies operating robberies. Those which are the biggest now were historically the ones that were the best at doing that. The INTENSE PARADOXES are due to human systems necessarily being organized lies operating robberies, wherein the greatest social successfulness has been achieved by those who were the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites. That flows throughout ALL of the established systems, which are a core of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition groups.

The degree to which the American People, as well as the rest of the world's people, have been more and more scientifically brainwashed to believe in bullshit about governments in particular, and human beings and civilizations in general, is the degree to which the established systems based upon ENFORCED FRAUDS are headed towards some series of psychotic breakdowns. For all practical purposes, it is politically impossible to get enough people to stop acting like incompetent political idiots, and instead start acting more like competent citizens, because they do not understand, and moreover have been conditioned to not want to understand that governments are necessarily organized crime.

Roberts ironically illustrated the deeper nature of the political problems that he also shares, when he perceives that governments have somehow transformed into being criminal enterprise, when governments were always necessarily criminal enterprises. Similarly, with those who recognize that, but then promote the impossible solutions based upon somehow stopping that from being the case, which is as absurdly backwards as stopping human beings from operating as entropic pumps of energy flows, which then also presumes that it would be possible to stop human civilizations from being entropic pumps of energy flows.

Rather, the deeper sorts of intellectual scientific revolutions that we should go through require becoming much more critical of the language that we use to communicate with, and more critical about the philosophy of science that we presumed was correct. Actually, we were collectively brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit, which is as absurdly backwards as it could possibly be. However, due to the collective FAILURES of people to understand that, as reflected by the ways that the core of organized crime is surrounded by nothing which is publicly significant than layers of controlled opposition, there are no reasonable ways to doubt that the established debt slavery systems will continue to drive even worse debt insanities, which will provoke much worse death insanities. Therefore, to be more realistic about the foreseeable future, the development of new death control systems will emerge out of the context of crazy collapses into chaos, wherein the runaway death insanities provide the possible opportunities for new death controls to emerge out of that situation.

Of course, the about 99% FAILURE of the American People to want to understand anything that I have outlined above indicates that the foreseeable future for subsequent generations shall not too likely be catalyzed transformations towards enough people better understanding their political problems, in order to better resolve those problems. Rather, what I mostly expect is for the psychotic breakdowns of the previous systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS to give opportunities to some possible groups of controlled opposition to take advantage of that, to perhaps emerge as the new version of professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, who will be able to operate some new version of organized lies, operating robberies, who may mostly still get away with being some modified versions of still oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, due to social success still being based upon the best available professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, who were able to survive through those transformations, so that the new systems arise from some of the seeds of the old systems.

At the present time, it is extremely difficult to imagine how the human species could possibly reconcile progress in physical science by surpassing that with progress in political science. Rather, what mostly exists now is the core of organized crime, which gets away with spouting the bullshit about itself, such as how the banksters dominate the mass media, and the lives of everyone else who depend upon the established monetary system (which is dominated by the current ways that governments ENFORCE FRAUDS by privately controlled banks), while that core of organized crime has no publicly significant opposition that is not controlled by the ways that they think, which ways stay within the basic bullshit world view, as promoted by the biggest bullies for thousands of years, and as more and more scientifically promoted to brainwash the vast majority of people to believe in that kind of bullshit so completely that it mostly does not occur to them that they are doing that, and certainly almost never occurs to them that they are doing that in the most profoundly absurd and backward ways possible.

That is how and why it is possible for an author like Roberts to correctly point out the ways in which the government of the USA is transforming into being more blatantly based on organized crime ... HOWEVER, Roberts is not willing and able to go through deeper levels of intellectual scientific revolutions, in order to recognize how and why governments were always necessarily manifestations of organized crime. Therefore, as is typically the case, Roberts does not recognize how ironically he recommends that Americans should "face the facts," while he himself does not fully do so.

The whole history of Neolithic Civilizations was social pyramid systems based on being able to back up lies with violence, becoming more sophisticated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which currently manifest as the globalized electronic frauds of the banksters, were are backed up by the governments (that those banksters effectively control) having atomic bombs. Those are the astronomically amplified magnitudes of the currently existing combined money/murder systems. Therefore, it appears to be politically impossible at the present time to develop better governments, due to the degree that almost everyone is either a member of the core groups of organized crime, or members of the surrounding layers of groups of controlled opposition, both of which want to stay within the same overall bullshit frame of reference, because, so far, their lives have been socially successful by being professional liars and immaculate hypocrites.

Ironically, I doubt that someone like Roberts, or pretty well everyone else whose material is published on Zero Hedge is able and willing to recognize the degree to which they are actually controlled opposition. Indeed, even more ironically, as I have repeated before, even Cognitive Dissonance, when he previously stated on Zero Hedge: "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled." DOES NOT "GET IT" regarding the degree to which he too is controlled opposition, even while superficially attempting to recognize and struggle with that situation. (Indeed, of course, that includes me too, since I am still communicating using the English language, which was the natural language that most developed to express the biggest bullies' bullshit world view.)

Overall, I REPEAT, the deeper problems are due to progress in physical science, NOT being surpassed by progress in political science. Instead, while there EXIST globalized electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs, practically nothing regarding the ways of thinking that made that science and those technologies possible has found any significant expression through political science, because political science would have to go through even more profound paradigm shifts within itself in order to do that.

The INTENSE PARADOXES continue to be the manifestation of the oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, that deliberately refuses to become any more genuinely scientific about itself. Therefore, the banksters have been able to pay for the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy, for generation after generation, in order to more and more brainwash most of the American People to believe in the banksters' bullshit world view. While there exist electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs, practically nothing regarding the physical science paradigm shifts that made that possible have even the slightest degree of public appreciation within the realms of politics today, which are almost totally dominated by the biggest bullies' bullshit world view, despite that being as absurdly backwards as possible, while the controlled opposition groups, mostly in the form of old-fashioned religions and ideologies, continue to stay within that same bullshit world view, and adamantly refuse to change their perceptual paradigms regarding political problems.

However, I REPEAT, the issues we face are NOT that governments have transformed to become criminal enterprises, but that governments were always necessarily criminal enterprises, which had the power to legalized their own lies, and then back those lies up with legalized violence. Thereby, the best organized criminals, the international bankers, as the biggest gangsters, or the banksters, were able to apply the methods of organized crime through the political processes. Meanwhile, the only "opposition" that was allowed to be publicly significant was controlled, to basically stay within the same bullshit world view, which is what Roberts has done in his series of articles, as well as what is almost always presented in the content published on Zero Hedge.

The NEXT LEVEL of "the need to face the facts" is to recognize that the political economy is based upon ENFORCED FRAUDS, or systems of debt slavery backed by wars based on deceits. However, the NEXT LEVEL "the need to face the facts" is the that the only possible changes are to change the dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies, i.e., change those ENFORCED FRAUDS, in ways which CAN NOT STOP THOSE FROM STILL BEING ENFORCED FRAUDS, because of the degree to which money is necessarily measurement backed by murder.

For the American People, as well as the rest of the world's people, to stop being such dismal FAILURES would require them to become more competent citizens. However, at the present time they appear to be totally unable to do that, because they are unwilling to go through the profound paradigm shifts that it would take them to become more competent citizens inside of world where there exist globalized electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs. The vast majority of the American People would not like to go through the severe cognitive dissonance that would be required, to not only recognize that "their" government was a criminal enterprise, but that it also must be, and that they too must necessarily be members of that organized crime gang. However, without that degree of perceptual paradigm shifts of the political problems, then enough of the American People could not become more competent citizens.

Somehow, most people continue to count on themselves never having to think about how and why progress was achieved in physical science, by going through series of profound paradigm shifts in the ways that we perceived the world. Most people continue to presume that it is not necessary for their perception of politics to go through profound paradigm shifts, that surpass those which have already been achieved in physical science. We continue to live in an oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, that employs science and technology to become better at being dishonest and violent, but does not apply science and technology to "face the facts" about that scientific dictatorship as a whole.

At the present time, technologies which have become trillions of times more capable and powerful are primarily used as special effects within the context of repeating the same old-fashioned, stupid social stories, such as promoted by the biggest bullies, and their surrounding controlled opposition groups. Ironically, especially when it comes to politics, that tends to manifest the most atavistic throwbacks to old-fashioned religions and ideologies being relied upon to propose bogus "solutions," despite that those kinds of social stories adamantly refuse to change their paradigms in light of the profound paradigms shifts which have been achieved in physical science.

The article above was another illustration of the ways that the typical reactionary revolutionaries, Black Sheeple, or controlled opposition groups, respond to recognizing the more and more blatant degrees to which there has been an accelerating "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY CONTINUE TO STAY WITHIN THE SAME OLD-FASHIONED BULLSHIT-BASED FRAME OF REFERENCE, INSTEAD, AROUND AND AROUND WE GO, STUCK IN THE SAME DEEPENING RUTS, since they do NOT more fully "face the facts" regarding how and why the only realistic solutions to the real problems would require developing better organized crime. INSTEAD, they continue to promote the same dualities based upon false fundamental dichotomies, and the associate bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals ...

Given that overall situation, that there there almost nothing which is publicly significant than the core of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition groups, I see no reasonable hopes for the foreseeable material future of a civilization controlled by ENFORCED FRAUDS, since there is no publicly possible ways to develop better dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies, since the biggest forms of doing that were most able to get away with pretending that they are not doing that, which was facilitated by their controlled opposition promoting the opinions that nobody should do that, while actually everyone must be doing that.

Roberts' article above, to me, was another typical example of superficially correct analysis, which implies some bogus "solutions" because those are based upon the same superficiality. It is NOT good enough to recognize "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise," unless one goes through deeper levels of analysis regarding how and why that is what actually exists, and then, one should continue to be consistent with that deeper analysis when one turns to proposing genuine solutions to those problems, namely, I REPEAT THAT the only realistic resolutions to the real political problems requires the transformation of government into a better organized criminal enterprise, which ideally should be based upon enough citizens who are competent enough to understand that they are members of an organized crime gang, which should assert themselves to make sure that their country becomes better organized crime.

[Nov 13, 2017] People who are told at every possible opportunity how exceptional they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders. The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because exceptional countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

Notable quotes:
"... Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands. ..."
"... The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

How the establishment attempts to brainwash collective memory concerning war criminals
str8arrow62 | Nov 12, 2017 3:46:35 PM | 2
Rolling that wheelchair bound POS ex-Prez. out on to the field at the last super duper bowl to a cheering audience can now be considered a weekly 2 minutes of stupidity ritual.
Daniel | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:02 PM | 3
nhs @2, yes, this rehabilitation of war criminals is startling. I first noticed it a few years ago, and wrote this comment during the primaries when I still had hope that Sanders could present a step in the right direction.


A few years back, Stephen Colbert did a dance routine skit in which he danced into Henry Kissinger's office and then left. I commented that I didn't think it appropriate to include that war criminal in a "progressive" comedy skit that didn't call him out as the monster he is, and I got a lot of grief from Colbert fans (which I was also).

Then, in Jon Stewart's last season on The Daily Show, he had Henry Kissinger on as a guest and did a disgustingly fawning interview. I was sickened.

Why? I asked. Why was Viacom introducing to this younger audience a war criminal and treating him like some great statesman?

Then, the Obama Administration (Ash Carter specifically) gave Kissinger the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award our country can grant to a civilian.

What???

But then, in one of the debates against Bernie Sanders, HRC gave a shout out to Kissinger as a dear friend whom she has gone to for advice on foreign policy for decades, and to whom she would seek out his "wise counsel" if elected President.

And then the previous couple of years of gradually refurbishing Kissinger made sense.

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.

notheonly1 | Nov 12, 2017 6:56:13 PM | 7
@ nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

A very good example as to why Krishnamurti called this society 'profoundly sick'.

Although we now know that it is much more than that. Instead of being profoundly sick, this society is terminally ill.

This happening is reminiscent of the practices the Fascists devised in Germany. The media depicted the most rabid war criminals as loyal followers of the Führer. In other words, they were above the law and shielded from any public scrutiny (by the same kind of 'media') until they ended up at the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which the big boys got scot free and the little guys were hung. Which in turn led to the German 'proverb' "Die Kleinen hängt man und die Grossen läßt man laufen." (The little ones are hanged and the big ones walk away.)

So, by itself there is nothing new about that. What is most disturbing though, is the impunity the so called 'news' 'media' displays when lying to the public. One day the chicken will come home to roost.

The archaic leadership delusion needs to go. Abolish the office of the most dangerous man on earth. The government is public enemy number one and there are two ways of denial about it:

The first is related to ' inexterminateable ' obedience . There are really still people out there that believe all the shit the 'media' churns out on behalf of the owners of this planet (at least that's how see themselves).

Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes.

After all we only do it to protect the American people and their allies from all these dictators that we have prepped up prior. With the exception of Syria, that is on the regime change wish list of public enemy number one since 70 years.

Thanks for the link, even though I had some stomach fluid coming up at the sight of these pathetic excuses for what goes for a Human Being.

Sigh. It really looks like it will get a lot worse before it can get slightly better.

[Oct 31, 2017] Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.

Oct 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

Alfred , October 31, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

Israel is overplaying its hand. Hubris always comes before the downfall.

All their plans in the Middle East have failed. They have not won a single war since 1967. In 1973, they were saved by US pilots, intelligence and supplies. Ever since they have failed – most recently in Syria.

Erebus , October 31, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
@whyamihere

It's amazing to me how people get so angry at the thought of the US supporting the only friend it has in the region, Israel.

To which John Sheehan, S.J. provides the perfect retort:
"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East."

Buzz Baldrin , October 31, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@whyamihere

I side with President Eisenhower's diplomacy-first foreign policy, which balanced domestic and military spending.

In practice, this meant neutrality to Israel, reduced boots on the ground in the Middle East, a huge missile gap over the Soviet Union, controlled and relatively beneficial immigration, and expanded physical and cultural infrastructure during the 50s.

, as for your fear that Muslim terrorists would "turn Israel into another third world Muslim hellhole where barbarity is commonplace," you're a little late. Likud beat them to it.

Dr. X , October 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
@whyamihere

Can someone please explain to me (with limited snark, if possible) why you side with Hamas and Hezbollah over Israel?

I don't side with Hamas or Hezbollah over Israel. I think a lot of Muslims are nutjobs and lunatics. However, I as an American am under no obligation to pick one side or the other. America should be neutral with regard to Muslim nutjobs, as well as Jewish nutjobs who think that Yahweh made them the "Chosen People" and will give them the "Promised Land."

Not. My. Problem.

As John Quincy Adams said, America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy" and America "is the champion and vindicator only of her own ."

Screw Hamas and Hezbollah, and screw Israel, too.

Anon2000 , Next New Comment October 31, 2017 at 9:40 pm GMT
Trump has made many big mistakes, including his entire foreign policy team from Tillerson to John Mattis to HR McMaster, but Nikki Haley has got to be one of the worst mistakes he ever made. This daft woman should just be known as "Israel's ambassador to the UN", nothing more than an attack dog for Israel. She has made no effort whatsoever to even be remotely objective or cool headed when it comes to Israel. Given all the rumors coming out of South Carolina of her extra marital affairs, I am almost certain she's sleeping with an Israel loving neocon Jew.

She is also John McCain in a dress. Every time Trump is anywhere near this woman, he's talking about going to war with somebody, be it Syria, Venezuela, North Korea John McCain in a dress is leading the way.

The whole "Russian collusion" investigation was a farce. The real foreign interference in our election that Mueller should be investigating are Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Saudis donated no less than $25m to the Clinton Foundation and even directly to her campaign, while Israel has enough Jewish agents in the US donating on their behalf.

utu , October 31, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT

The PLO was also supported by the old Soviet Union

In retrospect Soviet influence in the Middle East was very positive. It helped to create secular states like Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Libya (and Afghanistan in late 1970s) with modern universal educational systems, rights for women, industrialization, etc. It was the West and Israel that decided to destroy these states by using Islamists and Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists by supporting them starting with Muslim Brotherhood, Al Queida, Daesh and pumping up and keeping alive Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. It is possible that fundamentalists were used even against the pro western Islamic state like Iran in 1979 because it was modernizing fast and growing strong and the fact that Iran was very pro West and pro Israel did not save it. Israel prefers weak and dysfunctional states/areas even if they are overtly hostile to Israel over friendly and strong (like Iran of Shah) states.

It is the West and Israel that are solely responsible for stoking up the flames of radical Islamism and it is them responsible for spreading of Islamophobia in the West which has only one purpose: the acceptance of Israel and its plans of domination and expansion as the comrade in arms gains common enemy. The enemy was however constructed. Everything what we are doing now is reactive to what the US and Israel has created.

[Oct 31, 2017] The Dangerous Trend Threatening the Future of the Nation-State by John Feffer

Weak article but some valuable observations: "Since these [neoliberal] figures and institutions delivered an economics of inequality and a foreign policy of war over the last three decades, the flight from the center is certainly understandable." ... "Secessionist movements are gaining momentum" ... "Those who might enjoy an EU-style frisson of schadenfreude look at Europe's ills as a case of the chickens coming home to roost. Many European governments supported the American-led conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria that have shattered the Greater Middle "
He does not understand that neoliberalism, and , especially, neoliberal globalization, generates powerful splash of nationalism. So in Europe 2020th might be a repeat 1920th on a new level. As colonialism under neoliberalism was replaced by neo-colonialism in a form of debt slavery and enforcement of Washington consensus, what we observe is the start of blowback.
In a way nationalism remain the only viable option ion the fight against neoliberalism.
Oct 25, 2017 | fpif.org
... ... ...

Sure, most Americans don't yet fall into irreconcilable factions . But if you consider the transformation of Yugoslavia from vacation spot to killing field in two short years after 1989, it's easier to imagine how a few demagogues, with their militant supporters, could use minority passions in this country to neutralize majority sentiments. All of which suggests why the "American carnage" that Trump invoked in his inaugural address could turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Of course, it's not just Donald Trump. Globally speaking, the fledgling American president is more symptom than cause. The United States is just now catching up to much of the rest of the world as President Trump, from his bullying pulpit, does whatever he can to make America first in fractiousness.

When it comes to demagogues and divisiveness, however, he has plenty of competition -- in Europe, the Middle East, indeed all over our splintering planet.

The Multiplication of Division

The recent referendum on independence in Catalonia is a reminder that a single well-timed blow can break apart the unitary states of Europe as if they were nothing but poorly made piñatas. True, it's not clear how many Catalans genuinely want independence from Spain. Those who participated in the referendum there opted overwhelmingly in favor of secession, but only 42 percent of voters even bothered to register their preference. In addition, the announced relocation of 531 companies to other parts of the country is a sobering reminder of the potential economic consequences of secession. However the standoff may be resolved, though, separatist sentiments are not about to vanish in Catalonia, particularly given the Spanish government's heavy-handed attempts to stop the vote.

Such splittism is potentially contagious. After Britons narrowly supported Brexiting the European Union (EU) in a referendum in 2016, the Scots again began talking about independence -- about, that is, separating from their southern cousins while remaining within the EU. Catalans have a different dilemma. A declaration of independence would promptly sever the new country from the European Union, even as the move might spread independence fever to other groups in Spain, particularly the Basques .

The British and the Catalans have delivered something like a prolonged one-two punch to the EU, which until recently had been in continuous expansion: from six member states in 1957 to 28 today. Losing both Great Britain and Catalonia would mean kissing goodbye to more than one-fifth of that organization's economic output. (According to 2016 numbers , the United Kingdom contributes 2.7 trillion euros and Catalonia 223 billion euros to the EU's 14.8 trillion euro gross domestic product.) That's the economic equivalent of California and Florida peeling off from the United States.

The question is whether the British and Catalan votes are the culmination of a mini-trend or the beginning of the end. Although Brexit actually gave a boost to the EU's popularity across its member states (including England), Brussels continues to experience pushback from those states on immigration, financial bailouts, and the process of decision-making.

Euroskeptic movements like the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany and the Freedom Party in Austria have met with growing success and rising voter support, even in Euro-friendly countries. In that continent's future lie: a possible Czexit as a right-wing billionaire takes over as prime minister of the Czech Republic and looks to create a governing coalition with a vehemently anti-immigrant and anti-EU partner; a Nexit if Euroskeptic Geert Wilders succeeds in expanding his political base further in the Netherlands; and even an Italexit as voters there have bucked the "Brexit effect," with 57 percent now favoring a referendum on membership.

... ... ...

Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to the consolidation of the French nation in the nineteenth century, for instance, the inhabitants of the country thought of themselves as Bretons, Provençals, Parisians, and the like. Contrary to various founding myths, the nation didn't exist from time immemorial. It had to be conjured into existence -- and for a reason.

The nineteenth century witnessed the first great modern shattering as people weaponized the new concept of "nation" and companion notions of ethnic solidarity and popular sovereignty in their struggles against empires. The revolutions of 1825 in Greece and Russia, the 1848 "spring of nations" throughout Europe, the subsequent unification of Germany and Italy -- all were blows against the empires presided over by the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Ottoman sultans.

World War I then dispatched those weakened empires to their graves in one huge conflagration. After the war ended, a Middle East of heterogeneous nation-states and a new group of independent Balkan countries emerged from the defunct Ottoman Empire. Imperial Russia briefly fragmented into dozens of smaller states until the Soviet Union glued them back together by force. The house of the Habsburgs fell and the Central European countries of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary crawled out from under the wreckage.

The second great shattering, which stretched across the middle span of the twentieth century, accompanied the collapse of the colonial empires. The British, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, and German overseas colonies all achieved independence, and a new global map of nation-states emerged in Africa, Asia, and to a lesser extent Latin America where decolonization had largely occurred a century earlier.

... ... ...

Consider, for instance, the impact of economic globalization. The expansion of trade, investment, and corporate activity has long had the effect of drawing nations together -- into cartels like OPEC, trade communities like the European Union, and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund. By the 1970s, however, economic globalization was eating away at the exclusive prerogative of the nation-state to control trade or national currencies or implement policies regulating the environment, health and safety, and labor.

At the same time, particularly in industrialized countries like the United Kingdom and the United States , income inequality increased dramatically. The wealth gap is now worse in the United States than in Iran or the Philippines. Among the top industrialized countries, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the gap between the richest 10 percent of the population and the poorest 10 percent has grown appreciably larger.

Even among countries where inequality has dropped because of government efforts to redistribute income, the perception has grown that globalization favors the rich, not the poor. Fewer than half of French respondents to a 2016 YouGov poll believed that globalization was a force for good -- even though income inequality has fallen in that country since the 1970s. Having once reduced tensions among countries and strengthened the nation-state, economic globalization increasingly pits peoples against one another within countries and among countries.

Other forms of globalization have had a similar effect. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, have connected people in unprecedented ways and provided a mechanism to mobilize against a variety of societal ills, including dictators, trigger-happy police, and sexual harassers. But the other side of the ability to focus organizing efforts within digital affinity groups is the way such platforms Balkanize their users, not by ethnicity as much as by political perspective. Information or opinions challenging one's worldview that once appeared in the newspaper or occasionally on the evening news get weeded out in the Facebook newsfeed or the Twitter stream of one's favorite amplifiers.

Ethnic cleansing by decree has been largely overtaken by ideological cleansing by consent. What's the point of making the necessary compromises to function in a diverse nation-state when you can effectively secede from society and hang with your homies in a virtual community?

Given the polarizing impact of economic and technological globalization, it's no surprise that the politics of the middle has either disappeared or, because of a weak left, drifted further to the right. Donald Trump is the supreme expression of this stunning loss of faith in centrist politicians as well as such pillars of the institutional center as the mainstream media.

Since these figures and institutions delivered an economics of inequality and a foreign policy of war over the last three decades, the flight from the center is certainly understandable. What's new, however, is the way Trump and other right-wing populists have stretched this disaffection, which might ordinarily have powered a new left, to encompass what might be called the three angers over: immigration, the expansion of civil rights, and middle-class entitlement programs. Fueled by a revulsion for the center, Trump is not simply interested in undermining his political opponents and America's adversaries. He has a twin project, promoted for decades by the extreme right, of destroying the federal government and the international community.

That's why the fourth great shattering is different. In the past, people opposed empires, colonial powers, and the ideological requirements of the Cold War by banding together in more compact nation-states. They were still willing to sacrifice on behalf of their unknown compatriots -- to redistribute tax revenues or follow rules and regulations -- just on a smaller scale.

Nationalism hasn't gone away. Those who want to preserve a unitary state (Spain) as well as those who want out of the same state (Catalonia) appeal to similarly nationalist sentiments. But today, the very notion of acting in solidarity with people in a territorial unit presided over by a state is fast becoming passé. Citizens are in flight from taxes, multiculturalism, public education, and even the guarantee of basic human rights for all. The fourth great shattering seems to be affecting the very bonds that constitute the nation-state, any nation-state, no matter how big or small.

[Oct 29, 2017] John Feffer The Real Disuniting of America by Tom Engelhardt

Wars eventually deeply affect on the nation which launches them....
Notable quotes:
"... Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief. ..."
"... Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. ..."
"... In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief.

Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. Over these last months, the American bombing campaign against Raqqa and the artillery support that went with it reportedly killed more than 1,000 civilians and turned significant parts of the city into rubble -- and what that didn't do, ISIS bombs and other munitions did. (According to estimates , they could take years to find and remove.) And Raqqa is just the latest Middle Eastern city to be smashed more or less to bits.

And since the splintering of the planet is the TomDispatch subject of the day, what about the recent Austrian election, fought out and won by right-wing "populists" on the basis of anti-refugee sentiments and Islamophobia? Where exactly did such sentiments come from? You know perfectly well: from America's war on terror and the much-vaunted " precision warfare " (smart bombs and the rest) that continues to fracture a vast swath of the planet from Afghanistan to Libya and beyond.

In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. In this way, America's 16-year-old war on terror has been a genuine force for terror, and so for the kind of resentment and fear that's now helping to crack open a recently united Europe (and in the United States helped elect well, you know just who).

And that's only a small introduction to the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Don't even get me started on our president and climate change!

As it happens, the fellow who brought the nature of this splintering home to me was TomDispatch regular John Feffer, who in early 2015 began writing for this website what became his remarkable dystopian novel Splinterlands . In it, he imagined our shattered planet in 2050 so vividly that it's stayed with me ever since -- and evidently with him, too, because today he considers just how quickly the splintering process he imagined has been occurring not in his fictional version of our world, but in the all-too-real one.

Robert Magill , October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

If we lose the state in a fourth great shattering, we will lose an important part of ourselves as well: our very humanity.

In many respects the "state", USA that is, is already lost. What we had until the 1950s was an ongoing mythology known as America; an agreed upon, ongoing concern known abroad for its popular music, for Hollywood, for a thriving middle class, a healthy working-class and a supplier of goods and services to the world, envy of all. Well, we shot a few holes in Myth America!

First to go was the music: replaced by Bubblegum; downhill from there. Tin Pan Alley is now dumpster heaven. The middle class now resides in Beijing with largess delivered to our Dollar emporiums (not seen here since the Great Depression). Noticeable gaps in the starving malls once housed record stores and book shops; remember them?

The final blow has landed on the movie houses across the land. Near empty, struggling. Even in the depths of the 30′s, movie house were full. But then, "No myth:No nation". No more.

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/mankind-a-bogus-species/

[Oct 28, 2017] Independence and Self-Determination by James Petras

Nationalism was used and will be used by Western powers to weaken opponents as "enhanced" divide and conquer strategy. That's given. an interesting nuance is that several nationalist movement (for example in Ukraine and Baltic countries) de-facto promote enlargement of neoliberal empire led by the USA, which, in reality is the bitter enemy of any national self-determination and will support them only until such support weakened their geopolitical adversaries. The key political players in this empire are not nations but transnational corporations. Such a paradox, that several nationalist movement fail to understand.
An interesting nuance with Crimea and Ukraine was that at the moment of Crimea referendum for independence, Provisional government of Yatsenyuk-Turchinov in Kiev was form international legal norms standpoint an illegitimate junta, as Yanukovich was still alive (despite attempts to kill him) and did not pass the presidential power to Provisional government. The only claim to legitimacy of Provisional government was the fact that it was supported by the USA and EU. Putin refused to play this card, but in general he could announce Ukrainian government in exile and occupy all Eastern and Southern Ukraine under the pretext of restoring legitimate. there were two problems with this solution: Yanukovich was probably hated by most population for corruption (which actually did not exceed the levels achieved under Poroshenko; so it is unclear what Ukraine people gained here) and that might create problems with a few cities with some sizable "nationalists" population (Dnepropetrovsk is one), but that's about it. In such situation Western Ukraine and announce that it is legitimate Ukraine, with Western Ukraine simply cut from the rest.
As new regime now dropped the standard of living of population to African level of poverty, and population started to reject Western Ukrainian nationalism as a path to nowhere, this scenario might still possible in case some major crisis in Kiev. The key issue here is that new separate republic should be independent from both Russia and Western Ukraine. Of couse the USA will try their best to block this scenario.
Notable quotes:
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... Many of the prime movers of empire-building adopted the tactics of dividing and conquering adversaries – under the liberal pretext of promoting 'self-determination', ..."
"... 'central' ..."
"... 'national unity' ..."
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... 'uneven and combined development' ..."
"... 'Nationalism', ..."
"... 'nationalism' ..."
"... 'nationalist' ..."
"... 'divide and conquer', ..."
"... 'regime change' ..."
"... In the case of Iraq in the 1990's, Kurds were sponsored, armed, funded and defended by the US and Israel in order to weaken and divide the secular-nationalist Iraqi republic. Kurds, again with US support, have organized regional conflicts in Turkey and more recently in Syria, in order to defeat the independent government of Bashar Assad. Leftist Kurds cynically describe their imperial allies, including the Israelis, as 'progressive colonialists'. ..."
"... In brief, the Kurds act as surrogates for the US and Israel: They provide mercenaries, access to military bases, listening and spy posts and resources in their newly ' liberated ..."
"... In the Ukraine, the US hailed the cause of self-determination when it engineered a violent coup to oust an elected regime, whose crime was its commitment to independence from NATO. The coup was openly funded by the US, which financed and trained fascist thugs committed to the expulsion or repression of ethnic Russian speakers, especially in the eastern Donbas region and Crimea with the aim of placing NATO bases on Russia's border. ..."
"... 'self-determination'. ..."
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... 'We bombed the wrong side'. ..."
"... The US imperialist state, like all aspiring empire-builders, represses or supports movements for self-determination according to their class and imperial interests. To be clear: Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle. ..."
"... Imperialism's selective use and abuse of self-determination is not a case of 'hypocrisy' or 'double standards', as their left-liberal supporters complain. Washington applies a single standard: Does this movement advance Empire by securing and buttressing vassal regimes and their supporters? The language of 'liberation' ..."
"... For decades, Eastern European, Balkan and Baltic countries were encouraged to struggle for 'self-determination' against the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, only to later embrace the yoke of vassalage under the command of NATO, the EU and Washington. In many cases their sovereignty and standard of living collapsed followed by ethnic cleansing, including the mass expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and Kosovo and the cultural-linguistic repression of ethnic Russians in Latvia and Ukraine. ..."
"... Beyond the immediate conflicts, many independent regimes, in turn, become oppressive rulers of their own minorities and native critics. 'Self-determination' ad infinitum can ultimately lead to schizoid individuals – extolling their mythical people while oppressing others. Today, Zionism is the ultimate parody of 'self-determination'. Newly independent countries and rulers frequently deny minorities of their own right to self-determination – especially those who sided with the previous power. ..."
"... As for "kleptocracy", that term would seem to describe both the Russian government and the US government, and its vast wasteful & crooked complex of "connected" military contractors, medical-insurance and pharma corporations, big union leadership, and the revolving door of think tanks and "media" outlets. ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Since World War II most of the world's conflicts have revolved around struggles for independence against Western and Japanese colonial/imperial regimes

Following formal independence, a new type of imperial domination was imposed – neo-colonial regimes, in which the US and its European allies imposed vassal rulers acting as proxies for economic exploitation. With the rise of US unipolar global domination, following the demise of the USSR (1990), the West established hegemony over the East European states. Some were subject to fragmentation and sub-divided into new NATO dominated statelets.

The quest for a unipolar empire set in motion a series of wars and ethnic conflicts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States, North Africa, Asia and Western Europe – leading to ethnic cleansing and the global mass refugee crises.

The break-up of nation states spread across the globe as the rhetoric and politics of 'self-determination' replaced the class struggle as the flagship for social justice and political freedom.

Many of the prime movers of empire-building adopted the tactics of dividing and conquering adversaries – under the liberal pretext of promoting 'self-determination', without clarifying who and what the 'self' represented and who really benefited

Sectional, regional, cultural and ethnic identities served to polarize struggles. In contrast 'central' regimes fought to retain 'national unity' in order to repress regional revolts.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss the national and international forces behind the slogans of 'self-determination' and the larger international and regional consequences.

Basic Concepts: Ambiguities and Clarification

One of the striking aspects of the process of globalization and national development is 'uneven and combined development' (ICD). This takes several forms – uneven development between regions, within and between countries, and usually both.

Imperial countries concentrate industries, commerce and banking while colonized/neo-colonized countries are left with export-linked, resource-based enclaves and low-wage assembly plants. Frequently, the capital cities of colonized and de-colonized countries concentrate and centralize political power, wealth, infrastructure, transport and finance while their provinces are reduced to providing raw material and cheap labor by subject people. Infrequently political power and administration – including the military, police and tax collection agencies – are concentrated in economically un-productive central cities, while the wealth-producing, but politically weaker regions, are economically exploited, marginalized and depleted.

Combined and uneven development on international and national levels has led to class, anti-imperialist and regional struggles. Where class -based struggles have been weakened, nationalist and ethnic leaders and movements assume political leadership.

'Nationalism', however, has two diametrically opposing faces: In one version Western backed regional movements work to degrade anti-imperialist regimes in order to subordinate the entire nation to the dictates of an imperial power. In a different context, broad-based secular nationalists struggle to gain political independence by defeating imperial forces and their local surrogates, who are often ethnic or religious minority rent-collecting overlords.

Imperial states have always had a clear understanding of the nature of the different kinds of 'nationalism' and which serve their interests. Imperial states support regional and/or 'nationalist' regimes and movements that will undermine anti-imperial movements, regimes and regions. They always oppose 'nationalist' movements with strong working class leadership.

Historical Experience

Imperial Perfidious Albion, the United Kingdom, slaughtered and starved millions of people who resisted its rule in Asia (India, Burma, Malaya and China), Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, etc.) and Europe (Ireland).

At the same time, British imperialists promoted regional conflicts arming Muslims to fight Hindus, Sikhs to fight Muslims, Gurkas to oppress Malays and create various warring religious, ethnic and linguistic groups throughout the Indian subcontinent, Burma and Malaya. Likewise the UK promoted conflicts among religious, secular nationalist and conservative groups throughout the Middle East.

The imperial powers naturally operate through the strategy of 'divide and conquer', labeling their adversaries as 'backward' and 'authoritarian' while praising their surrogates as 'freedom fighters' which they claim are 'in transition to Western democratic values'.

However, the strategic issue is how imperial states define the kind of self-determination to support or repress and when to change their policies: Today's allies are dubbed 'democrats' in the Western press and tomorrow they can be re-assigned the role of 'freedom's enemies' and 'authoritarian', if they act against imperial interests.

The Two Faces of Self-Determination

In contrast to the imperial practice of shifting policies toward dominant regimes and separatist movements, most of the 'left' broadly support all movements for self-determination and label all opponents as 'oppressors'.

As a result the left and the imperialist regimes may end up on the same side in a massive 'regime change' campaign!

The libertarian left cover-up their own fake 'idealism' by labeling the imperial powers as 'hypocrites' and using a 'double-standard'. This is a laughable accusation, since the guiding principle behind an imperial decision to support or reject 'self-determination' is based on class and imperial interests. In other words, when 'self-determination' benefits the empire, it receives full support. There are no abstract historical, moral precepts, devoid of class and imperial content determining policy.

Case Studies: The Myths of the "Stateless Kurds" and "Ukraine's Liberation"

In the Twentieth Century, the Kurdish citizens of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran have made claims of 'self-determination' and fought against established nation-states in the name of 'ethnic liberation'.

But who defines the real 'self' to be liberated?

In the case of Iraq in the 1990's, Kurds were sponsored, armed, funded and defended by the US and Israel in order to weaken and divide the secular-nationalist Iraqi republic. Kurds, again with US support, have organized regional conflicts in Turkey and more recently in Syria, in order to defeat the independent government of Bashar Assad. Leftist Kurds cynically describe their imperial allies, including the Israelis, as 'progressive colonialists'.

In brief, the Kurds act as surrogates for the US and Israel: They provide mercenaries, access to military bases, listening and spy posts and resources in their newly ' liberated (and ethnically cleansed) country ', to bolster US imperialism, which 'their warlord leaders' have chosen as the dominant 'partner'. Is their struggle one of national liberation or mercenary puppetry in the service of empire against sovereign nations resisting imperial and Zionist control?

In the Ukraine, the US hailed the cause of self-determination when it engineered a violent coup to oust an elected regime, whose crime was its commitment to independence from NATO. The coup was openly funded by the US, which financed and trained fascist thugs committed to the expulsion or repression of ethnic Russian speakers, especially in the eastern Donbas region and Crimea with the aim of placing NATO bases on Russia's border.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking people of Crimea opposed the coup and exercised their right to self-determination by voting to rejoin Russia. Likewise the industrialized Donbas region of eastern Ukraine declared its autonomy, opposing the oppressive and grossly corrupt US installed regime in Kiev.

