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Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few

Journalism Vacation from Truth

I think journalists today — elite journalists at least — absorb the biases of the ruling class far more readily than they used to do. The media establishment is populated by yes-men. I do not understand how any skeptical person can, in good conscience, trust a western MSM description of foreign events. You need a second source to compare coverage. The mainstream media gives us no real news. Just the talking points they were given. Seeing how they treat the concept of truth these days, one might think that MSM just don’t care anymore.

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Anti Trump Hysteria Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Purple revolution against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Demonization of Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Obama's Putin-did-it fiasco Media-Military-Industrial Complex Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton
Doublespeak Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte Patterns of Propaganda The importance of controlling the narrative
MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Cold War II "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology  Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers New American Militarism
Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Deception as an art form The Deep State National Security State Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair US and British media are servants of security apparatus The attempt to secure global hegemony American Exceptionalism Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Lewis Powell Memo Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Edward Lucas as agent provocateur Groupthink Soft propaganda
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' The Real War on Reality Nation under attack meme Bullshit as MSM communication method
Neo-fascism Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Big Uncle is Watching You What's the Matter with Kansas Media as a weapon of mass deception
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Good Soldier Svejk Nineteen Eighty-Four Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

"The truth is that the newspaper is not a place for information to be given,
rather it is just hollow content, or more than that, a provoker of content.
If it prints lies about atrocities, real atrocities are the result."

Karl Kraus, 1914

WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

1984

We are the world, we are exceptional, we cannot fail. The elite will lie, and the people will pretend to believe them. Heck about 20 percent of the American public will believe almost anything if it is wrapped with the right prejudice and appeal to passion. Have a pleasant evening.

jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com, Feb 04, 2015

Journalists manipulate us in the interest of the Powerful

Do you also have the feeling, that you are often manipulated by the media and  lied to? Then you're like the majority of Germans. Previously it was considered as a "conspiracy theory". Now it revealed by an Insider, who tells us what is really happening under the hood.

The Journalist Udo Ulfkotte ashamed today that he spent 17 years in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. ...he reveals why opinion leaders produce tendentious reports and serve as the extended Arm of the NATO press office. ...the author also was admitted into the networks of American elite organizations, received in return for positive coverage in the US even a certificate of honorary citizenship.

In this book you will learn about industry lobby organisations. The author calls hundreds of names and looks behind the Scenes of those organizations, which exert bias into media, such as: Atlantic bridge, Trilateral Commission, the German Marshall Fund, American Council on Germany, American Academy, Aspen Institute, and the Institute for European politics. Also revealed are the intelligence backgrounds of those lobby groups, the methods and forms of propaganda and financing used, for example, by the US Embassy. Which funds  projects for the targeted influencing of public opinion in Germany 

...You realize how you are being manipulated - and you know from whom and why. At the end it becomes clear that diversity of opinion will now only be simulated. Because our "messages" are often pure brainwashing.

Gekaufte Journalisten - Medienwelt Enthόllungen Bόcher - Kopp Verlag

Truth-Killing as a Meta-Issue

The problem is fundamental, and relates to a broad spectrum of policy issues both foreign and domestic, because truth — factual reality — is a necessary foundation to consider and evaluate and debate policy on any subject. 

Crushing the truth means not just our having to endure any one misdirected policy; it means losing the ability even to address policy intelligently

To the extent that falsehood is successfully instilled in the minds of enough people, the political system loses what would otherwise be its ability to provide a check on policy that is bad policy because it is inconsistent with factual reality.

The National Interest Blog

Propaganda can be  defined as a war on reality using fake news, disinformation and other methods. An attempt to create an artificial reality.  The key here is controlling the narrative

How does Fake History and Fake News gradually supersede their reality-based version and were enforced on the US society as the only acceptable narrative? My impression is that McCarthyism was not exactly only about Communists. It has elements of a more general witch hunt for "dissidents" who question "official Washington narrative" and simulataniously brainwashing of population in best Bosheviks style. After which questioning of official narrative has  become a "though  crime".

While Senator McCarthney has  a certain gist for this staff and probably would be a suitable candidate for high collision in NKVD, he was not a pioneer. He was just a talanted follower. This type of modem witch hunt was first implemented on large scale by Bolsheviks in Russia after 1917.  Actually Bolsheviks originated many modern methods of brainwashing of the population.  which later were enhanced and further developed in Nazi Germany and than imported to the USA after WWII. Creation of intelligence agencies by Truman was actually a creation of national security state and  with it the huge apparatus of state propaganda controlled and directed by intelligence  agencies, which gradually acquired considerable level of control of MSM  (see Church Committee - Wikipedia )

In other words it was a gradual switch to a "cult-style" practice of mind control of population (Bolshevism actually can be best viewed as a cult merged with the political movement, much like political Islam today ). the main methods here is generation and control of "suitable" narrative. 

"The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an "official narrative" that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between "the truth" as defined by the ruling classes and any other "truth" that contradicts their narrative. "

 Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoliberal Propaganda


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"It tends to be all accurate, but not in an over-all context."

Donald Rumsfeld

“Citizens must be alert to propaganda and
glittering generalities is a type of propaganda
which often uses words such as freedom and patriotism.”

“Civics in Practice”. Page 274

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[Aug 18, 2017] "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

At least Bannon does not look like a sociopath as Hillary "We came, we saw he died" and her inner cicle. He has some concerns about South koreian population, dying for US empire geopolitical goals.
Notable quotes:
"... "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." ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

... [in] an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "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."

He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a female diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as "wetting themselves" over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

[Aug 18, 2017] Banish Bannon Trump weighs his options as top aides feud Defend Democracy Press

Aug 18, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

For months, U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser and his chief strategist have battled for influence behind the scenes, and their feud may force another shake-up at the White House.

The dispute between Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster and political strategist Stephen Bannon has reached a level of animosity that is destabilizing Trump's team of top advisers just as the administration tries to regain lost momentum, three senior officials said.

Under pressure from moderate Republicans to fire Bannon, Trump declined to publicly back him on Tuesday, although he left his options open. "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," he told reporters at Trump Tower in New York.

Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-bannon-analysis-idUSKCN1AV2MZ

[Aug 18, 2017] Alt-Right and Ultra-Zionist Alliance against National Security Advisor McMaster

Notable quotes:
"... He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well. ..."
"... Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | therealnews.com

Remember Lieutenant-General Herbert Raymond McMaster? He was appointed as President Trump's national security adviser back in February. He was then moved quickly to contain the influence of chief strategist Steve Bannon, who McMaster removed from the National Security Council. If you recall, he was appointed to contain other Trump loyalists such as Michael Flynn, as well.

Recently, a campaign accusing him of being anti-Israel has been waged with the support of billionaire Sheldon Adelson by a coalition of alt-right nationalists that includes Steve Bannon and extreme right-wing Zionists such as the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, as well as by Israeli journalist Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post. President Trump, in response to all of this, called McMaster "a good man, very pro-Israel," and Israeli officials have also come forward calling McMaster a friend of Israel.

On to talk about these connections and tensions is Shir Hever. Shir is a Real News correspondent in Heidelberg, Germany. Of course, he covers Israel and Palestine for us extensively. I thank you so much for joining us, Shir.

SHIR HEVER: Thanks for having me, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Shir, President Trump is now six months into his office as president. He initially has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to take up the Israel file, but there are these allegations flying against General McMaster. Explain to us what's going on. Why are these individuals like Sheldon Adelson even concerned about how Trump is responding in terms of Israel and Israel policy?

SHIR HEVER: I think there's very little that General McMaster can actually do about Israel or against Israel. It really doesn't matter much. The only issue that has come up was the Iran nuclear deal, and I think this is going to be a decision taken directly by President Trump and not by McMaster. Also, what exactly is the Israel interest regarding the Iran nuclear deal? It is not so clear. Obviously, Prime Minister Netanyahu has a certain opinion, but other Israeli politicians have other opinions.

I think this is really a symbolic issue. There are people in the alt-right and also the extreme Zionism who are using this old worn-out accusation that somebody is anti-Israel in order to get their own people into the National Security Council, in order to exert influence on the Trump administration. This coalition between extreme right nationalists, white nationalists in the United States, and Jewish Zionists, which traditionally were on opposing sides, are now working together because of this very strange rise of this alt-right.

SHARMINI PERIES: All right. Now, give us a greater sense of the connection or the tensions between these alt-right organizations and McMaster and Bannon. Map this for us.

SHIR HEVER: Yeah. I've been looking through these accusations that Caroline Glick, deputy editor of the Jerusalem Post, and Steve Bannon himself, and also Morton Klein of the Zionist Organization of America. What problem do they have with McMaster? They make very vague things about some statements that he made, but they couldn't put them in context. He said that Israel is an occupying power. Of course, Israel is an occupying power, but they couldn't place that statement. The only thing that their criticism boils down to is they say McMaster is a remnant of the Obama administration. He continues the Obama policies, and therefore he's not loyal to Trump.

I think this is the crux of the matter, because actually, for people like Caroline Glick and I think also for Sheldon Adelson, their relation to Trump borders on religious. They consider Trump to be some kind of messiah or savior that will allow Israel once and for all to annex the occupied territory, expand its borders, and then the land will be redeemed. They talk about this in religious terminology.

Here's the problem. Trump has been president for six months now, and Israel did not annex the territory. It did not expand its borders. In fact, it has gone from one crisis to the next, and the Israeli government is not able to cement its power over the Palestinians. Palestinian resistance is not tied down. They're looking for an explanation. The explanation is that something is not pure in the Trump administration, and they're pointing the finger at McMaster saying, "Because of people like him who are sabotaging Trump's own policies from the inside, then this is preventing the Trump administration from reaching its full potential."

SHARMINI PERIES: Right. Obviously, Netanyahu and the Israeli government doesn't agree with this assessment. In fact, they have come out supporting McMaster as being a good supporter of Israel. How does this play out here?

SHIR HEVER: Absolutely. Prime Minister Netanyahu is doing real politics. He knows that there's nothing that President Trump can do that will actually make Israel suddenly conquer more territory. That's not the point. Netanyahu is trying to balance a very complicated system with pressure from different points, and he is a populist, and he's only in power because of his populism. Now, his administration is under threat because of corruption allegations, so this is a problem for him. When people expect that the Trump administration will free his hands to do whatever he wants, Netanyahu suddenly has a problem because he needs to come up with a new excuse. Why doesn't he annex all the occupied territory?

Of course, for him, it's not a good time to get into a fight with the Trump administration. He wants to create the impression that things are happening under the surface, that he is in the know, that his friends are involved in this, but I think the fact that Sheldon Adelson, the big financial supporter of Netanyahu, is now switching to support extreme right groups that have nothing to do with the interests of the Israeli current administration, but are actually trying to push the Israeli administration to move further to the extreme right and to annex territory, that puts Netanyahu in trouble. I think it also spells some clouds over the warm relationship between Netanyahu and Adelson.

SHARMINI PERIES: Coming back to this side of things here in the United States, in light of the events of Charlottesville, Shir, showing a direct link between the alt-right and hardcore racists and neo-Nazis, why would extreme right-wing Zionist Jewish organizations and individuals like Glick and Klein agree to cooperate with the alt-right in this way?

SHIR HEVER: I think people on the left tend to forget that, just like the left considers itself to be a kind of universalist movement, and that leftists around the world should have solidarity with each other, the right also has a kind of solidarity, especially the extreme right. Extreme right movements in different countries consider the extreme right in other countries to be their allies. One of the things we saw in Charlottesville is that some of these neo-Nazi groups and white nationalist groups are big supporters of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, because they see him as the kind of strong leader they would like to see in the United States as well.

For people who see Donald Trump talking about America first, then they're saying, "Okay, that's exactly the kind of administration we want to see in Israel, somebody taking about Israel first." For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities. Just like the American administration has its minorities, Muslims, Mexicans which are being targeted, Israel also has its minorities, Palestinians and asylum-seekers, and they want those people to be targeted in the same harsh language and the same harsh policies, so that we can [inaudible] a great compromise.

I have to say, the events in Charlottesville had a profound impact on Israeli public opinion. In fact, there are a lot of Israelis who are very concerned about this kind of coalition. They are saying, "No, there's not that much that we're willing to take in order to keep the relations with the Trump administration on good footing." Because of that, the president of Israel, President Rivlin, and also the education minister Naftali Bennett issued statements condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. I think Naftali Bennett, who is the head of the Jewish Nationalist Party in Israel, and he's actually of the same political camp as Caroline Glick, as Morton Klein, when he makes that statement, that shows that even he thinks that they have gone too far.

SHARMINI PERIES: Interesting analysis, Shir. I thank you so much for joining us today. I guess the situation in Charlottesville is evolving, and it would be interesting to continue to keep an eye on what's developing here against what's happening in Israel as well. Thank you so much.

SHIR HEVER: Thank you, Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: Thank you for joining us here on the Real News Network.

Jibaro 4 hours ago

Confusing, at least to me, in any case I believe that the Zionists learned a lot from the Nazis and there is very little difference between the two groups. I would say that the main difference lies in the fact that the Zionists are sneakier and know how to play with popular opinion. That's why it doesn't surprise me that they are making a common cause with the white supremacists groups.

The only surprise here is that they are doing it openly now. They have become brave and have decided to take the backlash. Perhaps they are doing so because they know they have the support of Trump.

Divide and conquer. Soon we will be fighting on our own streets against each other. It will be the death of the US...

Donatella 10 hours ago

"For Caroline Gluck or for a Morton Klein, they are willing to accept a very heavy load of racism and even anti-semitism against Jews from the Trump administration and from its supporters in exchange for being allowed to copy that same kind of racism and that same kind of right-wing policy towards their minorities."

I have great respect for Shir Hever, he has great insight into Israel society and politics. However, his statement that Klein and Glick (and maybe Adelson) want to be "allowed" to copy Trump's supporter's racism and right-wing policies towards minorities in Israel is beyond hilarious. Minorities in Israel have been and continue to be subjected to racist and supremacist policies (much worse than anything Trump supporters can even imagine) by the Zionists since the theft of Palestinian's land in 1948. The Israelis are not just pursuing racist policies but as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe said, they are committing slow motion genocide against the Palestinians.

[Aug 18, 2017] Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run

Now whom Trump represents? GS and military industrial complex ?
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best."

... ... ...

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon's job security but defended him as "not a racist" and "a friend." "We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Mr. Trump said. Mr. Bannon's dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect.

In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 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." He also bad-mouthed his colleagues in the Trump administration, vowed to oust a diplomat at the State Department and mocked officials as "wetting themselves" over the consequences of radically changing trade policy.

Of the far right, he said, "These guys are a collection of clowns," and he called it a "fringe element" of "losers." "We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record. Privately, several White House officials said that Mr. Bannon appeared to be provoking Mr. Trump and that they did not see how the president could keep him on after the interview was published.

[Aug 18, 2017] Trump betrayed his antiglobalism agenda when he elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring ..."
"... Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration. ..."
"... But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street... ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.msn.com

"We gotta help crush it," he said in the interview, which people close to Mr. Bannon said he believed was off the record.

Mr. Bannon's departure was long rumored in Washington. The president's new chief of staff, John F. Kelly , a retired Marine Corps general who was brought on for his ability to organize a chaotic staff, was said to have grown weary of the chief strategist's long-running feud with Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser.

Mr. Bannon had been aligned with Mr. Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus, who was forced out in late July. More significantly, Mr. Bannon has been in a battle with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, since the spring.

Mr. Bannon, whose campaign against "globalists" was a hallmark of his tenure steering the right-wing website Breitbart.com, and Mr. Kushner had been allies throughout the transition process and through the beginning of the administration.

But their alliance ruptured as Mr. Trump elevated the roles of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic policy adviser and a former official at Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell, a former Bush administration official who also worked on Wall Street...