The violent US-EU sponsored coup in Kiev was a blatant form of imperial annexation, while the peaceful vote in Crimea and the militant Eastern Ukraine (Donbas) exercise of self-determination presented a progressive response by anti-imperialist forces. Thwarted in its project to turn Eastern Ukraine and Crimea into NATO launching pads for aggression against Moscow, US/EU condemned this response as 'Russian colonization'.

Tibet and the Uighurs in China's Xinjiang Province

Separatist groups have been actively engaged in armed uprisings for many decades in Tibet and Xinjiang, Western China. While they claimed to be 'independent', their feudal warlords have long been hostile to the positive advances of the Chinese revolution (including the abolition of slavery in Tibet, as well as opium trade and bride price and the extension of universal education in feudal Moslem regions). They collaborated with the US and expansionist India (where the Dalai Lama established his palace and camps of armed supporters, trained and armed by Western imperial agencies).

While the West advertises the Dalai Lama as a peace-loving holy man giving platitudinous speeches to adoring crowds, this saint never condemned the genocidal US wars against fellow Buddhists in Vietnam, Korea or elsewhere.

The well-funded Western pro-Tibet and pro-Uighur celebrity/victim circuit has ignored the links between the Dalai Lama and his imperial patrons, which ultimately defines the operational meaning of 'self-determination'.

Kosova: Self-Determination by Terrorist White Slavers

After World War II, Yugoslavia, liberated from its vicious Nazi collaborators by the Communist partisans, embarked on becoming a peaceful self-managed, multi-ethnic socialist society. But in the 1990's, the overt military intervention of NATO forces deliberately engineered the violent break-up of Yugoslavia into 'independent' statelets. The experiment of a multiethnic socialist state in Europe was destroyed. After massive ethnic cleansing of its non-Albanian populations, a new NATO puppet-state, Kosova, came under the control of an internationally recognized terrorist, white slaver, narco-US vassal Hashim Thaci and his Kosovo Liberation Army thugs.

With the massive US bombing campaign against Belgrade and other Yugoslav cities and with NATO military support, Kosova achieved 'self-determination' – as a huge land-based US aircraft carrier and 'R&R' center (Camp Bondsteel) with discounts at KLA-run brothels for the GI's. Because Kosova serves as a mercenary outpost run by vassal thugs, Washington and Brussels endorsed its claims as a 'liberated independent state'. It has also served as an international discount depot for the gruesome trade in human organs for transplant. Viewing the ethnically cleansed mafia state of Kosovo, then NATO commander, Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie, later admitted: 'We bombed the wrong side'.

The break-up of Yugoslavia, led to multiple separatist mini-states, each of which fell in line with EU-economic domination and US military control. In Western jargon this was dubbed 'democratic self-determination' – the ugly reality is that of massive ethnic cleansing, impoverishment and criminality.

Catalunya's Independence and Neo-Franco Spain

Spain is under the rule of a regime descended from the fascist dictator Francisco Franco. President Mariano Rajoy and his misnamed 'Popular Party' (PP) and his royal sidekick, King Felipe VI, have engaged in massive corruption scandals, money laundering and fraudulent multi-million euro public–private building contracts. Rajoy's neo-liberal policies significantly contributed to a financial crash which resulting in a 30% unemployment rate and an austerity program stripping Spanish workers of their collective bargaining power.

In the face of Catalunya's pursuit of self-determination via free and democratic elections, Rajoy ordered a police and military invasion, seizing ballots, breaking heads and asserting total control.

The Catalans' peaceful exercise of self-determination via free elections, independent of imperial manipulation, was rejected by both the EU and Washington as 'unlawful'– for disobeying Rajoy and his neo-Franco legions.

Self-Determination for Palestine and US Backed Israeli Colonization and Subjugation

For a half-century, Washington has supported brutal Israeli occupation and colonization of the Palestinian 'West Bank'. The US consistently denies self-determination for the people of Palestine and its millions of displaced refugees. Washington arms and finances Israeli expansion through the violent seizure of Palestinian territory and resources as well as the starvation, incarceration, torture and assassination of Palestinians for the crime of asserting their right of self-determination.

The overwhelming majority of US Congressional officials and Presidents, past and present, slavishly take their cues from the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish (Israeli) Organization who add billions to the coffers of colonial Tel Aviv. Israel and its Zionist surrogates inside the US government manipulate the US into disastrous wars in the Middle East against the self-determination of independent Arab and Muslim nations.

Saudi Arabia: Enemy of Yemen's Self-Determination

Saudi Arabia's despotic regime has fought against self-determination in the Gulf States and Yemen. The Saudis, backed by US arms and advisers, have dispossessed millions of Yemeni civilians and killed thousands in a merciless bombing campaign. Over the past decade the Saudis have bombed and blockaded Yemen, destroying its infrastructure, causing a massive plague of cholera and threatening starvation for millions of children in an effort to defeat the Houthi-led Yemeni liberation movement.

The US and UK have provided over a hundred billion dollars in arms sales and give logistical support, including bombing coordinates to the Saudi tyrants while blocking any UN-sponsored diplomatic action to relieve the immense suffering. In this grotesque war crime, Washington and Israel are the Saudi Monarchy's closest associates in denying self-determination to the oppressed people of Yemen who have long resisted Saudi control.

Conclusion

The US imperialist state, like all aspiring empire-builders, represses or supports movements for self-determination according to their class and imperial interests. To be clear: Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle.

Imperialism's selective use and abuse of self-determination is not a case of 'hypocrisy' or 'double standards', as their left-liberal supporters complain. Washington applies a single standard: Does this movement advance Empire by securing and buttressing vassal regimes and their supporters? The language of 'liberation' is a mere gloss to secure the allegiance of vassals opposed to independent states.

For decades, Eastern European, Balkan and Baltic countries were encouraged to struggle for 'self-determination' against the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, only to later embrace the yoke of vassalage under the command of NATO, the EU and Washington. In many cases their sovereignty and standard of living collapsed followed by ethnic cleansing, including the mass expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and Kosovo and the cultural-linguistic repression of ethnic Russians in Latvia and Ukraine.

The Kurdish 'freedom fighters', followed ethnic warlords who were funded by the US and Israel, and took over town, cities, oil resources and territory to serve as imperial military bases against the sovereign governments of Iraq, Iran and Syria.

In this context, the Kurdish warlords and oligarchs are loyal vassals and an integral component of the long-standing US-Israeli policy aimed at dividing and weakening independent allies of Palestine, Yemen and genuine liberation movements.

Clearly the criteria for deciding whose claims of self-determination are valid require identifying whether class and anti-imperialist interests are advanced.

Beyond the immediate conflicts, many independent regimes, in turn, become oppressive rulers of their own minorities and native critics. 'Self-determination' ad infinitum can ultimately lead to schizoid individuals – extolling their mythical people while oppressing others. Today, Zionism is the ultimate parody of 'self-determination'. Newly independent countries and rulers frequently deny minorities of their own right to self-determination – especially those who sided with the previous power.

To the extent that the 'national' struggle is limited to political independence it can lead to a mere 'changing of the guard' – maintaining oppressive class exploitation and introducing new forms of cultural-ethnic and gender oppression.

In some instances the new forms of class exploitation may even surpass their previous conditions under imperial vassalage. Kurds, Tibetans, fascist Ukrainian nationalists, Uighurs and other so-called freedom fighters turn out to be military Sepoys for aggressive US incursion against independent China, Iran and Russia. Leftist backers of these dubious 'liberation movements' tag along behind the empire.

Capitalist 'globalization' is today's greatest enemy to authentic self-determination. Imperial globalization supports fragmented statelets – all the better to convert them into new vassals with their own flag and anthem!

anon , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 6:01 am GMT

I wrote months ago that the U.S, the EU, the Kiev provisional government and Russia should have met and then proposed a solution to Ukraine. They could have suggested a poll of Ukrainian citizens as to whether to split the country into East and West Ukrainian nations along the Dnieper, with built in provisions for free movement of people, finance and goods between the two countries for a specified period in order to ameliorate difficulties of transition. This would have maintained both countries' access to the Black Sea and eliminated the cause of Russia's occupation of Crimea, as well avoiding the subsequent trouble and bloodshed tearing the country apart and the increasing international tension it's causing.

The Kiev government needs increased connection with the West, not the problem of governing half a country's worth of Russophiles in the east. There would be no great threat to the West by having an Eastern Ukraine bordering the Dnieper – the longer the East acceded to the mindset and demands of the kleptocracy that is Russia, especially as greener forms of energy take over, the worse it would look to both itself and others in comparison to West Ukraine, which would be well rid of it, and accelerating its own progress aided by its connections with the West.

But this scenario would require political leadership instead of the standard bumbling and gamesmanship in response to each daily event.

RadicalCenter , October 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
It would seem that the average Ukrainian would tend to benefit from increasing trade with both Russia and the Western countries. Why mention only that "[t]he Kiev government needs increased connection with the West" without mentioning the benefit of trade with the Russian Federation?

As for "kleptocracy", that term would seem to describe both the Russian government and the US government, and its vast wasteful & crooked complex of "connected" military contractors, medical-insurance and pharma corporations, big union leadership, and the revolving door of think tanks and "media" outlets.

Grandpa Charlie , October 21, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

"Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle." -- Petras

That seems clear enough on its face, but then, in his conclusion, Petras introduces "authenticity" into the mix:

Capitalist 'globalization' is today's greatest enemy to authentic self-determination.

So it appears that we are right back in the moral-legal realm after all, under the heading of "authenticity." Or, perhaps, under the mind-numbing category of "class-defined issues"?

In effect, Petras does indeed apply a moral-legal principle: the principle of "authenticity." Under this pretence, Petras essentially equates Kosovo and Tibet, going so far as to conflate the Dalai Lama with whatever "warlords" perhaps exist anywhere in the western regions claimed by the PRC.

Not only is Petras' BS an instance of guilt by association, the association exists nowhere but in Petras' rhetoric -- certainly not any place on the ground in Asia. Ah, but this is where Petras' arch-villain comes in handy for his argument! Who knows whether there may be CIA operatives skulking around, spreading USD in places like Samarkand, setting up arms deals and the like? (Clearly, the Dalai Lams is involved in that, eh?) Thus Petras would pull off a trick of shifting the burden of proof: since the Dalai Lama never involved himself in Vietnam or Korea, then clearly the burden of proof is on those like myself, who question Petras' grand narrative, to show that the Dalai Lama is anything other than a stooge of the arch-villain USA.

Petras expects us to agree, categorically, that there is nothing authentic about "free Tibet" or about objections that the PRC's occupation of Tibet is an instance of genocide, just as surely as was the campaign of the Japanese Empire to annex vast regions of China in WW2. But the truth is that the world doesn't know that the "free Tibet" meme is in any way inauthentic actually we recognize something authentic about it! Perhaps we can condemn the occupation of Palestine by Israel, but to also condemn the occupation of Tibet by China? No, no, no nothing "authentic" about Tibetans' desire for freedom from Chinese imperialism?

https://www.freetibet.org/about-us

hyperbola , October 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@anon

Perhaps Odessa (at least the southern-eastern part) should be joined with Transnistria to accomodate another area with strong Russian population.

[Oct 28, 2017] Is [neo]Liberalism a Dying Faith by Pat Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Nationalism really represent a growing threat to neoliberalism. It is clear the the rise of nationalism was caused by the triumph of neoliberalism all over the globe. As neoliberal ideology collapsed in 2008, thing became really interesting now. Looks like 1920th-1940th will be replayed on a new level with the USA neoliberal empire under stress from new challengers instead of British empire.
Rumor about the death of neoliberalism are slightly exaggerated ;-). This social system still has a lot of staying power. you need some external shock like the need of cheap oil (defined as sustainable price of oil over $100 per barrel) to shake it again. Of some financial crisis similar to the crisis of 2008. Currently there is still no alternative social order that can replace it. Collapse of the USSR discredited both socialism even of different flavors then was practiced in the USSR. National socialism would be a step back from neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html ..."
"... What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey." ..."
"... Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power. ..."
"... Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers. ..."
"... It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc. ..."
"... If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008). ..."
"... And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade". ..."
"... The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency. ..."
"... But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism. ..."
Oct 01, 2002 | www.unz.com

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic -- and the model for mankind's future.

Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People's Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria's vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis "makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO's mission is outdated."

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson's line that "All men are created equal," but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his

... ... ...

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve "illiberal" ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as "illiberal" or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

Jason Liu , October 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT
Yes. Fuck yes.

Liberalism is the naivete of 18th century elites, no different than today. Modernity as you know it is unsustainable, mostly because equality isn't real, identity has value for most humans, pluralism is by definition fractious, and deep down most people wish to follow a wise strongman leader who represents their interests first and not a vague set of universalist values.

Blind devotion to liberal democracy is another one of those times when white people take an abstract concept to weird extremes. It is short-sighted and autistically narrow minded. Just because you have an oppressive king doesn't mean everyone should be equals. Just because there was slavery/genocide doesn't mean diversity is good.

The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html

Good riddance. The idea that egalitarianism is more advanced than hierarchy has always been false, and flies against the long arc of history. Time for nationalists around the world to smash liberal democracy and build a new modernity based on actual humanism, with respect to hierarchies and the primacy of majorities instead of guilt and pathological compassion dressed up as political ideology.

TG , October 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
"Liberalism" is not dying. "Liberalism" is dead, and has been since at least 1970.

What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power.

Paul's Ghost , October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT
Its been dead for nearly 20 years now. Liberalism has long been the Monty Python parrot nailed to its perch. At this point, the term is mainly kept alive in right-wing attacks by people who lack the imagination to change their habitual targets for so long.

To my eye, the last 'liberal' politician died in a susupicious plane crash in 2000 as the Bush Republicans were taking the White House by their famous 5-4 vote/coup and also needed to claim control of the Senate. So, the last authentic 'liberal' Senator, Paul Wellstone of MN was killed in a suspicious plane crash that was never properly explained.

Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers.

And, at the root, that is the key. The 'Liberals' that the right now rails against are strongly backed and supported by the Wall Street Banks and other corporate leaders. The 'Liberals' have pushed for a government Of the Bankers, By the Bankers and For the Bankers. The 'Liberals' now are in favor of Endless Unconstitutional War around the world.

Which can only mean that the term 'Liberal' has been so completely morphed away from its original meanings to be completely worthless.

The last true Liberal in American politics was Paul Wellstone. And even by the time he died for his sins, he was calling himself a "progressive" because after the Clintons and the Gores had so distorted the term Liberal it was meaningless. Or it had come to mean a society ruled by bankers, a society at constant war and throwing money constantly at a gigantic war machine, a society of censorship where the government needed to control all music lyrics, the same corrupt government where money could by anything from a night in the Lincoln Bedroom to a Presidential Pardon or any other government favor.

Thus, 'Liberals' were a dead movement even by 2000, when the people who actually believed in the American People over the profits of bankers were calling themselves Progressives in disgust at the misuse of the term Liberal. And now, Obama and Hillary have trashed and distorted even the term Progressive into bombing the world 365 days a year and still constantly throwing money at the military machine and the problems it invents.

So, Liberalism is so long dead that if you exumed the grave you'd only find dust. And Pat must be getting senile and just throwing back out the same lines he once wrote as a speechwriter for the last Great Lefty President Richard Nixon.

Miro23 , October 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?

Another question is whether this is wishful thinking from Pat or some kind of reality.

I think that he's right, that Liberalism is a dying faith, and it's interesting to check the decline.

It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc.

If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008).

And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade".

In fact, the borderless global "world is flat" dogma is now seen as enabling a rootless hyper-rich global elite to draw on a sea of globalized serf labour with little or no identity, while their media and SWJ activists operate a scorched earth defense against any sign of opposition.

The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election.

reiner Tor , October 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Randal

A useful analogy might be Viktor Orbán. He started out as a leader of a liberal party, Fidesz, but then over time started moving to the right. It is often speculated that he started it for cynical reasons, like seeing how the right was divided and that there was essentially a vacuum there for a strong conservative party, but there's little doubt he totally internalized it. There's also little doubt (and at the time he and a lot of his fellow party leaders talked about it a lot) that as he (they) started a family and having children, they started to realize how conservatism kinda made more sense than liberalism.

With Kurz, there's the possibility for this path. However, he'd need to start a family soon for that to happen. At that age Orbán was already married with children

Verymuchalive , October 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Paul's Ghost

Liberalism ( large L) is indeed long dead.

Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency.

Richard Nixon was a capitalist, not a corporatist. He was a supporter of proper competition laws, unlike any President since Clinton. Socially, he was interventionist, though this may have been to lessen criticism of his Vietnam policies. Anyway, his bussing and desegregation policies were a long-term failure.

Price Control was quickly dropped, as it was in other Western countries. Long term Price Control, as in present day Venezuela, is economically disastrous.

KenH , October 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT
Let's hope liberalism is a dying faith and that is passes from the Western world. If not it will destroy the West, so if it doesn't die a natural death then we must euthanize it. For the evidence is in and it has begat feminism, anti-white racism, demographic winter, mass third world immigration and everything else that ails the West and has made it the sick and dying man of the world.

But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism.

What Pat refers to as "liberalism" is now left wing totalitarianism and anti-white hatred and it's fanatically trying to remain relevant by lashing out and blacklisting, deplatforming, demonetizing, and physically assaulting all of its enemies on the right who are gaining strength much to their chagrin. They resort to these methods because they can't win an honest debate and in a true free marketplace of ideas they lose.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Lobby British Style by Philip M. Giraldi

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!
Notable quotes:
"... To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history. ..."
"... That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate. ..."
"... The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ..."
"... That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. ..."
"... I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah. ..."
"... I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby). ..."
"... Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been. ..."
"... Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though! ..."
"... And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. ..."
"... All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War. ..."
"... The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down. ..."
"... The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated. ..."
"... WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. ..."
"... You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.' ..."
"... The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man. ..."
"... That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too. ..."
"... Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .) ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

One month ago, I initiated here at Unz.com a discussion of the role of American Jews in the crafting of United States foreign policy. I observed that a politically powerful and well-funded cabal consisting of both Jewish individuals and organizations has been effective at engaging the U.S. in a series of wars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests. This misdirection of policy has not taken place because of some misguided belief that Israeli and U.S. national security interests are identical, which is a canard that is frequently floated in the mainstream media. It is instead a deliberate program that studiously misrepresents facts-on-the ground relating to Israel and its neighbors and creates casus belli involving the United States even when no threat to American vital interests exists. It punishes critics by damaging both their careers and reputations while its cynical manipulation of the media and gross corruption of the national political process has already produced the disastrous war against Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the ongoing chaos in Syria. It now threatens to initiate a catastrophic war with Iran.

To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history.

There is undeniably a complicated web of relationships and networks that define Israel's friends. The expression "Israel Lobby" itself has considerable currency, so much so that the expression "The Lobby" is widely used and understood to represent the most powerful foreign policy advocacy group in Washington without needing to include the "Israel" part. That the monstrous Benjamin Netanyahu receives 26 standing ovations from Congress and a wealthy Israel has a guaranteed income from the U.S. Treasury derives directly from the power and money of an easily identifiable cluster of groups and oligarchs – Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Haim Saban – who in turn fund a plethora of foundations and institutes whose principal function is to keep the cash and political support flowing in Israel's direction. No American national interest, apart from the completely phony contention that Israel is some kind of valuable ally, would justify the taxpayers' largesse. In reality, Israel is a liability to the United States and always has been.

And I do understand at the same time that a clear majority of American Jews, leaning strongly towards the liberal side of the political spectrum, are supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran and do not favor a new Middle Eastern war involving that country. I also believe that many American Jews are likely appalled by Israeli behavior, but, unfortunately, there is a tendency on their part to look the other way and neither protest such actions nor support groups like Jewish Voice for Peace that are themselves openly critical of Israel. This de facto gives Israel a free pass and validates its assertion that it represents all Jews since no one important in the diaspora community apart from minority groups which can safely be ignored is pushing back against that claim.

That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate.

A recent regulatory decision from the United Kingdom relates to a bit of investigative journalism that sought to reveal precisely how the promotion of Israel by some local diaspora Jews operates, to include how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

Last year, al-Jazeera Media Network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate some U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, the Embassy and its friends were seeking to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has become increasingly effective in Europe. The four-part documentary released late in 2016 that al-Jazeera produced is well worth watching as it consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions.

The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also confirms that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, particularly in a country like Britain which embraces concepts like the criminalization of "hate speech." At one point, two British Jews discussed whether "being made to feel uncomfortable" by people asking what Israel intends to do with the Palestinians is anti-Semitic. They agreed that it might be.

The documentary also describes how the Embassy and local groups working together targeted government officials who were not considered to be friendly to Israel to "be taken down," removed from office or otherwise discredited. One government official in particular who was to be attacked was Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Britain, unlike the U.S., has a powerful regulatory agency that oversees communications, to include the media. It is referred to as Ofcom. When the al-Jazeera documentary was broadcast, Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, who reportedly was a Ministry of Strategic Affairs official working under cover, was forced to resign and the Israeli Ambassador offered an apology. Masot was filmed discussing British politicians who might be "taken down" before speaking with a government official who plotted a "a little scandal" to bring about the downfall of Duncan. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, had called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the "take down" demand relating to Duncan was revealed. Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) then counterattacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

On October 9 th , Ofcom ruled in favor of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper, but it should be noted that the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops to arrive at the successful conclusion. It had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an "editorial colonoscopy," to prove that its documentary was "factually accurate" and that it had not "unfairly edited" or "with bias" prepared its story. One of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to "die in a hole" and had personally offered to "take down" a Labour Party official, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

The United States does not yet have a government agency to regulate news stories, though that may be coming, but the British tale has an interesting post script. Al-Jazeera also had a second undercover reporter inserted in the Israel Lobby in the United States, apparently a British intern named James Anthony Kleinfeld, who had volunteered his services to The Israel Project, which is involved in promoting Israel's global image. He also had contact with at least ten other Jewish organizations and with officials at the Israeli Embassy,

Now that the British account of "The Lobby" has cleared a regulatory hurdle the American version will reportedly soon be released. Al-Jazeera's head of investigative reporting Clayton Swisher commented "With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter. I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate."

Americans who follow such matters already know that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) swarm over Capitol Hill and have accomplices in nearly every media outlet. Back in 2005-6 AIPAC Officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were actually tried under the Espionage Act of 1918 in a case involving obtaining classified intelligence from government official Lawrence Franklin to pass on to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen had once boasted that, representing AIPAC and Israel, he could get the signatures of 70 senators on a napkin agreeing to anything if he sought to do so. The charges against the two men were, unfortunately, eventually dropped "because court rulings had made the case unwinnable and the trial would disclose classified information."

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. And ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy and, most recently, Cynthia McKinney, what happens to your career when you appear to be critical of Israel. And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Rurik , October 17, 2017 at 4:29 am GMT

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure. A voice of integrity and character in a sea of moral cowardice and corruption. If there is any hope for this nation, it will be due specifically to the integrity of men like Mr. Giraldi to keep speaking truth to power.
googlecensors , October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am GMT
One is unable to open the documentary – all 4 parts – on YouTube suggesting that google/YouTube are censoring it and have caved into the Jewish Lobby
Malla , October 17, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT
When the Jewish Messiah comes, all of us goyim (Black, White, Yellow, brown or Red) will be living like today's Palestinians. Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

But if I was a Westerner, I would support Israel any day. Because if the Israeli state were to be ever dismantled, all of them Israelis would go to the West. Why would you want that?

Frankie P , October 17, 2017 at 5:42 am GMT
@Rurik

He has been set free by the truth, proving the old maxim.

wayfarer , October 17, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT
Understand a Spoiled Child, and You Will Understand Israel. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiled_child

Discipline the Spoiled Child, and Boycott Israel. source: https://bdsmovement.net/

Israel Anti-Boycott Act – An Attack on Free Speech?

Dan Hayes , October 17, 2017 at 5:48 am GMT
Philip,

My admittedly subjective impression is that your UR reports are becoming more open/unbounded after your release from the constraints of the American Conservative . In other word, you're now being enabled to let it all hang out. In my book that's all to the good.

Of course your work and those of the other UR writers are enabled by the beneficence of its patron, Ron!

Uebersetzer , October 17, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT
There may be limits to their power in Britain. Jeremy Corbyn is hated by them, and stories are regularly run in the MSM, in Britain and also (of course!) in the New York Times claiming that under Corbyn Labour is a haven of anti-Semitism. Corbyn actually gained millions of votes in the last election. Perhaps they will nail him somewhere down the road but they have failed so far.
JackOH , October 17, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
" . . . [W]ars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests (emphases mine).

That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. I looked up the plan, but don't recall the catch phrase for it.

I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah.

Cloak And Dagger , October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am GMT
I remain skeptical that the Al-Jazeera undercover story in the US will be able to be viewed. I anticipate a hoard of Israel-firster congress critters to crawl out from under their respective rocks and deem Al-Jazeera to be antisemitic and call for it being banned as a foreign propaganda apparatus, much as is being done with RT and Sputnik.