[Aug 18, 2017] I'm somewhat surprised that Peter Escpbar did not mention the Western supplied chemical weapon components recently captured by the SAA and prominently displayed by Russia's Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affair s-- news kept out by Charlottesville

Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 11:36:28 AM | 88

Speaking of Grownups, Pepe Escobar recaps the recent exploits of Moqtada al-Sadr and provides a peek at the 2018 Iraqi elections. Pepe then segues into Syria and its Chinese connection.

I'm somewhat surprised he didn't mention the Western supplied chemical weapon components recently captured by the SAA and prominently displayed by Russia's Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affair s-- news kept out by Charlottesville.

http://www.atimes.com/article/winners-post-daesh-era/ and https://sputniknews.com/politics/201708181056581304-syria-us-uk-toxic-agents/

[Aug 18, 2017] How think tanks sell war...

Notable quotes:
"... The idea behind offset agreements is simple: When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect. As part of a weapons package, they often sign an agreement to invest in the country's economy, either in defense or civilian sectors. ..."
"... According to an email from Clarke, the UAE accepted unpaid offset obligations as cash payments to a large financial firm called Tawazun Holding. Tawazun sent the $20 million to a UAE think tank called the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research . ECSSR then began sending that money to the Middle East Institute, a prestigious D.C. think tank that has a history of promoting arms sales to Gulf dictatorships. ... ..."
"... So essentially, in a roundabout way, the UAE took money from international firms that was meant for economic development and funneled it to a supportive think tank in the United States. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Weapons Money Intended for Economic Development Being Secretly Diverted to Lobbying Alex Emmons Aug 18, 2017 undefined

The United Arab Emirates created a "slush fund" using money meant for domestic economic development projects and funneled it to a high-profile think tank in the United States, emails obtained by The Intercept show.

Last week, The Intercept reported that the UAE gave a $20 million grant to the Middle East Institute, flooding a well-regarded D.C. think tank with a monetary grant larger than its annual budget . According to an email from Richard Clarke, MEI's chairman of the board, the UAE got the money from offset investments ! development investments by international companies that are made as part of trade agreements.

The idea behind offset agreements is simple: When a country buys weapons from a firm overseas, it pumps a large amount of money out of its economy, instead of investing in its own defense industry or in other domestic projects. So to make large weapons deals more attractive, arms companies offer programs to "offset" that effect. As part of a weapons package, they often sign an agreement to invest in the country's economy, either in defense or civilian sectors.

Offsets provide a way to sell weapons at inflated prices, when companies offer juicier offset packages. Critics say the lack of transparency in how offset investments are carried out leaves a window open for a form of legalized corruption. The emails lift a veil on what has long been an obscure element of the arms trade.

According to an email from Clarke, the UAE accepted unpaid offset obligations as cash payments to a large financial firm called Tawazun Holding. Tawazun sent the $20 million to a UAE think tank called the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research . ECSSR then began sending that money to the Middle East Institute, a prestigious D.C. think tank that has a history of promoting arms sales to Gulf dictatorships. ...

So essentially, in a roundabout way, the UAE took money from international firms that was meant for economic development and funneled it to a supportive think tank in the United States.

Fair use excerpt. Full article here .

[Aug 18, 2017] Russia-gate Hoax About To Be Exposed by Justin Raimondo

Aug 18, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Julian Assange has the evidence – but will he reveal it?

There's an exciting new development in the "Russia-gate" investigation, one that has the potential to blast apart what is arguably the biggest hoax in the history of American politics.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) has met with Julian Assange – the first US congressman to do so – and returned with some spectacular news:. The Hill reports :

"Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year's election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future."

Assange has maintained all along that the Russians had nothing to do with procuring the DNC/Podesta emails, despite the intelligence community's assertions – offered without evidence – that Vladimir Putin personally approved the alleged "hack." Yet credible challenges to this view have emerged in recent days, including from a group of former intelligence officials, that throw considerable doubt on the idea that there was even a "hack" to begin with. "Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents," says The Hill ,

"Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. 'Julian also indicated that he is open to further discussions regarding specific information about the DNC email incident that is currently unknown to the public,' he said."

What this looks like is an attempt by Assange to negotiate with the US government over his current status as a political prisoner: he has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for many years. Hanging over him is the threat of arrest should he leave and his rendition to the United States to face charges. Could he be making a bid for freedom, offering to provide evidence of how he got his hands on the DNC/Podesta emails in exchange for a pardon?

Rohrabacher, who has a history as a libertarian fellow traveler, has been the target of a smear campaign due to his unwillingness to go along with the Russophobic hysteria that's all the rage in Washington, D.C. these days. Politico attacked him in a piece calling him "Putin's favorite congressman," and "news" accounts of this meeting with Assange invariably mention his "pro-Russian" views – as if a desire to get along with Russia is in itself somehow "subversive."

It's a brave stance to take when even the ostensibly libertarian and anti-interventionist Cato Institute has jumped on the hate-on-Russia bandwagon. Cato cut their ties to former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus because he refused to accept the War Party's line on the US-sponsored Ukrainian coup that overthrew the country's democratically elected chief of state. But it gets worse. Here 's Cato senior fellow Andrei Illarionov saying we are already at war with Russia:

"First of all, it is necessary to understand that this is a war. This is not a joke, this is not an accident, this is not a mistake, this is not a bad dream. It will not go away by itself. This is a war. As in any war, you either win or lose. And it is up to you what choice you will make."

And it's not just a cold war: the conflict must, says Illarionov, contain a military element:

"First, in purely military area, it is quite clear that victory in this war cannot be achieved without serious adjustments made to the existing military doctrine. Certainly, soft power is wonderful, but by itself it does not deter the use of force."

While the rest of the country is going about its business with nary a thought about Russia, in Washington the craziness is pandemic. Which is why Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Adrienne Watson felt safe vomiting up the usual bile in response to Rohrabacher's initiative: "We'll take the word of the US intelligence community over Julian Assange and Putin's favorite Congressman."

The power of groupthink inside the Washington Beltway has energized both the neo-cold warrior hysterics – epitomized by the imposition of yet more sanctions ! and the "Russia-gate" hoax to the point where it is unthinkable for anyone to challenge either. Yet Rohrabacher, whom I don't always agree with, has the balls to stand up to both, and for that he should be supported.

Assange has stubbornly resisted revealing anything about the provenance of the DNC/Podesta emails, allowing the CIA/NSA to claim that it was the Russians who "hacked the election," and also giving them a free hand to smear WikiLeaks as an instrument of the Kremlin. This meeting with Rohrabacher, and the promise of revelations to come, indicate that he is reconsidering his stance – and that we are on the verge of seeing "Russia-gate" definitively debunked.

We here at Antiwar.com have challenged the "mainstream" media's wholesale swallowing of the government's line from the very beginning. That's because there hasn't been one iota of solid proof for blaming the Russians, or even for the assertion that the DNC was "hacked." We don't accept government pronouncements at face value: indeed, we don't accept the "conventional wisdom" at face value, either. We always ask the question: " Where's the evidence? "

[Aug 18, 2017] The Corporate fascist - with grains of salt - USA. The democracy part is fiction, camouflaged via a fools theatre two-party system and ginormous social re-distribution, amongst others.. the Core (PTB) found itself through miscalculation and loss of power subject to a challenger who broke thru the organised/fake elections, to attempt some kind of readjustement - renewal - reset...

Ethnic nationalism rises when the state and the nation experience economic difficulties. Weimar republic is a classic example here.
Notable quotes:
"... That's exactly nationalism, for sure. The work of that wealth creation by the way is done by the all the classes below the rentier class, from working to middle class. The funneling upwards thing is actually theft. ..."
"... The middle class is shrinking and being pushed down closer to rage because the wealth-stealing mechanisms have become bigger and better, and saturated the entire national system, including its electoral politics. This real face of capitalism has driven out the iconic American Dream, which was the essence of upward mobility. ..."
"... Nationalism is an ugly word, but it's easily reached for when there aren't any better words around. In Russia, they already went through what faces the US, and they figured it out. ..."
"... "In our view, faster growth is necessary but not sufficient to restore higher intergenerational income mobility," they wrote. "Evidence suggests that, to increase income mobility, policymakers should focus on raising middle-class and lower-income household incomes." ..."
"... Advocating smoothed-out relations with Russia (for commercial perso reasons, Tillerson, etc. and a need to grade adversaries and accept some into the fold, like Russia, instead of Iran ), a more level playing field, multi-polar world, to actually become more dominant in trade (China etc.) and waste less treasure on supporting enemies, aka proxy stooges, to no purpose (e.g. Muslim brotherhood, Al Q kooks, ISIS) and possibly even Israel ! hmmm. ..."
"... The old guard will do much to get rid of the upstart and his backers (who they are exactly I'd quite like to know?) as all their positions and revenues are at risk ..."
"... The Trump crowd seems at the same time both vulnerable and determined and thus navigating ΰ vue as the F say, by sight and without a plan An underground internal war which is stalemated, leading to instrumentalising the ppl and creating chaos, scandals, etc. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tay | Aug 18, 2017 6:56:05 AM | 82

The US has no problem generating wealth, and has no need to force conflict with China. The US's problem is that that wealth is funneled upwards. Wealth inequality is not a meme. "Shrinking middle class" is a euphemism for downward-mobility of the middle class, an historical incubator for Reaction. And that's what we have here, reactionaries from a middle class background who now are earning less than their parents at menial jobs, or who are unemployed, becoming goons; aping the klan, appropriating nazi icons, blaming the foreigner, the negro, the Jew, the Muslim, for their circumstances. A "trade war" will not help them one iota, it will make their lives worse, and Bannon will go out and say it's the fault of the foreigner and the immigrant, their numbers wool swell. More terror, depper culture wars. I suppose that's nationalism to some people.

Grieved | Aug 18, 2017 9:51:21 AM | 83

@82 Tay

That's exactly nationalism, for sure. The work of that wealth creation by the way is done by the all the classes below the rentier class, from working to middle class. The funneling upwards thing is actually theft.

The middle class is shrinking and being pushed down closer to rage because the wealth-stealing mechanisms have become bigger and better, and saturated the entire national system, including its electoral politics. This real face of capitalism has driven out the iconic American Dream, which was the essence of upward mobility.

Nationalism is an ugly word, but it's easily reached for when there aren't any better words around. In Russia, they already went through what faces the US, and they figured it out.

Since we're looking for the grown-ups, let's turn to Vladimir Putin, always reliable for sanity when direction is lost.

Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism. "Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland," Putin cited his words.

-- Putin reminds that "patriotism drastically differs from nationalism"

somebody | Aug 18, 2017 11:00:25 AM | 86
83
Upward mobility has fallen sharply
"In our view, faster growth is necessary but not sufficient to restore higher intergenerational income mobility," they wrote. "Evidence suggests that, to increase income mobility, policymakers should focus on raising middle-class and lower-income household incomes."

Interventions worth considering include universal preschool and greater access to public universities, increasing the minimum wage, and offering vouchers to help families with kids move from poor neighborhoods into areas with better schools and more resources, they said.

Is there any political party or group in the US that suggests this?

Noirette | Aug 18, 2017 11:56:04 AM | 90
The Corporate "fascist" - with grains of salt - USA. The 'democracy' part is fiction, camouflaged via a fools theatre two-party system and ginormous social re-distribution, amongst others.. the Core (PTB) found itself through miscalculation and loss of power subject to a challenger who broke thru the \organised/ fake elections, to attempt some kind of re-adjustement - renewal - re-set - review...

Advocating smoothed-out relations with Russia (for commercial perso reasons, Tillerson, etc. and a need to grade adversaries and accept some into the fold, like Russia, instead of Iran ), a more level playing field, multi-polar world, to actually become more dominant in trade (China etc.) and waste less treasure on supporting enemies, aka proxy stooges, to no purpose (e.g. Muslim brotherhood, Al Q kooks, ISIS) and possibly even Israel ! hmmm.

Heh, the profits of domination are to be organised, extracted and distributed, differently. One Mafia-type tribe taking over from another! Ivanka will be The Sweet First Woman Prezzie! Style, Heart, Love, Looks! Go!

The old guard will do much to get rid of the upstart and his backers (who they are exactly I'd quite like to know?) as all their positions and revenues are at risk, so they are activating all - anything to attack. The Trump crowd seems at the same time both vulnerable and determined and thus navigating ΰ vue as the F say, by sight and without a plan An underground internal war which is stalemated, leading to instrumentalising the ppl and creating chaos, scandals, etc.

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon goes as the military takes over the Trump administration by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual. ..."
"... n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills. ..."
"... The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland. ..."
"... I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it. ..."
"... As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration. ..."
"... The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise. ..."
"... The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | theduran.com

The announcement of the 'resignation' of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon represents the culmination of a process which began with the equally forced 'resignation' of President Trump's first National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn.

Individuals who were close to Donald Trump during his successful election campaign and who largely framed its terms – people like Bannon and Flynn – have been picked off one by one.

Taking their place is a strange coalition of former generals and former businessmen of essentially conventional Republican conservative views, which is cemented around three former generals who between them now have the levers of powers in their hands: General Kelly, the President's new Chief of Staff, General H.R. McMaster, his National Security Adviser, and General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

In the case of Bannon, it is his clear that his ousting was insisted on by General Kelly, who is continuing to tighten his control of the White House.

Bannon's removal – not coincidentally – has come at the same time that General H.R. McMaster is completing his purge of the remaining Flynn hold-overs on the staff of the National Security Council.

Bannon's removal does not just remove from the White House a cunning political strategist. It also removes the one senior official in the Trump administration who had any pretensions to be an ideologist and an intellectual.

I n saying I should say that I for one do not rate Bannon as an ideologist and intellectual too highly. Whilst there can be no doubt of Bannon's media and campaigning skills, his ideological positions seem to me a mishmash of ideas – some more leftist than rightist – rather than a coherent platform. I also happen to think that his actual influence on the President has been hugely exaggerated. Since the inauguration I have not seen much evidence either of Bannon's supposed influence on the President or of his famed political skills.

Bannon is sometimes credited as being the author of the President's two travel ban Executive Orders. I am sure this wrong. The Executive Orders clearly originate with the wishes of the President himself. If Bannon did have any role in them – which is possible – it would have been secondary to the President's own. I would add that in that case Bannon must take some of the blame for the disastrously incompetent execution of the first of these two Executive Orders, which set the scene for the legal challenges that followed.

The only occasion where it did seem to me that Bannon exercised real influence was in shaping the text of the speech the President delivered during his recent trip to Poland.

I have already made known my views of this speech . I think it was badly judged – managing to annoy both the Germans and the Russians at the same time – mistaken in many of its points, and the President has derived no political benefit from it.

However it is the closest thing to an ideological statement the President has made since he took office, and Bannon is widely believed – probably rightly – to have written it.

As for Bannon's alleged political skills, he has completely failed to shield the President from the Russiagate scandal and appears to me to have done little or nothing to hold the President's electoral base together, with Bannon having been almost invisible since the inauguration.

In view of Bannon's ineffectiveness since the inauguration I doubt that his removal will make any difference to the Trump administration's policies or to the support the President still has from his electoral base, most of whose members are unlikely to know much about Bannon anyway.

It is in a completely different respect – one wholly independent of President Trump's success or failure as President – that the events of the last few weeks give cause for serious concern.

The events of the last year highlight the extent to which the US is in deep political crisis.

The US's core electorate is becoming increasingly alienated from its political class; elements of the security services are openly operating independently of political control, and are working in alliance with sections of the Congress and the media – both now also widely despised – to bring down a constitutionally elected President, who they in turn despise.

All this is happening at the same time that there is growing criticism of the economic institutions of the US government, which since the 2008 financial crisis have seemed to side with a wealthy and unprincipled minority against the interests of the majority.

The only institution of the US state that still seems to be functioning as normal, and which appears to have retained a measure of public respect and support, is the military, which politically speaking seems increasingly to be calling the shots.

It is striking that the only officials President Trump can nominate to senior positions who do not immediately run into bitter opposition have been – apart from General Flynn, who was a special case – senior soldiers.