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles under the might of Jewish power – impotent in our ability to arrest its fall.

Mark James , October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT
ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy

I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby).

Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been.

Kevin , October 17, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT
And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!

Tyrion , October 17, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open.

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, actually went to America to campaign for Hillary. Numerous European leaders endorsed her, while practically all denounced Trump. Exactly the same can be said of the Muslim world, only more so.

The problem with criticism of Israel is not that it lacks basis in truth. It is that it is removed from the context of the rest of the world. Israel's actions do not make Israel an outlier. Israel fits very much within the norm. Even with the recording this is the case.

All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War.

Unfortunately, contemporary idiots of all stripes seem to specialise in removing context so that they can further their specious arguments.

Randal , October 17, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT

"so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did"

Sadly, Clayton Swisher is probably correct that the US establishment will take their findings in America just as "seriously" as the British media and political establishment, and government, did.

The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down.

But there's no "undue influence" or bias involved, and if you say there might be then you are an anti-Semite and a hater.

The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated.

geokat62 , October 17, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT
@Rurik

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure.

Rare, indeed, Rurik.

And in this rare company I would place former congressman, Ron Paul.

Here's an excerpt from his latest article, President Trump Beats War Drums for Iran :

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/october/16/president-trump-beats-war-drums-for-iran/

animalogic , October 17, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
This state of affairs, where the Zionist tail wags -- thrashes -- the US dog is bizarre to the point of laughter. Absent familiarity with the facts, who could believe it all? Is there a historical parallel ? I can't think of one that approaches the sheer profundity of the toxic embrace the Zionists have cover the US & west generally.
The Alarmist , October 17, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT
So how is using money we give them as foreign aid (it's fungible by any definition of the US Treasury and Justice Department) to lobby our legislators not a form of money laundering? Somebody ought to tell Mnuchin to get FINCEN on this yeah, I know, it sounded naive as I typed it. FINCEN is only there to harass little people like you and me.
Bardon Kaldian , October 17, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
@googlecensors

Not true.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@Malla

Abby Martin is amazingly sharp. Many of the things she says can be confirmed by Uri Avnery, both his books and articles.

Here's a link to his weekly columns.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery

Incredible stuff there; thanks for posting it.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
@Malla

Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

According to the first vid, those drones will be built by the goyim.

Maybe there's a message there for us.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles

We are long past that point.

I myself am watching with joy, because this supposedly "great nation" was corrupt to the core from its inception.

For evidence, all one has to do is read the arguments of the anti-federalists who opposed the ratification of the constitution* such as Patrick Henry, Robert Yates and Luther Martin. Their predictions about the results have come true. Even the labels, "federalist" and "anti-federalist" are misleading and no doubt intentionally so.

Those who spoke out against the formation of the federal reserve bank* scheme were also correct.

The only thing great about the US in a moral sense are the high sounding pretenses upon which it was built. As a nation we have never adhered to them.

*Please note that I intentionally refrain from capitalizing those words since I refuse to show even that much deference to those instruments of corruption.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT
Philip, glad to see you undaunted after the recent attacks on you. We can maybe take solace in the fact that their desire for MORE will finally pass a critical point, and dumbass Americans will finally wake up.
jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

"She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

I have news for that twister of words.

In my opinion, if you choose to put yourself in the limelight, you have no private life. That is especially true for those who think they're entitled to a position of power.

In other words, if you think you're special, then you get judged by stricter standards than the rest of us.

It's called accountability.

BTW, speaking of Netanyahu, why do we hear so little about the scandal involving the theft of nuclear triggers from the US?

"The Israeli press is picking up Grant Smith's revelation from FBI documents that Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s."

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/netanyahu-implicated-in-nuclear-smuggling-from-u-s-big-story-in-israel.html

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:58 am GMT
Thank you Mr Giraldi. You covered an amazing number of issues in such a well written and compact article.

Thanks also to Mr Unz for publishing these sorts of things.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

What she really meant by that was HOLOCAUST ALERT HOLOCAUST ALERT!!

Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm GMT
@Malla

When you listen to Abby Martin describe her experience regarding this brutal apartheid system in Israel and the genocide of the Palestinian people, remember, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic , was a prison guard in the Israeli Defense Forces guarding the West Bank death camp. And David Brooks, political and cultural commentator for The New York Times and former op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal , has a son in the Israel Defense Forces helping to perpetuate this holocaust of the Palestinian people. I hope I live to see the day when some Palestinian Simon Wiesenthal hunts these monsters down and brings them to trial in The Hague.

iffen , October 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
NPR Morning Edition 10/17/17

Rachel Martin talks to Vahil Ali, the communications director for the Kurdish president.

In which she tries to steer him into calling for armed American intervention in Kurdistan to resist the Iranian sponsored militia.

LondonBob , October 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT
The lobby is not as powerful in Britain as it is the US, we can talk about it and someone like Peter Oborne is still a prominent journalist, but I don't see that it makes that much difference. We seem to end up in the same places the US does.
Sherman , October 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
I had my meeting with the Rothschilds, Goldman Sachs and the Israeli Department of Hasbara last week and we discussed how our plan to suppress both the US and British governments is progressing.

Apparently we are meeting our targets and everything is going according to plan.

Thanks for update Phil!

ChuckOrloski , October 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT
@geokat62

Hey geokat62,

Speaking about how greatly rare a treasure are the P.G.'s words, below is linked a deliberately rare letter written by Congressman Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of the AZC.

http://www.israellobby.org/azcdoj/congress/defaultZAC .

Also, re, "Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another M.E. war?"

(Sigh)

History shows that, in order for ZUSA to start M.E. wars, Americans are routinely fed Executive Branch / Corporate Media-sauteed lies. Such deceit is par-for-the-course.

At present, it would be foolish for me to not realize there is a False Flag Pentagon plan "on the table" & ready for a war with Iran.

Jake , October 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT
What is playing out in the UK, and is in early stages in America, is the fight between the two side of Victorian WASP pro-Semtiism.

WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy naturally and inevitably produces pro-Jewish culture. No less than Oliver Cromwell made the deal to get Jewish money so he could wage culture war to destroy British Isles natives were not WASPs.

WASP culture has always been allied with Jews to destroy white Christians who are not WASPs. You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.'

By the beginning of the Victorian era, virtually all WASP Elites in the Empire – who then had a truly globalist perspective – were divided into two pro-Semitic camps. The larger one was pro-Jewish. It would give the world the Balfour Declaration and the state of Israel.

The smaller and growing one was pro-Arabic and pro-Islamic. It would give the world the people who backed Lawrence of Arabia and came to prop up the House of Saud.

Each of these philo-Semitic WASP Elites groups was more than happy to keep the foot on the pedal to destroy non-WASP European cultures while spending fortunes propping up its favorite group of Semites.

And while each of those camps was thrilled to ally to keep up the war against historic Christendom and the peoples who naturally would gravitate to any hope of a revival of Christendom, they also squabbled endlessly. Each wished, and always will wish, to be the A-#1 pro-Semitic son of daddy WASP. Each will play any dirty trick, make any deal with the Devil himself, to get what he wants.

The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man.

It is impossible to take care of a serious problem without knowing its source and acting to sanitize and/or cauterize and/or cut out that source. The source of this problem is WASP culture.

Michael Kenny , October 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT
That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too.

Thus, Mr Giraldi's argument lends credibility to the claims that Russia interfered in the US election and to the proposition that US intelligence agents are seeking to undermine the EU.

Since those two operations are part of the same transaction, i.e. maintain US global hegemony by breaking the EU up into its constituent Member States or even into the regional components of the larger Member States, using Putin as a battering ram and a bogeyman to frighten the resulting plethora of small and largely defenseless statelets back under cold war-era American protection, could it be that US and Russian intelligence services collaborated to manipulate Trump into the White House? If that were true, it would be quite a scandal! Overthrowing foreign governments is one thing, collaborating with a foreign power to manipulate your own country's politics is quite another! But of course, there's "no evidence"

Fran Macadam , Website October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .)
Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
@wayfarer

Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed both local thieves and the CIA-Azerbaijan cooperation in supplying ISIS with arms:

https://www.rt.com/news/406963-assange-reward-caruana-galizia-death/ https://www.newsbud.com/2017/10/16/breaking-gladio-b-assassinates-journalist-with-car-bomb/

"Azerbaijan considers Malta to be "one of its provinces": https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/09/azerbaijan-considers-malta-one-provinces/
The Middle Eastern wars have repercussion .

[Oct 16, 2017] Sic Semper Tyrannis Kurdistan - yet another long term British and US policy triumph

Oct 16, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Iraq was created as a by-product of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One (1914-1918). The present territory of Iraq had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks for several hundred years. At Versailles the British were given what is now Iraq as a "mandatory territory" with the intention that the area be made independent at some point in the future. Britain decided to cobble together something called the "Kingdom of Iraq" in this mandatory area. There was no Iraqi People when this state was created. There was no group that thought of itself as Iraqi. There were a number of distinct populations that had little in common; Arab Sunni Muslims, Arab Shia Muslims, Kurdish Sunni Muslims, Kurdish Shia Muslims, Kurdish Yaziidis, Turcomans, Assyrian Christians, Chaldean Christians and Jews. None of these groups particularly liked each other. Nor did they like the Hashemite prince that the British installed as their king.

Soon after Iraqi independence was granted in 1925 revolts against the central government's authority began. Kurdish revolts, Arab Revolts, etc. Kurdish and Arab revolts had actually begun before 1925 in the period of direct British rule. The British had actually exiled the Barzani of the day to India. The Kurds of NE Iraq have been more or less in some form of revolt since 1925. There have been periods when either the Talabani or Barzani Kurds have formed temporary alliances with the Baghdad government usually in an effort to screw the other major Kurdish faction but in general the pattern of resistance to Arab rule has been persistent.

The history of the State of Iraq from 1925 until the destruction of the state by the US in 2003 was characterized by a continual effort by the various Baghdad government to create an Iraqi national identity that subsumed the various groups that had happened to be in what became Iraq's sovereign territory. IMO the emergence of Iraqi Man was still a work in progress when US invasion halted the process.

A new Iraqi state emerged under US occupation and covert Iranian tutelage. This state is dominated by Shia Arabs. IMO if a choice must be made in the future between the US as a sponsor or Iran the Shia government will turn away from the US and face east. The Borgists believe that the US should have refused to withdraw its forces from Iraq and that the US will be able to refuse a future Iraqi demand for US withdrawal. It is a big mistake to think the US could do that. A refusal would inevitably lead to another country wide guerrila rebellion against the US.

In the present circumstance the US has encouraged both the KRG and the Baghdad government to think that it is our one true love. Since these two historic actors have mutually exclusive and deeply held goals and desires, that was a very foolish thing for the US to do.

Will there be a secessionist war? Probably there will be such a war. The oil in the north of Iraq certainly exacerbates the crisis since the new Kurdish state would need the income to survive.

As Churchill said. "just one damned thing after another." pl

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41631697

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_Kurdistan

Posted at 11:31 AM in Iran , Iraq , Middle East , Turkey Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments

Laura , 16 October 2017 at 11:47 AM

Thank you. Clear, concise and pithy! I wish you were still "in the rotation" of the talking heads...
Clueless Joe , 16 October 2017 at 11:52 AM
McCain warning Baghdad that there will be "severe consequences" if US-provided equipment and US-trained army keep on being used against the Kurds and not against ISIS will only push them further towards Iran and, to a lesser extent, Russia.
In a way, Borgists should actually be glad this happens now, since this ties up a lot of Iraqi forces and PMU that could be sent West and might help SAA - if not directly, at least indirectly by destroying ISIS and helping SAA to take over the East.
Rd , 16 October 2017 at 11:55 AM
"As Churchill said. "just one damned thing after another.""

Looks like US FP is betting on the wrong horse again!!!, same for the Barzani clan. the question could be, would this be the end of Barzani?

The Twisted Genius , 16 October 2017 at 12:37 PM
Most reports are saying the Iraqi Army and PMU are quickly gaining control of Kirkuk and the nearby oilfields. The PUK Peshmerga withdrew from these areas refusing to fight the Iraqi Army. The KDP Peshmerga are not putting up much of a fight. This all sounds very familiar. I wonder if the Green Berets are once again watching forces they trained squaring off against each other. I know how that feels.
JamesT , 16 October 2017 at 12:51 PM
It seems to me this whole Iraqi Kurdistan thing blew up as the SAA and the SDF found themselves facing off east of the Euphrates. If the PMU were not occupied in Iraq I assume they would be in eastern Syria helping the SAA secure the Baghdad to Damascus highway and those oil fields east of the Euphrates. The referendum in Iraq seems timed perfectly to help the Kurds in Syria take more territory.
A.Pols , 16 October 2017 at 12:52 PM
It's a good summation of the last 100 years. Ah, Perfidious Albion!!