Now the military in the persons of Kelly, McMaster and Mattis find themselves at the heart of the US government to an extent that has never been true before in US history, even during the Presidencies of former military men like Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant or Dwight Eisenhower.

The last time that happened in a major Western nation – that the civilian institutions of the state had become so dysfunctional that the military as the only functioning institution left ended up dominating the nation's government and deciding the nation's policies – was in Germany in the lead up to the First World War.

Time will show what the results will be this time, but the German example is hardly a reassuring one.

[Aug 18, 2017] Pentagon took over White house: The firing of Bannon leaves the Generals without an opposing view. They will no longer be contradicted.

Notable quotes:
"... We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow. ..."
"... Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality. ..."
"... The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes. ..."
"... Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Are we a step closer to War?

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 18, 2017 2:16:17 PM | 96

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:19:23 PM | 97

Well, with Bannon gone who will have most influence over Trump now? Will the rest of the Alt-Righters stay at the White House? Hhhmmm...

Meanwhile, while the MCM (mainstream corporate media) is unable to focus on more that one or two things, Trump has signed an executivve order which will have real work consequences as sea levels rise. Under Obama, a rule was developed to require infrastructure projects to consider the effects of global warming on flooding, effects of storms, etc. Now, developers are free to build what and where they want, with no consideration for the possible damage which might destroy those projects in the future.

Throw-away society on a grand --and expensive-- scale.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-scrap-rule-protect-094700052.html

Oh, my. Things ought to be interesting in DC in the near future. Dangerous all over in the long run.

jawbone | Aug 18, 2017 2:20:53 PM | 98
Oops. Real work consequences should have been real world consequences. Preview is a good tool to use....
karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:29:00 PM | 99
Presumably, Bannon's mouth ( American Prospect interview) got him fired--requested to resign--at the instigation of Chief of Staff Gen. Kelly, with it being spun nicely: "Kelly and Bannon "have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. 'We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.'" https://www.rt.com/usa/400175-trump-fires-bannon-strategist/

Now it appears that Trump's completely surrounded by the former generals he appointed--a different version of Seven Days in May? Or is it the fantastical number of contradictions finally coming home to roost as The Saker seems to think, http://thesaker.is/the-neocons-are-pushing-the-usa-and-the-rest-of-the-world-towards-a-dangerous-crisis/

When Trump got elected, I thought the best outcome would be total gridlock in DC; and in some ways, that's what's occurred. Yet, as The Saker points out, something's afoot if the propaganda published by Newsweek--which is owned by Bezos--is any indication.

It's Friday. The Syrian Army is making huge gains. Congress is in recess. And the weather forecast for Monday's eclipse here on the Oregon coast is looking positive--no fog!

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 2:37:52 PM | 100 previous page
Yeah jawbone, it's a good tool. I should've used it prior to my comment being grabbed by the spambot. Al Gore's opined Trump should resign, indicating he favors Pence, which send s what sort of message given the context Gore opined? https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/al-gore-has-just-one-small-bit-advice-trump-resign As most barflys know, Pence is far worse on most things than Trump. Did Gore just out himself as a previously closeted Neocon?
Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 2:40:58 PM | 101
Another "grown up"?:

Mattis to back Kiev's claim to Crimea during Ukraine visit

US Defense Secretary James Mattis will visit Ukraine next week and reassure the government in Kiev that the US still considers Crimea a part of the country's territory, the Pentagon said. Mattis will tell Kiev the US is "firmly committed to the goal of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

fastfreddy | Aug 18, 2017 2:42:16 PM | 102
Manifest Destiny and Religious Zealotry (extremism) were manifested in recent history by America's Great Leaders. Here's General Boykin:

You know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his [about Muslims in Somalia]. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.

Many other quotes here:

http://www.azquotes.com/author/39645-William_G_Boykin

Greg M | Aug 18, 2017 2:55:25 PM | 103
@96, I view this as part of an effort to push back against anti Iran pro Israel hard liners. First with Flynn, then McMaster forcing out Flynn allies, and now Bannon. Not that McMaster and his people are not pro Israel or possess any redeeming qualities, but it is important to understand that Bannon and those in his circle are NOT anti interventionists.
@Madderhatter67 | Aug 18, 2017 3:21:06 PM | 104
Thirdeye & Fastfreddy

Thirdeye "The third eye is a mystical and esoteric concept of a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight." Wikipedia ;)

This is a good read. Especially for Thirdeye blind.

Pardon Me!
High Crimes and Demeanors in the Age of Trump
By Tom Engelhardt

Let me try to get this straight: from the moment the Soviet Union imploded in 1991 until recently just about every politician and mainstream pundit in America assured us that we were the planet's indispensable nation, the only truly exceptional one on this small orb of ours.

We were the sole superpower, Earth's hyperpower, its designated global sheriff, the architect of our planetary future. After five centuries of great power rivalries, in the wake of a two-superpower world that, amid the threat of nuclear annihilation, seemed to last forever and a day (even if it didn't quite make it 50 years), the United States was the ultimate survivor, the victor of victors, the last of the last. It stood triumphantly at the end of history. In a lottery that had lasted since Europe's wooden ships first broke out of a periphery of Eurasia and began to colonize much of the planet, the United States was the chosen one, the country that would leave every imperial world-maker from the Romans to the British in its shadow.

Who could doubt that this was now our world in a coming American century beyond compare?

And then, of course, came the attacks of 9/11................ The rest below.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/

Anonymous | Aug 18, 2017 3:34:25 PM | 105
Greg D

You couldnt be more wrong: Bannon, Flynn etcetera was actually quite sane compared to the other neocon, deepstate figures coming in, go figure why these people had to go - think also why someone like Mattis DONT have to go and is loved by the media, deep state etcetera.

karlof1 | Aug 18, 2017 3:37:18 PM | 106
@Madderhatter67 @104--

Engelhardt still doesn't understand that 911 was supposed to (and did) solidify the justification for the expansion of The American Century since we now made our own rules and reality.

smuks | Aug 18, 2017 6:50:43 PM | 107
Nah...don't quite agree on this one. The Bannon interview is fascinating, but don't forget that he's a strategist: He says what he thinks will serve his purpose, not necessarily what he believes.

Now he's gone, whether for good time will tell. And Trump is looking rather isolated. If he feels his position becomes too complicated or even untenable, he might do 'stupid stuff' - and as I mentioned earlier, this may be just what the Neocons want: With the US decline accelerating both internally and globally, 'war' may seem the last option to them. But of course, they don't want the blame - they want to be able to say 'see, we told you he's crazy, but you didn't listen.' Difficult times.

[Aug 18, 2017] Robert Kuttner

Notable quotes:
"... "To me," Bannon said, "the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover." ..."
"... Bannon's plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. "We're going to run the tables on these guys. We've come to the conclusion that they're in an economic war and they're crushing us." ..."
"... "The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." ..."
"... For ideas on how to counter the far-right agenda in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, click here . ..."
Aug 16, 2017 | prospect.org
You might think from recent press accounts that Steve Bannon is on the ropes and therefore behaving prudently. In the aftermath of events in Charlottesville, he is widely blamed for his boss's continuing indulgence of white supremacists. Allies of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster hold Bannon responsible for a campaign by Breitbart News, which Bannon once led, to vilify the security chief. Trump's defense of Bannon, at his Tuesday press conference, was tepid.

But Bannon was in high spirits when he phoned me Tuesday afternoon to discuss the politics of taking a harder line with China, and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury. "They're wetting themselves," he said, proceeding to detail how he would oust some of his opponents at State and Defense.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon's assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me.

Needless to say, I was a little stunned to get an email from Bannon's assistant midday Tuesday, just as all hell was breaking loose once again about Charlottesville, saying that Bannon wished to meet with me. I'd just published a column on how China was profiting from the U.S.-North Korea nuclear brinkmanship, and it included some choice words about Bannon's boss.

"In Kim, Trump has met his match," I wrote. "The risk of two arrogant fools blundering into a nuclear exchange is more serious than at any time since October 1962." Maybe Bannon wanted to scream at me?

I told the assistant that I was on vacation, but I would be happy to speak by phone. Bannon promptly called.

Far from dressing me down for comparing Trump to Kim, he began, "It's a great honor to finally track you down. I've followed your writing for years and I think you and I are in the same boat when it comes to China. You absolutely nailed it."

"We're at economic war with China," he added. "It's in all their literature. They're not shy about saying what they're doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it's gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they're just tapping us along. It's just a sideshow."

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.

Contrary to Trump's threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], 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." Bannon went on to describe his battle inside the administration to take a harder line on China trade, and not to fall into a trap of wishful thinking in which complaints against China's trade practices now had to take a backseat to the hope that China, as honest broker, would help restrain Kim.

"To me," Bannon said, "the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover."

Bannon's plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. "We're going to run the tables on these guys. We've come to the conclusion that they're in an economic war and they're crushing us."

But what about his internal adversaries, at the departments of State and Defense, who think the United States can enlist Beijing's aid on the North Korean standoff, and at Treasury and the National Economic Council who don't want to mess with the trading system?

"Oh, they're wetting themselves," he said, explaining that the Section 301 complaint, which was put on hold when the war of threats with North Korea broke out, was shelved only temporarily, and will be revived in three weeks. As for other cabinet departments, Bannon has big plans to marginalize their influence.

"I'm changing out people at East Asian Defense; I'm getting hawks in. I'm getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State."

But can Bannon really win that fight internally?

"That's a fight I fight every day here," he said. "We're still fighting. There's Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying."

"We gotta do this. The president's default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy. Don't get me wrong. It's like, every day."

Bannon explained that his strategy is to battle the trade doves inside the administration while building an outside coalition of trade hawks that includes left as well as right. Hence the phone call to me.

There are a couple of things that are startling about this premise. First, to the extent that most of the opponents of Bannon's China trade strategy are other Trump administration officials, it's not clear how reaching out to the left helps him. If anything, it gives his adversaries ammunition to characterize Bannon as unreliable or disloyal.

More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump's election were "Resisting Trump" and "Containing Trump") and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He's probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump's reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump's base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

From his lips to Trump's ear.

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

I had never before spoken with Bannon. I came away from the conversation with a sense both of his savvy and his recklessness. The waters around him are rising, but he is going about his business of infighting, and attempting to cultivate improbable outside allies, to promote his China strategy. His enemies will do what they do.

Either the reports of the threats to Bannon's job are grossly exaggerated and leaked by his rivals, or he has decided not to change his routine and to go down fighting. Given Trump's impulsivity, neither Bannon nor Trump really has any idea from day to day whether Bannon is staying or going. He has survived earlier threats. So what the hell, damn the torpedoes.

The conversation ended with Bannon inviting me to the White House after Labor Day to continue the discussion of China and trade. We'll see if he's still there.

For ideas on how to counter the far-right agenda in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, click here .

[Aug 18, 2017] What Bannon's exit might mean the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism

To a certain extent Bannon symbolized backlash against neoliberal globalization, that is mounting in the USA. With him gone Trump is a really emasculated and become a puppet of generals, who are the only allies left capable to run the show. Some of them are real neocons. What a betrayal of voters who are sick and tired of wars for expansion and protection of global neoliberal empire.
Notable quotes:
"... So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt. ..."
"... with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , August 18, 2017 at 01:24 PM

https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/whither-trumpism/

Whither Trumpism?

by Paul Krugman

AUGUST 18, 2017 1:48 PM

Everyone seems to be reporting that Steve Bannon is out. I have no insights about the palace intrigue; and anyone who thinks Trump will become "presidential" now is an idiot. In particular, I very much doubt that the influence of white supremacists and neo-Nazis will wane.

What Bannon's exit might mean, however, is the end of even the pretense that Trumpist economic policy is anything different from standard Republicanism ! and I think giving up the pretense matters, at least a bit.

The basics of the U.S. economic debate are really very simple. The federal government, as often noted, is an insurance company with an army: aside from defense, its spending is dominated by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (plus some ACA subsidies).

Conservatives always claim that they want to make government smaller. But that means cutting these programs ! and what we know now, after the repeal debacle, is that people like all these programs, even the means-tested programs like Medicaid. Obama paid a large temporary price for making Medicaid/ACA bigger, paid for with taxes on the wealthy, but now that it's in place, voters hate the idea of taking it away.

So what's a tax-cutter to do? His agenda is fundamentally unpopular; how can it be sold?

One long-standing answer is to muddy the waters, and make elections about white resentment. That's been the strategy since Nixon, and Trump turned the dial up to 11. And they've won a lot of elections ! but never had the political capital to reverse the welfare state.

Another strategy is to invoke voodoo: to claim that taxes can be cut without spending cuts, because miracles will happen. That has sometimes worked as a political strategy, but overall it seems to have lost its punch. Kansas is a cautionary tale; and under Obama federal taxes on the top 1 percent basically went back up to pre-Reagan levels.

So what did Trump seem to offer that was new? First, during the campaign he combined racist appeals with claims that he wouldn't cut the safety net. This sounded as if he was offering a kind of herrenvolk welfare state: all the benefits you expect, but only for your kind of people.

Second, he offered economic nationalism: we were going to beat up on the Chinese, the Mexicans, somebody, make the Europeans pay tribute for defense, and that would provide the money for so much winning, you'd get tired of winning. Economic nonsense, but some voters believed it.

Where are we now? The herrenvolk welfare state never materialized, in part because Trump is too lazy to understand policy at all, and outsourced health care to the usual suspects. So Trumpcare turned out to be the same old Republican thing: slash benefits for the vulnerable to cut taxes for the rich. And it was desperately unpopular.

Meanwhile, things have moved very slowly on the economic nationalism front ! partly because a bit of reality struck, as export industries realized what was at stake and retailers and others balked at the notion of new import taxes. But also, there were very few actual voices for that policy with Trump's ear ! mainly Bannon, as far as I can tell.

So if Bannon is out, what's left? It's just reverse Robin Hood with extra racism. On real policy, in other words, Trump is now bankrupt.

But he does have the racism thing. And my prediction is that with Bannon and economic nationalism gone, he will eventually double down on that part even more. If anything, Trumpism is going to get even uglier, and Trump even less presidential (if such a thing is possible) now that he has fewer people pushing for trade wars.


[Aug 18, 2017] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/18/us/politics/steve-bannon-trump-white-house.html

Notable quotes:
"... Lots of dunces, but chief strategist Steve Bannon, sadly, isn't one of them. The intellectual leader of the alt-right movement is no genius – nobody with his political views could be – but neither is he an idiot. He's one of the few people in that White House with even a primitive grasp of long-term strategy, which makes his impulsive-seeming decision to call The American Prospect this week curious. ..."
"... In the interview, Bannon said there was "no military solution" to North Korea's posturing. He stressed his efforts to fight economic war with China, adding, in a Scaramuccian touch, that his intramural foes on that front were "wetting themselves." ..."
"... "The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," he said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats." ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:19 AM

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/taibbi-fire-steve-bannon-w498354

Fire Steve Bannon

The Trump administration's stubbly race warrior reminds us why he's so dangerous

By Matt Taibbi
21 hours ago

The list of nitwits in the Trump administration is long. Betsy DeVos, in charge of education issues, seems capable of losing at tic-tac-toe. Ben Carson thought the great pyramids of Egypt were grain warehouses. Rick Perry, merely in charge of the nation's nuclear arsenal, probably has post-it notes all over his office to remind him what things are: telephone, family photo, souvenir atomic-reactor paperweight, etc.

Lots of dunces, but chief strategist Steve Bannon, sadly, isn't one of them. The intellectual leader of the alt-right movement is no genius – nobody with his political views could be – but neither is he an idiot. He's one of the few people in that White House with even a primitive grasp of long-term strategy, which makes his impulsive-seeming decision to call The American Prospect this week curious.

In the interview, Bannon said there was "no military solution" to North Korea's posturing. He stressed his efforts to fight economic war with China, adding, in a Scaramuccian touch, that his intramural foes on that front were "wetting themselves."

When asked about the Charlottesville tragedy, Bannon called the neo-Nazi marchers "a collection of clowns." He also called them "losers" and a "fringe element."

This theoretically should be a dark time for Bannon, since Charlottesville reminded the whole world of his inexplicable and indefensible presence in the White House. The story has even the National Review howling for his dismissal.

But Prospect writer Robert Kuttner noted with surprise in his piece that Bannon seemed upbeat. He essentially told Kuttner he believed the Charlottesville mess and stories like it were a long-term political windfall for people like himself.

"The longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em," he said. "I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:20 AM

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president's family.

Trump Tells Aides He Has Decided to Remove Stephen Bannon https://nyti.ms/2vKGSNG

NYT - MAGGIE HABERMAN - August 18

President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.

The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.

As of Friday morning, the two men were still discussing Mr. Bannon's future, the officials said. A person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but the move was delayed after the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.

Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president's family.

But the loss of Mr. Bannon, the right-wing nationalist who helped propel some of Mr. Trump's campaign promises into policy reality, raises the potential for the president to face criticism from the conservative news media base that supported him over the past year.

Mr. Bannon's many critics bore down after the violence in Charlottesville. Outraged over Mr. Trump's insistence that "both sides" were to blame for the violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally, leaving one woman dead, human rights activists demanded that the president fire so-called nationalists working in the West Wing. That group of hard-right populists in the White House is led by Mr. Bannon.

On Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump refused to guarantee Mr. Bannon's job security but defended him as "not a racist" and "a friend."

"We'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon," Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Bannon's dismissal followed an Aug. 16 interview he initiated with a writer with whom he had never spoken, with the progressive publication The American Prospect. In it, Mr. Bannon mockingly played down the American military threat to North Korea as nonsensical: "Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 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." ...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:37 AM
Trump on North Korea https://nyti.ms/2vI6smj
NYT - MARK LANDLER - August 17

WASHINGTON ! For all his fire-breathing nationalism ! the demands to ban Muslims, build a wall on the Mexican border and honor statues of Confederate heroes ! Stephen K. Bannon has played another improbable role in the Trump White House: resident dove.

From Afghanistan and North Korea to Syria and Venezuela, Mr. Bannon, the president's chief strategist, has argued against making military threats or deploying American troops into foreign conflicts.

His views, delivered in a characteristically bomb-throwing style, have antagonized people across the administration, leaving Mr. Bannon isolated and in danger of losing his job. But they are thoroughly in keeping with his nationalist credo, and they have occasionally resonated with the person who matters most: President Trump.

Mr. Bannon's dovish tendencies spilled into view this week in unguarded comments he made about North Korea to a liberal publication, The American Prospect. Days after Mr. Trump threatened to rain "fire and fury" on the North Korean government if it did not curb its belligerent behavior, Mr. Bannon said, "There's no military solution here; they got us." ...
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM

The casualties are not worth the little chance of blunting Kim.

Beside look: with all that money and training and so forth....DDG 62, an Aegis destroyer could not stay safe in peaceful water!

US can't poke ISIS out of Raqqa in 3 years, what would happen with 2 million soldier tough as VC?

+outside of Lemay/MacArthur nukes. Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 02:12 PM

"When asked about the Charlottesville tragedy, Bannon called the neo-Nazi marchers "a collection of clowns." He also called them "losers" and a "fringe element.""

Maybe that was it? Why would he call the Prospect? Did he think he was calling the American Conservative and it was off the record? Did he know he was out?
Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Stephen K. Bannon's exit was described in a White House statement as a mutual decision between Mr. Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Critics of Mr. Bannon, a right-wing nationalist, bore down after the violence in Charlottesville.

Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After
Turbulent Run https://nyti.ms/2vKGSNG

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election but clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers, is leaving his post, a White House spokeswoman announced Friday.

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day," the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. "We are grateful for his service and wish him the best." ... Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 11:31 AM

What kind of talk doesn't threaten the money and power of the 0.1%?

What kind of talk do we get and from whom? Reply Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:55 AM

"The Democratic Party isn't going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill."

by Jake Johnson, staff writer
....................
"The Democratic Party isn't going back to the days of welfare reform and the crime bill," Warren said. "We're not going back to the days of being lukewarm on choice. We're not going back to the days when universal healthcare was something Democrats talked about on the campaign trail but were too chicken to fight for after they got elected."

"And," Warren concluded, "we're not going back to the days when a Democrat who wanted to run for a seat in Washington first had to grovel on Wall Street."

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/18/centrist-democrats-riled-warren-says-days-lukewarm-policies-are-over

[Aug 18, 2017] Steve Bannon's work is done. Donald Trump doesn't need him now - Opinion - The Guardian

Notable quotes:
"... Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class. ..."
"... There's more to it than that. Its true that the white working class in America are the only group that the media feels it is acceptable to insult/denigrate. What was it Obama said - People in small towns clinging on to their religion & guns. ..."
"... The white middle class has to walk the walk with respect of social justice. Due to the economics of it, multiculturalism has affected the working classes far more than the middle classes. As I say, I'm prepared for the consequences personally, but I wonder how many others would be. ..."
"... People may underestimate the populist element in Bannon's make up. As Scaramucci tells it, both he and Bannon had white middle class fathers who had played with a straight bat and had their retirement savings wiped out in 2008 and all that, while the fat cats were saved by Uncle Sam. Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there. ..."
"... "In Bannon's view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now. ..."
"... I got the strong sense that Trump was hunkered down defensively and baring his teeth like a feral dog trapped in a corner. ..."
"... Trump is not Mussolini or Franco in that he is not a true believer ..."
"... With the exception of the military which at this point is a state unto itself the government is a paradox of being both omnipresent and nowhere and thus truly Kafkaesque...utterly opaque and completely visible at all times... ..."
"... The left's focus on identity politics is the reason this Bannon chump is relevant at all. The switch in focus from class to race and gender has segmented the working class from the common struggle. A people divided. This is about the only strategic fact Bannon understands. But it is an important one. ..."
"... Identity politics at its core is mostly untenable and while it might treat the symptoms of disease in the short run it will always collapse under the weight of its internal inconsistencies. The blind squirrel Bannon has found his nut. Continuing to assert that poor white men have it made is demonstrably false and offensive. And gives the alt-right plenty of tools to recruit. ..."
Aug 18, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:16

Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class.

So a billionaire like Trump, with Bannon's aid, does whatever he can to focus the disatisfaction of the population on people who have a different skin colour, rather than the vastly rich elites who have grabbed such a massive share of US wealth and power - and demand yet more

joey2000 -> jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:29

There's more to it than that. Its true that the white working class in America are the only group that the media feels it is acceptable to insult/denigrate. What was it Obama said - People in small towns clinging on to their religion & guns.

Must have gone down really well in those rustbelt towns where everyone is on oxycontin out of sheer despair. But hey, they're only rednecks so who cares right ?

JerHig -> jessthecrip , 18 Aug 2017 09:36

Tragic that so many in the US don't seem able to see that the problem is gross economic inequality in their country, regardless of race. But divide and rule still works well for the ruling class.

Exactly, it's all about creating a group you can point to and say "at least you're not as bad off as them!"

When your entire existence is predicated on 'at least I'm not the worst off' it becomes frightening when those who were previously 'worse off' start improving. But instead of improving themselves they try and bring the others down again.

MattSpanner -> Isomewhatagree , 18 Aug 2017 09:34

That's what I don't get about the Nazis who turned up in Charlottsville: they chanted "Jews will not replace us" and also "we're going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump". How can Nazis believe Trump is on their side when his daughter is married to a Jew? There are so many contradictions in this situation that I can't get my head around it.

asparagusnextleft -> MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 09:40

It's simple. They're fucking idiots.

Fwaffy -> BrokenLogic , 18 Aug 2017 09:34

It's remarkable isn't it, the man appears to be visibly decomposing. It's been suggested that the statue of Robert E Lee was his penultimate Horcrux.

MattSpanner -> Fwaffy , 18 Aug 2017 09:49

He looks like an alchy.

therebythegrace -> MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 10:13

Or Dorian Gray's picture. Maybe the more evil Trump gets, the worse Bannon looks?

Ravenblade -> Bjerkley , 18 Aug 2017 10:35

Someone has to lose out in a redistribution of anything, be it political power or wealth. I mention the white middle classes because they tend to the the keyboard warriors refusing to tackle the insecurities and concerns of the white working class, and simply resorting to calling them racist.

The white middle class has to walk the walk with respect of social justice. Due to the economics of it, multiculturalism has affected the working classes far more than the middle classes. As I say, I'm prepared for the consequences personally, but I wonder how many others would be.

Agree with your latter point and I'm sensitive to the fact that within class groups, minorities and women remain disadvantaged; I'm not saying we don't continue to look at that. But realistically, on an economic level, you're not going to get white working class men accepting that middle class minorities or women are disadvantaged compared to them, are you? The only reason this distinction doesn't seem to happen (class lines) is because most of the SJW contingent suddenly have to check an aspect of privilege they're unkeen to pay attention to.

tamborineman , 18 Aug 2017 09:27

People may underestimate the populist element in Bannon's make up. As Scaramucci tells it, both he and Bannon had white middle class fathers who had played with a straight bat and had their retirement savings wiped out in 2008 and all that, while the fat cats were saved by Uncle Sam. Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there.

As to Bannon still in the job, I think LBJ's story about tents and which way the piss goes applies.

Bjerkley -> tamborineman , 18 Aug 2017 09:31

Maybe a story just for the telling, but it is out there.

As others have noted, given that both of them worked in finance/had some background in finance, it's odd that their fathers lost savings which could have been avoided (Bannon's father, for instance, only lost out because he sold his stock but it regained its value shortly afterwards, i.e. it was a bad financial decision). But as you say, its out there.

KeithNJ -> Bjerkley , 18 Aug 2017 09:54

Indeed. If you held on through the crash you now have double the money you had in 2007.

There are some pretty basic retirement rules (60/40 equity to bonds or less, keep 2 years in cash) which if anyone followed would have resulted in no pain from the crash, just some anxiety.

If he got greedy, had 100% in equities and sold at the bottom of the market because he had not kept a cash cushion - well he cannot blame the Chinese for that.

Of course he was bitter before his son became a billionaire, but to still be bitter is more about character than the economy.

MattSpanner , 18 Aug 2017 09:28

"In Bannon's view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.

"What we are witnessing," Bannon told The Washington Post last month, "is the birth of a new political order.""

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-apocalypse_us_5898f02ee4b040613138a951

...and along comes N.Korea and makes all Bannon's dreams come true.


richmanchester
-> MattSpanner
, 18 Aug 2017 09:34

Though in Bannon's last interview he explicitly stated there was no military option available wrt North Korea.

Dwaina Tembreull -> userforaday , 18 Aug 2017 09:54

An interesting interpretation of his behavior. I got the strong sense that Trump was hunkered down defensively and baring his teeth like a feral dog trapped in a corner.

ID4524057 , 18 Aug 2017 17:49

" and it has forged an indefatigable core of support that will stay with Trump through the next general election and beyond."

Except that atavistic and uneducated people can and will change their sense of allegiance on a dime or a whim and given the fact that Trump is not an ideologue but rather an unstable pathological narcissist and a bigot (versus espousing a coherent racist plan of action because he has a particular ideological agenda) there is no way to effectively predict what his actions will echo in that part of his base and therefore no way to predict what his base will do if Trump is untethered from Bannon. Trump is as likely to make a boneheaded deal with China that pleases Wall Street as he is to accidentally start a war. He is as likely to break his support as he is to cement it.

As Christopher Hitchens said:

"A feature, not just of the age of the end of ideology, but of the age immediately preceding the age of the end of ideology, is that of the dictator who has no ideology at all."

Trump is not Mussolini or Franco in that he is not a true believer though he is a bigot and clearly dictatorial. Trump is all expediency first and faith second even if he has consistently been a racist.

The second problematic issue is that if you assert that Axelrod and Rove "achieved" anything of lasting consequence then Axelrod could not have followed Rove and Bannon could not have followed Axelrod.

Unlike in France where the president serves far longer the reelection cycle here with its utterly corrupt need to raise massive amounts of cash which then forces candidates to constantly be in race mode (and effectively reduces the period of actual governance to around 18 months) has created a perpetually unstable and ineffective bureaucracy that has more in common with late Ottoman inefficiency than it does with a contemporary "modern" state.

With the exception of the military which at this point is a state unto itself the government is a paradox of being both omnipresent and nowhere and thus truly Kafkaesque...utterly opaque and completely visible at all times...

Further, there is this: "There's another reason why firing Bannon wouldn't be a huge loss: his work is largely done."

In fact, Trump has achieved nothing and done nothing of lasting change to the bureaucracy. In a sense it is analogous to the situation with North Korea where, despite Trump's pale Strangelove imitation it was noted in the media that the military had made no changes to its posture.

... ... ...

jmad357 , 18 Aug 2017 17:53

The only time I have ever agreed with Bannon is that his analysis of the potential for N Korea to destroy S Korea with an artillery barrage. With about 12,000 artillery prices the North could launch somewhere around 50,000 shells per minute into Soul. Do the arithmetic for a 10 minute shelling. Any grandstanding by the US military is simply folly.

MasMaz , 18 Aug 2017 17:59

The left's focus on identity politics is the reason this Bannon chump is relevant at all. The switch in focus from class to race and gender has segmented the working class from the common struggle. A people divided. This is about the only strategic fact Bannon understands. But it is an important one.

Identity politics at its core is mostly untenable and while it might treat the symptoms of disease in the short run it will always collapse under the weight of its internal inconsistencies. The blind squirrel Bannon has found his nut. Continuing to assert that poor white men have it made is demonstrably false and offensive. And gives the alt-right plenty of tools to recruit.

[Aug 18, 2017] Postmodernism is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict; instead of judging people by the content of their character, they are now to be judged by the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera).

Aug 18, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 4:18:43 PM | 58

re #50

OT but not really -
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-unfortunate-fallout-of-campus-postmodernism

"In an article for Quillette.com on "Methods Behind the Campus Madness," graduate researcher Sumantra Maitra of the University of Nottingham in England reported that 12 of the 13 academics at U.C. Berkeley who signed a letter to the chancellor protesting Yiannopoulos were from "Critical theory, Gender studies and Post-Colonial/Postmodernist/Marxist background."

This is a shift in Marxist theory from class conflict to identity politics conflict; instead of judging people by the content of their character, they are now to be judged by the color of their skin (or their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, et cetera).

"Postmodernists have tried to hijack biology, have taken over large parts of political science, almost all of anthropology, history and English," Maitra concludes, "and have proliferated self-referential journals, citation circles, non-replicable research, and the curtailing of nuanced debate through activism and marches, instigating a bunch of gullible students to intimidate any opposing ideas.""

[Aug 17, 2017] Guam rejoices!