It can be tough for divergent elements to make common cause voluntarily, but to be forced together by someone neither one likes is a dog that won't hunt.
Why are we led by people with "Halitosis of the intellect"?
(Credit given to harold Ickes)

The Twisted Genius , 16 October 2017 at 01:00 PM
The USG has chosen a side. US embassy spokesman quoted as saying: "We support the peaceful reassertion of federal authority, consistent with the Iraqi Constitution, in all disputed areas." I'm sure the YPK in Rojava are hearing this loud and clear.
outthere , 16 October 2017 at 01:26 PM
Why You Should Read These Military Classics
They tell us much about service life and futile imperial adventures.
By Andrew J. Bacevich • October 16, 2017

There are, in my judgment, three great novels that explore American military life in the twentieth century. They are, in order of publication, Guard of Honor (1948) by James Gould Cozzens, From Here To Eternity (1951) by James Jones, and The Sand Pebbles (1962) by Richard McKenna.

The first is a book about airmen, set at a stateside air base during World War II. The second is a soldier's story, its setting Schofield Barracks in the territory of Hawaii on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In The Sand Pebbles, the focus is on sailors. It takes place in China during the 1920s when U.S. Navy gunboats patrolled the Yangtze River and its tributaries.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-bother-reading-these-military-classics/

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 01:40 PM
TTG

I have very little confidence in the USG being able to follow a clear policy in Iraq. pl

Linda -> turcopolier ... , 16 October 2017 at 02:04 PM
Amen! It seems to me that we had very little thought (or none) about the consequences when we started training and deploying th3 peshmerga for Iraq or Turkey. This current situation was easy to see coming
LeaNder -> Linda... , 16 October 2017 at 02:32 PM
Linda, you feel it had been wiser to simply let the Daesh forces take over both regions in Iraq and Syria?
DJK , 16 October 2017 at 01:44 PM
In 1920 the population of Iraq was under 3 million; now it's about 37 million and growing fast. It's a little unfair to blame Britain (I know, everyone does...) for not forseeing problems 100 years hence in a country of ten times the size.
Serge -> DJK... , 16 October 2017 at 03:51 PM
DJK,
The organized ethic cleansing of dozens of Assyrian Christian villages in what is now kurdistan by Sunni and yazidi Kurds(what a twist!)didn't occur in 2000s,it occurred in 1933
The Beaver -> DJK... , 16 October 2017 at 04:12 PM
@ DJK

Reading the diaries of Gertrude Bell may make you think otherwise !

Especially this one: http://gertrudebell.ncl.ac.uk/letter_details.php?letter_id=228

We shall, I trust, make it a great centre of Arab civilization and prosperity; they were bent on a Turco-Prussian steam roller which would have flattened out, if it could, all national qualities and characteristics. And now we've got to keep the other ideal well before us; that will be my job partly, I hope, and I never lose sight of it.

mike , 16 October 2017 at 01:57 PM
Colonel –

It started long before 1925. There was a Kurdish uprising against the Abbasid Caliphate in the 9th Century. There were several more in the following centuries against various dynasties, continuing up until the Second Mahmud Barzanji revolt in 1922. Those are only in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan and do not include the many other uprisings in Iran and Turkey.

Bill Herschel , 16 October 2017 at 01:59 PM
This is wildly off-topic and must be treated as such.

In the Times today we read about the U.S. going through a routine exercise to evacuate U.S. dependents in South Korea in the event of war. Apparently, the U.S. military is going out of its way to emphasize the routine nature of this exercise.

In the financial news we have an entity called the Korea Fund.

https://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:KF

It is behaving as though there is absolutely no threat of war on the peninsula at all. None.

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 01:59 PM
DJK

IMO it is quite fair to blame Britain as well as the US for this mess. It was the British who decided to structure the country the way it is. from this all else followed. pl

Fredw , 16 October 2017 at 02:03 PM
"I have very little confidence in the USG being able to follow a clear policy in Iraq."

I'll second that. I think it is up to the Kurds to work out a policy that leaves them strong at the end of this. I can imagine them winning such a war, but it is hard for me to see how they then make that work. Their oil has to go out somewhere to support their state, i.e. though Iraq, Iran, Turkey, or Syria. None of those neighbors is likely to be very friendly, but maybe they can work that out. On the other hand it seems a good bet that Iraqi government capabilities will begin to deteriorate almost immediately once ISIS is removed. The Kurds need a vision and a policy to keep as independent and as strong as possible. Their call.

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 02:19 PM
mike

Well, I had to start somewhere, but you are right. The Kurds have always been difficult. BTW, the Kurds typically do not revere Saladin whom they consider to have been very Arabicized. pl

eakens , 16 October 2017 at 02:40 PM
The Kurds are morons for buying the snake oil they were being sold. They were running scared in Erbil. What makes them think they would have fared any better, without the Iranian help they cried out for to defend Erbil.
mike , 16 October 2017 at 02:47 PM
Colonel -

Difficult? Yes, like the Irish, the Scots and the Indian revolts and mutinies against the British. And I suppose the American colonials were thought of as difficult and ungrateful by George III.

They are the new deplorables. Yet they stood standfast against Daesh several years ago when the Iraqi Army ran in panic.

outthere , 16 October 2017 at 02:55 PM
A significant piece of modern history of Iraq not mentioned: the 1920 Iraqi Revolt. This revolt against British rule began as joint sunni and shia. And it had some serious success. It began with peaceful demonstrations and protests, which were dismissed by British officials. The British managed to crush the revolt by making a deal with the minority sunnis, which offered them leadership of Iraq and ruling status over majority shia, in return for turning against the revolt. The British under direction of Winston Churchill, bombed shia areas, including the use of "poison fas against uncivilized tribes". The shia were crushed, the sunni were empowered, and Faysal was installed. This form of minority rule lasted until Bush/Cheney were forced by Sistani to hold fair elections.
b , 16 October 2017 at 03:05 PM
I find it difficult to talk of "the Kurds"

There are four Kurdish languages who are not mutually understandable. There are a dozen religions among Kurds though a majority are (Sufi) Sunni. They have been schooled and socialized in four different states. There are tribal conglomerates or clans like the Barzani and Talibani which have their own political parties and are led by patriarchal family mafias. There are members of the anarcho-marxist cult of Özalan while neighboring Salafi Kurds have joined ISIS to then kill the neighbouring Yezidi Kurds. None of these groups has any enlightened or democratic understanding of the world.

The Kurds never got a state and will never get one because they are so hugely diverse and have little national unity. They will rather fight each other than accept some common leadership.

Since the 1950s the Zionist have build up the Barzani Kurds as a counter-force to the Arabs. Israel was the only country that supported Barzani's independence vote gimmick. It is the worst ally the Barzani-Kurds could have chosen as all surrounding countries hate Israel.

Frank , 16 October 2017 at 03:32 PM
Good precis.
outthere , 16 October 2017 at 04:37 PM
"The difference is that George W Bush was being urged towards the Iraq conflict by people in his administration who were neo-cons. They were civilians who were demanding military action. In the case of Trump we have people in the administration who are military but who are the moderates urging restraint. That is very interesting, isn't it?" Blix reflected.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-iran-nuclear-deal-risks-repeating-errors-in-iraq-a8003376.html

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:37 PM
b

I don't have a problem with any of that but I have to write for a more general audience. pl

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:39 PM
outthere

I should have included that. It strengthen my case for the structural instability of Iraq. pl

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:39 PM
mike

You left the Confederates out of your list but they too were crushed in the end. In the case of both our wars for independence foreign intervention was crucial. You either had it or you failed. pl

[Oct 16, 2017] The End Of The Kurdish Independence Project

Oct 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Iraq - The End Of The Kurdish Independence Project

Today the Iraqi government took Kirkuk back from occupying Kurdish forces. This marks the end of the Kurdish independence project in Iraq.

in 2014 the Islamic State occupied Mosul. At the same time the regional Kurdish government under Masoud Barzani sent its Peshmerga troops to take the oil rich city of Kirkuk from the collapsing forces of the central Iraqi government. There were plausible allegations and some evidence (vid) that the Kurds had made a deal with ISIS and coordinated the move.

In 2016 and 2017 Iraqi forces defeated ISIS in Mosul. Kurdish groups took the opportunity of the ISIS defeat to occupy further land, even as that did not have a Kurdish majority population and did not belong to their autonomous region.

bigger

The red lined area is the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq as accepted by the Iraqi constitution. The red dotted line is the additional area the Kurds captured and at times controlled.

The Iraqi government insisted that the situation be turned back to the pre-2014 lines. The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arab. Kirkuk produces two-third of all oil in north Iraq. There was not a chance that any central government of Iraq would leave the city and these riches to Kurdish occupiers.

bigger

But the Kurdish leaders did neither think nor listen. The leading Barzani clan and his KDP party, long associated with Israel , tried to solidify their resource robbery. On September 25 they held an "independence referendum" in all areas under their control. All countries, except Israel, spoke out against this move.

But Barzani was urged on by the Zionists and international neo-conservatives:

Bernard-Henri Lévy meeting Masoud Barzani - September 30 2017 - bigger

As I remarked at the time of that meeting:

This is the death sentence for the Kurdish independence project. No cause [Bernard-Henri Lévy] supported has ever had a happy ending.

Egged on, Barzani continued his path. He threatened to proclaim Kurdish independence from the Iraqi state.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi could not condone such an unconstitutional insurrection. He sent his troops to restore the 2014 lines of control, starting with the oil rich areas around Kirkuk. During the last three days the Iraqi army, national police and counter-terrorism units, all hardened by the fight against the Islamic State, were marched onto Kirkuk. An ultimatum was issued for the Kurdish Peshmerga to leave the area. Barzani insisted on staying. He even called in PKK fighters from Turkey to help him keep the city.

Last night the inevitable happened. The Iraqi government forces moved forward and, after a few skirmishes, the Kurdish Peshmerga ran away. It is not clear who, if anyone, ordered them to retreat. Some Peshmerga units arrested other Peshmerga units. No one seemed to be in command.

As of now the Iraqi government is back in control at the Kirkuk airport, the military garrisons and the oil fields and refinery installations. Kirkuk city itself is untouched. There are reports that everyone associated with the Kurdish regional government is moving out.

The U.S., which had provided both sides with weapons and training, had no real idea what was going on and took no side. Without U.S. support the Kurdish forces had no air-support and no chance to win any fight. Kirkuk is lost for them and the other areas they occupied since 2014 will follow.

Barzani has lost his high stake gamble.

The dreams of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq have just been buried again. Masoud Barzani's position has been weakened significantly. This huge blunder might cost him his head. The Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has gained in standing and is now in position to win next years election.

These events will also have consequences for the Kurdish position in Syria. They demonstrate that they can not hope for continued U.S. support and will have to reconcile with the Syrian government. The idea of some autonomous or even independent Kurdish entity in Syria is, as of today, also dead.

Madmen | Oct 16, 2017 4:49:32 AM | 1

Until the various Middle Eastern sects and groups learn that they are being divided and conquered by external forces that sell them weapons and buy their US dollar donominated oil they will continue to repeat the same stupid mistakes ass their forefathers.
Quintus Sertorius | Oct 16, 2017 5:20:50 AM | 2
You can expect Mossad or CIA to send in more ISIS fighters to the region, both to northern Iraq, to weaken and undermine the position of the Iraqi government, and to Iraqi Kurdistan proper. The chaos-loving Zionists are not going away without a fight.
papa | Oct 16, 2017 5:24:57 AM | 3
the ones who committed crimes against the Turkmen and Asyrians will probably flee to EU, Germany and Austria particularly. is the EU prepared?
Alexander P | Oct 16, 2017 5:25:28 AM | 4
I think it would be premature to call the fall of Kirkuk as the definite sign of the empire's intention. The US is pushing for war with Iran and anything that furthers that agenda will do even if it means giving Abadi some leeway in Iraq. Similarly, just because the US "abandoned" Barzani doesn't mean they will do the same in Syria.

While I welcome the latest moves in Iraq as it will hopefully solidify Baghadad's control over the country, Kurdish independence movement is far from over and will be continuously used by the Anglo-Zionist entity when need arises.