Notable quotes:
"... The war of words increased, and then decreased, NOBODY BLINKED, all players decided that hey do not want to get China upset by being the first idiot to act in a war like manner. ..."
"... Red cloud i agree with you and below is a quote by Pat Buchanan showing that the U.S does not seem too interested in dealing with the very real consequences of attacking N.K. ..."
"... There are clearly discussions going on in the background. The US would never admit to negotiating with North Korea, but most of the reason for their petulance is constant muscle flexing by the Americans and South Koreans. They probably ought to just relax. I doubt the US and South Korea would ever launch an attack. There's nothing to be gained from it on any level. ..."
"... Additionally the (very short) planting and harvesting seasons demand a peak of labor force - the military units are ordered to help their local communities in these. Readiness requirements during South Korean/U.S. maneuvers collide with these needs. ..."
"... That is the argument North Korea officially makes to justify its nuclear program. It is intended to replace the too costly conventional deterrence and free up labor force. ..."
"... Didn't China force them both to blink? My reading of the China statement was that China would defend NK if NK was attacked - with the implication that it would NOT help NK if NK were the aggressor. ..."
"... China's position makes each side wary of being deemed to be the aggressor. ..."
"... Looks like the real behind the seen negotiations that cooled both sides, was rightfully between China and US. Doing Stuff in South China Sea, ends of having proxies thirteen our stuff. I think what Henry Kissinger said about Iran is better fit and applied on US, He said "US (Iran) needs to decide if it wants to be a nation or a cause" sounds like a lot of people in the world are not accepting the post 9/11 formatted US. Like Henry said they see us as a cause and not a nation, ..."
Aug 15, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Guam rejoices! Guamjoy

"North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam ! but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

Kim visited the Korean People's Army as the self-imposed mid-August deadline for a missile demonstration approached, the Korean Central News Agency reports. But after hearing the plan and considering it, Kim opted not to give the order to launch missiles, but instead "would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees," the report says." NPR

---------------

It was not an IO. It was real and Trump/Mattis won. The fat kid blinked. pl

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/15/543603140/north-korea-says-it-wont-fire-missiles-at-guam-after-all

Posted at 10:02 AM in Korea Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments

BillWade , 15 August 2017 at 10:26 AM

I never thought Kim's Ace in the Hole was his nukes but more his DMZ forces/artillery.
Perhaps one of his generals told him it would be wise to keep it around for more than 72 hours.
b , 15 August 2017 at 10:27 AM
I vehemently disagree with you.

The announcement of the possible plan to launch towards Guam was conditional. It demanded that the U.S. stop B1-B flights out of Guam over South Korea near the North Korean border.

Since the announcement was made no B1-B flights near NoKo took place. Thus the temporary suspension of the plan. This suspension includes the explicit warning that it can or will be changed into action should the U.S. return to such action.

/quote/
He said that the U.S. imperialists caught the noose around their necks due to their reckless military confrontation racket, adding that he would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees spending a hard time of every minute of their miserable lot.
...
In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous military conflict on the Korean peninsula, it is necessary for the U.S. to make a proper option first and show it through action, as it committed provocations after introducing huge nuclear strategic equipment into the vicinity of the peninsula , he said, adding that the U.S. should stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer./endquote/
https://kcnawatch.co/newstream/1502749950-753062439/kim-jong-un-inspects-kpa-strategic-force-command/

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 11:14 AM
b

(irony alert) I know, I know, evil America against the world. pl

Red Cloud , 15 August 2017 at 11:21 AM
Trump threatened "fire and fury" if North Korea continued with threats. NK promptly threatened to incinerate Guam.

What was Trump's response? "Uh..... what I meant was......"

Trump blinked first. Fact

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 11:26 AM
Red Cloud

Oh BS. North Korea threatened the US and has decided to think about it. pl

Norbert M Salamon , 15 August 2017 at 11:45 AM
With great respect Colonel:

The USA has threatened North Korea for years, and caused untold economic damage via sanctions.

The war of words increased, and then decreased, NOBODY BLINKED, all players decided that hey do not want to get China upset by being the first idiot to act in a war like manner.

BillWade -> b ... , 15 August 2017 at 11:45 AM
Laughing here. how many minutes away do you think our tactical air forces at Kunsan and Osan are away from doing enough damage to NoKor to make them think twice and think hard?
Bsox327 , 15 August 2017 at 11:55 AM
Red cloud i agree with you and below is a quote by Pat Buchanan showing that the U.S does not seem too interested in dealing with the very real consequences of attacking N.K.

'assuming this crisis is resolved, what does the future of U.S.-North Korean relations look like?

consider the past.

In 1968, North Korea hijacked the USS Pueblo on the high seas and interned its crew. LBJ did nothing. In April 1969, North Korea shot down an EC-121, 100 miles of its coast, killing the crew. Nixon did nothing.

Under Jimmy Carter, North Koreans axe-murdered U.S. soldiers at Panmunjom. We defiantly cut down a nearby tree.

Among the atrocities the North has perpetrated are plots to assassinate President Park Chung-hee in the 1960s and '70s, the Rangoon bombing that wiped out much of the cabinet of Chun Doo-hwan in 1983, and the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, killing all on board in 1987.

And Kim Jong Un has murdered his uncle and brother.

If the past is prologue, and it has proven to be, the future holds this. A renewal of ICBM tests until a missile is perfected. Occasional atrocities creating crises between the U.S. and North Korea. America being repeatedly dragged to the brink of a war we do not want'

The North Koreans are at the very least as intransigent and possibly way more as Fidel Castro was in his confrontations with the U.S

FourthAndLong , 15 August 2017 at 12:10 PM
Colonel,

The article at the link below, titled "The Secret of North Korea's ICBM success", is a worthy read IMO. OUtlines many pitfalls and unknowns, including unforeseen perils of sanction regimes. Suitable for a lay audience:

http://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voices/blogsections/iiss-voices-2017-adeb/august-2b48/north-korea-icbm-success-3abb

More readily accessible, however mildly inflammatory, is this piece from The NY Times which links to the iss piece:

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/world/asia/north-korea-missiles-ukraine-factory.html?

FWIW, the Yuzhmash company has posted on its website emphatic disagreement with some of the latter articles' inferences.

My own takeaway is that it all underlines the monumental stupidity of our post 1991 Russia policy. George Keenan and more recently Jack Matlock have gone on record very strenuously in this regard.

The author of the iss piece, Michael Elleman, concludes that room for diplomacy remains but is diminishing rapidly.

DJK , 15 August 2017 at 01:02 PM
Maybe the fat boy blinked and Trump/Mattis won or maybe there was hidden deal, or the hint of a deal. I'm reminded of the events of 1962 when it was said that Kruschev blinked and Kennedy/Rusk won. The fact that there was a deal to remove US missiles from Turkey didn't emerge for several years.
Richardstevenhack , 15 August 2017 at 03:01 PM
I suspect both interpretations are probably true: 1) Kim may have interpreted the recent suspension of B-1 flights in light of the ongoing back-channel diplomacy as a win for his side, and 2) his generals probably convinced him it was not a smart idea to launch missiles very close to a US base, if for no other reason than his unguided missiles might actually HIT the base, starting the war he really doesn't want.

In any event, nothing has otherwise changed. The expectation is that NK will continue to test their missiles until the US is prepared to open bilateral negotiations or at least negotiations including Russia and China, who have proposed them.

Since the US is steadfast against talking to NK, I continue to expect war by the end of the year, since NK missile launches will likely not stop.

The only diplomatic solution to the crisis is known to everyone, except apparently Trump. Whether Kim can be persuaded to accept it will be remain unknown until the US actually agrees to talk about it.

b , 15 August 2017 at 03:09 PM
@Pat - this does not have to do with good or bad America. It has to do with negotiations and with under standing the signaling of the opponents side.

Take the bluster away from the North Korean statements and read what is left as conditions and consequences.

Here Cheryl Rofer took the original announcement of the Guam test apart. https://nucleardiner.wordpress.com/2017/08/11/north-korea-reaches-out/
/quote/

I contend that the North Korean statement issued in response to Donald Trump's "fire and fury" threat contains an invitation to negotiations. As is often the case, that invitation is not stated as such. Diplomacy guards such invitations so that nobody loses face when they don't work.
...(textual analysis)...

In simpler words, stop threatening us with bombers from Guam and we won't attack Guam.

Quid pro quo.

It reeks of blackmail, but that is how North Korea negotiates. If we want negotiations, rather than war, it would be smart to respond to the offer to negotiate. That doesn't necessarily mean ending the B1B overflights, although my adventurous side says, hey, why not?
/endquote/

Since August 9 six B1-B are at Guam but have not flown towards North Korea.

https://www.postguam.com/news/local/six-b--bombers-arrive-from-south-dakota/article_c12e3f5e-7cda-11e7-ad48-737a61ecfb7d.html

Thus the suspension of the North Korean "test".

To see this as a NoKo capitulation to Trump's bluster is the wrong take. It will likely prevent you to correctly judge the next steps in the negotiation process.

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 04:09 PM
b

Our air flights over S Korea did not threaten anyone unless North Korea wished to force us to give up our alliance with South Korea. We have not given up anything. The fat boy has given up his threat to try to hit Guam. Where is a statement that the US and South Korea will not hold Combined exercises this month? pl

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 04:12 PM
richardstevenhack

Guam is not just a US "Base." The inhabitants of the island are US citizens and the island is sovereign US territory as much as a state is. pl

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 04:27 PM
b and all who think NOKO won the confrontation,
I will believe that is true when the US and South Korea call off their big exercise without conditions. On the other hand if negotiations begin for re-unifications of Korea without pre-conditions then everyone won. pl
Fredw , 15 August 2017 at 04:43 PM
Or maybe not. The message North Korea sent to the world seems pretty clear, but there seems to be some notion that they may be too delusional to realize that. Sure enough. Personalities matter.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/15/north-korea-guam-strike-pause-donald-trump-negotiations

Many longstanding observers of the North Korean regime expressed concern that the US could misinterpret the message that it sent on Monday when Kim said he would "watch a little more" how the US acted in the region before deciding whether to go ahead with a plan to launch missiles over Japan aimed at the seas around the US territory of Guam.

In some of the US media, that statement was portrayed as a withdrawal of the Guam plan in the face of threats of overwhelming retaliatory force from Donald Trump and US defence secretary James Mattis.

That would be the wrong way to read the signs, said Vipin Narang, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology specialising in nuclear strategy.

"I think people are not reading the statement," Narang said. "This is literally restating the threat and leaving space for some quid pro quo and space for negotiation.

"But the threat remains. It's not like he took the threat off the table. If the US does anything that he sees as provocative, he has reviewed the plan and now stands poised to execute it," Narang added.

turcopolier , 15 August 2017 at 04:46 PM
fredw

IMO if NoKo fires into the sea around Guam NoKo will cease to exist. The Russians and Chinese would not lift a finger to save NoKo. pl

kao_hsien_chih -> Fredw... , 15 August 2017 at 05:11 PM
Fredw,

I don't think anything ever actually "ends" for good until and unless one of the parties to the "negotiations" disappears completely, and even then, it may not actually end.

The immediate crisis does seem to have ended, though. There is a limit to which even NoKo's can ratchet up the pressure. Once you get to the Pearl Harbor stage, which dropping missiles around Guam would have been, there is no more "negotiations." NoKo's still have much by means of threatening assets and they will try to use them, no doubt, but now everyone knows where the limit is, and that is a good thing. I don't oppose giving them some concessions, for the right price, but not carte blanche to demand more whenever they feel like it and threaten to throw a crazy tantrum if they don't get their way.

eakens -> turcopolier ... , 15 August 2017 at 05:17 PM
I also believe this is exactly right. Many on here have indicated that they have been a rational actor in the face of US belligerence. If one believes that, then it should be accepted that suicide is not an option for them, particularly against an enemy which will undoubtedly suicide even if North Korea were able to get a couple hits in.

Hopefully this is in fact the crescendo from which the parties can begin to deescalate the situation, and try finding an alternate path to resolving this conflict. NoKo has a lot to offer by giving up the nuclear threat they have been able to put together, and if they are a rational actor like many claim, they will take advantage of the situation and use it to negotiate a good deal.

AriusArmenian , 15 August 2017 at 05:19 PM
If you think that Kim blinked then the US should blink more often instead of rushing into wars and creating chaos as was done in Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, and Syria.

I also expect more from you than calling Kim a fat kid.

Seamus Padraig , 15 August 2017 at 05:37 PM
Pyong Yang and Washington have been playing these games for decades. Only the liberal MSM seriously entertained the idea that this was going to erupt into a full-blown war, because ... Trump. Neither side has any interest in a war, and legend to contrary, both Trump and the Norks are rational actors, as are the Chinese.
BillWade , 15 August 2017 at 06:05 PM
I imagine it goes something like this: We hold our exercises with our allies on a schedule that is convenient for us. In all the years we've been holding these exercises we have never attacked NK, the reason we haven't attacked is not because they are ready for us, it's because we choose not to, their rice planting season is or is not a concern to us. Their decision to how best use their military is or is not a concern to us. However, when they threaten us we do listen. We may make a show of force in response or we may not. We may not know all their nuclear capabilities or we may know every last detail, their decisions are theirs but they might consider erring on the side of caution. They have decided now on caution.

BSox mentions all the times NoKor has provoked us. That we haven't responded with overwhelming force during those times is a sign of our strength. Perhaps one of those events is when we decided it was now more convenient for us to hold exercises at a less convenient time for NoKor, who knows - I don't.

Kim might launch another missile, that's his decision. We might make him toast before he does that, or while he does it, or after he does it, or not at all. I don't know, B doesn't know, but most importantly, Kim doesn't know.

BillWade , 15 August 2017 at 06:22 PM
B, don't you recognize that rice farming is for rice farmers and not GIs, you make us look bad with that propaganda.
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 15 August 2017 at 06:26 PM
There are clearly discussions going on in the background. The US would never admit to negotiating with North Korea, but most of the reason for their petulance is constant muscle flexing by the Americans and South Koreans. They probably ought to just relax. I doubt the US and South Korea would ever launch an attack. There's nothing to be gained from it on any level.
TonyL , 15 August 2017 at 08:26 PM
IMHO, both Trump and Kim blinked. Perhaps Kim has been waiting for any gesture that allow him to stop the planned missile launch. Perhaps Trump has realized it is foolish and unnecessary to proceed with the B1-B missions (the US-South Korean military exercise is still a more important show of force).

They both came out of this potential crisis as loosers. And Trump certainly had gotten us close to the brink of WW3/nuclear war with his exchanges of childish rhetorics with Kim.

SAC Brat , 15 August 2017 at 08:47 PM
Anyone have Sergey Lavrov's travel or phone logs? He was in SE Asia last week.
A. Pols , 15 August 2017 at 08:51 PM
Maybe the whole Guam thing was just a head fake and the NOKOs were just engaging in a bit of trolling. After all, if you threaten to do something you have no actual intention of doing, then pretend to back down, what is that other than a prank? More and more we live in a world of hoaxes.

But what do you all think the latest information about the transfer by Ukrainian interests of RD250 engines to NOKO? The story has the appearance of plausibility and, if true, sure is cause for some awkwardness...

Yeah, Right -> BillWade... , 15 August 2017 at 11:16 PM
BillWade,
The old James Bond dictum springs to mind: once is an accident, twice is happenstance, and three times is.... war.

To decide if those exercises is deliberately timed to be harmful to North Korean rice production we would need to know:
a) How long is the NK rice harvest season?
b) What reasons make it uniquely advantageous for the USA/SK to conduct exercises during that same period, year in and year out.

I don't doubt that nobody wants to get out of bed in the harsh Korean winter to much up the hill and down again. Sure. But I doubt that the North Koreans have given a guarantee that they'll only attack during the summer months, and it'll all be over by Xmas.

That strikes me as the main difficulty with claiming happenstance i.e. of necessity the North Koreans can't change when the rice needs to be harvested, but the USA/SK should be varying the timing of their military exercises.

After all, what if the GIs only find out after the shooting starts that their guns don't work in the cold?

Yeah, Right -> turcopolier ... , 16 August 2017 at 05:02 AM
No, never heard of it. Though it sounds like something that should be advertised on porn sites.

But the point I made still holds true: military exercises on the Korean peninsular shouldn't just be held in the same month year in, year out. Doing so presupposes a gentleman's agreement about when any war is going to be fought.

And I assume everyone here accepts that such a gentleman's agreement has not been struck with the North Koreans?

b -> FourthAndLong... , 16 August 2017 at 05:25 AM
Elleman speculated wrongly. And the NYT (Sanger) used that to engage in the usual anti-Russian propaganda.

The North Korean missile motor has one combustion chamber the regular R-250 has two. The outer appearance has similarities with R-250 but is not identical.
North Korea has the capability to develop and manufacture these themselves. Like everyone else they copied parts of existing designs.
Three new piece today seem to confirm what several experts (countering Elleman) said yesterday:

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1AV2CK
North Korea likely can make missile engines without imports: U.S.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-believes-north-korea-produces-its-own-rocket-engines-1502849211?mod=e2twa
U.S. Believes North Korea Produces Its Own Rocket Engines

http://thediplomat.com/2017/08/north-koreas-new-high-performance-missile-engines-likely-werent-made-in-russia-or-ukraine/
North Korea's New High-Performance Missile Engines Likely Weren't Made in Russia or Ukraine

b -> turcopolier ... , 16 August 2017 at 05:45 AM
The U.S. uses B1-B flights to "threaten" North Korea and "in response" to North Korean testing. These flights are marketed as special "show of force". They are not routine.

It did so last September:
http://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2016/09/22/b1-b-flew-close-to-north-korean-border-u-s-says/
/quote/
The United States often sends powerful warplanes to South Korea in times of heightened animosity between the Koreas, but it is still unusual for such aircraft to fly near the rivals' border, the world's most heavily fortified.
...
U.S. Pacific Command said on its website Wednesday that the flight was the closest a B-1 has ever flown to the border.
/endquote/

It did so recently:
https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-sends-b-1b-bombers-in-show-of-force-after-north-korean-icbm-test-1.477208#.WZQTZrjVpnQ
US sends B-1B bombers in show of force after North Korean ICBM test

b -> BillWade... , 16 August 2017 at 06:04 AM
The North Korean army mostly feeds itself. Many military facilities have fields nearby and the soldiers are engaged in agriculture as well as other types of production (Songun policy).

Additionally the (very short) planting and harvesting seasons demand a peak of labor force - the military units are ordered to help their local communities in these. Readiness requirements during South Korean/U.S. maneuvers collide with these needs.

That is the argument North Korea officially makes to justify its nuclear program. It is intended to replace the too costly conventional deterrence and free up labor force.

You may disagree with that argument but you will have to admit that it is coherent and somewhat reasonable.

Old Microbiologist , 16 August 2017 at 08:24 AM
Some good points here: http://theweek.com/articles/570764/time-military-leave-south-korea
Greco -> Norbert M Salamon... , 16 August 2017 at 09:06 AM
The US-led sanctions aside, this is a country that employs millions into slave labor and practices total political control over its society. Is this a place where anyone would want to trade goods? Sanctions or no sanctions, I wouldn't want anything out of this God forsaken hellhole.

And if nobody blinked, then why is Kim now suggesting he won't strike near or at a US territory like he said he had planned? Clearly he has thought things over and has balked. And I don't see where the US has blinked. Trump responded threat for threat, backing down from none, while at the same time he has shown a ready eagerness for a peaceful solution to ending North Korea's nuclear ambitious.

This is a positive development. And Kim will be more careful to avoid making similar threats he can't back up going forward.

Fred -> Yeah, Right... , 16 August 2017 at 09:24 AM
Yeah, Right,

How many decades has North Korea had to diversify its industrial base so that it can build its own tractors and thus free up all that manpower from harvesting rice every year when they know, just know, that the evil South and those American allies are going to rush across the DMZ?

Greco -> b ... , 16 August 2017 at 09:44 AM
I respectfully disagree with their position and on the matter of whether they're indeed reasonable.

We don't know if Kim is a nihilist. He's under enormous pressure to maintain control. He may see things as all or nothing for him and that he won't care if he takes millions of others down with him.

And even if assuming he's acting on totally reasonable mertis now, who's to say how reasonable he will be in the future if we allow him to become more emboldened. Ten years from now he may very well fall out of power and someone more dangerous may assume his place.

This is a problem that has been allowed to fester to a point that may soon be no longer acceptable. If North Korea gets a pass now, they and others will become emboldened and act in a manner that is even more egregious and reckless.

I find their position unacceptable. I find their system of governance reprehensible. And we ultimately endanger ourselves if we fail to meet the challenge of confronting them on the strongest of terms.

Could more have been done to discourage where we stand now? Perhaps, but we're here now and we need to force North Korea's weaker hand and get them to back down. This administration has a shown willingness to do that and I think they will succeed in getting North Korea to abandon their plans for a nuclear deterrent while ensuring a tentative, if not lasting peace. That is assuming Kim Jung-Un is a rational and reasonable actor as some may have done well to argue.

Jackrabbit , 16 August 2017 at 09:49 AM
Didn't China force them both to blink? My reading of the China statement was that China would defend NK if NK was attacked - with the implication that it would NOT help NK if NK were the aggressor.
Jackrabbit -> Jackrabbit ... , 16 August 2017 at 10:51 AM
China's position makes each side wary of being deemed to be the aggressor.
ISL , 16 August 2017 at 11:33 AM
Dear Colonel,

A third possibility (of which I have no evidence) is that NoKo looked at their test data and realized there is a technical flaw that requires fixing to avoid a high probability of an embarrassing prang. I would not assess this as low probability, but definitely not zero.

dilbert dogbert , 16 August 2017 at 11:49 AM
Too bad he blinked. Those missiles would have made good and cheap target practice. I assume we have the national technical means to recover the stages of the missiles and find out where the technology came from.
dilbert dogbert -> Greco... , 16 August 2017 at 12:05 PM
"I find their position unacceptable. I find their system of governance reprehensible. And we ultimately endanger ourselves if we fail to meet the challenge of confronting them on the strongest of terms."

This was advocated during the Cold War. Fortunately we chose "Containment" and a nuclear exchange with the USSR was avoided. I remember JFK, Khrushchev and Cuba and it was a close thing. I don't want to relive that experience in my declining years.

Bandolero -> turcopolier ... , 16 August 2017 at 12:11 PM
turcopolier

I think it's win-win: both Trump and Kim won.

Trump can credibly claim that his "tough talk" was effective in deterring Kim from launching missiles close to Guam. And Kim can credibly claim that he established the DPRK as a new nuclear weapon power.

SmoothieX12 , 16 August 2017 at 02:39 PM
Fat Thing blinked--that much is clear. He may have been "helped" in blinking by China and Russia, who is second to China in NoKo policies--that is how China goes, Russia follows on this issue. Nobody involved needs any trouble in the neighborhood. With or without American rhetoric it has to be remembered that it was Kim Il Sung who unleashed the war in 1950. Three times he pressed Stalin for support, two times he was refused, on the third Stalin surrendered. We all know the rest. Has to be stated, though, that there were no nice people on both (South and North) sides then--mostly SOBs in political top.
Freudenschade , 16 August 2017 at 02:45 PM
Col.,

The US and the two Koreas have long been in a Mutual Assured Destruction love triangle. The US just got pulled a little more into the center of the bed, that's all.

Kooshy , 16 August 2017 at 03:03 PM
Looks like the real behind the seen negotiations that cooled both sides, was rightfully between China and US. Doing Stuff in South China Sea, ends of having proxies thirteen our stuff. I think what Henry Kissinger said about Iran is better fit and applied on US, He said "US (Iran) needs to decide if it wants to be a nation or a cause" sounds like a lot of people in the world are not accepting the post 9/11 formatted US. Like Henry said they see us as a cause and not a nation,

U.S., China Sign Military Agreement To Improve On Communication

http://217.218.67.231/Detail/2017/08/15/531909/China US Fang Dunford agreement direct communication

b -> Greco... , 16 August 2017 at 03:29 PM
The same arguments were made over China and the Soviet Union.
Deterrence policy won with regard to the Soviet Union and to China. It will also be the policy towards North Korea.

Besides - it is too late now to preempt North Korea. It is a full fledged nuclear weapon state. Get over it.

b , 16 August 2017 at 03:38 PM
Those who think that B-1B were not the issue at hand over which the recent (secret) negotiations were made should read the NBC piece below which was published on August 9.

The B1-B flights were clearly test runs for a preemptive strike and/or decapitation strike. No wonder North Korea disliked and countered them.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-korea/b-1-bombers-key-u-s-plan-strike-north-korean-n791221
B-1 Bombers Key to a U.S. Plan to Strike North Korean Missile Sites
/quote/
The Pentagon has prepared a specific plan for a preemptive strike on North Korea's missile sites should President Trump order such an attack.

Two senior military officials ! and two senior retired officers ! told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

Pairs of B-1s have conducted 11 practice runs of a similar mission since the end of May, the last taking place on Monday. The training has accelerated since May, according to officials.
...
/endquote/

North Korea knew this and wanted to end it. Thus the Guam "test" threat and the negotiation offer discussed above. The U.S. agreed to stop the B-1B flights and North Korea put the "test" on hold.

No side lost face. No side won or lost. After building confidence over this issue both are now ready to discuss the less urgent stuff.

BillWade , 16 August 2017 at 04:26 PM
"Kim Jong Un of North Korea made a very wise and well reasoned decision," Trump wrote on Twitter.

"The alternative would have been both catastrophic and unacceptable!"

Joint US-SK exercises in 5 days.

jonst -> b ... , 16 August 2017 at 04:31 PM
and you figure the audience, 'the world', is going to notice these nuances you allege?

[Aug 17, 2017] Grown-ups Versus Ideologues The Media Narrative of the White House May Be All Wrong

Notable quotes:
"... McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all. ..."
"... Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue: ..."
"... "There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], 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." ..."
"... But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power. ..."
"... "Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires." ..."
"... Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly. ..."
"... All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy. ..."
"... @12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist. ..."
"... Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together. ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Democrats and the media love the Pentagon generals in the White House. They are the "grown ups":

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., had words of praise for Donald Trump's new pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster ! calling the respected military officer a "certified, card-carrying grown-up,"

According to the main-stream narrative the "grown ups" are opposed by " ideologues " around Trump's senior advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon is even infectious, according to Jeet Heer, as he is Turning Trump Into an Ethno-Nationalist Ideologue . A recent short interview with Bannon dispels that narrative.

Who is really the sane person on, say, North Korea?

The "grown-up" General McMaster, Trump's National Security Advisor, is not one of them. He claims North Korea is not deterrable from doing something insane.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your predecessor Susan Rice wrote this week that the U.S. could tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea the same way we tolerated nuclear weapons in the Soviet Union far more during the Cold War. Is she right?

MCMASTER: No, she's not right. And I think the reason she's not right is that the classical deterrence theory, how does that apply to a regime like the regime in North Korea? A regime that engages in unspeakable brutality against its own people? A regime that poses a continuous threat to the its neighbors in the region and now may pose a threat, direct threat, to the United States with weapons of mass destruction?

McMaster's was spewing nonsense. The same was said about the Soviet Union and China when they became nuclear weapons states. North Korea just became one . Conventional deterrence of both sides has worked with North Korea for decades. Nuclear deterrence with North Korea will work just as well as it did with the Soviet and Chinese communists. If North Korea were really not deterrable the U.S. should have nuked it yesterday to minimize the overall risk and damage. It is the McMaster position that is ideological and not rational or "grown up" at all.

Compare that to Steve Bannon's take on the issue:

"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], 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."

It was indeed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which "got" the United States and stopped the U.S. escalation game. It is wrong to think that North Korea "backed off" in the recent upheaval about a missile test targeted next to Guam. It was the U.S. that pulled back from threatening behavior.

Since the end of May the U.S. military trained extensively for decapitation and "preemptive" strikes on North Korea:

Two senior military officials ! and two senior retired officers ! told NBC News that key to the plan would be a B-1B heavy bomber attack originating from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.
...
Of the 11 B-1 practice runs since the end of May, four have also involved practice bombing at military ranges in South Korea and Australia.

In response to the B-1B flights North Korea published plans to launch a missile salvo next to the U.S. island of Guam from where those planes started. The announcement included a hidden offer to stop the test if the U.S. would refrain from further B-1B flights. A deal was made during secret negotiations . Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans. McMaster lost and the sane people, including Steve Bannon, won.

But what about Bannon's "ethno-nationalist" ideology? Isn't he responsible for the right-wing nutters of Charlottesville conflict? Isn't he one of them?

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon sees China as an economic enemy and wants to escalate an economic conflict with it. He is said to be against the nuclear deal with Iran. The generals in Trump's cabinet are all anti-Iran hawks. As Bannon now turns out to be a realist on North Korea, I am not sure what real position on Iran is.

Domestically Bannon is pulling the Democrats into the very trap I had several times warned against:

"The Democrats," he said, "the longer they talk about identity politics, I got 'em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats."

This worked well during the presidential election and might continue to work for Trump. As long as the Democrats do not come up with, and fight for, sane economic polices they will continue to lose elections. The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.

Posted by b on August 16, 2017 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

A couple of very interesting links from the last thread were the one to the Bannon article, and also the link to the Carter/NK article.

Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing t hat predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior. Many pictures of Kim show an overweight youngster amongst gaunt hungry looking generals. Gave the impression of a spoilt kid simply handed power. Not going to the May 9 parade in Russia when invited also gave the impression he was paranoid.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US. Third generation at war with the US and his seen his father was fucked over when trying to make a deal with the US. NK's nuke and missile tech have come a long way in the few short years Kim Jong Un has been in power.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

The link to the Carter article http://www.fox5atlanta.com/national-news/273096065-story

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:22:28 AM | 2
b said: "The people are not interested in LGBT access to this or that bathroom. They are interested in universal healthcare, in personal and economic security. They are unlikely to get such under Bannon and Trump. But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it."

With that statement b, you nailed it..

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 1:32:51 AM | 3
"There's no military solution [to North Korea's nuclear threats], 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."

Doesn't that at least show Bannon as the adult in the room?
I would say so.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 1:53:13 AM | 4
So lets start parsing this economic nationalism that Bannon is making happen with Trump.

Economic nationalism is a term used to describe policies which are guided by the idea of protecting domestic consumption, labor and capital formation, even if this requires the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions on the movement of labour, goods and capital. It is in opposition to Globalisation in many cases, or at least on questions the unrestricted good of Free trade. It would include such doctrines as Protectionism, Import substitution, Mercantilism and planned economies.

Examples of economic nationalism include Japan's use of MITI to "pick winners and losers", Malaysia's imposition of currency controls in the wake of the 1997 currency crisis, China's controlled exchange of the Yuan, Argentina's economic policy of tariffs and devaluation in the wake of the 2001 financial crisis and the United States' use of tariffs to protect domestic steel production.

Think about what a trade war with China would do. It would crash the world economy as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting......just one possible scenario.

At least now, IMO, the battle for a multi-polar (finance) world is out in the open.....let the side taking by nations begin. I hope Bannon is wrong about the timing of potential global power shifting and the US loses its empire status.

psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5
I thought that maybe Bannon was being a bit too forthright in his recent comments and perhaps he has just painted a big bullseye on his back for the racist clowns he has used to aim at. Check this out: Bannons colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication
Copeland | Aug 17, 2017 2:30:36 AM | 6
Bannon thinks the bombast on display between the Kim and Trump has been "a sideshow". The real show, on the other hand, has nothing to do with the dramatic sparring between the two leaders. The Mother Of All Policies, according to Bannon, is an all-bets-on trade war with China, whose endgame admits to only one outcome,--that is to say-- that only one hegemon will remain standing at the end of this struggle.

There can be only one King-of-the-Hill. But where is the Greek Chorus?--the prophetic warning that goes by the name of necessity?-- that tries to ward off hubris? "One must never subscribe to absurdities" (it was Camus who aptly said that).

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 2:39:11 AM | 7
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2017 2:19:03 AM | 5

I had read this before; interesting to say the least.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of Bannon prior to Trumps election and still know little about him.
Politics aside Bannon seems a straight shooter; I certainly can't argue his statement re: what would happen if we attacked NK. His statement is echo'd by many long before today.
I do plan to start paying attention from this point forward.
Oh, and I did read that Trump is afraid of Bannon, but don't remember the reason stated.

Realist | Aug 17, 2017 3:18:01 AM | 8
Here is Bannon's latest:

Bannon dismissed the far-right as irrelevant:

"Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

"These guys are a collection of clowns," he added.

Bannon is no friend of White Nationalists.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 4:49:34 AM | 12
No, whoever planned that "United Right" rally walked Trump into the trap.