Truist | Oct 16, 2017 5:25:31 AM | 5
Anything can happen going forward. But as of today, Iraq and Iran are clear winners with Russia and Syria are behind them. Erdogan and Turkey are clear losers (Kurdistan might be dead but Kirkuk under Iran influence is clear threat to Turkish influence (!) in Kirkuk.
ALAN | Oct 16, 2017 5:58:21 AM | 6
Iran's Top General Meets With Kurdish President Barzani As U.S. Neocons Push For War http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-15/irans-top-general-meets-kurdish-president-barzani-neocons-push-war
Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 6:16:28 AM | 7
The Iraqi government forces moved forward and, after a few skirmishes, the Kurdish Peshmerga ran away.
Although I don't follow Twitter, my understanding was that the city of Kirkuk has not yet fallen. I'm not surprised if the Peshmerga ran. If you don't get paid, you don't fight. They've run away on a good number of occasions, but it's always hushed up in the MSM (because Kurds are noble, aren't they?). They don't fight if they're not heavily supported by air-strikes, but I don't see the US coming in on Erbil's side. On the other hand, as I suggested yesterday, things may be done under the table to slow the Iraqis down. The Kurds will really be up the creek, if they lose the Kirkuk oil-fields.
john | Oct 16, 2017 6:35:12 AM | 8
...and the Council on Foreign Relations eats some more shit, err, i mean, crow .
Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:18:23 AM | 9
The Kurds are not a homogenous group. General Fadhil Barwari ("Golden division"), one of the top Iraqi military leaders in the Kirkuk action, is an ethnic Kurd.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DMO2_RyW4AAI5dl.jpg

Some Kurds were active members of ISIS, taking part in executions of prisoners. https://steemit-production-imageproxy-thumbnail.s3.amazonaws.com/U5dr4xUmBp2FVFkCUr89XCDBgoZPVna_1680x8400

AS for the position in Syria, the means to deal with the Kurds/SDF has already been established. They either renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution or get herded into an area where they can be reduced to dust if necessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:25:34 AM | 10

AS for the position in Syria, the means to deal with the Kurds/SDF has already been established. They either renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution or get herded into an area where they can be reduced to dust if necessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:25:34 AM | 10 /div

Peter AU 1 | Oct 16, 2017 7:40:00 AM | 11
Since Mosul, there has been very little action in Iraq against ISIS, I take it due to Iraq having to counter Barzani. The Barzani territory grab and referendum - a little more US bullshit to prolong the existance of ISIS?
V. Arnold | Oct 16, 2017 7:56:14 AM | 12

Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:18:23 AM | 9
The Kurds are not a homogenous group.

That is important to understand; the Kurds are tools; to be used by the U.S. to meet the U.S.'s ends and no more. During the Iraq/Iran war the Kurds were encouraged to revolt; they did; and were gassed by Saddam. The U.S. did nothing to support the Kurds; many thousands died.
For whatever reason the Kurds still work with/for the U.S. is a mystery to this one.

Are they stupid, greedy...or what?

Truly, I do not understand their motives; and, once again, they are being betrayed; a culture of victims???????

Petri Krohn | Oct 16, 2017 8:04:18 AM | 14
U.S. PROXIES vs. U.S. PROXIES - WHO WILL WIN?

Which side will the U.S. take? A war is staring in Iraq and Syria between the Kurds and just about everyone else. In Iraq the U.S. is training, arming, and supporting both the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Is Syria they support both the Kurds and the anti-Kurdish fake FSA.

Even Finland is involved, a 100 strong Finnish unit is embedded with the Peshmerga as trainers and advisers. Except that part of the unit may now be embedded with the government forces.

Adam Garrie speculates that "Iraqi Kurds' unwillingness to negotiate with Baghdad, indicates they are banking on foreign support"

Is there any logic in this? The U.S. logic seems to be to strengthen the Iraqi Kurds so they will weaken the Iraqi army which will strengthen ISIS to weaken the Syrian SAA which will give and edge to U.S. proxies, the Syrian Kurds. At play today, the Omar oilfields in ISIS-held Syria. From WaPo yesterday:

Iraqi forces launch operation for Kurdish-held oil fields, military base

Earlier in the day Col. Ryan Dillon, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad had described the situation as "stable" but said the "heightened tension" was distracting from the fight against Islamic State militants.

After recapturing the city of Hawija, Iraqi forces were supposed to deploy to the borders with Syria to stamp out the last pockets controlled by Islamic State militants.

The latest:

It looks like the Iraqi forces are advancing. RT reports :

Iraqi troops have captured several key Kurdish Peshmerga-controlled positions near Kirkuk and continue to advance, Reuters reports, citing the Iraqi military. Earlier, troops deployed to secure Kirkuk clashed with Kurds in the disputed area.

The Iraqi armed forces gained control of roads and infrastructure near Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters, including the North Gas Company station, a nearby oil processing plant, and the industrial district south of the city. The military also captured Kirkuk's K-1 Air Base from Kurdish forces, a military statement says, according to Reuters.

But where did the Western mainstream media go? Are they hiding their heads in the sand? Google prioritizes "Fake News" and "Russian disinformation" in their top stories section. The three top stories for the search "Peshmerga" on Google just now are from 1) rudaw - Kurdish propaganda 2) RT - Russian propaganda 3) Al Masdar News - another source for "Russian disinformation" and "fake news".

Mina | Oct 16, 2017 8:06:57 AM | 15
#1
As long as their "friends" tell them they have the bigger one, it won't change.
Even the BBC is now saying the Peshmerga have done a runner.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16

Even the BBC is now saying the Peshmerga have done a runner.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16 /div

somebody | Oct 16, 2017 8:30:10 AM | 17
Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16

Which shows intelligence. German radio reports that Kirkuk Peshmerga are/were members of close to Iran PUK .

Clueless Joe | Oct 16, 2017 9:10:40 AM | 18
@11 Peter AU 1
Actually, Iraqi troops spent the last month reducing the sizable Hawija pocket, which ISIS hold close to Kurdish lines and to Kirkuk itself. IAF and PMU obviously didn't want to face a rear-attack by ISIS before dealing with Kirkuk. And odds are that some troops who took part in the Hawija cleaning up are involved on the Kirkuk front right now.
Glen Etzkorn | Oct 16, 2017 9:29:35 AM | 19
Perhaps this might well and rightly curb aspects of the greater Israel and Turkey oil scams during this period when for example Syria lost 32 billion in underpriced oil that ended up being sold cheaply to provide and cover Israel and others export of weapons in the region to many of the opposition groups. Obviously it was not all their money in the game.
AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 9:38:29 AM | 20
Just going to throw in my tuppence worth and run! ))

In my humble opinion what we are seeing is a two-fold position against Kurdish forces.

In Iraq we are seeing the true nature of the Erdogan (US?) / Barzani game unfolding to facilitate open conflict with PKK / HPG in Kirkuk: Barzani hiking up his skirts and legging it as he did in Mosul, Sinjar etc - always has been a Turkish/ ISIS / US useful turncoat, and he has done it again – facilitating the divide and conquer of the 'Kurds'. (Interestingly, many of our respected independent pundits have played their biased role in this game deliberately conflating the various Kurdish groups as one 'Kurds' - even Magnier was talking about how Kurds fled Sinjar allowing him to avoid clarifying that Peshmerga fled, PKK fought and liberated!! A very malicious and systematic demonization of the Kurds has been carried out recently by mass media and independent media alike (There are exceptions, of course) I too want to see the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq but that does not equate with having to perpetuate the decades old persecution of ethnic groups!!)

In Idlib, we see a holding position against YPG etc. - As Erdogan puts it 'to prevent a terrorist corridor' same thing he said when he was given the green-light to move into Jerablus and when Erdogan says 'terrorist' we must be clear that he means Fetocular and Kurds! ISIS are always identified separately!

Having lost badly in the Syria, his focus is to ensure that his war against the Kurds is fought anywhere but on Turkish soil, and this is what we are seeing again. As for Al Qaeda, it is so inherently linked to Muslim Brotherhood that Erdogan will never turn on them. It goes beyond ideology to mafia / business dealings lets not foget.

Russia's silence, (?) is not surprising, I have to say. It supports territorial integrity and I think, some kind of federal or power-sharing solution in Syria, probably Iraq as well. To this end it is pragmatic to ensure a balance of powers at the negotiating table, and so we see the Astana agreement 'holding position' in Syria and the return to 2014 (?) Kurdish borders in Iraq.

Additionally, there was a very interesting letter / memo / article, not sure, by Davutoglu the other day calling for a freeze to the hostilities in Kirkuk and an equal power sharing agreement to be drawn up between the three parties reducing the majority Kurdish population to having no voice whatsoever! Laughable and typical Turkish bollocks. If I can find an English translation I shall post it here.

And can anyone verify Erdogan's claim that US has agreed to halt the fight against ISIS in order to concentrate on Kirkuk?

AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 10:10:38 AM | 21
"The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arabs"
WTF?
Turkmen have always been a small minority. Demographics have changed recently, granted, but not so significantly! This sentence is clearly intended to deceive. Next you'll be quoting Cavusoglu's "Kirkuk is 78% Turkmen"!

Who wrote this second piece?

chris m | Oct 16, 2017 10:15:35 AM | 22
US has already destroyed Iraq at least 3 times
1)1990s war;sanctions
2)2003 war
3) since 2003 "Arab spring/winter etc (via IsiS)

the ROW keeps trying to put Iraq back together again ;the US tries its damndest to keep the fire going wherever there's a conflict in the world, US comes along and tries to make it even worse. Syria conflict was a dream come true

Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 10:21:02 AM | 23
AtaBrit

There's no systematic demonization of the Kurds. That's ridiculous. Just a little of the truth has been allowed to come out against massive pro-Kurdish propaganda on the MSM. You may like the Kurds in Turkey, but it's not the same in Iraq, with Syria somewhere in between.

You're wrong on what happened in 2014. The Peshmerga did do a runner, and shamefully abandoned the Yazidis (who are Kurds, don't forget). It was the Rojavans (not actually the PKK, but friends with), who crossed the border from Syria, went up the mountain and brought a lot of Yazidis down. The Kurds didn't come back until much later (2015, I think).

The Peshmerga have just repeated 2014 today. According to the BBC at midday, there are only local armed Kurds resisting the Iraqi advance. All this that happened in 2014 was effaced from the MSM. It won't be so easy this time.

AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 10:24:54 AM | 24
"But Barzani was urged on by the Zionists and international neo-conservatives"

Silly me. I had thought it wqs Turkey that had flown the Kurdistan flag at AtaTurk Airport to welcome Barzani! Immediately after the Erdogan / Barzani meeting the 'plan' was hatched: TNon Iraqi Turkmen appeared in Kirkuk the Turkmen flag raised against the PKK flag, Barzani started 'linking' Iraqi Kurdish hopes with PKK hopes creatibg a faux 'Kurdish bloc' which in fact did not exist, but began the 'cobflation' of different Kuridsh groups as one and the groundwork for the game now being played out was laid.

Only months before this meeting the independent media were lambasting Barzani for illegally remaining in power and praising those who demonstrated against him ... Everything changed with that Erdogan/ Barzani meeting.

Maybe Israel jumped on the bandwagon later, but only as a means to demonose the 'Kurds'. Any association with Osrael would kill any standing that the 'Kurds' had, surely.

It reminds me of the very ominous and concisely worded press conference held by then Turkish President Gul and newly elected Rouhani after their first and only meeting. They said that the two countries would be like France and Germany - still sont understand that one; and that there would be an ens to terrorism in the region. At that time I thought that Kurdush grouos would be in for a hiding! Of course,not Barzani though!

Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 10:28:41 AM | 25
AtaBrit
"The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arabs" WTF?

The Kurds are not majority either. They've been importing Kurds to settle in Kirkuk. What is clear is that the Kurds have no legal right to occupy Kirkuk. It's an occupation of Baghdad territory by force, which has been allowed so far (and apparently you are in favour of military conquest giving rights, although it's strictly forbidden in the UN). The Erbil Kurds have been allowed to carry out a lot of illegality recently, but like the Israelis, it'll remain illegitimate, and so temporary.

AriusArmenian | Oct 16, 2017 12:07:35 PM | 26
The Kurds have put themselves into a vice by going in with the US.
Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 12:51:20 PM | 27
Masdar
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:20 P.M.) – Moments ago, the Iraqi Armed Forces and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) imposed full control over the city of Kirkuk after surrounding it from three flanks, thereby prompting a mass retreat by a Kurdish Peshmerga garrison that narrowly avoided being encircled.

Hundreds of Humvees, BMP-1's and technicals could be seen rolling towards the city centre around noon after entering Kirkuk from the city's western and southern gates, prompting a mass exodus of civilians trying to flee towards Kurdish-held territory along the highway.

I'm quite surprised it was so fast. The US and Israel didn't have time to react.

[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 minor