As Trump was incapable to disassociate himself clearly from people who protest against the take down of a statue of General Lee. Trump now owns the race issue.

Steve Bannon is a fascist . That does not mean he is stupid.

The generals are clearly dangerous. They have the power to walk everybody to world war III. Trump has pledged to spend even more on the US military, the military already has the highest spending world wide. The generals don't want to admit that they cannot solve anythings by military power.

Trump going off script in that press conference into a stream of consciousness was bad. He reminded everybody of their rambling demented great-grandfather. He tried to get the discussion to economic issues, he did not succeed.

Veterans Today is a dubious source, but this here sounds genuine Washington behind the mirrors

In stepped more lies and garbage, this time more fake than the other, with chaos theory and psychological warfare organizations drowning in capabilities from the overfunded phony war on terror and too much time on their hands now lending their useless talents toward disinforming the general public.

The result has been a divided US where "alternative facts" fabricated for a vulnerable demographic now competes with the "mainstream" now termed, and I believe rightly so, "fake news" to support different versions of a fictional narrative that resembles reality only in the most rarified and oblique manner.
...

America has left itself open to dictatorship. It long since gave up its ability to govern itself, perhaps it was the central bank, the Federal Reserve in 1913 or more recent erosions of individual power such as the Citizens United Supreme Court decision of 2005. Whatever milestone one chooses, the remains of democratic institutions in the US are now difficult to find.

What we are left with is what increasingly seems to be factions, mistakenly defined as "right" or "far right" jockeying for control over America's military, and with that, control over the planet itself.

You see, whoever controls the American military controls the world, unless a power bloc appears that can challenge, well, challenge what? If the Pentagon controls America's military and the Pentagon is controlled by a cabal of religious extremists as many claim or corporate lackeys as most believe, then where does the world stand?

Then again, if Trump and his own Republican congress are at war over impeachment, and I assure you, little else is discussed in Washington, two sides of the same coin, servants of different masters, has all oversite of the newfound military power over American policy disappeared?

To this, we reluctantly say "yes."

Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2017 5:24:06 AM | 13
Bannon can be perfectly mature, adult and realist on some points and be totally blinded by biases on others - him wanting total economic war against China is proof enough. So I don't rule out that he has a blind spot over Iran and wants to get rid of the regime. I mean, even Trump is realist and adult in a few issues, yet is an oblivious fool on others.

Kind of hard to find someone who's always adult and realist, actually. You can only hope to pick someone who's more realist than most people. Or build a positronic robot and vote for him.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 6:16:13 AM | 14
There is something to that interview by Steve Bannon with a left wing website .
More puzzling is the fact that Bannon would phone a writer and editor of a progressive publication (the cover lines on whose first two issues after Trump's election were "Resisting Trump" and "Containing Trump") and assume that a possible convergence of views on China trade might somehow paper over the political and moral chasm on white nationalism.

The question of whether the phone call was on or off the record never came up. This is also puzzling, since Steve Bannon is not exactly Bambi when it comes to dealing with the press. He's probably the most media-savvy person in America.

I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump's reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump's base.

He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: "Ethno-nationalism!it's losers. It's a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more."

Explanation a) He wants to explain the climbdown of his boss on North Korea.
Not really helpful to Trump.

b) He wants to save his reputation as the association with the KKK and White Suprematists has become toxic.

Checking on what Breitbart is doing - splitting the Republican Party

A trade war with China would mean prices in the US would become very expensive. It is a fool's strategy.

In other news Iran is threatening to leave the nuclear agreement, and Latin America unites against the US threatening Venezuela with war.

The generals are completely useless.

fairleft | Aug 17, 2017 6:35:17 AM | 15
I think Bannon is an authentic economic nationalist, and one that Trump feels is good counsel on those matters. If this is so, then Bannon cannot be trying to provoke a trade war with China, since that would be an economic catastrophe for the US (and China and the rest of the world). I'm hoping he's playing bad cop and eventually Trump will play good cop in negotiations for more investment by China in the US and other goodies in exchange for 'well, not much' from the US. Similar to what the US dragged out of Japan in the 80s nd 90s.
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:51:35 AM | 16
psychohistorian a
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
psychohistorian at 4: 'as China tried to cash in on it US Treasury holdings with the US likely defaulting...'

as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2017 7:43:30 AM | 18
c | Aug 17, 2017 6:59:32 AM | 17
as a sovereign currency issuer of that size the usa can not run out of dollars
to default on their obligations would be a voluntary mistake the federal reserve will avoid
meanwhile the chinese are investing in africa and other countries securing their position in the world

Very good; and I agree with your POV; the usa can not run out of dollars.
And therein lies its power; a very dangerous situation that I do not think the world is equipped to deal with in toto...

steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

It appears that as a purely nominal Republican, an owner in a hostile takeover, Trump has no qualms about trashing the system. Practically speaking, this is the very opposite of draining the swamp, which requires effective leadership.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:51:55 AM | 20
Kim Jong Un, 3rd generation like his father and grandfather leader of NK. From what I have read this is a cultural thing that predates communism and the Japanese occupation prior.

But looking at things now, rather than a spoilt paranoid kid, perhaps someone trained from an early age for leadership, and perhaps rather than being paranoid (Russia/China), perhaps a leader that finds it more important to create a deterrence against the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2017 1:05:52 AM | 1

OR, looked at another way:

Perhaps the gurning wunderkind Kim's ascent to the North Korean Throne was completely predictable and was predicted a long time ago, and plans were set in motion to ensure that he was co-opted as a kid, and now works with the US to help counter the rising Chinese power.

Perhaps the alleged face-off Trump, Kim and the western MSM treated the world to over the past while, was merely nothing but a pre-scripted choreographic display, a piece of theater agreed upon beforehand by all participants except China

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kim Jong Un and Trump have a meet one day.

I wouldn't be surprised if Kim Jong Un and Trump actually play for the same side.

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 8:59:31 AM | 21
Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, i

Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Actually as far as I can tell the real political swindlers are the ones who refuse to acknowledge that a US Presidential election is, (and has been for nearly whole time the US has been in existence, which is more than 200 years for those who have problems keeping track of such simple matters) decided NOT by the popular vote but by the results of the Electoral College voting.

Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Again, just to repeat the actual reality regarding US Presidential elections: They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe.

Thegenius | Aug 17, 2017 9:08:56 AM | 22
Economics PhDs are resisting the only thing that can actully cause higher inflation rate: trade war
somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23
19

He is doubling down now defending General Lee statues as beautiful. He is doing the same strategy as he did in his duel with Hillary Clinton when everybody thought he was insane, playing to his core Republican base to make sure Republicans have to stay in line or face a primary challenge.

Breitbart is doing the same threatening "Republican traitors".

The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

But Republicans who have to pretend they are religious right wing nuts in the primaries, then have to appeal to independents to win the actual election.

So they cannot go against Trump but cannot defend him. They are paralysed.

That what it comes down to. That the main aim of the president of the United States is to paralyze the party he hijacked.


somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:58:52 AM | 24
add to 23

Breitbart has gone full culture wars. It is comical, have a look.

john | Aug 17, 2017 10:26:02 AM | 25
Just Sayin' says:

They are decided on the basis of Electoral Collage voting and NOT on the basis of the popular vote, as political swindlers would now like everyone to believe

indeed, though, speaking of political swindlers, there's mucho evidence that Trump may have won the popular vote as well.

likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:32:06 AM | 26
Posted by: steven t johnson | Aug 17, 2017 8:18:55 AM | 19

Every political swindler today starts off by pretending Trump won the election instead of the Electoral College, including Steve Bannon. It is the Republican Party, not Trump and his Trumpery who holds majorities in the House, the Senate and the nation's statehouses. Anybody who wants to think that "economic nationalism" will crush the Democrats has forgotten that Trump lost the popular vote on this ticket.

Have you read the Constitution of the USA? The Electoral College elects the President by the rank and file voters electing the Electors to the College on November election day. That's how the system works.

Ask Al Gore; he won the popular vote.

Oh and btw, the Hillary won the popular 2016 vote meme. Take a look at Detroit, MI heavy Democrats' precints - more votes than voters - and the millions of illegal aliens' vote in California who voted after the invite of Obama.

WJ | Aug 17, 2017 10:50:13 AM | 27
Trump won the election. Period. End of story. Done. Finished. Get over it and get on with your life. He didn't compete to win the popular vote. He competed and campaigned to win the election. Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 10:56:25 AM | 29
The problem with this strategy is that Trump won because Hillary Clinton was so unpopular, because their pollsters outsmarted Nate Silver and Co. and possibly because she was a woman.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 17, 2017 9:45:00 AM | 23

Nope - first part of the sentence is correct but the rest of is just you, as usual, repeating crap you found on the Internet and then repeating it here pretending it is profound and that you actually understand what you are talking about, which you clearly don't as evidenced by the fact that you then go on to reference Nate Silver whose fame was never anything but media created hype with little or nothing to back it up.

Silver's feet of clay were evident long before the latest Prez election. It became obvious that his alleged electoral statistical prowess rested as much on luck as anything else. Lucky in prediction when it came to the 2008 election but by 2010 things started to go wrong but the media ignored his feet of clay and kept hyping him as a stats genius.

By the time 2016 rolled round Silver was exposed for the lucky fraud he is.

The real truth of Hillarys inability to win lies not in her being female as you and many others disingenuously (at best) try to claim, but simply lies in the fact that she is a thoroughly unpleasant person with a complete lack of charisma and a massive sense of entitlement.

Blacks and others, minorities generally and independents, who came out in droves for the Obama elections simply refused to go and vote for her.

The Republican vote however changed very little - pretty much the exact same demographic voted republican as voted for Romney.

Trump won partly because of Clintons massive hubris in refusing to campaign in several key states. Cambridge analytical were not required to give him the win, no matter what you read, without analysing it, elsewhere on the web and are now repeating here in an effort to pretend you know what you are talking about.

CA probably helped somewhat but it unlikely that they were central to the win. Clintons hubris and her complete lack of charisma, ensured low black/minority/independent for her in key states, especially those where she had refused to even bother to campaign, which was enough to seal the win for Trump

You simply repeating crap you heard on the net and pretending that if you say it in an authoritative fashion it will magically become true, just ends up making you look completely clueless, as usual. (or dishonest)

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30
@ Everybody who bought into the MSM Steve Bannon promoted white supremacy and through Breitbart. Suggested you read his world view expressed in remarks at Human Dignity Institute, Vatican Conference 2014

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2017 10:51:54 AM | 28

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 11:21:24 AM | 32
US politics is a great big clusterfeck - worse than ever, which is hard to believe. Bannon's big liar. He did heaps to create this very situation with the White Supremacists. Of course the Democrats are worse than useless. All they're doing is presenting themselves as "We're not Trump" and whining about Putin. All of them are clowns. Every last one. Including the so-called "Generals." Worthless.
Pnyx | Aug 17, 2017 11:27:14 AM | 33
"Since then no more B-1B flights took place and North Korea suspended its Guam test plans."
but: "Yesterday (...) two US B-1 strategic bombers, operating with Japanese fighter jets, conducted exercises to the southwest of the Korean Peninsula." says WSWS. ?
james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive... i can't imagine the usa being happy if this didn't continue until it's demise..the 2 party system hasn't worked out very well as i see it.. failed experiment basically.. oh well..

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 12:51:38 PM | 39
@19

If I remember correctly, wasn't it both the President Elect and the Republican Congressmen who won clear majorities in nearly 80 percent of congressional districts? Presuming an issue like the gerrymandering of districts wasn't significant, that's a far more legitimate victory than an extra million Democrats voting in California (determining the future of national policy). I'm not a fan of the Republicans, but denying the short term efficiency of 'populist rhetoric' isn't helping the left win any substantial electoral victories in the future.

Morongobill | Aug 17, 2017 1:03:36 PM | 40
Good Lord. Can't people read anymore? The election is all about the EC. Keep talking and running for the popular vote, and Trump will keep winning the Electoral College. You either want to win or you don't. I hope you keep preaching the popular vote personally.
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:06:52 PM | 41
@ Just Sayin' 30

I won't give you a pass. Your bias and lack of intelligence is on great display.


No pass for little ol me? Aw shucks, I'm heart broken.

The fact that you think Bannon&Trump are going to do anything about Wall Street and the Banking System in general is quite amusing.

Perhaps you could list a few of Bannon&Trumps anti Wall Street achievements or initiatives since Trump took office?

It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little.

So, do please tell us: what have they actually done?

Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 1:15:57 PM | 42
@2 ben.. i agree!

everything about the usa today is divisive...

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 12:32:00 PM | 37

As the CIA might say: "Mission Accomplished!!"

Keep the proles spilt in their little "identity groups", their micro-tribes, and continue building the Kleoptocracy/Prison/Military State while the dumbed down demos are busy hunting micro-aggressions/fighting gender & race wars etc etc

During the last 5 Prez Election cycles the population spilt on utterly retarded lines such as Gay-marriage, Gender-free toilets etc. All this while the US fought or financed numerous very expensive wars in the Middle East ukraine etc, resulting hundreds of thousands of lives lost.

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 1:16:15 PM | 43
@26

The 2008 elections had one of the highest ever voter turnout rates for the Democrats and the 2016 elections had one of the lowest ever. The turnout rates (abysmal if ever compared to voter turnout rates in Germany and Japan) easily explain the initial victory and the eventual defeat, not 'Detroit fraud' or 'the millions of illegals' voting in your head. Racial gerrymandering against black voters in the Southern States is a far more real issue.

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:33:55 PM | 44
somwbody @ 12: Good link thanks..Interesting read about "The Forth Turning"

psycho @ 5: good link also..

WJ @ 27 said:" Advice to Democrats - nominate a candidate beside a senile old neocon woman who is corrupt to her ugly core, and then maybe you can beat a former reality show star."

Yep, so-called "Russian hacking" wasn't the problem, HRC was the problem...

ben | Aug 17, 2017 1:40:34 PM | 45
Just Sayin' @ 41 said:"It should by now be clear to anyone paying attention that while both Bannon & Trump certainly TALK a lot, they seem to actually do very little."

Kinda' waitin' myself to see all those "accomplishments"....

anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 2:01:34 PM | 46
@40

I'll assume this was directed to me.

I understand and respect your point, but I was responding to the initial comment's implicit argument on public opinion: "a common argument is the lower-middle-to-upper-middle-class social base of the Republicans is less receptive to the short term effects of Protectionist policy and this would reduce political morale, as well as grassroots and voting organization. However, the Democrats 'won the popular vote.' So, it's 'obvious' in saying the classless definition of 'the American people' oppose this Republican policy, and naturally, the social base of the Republican Party isn't especially relevant to consider when organizing voters and grassroots movements for a renewed Democratic Party."

To be fair, I think like the early Unionist and Communist circles, and presume public opinion translates to expressions of grassroots politics between conflicting classes (more so than it actually happens in American class society).

Mina | Aug 17, 2017 2:32:30 PM | 47
From Syria with love

https://arabic.rt.com/liveevent/894352-%D8%A7%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD-%D9%85%D8%B9%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%AF%D9%85%D8%B4%D9%82-%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A-5-%D8%B3%D9%86%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%BA%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%A8/

Sad Canuck | Aug 17, 2017 2:52:38 PM | 48
If one proceeds on the assumption that politics in the United States closely follows themes, scripts and production values pioneered by WWF, then all becomes clear. It's simply pro-wrestling on a global scale with nuclear weapons and trillions of dollars in prize money.
james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49
@42 just sayin'.. yes to all you say - it is quite sad actually.. not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..
Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 3:12:27 PM | 50
not sure of the way out at this point, short of complete rebellion in the streets which looks like a longs ways off at this point..

Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2017 2:58:51 PM | 49

Most of the younger generation seem to be much to busy, obsessing over non-existent things like "Micro-agressions" or "hetero-normative cis-gender oppression", to pay attention to, let alone acknowledge, the enormous global macro-aggressions their own country is engaged in on a world-wide scale.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 3:24:12 PM | 52
But, unlike the Democrats, the current White House crew at least claim to have plans to achieve it.
Is there a "don't" missing from that sentence?

I must disagree that DPRK nuclear missiles are a qualitatively similar threat to those possessed by the Soviet Union and China. DPRK's guiding Suche ideology is a literal cult that goes far beyond the cult-of-personality that held sway over the Soviet Union and China when Stalin and Mao ruled. And by the time the Soviets developed delivery capabilities Stalin was dead and his cult was done. By the time the Chinese developed delivery capabilities Mao was declining into figurehead status and Zhou Enlai, who as commander of the PLA realized how weak China really was militarily, had no illusions about what would happen in a military confrontation with the US. But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers that allowed them to drive the Japanese off the peninsula then fight off an American "invasion." They truly don't mention the role of the Soviets and the Chinese in saving their bacon. In terms of face-saving, the Kims have set the bar pretty high for themselves by fostering their cult. Their legitimacy would be threatened if their statecraft as rational actors undermined their Suche cult.

DPRK have been rogue actors against ROK and Japan out of sheer spitefulness, fully exploiting the umbrella provided by the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Assistance with China. They have done extraterritorial kidnappings and murders not for perceived strategic reasons but merely to intimidate. DPRK has pointedly refused to enter talks for a formal peace between them and the ROK. Those kinds of motives do not bespeak of someone who can be trusted with nukes.

Charles R | Aug 17, 2017 3:39:13 PM | 53
Posted by: RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 12:23:40 PM
Bannon is someone whom I hold quite responsible for contributing to the rise of White Supremacy in the USA, which I consider a clear and present danger. Bannon's dismissive hand waving yesterday is meant to dissemble. Guess some are willing to buy what he was selling yesterday. Not me.

What are your reasons for believing this about Bannon? What counts as contributing, and how did you come to your decision?

It's not that I don't believe you. It's rather important to establish in what way his words (whether the ones you found or the recent ones in American Prospect ) are lies or misdirection, so that I, and anyone interested, can evaluate this for ourselves and come to similar or different conclusions.

stonebird | Aug 17, 2017 3:40:47 PM | 54
I don't think Bannon wants a "trade" war with China but he is right that there is an economic war going on. The "silk roads" and the various new organisations that the Chinese-Russians have set up, (Major Banks, "Swift" equivalent, Glossnass satellites, card payment systems, industrial independence, and food self-sufficiency etc), plus the use of currencies other than the dollar - are all examples of a break-away from a US-EU domination.

However, they have not suddenly introduced everything at once to "bring the US house down". Why? One possible reason could be that they are expecting the US to collapse anyway. Another is that viable alternatives also take time to set up.

b has mentioned the "grown ups" v the Idealogues". The impact of the military on the economic war seems to be underestimated. How much longer can the US afford the more than trillion dollars per year of the "visible" arms? This does not include hidden costs ("Intelligence agencies and pork). Nor does it include costs borne by other countries. ie. Italy has about 80 US bases (the most in the EU) and about 77 nuclear warheads on its soil. Italy PAYS for those bases, and even that does not include infrastucture (roads, increased airport capacity, sewage, water mains, etc) which are paid for by the Italians themselves. Other countries will have similar systems. Some like Kuwait are "paying" back the amounts spent on arms for example.
The total cost is astronomical.

A brief reminder the USSR collapsed because of massive overspending on arms and military projects - leaving the rest of the economy in the lurch. Presumably the Chinese and Russians are expecting the same thing to happen again.

(Aside - yes, you can print dollars as a sovereign state, but printing roubles didn't help the soviets either)
So McMasters and the others are in fact just spoilt brats who think that the good times are forever.
----
One example of the new "bluff-calling" cheaper method of economic warfare (*NK is the another) were the recent NATO/US manoeuvres in Georgia (country) on the anniversary of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia. The number of troops and means involved would have been enough to carry out a "surprise" attack this time too. The Russians - sent in Putin, who declared that the Russians supported S.Ossetia and were ready to deal with any threat - exactly as they did "last" time. Cost? One plane trip.

(*The NK threat by the US would have seen about 40'000 men from S. Korea and Japan sent against about 700'000 motivated local troops and massive artillery arrays. It was a non-starter, even with nukes)

Tom in AZ | Aug 17, 2017 4:03:19 PM | 55
thirdeye @52

You are forgetting to mention the main sticking point to talks is our refusal to halt our annual̶d̶e̶f̶e̶n̶s̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶d̶r̶i̶l̶l̶s̶ invasion practice before they will come to the table. At least from what I read.

Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 4:04:22 PM | 56
54

Even with China's international financial position growing more robust with SWIFT independence, AIDB, the New Silk Road and such, they still have an interest in the Dollar-based western financial system as long as they can make money off of it. They are not going to shoot themselves in the foot by deliberately causing it to collapse. They might even prop it up in a crisis, but I suspect they would drive a hard bargain.

@Madderhatter67 | Aug 17, 2017 4:09:49 PM | 57
Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?


MCMASTER: Says classic deterrence strategy won't work with NK.

"Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires."

Classic deterrence strategy IS working for NK perfectly.

RUKidding | Aug 17, 2017 4:31:17 PM | 60
@53 Charles R: fair enough question.

What I base my analysis of Bannon is his leadership at Bretibart which may or may not be continuing right now. Just read Breitbart if you think Bannon isn't fully behind the White Supremacists rising up right now.

somebody | Aug 17, 2017 5:26:37 PM | 64
35
Steve Bannon is a fascist.

exhibit A
Steve Bannon Allies with Catholic Theo-Fascism Against Pope Francis

exhibit B
Steve Bannon shares a fascist's obsession with cleansing, apocalyptic war. And now he's in the White House

exhibit C
Generation Zero - Bannons Film using the theory of the fourth turning

The idea that people (a people) have to suffer a big war in order to cleanse themselves from moral depravity is fascism pure and simple as who should force people to do this but a dictator.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:08 PM | 67
All one has to do to know what Bannon's position on Iran is to read Breitbart on any given day. Unless we are supposed to believe that Bannon's opinions are not reflected by the website he ran for four years. Bannon is for war against Islam in general, there is nothing "realist" about his foreign policy.
Thirdeye | Aug 17, 2017 6:15:20 PM | 68
55 Tom in AZ

That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years. Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place? The US knows that China would not tolerate a US invasion of DPRK. Why take the risk of invading across great defensive terrain when you can simply destroy?

57 Madhatter67

Thirdeye says, "But DPRK is still ruled by a cult that believes the Kims are ordained with supernatural powers." What is American Exceptionalism?

That's a dumb analogy and a pathetic attempt at deflection. Criticize American Exceptionalism all you want, but don't compare it to a supernaturalist cult. That's just stupid.

DPRK has a history of doing whatever they think they can get away with, exploiting their treaty with China. If their delusional Suche ideology leads them to miscalculate or paints them into a corner trying to prop it up, it could lead to war.

If there's any bright spot in the whole picture it's China's chilly stance towards DPRK after recent events. The excesses of DPRK's ruling cult have occurred largely because they figured China had their back. But China's regional interests have changed dramatically over the past 30 years. ROK is no longer a competitive threat to China and is economically more important to China than DPRK ever was. DPRK's military power is of much less benefit to China than it was in the past. It might even be considered a liability.

61 Stonebird

It wouldn't be cash, it would be be assets and/or the means of controlling them. Big Chinese money is already coming into the west coast of the US and Canada. Oh well, we fucked things up here; maybe the Chinese will do a better job.

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:20:48 PM | 69
@10, this article was written while Bannon was heading Breitbart, bragging about being "conceived in Israel." http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/11/17/breitbart-news-network-born-in-the-usa-conceived-in-israel/

Bannon is against the nuclear deal, and is one of the top people in the administration arguing for Trump to move the Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Bannon has been cited as promoting Sheldon Adelson's Israel policy in meetings with Trump. http://www.timesofisrael.com/pro-abbas-lauder-hawkish-adelson-battling-to-influence-trump-on-mideast/ If anything Bannon/Breitbart push an even harder line on Israel than most politicians and media do.

blues | Aug 17, 2017 6:27:33 PM | 70
First of all, I will now declare that I am 99% confused! So please let me review the 1% that comes through my little keyhole. What has been said?

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = Just Sayin' | Aug 17, 2017 11:01:18 AM | 30

Anyone with any intelligence would be wise to treat with great caution anything Bannon claims in public interviews about himself or his alleged political beliefs,
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well sure! The guy's a political operative -- One does not get to be a political operative by being some kind of a Dudly Do-Right. Damn.

/~~~~~~~~~~
<< = les7 | Aug 17, 2017 12:27:02 PM | 35

@12... "Bannon is a fascist" I'm not so sure. Mussolini defined fascism as being an alliance of corporate and state powers... but Bannon (and most of his followers) have no trust in the corporate sector as they [the corporate sector] are to a large degree Globalists - they used the US and then threw it aside in pursuit of profit elsewhere. For that, he would even call them traitors. So you could call him a Nationalist.
\~~~~~~~~~~

Well since we can't believe anything from Bannon... And aside from that I am sick of hearing Mussolini's definition of fascism -- After all, he was a psycho-villain -- so why believe it?!

UNTIL WE HAVE STRATEGIC HEDGE SIMPLE SCORE VOTING WE WILL BE SADDLED WITH THE TWO-PARTY "SYSTEM" (really only one party). Who cares if we really have no choice whatsoever. We are held hostage to the false alternatives of the vast legion of the election methods cognoscenti.

See my simple solution soon at Global Mutiny!

Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:30:54 PM | 71
@31, "except for the Zion-flavored warmongering." I don't know about you but completely disqualifies him in my view.
Greg M | Aug 17, 2017 6:34:43 PM | 72
@35, please refer to post 69. If Bannon was not a Zionist, he would not have ran a site which brags of being conceived in Israel and which pushes a harder line on Israel than almost any other, and he would not be promoting Adelson's Israel policy within the administration.
Curtis | Aug 17, 2017 7:03:10 PM | 73
Bannon makes sense. That must be why many want him gone especially the neocons. As to North Korea, the US should have admitted "facts on the ground" long ago and worked to sign the official end of the war and work to get the two Koreas talking and working together.
anoymous | Aug 17, 2017 7:41:46 PM | 74
"That's a different issue from entering talks for a formal peace with with ROK. DPRK has been refusing that for years."

I doubt any substantial transcripts from early talks will ever be released, so whoever had diplomats offering the 'fairest' compromises for terms of an early framework (resulting in a later settlement) cannot be known (regarding specifics).

If I remember correctly, there has been at least three Chinese-sponsored peace conferences (on Korea) since 2007, where the general position of the U.S. was: North Korea had to freeze total nuclear production, accept existing and additional (U.N.) verification missions, and dismantle all warheads PRIOR to the signing of any peace treaty. How is demanding unconditional surrender not intransigence? Are we going to just pretend the United States hadn't sponsored military coups in Venezuela and Honduras and hadn't invaded Iraq and Libya (in a similar time frame)?

During peace talks, any terms are argued, refused, and eventually compromised (usually over years and sometimes over decades). Why presume the United States and South Korea had the fairest offers and general settlements in a handful of conferences (especially when we have no transcripts)?

"Did you ever consider that DPRK's constant saber rattling against ROK was what lent impetus to US exercises in the region in the first place?"

You're presuming your case and not giving specific information on what you might know.

Personally, I don't know who 'started it' (I would guess Japan 'started it' by forcing through the Protectorate Treaty of 1905, or the United States 'started it' by forcing through the Amity and Commerce Treaty of 1858), but if North Korea isn't testing missiles near Guam and the United States isn't flying specific planes over South Korea, a compromise WAS made this last week, and more can be made to ensure peace.

Why do any Americans oppose this?

[Aug 17, 2017] Google Culture Wars

Notable quotes:
"... So, noting that on average, men have 90% more upper body strength than women, would I not be able to claim that any woman my height or less will not have my upper body strength? ..."
"... The problem is that PC is on the way to functioning like militant Islam with regard to unbelievers and apostates. ..."
"... "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them". ..."
"... "There are only two important days in the life of any person, the day that your are born and then day you find out why." ..."
"... The supreme irony of l'affaire Damore is that was a primary point of Damore's memo and the response was perhaps the best proof of the validity of that point possible. Hence my "inept thinkers" comment. ..."
"... Look how Canadian 'hate speech laws' began with silencing 'Neo-Nazis' (fake ones, btw) and then spread to going after those who don't use proper pronouns. Self-Righteous Addiction created all these Self-Righteous Junkies. ..."
"... The bigger question is why Homo Sapiens is the only primate on the planet where The female is expected to be equal to the male ..."
"... The whole argument "for equality" is fundamentally flawed – it is the wrong goal. As individuals we humans want to be different – not equal. We want to bring something different to the table of social interaction. People who are equal have nothing to give to each other. ..."
"... P.S. No matter our intellectual capabilities, for 99% of us – doing a good job of raising our children – is the most lasting thing that we can ever do. They are our true legacy – what we do on the job is all too soon lost in the evolution of business. ..."
"... it is quite likely that variation is bigger in males, as usual with many other traits. ..."
Aug 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

Peripatetic commenter > , August 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm GMT

OT, but I am looking for a list of references to criticism of the criticism of The Bell Curve or supporters of The Bell Curve.

Can anyone help. A quick search via Duck Duck Go turned up a couple.

James Thompson > , Website August 16, 2017 at 5:05 pm GMT

@Peripatetic commenter Fine, but better to read a few chapters of the book.

res > , August 16, 2017 at 5:09 pm GMT

Thank you for your comprehensive post.

One thought about:

This argument makes me smile. Hyde seems to take as granted that males have an advantage on "tightly timed tests for mathematical and spatial tasks". Is it simply my male point of view that to do well on any test, in the sense of getting things right, and doing so quickly, would be considered a double advantage? Why regard speedy thinking as a complexity of interpretation? Why is speed in correctly completing a task judged to be "speed as much as skill"? Absurdly, the prompt and correct completion of a task seems to be cast as mere male impetuosity. Furthermore, any employer reading this argument would be justified in thinking "On difficult tasks involving maths and spatial analysis, women need more time" so, given a chance, it might be better not to employ them.

Agreed, but the timing issue for spatial tests actually strikes me as even more important than that. I am good at typical spatial tests, but one thing I have noticed is that for the hardest items I find myself going through a very working memory loaded process of checking whether a rotation works for a variety of details (number of details being limited by WM). I am pretty sure this process is more g loaded than spatial (have to find, remember, and analyze these differences). It is also slow at my WM limits (I trial and error choose which details to focus on for the hardest items). I am certain I could improve my performance by making pen and paper notes, but consider that cheating on those tests. It would be interesting to explore differences in solution speed and style both within and between groups (e.g. do similar scoring men and women differ in technique?).

Thus I tend to think the need for more time indicates a relative deficit in "real" spatial skill in favor of g. Whether this "real" spatial skill is what drives the relationship of spatial skills with programming is unclear, but I think it might be. I would hypothesize that it might not be easy for someone like me to emulate the reasoning a higher spatial ability person might use to solve real world problems (rotations are a relatively simple special case problem). If so, presumably this problem would be even worse for someone with even less "real" spatial ability.

Part of what I base my self assessment on is my sense that some people just immediately see the answer to hard spatial problems. Another part of this is my experience with tasks like navigating in complex topographical environments (I suspect that is a related skill). I routinely encounter people who I think are much better at navigation than I am (especially considered in tandem with more g loaded differences). My sense is that this instant recognition correlates with g but is a separate ability (perhaps more separate than the spatial test correlations indicate given my substitutability observation above). I would be very interested in either anecdotal observations or research discussing this!

Overall, my takeaways from the whole l'affaire Damore (surprised I haven't seen this pun used yet, just searched and here is a use , though I disagree with it that post and the comments are worth a look) are: