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Who Rules America ?

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

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

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

Skepticism -> Political Skeptic

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

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

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

FDR. speech after the election (1936)

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

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

 

This site is very skeptical as for the viability of Neoliberalism as a social system and had distinct pro "New Deal" capitalism bias. You are warned.

And yes, my friends, like Molière's play Le Bourgeois gentilhomme character, who he was surprised and delighted to learn that he has been speaking prose all his life without knowing it., you are living under neoliberal regime without knowing it.  And this regime is not the same as democracy. See Two Party System as Polyarchy

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

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


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

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Jul 23, 2017] Many critics of the USSR seems to fall into assessment of the Soviet Experiment mode in a careless way. It is terribly misleading to discuss theses questions without any reference to the tremendous impact external pressures had on the course of the Soviet Unions development

Notable quotes:
"... While I respect the author for raising this topic, he seems to fall into "assessment of the Soviet Experiment" mode in a careless way. I realize I tend to repetition about this, but it is terribly misleading ! perhaps "disorienting" would be a better term ! to discuss theses questions without any reference to the tremendous impact external pressures ! call it "intersystemic conflict," "international conflict," whatever ! had on the course of the Soviet Union's development. While it could be argued that capitalist economies also faced external pressures, that would miss the question of how such pressures impact on a society in the process of formation ..."
"... Then, as far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes, there's no mention about the choice ..."
"... What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves. ..."
"... It's obvious that people can enjoyably engage in cooperative behavior, but if they can do so under a barrage is another matter. The one thing that we can be certain of is that if capitalist elites aren't thoroughly demoralized they will do whatever they can to 'prove' TINA. ..."
"... West had spent several billion dollars in cash to bribe significant portions of the Soviet elite (Soros, via his foundation, was especially active). And large part of the elite war already poisoned by neoliberalism and wanted to become rich. So while pre-conditions for the collapse of the USSR were internal (communist ideology was actually discredited in early 70th; economic stagnation started around the same time, Communist Party leadership completely degraded and became a joke in 80th ), external pressures and subversive activity played the role of catalyst that made the process irreversible. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

hemeantwell , July 21, 2017 at 10:58 am

While I respect the author for raising this topic, he seems to fall into "assessment of the Soviet Experiment" mode in a careless way. I realize I tend to repetition about this, but it is terribly misleading ! perhaps "disorienting" would be a better term ! to discuss theses questions without any reference to the tremendous impact external pressures ! call it "intersystemic conflict," "international conflict," whatever ! had on the course of the Soviet Union's development. While it could be argued that capitalist economies also faced external pressures, that would miss the question of how such pressures impact on a society in the process of formation . We're talking about questions of constrained path dependence of a fundamental order that the experimentalist mode of thinking misses. Etc, etc.

Then, as far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes, there's no mention about the choice by significant sections of the Soviet elite to engage in looting instead of developing a transitional program that would protect viable sections of the Soviet economy under market socialism.

What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves.

While it is essential to try to determine the viability of alternative economic systems in comparison what we've got now, doing so without taking into account the tremendously destructive opposition a transition would face is, in a way, to blithely continue on in a "Soviet Experiment" mentality.

It's obvious that people can enjoyably engage in cooperative behavior, but if they can do so under a barrage is another matter. The one thing that we can be certain of is that if capitalist elites aren't thoroughly demoralized they will do whatever they can to 'prove' TINA.

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I was a little confused by this comment. I'm not opposed to looking at the impact of external pressures, but I am opposed to treating them as monocausal.

Your preferred pattern of historical explanation shifts during the course of your comment. When discussing the USSR in the process of formation, you concentrate on bringing out external pressures and therefore considering the choices of the leadership as highly constrained. When discussing the collapse of the Soviet Union, you instead stress the choices of the leadership elite to "seize an opportunity to enrich themselves."

I'm not even sure why you would assume that your thesis about the elite choosing to engage in looting is opposed to anything that I'm saying.

I agree with you on is that it is possible to think both about what a self-sustaining better society might look like, and also the extent to which it's hard to get there within the constraints of current power structures. They are not the same question, and I think both are worth pondering.

likbez , July 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm

hemeantwell,

Very good points:

"Then, as far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes, there's no mention about the choice by significant sections of the Soviet elite to engage in looting instead of developing a transitional program that would protect viable sections of the Soviet economy under market socialism.

What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves. "

West had spent several billion dollars in cash to bribe significant portions of the Soviet elite (Soros, via his foundation, was especially active). And large part of the elite war already poisoned by neoliberalism and wanted to become rich. So while pre-conditions for the collapse of the USSR were internal (communist ideology was actually discredited in early 70th; economic stagnation started around the same time, Communist Party leadership completely degraded and became a joke in 80th ), external pressures and subversive activity played the role of catalyst that made the process irreversible.

The fact that neoliberalism was rising at the time means that this was the worst possible time for the USSR to implement drastic economic reforms and sure mediocre politicians like Gorbachev quickly lost control of the process. With some important help of the West.

The subsequent economic rape of Russia was incredibly brutal and most probably well coordinated by the famous three letter agencies: CIA (via USAID and "Harvard mafia") ) and MI6 and their German and French counterparts. See

Brain drain, especially to the USA and Israel was simply incredible. Which, while good for professionals leaving (although tales of Russian Ph.D swiping malls are not uncommon, especially in Israel ) , who can earn much better money abroad, is actually another form of neocolonialism for the countries affected:

Oregoncharles , July 22, 2017 at 12:57 am

It was a tragically missed opportunity to try genuine socialism. Instead of essentially selling the state enterprises to the Mafia, they could have been GIVEN, probably broken up, to the workers in them. It would have been instant worker-owned, market regulated – what? We don't have a familiar name for it, but it might be what Marx meant by "socialism."

Ironically, the Bolsheviks first set up such co-operatives, called soviets, but soon seized them in favor of state ownership. End of the socialist experiment. It's quite possible they were far more Russian than Marxist.

Moneta , July 22, 2017 at 8:14 am

The US economy hit a wall in the 70s. Instead of readjusting internally, it used its reserve currency and global exploitation to gain an extra few decades of consumerism. If exploitation is acceptable, then we could say that capitalism wins. However, capitalism will work until there is nothing left to exploit.

In the meantime, the USSR was set up in a way where it could not follow

IMO, left leaning theoretical communism would have trouble surviving when in competition with a system based on short-termism such as capitalism. This competition against short-termism would force the communist country to turn into a form of fascism just to stop the opportunists which happen to have the skills from defecting.

MikeC , July 22, 2017 at 9:51 am

While in the Peace Corps serving in Africa (after 2010), I had a former military doctor (originally from Moldavia) who I'd see due to ongoing health issues. He served in Angola as a doctor during the civil wars and had pictures of the people he helped who were injured in the war. He was hands down the most competent doctor I saw who was employed by the PC. This was by a wide margin of competence too. I had not illusions about the Peace Corps and it purpose (to put the kind face on US empire?). We'd talk quite a bit, and he was still bitter about the collapse of the Soviet Union, and Gorbachev who he blamed for its demise, due to the lower standards of living and hardships now faced by many in the Eastern bloc and in Russia itself. In all honesty, though I identify with the far Left, this was new to me since I never realized that anyone would long for those days since all I ever heard about as a youth (due to propaganda of course) was about long bread lines and the gray world of the lives of those in the Soviet Union. Kukezel's comments above, and other information I have gained over the time had somewhat expanded my ideas and understanding regarding the system, as have my growing understanding of just how unjust our system in the US is becoming more unjust year after year.

I am not knowledgeable enough, possibly not smart enough, to understand the finer points of the discussion here concerning Marx, but I do think it possible for we as a species to create better systems to organize our world other than one predicated on the profit motive. Besides being unsustainable in a world of finite resources and the possibility that we humans will destroy the possibility to exist, we need to creatively try new forms of organization. The problem with the concentration of power of present day capitalism is that it seems so adaptable to new ways to effectively change. I know some Marx but am limited, but he was very impressed with capitalism's way to adapt to preserve itself.

Unfortunately, at times I become too cynical about the ability of the human species intellect and abitlity to go beyond short-term solutions. We just may not be able to get past our limitations as a creature. In short, I just don't know if we are smart enough to do what is best for survival. Like my Peace Corps doctor, I too sometimes wax nostalgic for a past that will never return, back to the sixties when it seemed the distribution of wealth was more egalitarian, unions brought about some economic justice, and the concentration of power and wealth was not so dramatic as it is today. I just never know if I was too blind, or deluded, at the time to see that maybe those weren't actually better times in that the system itself was built upon the same exploitation has existed in all of US history. So all this good discussion at times brings me back to the question–is our historical evolution not far enough along a continuum for us to change before it is too late? That's a bummer of a thought, I know, but the present political manifestations keep blunting any optimism I still possess.

Anon , July 22, 2017 at 7:39 pm

I too sometimes wax nostalgic for a past that will never return, back to the sixties when it seemed the distribution of wealth was more egalitarian, unions brought about some economic justice, and the concentration of power and wealth was not so dramatic as it is today.

That was "white priveledge" back then. It's passing is what led to Trump and the epidemic of homelessness.

[Jul 23, 2017] The emergence of American imperialism as an extension of British imperialism

Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Curtis | Jul 22, 2017 11:59:46 AM | 49

nobody 28
My image of Master-Blaster from Beyond Thunderdome has Israel in the Master position riding the US as Blaster. (sometimes he lets others ride, too)
nobody | Jul 22, 2017 12:27:00 PM | 50
Posted by: Curtis | Jul 22, 2017 11:59:46 AM | 49

The entity began and remains a Rothschild project. They (R) are still upset about how the Yank franchise scooped up their assets after WWII. Now that oceans no longer protect America from adversaries they have their window of opportunity to take back control of the global olive oil business.

AIPAC's control over US is a fairly recent phenomena and the result, as we can all see, is the patently self-destructive path that they set the Superpower on in the past 20 years. This was obvious even in 2002 that the actual goal was to take US off the pedestal and cut it down to size. When the dust settles, US (well the poor under educated and over medicated and propagandized Americans) will be holding a 20, 30?, Trillion dollar DEBT to the blood suckers that run "global finance". And what we see now is that apparently (rather late in the game I am afraid) some subset of the "elite" elements in Yankistan -- the OIL money families -- have finally figured out just what sort of a mess they have gotten themselves into, having trusted their dual-citizen ashke-Nazi "sages". That is why we see all these entirely bizzare political fights break out between nominal allies, such as EU and US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, etc.

This is the reason. The rest is ladida to keep us plebes entertained.

This is my opinion.

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 3:21:06 PM | 52
"They (R) are still upset about how the Yank franchise scooped up their assets after WWII."

Not true. The US was promoted after WW2 to the role of the clout, or the "muscle man" of the global evil cabal of the Brutish Empire run by City of London Crown Corporation, whereas the British Empire went off the radars under the guise of the "Commonwealth". It's just a matter of efficiency of management of occupied territories, does not irritate or provoke the local tribes in Europe, US, Canada, Australia, NZ... "Happy slaves" believing they are free...

This is somewhat touched upon in the marvelous Ken Loach movie "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" I mentioned before - one sober character reminds others that withdrawing British troops ends official brutal occupation, but negotiated deal puts Ireland into tight economical and political dependence on the Crown.

Besides how do you fight enemy that "does not exist" ? ;-)

As I said times before:

"The greatest trick The British Empire ever pulled was convincing the world it ceased to exist. That's been its power"

Promoting the US as the official "global empire" and going underground, in the shadows, were one of the main goals of the AngloZio cabal in their plans to start WW2. Other being establishing the state of Israel in Palestine with the help of Nazi terror, and destroying German ambitions to challenge UK's global hegemony by pushing it into the Nazi crazed "bubble", aka "pump and dump", or "boom and bust" scheme. Hitler acted in the best interests of the British imperial elite (fuck the commoners, they never really mattered). He would've never attacked Poland without being sure that the British would give him free hand to do it. He sought alliance with the British - Hitler writes about in "Mein Kampf", you can check it by yourself. After baiting Germans into Hitler's trap, the City of London performed a "switch", (arrested Rudolf Hess who landed in Britain for further instructions) and confronted Germany allied with the US and Russia to achieve what one of the first of British NATO chiefs (Hastings Ismay) admitted:

"To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down."

That plan has been hugely successful until 2012 when Obama showed, by refusing to forfeit the run for the 2nd term, which camp he's been in. "The pump and dump" scheme allowed amazing acceleration of the technological progress on the world wide scale, with enormous resources assigned for some crucial projects, impossible under peaceful circumstances. Of course later "scooped" by the AngloZios:

Theft of German Scientific Research Fueled Post-War Technology Boom

By Daniel W. Michaels:

"TO THE VICTORS BELONG THE SPOILS" is an American saying (attributed to Andrew Jackson) and, regrettably, an occasional American practice as it was in the case of "the Great Patent Heist of 1946." It was made official policy in World War II by President Harry Truman's Executive Order 9604, also known as the "License to Steal," which permitted agents of the U.S. government to execute the greatest robbery in world history: the theft of German intellectual (scientific) property. What technology the Americans and Soviets stole has, in fact, fueled some of the greatest scientific advances of the modern era.
nobody | Jul 22, 2017 4:24:12 PM | 54
Not true. The US was promoted after WW2 to the role of the clout, or the "muscle man" of the global evil cabal of the Brutish Empire run by City of London Crown Corporation, whereas the British Empire went off the radars under the guise of the "Commonwealth".

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 3:21:06 PM | 52

"On 15 August 1971, the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the US dollar to gold, effectively bringing the Bretton Woods system to an end and rendering the dollar a fiat currency.[3] This action, referred to as the Nixon shock, created the situation in which the US dollar became a reserve currency used by many states. At the same time, many fixed currencies (such as the pound sterling, for example) also became free-floating."

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

Richard Nixon's genius (along with his _Rockefeller_ advisor, Henry Kissinger) devisied the three pronged platform for US supramacy in the early 70s. The termination of Bretton Woods by United States, in conjunction with the creation of the Petrodollar mechanism, and the integration of Communist China into the West's establishment, was a master stroke of genius by Nixon that rendered null and void the historic blunder of that fool Wilson that made Americans debt slaves to the Barter Town of London.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-05-30/the-untold-story-behind-saudi-arabia-s-41-year-u-s-debt-secret

The result was that United States of America was free to accumulate effectively free debt instruments backed by US Navy and Oil. And there was nothing the Brits could do about it. Of course the Brits had already shown themselves ready to help the Soviets in confict with Uncle Sam, as perfectly illustrated in the episode of England giving Soviet Union a working RollsRoyce jet engine. A piece of technology the Russians could not master.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikoyan-Gurevich_MiG-17

So having taken care of the monatary and enegry aspects, Nixon faced the possibility of future monkey wrenches thrown in America's imperial ambitions by the Brits via the Soviet Union. So he turned to China, made kissy face with the Chairman, and set into motion the historic agreement to realign CCP with United States as a bulwark against the Soviets. That was brilliant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Nixon_visit_to_China

He also engineered the exit of the British Navy from the Persian Gulf and designated the Shah of Iran as the new "policeman of the Persian Gulf".

https://repository.library.georgetown.edu/bitstream/handle/10822/558294/CIRSOccasionalPaper4JamesOnley2009.pdf

That is why poor "tricky dick" became a target of a coup by the British aligned fraternal "agency" of skull and bones and misguided elements of Naval Intelligence.

--

Today, the AIPAC directed United States has systematically pursued a course to dismantle the historic strategic achievements of Richard Nixon.

Petrodollar is about to become history (and thus the debt becomes a real generational liability) and CCP has been thoroughly provoked and has been driven into the arms of their historic adversary Russia.

And in a way that no doubt is very pleasing to the Barter Town monsters, this time it will be the other players across the pond that will "scoop" and take over the global mechanisms (IMF, WorldBank, UN) that US had created to manage its empire.

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 5:58:27 PM | 55
All what you wrote about has been devised for the US by the masters in City of London, who control e.g. the FED, thus the Petrodollar (Saudi Barbaria was set up with the British intelligence help).

You can trace all leaders of the world terrorism to London, been there at least for soe period of their terrorist quest (instructions, training, refuge).

I highly recommend reading Dean Henderson on the topic.

The US is known for supporting the Soviet Union, GE built power plants and lines (Lenin: "Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country"), Ford car factories. I also recommend reading Anthony Sutton's WALL STREET AND THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION to see how the masters of puppets played both sides.

Ideologies like Communism, Nazism, Zionism, and also religions as well as world conflicts, societal rich vs poor, queer vs hetero, conservative vs liberal, traditional vs progressive, ) and political (2 party monopoly basically in all British colonies - US, Eastern Europe, ..., freemasonic black-white checkered motive comes to mind) division lines (implementing old imperial "divide et impera" stratgy) are devised just as means to achieve far reaching goal of total global control by the same degenerate "elite".

BTW CIA overthrew Mossadegh in Iran at the British request, and the butcher of Iraq gen. Schwartzkopf was knighted for a reason... (Interesting to see who else received order of the British Empire...) Recent news confirm that was actually Tony Bliar pushing Bush for the Iraq war, not the other way round...

Slightly different take 3 Corporations Run the World: City of London, Washington DC and Vatican City

It's worth noting that Switzerland is a "very special place" too...

nobody | Jul 22, 2017 6:44:08 PM | 56
Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 5:58:27 PM | 55

You are being obtuse.

Poor Lawrence got buggered by a Turk in service of King and country to setup the tribal leaders from Najd as kings in Arabia and then it was FDR who hosted Abdul Aziz ibn Saud on US Navy ships floating on the "Great Bitter Lake" (get it?):

http://www.ouramazingworld.org/uploads/4/3/8/6/43860587/vol38_issue2_2005.pdf

"You can trace all leaders of the world terrorism to London, been there at least for soe period of their terrorist quest (instructions, training, refuge)."

That's their specialty. How does that contradict the narrative that Richard Nixon as servent of Rockefellers engineered the take over of Barter Town from below using energy as weapon to let the financiers know who is the New Boss?

"BTW CIA overthrew Mossadegh in Iran at the British request"

CIA did not overthrow Dr. Mossadegh. CIA participated in the counter coup against him. Do you recognize how condescending it is to assert that some wasp flunky with a bag full of dollars can come and overthrow a leader that according to his own "democratic" referandum had obtained "99%" of the Iranians' vote?

Dr. Mossadegh himself, due to his erratic behaviour, assumption of dictatorial power, violation of Iran's constitution, and the growing fear of the clerics of a Tudeh take over, managed to alienate a large segment of his own constituency, and the Americans decided to take the British advice and support those factions that were against him. And the result for Britain was that US managed to peel Iran from the British orbit. And yes, the Shah was grateful to the Americans. What did you expect the young king to do? Ask Soviets to help?

Until the day that you have actually studied Iran's history during 1945-1952, kindly resist the urge to throw around the "1953" propaganda.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_crisis_of_1946

Pft | Jul 22, 2017 7:12:38 PM | 57
You got it ProPeace. It actually goes further back to Cecil Rhodes plan to recover America, the establishment of political Zionism in 1897 and its offspring Bolshevism 20 years later getting America to develop a taste for imperialism with the Spanish American War that was promoted by Hearst, then thevassassination of McKinley to get its puppet Teddy in office, getting the US to adopt the BOE model with the Fed Reserve effectively allowing the money masters in London to control money creation and finance future wars, and of course the Balfour Declaration (an agreement reached long before it was declared) which allowed the pro-German faction on Wall Street to support the war against Germany and get the US in the war, and of course the income tax to insure the Fed would be able to collect on the debt interest and then following WWII the CFR which was a creation of Rhodes Round Table to recruit members to execute the Empire Building.

Today of course there are no borders for the wanna be global ruling masters. London, the City, Wall Street, DC , Israel are all one and the same as are the BOE/Fed through BIS, the various intelligence agencies and military through NATO.

The US top Presidents, Generals and Fed Reserve Chairmen get knighted by the Queen. The US is a defacto commonwealth nation and perhaps Israels colony

One may consider the possibility that this was the plan all along and led the Founding Fathers, a number of which were Masons and perhaps even Illuminati broke from England without much resistance from the King. After all, why not allow them to break free to eliminate the financial burden and recover them when they become profitable. They still needed to trade with them after all and they had their agents inside the US which they could control. When the US strayed a bit and refused to extend the ban charters they invaded as in 1812, or resorted to asassination (Attempt on Jackson) , started a Civil War and then knocked off Lincoln for printing Greenbacks. But it wasnt until the end of the 19th century with oil replacing coal that America and the Middle East were deemed essential in order to maintain and build their Empire because Britain had none of that Black Gold and was running short of the yellow Gold, and the US had plenty of both and the ME plenty of the former

psychohistorian | Jul 22, 2017 7:35:30 PM | 58
@ Pft, Propeace and nobody that are off topic but right on target for sharing their scenarios about how the elite have controlled our world for centuries.

Thanks!

It is good to read others confirmation of my understanding about the sick tenets of our form of social organization.....private money and ongoing private ownership of property maintained by unfettered inheritance......It is not people that need to be eliminated but the tools that they use to exert power and control over the rest of us.

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 8:36:44 PM | 59
@Pft | Jul 22, 2017 7:12:38 Right on, could not say it better myself.

Promoting the US colony to world imperial status after WW2 was a natural step in maintaining global hegemony. Also the term "thalassocracy" comes to mind - you can observe that the Thalassocracy, I still believe with the main HQ in City of London, has been maintaining control of the global waterway choke points and thus control on global trade, through supervising "percolating violence" status in those areas.

And as I said before - with exposing the US to blowbacks, anti-imperial activities, rage of the oppressed peoples, London could stay in the shadows (much more comfortable situation), working tirelessly behind the curtains to expand its empire. Of course organizing false flags like in 2007, or recently in the last couple of years, is necessary to keep the British population in check, scared, easier to control, confused, distracted from the real perps and to implement gradually totalitarian measures.

Although I see some signals from the UK that some fractures are starting to appear and some factions of the establishment begin to align themselves with the future winners.

The same with Israel...

I believe there is gonna be some huge global events at the end of Summer that will reshape the geopolitical scene dramatically. The UK (the Russians have been testing their response times quite regularly) and Israel seem to be easier to contain (the rest of the ME seems to be in check now), but with the US and its massive network of sayanim, saboteurs, corrupted officials, "manchurian candidates", secret societies, lodges, posh ranches (where truly unspeakable things happen), Israeli trained law enforcement, and with absolutely stupid large parts of the population, it will require some drastic measures.

Let's hope the "soft landing" of the US from its imperial status in the next couple of months will be peaceful...

[Apologies for many typos in my above posts]

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 8:43:58 PM | 60
@nobody | Jul 22, 2017 6:44:08 I beg to differ Nazis, Assassins & Operation Ajax

...Prior to WWII British Petroleum dominated the Iranian oil patch. Following the war Britain dumped its puppet Shah in favor of his yet more pliable son Shah Reza Pahlevi, whose Nazi sympathies were less overt. By 1943 the US had established a military command in Iran and signed the Tehran Agreement, cutting the US half of the Four Horsemen a generous slice of the Iranian oil pie.

Iran was coveted for its expansive reserves of crude and remains the most geopolitically strategic Middle Eastern nation, bordering both the unprecedented Persian Gulf oilfields to the south and the vast, largely untapped Caspian Sea crude reserves to the north.

After World War II the Iranian people became increasingly hostile towards Big Oil and their puppet Shah. Anger was especially prevalent among oilfield workers of the Khuzistan region who formed the main constituency of the Tudeh (Masses) Party. In 1951 Tudeh formed a coalition with the National Front Party and elected Mohammed Mossadegh Prime Minister of Iran. Mossadegh, who first campaigned against Soviet occupation of northern Iran, became a vocal critic of Four Horsemen control over Iranian oil. He soon announced plans to nationalize BP interests in Iran. BP responded by organizing an international boycott of Iranian crude and called on two long-time associates for more drastic measures.

US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA Director Allen Dulles, both worked for the Washington law firm Sullivan & Cromwell before joining the State Department. The firm represented BP in the US. It had also served as legal counsel to J. Henry Schroeder Bank, the Warburg family-controlled Hamburg bank that financed Adolph Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany. Allen Dulles had been a lawyer for Nazi combine I. G. Farben and headed the CIA-predecessor Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII. The Dulles brothers are cousins of the Rockefellers.

After WWII, Allen Dulles was OSS Station Chief in Berne, Switzerland, where he helped Swiss Nazi Francois Genoud transfer Hitler and Goebel trusts into Swiss bank accounts. In 1952 Dulles founded Banque Commerciale Arabe in Lausanne, Switzerland. The bank represented a pact between the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood-Benoist-Mechin, which is comprised of Saudi royal family members. Dulles was cutting a deal with Islamic fundamentalists.

Part of this Faustian bargain may have involved the House of Saud chieftains providing information to US intelligence on how to create mind-controlled assassins. The Muslim Brotherhood claims to have first perfected this technique during the 11th century Crusades when it launched a brutal parallel secret society known as the Assassins, who employed mind-controlled "lone gunmen" to carry out political assassinations of Muslim Saracen nationalists. The Assassins worked in concert with Knights Templar Christian invaders in their attacks on progressive Arabs, but were repelled...

After failed negotiation attempts in Tehran with the populist Mossadegh led by Averell Harriman and Vernon Walters, the Dulles Brothers took charge of a joint CIA/MI6 smear campaign painting the Iranian leader in the most brilliant colors of Red. When this anticommunist rhetoric failed to convince the Iranian people to turn on their popular leader, a military expedition was organized.

Financing for the CIA coup, code named Operation Ajax, came from Deak & Company, founded by OSS operative Nicholas Deak. The company was the largest currency and gold bullion trader in the US after WWII and financed CIA adventures in Vietnam and the Belgian Congo through their Hong Kong gold monopoly.

Operation Ajax was led by H. Norman Schwartzkopf, father of the Gulf War General of same name, and Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of President Teddy Roosevelt. A palace coup led by Shah loyalist General Fazlollah Zahedi was organized in 1954. Mossadegh was deposed and the Shah flew into Tehran from exile in Rome seated next to Allen Dulles. The Four Horsemen had their puppet back in the National Palace. Kermit Roosevelt stayed in Tehran, his CIA Deputy Director of Plans income soon augmented by a new job as salesman of military aircraft for Northrop Corporation...

I also recommend reading John Perkins, aka "Economic Hitman", especially wrt to your claims

"Do you recognize how condescending it is to assert that some wasp flunky with a bag full of dollars can come and overthrow a leader..."

nobody | Jul 22, 2017 11:08:41 PM | 61
Following the war Britain dumped its puppet Shah in favor of his yet more pliable son Shah Reza Pahlevi, whose Nazi sympathies were less overt.

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 8:43:58 PM | 60

Does that sentence actually map to a coherent thought in your brain? A "puppet" Shah of English that was a Nazi sympathizer at the same time?

https://www.thebhc.org/sites/default/files/beh/BEHprint/v016/p0069-p0082.pdf

The above site will have your browser "warn" your about an insecure cert (since the link is https). Use the cache version from google if you are concerned.

Full title of the document to read is: "The Imperial Bank of Iran" by Geoffrey Jones, London School of Economics.

The foundation of the new Pahlavi dynasty by Reza Shah in the mid-1920s was followed by a campaign to modernize Iran, and to challenge foreign business. A central bank -- Bank Melli [means: National Bank] -- was founded in 1928. The Imperial Bank lost its role as state bank, and in 1933 had to relinquish its note-issuing powers. In the 1930s exchange controls and barter agreements destroyed the Bank's business in financing foreign trade. Foreign exchange business became increasingly centralized on Tehran, leaving the Bank's extensive provincial branch network to waste away. Opportunities to participate in Iranian industrialization were spurned as the Bank went into a corporate sulk. In 1936 the 7 Board members had an average age of 71, and an 83-year old Chairman who had become a director in 1913 after retiring from the Indian Civil Service.

The directors resembled a collection of Old Testament prophets: they certainly had no sympathy for the NEW IRAN.

Oy vey.

During the time that the Britain and Russia had divided Iran into two zones of influence, the only rail line permitted to be constructed in Iran was a short line from Tehran to a nearby shrine.

As noted earlier, any effort at industrialization by the Pahlavi Kings, was consistently viewed as a threat by the West. It was Reza Shah the Great that built the first Iranian Railroad.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Iranian_Railway

Do have a tiny bit of clue what a basket case of a country Iran was after the Qajars were done with their disasterous rule over Iran?

Here is the April 1921 issue of National Geographic on Iran. Good luck getting either NG or Google turning up this gem for you! National Geographic has even excised this issue from their collection of issues on Iran. Thank God for the Internet.

http://www.k-en.com/gonagon/National_Geography_April_1921.pdf

That basket case of a "country" was what Reza Shah the Great inherited. By the time he was exiled by the INVADERS of Iran, Iran had a functional central government, a National Bank not run by the Empire, secure borders, a fledgeling Airforce, universities, Women's rights, hospitals, schools, ..., and it goes on.

Do you now have a tiny clue as to what Reza Shah'e Kabir [means: Great] did for Iran and why he was promptly exiled by the invaders of Iran?

And they also miscalculated about his son, our beloved Shanshah Aryamehr. But they do love their Mullahs. Guess why.

So let me repeat: We will write our history. Not poorly informed useful idiots of anti-Iranian Western propagandist.

(We learned that lesson from the Herodotus episode, you see.)

[Jul 23, 2017] MoA - Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Political Islam was and is supported by US geopolitical rationale . ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails.

Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

---

Another Scorpene Submarine Scandal - Asia Sentinel (a bit older but it was new to me)

Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries

Musburger | Jul 21, 2017 12:41:30 PM | 1

The first story is a muti-billion dollar illegal business network that potentially encompasses not only the CIA, but also several governments, the Clinton Foundation, David Patreus, investors (many of whom hold government positions) and God knows what else. It's possibly the greatest scam the world has ever seen.
ProPeace | Jul 21, 2017 12:43:24 PM | 2
I'm pretty sure MCain's "tumor" is fake to allow him to avoid prosecution and induce compassion.

Not a first (soon to be) "dead" suspect in a crucial investigation into the crimes of the global evil cabal, see e.g. some lords in the UK involved in pedophile scandals...

ProPeace | Jul 21, 2017 12:48:44 PM | 3
It would be nice to have a comprehensive list of sponsors of those fake lucrative speeches such front persons and puppets as Clintons, Saakashvili, Kwaśniewski, ... have been giving.

The Business Round Tables that Quigley and Sutton wrote about that live off wars and misery.

Petri Krohn | Jul 21, 2017 12:55:55 PM | 4
There is an amazing amount of detailed information from reliable sources on the U.S. sponsored, Saudi paid arms deliveries to terrorist in Syria, originating from the eastern parts of the European Union. I have collected some of the best sources here:

US covert war on Syria -> Weapon deliveries

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier

The third time is the Charm.

I am reminded

McCain can do no wrong:

His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy);
The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong)
The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan)

McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 12:58:42 PM | 6
thanks b.. the first part of your post reaffirms my comment in the previous thread about the usa, saudi arabia/gccs and israel being the terrorists that the world would be a lot better place without... "the contracts are with U.S. companies themselves hired by the CIA and/or Pentagon as well as with Saudi and Israeli companies.."
terry | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:09 PM | 7
Here is a link to The Dilyana Files – 1403 Email Attachments Posted https://www.truthleaks.org/news/343-the-dilyana-files-1403-email-attachments-posted
james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11
BBC News has a great little expose on tracking ISIS weapons captured in Mosul to their sources in Eastern Europe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8bwCj3lfsg
"The team has carried out painstaking research cataloging serial numbers and tracing the routes. They found crates of ammunition and rockets manufactured in factories in eastern Europe. These were bought by the governments of the US and Saudi Arabia."
Whether or not the arming and financing of ISIS groups was "accidental" or "deliberate" remains something of an open question; most likely the actual US policy from c.2011-2012 onwards was to give support to anyone trying to overthrow Assad's government regardless of affiliation. The architects of this plan? Clinton & McCain seem to be right at the center of it, with plenty of neocon/neolib supporters in Congress & the State Department/CIA/Pentagon (Nuland/Morrell/Carter etc.)
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

psychohistorian | Jul 21, 2017 3:12:19 PM | 14
Thanks again for the excellent journalism b even though it reads like the trash on the rags in the grocery stores they make you look at while you check out.

I just hold out hope that the great unraveling continues and quickens its pace.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:32:48 PM | 15
Criminal activity under diplomatic cover should be prosecuted. They can pretend they didn't find out until it was too late. Or they can claim that they were letting it happen in order to track the players. Those excuses have been used for all kinds of cover for nefarious activites like Pakistan's AQ Khan NukeMart to distribute nuclear technology and materials. (See Deception and United States and the Islamc Bomb books) And there's Fast & Furious. In the end the cover comes from the political top of the trash heap.

The Dem/anti-Trump attempts to get dirt on Trump via Russians doesn't get play in the MSM. Nor does the content of the emails. They call the tune and the media plays on.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:38:37 PM | 16
nonsense factory 11
Thnx for the vid link. That evidence won't get to US MSM either. It makes the case for Tulsi Gabbard's efforts.
kpax | Jul 21, 2017 3:46:26 PM | 17
@likklemore #5
... just a malignant 'moderate' tumour to a moderately aggressive cerebral model.
likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.


@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

Piotr Berman | Jul 21, 2017 5:46:21 PM | 19
The link suggests that the subs involved in the scandal are perhaps OK, and no hack compromised their worthiness in a possible military conflict. Neither there were any fatal accidents. The only losses in manpower (but quite a few) are among people engaged in the financial transactions that delivered them to various fleets.

Although there are possible danger to security, because bribery is used to blackmail involved in recruitment of spies.

Fidelios Automata | Jul 21, 2017 6:03:00 PM | 20
I hope the conspiracy theories are wrong, and that McInsane will soon suffer a well-deserved painful death.
BTW, I'm a long-time Arizonan, and I'm proud to say I've never voted for this traitor and have also signed the recall petitions against him.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:16:53 PM | 21
I apologize for never contributing anything substantial but just emanating verbal support.
I hope this site has some mirrored archives. This is in its entirety a work of contemporary history (sorry my english's not good enough... mirror this site and give it some dumb ancestor of ours to read in 20, 50, 100 years, y'know).
I'm a broke lowlife but next time around I'll send some money.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:19:21 PM | 22
damn I regret every cent I've spent on mainstream newspapers, although the last time I've done so has been years ago and maybe back then, they weren't so bad, but then again, they probably were and I just didn't notice.
Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:01:32 PM | 23
The dog that didn't bark in the arms shipment story is the absense of Qatar in the list of recipient countries. It also seems that, whilst most (80%) were shipped through SA/UAE, more arms were shipped through Jordan (11%) than through Turkey (7%).

Bulgaria may also have been the location of military level training sites for foreigners. An intriguing report from June 2015 noted that an American was killed along with 2 foreigners (German and Canadian) in a grenade launcher accident of a PMC training center at Anevo, Bulgaria. The site was run by an company Algans (or Alguns).

http://sofiaglobe.com/2015/06/06/american-dies-four-injured-in-blast-at-bulgarias-vmz-sopot-ordnance-plant/

There are links to the infamous US military $500 million training program in which an unknown number of 'carefully vetted moderate rebels' were trained and all but 5 of them 'defected' to al Qaeda.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/mobbed-up-arms-dealer-in-american-anti-isis-effort-linked-to

Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:14:05 PM | 24
"This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more" Hoarsewhisperer @13

The docs indicate the Balkans arm supply route took off in 2012. It will have brought in many billions of USD to the relatively poor east European countries. Before the Gulenist(?) shoot down of the Russian Su-24, Russia had been trying to get Turkey and Bulgaria interested in South Stream. I suspect Russia did indeed know the details of the arms shipment, and certainly knew about Turkey's cut of the ISIS oil sales. I suspect this deal may have been an attempt to wean the two off the terrorism funding spigot. This failed as the Bulgarian government is totally owned by the US. Erdogan's ego was manipulated by his Zionist handlers and eventually his stalling killed interest at theat time. The Russians would know this background too, but the deal had to be tried. If it had worked, then the Bulgarian arms train would possibly have been stopped and the Turkish border closed several years ago. This would have greatly cramped the capabilities of ISIS, simplifying the task of eliminating them. I suspect the Russians also knew it wouldn't pan out but it was certainly worth a shot whilst they was busily obtaining intelligence on the terrorists, and secretly negotiating the logistics, overflight access etc for what was to become its base at Hymeim.

somebody | Jul 21, 2017 7:15:18 PM | 25
23 also

Russia Hopes to Sign Agreement on Arms Re-Export From Bulgaria

The statement was followed by a publication of the Bulgarian Trud newspaper that mentioned the Arcus arms company as the producer of some arms produced in Bulgaria under Russian licenses, which were found by journalists in eastern Aleppo.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 7:49:29 PM | 27
BBC News has a great little expose

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11

Tillerson. Exxon. Petrodollar. Rockefellers.

BBC. MI6. BIS. Rothschilds.

https://youtu.be/Hgq4w4dqKsU

That's a good question.

nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:07:41 PM | 28
Master: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/david-rockefeller.jpg

Blaster: https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/walkingdead/images/0/0c/Armedforces.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131116201742

Barter-Town: http://images.legalweek.com/images/IMG/277/144277/city-of-london-gherkin-finance.jpg

Mad-Max:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg/170px-Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg

http://madmaxmovies.com/mad-max/mad-max-cars/max-yellow-xb-interceptor-sedan/max-leaps-out-of-yellow-xb.jpg

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:34:56 PM | 30
Sure, it's tempting to think this:

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/130617135443-hassan-rowhani-0617-horizontal-gallery.jpg

https://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/ru.starwars/images/6/6e/Wicket_rotj.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080114192500

But we do know that Islamic Republic is a creature of the British. (Longstanding history between the worldly priests of Iran and the defunct British Empire. Read up.)

virgile | Jul 21, 2017 10:15:43 PM | 32
No one will regret McCain... The next in line should be Erdogan...
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 10:26:39 PM | 33
https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480 ">https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480">https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/FEHE4E_I5FM/hqdefault.jpg

Trully, who but the ignorant make war against ALLAH?

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 1:06:13 AM | 35
They throw a hissy fit Neocon madness: We can't have peace in Syria, that would be giving in to Russia!

This is huge. An absolute outrage. The first real Trump concession to Putin that undermines U.S. security directly. https://t.co/h9WR4brHHK
! Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 19, 2017
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

ghostship | Jul 23, 2017 6:03:50 AM | 62

OMG. the Washington Borg's house newspaper has woken up to Trump's surrender to Putin on Syria.
Trump's breathtaking surrender to Russia

But once again, President Trump, after extended personal contact with Vladimir Putin and the complete surrender to Russian interests in Syria, acts precisely as though he has been bought and sold by a strategic rival. The ignoble cutoff of aid to American proxies means that "Putin won in Syria," as an administration official was quoted by The Post.

Concessions without reciprocation, made against the better judgment of foreign policy advisers, smack more of payoff than outreach. If this is what Trump's version of "winning" looks like, what might further victory entail? The re- creation of the Warsaw Pact? The reversion of Alaska to Russian control?

Although this opinion article was posted a couple of days ago, there been no shitstorm near Trump about it since suggesting that Trump's one-man distraction/disinformation smokescreen is firing successfully on all cylinders.

Meanwhile, some in the US Army at least understand that once the battle to liquidate the ISIS Caliphate is other, they'll have problems remaining in Syria .

'We're bad day away from Russians asking, 'Why are you still in Syria?' – top US commander

A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely "have no ability to stay" if that presence is questioned "in terms of international law," Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist's question.


Although I'm sure that the State Department/Pentagon lawyers are looking for a reason to stay.
somebody | Jul 23, 2017 6:40:48 AM | 63
Posted by: nobody | Jul 22, 2017 11:08:41 PM | 61

Yep. Made in the USA .

By the time of Richard Nixon's arrival in office in January 1969, Iran was already America's single-largest arms purchaser. Whilst this is notable in and of itself, it is vastly overshadowed by what followed. By late 1972 Nixon leveraged U.S. Middle Eastern regional policy primarily around the focal point of a militarily strong, pro-American Iran.

Sounds familiar?

Iranian industrialization and westernization happened during the Shah. That is part of above story.

Same story in Saudi Arabia .

In Saudi Arabia, the 1960s, and especially the 1970s, had been years of explosive development, liberal experimentation, and openness to the West. A reversal of this trend came about abruptly in 1979, the year in which the Grand Mosque in Mecca came under attack by religiously motivated critics of the monarchy, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established.

My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union.

Same "reversal" from Atatürk happened in Turkey.

nobody | Jul 23, 2017 8:02:08 AM | 64
Posted by: somebody | Jul 23, 2017 6:40:48 AM | 63

" ... to restore the Shah's autocracy ..."

I'll get back to you on your OP but just wanted to note that little bit of misinformation from your first source.

The fact is that the young Shah was not an "autocrat" before 1953. Per his own claims he was watchful of the chaotic events in Iran but did not wish to overstep the constitutional bounds placed on the monarchy. Per other critical points of view, he was a playboy king who neglected his duties and was doing the Riviera chacha and living up the La Dolce Vita scene. A middle of the road view would summize that there was some truth to both points of view, but would add that he was in no position to assume "autocratic" rule.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autocrat

--

It is good to read others confirmation of my understanding about the sick tenets of our form of social organization.....private money and ongoing private ownership of property maintained by unfettered inheritance......It is not people that need to be eliminated but the tools that they use to exert power and control over the rest of us.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22, 2017 7:35:30 PM | 58

---

It is of critical importance for the Resistance to respect the integrity of the language you use to think and reason about the world.

somebody | Jul 23, 2017 9:29:18 AM | 65
64) It does not matter how small or great the Shah was, monarchy is not a viable option for modern governance.

Political Islam was and is supported by US geopolitical rationale .

Often overlooked in retelling the story of this particular Afghan war is the fact that the insurgency was pan-Islamic: there were eight Shi'i groups, trained and funded by Iran.
Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 9:42:27 AM | 66
nobody 50
About those "bizarre political fights." It sounds a lot like divide and conquer with all the fighters on the losing end expending themselves and resources while one group gets rich in the meantime. US MSM does not discuss the debt or what it really means or how to address it. During the Geithner/Bernanke protect the Fed tour, Geithner said it was most important that the US keep paying interest on the debt with no mention of paying the debt itself.
Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 9:51:59 AM | 67
nobody 61
Thanks for that link/story. I lived there from 70 to 72 as a young boy. Modernization vs the islamists vs student protests was going on. Even now there is a virtual divide of the capital north and south. My brother climbed Tochal (Tehran) and wanted to climb Demavand. During any religious holidy we were told to keep a very low profile and my father told me to avoid buildings with the black flag (with arabic writing) hanging. Shahanshah did good in spite of himself.
Peter AU. | Jul 23, 2017 10:03:12 AM | 68
took some time to dig up but, as noted earlier, any effort at industrialization by the Pahlavi Kings, was alway viewed as a threat by the West.

It was Reza Shah that built the first Iranian Railroad:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Iranian_Railway

http://www.k-en.com/gonagon/National_Geography_April_1921.pdf

Curtis | Jul 23, 2017 10:55:39 AM | 69
My family once traveled the route from Tehran to the Caspian that ran along the rail route for a while. Desert east of Tehran but once in the mountains it's very lush and green. There are lots of tunnels and switchbacks along the rail route.
Veresk Bridge

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

Austrian designed the bridge. But Germany was partners in the rail effort. The wiki version of the legend says the engineers were under the bridge for the first crossing. The legend we heard was that they rode the train across to prove its sturdiness.

[Jul 23, 2017] Dismantling McCains Disastrous Legacy Should Now Be Trumps Top Priority

Notable quotes:
"... Notice how quiet Lindsay Graham has been the last couple of weeks. ..."
"... Don't forget that Diane Feinstein, McCain's Democrat doppleganger is retiring in 2018. Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are gone. The generation of U.S. legislators that brought us this madness are being put out to pasture. Nancy Pelosi is in trouble as House Minority Leader. ..."
"... The fact is, that Senate rules as they stand with McCain, Graham, Corker and Rubio, require a two-thirds majority (including filibuster-proofing) to get anything fundamentally changed. There's still a lot of work to do, but the worst of the opposition to Trump and the people's desire to roll back our insane foreign policy is behind us, not in front of us. ..."
"... Make no mistake, the neocons will attempt to regroup. Arizona Governor Don Ducey is now the most important person in the U.S. as he will be the one to appoint McCain's replacement when that time comes. They will drag this out for as long as possible, holding McCain's seat open to continue stalling Trump's reform agenda. But both of these moves are rearguard actions rather than part of a counter-attack. ..."
"... like Old Shoe in the movie Wag the Dog, for one last kick at the anti-Russia can to enact legislation there is no coming back from. The hagiography of McCain began the moment the information was released. Everyone virtue-signaling their tails off to look sympathetic. But, the reality is most are scared of what happens next. ..."
"... Once McCain is officially done, appointing people just as bad as McCain to his influential seats on the Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committee will become the U.S. Deep State's top priority. The problem is, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now terminally wounded over his mishandling of Obamacare. So, McConnell will have little control over the process. He's looking back at what happened to John Boehner and seeing his future. McConnell tried to salvage his leadership with an Obamacare full repeal vote that failed. The Blame in Ukraine Falls Mainly on McCain. But, for right now, Trump has an opportunity to ignore the full-court Russia-gate press being put on by his opposition to make substantive foreign policy moves that don't involve antagonizing Russia. He can start in Ukraine. It's time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open up talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Ukraine. Now that Zakharchenko in Donetsk has given everyone a way to implement a real solution to McCain's mess without having to look like they backed down over Minsk II and easing Russian sanctions. ..."
"... Merkel can save face by throwing Poroshenko under the bus and admitting Malorussia is a viable alternative to Minsk. Because with McCain gone, the EU now owns the mess in Ukraine because Trump is not interested in funding it any further. ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | russia-insider.com

McCain's Hate Talk Express to Hell

With him gone the driving force is gone as well. Many who stood with McCain on these issues did so because Washington is the ultimate 'go along to get along' kind of place. And few, if any, in the Senate have his drive to continue the work. Notice how quiet Lindsay Graham has been the last couple of weeks.

Many will see the writing on the wall and kiss the ring of President Trump to avoid a primary challenge in the spring.

And some will see this as a great opportunity to retire now that the status quo has shifted. Don't forget that Diane Feinstein, McCain's Democrat doppleganger is retiring in 2018. Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer are gone. The generation of U.S. legislators that brought us this madness are being put out to pasture. Nancy Pelosi is in trouble as House Minority Leader.

Do you really think many Democrats and RINOs have the will to fight now that their GOP Trojan Horse is on chemo?

The fact is, that Senate rules as they stand with McCain, Graham, Corker and Rubio, require a two-thirds majority (including filibuster-proofing) to get anything fundamentally changed. There's still a lot of work to do, but the worst of the opposition to Trump and the people's desire to roll back our insane foreign policy is behind us, not in front of us.

He's a McCainiac!

Make no mistake, the neocons will attempt to regroup. Arizona Governor Don Ducey is now the most important person in the U.S. as he will be the one to appoint McCain's replacement when that time comes. They will drag this out for as long as possible, holding McCain's seat open to continue stalling Trump's reform agenda. But both of these moves are rearguard actions rather than part of a counter-attack.

My biggest fear is that they drag him out, wheelchair-bound, like Old Shoe in the movie Wag the Dog, for one last kick at the anti-Russia can to enact legislation there is no coming back from. The hagiography of McCain began the moment the information was released. Everyone virtue-signaling their tails off to look sympathetic. But, the reality is most are scared of what happens next.

Once McCain is officially done, appointing people just as bad as McCain to his influential seats on the Armed Forces and Foreign Relations Committee will become the U.S. Deep State's top priority.

The problem is, however, that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now terminally wounded over his mishandling of Obamacare. So, McConnell will have little control over the process. He's looking back at what happened to John Boehner and seeing his future. McConnell tried to salvage his leadership with an Obamacare full repeal vote that failed.

The Blame in Ukraine Falls Mainly on McCain. But, for right now, Trump has an opportunity to ignore the full-court Russia-gate press being put on by his opposition to make substantive foreign policy moves that don't involve antagonizing Russia.

He can start in Ukraine. It's time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to open up talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Ukraine. Now that Zakharchenko in Donetsk has given everyone a way to implement a real solution to McCain's mess without having to look like they backed down over Minsk II and easing Russian sanctions.

Merkel can save face by throwing Poroshenko under the bus and admitting Malorussia is a viable alternative to Minsk. Because with McCain gone, the EU now owns the mess in Ukraine because Trump is not interested in funding it any further.

That paves the way for what her foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel talked about earlier in the week, ending sanctions gradually and abandoning Minsk II as a pre-requisite for talks.

And that is John McCain's biggest legacy, one where ideology was more important than discussion. He stifled U.S. diplomacy to such a degree in recent years that it pushed us to the brink of war with nuclear-armed superpowers.

[Jul 22, 2017] The collapse of the Eastern bloc had much to do with encouragement of consumerism and the increasing focus on consumer goods that the communist system was woefully unable to produce doomed the system

Notable quotes:
"... All of these works emphasize what was in fact the close integration in many ways of the capitalist and communist worlds. In the 1930s it was the crisis of capitalism that largely helped to preserve the appeal of communism even as it was largely American firms that were being contracted to build socialist factories and import equipment. In the later postwar years the price of oil was critical to understanding some of the early successes and later extreme difficulties of the Soviet and Eastern bloc economy. ..."
Jul 22, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

etnograf , July 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

Outis, thanks for raising all of these issues for public discussion. There is no question that a solid historical consideration of the communist experience in the 20th century is critical to how we think about Marxism and many other leftist ideas and it a decidedly fraught terrain where greater nuance is desperately needed.

I am surprised that you don't mention more recent historical scholarship on the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries, however. In your brief note on what you are currently reading it seems that nearly all of the works are more than a half-century old. While such dustier tomes are often invaluable, none of them benefited from the archival access, oral histories, and other sources that have become much more widely available in the last 25 years. There was certainly a lot of dogmatic work that came out in the years after communism fell–something like Fukuyama's The End of History comes to mind as a quintessential example of that–but there were also many serious scholars who did not necessarily have a strong ax to grind for or against communism, historical or otherwise.

For example, I find the historian Stephen Kotkin's work to be quite nuanced without taking a strong ideological stance. Originally a scholar of Stalinism who wrote on the construction of a major steel plant in the Urals (Magnetic Mountain, 1995), he went on to also write books on the collapse of the Soviet Union (Armageddon Averted) and the Eastern European bloc (Uncivil Society). He has a new biography of Stalin coming out in phases, though I haven't read it yet.

All of these works emphasize what was in fact the close integration in many ways of the capitalist and communist worlds. In the 1930s it was the crisis of capitalism that largely helped to preserve the appeal of communism even as it was largely American firms that were being contracted to build socialist factories and import equipment. In the later postwar years the price of oil was critical to understanding some of the early successes and later extreme difficulties of the Soviet and Eastern bloc economy.

The collapse of the Eastern bloc had much to do with the comparison that socialism itself encouraged people to make with capitalism by an increasing focus on consumer goods that the communist system was woefully unable to produce.

All of this is by way of saying that the good historical work out there does not try to see the communism of the 20th century as some kind of pure or corrupted manifestation of any ideological system but, like every other kind of political upheaval, a complicated venture that was inseparable from its many contexts – chief among them its place in a world global economic system and its self-definition vis-a-vis the actually existing capitalism of its time. Susan Buck-Morss makes some of these points in her book Dreamworld and Catastrophe on the similarities between the U.S. and USSR.

In any case, I hope my brief thoughts might help move the discussion of the minefield of historical communism more firmly onto the terrain of actual history.

[Jul 22, 2017] USSR collapse and the evils of Yeltsin regime

Notable quotes:
"... After the processes of industrialization and urbanization had completely, there was nowhere for the economy to go, and the low growth combined with the ossification of bureacratic structures and the entrenchment of the World War II generation in power meant a lack of job opportunities. All of this contributed to the malaise that killed productivity and increased alcoholism, creating a self-feedback loop. Yeltsin and his cronies calculated that if the USSR transitioned to a capitalist economy, they stood to make a lot of money, so they met in secret and agreed to its dissolution. The public wanted reform, but they didn't want full-blown capitalism, certainly not of the variety Russia saw in the 90's. ..."
"... Especially considering the fact that Marx was arguably the greatest thinker of the modern era and his contributions were not at all limited to the 'isms' that people fought for in his name, I think a much better topic for a post would have been "common Cold War misconceptions about Russia and Marxism." ..."
Jul 22, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

John , July 22, 2017 at 4:47 am

I would rather live in Cuba than in Haiti, and the country's economic performance is all the more impressive considering the economic warfare wrought upon it by the US.

48% of Russians regret the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the second largest political party in Russia after Putin's is the Communist Party (article from The Nation circa 2012). And this isn't a political party claiming to bring about a new socialist society but rather one that promises to bring back the communism of the Brezhnev era.

Russia was a backwards country at the beginning of World War I and saw its industry annihilated by the war. The peace treaty ceded its industrial heartlands, and then it was ripped apart by the civil war of the 1920's. But this didn't compare to World War II, which wiped out an entire generation of Russians.

Yet within 12 years of the war's end, they were the first to put an object into space, and four years later they were the first to put a human into orbit. They Americans, who had been unscathed by the war, were blessed with nearly unlimited natural resources and had the most powerful economy and military in in history, saw their attempt blow up on the launchpad.

At this time in America, people actually thought socialism might win out. The Soviets certainly thought so. In the first two decades after World War II, their economy was probably the fastest growing in history. They were so confident that their system was superior that they assumed they could beat the American capitalists in every way, including providing the general populace with consumer goods. This promise, made during the "Kitchen Debates" and throughout the 60's and 70's, when the government officially embraced consumerism, was a horrible miscalculation that eventually contributed greatly to the public's discontent with the regime.

After the processes of industrialization and urbanization had completely, there was nowhere for the economy to go, and the low growth combined with the ossification of bureacratic structures and the entrenchment of the World War II generation in power meant a lack of job opportunities. All of this contributed to the malaise that killed productivity and increased alcoholism, creating a self-feedback loop. Yeltsin and his cronies calculated that if the USSR transitioned to a capitalist economy, they stood to make a lot of money, so they met in secret and agreed to its dissolution. The public wanted reform, but they didn't want full-blown capitalism, certainly not of the variety Russia saw in the 90's.

Especially considering the fact that Marx was arguably the greatest thinker of the modern era and his contributions were not at all limited to the 'isms' that people fought for in his name, I think a much better topic for a post would have been "common Cold War misconceptions about Russia and Marxism."

This is supposed to be a heterodox economics blog but it's always from the Keynesian perspective and never from the Marxist. Considering Keynes's thoughts on the Labour Party, for one, I think more perspectives are needed in informing discussion on how to approach questions of social justice. Marxian economists predicted the crisis just as well as the Keynesians. Let's listen.

[Jul 22, 2017] Robbery in broad daylight

Notable quotes:
"... On Tuesday, frustrated by the failure of a meeting the day before in Washington to make any headway on the matter, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blunt statement . In it, the ministry warned that "if Washington does not address this and other concerns, including persistent efforts to hinder the operation of Russia's diplomatic missions, Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity." ..."
"... Sergey V. Lavrov, the foreign minister, said any American preconditions for the return of the diplomatic property were unacceptable. Mr. Lavrov was asked at a news conference on Monday in Minsk, Belarus, about statements emanating from Washington that the compounds should not be handed back without getting something in return. Mr. Lavrov called the seizure "robbery in broad daylight" and said Russian control over the property was enshrined in a bilateral treaty. He blamed the continuing standoff, as Russian officials often do, on "Russophobia" in Washington that he hoped would eventually wane. ..."
"... Mr. Lavrov said he was sure there must be "sensible people" in the Trump administration who would realize that the seizure of the compounds and the expulsion of the diplomats were a last-ditch attempt by the Obama administration to destroy relations in a manner that the Trump administration would find difficult to fix. ..."
Jul 22, 2017 | www.msn.com

Orginally from NYT: Russia Issues New Threats in Dispute Over Diplomatic Compounds by ANDREW E. KRAMER

© Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency A 45-acre Russian diplomatic compound near Centreville, Md., that was seized in December 2016.

After President Trump's victory in November, Michael T. Flynn, who went on to become the national security adviser for 24 days , prevailed upon President Vladimir V. Putin to refrain from retaliating , with the promise that United States policy toward Russia would be far more accommodating under a Trump administration.

Mr. Trump, at the time president-elect, praised Mr. Putin's restraint, posting on Twitter , "Great move on delay" and "I always knew he was very smart!"

But with nothing to show for the delay so far, Russian officials have been issuing repeated statements that their patience is wearing thin.

Russia began focusing attention on the two seized compounds in the lead up to the first meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7.

Both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry mentioned them frequently, hinting that the diplomatic retreats were perhaps something Mr. Trump could easily deliver as a friendly gesture for the first meeting. Mr. Putin did raise the issue with the American president, according to Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman.

But with Trump associates under investigation for ties with the Russians, the president is hesitant to send any signals of weakness. So it did not happen then, either. Since that meeting, the official tone has turned more belligerent, with Russia threatening to expel American diplomats to match the 35 Russian diplomatic staff members kicked out of the United States at the same time that the two compounds were seized.

On Tuesday, frustrated by the failure of a meeting the day before in Washington to make any headway on the matter, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a blunt statement . In it, the ministry warned that "if Washington does not address this and other concerns, including persistent efforts to hinder the operation of Russia's diplomatic missions, Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity."

The deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told the news agency Interfax on Tuesday, "The fact that this issue hasn't been settled actually poisons the atmosphere and makes a lot of things extremely complicated."

Mr. Ryabkov and the United States under secretary of state, Thomas A. Shannon, discussed the property in talks in Washington on Monday.

Sergey V. Lavrov, the foreign minister, said any American preconditions for the return of the diplomatic property were unacceptable. Mr. Lavrov was asked at a news conference on Monday in Minsk, Belarus, about statements emanating from Washington that the compounds should not be handed back without getting something in return. Mr. Lavrov called the seizure "robbery in broad daylight" and said Russian control over the property was enshrined in a bilateral treaty. He blamed the continuing standoff, as Russian officials often do, on "Russophobia" in Washington that he hoped would eventually wane.

Mr. Lavrov said he was sure there must be "sensible people" in the Trump administration who would realize that the seizure of the compounds and the expulsion of the diplomats were a last-ditch attempt by the Obama administration to destroy relations in a manner that the Trump administration would find difficult to fix.

And on Tuesday, Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said in a conference call with journalists that "our patience is still running out."

[Jul 22, 2017] Trumps Warsaw Speech and the Real Clash of Civilizations by Steven Yates

Notable quotes:
"... The recently-deceased Mr. Rockefeller, whose elders turned to banking seeing in it a source of lucre far greater than what had been available in oil, who resided at the helm of Chase Bank, and chaired the Council on Foreign Relations for many years, had the wealth and contacts necessary to pursue a purposeful agenda beyond the needs of mere international trade. It is said he had a rolodex containing over 10,000 names. ..."
"... But globalism as an ideology long predates today's advanced technology. It has been around for close to 250 years ! at least since the five scions of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 – 1812) were directed to found banks in four of the biggest cities in Europe (the fifth remaining in Frankfurt-am-Main ), all remaining in communication with Dad and with each other. ..."
"... "Give me control of a nation's currency," Mayer Amschel is alleged to have said, "and I care not who makes the laws." Kings and other political figures who in one way or another crossed a Rothschild found themselves in one of many (fomented) regional wars of nineteenth century Europe. ..."
"... Globalism piggybacked on the relative success of the mixed economy that grew out of the New Deal, post-war Keynesianism, and the understandable desire to avoid another world war. The idea of a mixed economy (private and public, profit-driven enterprises encircled by and sometimes assisted by politically-created regulations, are what is "mixed," after all) returns us to political economy , which is what Adam Smith and other classical writers considered their subject to be. There was no such thing, in other words, as nontrivial "economic law," comparable to physics, abstracted from political and related considerations particular to time and place. ..."
"... Globalist machinations have empowered a superelite ! whose members move capital across borders and cut deals that affect the lives of millions of people as easily as we cross the room. Their nemeses include the distrustful national footdraggers who loused up the Doha Round and "populists" like Trump who roused the rabble against, e.g., NAFTA and the (now dead) TPP, and who question the wisdom of open borders policies which, arguably, have caused chaos all across Europe ! outside the protected enclaves of EU banking titans and globalists such as Angela Merkel. ..."
"... Globalist political economy has left people behind, because in the globalist worldview, people are as disposable as cheaply made Chinese products. ..."
"... Mishra's key observation (my way of putting it): globalization created expectations around the world that have been thwarted by globalist reality : impoverishment of former middle classes; chronic instability; incompatible cultures thrown into involuntary contact, some of them refugees of wars of choice; and a loss of autonomy for all involved, amidst a massive and growing consolidation of wealth at the top. ..."
"... The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists . What I have in mind here incorporates nationalists and those who want still smaller forms of governance, because for them the nation-state is too large. ..."
"... Globalists want to dominate the world by dominating its financial systems and, through those, its political economy ! visible politicians being vetted and controlled, and a "mainstream" media owned by their corporations. They want a mass consumption monoculture, cultural differences being cosmetic rather than substantive. Education must be tailored to this, and not toward graduating students with thinking skills apart from the mass. ..."
"... Globalists sing the praises of "democratic capitalism," but there is no reason to believe their vision has anything to do with either democracy, conceived as a political system answering to its people, or free markets. For under the mixed economy it became a given that markets needed regulating if only to improve the health and safety of an often-uninformed public (unless you really believe, e.g., that cigarette manufacturers would put warning labels on their products voluntarily, this being just one example). It was then just one step to global markets needing regulators with global reach, and other global problems (e.g., alleged man-made climate change) requiring coordinated global solutions. "Free trade" has evolved considerably since Ricardo schooled us about comparative advantage. It is now freedom for billionaires to do as they please, often at the expense of the livelihoods of millions! ..."
"... Opposing globalism openly is risky in any event. An academic who defended economic nationalism would likely be forced from his job in the present environment. Independent commentators may have the Internet but can forget about being published in well-paying markets. ..."
"... Trump's campaign was self-funded, and this was one source of his appeal. His present travails are proof of how hard it is to oppose globalism even in one of the world's most powerful offices. ..."
"... The "swamp" is proving deeper, wider, and more venomous than I think he imagined in his worst nightmares! ..."
"... By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America. The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general. ..."
"... As Socrates observed, many people who claimed to know about some particular thing erred–committed "original sin" in the Greek, not Old Testament sense–when they generalized, on the basis of their limited knowledge, and thinking that they knew a lot about a lot, talked authoritatively about that with which they were not familiar. ..."
Jul 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

The attacks came at once, as if on cue. Consider Eugene Robinson's op-ed in the ever-reliably Trump-hating Washington Post . Robinson asked snarkily, "Triumph over whom?"

Let's treat this as a fair question. Over ISIS? North Korea? Russia? Those being the villains of the moment, they are easy to single out. Trump did not name the real enemy in this speech: globalism (he did say, in his acceptance speech , "Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo!"). Despite struggling with allegations (still with the flimsiest of evidential support) that Russia interfered with the 2016 election and that his campaign staff now including his son Don Jr. colluded with them, Trump is still seen as a major threat to globalist interests.

As I use the term, globalism is not the same thing as globalization . In many respects, globalization goes back millennia. It emerged with explorers of ancient times wanting to know what was over the horizon, and who lived there. In modern times it involves advances in technology, especially communications, that facilitate cross-border trade. None of these need erase national borders or a people's cultural identity; through consciousness of differences it might even enhance them. Globalism is a more specific ideology holding that economies should integrate, that borders should be dissolved, culture is irrelevant, and that peoples can be moved around like chess pieces "reinventing themselves," merged into a monoculture of mass consumption and disposability. The process needs transnational regulation and so must culminate in a world state, de facto or de jure , with a single global currency ! digital rather than physical, so that all transactions can be recorded and monitored (even those involving cryptos!)

The global system would be ruled by an elite superclass (in my book Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic I call this entity the superelite to distinguish it from more visible national elites) overseeing a hierarchy of administrators and technocrats. This superclass already controls most of the world's wealth. The "developed" world is easily four fifths of the way to this kind of system, referred to as the "liberal order" or the "international order" or with some similar euphemism. The Brexiteers, Donald Trumps, Geert Wilders, and Marine Le Pens of the world are dragging their feet. The first two of these succeeded ! at least for the moment. The latter lost major elections, placing their causes on hold.

Does globalism actually exist as I describe it, or is it a " conspiracy theory "? Let's consult two architects of globalist thought. Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in his 1970 book Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era (p. 56-62 of 1970 ed.):

The nation-state as a fundamental unit of man's organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state .

A global human conscience is for the first time beginning to manifest itself . Today we are witnessing the emergence of transnational elites composed of international businessmen, scholars, professional men, and public officials. The ties of these new elites cut across national boundaries, their perspectives are not confined by national traditions, and their interests are more functional than national. These global communities are gaining in strength and it is likely that before long the social elites of most of the more advanced countries will be highly internationalist or globalist in spirit and outlook

The new global consciousness, however, is only beginning to become an influential force. It still lacks identity, cohesion, and focus. Much of humanity ! indeed, the majority of humanity ! still neither shares nor is prepared to support it. Science and technology are still used to buttress ideological claims, to fortify national aspirations, and to reward narrowly national interests . The new global unity has yet to find its own structure, consensus, and harmony.

David Rockefeller Sr. read the above, contacted the author, and with Henry Kissinger they organized the Trilateral Commission to address the problem identified in the final paragraph. Rockefeller was quoted two decades later telling a Bilderberg assembly (June 1991):

"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries."

This is probably the most famous David Rockefeller quote. There's no hard proof he actually said it, though. He might have said it. We don't know. What it says is not foreign to his thinking. He did assert the following, in his Memoirs (2002, pp. 404-05), in the context of a riposte against "populists," and this time there is no doubt:

For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure ! one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.

The recently-deceased Mr. Rockefeller, whose elders turned to banking seeing in it a source of lucre far greater than what had been available in oil, who resided at the helm of Chase Bank, and chaired the Council on Foreign Relations for many years, had the wealth and contacts necessary to pursue a purposeful agenda beyond the needs of mere international trade. It is said he had a rolodex containing over 10,000 names.

We can thus rest our case that globalism is a real phenomenon. Is it a conspiracy? Conspiracies, by definition, are hidden from you. As two of the above statements indicate, its leaders have hardly been hiding. Perhaps the reading public can be faulted for preferring glitzy bestsellers to books about reality.

The question before us: what is the alternative to it? One can almost hear the chorus: There Is No Alternative . Writers such as Robinson above are very good at invoking "economic theory" against "populism." He had previously said: "The speech Trump delivered had nothing useful to say about today's interconnected world in which goods, people and ideas have contempt for borders." He elaborated: "Industrial supply chains cross borders and span oceans. Words and images flash around the globe at the speed of light. Global issues, such as nuclear proliferation and climate change, demand global solutions. Like it or not, we are all in this together."

In this case, who laid down those supply chains, and why must they invite "contempt for borders"? Are these aspects of a natural, deterministic dynamic that a technologically advancing, creative-destruction driven civilization is bound to follow? It is easy to argue that there is such a dynamic, in which case globalists are being carried along with the rest of us and are identifiable only because they are smarter than we mere mortals and therefore more conscious of the process than we are ! not to mention better situated to profit from it.

But globalism as an ideology long predates today's advanced technology. It has been around for close to 250 years ! at least since the five scions of Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744 – 1812) were directed to found banks in four of the biggest cities in Europe (the fifth remaining in Frankfurt-am-Main ), all remaining in communication with Dad and with each other. The coldly talented Nathan established himself as a dominant player in the City of London and succeeded his father as family patriarch as he built up N.M. Rothschild & Sons; his eldest son Lionel would succeed him. What ensued was not merely amassing wealth but accruing power, the power of private banking, international moneylending, and investment. "Give me control of a nation's currency," Mayer Amschel is alleged to have said, "and I care not who makes the laws." Kings and other political figures who in one way or another crossed a Rothschild found themselves in one of many (fomented) regional wars of nineteenth century Europe.

There is a longstanding debate over what drives history: material forces (economic ones, blood ties, etc.) or ideas and worldviews (e.g., Christianity ! or Judaism ! or materialism). I hold out for the latter, because most material forces of modern times would not exist without men of power putting them in place guided by an idea or worldview (and materialism is a worldview, not a fact established by any science).

Globalism piggybacked on the relative success of the mixed economy that grew out of the New Deal, post-war Keynesianism, and the understandable desire to avoid another world war. The idea of a mixed economy (private and public, profit-driven enterprises encircled by and sometimes assisted by politically-created regulations, are what is "mixed," after all) returns us to political economy , which is what Adam Smith and other classical writers considered their subject to be. There was no such thing, in other words, as nontrivial "economic law," comparable to physics, abstracted from political and related considerations particular to time and place.

But the mixed economy has been a mixed blessing. It created prosperity and the largest middle class the world had ever seen, but had numerous costs. One was that individuals, including those in that middle class, became increasingly dependent on its systems. This is a separate article; for now we will just observe that these systems, which over a period lasting more than a century intertwined the political economy of the changing workplace with advancing technology, mass media culture, and family dynamics, diminished real individual freedoms as people were encircled by its effects and its products ! their lives made less and less convenient if they did not cooperate and consume. Brzezinski foresaw the culmination of these changes:

Another threat confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under surveillance and control (pp. 252-53).

There can be no doubt this has happened. Globalist machinations have empowered a superelite ! whose members move capital across borders and cut deals that affect the lives of millions of people as easily as we cross the room. Their nemeses include the distrustful national footdraggers who loused up the Doha Round and "populists" like Trump who roused the rabble against, e.g., NAFTA and the (now dead) TPP, and who question the wisdom of open borders policies which, arguably, have caused chaos all across Europe ! outside the protected enclaves of EU banking titans and globalists such as Angela Merkel.

Globalist political economy has left people behind, because in the globalist worldview, people are as disposable as cheaply made Chinese products. Those left behind now have voices of various stripes across the ideological spectrum ! people like Trump and Le Pen on the right, Bernie Sanders on the left, and writers such as Pankaj Mishra who aren't easily classifiable but whose Age of Anger: A History of the Present is, in my humble opinion, a must read. Mishra's key observation (my way of putting it): globalization created expectations around the world that have been thwarted by globalist reality : impoverishment of former middle classes; chronic instability; incompatible cultures thrown into involuntary contact, some of them refugees of wars of choice; and a loss of autonomy for all involved, amidst a massive and growing consolidation of wealth at the top.

The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists . What I have in mind here incorporates nationalists and those who want still smaller forms of governance, because for them the nation-state is too large.

Globalists want to dominate the world by dominating its financial systems and, through those, its political economy ! visible politicians being vetted and controlled, and a "mainstream" media owned by their corporations. They want a mass consumption monoculture, cultural differences being cosmetic rather than substantive. Education must be tailored to this, and not toward graduating students with thinking skills apart from the mass.

Localists want autonomy: freedom from encircling forces they had no say in and no control over, whether created by "free trade" deals or open borders policies they did not sign off on. They want control over their lives, families, communities, economies, and nations.

Globalists sing the praises of "democratic capitalism," but there is no reason to believe their vision has anything to do with either democracy, conceived as a political system answering to its people, or free markets. For under the mixed economy it became a given that markets needed regulating if only to improve the health and safety of an often-uninformed public (unless you really believe, e.g., that cigarette manufacturers would put warning labels on their products voluntarily, this being just one example). It was then just one step to global markets needing regulators with global reach, and other global problems (e.g., alleged man-made climate change) requiring coordinated global solutions. "Free trade" has evolved considerably since Ricardo schooled us about comparative advantage. It is now freedom for billionaires to do as they please, often at the expense of the livelihoods of millions!

The globalists world state would answer primarily to their corporations because the latter have the money, having profited from those global supply lines and from having moved operations to where labor is cheapest ! before, that is, labor is replaced altogether by technology and thrown to the wolves.

The problem is again, many of these groups want nothing to do with one another. Readers of this essay may be antiglobalists but want nothing to do with most of them. Some are not even aware of others. This lack of any semblance of unity does not bode well for any strategy of opposition.

Opposing globalism openly is risky in any event. An academic who defended economic nationalism would likely be forced from his job in the present environment. Independent commentators may have the Internet but can forget about being published in well-paying markets. Candidates for public office who speak openly of globalism being an enemy of freedom in America can forget about being able to raise the money and gain the visibility necessary to run credible campaigns. Funding sources tend to be wired into globalist interests. They would not be where they are otherwise. As for visible figures who don't need the money, e.g., Trump, if his enemies should succeed in taking him down, whether via substanceless Russia allegations or by some other ploy, we might see how risky! We might see whether Trump's election was more than a speed bump on the road towards a global state. Things are getting late, after all! Were this a baseball game, we'd be starting the ninth inning!

Trump's campaign was self-funded, and this was one source of his appeal. His present travails are proof of how hard it is to oppose globalism even in one of the world's most powerful offices.

The "swamp" is proving deeper, wider, and more venomous than I think he imagined in his worst nightmares!

... ... ... ...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Yates is a writer with a Ph.D. in philosophy. He is the author of the books Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (1994), Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011), approximately two dozen articles and reviews in academic journals and anthologies, and over a hundred articles of online commentary, especially on NewsWithViews.com . Dr. Yates taught philosophy at several colleges and universities in the Southeast. In 2012 he moved from South Carolina to Santiago, Chile, where he has taught periodically at two universities there, as well as having involved himself in teaching English and operating a small editing business, Final Draft Editing Service . He is married to a Chilean, and at present writes almost full time. He blogs about philosophy and the foibles of academia at Lost Generation Philosopher .

Priss Factor > , Website July 22, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

Molyneux gets really passionate.

He(Yates) blogs about philosophy and the foibles of academia at Lost Generation Philosopher.

His Patreon donation page is here. Is Patreon reliable? Not to Lauren Southern. Speaking of endangering lives, it is globalist wars and the open borders policy that are leading to killings, rapes, violence, but never mind. Patreon is just a globalist corporation.

jilles dykstra > , July 22, 2017 at 6:20 am GMT

" The real 'clash of civilizations' is thus between incompatible visions of the future of civilization: between that of globalists and those I will call localists. "

This clash now is quite visible over new Polish legislation.
A new law creates democratic control over the nomination of judges, something the USA has for high court judges since the USA exists.
But Brussels opposes this, threatens with taking away Poland's voting right in EU decisions, stopping EU subsidies to Poland.

A similar clash is over Hungary, the country has enough of Soros' propaganda university.
But Soros visited Juncker and Tusk, Hungary was put under pressure, and now I'm not sure if Soros' institutions will be expelled or not.

Then there is the clash over immigration, the orthodox catholic E European countries refuse Muslim migrants.

And of course we see this clash over Brexit, the EU is of the opinion that the European High Court after Brexit still has jurisdiction in GB.
Brussels does not see that the Anglican Church was created to stop the pope interfering in British affairs.

utu > , July 22, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Rockefeller was quoted two decades later

Who quoted him and where? Or should I ask who made up this quote?

Wizard of Oz > , July 22, 2017 at 8:43 am GMT

Excuse me not having taken time to finish reading your article before responding to the stimulus of your (apprpriately) distinguishing globalisation and globalism. As one who generally supports the standard argùments for free trade despite also wanting to do a quality check on immigrants to my proserous and fairly law abiding country I would be pleased to see a study of the problems of small countries and what ordering of the world could and should mitigate them.

Establlished small countries seem to be OK. But what about the Greeces? Especially, what about an African small country possibly with only one major mineral deposit as a source of wealth and inevitable volatity in its commodity's price?

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

The super-elite are rapidly losing their grip on the hearts & minds of the populace. This will accelerate as they move to implement more coercive measures (already happening) so it's only a matter of time before some mass-depopulation program becomes desirable.

Hopefully, we'll stop them before that happens.

Charles Vok > , July 22, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

(((Globalists))

Jason Liu > , July 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America. The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general.

cliff arroyo > , Website July 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

I live in Poland and the story with the legislation is different and a bit more complex.The problem is that it's basically putting judges under direct political control of the ruling party with no checks and balances in their choice or dismissal. Lots of people would be in favor of some reform of the judiciary which is fairly terrible but this is an obvious power grab (the government would also appoint those in charge of verifying elections).

Scuttlebut is that the purpose is to trump up legal charges against opposition candidates to keep them out of future elections.

ThreeCranes > , July 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

Wandering Jews have long been labeled "rootless cosmopolitans". Their culture is an adaption to their lifestyle, is this lifestyle. (Largely Jewish) Globalists take a model that works in the particular case of the Jewish people and try to generalize it to apply to the whole world. But what works as an exception is made possible by the existence of the base upon which it rests. The rule that governs the exception cannot in and of itself build or sustain the foundation upon which the exception rests.

Humans are personal animals who need an intimate connection with their environs and other people. A mathematic model based on the economic principles of banking cannot be the base upon which human societies are created.

As Socrates observed, many people who claimed to know about some particular thing erred–committed "original sin" in the Greek, not Old Testament sense–when they generalized, on the basis of their limited knowledge, and thinking that they knew a lot about a lot, talked authoritatively about that with which they were not familiar.

Bankers are ill equipped to construct the Ideal Society.

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny You're wrong. The US (and the EU) is fully controlled by the supranational globalists. At least it was until Trump but that battle is still to be decided. The EU was not created to make the member nations stronger – it was designed to remove the sovereignty from the populace while they're being genocided. Open your eyes.

Anonymous > , July 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm GMT

The idea of globalism is much older. The ottoman empire was an example of globalism. The mongol empire before that, was globalism. Heck even the roman empire was globalistic in a way. Globalistic forces have always existed alongside localistic forces. And it was a form of globalism (colonialisation) that also helped make the west wealthy. It is also globalism that helped make the united states a super-power by helping its dollar become the global reserve currency.

Thats globalism right there.

But localism is also important because sometimes leaders of countries know whats best for their people better than some foreign person. Even if the foreign-persons have good intentions, they may not 'get it right' as native born leaders do. A lot of people in the world might not have achieved the living standards they have now ..if it was not for the development of 'nation-states' in the first place.

So i think a 'balance' of globalism and localism is better over one or the other.

Ace > , July 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm GMT

@Jason Liu By a long shot, globalist ideology is driven by western nations, especially America.

The west needs moral and philosophical reformations, new ways of thinking that respect identity without the paranoid screeching about bigotry. The alt-right, with its pure focus on whiteness, is not going to be able to do this. It takes a broader vision to create and propagate new ideologies that can be applied to society in general. Every minority pressure group out there is a reliable source of virulent anti-white hatred.

Diversity did not have to be but those who brought it about were unwise. The idea that America should be anything other than a white majority nation is absurd. Hosannas issue when hostile minorities and unassimilable foreigners talk about ethnic and racial interests but whites are just supposed to fade gracefully to khaki. And shut up about it. Reassert ourselves? The horror.

Economic collapse will flush a lot of stupidity from the system. It will be a giant game of 52 Pick Up but better chaos soon than certain degradation later.

[Jul 21, 2017] As far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes it was the choice by significant sections of the Soviet elite to engage in looting instead of developing a transitional program that would protect viable sections of the Soviet economy under "market socialism"

Notable quotes:
"... society in the process of formation ..."
"... What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

hemeantwell , July 21, 2017 at 10:58 am

While I respect the author for raising this topic, he seems to fall into "assessment of the Soviet Experiment" mode in a careless way. I realize I tend to repetition about this, but it is terribly misleading ! perhaps "disorienting" would be a better term ! to discuss theses questions without any reference to the tremendous impact external pressures ! call it "intersystemic conflict," "international conflict," whatever ! had on the course of the Soviet Union's development. While it could be argued that capitalist economies also faced external pressures, that would miss the question of how such pressures impact on a society in the process of formation . We're talking about questions of constrained path dependence of a fundamental order that the experimentalist mode of thinking misses. Etc, etc.

Then, as far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes, there's no mention about the choice by significant sections of the Soviet elite to engage in looting instead of developing a transitional program that would protect viable sections of the Soviet economy under market socialism. What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves.

While it is essential to try to determine the viability of alternative economic systems in comparison what we've got now, doing so without taking into account the tremendously destructive opposition a transition would face is, in a way, to blithely continue on in a "Soviet Experiment" mentality. It's obvious that people can enjoyably engage in cooperative behavior, but if they can do so under a barrage is another matter. The one thing that we can be certain of is that if capitalist elites aren't thoroughly demoralized they will do whatever they can to 'prove' TINA.

Outis Philalithopoulos Post author , July 21, 2017 at 1:06 pm

I was a little confused by this comment. I'm not opposed to looking at the impact of external pressures, but I am opposed to treating them as monocausal.

Your preferred pattern of historical explanation shifts during the course of your comment. When discussing the USSR in the process of formation, you concentrate on bringing out external pressures and therefore considering the choices of the leadership as highly constrained. When discussing the collapse of the Soviet Union, you instead stress the choices of the leadership elite to "seize an opportunity to enrich themselves."

I'm not even sure why you would assume that your thesis about the elite choosing to engage in looting is opposed to anything that I'm saying.

I agree with you on is that it is possible to think both about what a self-sustaining better society might look like, and also the extent to which it's hard to get there within the constraints of current power structures. They are not the same question, and I think both are worth pondering.

likbez , July 21, 2017 at 11:16 pm
hemeantwell,

Very good points:

"Then, as far as the "collapse of the Soviet Union" goes, there's no mention about the choice by significant sections of the Soviet elite to engage in looting instead of developing a transitional program that would protect viable sections of the Soviet economy under market socialism.

What from the standpoint of the Times editorial board looks like a necessary start-over was in fact a sloppily-carried decision, or merely an unintended outcome, of a section of the elite seizing an opportunity to enrich themselves. "

West had spent several billion dollars in cash to bribe significant portions of the Soviet elite (Soros, via his foundation, was especially active). And large part of the elite war already poisoned by neoliberalism and wanted to become rich. So while pre-conditions for the collapse of the USSR were internal (communist ideology was actually discredited in early 70th; economic stagnation started around the4 same time, Communist Party leadership completely degraded and became a joke in 80th ), external pressures and subversive activity played the role of catalyst that make the process irreversible.

The fact that neoliberalism was rising at the time means that this was the worst possible time for the USSR to implement drastic economic reforms and sure mediocre politicians like Gorbachev quickly lost control of the process. With some important help of the West.

The subsequent economic rape of Russia was incredibly brutal and most probably well coordinated by the famous three letter agencies: CIA (via USAID and "Harvard mafia") ), MI6 and their German and French counterparts. See

Brain drain, especially to the USA and Israel was simply incredible. Which, while good for professionals leaving (although tales of Russian Ph.D swiping malls are not uncommon, especially in Israel ) , who can earn much better money abroad, is actually another form of neocolonialism for the countries affected:

[Jul 21, 2017] Increasing desperation I would say reminiscent of Nazis increasing hopes for wunderweapons to stop the USSR. If only we could kill Putin all of our problems would be over

Notable quotes:
"... "I just find it interesting how the number of spy thrillers involving Putin's assassination has been growing since 2015 " ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop , July 20, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Yes, I meant to add in my earlier comment that there is no shortage of novels in English featuring the assassination of western leaders, either – so it's not all just Putin. But I stand by the remainder of my assessment.
et Al , July 21, 2017 at 3:19 am
They could make a film on the assassination of Nemtsov and call it " NIght of The Shagall ", though I doubt it would be patch on this:
J.T. , July 21, 2017 at 5:58 am
I just find it interesting how the number of spy thrillers involving Putin's assassination has been growing since 2015
Lyttenburgh , July 21, 2017 at 8:26 am
"I just find it interesting how the number of spy thrillers involving Putin's assassination has been growing since 2015 "

Which means – they began writing somewhere in 2013-14, to get published in 2015.

As to the question: " why are thriller writers obsessed with killing Putin (or his fictional stand-in) now?". Sublimation. Acto of magic(k) (see my original article). Plus pretty much everything that Mark said.

Patient Observer , July 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm
Increasing desperation I would say reminiscent of Nazi's increasing hopes for wunderweapons to stop the USSR. If only we could kill Putin all of our problems would be over .

Lets not forget that Putin did not gain his position by his force of personality and/or ruthlessness. He was picked by a group of Russian patriots, the military, and elements of the Orthodox church who nurtured and supported him. Putin made the personal sacrifices and performed his duty for his country.

He certainly will be a tough act to follow but I think it would be a mistake to try to find another Putin. Russia is no longer a ravaged country on the verge of figurative and actual disintegration. The next leader may be more of a visionary and a spiritual force to provide more direction and purpose to a population that survived hell and now looking for a greater good. I do hope so.

Cortes , July 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm
Agreed. Perhaps symptomatic of wishful thinking as the slide away from unipolarity gathers pace?

Hasn't there been a boom in "what if" speculated scenarios by academic historians also?

yalensis , July 21, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Yes, and also a boom in ALT-History fiction genre.
I personally disapprove of all this what-if-ism as I don't think it does the human race any good to speculate on what might have been.
Also, most of the ALT-History fiction is just revanchists living out their fantasies that, e.g., the South won the Civil War; or the Nazis won WWII; or the Japanese Empire still exists (a favorite of the anime crowd too).
Pavlo Svolochenko , July 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm
And more importantly, alt-history writers are the most dreadful hacks in the business. Turtledove, Stirling, Gingrich (to name but a few) – they make fantasy writers look inspired.
Cortes , July 21, 2017 at 4:24 pm
However, Philip K. Dick was supposedly a leftist and he produced the crock of shit "The High Tower"; mind you, other novels of his are creeptastic: the scenes of "Perky Pat" haunt me like Dumas.. "Twenty Years After " [shudder x 3].

[Jul 21, 2017] The fact that the USA has to make such overt and aggressive military threats is the clearest proof that its soft power has rapidly diminished.

Notable quotes:
"... It must be borne in mind that even as Russia is wrestling with the problem of the Putin succession, which will be like juggling an unexploded bomb even in the absence of distractions, the west will be pulling out all the stops to get a neoliberal into the power position. Its window is closing even now, and if it lets another Putinesque leader assume power without a fight, it will likely be too late by the time he or she has completed his/her first term. et Al , July 21, 2017 at 3:07 am I think that the other most important strand is to have a good and deep team well in place in all aspects of government and elsewhere that sing from the same song sheet, i.e. their end goals and principles are very similar, but is fully open to constructive criticism and dialogue . This exists already but how deep and wide it is the question. I also fully agree with likebez that the USA's death spasms do pose quite a risk to Russia but we have seen so far its results have been limited ..."
"... Some, unfortunately see this as a sign of weakness, but getting in to a fight with someone larger, uglier and follows no rules is certainly not a good thing to do. It is very much a Judo (and a bit of Kung Fu) strategy of using your opponents greater weight against itself. It works in all fields from economic & political to the media. Russia hasn't created western divisions and lunacy, but it does take advantage of it by feeding it back in to the western politico-economic & media loop much as guitarists do. ..."
"... Western targeted fury towards Sputnik & RT is little more than How dare you criticize us with our own news? . Those commentators that go on the media to rant and rail do little but discredit themselves. The good news is that every mention of RT & Sputnik is free PR! The only time I look at either is when someone in the west squeals about them because I want to see what the drama is all about. ..."
"... The fact that the USA has to make such overt and aggressive military threats is the clearest proof that its soft power has rapidly diminished. ..."
"... In the last few years that he was leader of the government, before the coup, Gorbachov started to behave unilaterally and erratically. He would negotiate and cut deals on the global scale, without any input, not just from the government, but even the Central Committee of the Party. In essence, he went rogue. He did whatever he pleased, and nobody was able to stop him or to belay his disastrous decisions. This sort of thing could happen again, if Russians are not careful. There must be checks and balances on any political leader, even the most trusted. ..."
"... As for China and Russia being dependent on Western technology, not so, as amply discussed in this blog. ..."
"... Much of the appearance of support for the Western empire in Russia's near-aboard will evaporate upon realization that the good ship Empire is taking on water and the rats are in the water looking for a new ship to scramble on board. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop , July 20, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Very well said. It must be borne in mind that even as Russia is wrestling with the problem of the Putin succession, which will be like juggling an unexploded bomb even in the absence of distractions, the west will be pulling out all the stops to get a neoliberal into the power position.

Its window is closing even now, and if it lets another Putinesque leader assume power without a fight, it will likely be too late by the time he or she has completed his/her first term.

et Al , July 21, 2017 at 3:07 am
I think that the other most important strand is to have a good and deep team well in place in all aspects of government and elsewhere that sing from the same song sheet, i.e. their end goals and principles are very similar, but is fully open to constructive criticism and dialogue . This exists already but how deep and wide it is the question.

I also fully agree with likebez that the USA's death spasms do pose quite a risk to Russia but we have seen so far its results have been limited, in part due to the cool hand of Putin and the government by ignoring most provocations and selectively responding where necessary.

Some, unfortunately see this as a sign of weakness, but getting in to a fight with someone larger, uglier and follows no rules is certainly not a good thing to do. It is very much a Judo (and a bit of Kung Fu) strategy of using your opponents greater weight against itself. It works in all fields from economic & political to the media. Russia hasn't created western divisions and lunacy, but it does take advantage of it by feeding it back in to the western politico-economic & media loop much as guitarists do.

Western targeted fury towards Sputnik & RT is little more than How dare you criticize us with our own news? . Those commentators that go on the media to rant and rail do little but discredit themselves. The good news is that every mention of RT & Sputnik is free PR! The only time I look at either is when someone in the west squeals about them because I want to see what the drama is all about.

The fact that the USA has to make such overt and aggressive military threats is the clearest proof that its soft power has rapidly diminished. The thing is, they cannot just make threats and not deliver (small countries don't count) without loosing credibility either, much like the boy who cried Wolf! There are plenty of US experts who have publicly had kittens on US news channels over Trump's threat's to North Korea, so we see already that there are clear and open divisions. And we've seen him row back many of his purported plans too. Sure, he's cast off some of O-Bombers caution, for example approving a large arms package to Taiwan, but that's a long way from his early goals. He goes for the low hanging fruit, speaking of which, is this a sign of more US protectionism?

Neuters: U.S. toughens stance on foreign deals in blow to China's buying spree
https://in.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-companies-idINKBN1A532M?il=0

A secretive U.S. government panel has objected to at least nine acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign buyers so far this year, people familiar with the matter said, a historically high number that bodes poorly for China's overseas buying spree.

The objections indicate that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews acquisitions by foreign entities for potential national security risks, is becoming more risk-averse under U.S. President Donald Trump.

It's too early to tell, but if the US and others start using 'national security' reasons more widely and casually to block buys, then they'll be undermining the WTO, a system they themselves designed.

yalensis , July 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm
I agree with likbez that the Russian Presidency has too much power as an individual; and that this creates the danger of another Gorbachov.

In the last few years that he was leader of the government, before the coup, Gorbachov started to behave unilaterally and erratically. He would negotiate and cut deals on the global scale, without any input, not just from the government, but even the Central Committee of the Party. In essence, he went rogue. He did whatever he pleased, and nobody was able to stop him or to belay his disastrous decisions. This sort of thing could happen again, if Russians are not careful. There must be checks and balances on any political leader, even the most trusted.

Patient Observer , July 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm
In my opinion, no, the West will fall far sooner than suggested. Herein lies one factor to the decline and fall:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/20/us/florida-teens-drowning-man/index.html

Irreversible and accelerating growth in debt, an infrastructure approaching a tipping point and, as alluded above, a population increasingly unfit to live in a civilized world are sufficient to ensure a relatively near-term societal failure. As for China and Russia being dependent on Western technology, not so, as amply discussed in this blog.

Much of the appearance of support for the Western empire in Russia's near-aboard will evaporate upon realization that the good ship Empire is taking on water and the rats are in the water looking for a new ship to scramble on board. All the while, the semi-conscious passengers are assured by smooth talking cruise directors that all is well and there is a limbo contest on the Fiesta deck.

[Jul 21, 2017] They want to find any place where they can complicate our lives, said Pompeo. As regards the The question whether Russia is an enemy of the United States, he said that this is a difficult question .

Jul 21, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile , , July 20, 2017 at 9:12 pm

The Director of the CIA believes that Moscow wants to "annoy" US
04:4721.07.2017

WASHINGTON, 21 Aug ! RIA Novosti. The Director of the Central intelligence Agency Mike Pompeo believes that Russia want to "annoy" the US.

According to Pompeo, speaking at a security forum in Colorado, Russia is involved in Syrian affairs, in particular, because "it loves to annoy America".

"They want to find any place where they can complicate our lives," said Pompeo. As regards the The question whether Russia is an enemy of the United States, he said that "this is a difficult question".

Russia at the request of the Syrian government makes strikes in Syria against the positions of the banned terrorist group "Islamic state". The US and its allies are conducting similar actions in Syria, but without the permission of the Syrian authorities. The USA and Russia have established channels of communication in Syria, designed to prevent possible incidents whilst carrying out operations in the country.

... ... ...

marknesop , July 21, 2017 at 5:58 am
Unbelievable. So the presence of Russian forces in Syria complicates life for Americans, who are there against the will of the sovereign government. Presuming they want a quiet life, why don't they strike their tents and go home? That would show them!

What annoys me more than anything else is their contempt for everyone else, whom they appear to assume cannot put two and two together and get four.

Don't hear much about the 'moderate Syrian opposition' any more, do you?

J.T. , July 21, 2017 at 6:26 am
This isn't children on a playground, this is geopolitics , for crying out loud!

[Jul 21, 2017] Is the CIA Reformable by Melvin A. Goodman

Notable quotes:
"... tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout! ..."
"... In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt. ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence ..."
"... Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

The CIA's mission has gone dangerously and lethally astray, argues Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA intelligence analyst.

Whistleblower at the CIA tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout!

In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt.

Whistleblowers. Dissidents. Contrarians.

The terms are used synonymously by pundits and the public, and I've been all three at one time or another in order to expose improprieties and illegalities in the secret government, and to inform the American public of policies that compromise the freedom and security of US citizens and weaken US standing in the global community.

I have never liked the terms contrarian or dissident. I've always believed that my criticism should be conventional wisdom. The term whistleblower is more complex because it often raises questions of patriotism or sedition. Chelsea Manning received commutation from her 35-year prison sentence for revealing so-called secrets that documented the terror and violence of the baseless US war in Iraq. Members of the Bush administration who launched the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are considered honorable members of our society, although their acts involved the corruption of intelligence; caused the death of thousands of US soldiers and foreign civilians; terrorized civilian populations; perpetrated the criminal use of torture and abuse; sanctioned use of secret prisons and extraordinary rendition; and caused the destabilization of the region that has set the stage for strategic advances by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Edward Snowden, if he had remained in the United States, would have faced an even longer prison sentence because he revealed the massive NSA surveillance program that was illegal and immoral, and that violated the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal seizures and searches. Manning and Snowden admit to breaking US laws, but their actions were never as serious as the law-breaking, including massive violations of privacy, that they exposed.

The debate over whether Snowden was a traitor is fatuous. As a result of Snowden's revelations, we learned that the National Security Agency logged domestic phone calls and emails for years, recorded the metadata of correspondence between Americans, and, in some cases, exploited the content of emails. The case against Private Manning was similarly fatuous. Manning provided evidence of the US cover-up of torture by our Iraqi allies; a US Army helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists; and the use of an air strike to cover up the execution of civilians. Some of these acts were war crimes.

There is no more compelling evidence of the unconscionable behavior of US personnel in Iraq than the callous dialogue between the crew members of the helicopter regarding the civilian deaths and particularly the firing on those Iraqis who came to recover the dead bodies of Iraqi civilians. Manning's documents exposed this behavior, but her efforts were ridiculed by former secretary of defense Robert Gates, who described it as examining war by "looking through a straw."

To make matters worse, American journalists have criticized their colleagues (Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald [then of The Guardian]) who brought the Snowden-Manning revelations to the attention of the public. David Gregory, then host of the venerable "Meet the Press" on NBC, asked Greenwald "to the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden ... why shouldn't you ... be charged with a crime?" Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer who labors for CNN and The New Yorker, called Snowden a "grandiose narcissist who belongs in prison" and referred to Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, who was detained by British authorities for nine hours under anti-terror laws, the equivalent of a "drug mule."

The king of calumny is Michael Grunwald, a senior correspondent for Time, who wrote on Twitter that he couldn't "wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange." The New York Times also targeted Assange, although the paper cooperated with WikiLeaks in 2010 in publishing reams of information from Private Manning's revelations. Of course, if Time or the New York Times had broken these stories, they would have built new shelves to hold their Pulitzer Prizes. Their hypocrisy was exposed by David Carr of the New York Times, who expressed shock at finding Assange and Greenwald "under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists."

I didn't reveal abuses as great as those revealed by Manning and Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg, but I do claim status as a whistleblower because of my revelations before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during confirmation hearings for Bob Gates, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to be director of central intelligence. According to US law, the term "whistleblower" applies to anyone who "reasonably believes" he or she is disclosing a violation of law or gross mismanagement, gross waste, or abuse of authority. My testimony documented for the first time the intentional distortion of intelligence by CIA director William Casey and Deputy Director Gates in order to serve the agenda of Ronald Reagan and his administration.

Bob Gates was an old friend, but the friendship ended when he routinely distorted intelligence throughout the 1980s as deputy director for intelligence and deputy director of the CIA. In destroying the political culture of the CIA, he created a toxic and corrupt environment at the Agency, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA detention and torture reminds us that the Agency hasn't recovered.

Being a contrarian was easy and natural for me. In fact, no one should think about entering the intelligence profession without good contrarian instincts. Such instincts would include an innate skepticism, the doubting of conventional wisdom and a willingness to challenge authority, which translates to an ability to tell truth to power. These contrarian instincts are essential to the success of any intelligence organization. As Rogers and Hammerstein would have it, it was "doing what comes naturally!"

My book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA was the first insider account from an intelligence analyst regarding the skewed and politicized assessments of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence -- the Agency's analytic arm. I also exposed the strategic failure of covert actions that were never intended to be a part of President Harry Truman's CIA. I wrote the book for many reasons, including the need to describe the inability of journalists to take into account, let alone understand, the dangers of politicization and the actions of CIA directors such as Casey, Gates, and more recently Goss and Tenet. The political pliancy of these directors fully compromised the intelligence mission of the CIA, and it was political pliancy that made directors such as Gates and Tenet so attractive to Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Truthout Progressive Pick
Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence

"Urgent, timely, and deeply recommended." -- Daniel Ellsberg. Click here now to get the book!


For the past quarter century, my testimony and writings have exposed the failure to honor President Truman's purpose in creating a CIA to provide policymakers with accurate, unbiased accounts of international developments, and have highlighted the CIA's readiness to cater to the White House. This view is not original with me; in fact, it was President Truman who first acknowledged that the CIA he created in 1947 had gotten off the tracks under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy in the 1950s and early 1960s.

In December 1963, less than a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, Truman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to document the wrongs of the CIA. He concluded that his efforts to "create the quiet intelligence arm of the Presidency" had been subverted by a "sinister" and "mysterious" agency that was conducting far too many clandestine activities in peacetime. I lectured at the Truman Library in the summer of 2014, and found a note in Truman's hand that stated the CIA was not designed to "initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."

In The Failure of Intelligence , I documented the CIA's resistance to reform and the corruption in both the analytical and operational directorates. I made a case for starting over at the CIA, not dissimilar from the case made by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan 25 years ago as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not every agency or department of government can be reformed, and it is possible that the intricate web of habits, procedures, and culture places the CIA in the non-reformable category. Once the political culture of an institution such as the CIA has been broken, it is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to rebuild or repair it.

Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. Melvin A. Goodman Melvin A. Goodman served as a senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990. An expert on US relations with Russia, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's and many others. He is author of six books on US intelligence and international security. Related Stories CIA Asked to Release Documents Related to Massacre in El Salvador By Carmen Rodriguez, CIP Americas Program | Report CIA Watchdog "Mistakenly" Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report By Sarah Lazare, AlterNet | News Analysis CIA Cables Detail Its New Deputy Director's Role in Torture By Raymond Bonner, ProPublica | Report

[Jul 20, 2017] Medvedev, by contrast, was a pushover.. Now US thriller authors want new pushover and dream about assassinating Putin

Notable quotes:
"... Kremlin's Candidate ..."
"... I suppose they forecast – and in many ways they reflect Washington's own malignant unintended-consequences thinking process – that if Putin were only removed, all the USA's troubles with Russia would be over. ..."
"... It would fall back into susceptibility to misdirection and manipulation, and the west would be able to maneuver it into self-destructive behaviors by working through its corrupt oligarchs and it would end up something like Ukraine, only bigger – nominally a state, but really a collection of fiefdoms more or less owned outright by wealthy citizens who follow their own interests and constantly inveigh against one another for influence and power. ..."
"... Putin is the only one who is predictable in that he is unpredictable, and he will reach a point nobody knows is there when he will decide to take action. Once the decision is made he seldom backs away from it, and his involvement with the business of the nation is total – there just seems to be no chink in the armor through which he can be subverted to self-interest. ..."
"... Medvedev, by contrast, was a pushover. The west simply had to flatter him on the surface that it considered him the most progressive leader of Russia ever, and loved his 'liberal reforms' which rewarded disobedience and self-interest. ..."
"... All he ever got was the occasional pat on the head, and encouragement to continue weakening political power in Russia. Of course if you completely let people have their own way without any articulate national vision, they will pursue self-interest. ..."
"... The problem of a Russian President "After Putin" is a real problem. This inevitable "change of the guard" threatens Russia's political and economic stability and the possibility of Medvedev II (a pushover), or some confrontational nationalist while both remote, can't be completely discarded. ..."
"... Another danger is too much adherence to neoliberalism. In this sense China is in a better position, They are just more flexible. They still have China Communist Party as a counterbalance to oligarchs. Which is also far from perfect and creates the constant stream of corruption. But due to this, they can be neoliberals today and not so much tomorrow. ..."
"... Absolute, unipolar hegemony of the USA, when it can essentially dictate any country its will, and unliterary declare sanctions, without much danger of blowback, is probably gradually coming to the end. Ideology in which the USA based in dominance - neoliberalism - is now discredited. That's alone dooms the empire. ..."
"... So the situation mirrors the USSR and crisis of Marxism. The signs of rot of neoliberal society inside the USA are visible. And the decimation of the "Rust Belt" and the election of Trump are two such signs. ..."
Jul 20, 2017 | russiareviewed.wordpress.com
J.T. , July 20, 2017 at 6:47 am

Um why are thriller writers obsessed with killing Putin (or his fictional stand-in) now?

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=xm2&ref_=k4w_oembed_py0SI7bB2QkFew&asin=B073RSS1MG&tag=pbs_00005-20

(In Jason Matthews's upcoming Kremlin's Candidate the characters are going to assassinate Putin, and there was a similar plotline in Ted Bell's Patriot though it was unsuccessful and I didn't mention it in the review)

marknesop , July 20, 2017 at 7:28 am
I suppose they forecast – and in many ways they reflect Washington's own malignant unintended-consequences thinking process – that if Putin were only removed, all the USA's troubles with Russia would be over.

It would fall back into susceptibility to misdirection and manipulation, and the west would be able to maneuver it into self-destructive behaviors by working through its corrupt oligarchs and it would end up something like Ukraine, only bigger – nominally a state, but really a collection of fiefdoms more or less owned outright by wealthy citizens who follow their own interests and constantly inveigh against one another for influence and power.

And I think there is a real fear this might happen; Putin cannot last forever, and the only ones I can think of who show anything like the necessary steel are Lavrov and Shoigu.

Of those, Shoigu is mostly loyal and we see little evidence of his own thinking process, merely his obedience. Lavrov is wedded to the diplomatic process, as one might expect from a lifetime diplomat.

Putin is the only one who is predictable in that he is unpredictable, and he will reach a point nobody knows is there when he will decide to take action. Once the decision is made he seldom backs away from it, and his involvement with the business of the nation is total – there just seems to be no chink in the armor through which he can be subverted to self-interest.

Medvedev, by contrast, was a pushover. The west simply had to flatter him on the surface that it considered him the most progressive leader of Russia ever, and loved his 'liberal reforms' which rewarded disobedience and self-interest.

Think tanks continued to write disparaging critiques of life in Russia, rampant corruption, loads of civic unrest, bla, bla, as if none of those reforms had ever been made.

All he ever got was the occasional pat on the head, and encouragement to continue weakening political power in Russia. Of course if you completely let people have their own way without any articulate national vision, they will pursue self-interest.

likbez, July 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm
Mark,

This is a very good, insightful comment. Medvedev was a real disaster and that can happen again.

The problem of a Russian President "After Putin" is a real problem. This inevitable "change of the guard" threatens Russia's political and economic stability and the possibility of Medvedev II (a pushover), or some confrontational nationalist while both remote, can't be completely discarded.

The President in Russia has way too much power and that while was necessary and helpful in order to rebuild Russia after Yeltsin rule eventually it might become dangerous for the society. Let's call it Gorbachov II type of danger.

Another danger is too much adherence to neoliberalism. In this sense China is in a better position, They are just more flexible. They still have China Communist Party as a counterbalance to oligarchs. Which is also far from perfect and creates the constant stream of corruption. But due to this, they can be neoliberals today and not so much tomorrow.

Russia elite needs to play its game of Putin succession very carefully, very skillfully in order not to provoke inflicting too much damage on itself, the damage Washington and it allies are still capable and willing to inflict.

The need to secure peaceful economic development for at least a couple of decades, if not more should be the cornerstone of Russian foreign policy.

The USA is way too strong now. and if you count transnational corporations (who are the real rulers in Washington, DC) it will probably remains in this position until the end of "oil age". China rise and the fact that China GDP now is exceeding the USA is a secondary factor, as China depends on the West in many key areas including technology and does not has allies like the USA, which BTW includes almost all former British empire. Plus EU with its 500 millions population.

Absolute, unipolar hegemony of the USA, when it can essentially dictate any country its will, and unliterary declare sanctions, without much danger of blowback, is probably gradually coming to the end. Ideology in which the USA based in dominance - neoliberalism - is now discredited. That's alone dooms the empire.

So the situation mirrors the USSR and crisis of Marxism. The signs of rot of neoliberal society inside the USA are visible. And the decimation of the "Rust Belt" and the election of Trump are two such signs.

But a high level of influence on the world stage (including in culture, science and technology) will continue for some time after absolute hegemony is lost.

See:

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/pentagon-study-declares-american-empire-is-collapsing-746754cdaebf"

[Jul 20, 2017] Pentagon study declares American empire is 'collapsing'

Notable quotes:
"... This work executes a unique transdisciplinary methodology building on the author's previous book, A User's Guide to the ..."
Jul 20, 2017 | medium.com

An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is "fraying" and may even be "collapsing", leading the United States to lose its position of "primacy" in world affairs.

The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new "post-primacy" environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda ("strategic manipulation of perceptions") and more military expansionism.

The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling.

Having lost its past status of "pre-eminence", the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable "post-primacy" world, whose defining feature is "resistance to authority".

Danger comes not just from great power rivals like Russia and China, both portrayed as rapidly growing threats to American interests, but also from the increasing risk of "Arab Spring"-style events. These will erupt not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, potentially undermining trust in incumbent governments for the foreseeable future.

The report, based on a year-long intensive research process involving consultation with key agencies across the Department of Defense and U.S. Army, calls for the U.S. government to invest in more surveillance, better propaganda through "strategic manipulation" of public opinion, and a "wider and more flexible" U.S. military.

The report was published in June by the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute to evaluate the DoD's approach to risk assessment at all levels of Pentagon policy planning. The study was supported and sponsored by the U.S. Army's Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate; the Joint Staff, J5 (Strategy and Policy Branch); the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Develop­ment; and the Army Study Program Management Office.

Collapse

"While the United States remains a global political, economic, and military giant, it no longer enjoys an unassailable position versus state competitors," the report laments.

"In brief, the sta­tus quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II and has for decades been the principal 'beat' for DoD is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing."

The study describes the essentially imperial nature of this order as being underpinned by American dominance, with the U.S. and its allies literally "dictating" its terms to further their own interests:

"The order and its constituent parts, first emerged from World War II, were transformed to a unipolar sys­tem with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and have by-and-large been dominated by the United States and its major Western and Asian allies since. Status quo forces collectively are comfortable with their dominant role in dictating the terms of international security outcomes and resist the emergence of rival centers of power and authority."

But this era when the U.S. and its allies could simply get their way is over. Observing that U.S. officials "naturally feel an obligation to preserve the U.S. global position within a favorable international order," the report concludes that this "rules-based global order that the United States built and sustained for 7 decades is under enormous stress."

The report provides a detailed breakdown of how the DoD perceives this order to be rapidly unravelling, with the Pentagon being increasingly outpaced by world events. Warning that "global events will happen faster than DoD is currently equipped to handle", the study concludes that the U.S. "can no longer count on the unassailable position of dominance, supremacy, or pre-eminence it enjoyed for the 20-plus years after the fall of the Soviet Union."

So weakened is U.S. power, that it can no longer even "automatically generate consistent and sustained local military superiority at range."

It's not just U.S. power that is in decline. The U.S. Army War College study concludes that:

"[A]ll states and traditional political authority structures are under increasing pressure from endogenous and exogenous forces The fracturing of the post-Cold War global system is accompanied by the in­ternal fraying in the political, social, and economic fabric of practically all states."

But, the document says, this should not be seen as defeatism, but rather a "wakeup call". If nothing is done to adapt to this "post-primacy" environment, the complexity and speed of world events will "increasingly defy [DoD's] current strategy, planning, and risk assessment conventions and biases."

Defending the "status quo"

Top on the list of forces that have knocked the U.S. off its position of global "pre-eminence", says the report, are the role of competing powers ! major rivals like Russia and China, as well as smaller players like Iran and North Korea.

The document is particularly candid in setting out why the U.S. sees these countries as threats ! not so much because of tangible military or security issues, but mainly because their pursuit of their own legitimate national interests is, in itself, seen as undermining American dominance.

Russia and China are described as "revisionist forces" who benefit from the U.S.-dominated international order, but who dare to "seek a new distribution of power and authority commensurate with their emergence as legitimate rivals to U.S. dominance." Russia and China, the analysts say, "are engaged in a deliberate program to demonstrate the limits of U.S. authority, will, reach, influence, and impact."

The premise of this conclusion is that the U.S.-backed "status quo" international order is fundamentally "favorable" for the interests of the U.S. and its allies. Any effort to make global order also work "favorably" for anyone else is automatically seen as a threat to U.S. power and interests.

Thus, Russia and China "seek to reorder their position in the existing status quo in ways that ! at a minimum ! create more favorable circumstances for pursuit of their core objectives." At first glance there seems nothing particularly wrong about this. So the analysts emphasize that "a more maximalist perspective sees them pursuing advantage at the direct expense of the United States and its principal Western and Asian allies."

Most conspicuous of all, there is little substantiation in the document of how Russia and China pose a meaningful threat to American national security.

The chief challenge is that they "are bent on revising the contemporary status quo" through the use of "gray zone" techniques, involving "means and methods falling far short of unambiguous or open provocation and conflict".

Such "murkier, less obvious forms of state-based aggression", despite falling short of actual violence, are condemned ! but then, losing any sense of moral high-ground, the Pentagon study advocates that the U.S. itself should "go gray or go home" to ensure U.S. influence.

The document also sets out the real reasons that the U.S. is hostile to "revolutionary forces" like Iran and North Korea: they pose fundamental obstacles to U.S. imperial influence in those regions. They are:

" neither the products of, nor are they satisfied with, the contemporary order At a minimum, they intend to destroy the reach of the U.S.-led order into what they perceive to be their legitimate sphere of influence. They are also resolved to replace that order locally with a new rule set dictated by them."

Far from insisting, as the U.S. government does officially, that Iran and North Korea pose as nuclear threats, the document instead insists they are considered problematic for the expansion of the "U.S.-led order."

Losing the propaganda war

Amidst the challenge posed by these competing powers, the Pentagon study emphasizes the threat from non-state forces undermining the "U.S.-led order" in different ways, primarily through information.

The "hyper-connectivity and weaponization of information, disinformation, and dis­affection", the study team observes, is leading to the uncontrolled spread of information. The upshot is that the Pentagon faces the "inevitable elimination of secrecy and operational security".

"Wide uncontrolled access to technology that most now take for granted is rapidly undermining prior advantages of discrete, secret, or covert intentions, actions, or operations In the end, senior defense leaders should assume that all defense-related activity from minor tactical movements to major military operations would occur completely in the open from this point forward."

This information revolution, in turn, is leading to the "generalized disintegra­tion of traditional authority structures fueled, and/or accelerated by hyperconnectivity and the obvious decay and potential failure of the post-Cold War status quo."

Civil unrest

Highlighting the threat posed by groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, the study also points to "leaderless instability (e.g., Arab Spring)" as a major driver of "a generalized erosion or dissolution of traditional authority structures."

The document hints that such populist civil unrest is likely to become prominent in Western homelands, including inside the United States.

"To date, U.S. strategists have been fixated on this trend in the greater Middle East. However, the same forces at work there are similarly eroding the reach and authority of governments worldwide it would be unwise not to recognize that they will mutate, metastasize, and manifest differently over time."

The U.S. homeland is flagged-up as being especially vulnerable to the breakdown of "traditional authority structures":

"The United States and its population are increasingly exposed to substantial harm and an erosion of security from individuals and small groups of motivated actors, leveraging the conflu­ence of hyperconnectivity, fear, and increased vulner­ability to sow disorder and uncertainty. This intensely disorienting and dislocating form of resistance to author­ity arrives via physical, virtual, and psychological vio­lence and can create effects that appear substantially out of proportion to the origin and physical size or scale of the proximate hazard or threat."

There is little reflection, however, on the role of the US government itself in fomenting such endemic distrust, through its own policies.

Bad facts

Among the most dangerous drivers of this risk of civil unrest and mass destabilization, the document asserts, are different categories of fact. Apart from the obvious "fact-free", defined as information that undermines "objective truth", the other categories include actual truths that, however, are damaging to America's global reputation.

"Fact-inconvenient" information consists of the exposure of "details that, by implication, un­dermine legitimate authority and erode the relationships between governments and the governed" ! facts, for instance, that reveal how government policy is corrupt, incompetent or undemocratic.

"Fact-perilous" information refers basically to national security leaks from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning, "exposing highly clas­sified, sensitive, or proprietary information that can be used to accelerate a real loss of tactical, operational, or strategic advantage."

"Fact-toxic" information pertains to actual truths which, the document complains, are "exposed in the absence of context", and therefore poison "important political discourse." Such information is seen as being most potent in triggering outbreaks of civil unrest, because it:

" fatally weakens foundational security at an international, regional, national, or personal level. Indeed , fact-toxic exposures are those likeliest to trigger viral or contagious insecurity across or within borders and between or among peoples."

In short, the U.S. Army War College study team believe that the spread of 'facts' challenging the legitimacy of American empire is a major driver of its decline: not the actual behavior of the empire which such facts point to.

Mass surveillance and psychological warfare

The Pentagon study therefore comes up with two solutions to the information threat.

The first is to make better use of U.S. mass surveillance capabilities, which are described as "the largest and most sophisticated and inte­grated intelligence complex in world." The U.S. can "generate insight faster and more reliably than its competitors can, if it chooses to do so". Combined with its "military forward presence and power projection", the U.S. is in "an enviable position of strength."

Supposedly, though, the problem is that the U.S. does not make full use of this potential strength:

"That strength, however, is only as durable as the United States' willingness to see and employ it to its advantage. To the extent that the United States and its defense enterprise are seen to lead, others will follow "

The document also criticizes U.S. strategies for focusing too much on trying to defend against foreign efforts to penetrate or disrupt U.S. intelligence, at the expense of "the purposeful exploitation of the same architecture for the strategic manipulation of perceptions and its attendant influence on political and security outcomes."

Pentagon officials need to simply accept, therefore, that:

" the U.S. homeland, individual American citizens, and U.S. public opinion and perceptions will increasingly become battlefields."
Military supremacy

Having mourned the loss of U.S. primacy, the Pentagon report sees expanding the U.S. military as the only option.

The bipartisan consensus on military supremacism, however, is not enough. The document demands a military force so powerful it can preserve "maximum freedom of action", and allow the U.S. to "dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes."

One would be hard-pressed to find a clearer statement of imperial intent in any U.S. Army document:

"While as a rule, U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals, the post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed."

Once again, military power is essentially depicted as a tool for the U.S. to force, threaten and cajole other countries into submission to U.S. demands.

The very concept of 'defence' is thus re-framed as the capacity to use overwhelming military might to get one's way ! anything which undermines this capacity ends up automatically appearing as a threat that deserves to be attacked.

Empire of capital

Accordingly, a core goal of this military expansionism is ensuring that the United States and its international partners have "unimpeded access to air, sea, space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum in order to underwrite their security and prosperity".

This also means that the U.S. must retain the ability to physically access any region it wants, whenever it wants:

"Failure of or limitations on the ability of the United States to enter and operate within key regions of the world, for example, undermine both U.S. and partner security."

The U.S. thus must try to minimize any "purposeful, malevolent, or incidental interruption of access to the commons, as well as critical regions, resources, and markets."

Without ever referring directly to 'capitalism', the document eliminates any ambiguity about how the Pentagon sees this new era of "Persistent Conflict 2.0":

" some are fighting globalization and globalization is also actively fighting back. Combined, all of these forces are rending at the fabric of security and stable governance that all states aspire to and rely on for survival."

This is a war, then, between US-led capitalist globalization, and anyone who resists it.

And to win it, the document puts forward a combination of strategies: consolidating the U.S. intelligence complex and using it more ruthlessly; intensifying mass surveillance and propaganda to manipulate popular opinion; expanding U.S. military clout to ensure access to "strategic regions, markets, and resources".

Even so, the overarching goal is somewhat more modest ! to prevent the U.S.-led order from collapsing further:

" . while the favorable U.S.-dominated status quo is under significant internal and external pressure, adapted American power can help to forestall or even reverse outright failure in the most critical regions".

The hope is that the U.S. will be able to fashion "a remodeled but nonetheless still favorable post-primacy international order."

Narcissism

Like all U.S. Army War College publications, the document states that it does not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Army or DoD. While this caveat means that its findings cannot be taken to formally represent the U.S. government, the document does also admit that it represents "the collective wisdom" of the numerous officials consulted.

In that sense, the document is a uniquely insightful window into the mind of the Pentagon, and how embarrassingly limited its cognitive scope really is.

And this in turn reveals not only why the Pentagon's approach is bound to make things worse, but also what an alternative more productive approach might look like.

Launched in June 2016 and completed in April 2017, the U.S. Army War College research project involved extensive consultation with officials across the Pentagon, including representatives of the joint and service staffs, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM); U.S. Forces, Japan (USFJ), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Intelligence Council, U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and U.S. Army Pacific [US­ARPAC] and Pacific Fleet [PACFLT]).

The study team also consulted with a handful of American think-tanks of a somewhat neoconservative persuasion: the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the RAND Corporation, and the Institute for the Study of War.

No wonder, then, that its findings are so myopic.

But what else would you expect from a research process so deeply narcissistic, that it involves little more than talking to yourself? Is it any wonder that the solutions offered represent an echo chamber calling to amplify precisely the same policies that have contributed to the destabilization of U.S. power?

The research methodology manages to systematically ignore the most critical evidence surrounding the drivers undermining U.S. primacy: such as, the biophysical processes of climate, energy and food disruption behind the Arab Spring; the confluence of military violence, fossil fuel interests and geopolitical alliances behind the rise of ISIS; or the fundamental grievances that have driven a breakdown in trust with governments since the 2008 financial collapse and the ensuing ongoing period of neoliberal economic failure .

Failing States, Collapsing Systems - BioPhysical | Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed | Springer
This work executes a unique transdisciplinary methodology building on the author's previous book, A User's Guide to the www.springer.com

A large body of data demonstrates that the escalating risks to U.S. power have come not from outside U.S. power, but from the very manner in which U.S. power has operated. The breakdown of the U.S.-led international order, from this perspective, is happening as a direct consequence of deep-seated flaws in the structure, values and vision of that order.

In this context, the study's conclusions are less a reflection of the actual state of the world, than of the way the Pentagon sees itself and the world.

Indeed, most telling of all is the document's utter inability to recognize the role of the Pentagon itself in systematically pursuing a wide range of policies over the last several decades which have contributed directly to the very instability it now wants to defend against.

The Pentagon frames itself as existing outside the Hobbesian turmoil that it conveniently projects onto the world ! the result is a monumental and convenient rejection of any sense of responsibility for what happens in the world.

In this sense, the document is a powerful illustration of the self-limiting failure of conventional risk-assessment approaches. What is needed instead is a systems-oriented approach based on evaluating not just the Pentagon's internal beliefs about the drivers of risk ! but engaging with independent scientific evidence about those drivers to test the extent to which those beliefs withstand rigorous scrutiny.

Such an approach could open the door to a very different scenario to the one recommended by this document ! one based on a willingness to actually look in the mirror. And that in turn might open up the opportunity for Pentagon officials to imagine alternative policies with a real chance of actually working, rather than reinforcing the same stale failed strategies of the past.

It is no surprise then that even the Pentagon's apparent conviction in the inexorable decline of U.S. power could well be overblown.

According to Dr Sean Starrs of MIT's Center for International Studies, a true picture of U.S. power cannot be determined solely from national accounts. We have to look at the accounts of transnational corporations.

Starrs shows that American transnational corporations are vastly more powerful than their competitors. His data suggests that American economic supremacism remains at an all-time high, and still unchallenged even by an economic powerhouse like China.

This does not necessarily discredit the Pentagon's emerging recognition that U.S. imperial power faces a new era of decline and unprecedented volatility.

But it does suggest that the Pentagon's sense of U.S. global pre-eminence is very much bound up with its capacity to project American capitalism globally.

As geopolitical rivals agitate against U.S. economic reach, and as new movements emerge hoping to undermine American "unimpeded access" to global resources and markets, what's clear is that DoD officials see anything which competes with or undermines American capitalism as a clear and present danger.

But nothing put forward in this document will actually contribute to slowing the decline of U.S. power.

On the contrary, the Pentagon study's recommendations call for an intensification of the very imperial policies that futurist Professor Johan Galtung, who accurately forecasted the demise of the USSR, predicts will accelerate the "collapse of the U.S. empire" by around 2020.

As we move deeper into the "post-primacy" era, the more meaningful question for people, governments, civil society and industry is this: as the empire falls, lashing out in its death throes, what comes after?


This INSURGE story was enabled by crowdfunding: Please support independent journalism for the global commons for as little as a $1/month via www.patreon.com/nafeez


Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an award-winning 16-year investigative journalist and creator of INSURGE intelligence, a crowdfunded public interest investigative journalism project. He is 'System Shift' columnist at VICE's Motherboard.

[Jul 20, 2017] Fracking Around with the Russians - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Giraldi, you're missing the salient point. The rulers of the USA aren't delusional lunatics. Russia is the single largest threat to America's dream of Global Hegemony. It's refusal to kowtow to Washington, and more critically, its lending of its military power to underpin China's Silk Road Dreams guarantees their GH dream will die. ..."
"... For the rulers of the USA, that's anathema. As good as death itself. They bet Americans' well being, Brand America, its industrial and civilian infrastructure, and almost its farms, for Global Hegemony and came up craps. They'll lose the farms soon enough. ..."
"... That is why they're panicking, and why they're going to do everything they can to break their fall. Above all, they have to convince their allies to stay loyal, particularly Europe long enough to allow them to "think of something". ..."
Jul 20, 2017 | www.unz.com
Fracking Around with the Russians What will those rascals in Moscow do next? Philip Giraldi July 18, 2017 1,400 Words 112 Comments Reply 🔊 Listen RSS

It has been another week full of news about Russia. Americans might be surprised to learn that nearly every aspect of their lives has been somehow impacted by the insidious covert activity of a former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy. One of the latest claims is that Moscow has been covertly funding some environmental groups, most particularly those opposed to the use of fracking technologies. The allegations, which have recently surfaced in Congress , conceded that the Russians allegedly moved forward with their strategy to damage America's energy independence without leaving behind "a paper trail," thus there appears to actually be little or no supporting evidence for what is little more than a series of claims, which have been denied by the groups in question, including the highly respectable Sierra Club. Moscow has not commented.

To be sure, there is a certain logic inherent in assertions that Russia might be behind such a development as Moscow's economy runs on energy exports and high prices are good for it. Consequently, it ought not surprise anyone that Russia would seek to discredit competitive technologies that work to increase the supply of energy and thereby cause prices to fall. It's simple math, but is it true given the fact that environmental groups are widely popular due to the appeal of the product they are promoting and have their own reliable sources of income?

Now the irony in all this is that a major producer of relatively dirty oil is being accused of targeting an even dirtier and environmentally destructive energy resource, which is fracking, in collusion with organizations that are seeking to encourage the production of much cleaner power. And, of course, cleaner energy is a global interest whether one believes in climate change or not, which underlines the essential hypocrisy of the U.S. media in denouncing something that just might be good for the planet purely because Russia is allegedly involved.

And, of course, the congressmen involved in the revelation come from fracking states. If Moscow is for something then surely Washington must be against it, ignoring the fact that many genuinely patriotic Americans who care about such matters support more strict environmental regulations, no matter what the Wall Street Journal, the White House and the loony tunes in congress are saying.

There was a lot more anti-Russian agitprop in the U.S. media during the week, part of an endless stream of titillation provided free of charge to the American public in an effort to remind everyone that Russia is the enemy and will always be the enemy. Even Donald Trump's milquetoast initiative to mend fences with Vladimir Putin cobbled together during their meeting in Hamburg has been assailed from all sides, most particularly by the usual parties who seem to be locked into an anti-Trump non-détente mindset come what may.

I was particularly bemused by the comment by former CIA Chief John Brennan who denounced Trump's performance during the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg over the lack of a hard line against Putin and his failure to support the "word of the U.S. intelligence community" about Russian interference in the recent election. In an interview Brennan complained "He said it's an honor to meet President Putin. An honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault against our election? To me, it was a dishonorable thing to say."

Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter has demonstrated how the "word" of U.S. intel is not exactly what it might seem to be. And Brennan is not exactly a tabula rasa. As he observed in his comment, his ire derives from the claims over Russian alleged interference in the U.S. election, a narrative that Brennan himself has helped to create, to include his shady and possibly illegal contacting of foreign intelligence services to dig up dirt on the GOP presidential candidate and his associates. The dirt was dutifully provided by several European intelligence services which produced a report claiming, inter alia, that Donald Trump had urinated on a Russian prostitute in a bed previously slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama.

And along the way I have been assiduously trying to figure out the meaning of last week's reports regarding the contacts of Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort with two alleged Russian agents while reportedly seeking the dirt on Hillary. As it turns out, there may not have been any discussion of Hillary, though possibly something having to do with irregularities in DNC fundraising surfaced, and there may have been a bit more about the Magnitsky Act and adopting Russian babies.

Barring any new revelations backed up by actual facts revealing that something substantive like a quid pro quo actually took place, the whole affair appears to be yet another example of a politically inspired fishing expedition. This observation is not necessarily naivete on my part nor a denial that it all might have been an intelligence operation, but it is an acceptance of the fact that probing and maneuvering is all part and parcel of what intelligence agencies do when they are dealing with adversaries and very often even with friends. It does not necessarily imply that Moscow was seeking to overthrow American democracy even if it was trying to advance its own interests.

Assuming even the worst case scenario that the media has been promoting, the Trump Tower meeting appears to have involved three political aspirants who were a bit on the novice side and a Russian lawyer and lobbyist who might have been intelligence cut-outs. What did happen anyway? Apart from not reporting the encounter by the three apparent victims of the planned corruption of America's democratic process, nothing apparently happened except that the event itself has now given the esteemed Senator Charles Schumer and the Honorable Adam Schiff something new to mouth off about. Oh, and it keeps Rachel Maddow and Stephen Colbert, who is celebrating Russia Week on his program, employed.

Politics is a dirty business, based on power and money in these United States. Presumably back in mid-June there was enough salacious information floating around emanating from both parties to provide employment for plenty of individuals who were prepared to do whatever it would take to dig up something damaging up from any source available, including foreigners. That game was played by both sides and anyone who does not think that is so is avoiding the hard edge of the pervasive political corruption that greases the wheels in the United States.

So maybe Russia is funding some environmental groups or maybe not. And if it is, so what? I would welcome anyone who challenges fracking. And so what if a cluster of political tyros met with a couple of Russians who may or may not have been sent by Putin. Clearly, nothing came of it and meeting with a Russian and talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country.

Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence. All of which leads one to question why the U.S. media insist on holding the Russian government and its intelligence services to a higher standard than they do other countries like Israel, which persistently spy on the U.S. and regularly interfere in our political process? And what about our own government and its multitude of spy agencies? Are we always the guys in the white hats? Let's look at the actual record. CIA has done far worse far more consistently in collecting information through misdirection, influencing overseas elections and even changing regimes than have the Russians. And let's not forget the U.S. military's record on Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and currently Syria. We are very good at that "regime change" sort of thing even though the results frequently turn out badly because no one in Washington seems to know what to do on day 2 after the invasion has ended with yet another "victory" and another foreign government has been consigned to the garbage heap. ← Who Is the Real Enemy? Category: Economics , Foreign Policy Tags: American Media , CIA , Environmentalism , Fracking , John Brennan , Russia , Scott Ritter

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Recently from Author Related Pieces by Author Of Related Interest What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say? Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous Philip Giraldi May 30, 2017 1,300 Words 101 Comments Reply The Spooks and the Hacks: Why Do They Hate Russia? John Derbyshire February 18, 2017 1,100 Words 83 Comments Reply The Fraud of the White Helmets Hollywood buys into yet another lie Philip Giraldi July 4, 2017 1,100 Words 125 Comments Reply ← Who Is the Real Enemy? Hide 112 Comments Leave a Comment 112 Comments to "Fracking Around with the Russians" Commenters to Ignore Commenters to ignore (one per line)

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RobinG > , July 18, 2017 at 4:22 am GMT

Speaking of regime change, wasn't it Victoria Nuland and George Soros' enabling of Kiev coup that obliged the US installed puppet gov't. of Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election at the behest to DNC to assist Hillary?

The MUST SEE guide to DNC/Ukraine Collusion and Election Interference

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 4:46 am GMT

Yeah, it might be illustrative to consider what the entire environmental movement would look like today if it was the Israelis and not the Arabs who owned the oil in the ME.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

Also in this whole Russia-fracking gate, will no one in the media mention the vanglorious and incompetent sleuth, John Podesta's Machiavellian (for dummies) support for groups putting pressure on the Catholic Church ?

LauraMR > , July 18, 2017 at 6:50 am GMT

"Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence."

The arrogance of it.

It is at times like this that I can only wonder what kind of death-rattling trauma we must endure as a nation to regain a measure of rationality.

Verymuchalive > , July 18, 2017 at 8:45 am GMT

" A former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy."
Recent studies indicate that the Russian Economy is now larger than that of Germany. Current Western sanctions, far from harming the Russian economy, have been beneficial in supporting import substitution and diversification.
It is clear Giraldi doesn't read the work of his fellow columnist, Anatoly Karlin. Giraldi is still stuck in 1995. Time you caught up on your homework, Philip.

Sergey Krieger > , July 18, 2017 at 8:54 am GMT

Mr. giraldi should ask can Italy or Spain afford or make what Russia can ,can France or Germany? Hence Mr. Giraldi views of what Russian economy is, are not correct.

The Alarmist > , July 18, 2017 at 9:16 am GMT

" talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country."

The Alarmist > , July 18, 2017 at 9:18 am GMT

" talking is not yet ipso facto a crime in this country."

There are secret laws, so one can no longer say even that with certainty. These are the same laws that make it illegal to know or merely meet a Russian.

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 10:04 am GMT

West needs evil white people. No civilization can function without some agreed on enemy. Russia has played this role on and off for centuries. Today there is simply no other viable candidate – with the multi-cultural and religous taboos, and the need for the enemy to be credible and a bit remote. So Russia it is and probably will be for a long time, any consequences be damned.

Russia dislike also feeds well into the surviving atavistic hatreds among key groups in the West: grandkids of pogroms, endless emigres with their bitter family memories and a need to fit in, the deep seated thirst for revenge among Germans now that they are again allowed to sit at the Western table, the French and Anglo-Saxon egomania and a need to distract from their own history. And of course the Poles, they would line up to attack Russia if Al Queda would lead it. One cannot fight emotions.

The question is whether it is wise. It is close to impossible to maintain permanent hostility with Russia, so something has to give. A climb-down is very unlikely – too many powerful people are freshly invested in the struggle against 'evil Russkies'. The two other alternatives are worse: if Russia gets destroyed, West won't last long – the Russia's hinterland will get overrun by southern and eastern masses and West will be basically done for. And destroying both Russia and West in a war needs no analysis.

Could we possibly perish because Western elites were emotionally invested in Clintons getting back in the White House and the jobs-perks that would come with it? Or because some nerd named Podesta messed up his email passwords? Well, why not, after all Franz Ferdinand's driver made a bad turn and

Philip Giraldi > , July 18, 2017 at 10:45 am GMT

@Verymuchalive This analysis comes from the World Economic Forum. Russia's economy is slightly bigger than Spain's and smaller than that of Italy. It is far smaller than that of Germany and is dwarfed by the US.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/worlds-biggest-economies-in-2017/

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Mr. Giraldi, that's nominal GDP. Meaningless. Might as well cite the number of bubble gum chewers as an indicator.
On a list of countries by projected 2017 GDP (PPP), Russia places 6th, in a virtual dead heat with Germany.

On that basis, China is ahead of even the EU, with the US 2nd on a national basis, and a distant 3rd on an economic "block" basis. It is some $4T behind China, which sounds about right.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi The best way to compare economies is by using PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). It is not perfect, but it adjusts for currency fluctuation. By that measure, using CIA Worldbook for 2016, Russia is #6 economy in the world, slightly smaller than Germany. Spain is #16 and about half the size of Russia's economy in real terms.

The reason it is absolutely essential to adjust for currecy conversion is that otherwise you get crazy variations when e.g. dollar goes up by 30% against the euro. Or in Russia's case ruble is down almost 50% against the dollar. Those are artificial numbers – showing size in 'dollars' that are nor used in those economies is like showing US economy's performance in pesos. PPP adjusts for purchasing power.

Russia's economy is about the size of Germany, with almost twice the population. It is also one of 4-5 economies that can manufacture everything from jet planes and space rockets, to nuclear power plants and weapons. It has about 1/5 of world's total physical resources and is self-sufficient in food. It is the largest lightly populated space in the world. There are different ways we can be wrong about the realities around us, trying to have it both ways and to stay within some allowed boundaries is one of them.

Z-man > , July 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT

@The Alarmist As I've said many times before, one day it will be a crime, like it is in much of Europe already, to even question the numbers of the Holocaust, with SEVERE punishments maybe even death!

Z-man > , July 18, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

The Western Elites, you know who I mean, hate Putin for reestablishing and/or fostering the Christian Orthodox church in the country. 'They' just hate that!

Tom Welsh > , July 18, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

"Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence".

Well, there almost certainly isn't any evidence. But that doesn't really matter. Regardless, the USA DOES NOT GET to "punish" Russia. There is a little legal concept called "sovereignty" that seems to have slipped the mind of Americans. Nations do not – cannot "punish" one another these days. Until, perhaps, 1939, one nation could invade another and conquer it – but today that is illegal under international law, the Nuremberg Principles, and the UN Charter. Slighter acts of war, such as sanctions, are also strictly forbidden.

Now, as we all know, the US government – like its li'l bitty buddy the Israeli government – is in the habit of completely ignoring all laws, and doing whatever it likes. But trampling the law underfoot is not a wise thing to do – one day, you yourself might need it.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm GMT

Russia's economy is slightly bigger than Spain's and smaller than that of Italy

Phil, this is dubious at best. The same as 18 trillion dollars US economy, 70% of which is FIRE, that is involved mostly in financial transactions. Even CIA's World Fact Book gives it (for 2015) as 3.8 trillion. At 2017 it is stated at 3.9 trillion which is about the size of Germany's. Using data of some supposedly "independent" (and globalist in nature) Swiss outlet on Russia is a dubious task. Big Mac Dollar was introduced for a reason.

Here is dynamics of Russia's GDP from International Monetary Fund (also globalist, but at least consistent).

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2015&ey=2022&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=94&pr1.y=12&c=922&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP&grp=0&a=

I omit here the usage of "absolute" dollars in measuring GDP–it really comes down to introducing not just Big Mac but F-35 dollars. When Spain will be able to produce what Russia produces, then maybe.

Rich > , July 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm GMT

I stubbed my toe the other night because Russia moved my kitchen table.

Gg Mo > , July 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

2+ million Bolsheviks have immigrated to Israel from Russia since the Gravy-train collapsed in 1991, absconding with not a few billion dollars and a deep resentment . Various careerist took their policies and plans with them as well.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Erebus Western economic views were "monetarised" to the point of a complete absurd at the expense of real, that is manufacturing (productive) economy. This is the view which "equates" manufacturing of jet aircraft or space station with the balance sheet of some insurance company or some bank, both of which produce only services, much of them of a virtual and dubious nature. Sadly, "making money" long ago substituted "making things" and then making money based on that. The United States in particular paid a gruesome price for this delusion by de-industrializing almost to the point of no return. In the end, nothing short of a miraculous victory of Donald Trump is a greatest testimony to a complete bankruptcy of dominant monetarist economic views. He emphasized high paying manufacturing jobs–he won.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

@Beckow As the ultimate arbiter, we can refer to the Economist's "Big Mac Index":

THE Big Mac index was invented by The Economist in 1986 as a lighthearted guide to whether currencies are at their "correct" level. It is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity (PPP), the notion that in the long run exchange rates should move towards the rate that would equalise the prices of an identical basket of goods and services (in this case, a burger) in any two countries. For example, the average price of a Big Mac in America in July 2017 was $5.30; in China it was only $2.92 at market exchange rates. So the "raw" Big Mac index says that the yuan was undervalued by 45% at that time.

For July 2017 the Big Mac index shows the Russian ruble to be undervalued by 57%:

Actual $ exchange rate ! 60.14

Implied $ exchange rate ! 25.85

http://www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov For an in depth look at the Russian economy, have a look at: https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/russian-economy-2014-2016-the-years-of-sanctions-warfare/

Amongst the conclusions:
"In fact, (the Russian economy) is the most self-sufficient and diversified economy in the world." Thank God for sanctions. Before that it was just "a gas station with nukes".

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm GMT

@for-the-record

As the ultimate arbiter, we can refer to the Economist's

Economist (the magazine) and real economy in the same sentence is a bad joke. Economist as "the ultimate arbiter" is altogether–beyond redemption.

For July 2017 the Big Mac index shows the Russian ruble to be undervalued by 57%:

Russian economy in general is undervalued several times–that is why for the last 20+ years virtually nobody in Western "analytical" organizations can explain what just hit them.

Pandos > , July 18, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Gg Mo OH thank you Jesus!

Greg Bacon > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm GMT

@chris

Yeah, it might be illustrative to consider what the entire environmental movement would look like today if it was the Israelis and not the Arabs who owned the oil in the ME.

The USA gets most of its oil from Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela, not the ME.

BTW, in a way, the Israelis do own most of the ME oil, thru their Wall Street confederates in control of the commodity market where the oil is sold. Sold back and forth around 15 times before it reaches the refinery, meaning the US customer is getting screwed BIG TIME by our Israeli ally.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov I think you failed to appreciate the "tongue in cheek" quality of my remark. In your rather blind haste to defend Russia, which I can well understand, you seem to miss the fact that I am essentially on your side.

As to being "several times" times undervalued, this is not at all inconsistent with the 57% undervaluation shown by the Big Mac index, which means that the ruble's "true" value is nearly 2.5 times its quoted value.

Wizard of Oz > , July 18, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

@The Alarmist Come again! Secret laws? You mean the ones Senator Caligula arranges to have carved in Esperanto on stone blocks exhibited once a week on the top of a 50 foot scaffold? You are talking about laws in the everyday dictionary or constitutionsl sense and not just some note from tbe White House?

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

The United States in particular paid a gruesome price for this delusion by de-industrializing almost to the point of no return.

Well, it had to if it was going to go for Dollar-based Hegemony. It apparently felt that it had to, and so it did.

Triffin's Dilemma states that if a single nation is the issuer of the world's reserve currency, then that nation had to run increasingly massive trade deficits to fund the world's liquidity. What better way to do that than to encourage their industry (via tax incentives) to move their industry off-shore? The captains of American industry jumped at the gift and made a LOT of money feeding China's development.

What China got way back in 2001 was the equivalent of being lent the US' credit card. They promptly traded piles of plastic toys and toasters for a modern 21st century infrastructure, a massive industrial base, and a sizeable military, raising some 1 billion of their population out of abject poverty along the way. They promised to open up their financial sector to foreign players, but shucks, that somehow never happened. Instead, the top 4 largest banks in the world are now Chinese. All state owned.
When they hand that card back in, it'll be at, or just over its limit, and overseas USM personnel will be hitch-hiking rides back to the US.

Shouldn't be long now.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm GMT

@for-the-record My point was not in "defending Russia"–my reasons are much deeper than any mere "defense". I may have missed your sarcasm on Economist, but using Ruble (or any currency in general) as an economic indicator is a tricky business. Structure of GDP and a number of enclosed technological cycles are among most important, in fact–defining, factors.

Wizard of Oz > , July 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm GMT

It is quite certain that rich American environmentalists have funded speciously connected Aboriginal litigants to conduct lawfate against the potentially gigantic Galilee Basin ptoject in Queensland to export coal to India.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

@Erebus

What China got way back in 2001 was the equivalent of being lent the US' credit card. They promptly traded piles of plastic toys and toasters for a modern 21st century infrastructure, a massive industrial base, and a sizeable military, raising some 1 billion of their population out of abject poverty along the way. They promised to open up their financial sector to foreign players, but shucks, that somehow never happened. Instead, the top 4 largest banks in the world are now Chinese. All state owned.

Very true. But using term "massive industrial base" may give an aneurysm to some Wall Street economic "analysts" or create a cognitive dissonance of such a scale that will require psychiatric intervention.

for-the-record > , July 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Using rubles at the "official" exchange rate is of course meaningless; however, using a purchasing-power-parity adjusted exchange rate (which is what the Big Mac index is, in a certain sense) provides a very useful means for comparing levels of outputs in different countries, do you not agree?

Sergey Krieger > , July 18, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov This is not the first time Phil compared Russia to Spain or Italy. It is widespread dillusion and meme I read often. I find it in line general American policy to repeat lies and insinuations non stop be it WW2 history, Ukraine, Russian GDP,elections and so forth until it is accepted as sort of truth. Even Phil being non mainstream still repeats this nonsense comparing Russia to Spain.

Flavius > , July 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm GMT

Both as a veteran and as a former cold warrior, I must say that I feel betrayed by the myopia, historical ignorance, incompetence, hubris, recklessness, sheer nuttiness of the Washington establishment's conduct towards Russia over the past 20 years – bipartisan insanity. When one thinks it can't get worse, it gets worse; or as the circa 70s Soviet saying went, things are worse today than yesterday, but better than tomorrow.
Economic numbers are relevant but ultimately beside the point when calculating one's national interest in the context of the world's major political and nuclear powers and history's most blood soaked century.
Kudos to people like Phil Giraldi, Ray McGovern, and Patrick Buchanan who demonstrate regularly that at least some who were there as witnesses of what was retain the good judgment to recognize the road the damn DC fools ever more insistently are taking us down; and I would add for no good reason at all, but purely out of habit and for having something to do.

Verymuchalive > , July 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov This was part of the argument I was trying to expose. The Russian economy is grossly undervalued and many people who should know better like Philip Giraldi tend to grossly underestimate its size, range and capabilities.
By contrast, the American economy is grossly overvalued and its capabilities grossly overestimated. You yourself gave the most absurd example: Facebook is now valued on a parity with Boeing. Purely as an advertising vehicle, which is all it is, Facebook might be worth a couple of hundred million dollars. But no more.
And the there's Twitter. Never made a profit in its 11 years. $2 billion accumulative deficits. Book worth $11 billion. You couldn't make it up.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm GMT

@for-the-record

do you not agree?

As one of the tools of economic analysis–agree.

Mr. Hack > , July 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT

@RobinG For a guy that claims to 'only be interested in the facts' this 'great' investigative reporter sure likes to serve up a crock of BS for his main course. While trying to make a case that the DNC was solely responsible for installing Yanukovych's replacement, the video clip shows Nuland making a phone call to somebody (?) announcing that her choice was Vitali Klitschko oops, how did Victor Poroshenko end up running the show, and not Klitschko? Looks like this sinister Soros plot unraveled here a wee bit. Also, while trying to besmearch the good name of John McCain, he's shown on a stage with a supposed notorious 'anti-Semite'. But look, who's that third person on the stage with both McCain and Tyahnibok? Why it's Arseni Yatseniuk, a Ukrainian-Jew, of all people! What's this Ukrainian Jew doing on stage with this great anti-Semite? Maybe he's an anti-Semite too??

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov With any luck, it'll spoil their whole afternoon.

Philip Giraldi > , July 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Andrei and others we are really on the same side on this – no matter how one values the Russian economy it is still tiny compared to the US and Western Europe. My point is that it is ludicrous to keep calling it a threat to everyone else – it doesn't have the economic mojo to take on the world. So let's stop picking on
Russia and calling it a threat. Likewise my comment about punishing Russia – if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order. But we should be demanding evidence relating to all the allegations and even then when I am referring to punishment I am thinking in terms of sanctions and other actions, not any expansion of NATO or anything that actually threatens Russian security.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT

@Sergey Krieger Those are mantras. In one sense I understand that, even among people who, otherwise, would be considered "realists". It is akin to John Mearsheimer repeating non-stop his favorite mantra of Russian Armed Forces being "a mediocre army". It will take some time for a reality to sink in.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order.

Agree, as strange it may sound from the man of my background. The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal. Having said all that–I doubt strongly that Russia interfered in US elections. I make this conclusion purely on assessing the overall (much improved since mid-2000s) intellectual level of people who run Russian institutions which potentially may have interfered. I don't think those people are that stupid as to endanger US-Russian relations which are crucial for global stability, or whatever is left of it anyway.

Michael Kenny > , July 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

Back to "no evidence" again! "Let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong". OK. How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there. Putin doesn't deny it! By the way, from what I gather, talking with representatives of a foreign power with a view to obtaining an advantage is a federal crime and it matters not one whit whether any advantage was actually obtained or even that the "representatives" were faking. In the particular case, DNC "dirt" actually did pop up on the internet. Moreover, one of the lawyer's clients was being prosecuted for money laundering. Trump removed the federal prosecutor and the company was suddenly offered a sweet settlement deal without a guilty plea. That's a long way from "ipso facto"!

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive

You yourself gave the most absurd example: Facebook is now valued on a parity with Boeing.

Atrocious, isn't it? Boeing–a crown jewel of American (and global aerospace) industry and engineering genius and a FB. One produces technological marvels with global demand, another produces absolutely nothing, sadly, also with a global demand.

BTW, as I type this–Russia held today opening of 2017 MAKS aerospace exhibition–a real economy on display. There is only other nation in the world which can on her own produce anything comparable–and that is the US.

Longfisher > , July 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Moral Equivalence? Heck no. America is the indispensable and exceptional nation.

We can commit the same sins in even greater number and magnitude than other nations yet no one can hold us accountable while we hold others accountable for identical actions.

I recently wrote a very intelligent and cogent comment on a right-wing website which suggested that viewing America as if we were indispensable and exceptional, despite the plain fact that Trump was elected precisely because we aren't either of those things and his job was to find flaws and fix them, would tend to placate Americans such that we don't get to work fixing those flaws.

Guess what, that post was deleted by moderators within seconds.

Swell-headedness and self importance seems very deeply ingrained in Americans.

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 4:15 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

it is ludicrous to keep calling it a threat

Mr. Giraldi, you're missing the salient point. The rulers of the USA aren't delusional lunatics. Russia is the single largest threat to America's dream of Global Hegemony. It's refusal to kowtow to Washington, and more critically, its lending of its military power to underpin China's Silk Road Dreams guarantees their GH dream will die.

For the rulers of the USA, that's anathema. As good as death itself. They bet Americans' well being, Brand America, its industrial and civilian infrastructure, and almost its farms, for Global Hegemony and came up craps. They'll lose the farms soon enough.

That is why they're panicking, and why they're going to do everything they can to break their fall. Above all, they have to convince their allies to stay loyal, particularly Europe long enough to allow them to "think of something".

They have to stop the Silk Road from coming somehow, or American power will recede to the continent, leaving them to boss Canada and Mexico around. With Russia out of the way, China's a pushover. The two together can't be overcome. It really is as simple as that.

Erebus > , July 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

Care to cite any of it? I have yet to see the Kremlin take a single step off the black letter law. I'd be interested if you did.

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

if indeed Russia has deliberately gone out to wreck the US election then a response is in order.

Agree

when you compare how the ZUSA has intervened in other nations sovereign affairs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJVcdKxs3XA

and compare that to a Russian lawyer meeting with Trump surrogates with potential dirt on Clinton, the sheer hypocrisy is enough to benumb the mind and soul, it's so beyond egregious.

what's going on is the unipolar world of Zio-NATO demanding fealty from every last bastion of the dying multilateral international community, until it's zio-interests reign the entire length and breath of the planet, without a shred of resistance or dissent.

Sort of like the way they demanded that no one give Edward Snowden safe haven. And almost all nations kowtowed. They will not rest until their unipolar domination extends to every last bastion of human freedom from their $atanic power.

The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal

that's laughable.

the institutions of the US were murdered on 9/11, along with all those people in the planes and towers. We are no longer a people or a nation with a legal constitution, but rather are an occupied people with a quisling government serving Israel's interests, day and night. We're about as sovereign as Palestine, but at least they have the dignity of seeing their occupation for what it is, whereas we play pretend, and act like we're still sovereign, even as our citizens are assassinated if they become inconvenient to the regime in Tel Aviv that runs things here.

http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/netanyahu-congress-600×449.jpg

if we're going to be occupied by a hostile regime that hates us and wants to use us as cannon fodder to enslave Russia and everyone else, then we ought at least be allowed the dignity of knowing it and saying it.

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:45 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

you must be from the Kagan family of war pigs

Victoria Nuland (Nudelman), and her corpulent husband Robert Kagan

the waddling blob of lard Frederick Kagan and his war sow wife Kimberly Kagan

which one are you?

http://il6.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/11730821/thumb/1.jpg

alternatereality > , July 18, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT

@Pandos

OH thank you Jesus!

The lord gives and the lord takes !

Russian immigrants leaving Israel, discouraged by conversion woes

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/.premium-1.623745

Apr 14, 2017 Putin's Aliyah: Russian Jews leave Israel – Middle East Monitor

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170414-russian-jews-leave-israel/

(This may be one of the primary reasons for the ongoing demonization of Russia: One of zionism's foremost goals was the in-gathering of the diaspora. In the past zionists have destabilised states where Jews dwelt ! peacefully and securely ! in order to frighten Jews into leaving. If the Jews who left Russia in the 1980s are now returning, or are not integrating successfully in Israel, then similar tactics will likely be deployed.)
Putin's Aliyah: Russian Jews leave Israel According to Rozovsky, the post- 2000 immigrants, especially those who arrived following the failed

May 10, 2017 Some 17 per cent of the Jewish immigrants who came to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s have since left, official data by

25 years later, Russian speakers still the 'other' in Israel,
http://www.timesofisrael.com/25-years-later-russian-speakers-still- ;

Sep 1, 2016 "The majority of native-born Israelis think Russian Israelis are not Jews," said Svetlova. . were forced to give up their citizenship and pension upon leaving.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm GMT

@Rurik I may agree with you on some points but those agreements are not bases for denouncing national sovereignty as a crucial guiding principle of international relations. Yes, including USA.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

@Greg Bacon Yeah, I know we don't get our oil in the ME, but we justify our meddling there and everywhere by trying to keep it out of the hands of our 'enemies' and flowing to our friends. even if we have to create those friends and enemies in order to create a role for ourselves.

Regarding the second point you made, I didn't know that, but somehow I'm not exactly surprised!

Beckow > , July 18, 2017 at 5:40 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi How do you "wreck an election"? I can imagine a number of ways from using violence, intimidation, media pressure, buying votes, blackmail of candidates, electoral fraud, and a few others. But none of those happened in a significant way in the 2016 elections – and the esteemed Mr. Obama went out of his way right before the elections to say that all was in order.

Now, one can argue that some of the above always happens, and that it also happened in 2016 in US (there was some violence and media manipulation, there is always some fraud ). But how can any sane person claim that it "wrecked the election"?

If one looks at any event long enough and is motivated to find 'irregularities', one can always find them. But how was 2016 different from 2012,or 2000, or 1968, or any other election year?

Rurik > , Website July 18, 2017 at 5:45 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

national sovereignty as a crucial guiding principle of international relations. Yes, including USA.

OK, but in order to expect anyone else to respect international law and the sovereignty of nations, isn't it rather incumbent upon us that we (the ZUSA) do so as well?

IOW, wouldn't it be rather silly for Israel to punish a Palestinian for failing to recognize Israel's sovereignty, when Israel doesn't even respect his right to breath, let alone have a spot on the earth that he can call his own?

Isn't it sort of a folly for the ZUSA to demand that Russia respect our sovereignty, when we relentlessly subvert her election processes and the stability of the nations on her borders, in a direct and obvious attempt to destabilize their government and society? And try to do them all manor of harm to benefit some dark and devious scheme of the (by now notorious) villains that run our government and institutions?

It seems like Jerry Sandusky demanding that Mother Theresa be more considerate to children.

or at least, that's sort of how it seems to me.

But then I'll gladly pretend that Trump is going to return to us our sovereignty, and behave within the norms of International Law, (respecting all other nation's sovereignty) and then when that happens, then I'll agree with you vis-a-vis the importance of protecting the institutions of our national sovereignty. Something I hope Trump will be able to wrest back from Tel Aviv, and we can all live happily ever after.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

The United Sates is a sovereign nation and has to guard her institutions with everything at her disposal. Having said all that–I doubt strongly that Russia interfered in US elections.

The American electorate has, for 50 years, consistently elected "representatives" who, without fail, proceeded to take actions to devastate the American economy while enriching themselves and their grotesquely-corrupt monetary "supporters". With that in mind, why on earth would Russia seek to interfere in a US election? America is rapidly destroying itself ! no interference is necessary.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

How about punishing Russia for what it has done and is doing in Ukraine? Everything Putin has done there is totally illegal under international law and the "evidence" is already there.

I see you are a well-paid 2nd-tier hasbara. A slicker, smoother, more practiced line of patter. But, bullshit, per the usual.

Russia has long-standing agreements with Ukraine that establish rights-of-way to its bases in Crimea. Nothing illegal was done with respect to international law. It's very typical of Israelis to squawk nastily about "international law" that does not exist.

Good to have you aboard, Moshe! We need a good token around to shill for Israel. Keep that bullshit coming!!

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:22 pm GMT

Nothing at all respectable about the modern day Sierra Club.

They sold out for a big donation from a Jewish donor committed to open borders.

The environment in the United States be dammed.

It is all about the money with the modern day Sierra Club.

Nothing more disrespectful, or predictable with liberals, than that.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:25 pm GMT

@Anonymous

The American electorate has, for 50 years, consistently elected "representatives" who, without fail, proceeded to take actions to devastate the American economy while enriching themselves and their grotesquely-corrupt monetary "supporters".

True to a large degree. Yet:

With that in mind, why on earth would Russia seek to interfere in a US election? America is rapidly destroying itself ! no interference is necessary.

You could be really stunned if you think that Russia seeks destruction of the US and once real Russia's intentions are understood. This is not to speak of consequences of the US imploding–they will be global and could be simply catastrophic for all. US is a nuclear superpower and is still a crucial player in global economy. Russia sure as hell is interested in saner and, in a good geopolitical sense, national interests' defending US–but those interests certainly can not be "global" in neocon "interpretation". In the end, during campaigning Trump was saying very many right words and those words have been prepared for him by very powerful people, which testifies to the fact of some powerful forces inside US who do understand the new game. We all are currently at the point of no return, we are still balancing on it, whether we will cross into the "pass the point of NR" is yet to be seen. But US power is declining both in relative and absolute terms and this process is objective.

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

@Z-man Counterproductive for sure.

Criminalization of thought gives the thought more credibility.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Why am I beginning to get the feeling that Russia is now being catapulted by the most complex algorithms to the forefront of the world economic ranking in order to make them look like the ominous opponent we've already 'agreed' to make them into?

Isn't this a bit transparent ?

lavoisier > , Website July 18, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@Erebus If your analysis is correct, and it may well be, then our decline as a superpower will be the result of Jewish hegemony and the traitorous behavior of the cuckservatives.

A nation hollowed out at its core will die.

yeah > , July 18, 2017 at 6:58 pm GMT

Philip Giraldi, pretending to be so fair and reasonable, writes, ""Sure, let's punish Russia if it has actually done something wrong, but first let's see the evidence."

Punish exactly how? By making the Russians wear dunce caps? By expelling even more Russian diplomats? Or perhaps by launching a few good ones?

The stupidity, hypocrisy, and hubris of Neocons and their bedmates, the progressives, makes me gasp. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that the sanest and safest way in troubled times is for all parties to observe international law and not to renounce it.

Now what great human ideal, what dazzling symptom of moral and political greatness has been achieved by bombing silly but miserably weak countries? Is Iraq a better place for anyone now?Is Libya more democratic now? Should N. Korea be similarly treated? And of course the mother of all questions: how should Russia be punished? Will more Nato exercises in the Baltic teach the Russians better manners? What if they took it into their heads to conduct military exercises off the Gulf of Mexico? Of course, that will only prove how fiendish they are, how they "interfered" with US democracy. Interfered how? Perhaps they lifted American skirts a little too high. The US never, ever interferes with any country's political processes. The CIA exists to ensure that every US agency follows international law fully. But damn these Russians, they don't understand such noble things.

Dangerous times when hypocrisy and arrogance gets mixed up with tons of stupidity and ignorance.

Cortes > , July 18, 2017 at 7:25 pm GMT

An excellent article. Thank you.

One minor quibble. The "golden shower" allegation was designed to be more embarrassing than your version of it, since the story was that the prostitutes urinated on Trump and not the other way round.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 18, 2017 at 7:34 pm GMT

@Rurik

OK, but in order to expect anyone else to respect international law and the sovereignty of nations, isn't it rather incumbent upon us that we (the ZUSA) do so as well?

Yes, absolutely so.

It seems like Jerry Sandusky demanding that Mother Theresa be more considerate to children. or at least, that's sort of how it seems to me.

A good point you make but once you observe with the naked eye most of what is going on currently in terms of global power re-balancing–it is precisely about a bottom line of several guiding principles applied to everyone which should be followed–respect for sovereignty is the most important of them. It will require (and it is happening as I type is) a significant re-defining of US "exceptionalism" before new balance is achieved but it is this new balance into whose sails the winds of history are blowing. Having said all that, espionage and operations of influence will certainly not go anywhere, but the level of violence will be reduced greatly.

chris > , July 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm GMT

@Cortes I knew right away that that whole golden shower story was fake because on the margins this charge had been made about Hitler also over the years.

Seems to be the standard smear against nazis, #7 in the ol' lexicon.

Priss Factor > , Website July 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm GMT

former global enemy that now has an economy the size of Spain or Italy.

But keep in mind that it's wrong to assess Russian economy this way.

Much of Spanish or Italian economy is just tourism, wine, foods, and such stuff. Italy and Spain don't have Power Economies.

In contrast, Russia has tons of resources, big machinery, military ware, and energy.
So, it is a Power Economy. And if Russia were to enter into war-footing, these sectors could be expanded vastly, like during WWII.

anon > , July 18, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT

Wow. Just wow.

In fact:

1. Russia has been involved in financing 'green' anti EU and Ukrainian fracking for years. This is, in fact, interesting. Liquid crude oil is fungible but natural gas is very expensive to move around except in direct, physically connected pipelines. Ukraine could develop an unconventional gas and oil industry ! in theory. It has resources but not the political or economic cohesion to do anything for its economy.

2. Same with Europe. except there isn't much to develop. Romania gave it a try and could have done something at $100 oil but its project has been abandon at current prices.

3. US sanctions on Russia resulted in 'import substitution' economic development. The Ruble haircut (roughly half) has turned Russia into an agriculture export powerhouse. It's now the largest exporter of grain in the world.

4. What did we do? We 'manipulated' Russia's currency downward and luck reduced (temporarily) the value of oil exports. We pushed other countries *not* to trade with Russia. This resulted in Russia boycotting food imports, among other things. Effectively a tariff. The only negative was a real, significant, but transitory cost to Russian standard of living. I suppose the rationale was to punish Putin and cause political unrest. That worked well, no?

5. Meanwhile ! Fracking. Lets call it unconventional US Oil and Gas. The US is effectively self sufficient regarding net total trade balance of oil and gas, including refined products and basic chemicals. Not quite as obvious as it would be if every component was in exact balance. US refineries can get more out of heavy crude and well continue to import it and refine it. The US produces multi millions of bbl per day of 'liquids' ! a large quantity of which are exported. Propane, among others. Look it up if you are curious. Meanwhile, the US is the world's largest producer of natural gas.

The entire unconventional oil industry is the only large area of expansion in the US economy since 2008. It's why the US has done better than the rest of the developed world's economies since 2008. What replaced the housing bubble? I suppose nothing, but unconventional oil has come close. A problem is that the benefits are more concentrated than single family housing ! which had the advantage of being spread around fairly uniformly, with a lot going to the deplorable engaged in a segment of the skilled labor needed to pull it off.

A policy of global hegemony focused on oil is more than backwards looking. I suppose it is impossible not to fight the last war. WW 2 wasn't primarily about oil, but the popular narrative tends to seriously underestimate the extent to which it was catastrophic for Germany. Russia had it and Germany didn't. And of course ! it was fought on the Eastern Front and paid for in Russian blood. But oil was so 20th century. Would the US design a foreign policy around the 'strategic' asset of coal?

The point is that a commodity based view of global hegemony is old and wrong. US has been an 'agricultural' superpower for a century. And now we have made Russia the grain basket of the world. And now oil is effectively just another commodity. Time to get with it.

Zenarchy > , July 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Yats is not a Jew and even Ukraine's chief rabbi has said so.
Have you even looked at him? There may be blonde and blue-eyed Jews etc, but this guy has zero Jewish features.

Anonymous > , July 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

You could be really stunned if you think that Russia seeks destruction of the US and once real Russia's intentions are understood. This is not to speak of consequences of the US imploding–they will be global and could be simply catastrophic for all.

In my opinion, it follows that both Russia and China need the USA for economic reasons ! markets, currency standard, stabilizing effect of military, etc. More correctly, they need something like the USA, so the USA serves the purpose for the meanwhile. The US is collapsing from decay, where China is on a growth spurt of yet undetermined duration, Russia on a rebirth cycle following collapse that did not destroy it.

All interesting factors. I will say I do not believe the US can engender rebirth, and its collapse will be properly calamitous. We shall see.

Patrick Armstrong > , Website July 18, 2017 at 8:58 pm GMT

RUSSIA INC. Summarising three recent authorities, Wikipedia says Canada's GDP is greater than Russia's and Germany's is about two and a half times greater. There's something deeply misleading and, in fact, quite worthless about these GDP comparisons. Russia has a full-service space industry including the only other operating global satellite navigation system.

Neither Canada nor Germany does. It has an across the board sophisticated military industry which may be the world leader in electronic warfare, air defence systems, silent submarines and armoured vehicles. Neither Canada nor Germany does. It has a developed nuclear power industry with a wide range of products. Ditto.

It builds and maintains a fleet of SSBNs – some of the most complicated machinery that exists. Ditto. Its aviation industry makes everything from competitive fighter planes through innovative helicopters to passenger aircraft. Ditto.

It has a full automotive industry ranging from some of the world's most powerful heavy trucks to ordinary passenger cars. It has all the engineering and technical capacity necessary to build complex bridges, dams, roads, railways, subway stations, power stations, hospitals and everything else.

It is a major and growing food producer and is probably self-sufficient in food today. Its food export capacity is growing and it has for several years been the leading wheat exporter. It has enormous energy reserves and is a leading exporter of oil and gas. Its pharmaceutical industry is growing rapidly. It is intellectually highly competitive in STEM disciplines – a world leader in some cases.

Its computer programmers are widely respected. (Yes, there is a Russian cell phone.) It's true that many projects involve Western partners – the Sukhoy Superjet for example – but it's nonetheless the case that the manufacturing and know-how is now in Russia. Germany or Canada has some of these capabilities but few – very few – countries have all of them. In fact, counting the EU as one, Russia is one of only four.

Therefore in Russia's case, GDP rankings are not only meaningless, but laughably so. While Russians individually are not as wealthy as Canadians or Germans, the foundations of wealth are being laid and deepened every day in Russia. What of the future? Well there's a simple answer to that question – compare Russia in 2000 with Russia in 2017: all curves are up. Of course Russians support their government – why wouldn't they? It's doing what they hired it to do; we others can only dream of such governments. For what it's worth, PwC predicts Russia will be first in Europe in 2050, but, even so, I think it misses the real point: Indonesia and Brazil ahead of Russia? No way: it's not GDP/PPP that matters, it's full service. Russia is a full-service power and it won't become any less so in the next 30 years. Autarky. Very few aren't there? And in that little group of four autarkies on the planet, who's going up and who's going down? A big – fatal even – mistake to count Russia out.

https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2017/02/09/russian-federation-sitrep-9-february-2017/

Astuteobservor II > , July 18, 2017 at 9:52 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive he is using gdp numbers.

anon > , July 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT

@chris It would have few dollars more per gallon and would have been like that since 1950

geokat62 > , July 18, 2017 at 10:57 pm GMT

As it turns out, there may not have been any discussion of Hillary, though possibly something having to do with irregularities in DNC fundraising surfaced, and there may have been a bit more about the Magnitsky Act and adopting Russian babies.

Speaking of the Magnitsky Act, here is some late-breaking news that, if substantiated, will put a completely different spin on the bogus Russia-gate scandal:

Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya says Magnitsky act lobbyist Browder behind Trump Jr. scandal

The scandal concerning the meeting between US President Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was orchestrated by Magnitsky act lobbyist William Browder, the lawyer told RT in an exclusive interview.

"I´m ready to clarify the situation behind this mass hysteria – but only through lawyers or testifying in the Senate," Veselnitskaya told RT.

"I can only assume that the current situation that has been heated up for ten days or so by now is a a very well-orchestrated story concocted by one particular manipulator – Mr. Browder. He is one of the greatest experts in the field of manipulating mass media,"Veselnitskaya said.

She went on to say that Browder, who is the founder and CEO of the Hermitage Capital investment company, orchestrated this whole disinformation campaign as revenge for the defeat he suffered in a US court in 2013 from a team of lawyers that included Veselnitskaya.

"I have absolutely no doubt that this whole information [campaign] is being spun, encouraged and organized by that very man as revenge for the defeat he suffered in court of the Southern State of New York in the 'Perezvon' company case," she said.

"He wasn't able to convince the court with his lousy human tragedy that actually never happened, about the fate of a dead man – who he only learnt about after his death."

In 2013, Veselnitskaya was one of the lawyers who represented a Cyprus-based holding company Prevezon, owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, in its defense against allegations of money laundering in a court of the Southern State of New York.

The case was settled with no admission of guilt by Prevezon.

Veselnitskaya also said she is now concerned for the safety of her family as it's been revealed that Browder's team spied on her family's activities even before her meeting with Trump Jr.

"It's been revealed that Mr. Browder and his team have been gathering information about my family," she told RT, adding, that Browder's team "found photos of my house and sent them to Kyle Parker a famous man in the House of Representatives, who worked for Mr Browder for many years – and not for any congressmen or congress as a whole."

People working for Browder also shared all her personal details with representatives of the State Department, Veselnitskaya said.

Browder has a long history of hostility against Russia. In 2013, he was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for tax evasion. He was also the boss of the late Russian auditor Sergey Magnitsky.

According to the 2013 court verdict, Browder together with Magnitsky failed to pay over 552 million rubles in taxes (about US$16 million). The businessman was also found guilty of illegally buying shares in the country's natural gas monopoly, Gazprom, costing Russia at least 3 billion rubles (US$100 million).

Magnitsky died in pre-trial custody in 2009. His death led to a strain in Russian-American relations. US authorities eventually imposed sanctions against Russian officials they deemed responsible for the auditor's death by issuing the so-called Magnitsky list in 2012. Browder also lobbied European states to follow Washington's lead.

The Magnitsky Act is a 2012 law that allows the United States to seize assets from a number of alleged Russian human rights abusers, as well as barring them from entering the country. Russia retaliated by prohibiting American families from adopting Russian children.

https://www.rt.com/news/396728-russian-lawyer-scandal-america/

For those who may not recall, Phil previously wrote an excellent article on the sordid Magnitsky Act affair here on Unz. IIRC, Browder managed to get Sen. McCain to stand on the floor of the senate and make a sales pitch (with fancy presentation materials) to convince the rest of the senate to vote in favour of passing the Magnitsky Act, which they did. Hopefully, this story will now begin to unravel like a ball of yarn.

Client 9 > , July 18, 2017 at 11:11 pm GMT

"Now the irony in all this is that a major producer of relatively dirty oil is being accused of targeting an even dirtier and environmentally destructive energy resource, which is fracking"

We've been Fracking since the early 20th century, there are always risks but overall it is a safe alternative. Time to stop getting our oil from countries who use their wealth to spread terror/sharia, whose only aim is to build a global calipahte.

Erebus > , July 19, 2017 at 12:27 am GMT

@lavoisier Well, it's not really an "analysis" as such. If one goes back to the literature of the time, one sees that Triffen's Dilemma was known to the policy makers, and was hovering overhead in the deliberations leading up to Nixon's "closing the gold window" in 1971.

Dollar Hegemony was very attractive because it offered the West the opportunity to do an end run around its military stalemate in its Great Game with the USSR. Though closing the gold window was a policy decision, the attraction was not lost on the captain's of American industry. They could count on a generation or so of extraordinary profit and scrambled on board.

It was Dollar Hegemony that underpinned the West's takedown of the USSR. By loaning the USSR "hard currency" (remember that term?), and then collapsing the prices of the stuff the USSR exported to pay back the loans, the USSR was forced into austerity, and ultimately default.
That plan is a matter of historical record, so didn't require any "analysis" on my part either. They tried the same thing again in 2014, but I suspect the Russians were ready for them this time.

As for the Jewish part, the elite in most countries are "international" in their lifestyle and outlook. Yes, Jews are over-represented there, and are possibly more "international" in outlook than goy elites, but real "Jewish hegemony" comes later with the rise of the Financial State. Having laid out the ground work in the '90s with the repeal of Glass-Steagal etc, it really takes off at the time of 9/11, which coincided with the 2nd shoe dropping on the American economy. Namely, China's ascendance to the WTO and gaining Most Favoured Nation status.

To make Dollar Hegemony work, you need a powerful, and effective military. They got the "powerful" part, in the sense that the USM is really good at blowing stuff up, but they muffed the "effective", and so here we are.

Cortes > , July 19, 2017 at 12:28 am GMT

@chris Chris, if memory serves, Norman Davies (in his selection of key moments and people "Europe" – a door stopper of a book) went much further in describing the sexual pathology of Hitler. I may be mistaken (won't be the first or only time) so don't sue me. Check out the relevant section of the book.
Here, dealing with President Trump, the effort appears to me to be defamatory and consistent with the seeming ongoing campaign to destabilise his presidency by actors known and unknown.

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 12:35 am GMT

@Flavius "DC fools ever more insistently are taking us down; and I would add for no good reason at all, but purely out of habit and for having something to do."

I can't agree with that. I would say that total global control is the ultimate motivation.

America's role is to be the persuader and enforcer until such time as relative parity is achieved and then America can be reduced to little more than a struggling entity that can be slotted in amongst the other competing economic zones (all controlled by the same interests) in a competitive race to the bottom scenario.

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 12:44 am GMT

@alternatereality I would think that most are emigrating to the US, no?

ChuckOrloski > , July 19, 2017 at 1:03 am GMT

Brilliant revelation, NoseyTheDuke!

Gg Mo > , July 19, 2017 at 1:05 am GMT

@alternatereality Alternative Reality Indeed.

yeah > , July 19, 2017 at 2:26 am GMT

@Patrick Armstrong A very potent and astute piece of analysis – kudos to you, sir.

Now why don't the great economists in their ivory towers get these common sense things right? An economy making everything from A to Z is way different from an economy based on wines, cheese, and chocolates. A wild thought: Perhaps common sense should be made a compulsory part of many curriculums. Yes, no?

RobinG > , July 19, 2017 at 3:05 am GMT

@geokat62 Thanks, Geo.

Here's the weekly update on #UNRIG which, due to being attacked last week by Zionist entities in US, has added a second demand – AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL.

Robert Steele Weekly Integrity Update on #UNRIG

MarkinPNW > , July 19, 2017 at 3:06 am GMT

@Rurik Rurik, shame on you for insulting pigs!

Mokiki > , July 19, 2017 at 3:09 am GMT

Why do you embrace the watermelon position that fracking is "dirty"??

RobinG > , July 19, 2017 at 4:22 am GMT

@Mr. Hack Where to begin? How about the notion that John McCain has a good name to besmirch. ("Besmearch" sounds a bit like something a James Bond villain would do, no?)

Next, why the pretense? Everyone knows that Fuktoria was speaking with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Ross Pyatt. From Wikipedia,

"In their phone conversation, Nuland and Pyatt discussed who should be in the government after Viktor Yanukovych's ouster and in what ways they might achieve that transition, with the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk (whom Nuland refers to as "Yats") coming up several times. Specifically, the two spoke about which opposition leaders they would like to see in government, what pitches they would give each opposition leader in subsequent calls to achieve this, and strategies on how they would try to manage the 'personality problems' and conflicts between the different opposition leaders with ambitions to become president.[15][16] Yatsenyuk became prime minister of Ukraine on February 27, 2014″

So, as you see, their man Yats did become prime minister. Porky, the chocolate king, subsequently became president. Maybe your hearing is bad: they ruled out Klitch from the top positions.

Ya, that's the irony, that the Nudelwoman took power by unleashing a bunch of Banderites and neo-nazis. Pretty funny, huh? BTW, are you sure Mr. Hack isn't really Mr. Hasbara?

Sergey Krieger > , July 19, 2017 at 8:50 am GMT

@Anonymous In case of USA collapse the most important question is what happens with nukes and everything related.

Mr. Hack > , July 19, 2017 at 10:40 am GMT

@RobinG

So, as you see, their man Yats did become prime minister.

Yes, and millions of US citizens who voted in the last elections had their choice for president validated too. Were they all involved in some nefarious, covert act too? I replayed the video clip, and while the 'great reporter' talks about Nuland's favorite for the top Ukrainian post, photos of Klitschko were being transferred over the viewing screen. Still, it was Poroshenko and not Yatseniuk that filled the top post. In fact, Poroshenko's name was never mentioned in the nefarious phone call?? BTW, Poroshenko was elected president by way of a monitored and free election several months after the events on the Maidan had settled down.

For the record then, since you so cavalierly throw around the terms 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis', just who exactly do both Yatseniuk and Porosheno represent in your sophisticated view of contemporary Ukrainian political persuasions? Or are both of them both 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis?

Avery > , July 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack {For the record then, since you so cavalierly throw around the terms 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis', just who exactly do both Yatseniuk and Porosheno represent in your sophisticated view of contemporary Ukrainian political persuasions? Or are both of them both 'Banderites' and 'neo-Nazis?}

Don't know about Porkyshenko, but The Yats is a neo-Nazi*: scroll down and take a gander of The Yats giving the traditional greeting to his Nazi Master, Adolf. (right after Oleh Tyahnybok).

Heil Hitler!
Sieg Heil!

______________
*

https://off-guardian.org/2016/11/05/ukraine-fascisms-toe-hold-in-europe/

Rurik > , Website July 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm GMT

@MarkinPNW mea culpa

those pigs are actually very beautiful, and they have my apology for comparing them to the Kagans

Sarah Toga > , July 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

Phil,
What's your beef with hydraulic fracturing?

Anonymous > , July 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT

"One of the latest claims is that Moscow has been covertly funding some environmental groups, most particularly those opposed to the use of fracking technologies."

And Russian environmental critics of Putin, such as Evgueniya Chirikova and Nadezdha Kutepova, are notoriously sponsored by organizations linked to the US government. The moral outrage of the American establishment is totally hypocritical. Anything is right or wrong just when it serves the interests of the American establishment.

In fact, much of the Russian opposition is financed by Washington, but this has never generated any tearing of the Yankee mainstream media.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/russian-opposition-caught-filing-into-us-embassy-in-moscow/30717

Anatoly Karlin > , Website July 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

As a rule of thumb, nominal GDP is a superior proxy of financial strength, while PPP-adjusted GDP is better as a proxy of industrial, inc. military-industrial potential (and of real living standards in its per capita format).

In the former domain, Russia is indeed a minor; in the latter domain, it is indeed comparable to Germany.

Philip Giraldi > , July 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

@Sarah Toga http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/011915/what-are-effects-fracking-environment.asp?lgl=rira-baseline-vertical

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

Mr. Hack > , July 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

@Avery

Arseniy Yatsenyuk [center], former PM of Ukraine, also NOT performing a Nazi slaute.

I take this quote directly from underneath the photo in the article that you cite. Not an expert on correct 'Nazi salutes' I'll defer to the author of this photo for his knowledge on this matter. Yatseniuk, may have showed some solidarity with rightists like Tyahnybok during the Maidan period, but he's never been known for any far right viewpoints or belonging to any far right political parties, and indeed has been referred to as a Jew on many occasions. I don't know for a fact whether or not he's Jewish, not having taken a part in either his Christian baptism, nor his Jewish Bar Mitzvah.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/fearful-of-anti-semitism-22-of-european-jews-hide-identity/

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As a rule of thumb, nominal GDP is a superior proxy of financial strength, while PPP-adjusted GDP is better as a proxy of industrial, inc. military-industrial potential (and of real living standards in its per capita format).

Somewhat true. But while PPP is, indeed, "better" it is still highly inaccurate, and I mean highly. Reason being the "adjustment" itself, which changes dramatically across the whole spectrum of real (that is productive) economy plus calculation of costs in general–e.g. US healthcare system. While highly developed and world-class (most of the time), its "cost calculations" (through "charge masters") is ridiculous but it is this number (horrendously inflated) which goes in as part of US GDP. But here is an example which anyone will understand, since unlike financial transactions, it is an essential and extremely important service, that is healthcare. My mother just recently, in Moscow nonetheless, literally built all her teeth anew–she has now literally a new mouth. She paid 130 000 Rubles. World class dentist, excellent equipment, great service, implants etc–whole 9 yards. Now, if converted directly to US Dollar it comes up to 2167 USD. What can I do for that here, in US? I know for sure, my good acquaintance dentist offered me a single implant (and I really need it badly) of an upper tooth for a good price of 2 500 USD. Should I do to my teeth (desirable for me) what my mother did–I would end up with 20 000 + bill in the best case scenario. How do we convert that? I looked once at the cost (covered by my insurance, thankfully) of one of my CT scans–2 000 + USD. This is without "reading" it. As you may have guessed it already, the same procedure in Russia will cost much-much less, this is without counting free ones, but you have to wait there for weeks or even months. Here are simple examples of those gigantic discrepancies. Once one gets into real hi-tech manufacturing field, most (not all) Western "economists" will have their brains exploding.

Philip Giraldi > , July 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Andrei and Anatoly – Thanks for explaining this. I last studied economics in an introductory course taught by Milton Friedman. I came away with a "C" and forgot everything I had learned almost immediately.

Apolonius > , July 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny Lets punish Russia? Are you sure that you have big enough punisher?

How you people get to think and say such a things? Are you not aware that Russia can obliterate USA and western Europe in 30 mins? No anti-rocket system will help, russian missiles can change their trajectory in flight (american don´t ) ! Not adding that to defend against thousands of missiles is virtually impossible. You still writing like you have power over Russia,this is the most stupid thing you can do – but of course , you are an exceptional representative of the exceptional people You have a donkey for the president, and you blame it on Russia? Whole world is having fun watching this opera..

As to international law, USA and NATO countries are in the gravest breach of the international law, they have executed illegal war and occupation in Serbia, since 1999.(That is just first of many) Let us first punish that, together with reparations to the attacked nation, and then you can start speaking about "International law".

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi

I came away with a "C" and forgot everything I had learned almost immediately

Very similar, albeit I scored A ("5″) IIRC on my Political Economy Of Capitalism (did less well on the same but of Socialism) in naval academy. But life forced me, eventually, especially against the collapse of the USSR and our lives being thrown in complete disarray (politely speaking), to start review and, eventually, study the subject anew.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT

@Anonymous

In my opinion, it follows that both Russia and China need the USA for economic reasons ! markets, currency standard, stabilizing effect of military, etc.

Secret to China's economic miracle are precisely these very American markets, which were opened to Chinese-made goods. Russia is far-far less, on several orders of magnitude, less dependent on US markets than China, hence Russia has much bigger room for maneuver. But in the rest, you are correct–US is too important to global economic balance, even despite being so damaging to it, to think that possible collapse could be contained. It could not be contained completely. Some sort of accommodation has to be found. What sort? I am not competent enough to be very specific, plus we will have to go into military-political aspect of that issue.

Apolonius > , July 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm GMT

@Patrick Armstrong Just to add one personal observation. I know Russia very well, lived there for 12 years, last time in 1991. Then I visited Russia several times until 2006 – improvement was visible, but nothing prepared me to the Russsia 2017! Even people on the street changed – to the positive. As to buildings, stores, it is incredible, I couldn´t recognize old Russia, everything was new, shining, smart and much better than before.

Russians are optimistic , which was impossible in nineties! It was really a shock for me, very nice shock I don´t know how to express to you this enormous surprise I never thought such transformation possible .

So speaking about Russia like about some sick giant is a very stupid thing to do. Today, Russia from the point of view of her citizens is good, and working hard for excellence. I think Western leaders still think about Russia in categories of 90´s, and that is a big mistake. They should understand once for all, that Russia has to be treated as equal, and not messed with, like in Ukraine. If they will not, I think that the Russia will pass from partner, to the Master.

anon > , July 19, 2017 at 6:59 pm GMT

Here's material for Phil Giraldi's next week's piece:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-overheard-comments-netanyahu-lashes-eus-crazy-policy-on-israel/

Andrei Martyanov > , Website July 19, 2017 at 7:26 pm GMT

@Apolonius

Today, Russia from the point of view of her citizens is good, and working hard for excellence

Without any jokes, however lighthearted this my statement may appear to you, one of the fields in which Russia's greatness is unsurpassed by the US is the field of 100% cotton socks. No, I don't mean those white (and warm) cotton socks any COSTCO or department stores sell. No, I am talking about 100% cotton socks of thin and different colors (including of dressy kind) you can by in any Russian department store or Auchan. This is not the case with US anymore.

For years now I was either bringing back with me or whenever any of our friends flew to Russia and back–the request is always the same: bring 10-12 pairs of not-white thin 100% cotton socks. I gave up trying to find these socks in US long time ago now, probably circa 2008-09. Including by means of internet. This is really ridiculous in the nation which was known around the world for its superb cotton products from jeans to socks for decades. I am almost forced now to go back to Russia next year to buy socks–jokes aside, a very serious consideration among few others.

krollchem > , July 19, 2017 at 7:45 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Coming from a natural resource science background I would argue that GDP is not relevant to a sustainable society. The concept of GDP is based on the mythology of ever increasing growth. This has been debunked by the late Dr. Bartlett many years ago:

What is relevant is a sustainable society that maintains soil quality/fertility, water quality, and does not exceed the human carrying capacity of the land. More recently, the concept of doughnut economics encapsulates this:

Doughnut Economics – Grab a pencil, draw a doughnut!

https://theminskys.org/doughnut-economics/

https://www.kateraworth.com/animations/

Perhaps Russia can delay civilizational collapse by not following the the Western economic growth trap with the fracking, GMOs, water pollution, etc that is destroying what was once the resource rich land of America.

ps. Another quibble with GDP or PPP measurements is that it does not adequately measure WEALTH generated from the internal economy. See the automatic earth website for a different economic model.

Anonymous > , July 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm GMT

@Apolonius

No anti-rocket system will help

Even a 100% accurate system can be made useless if someone sets the warhead to detonate upon hitting the ground. Hitting a rocket (which is the goal) would only result in a nearby mushroom cloud. That's quite a predicament for the operators and for the host country.

HallParvey > , July 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm GMT

@Verymuchalive "You couldn't make it up."

Actually, you could. In fact, somebody did.

Bonjour

annamaria > , July 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Why are you going on a childish offensive by defending the US-installed junta in Kiev and demanding others to provide you with evidence that the neo-nazis and Banderites have nothing to do with Yatz and Poroshenko and Nuland-Kagan?

Google "neo-Nazi parades in Ukraine" and enjoy the show. If you still have doubts about the direct responsibility of Poroschenko for the neo-Nazi presence in the government of Ukraine, read about Pravyj sector and its role in the Maidan revolution. Also, Proschenko had been in contact with the State Dept for years before the Maidan revolution. Your take on this?

The main point is the US-orchestrated regime change in Kiev. Or you want to convince the UNZ reader that Nuland was a virtual reality and nothing has changed in Ukraine since Mrs. Nuland-Kagan' and Mr. Brennan's visit to Kiev? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7

Do you realize that the US has brought a range of US officials to Kiev – including the Director of the CIA – to "improve" a democratic process there by removing a lawfully elected and acting president?

Yes, the US intervention has brought neo-Nazis and Banderites to the positions of influence in Ukraine. What could be more natural than a combination of the name "Kagan" and the word "neo-Nazis?" https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/20/a-family-business-of-perpetual-war/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31887-the-ukraine-mess-that-nuland-made

Rurik > , Website July 19, 2017 at 10:47 pm GMT

some good news vis-à-vis Russia, Syria and the US

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.620196799e59

NoseytheDuke > , July 19, 2017 at 11:10 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi I found this small article to be wonderfully instructive on economics.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1993/12/how-the-world-works/305854/

I disagree with a lot of my American friends because they cannot conceive the notion that projects designed to benefit all of society are not necessarily evil socialism.

I believe in affordable healthcare for all and think Trump could achieve this by infusing the VA Hospital system with some extra funds and by using the Cuban healthcare methodology and then offering the service to those in need and charging according to what people can afford to pay. Medical students would be selected purely on merit and would work in the hospital as orderlies, cooks, cleaners whatever while undergoing studies. Post-graduation they would work within the system at a low income for about 10 years to repay their education. Medicines would be produced within the system and any profits from R & D would be ploughed back into the system. Preventative care would also be a feature.

Private healthcare would remain untouched for those who want it and can afford it. I have it myself.

It could be done, would cost far less than thought and ALL would benefit except perhaps the greedy and immoral. America would be a better nation for it.

Mr. Hack > , July 20, 2017 at 12:00 am GMT

@annamaria I'm curious why those of your persuasion aren't at all rattled by Russia's blatant attempts to unduly influence events in Ukraine during the Maidan period:

According to government documents released by former Deputy Interior Minister Hennadiy Moskal, Russian officials served as advisers to the operations against protesters. Codenamed "Wave" and "Boomerang", the operations involved the use of snipers to disperse crowds and capture the protesters' headquarters in the House of Trade Unions. Before some police officers defected, the plans included the deployment of 22,000 combined security troops in Kiev.[84] According to the documents, the former first deputy of the Russian GRU stayed at the Kiev Hotel, played a major role in the preparations, and was paid by the Security Services of Ukraine.. agents had been stationed in Kiev throughout the Euromaidan protests, had been provided with "state telecommunications" while residing at an SBU compound, and had kept in regular contact with Ukrainian security officials. "We have substantiated grounds to consider that these very groups which were located at an SBU training ground took part in the planning and execution of activities of this so-called antiterrorist operation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Ukrainian_revolution

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 12:59 am GMT

@Mr. Hack There is a wonderful episode from a famous novel by Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol, where an official tells a story of an officer's widow who allegedly whipped herself with a lash.
According to your fiction (since you have completely omitted the well-established facts of Nuland-Kagan' and Brennan' presence at the key moments of the regime change in Kiev), Russians have arranged the regime change in Kiev themselves – "cut off your nose to spite your face," in short. You have also modestly omitted the fact of the rise of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, courtesy the US State Dept and its ziocon handlers.
Here is a report from much more reliable source of information than the ziocon-controlled MSM: "Ukraine: Poland trained putchists two months in advance, " by Thierry Meyssan http://www.voltairenet.org/article183373.html
Repost: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7 https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

Mr. Hack > , July 20, 2017 at 1:30 am GMT

since you have completely omitted the well-established facts of Nuland-Kagan' and Brennan' presence at the key moments of the regime change in Kiev

Just where have I ommitted reference to Nuland and Brennan. You must be mixing up my comments with somebody else? I've noted that both were in Kyiv, but question their ability to direct a movement that was homegrown from the very beginning and till the bitter end.

You have also modestly omitted the fact of the rise of neo-Nazism in Ukraine, courtesy the US State Dept and its ziocon handlers.

You're right, I have for the most part omitted reference to any far right parties. Svoboda, the largest of these, barely can muster 3% support in national elections. I'd rather concentrate my purview on the other 97% of the voter base, than on a 3% minority party.

But since you've brought up what I've conveniently omitted, HOW ABOUT YOU? No comment regarding the obtrusive and deadly amalgamation of FSB personnel in Ukraine during these events? From what I've read, they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies or courses in how to create a civil society?

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 2:46 am GMT

" they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies"

It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine. And you want to convince the UNZ readers that the Maidan was organized by Russians? What is the name of your new Prime Minister? – Mr. Groysman? "Groysman was born in Vinnytsia into a Jewish family " How come that the predominantly anti-semitic Ukraine has elected this nonety with the proper ethnic background? – Sure you know how to explain that this is also the Russians' fault. How about the US-enforced appointment of Misha Saakashvilli to the governorship of Ukraine's Odessa? – Kremlin's affair? Ukraine has lost its independence with the regime change in 2014.

"From what I've read " – You mean the presstituting MSM? None of the respectable sources, from consortium.com to Sic Semper Tyrannus ( http://turcopolier.typepad.com ) have ever suggested that the coup d'etat involved – in any capacity – Russian government. Keep in mind that the above-mentioned sources present the analyses of the principled and patriotic Americans who dedicated their lives to the US nationals security. For obvious reasons, they are hated by ziocons.

RobinG > , July 20, 2017 at 3:17 am GMT

@Rurik some good news vis-à-vis Russia, Syria and the US

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-ends-covert-cia-program-to-arm-anti-assad-rebels-in-syria-a-move-sought-by-moscow/2017/07/19/b6821a62-6beb-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.620196799e59 Yes, indeed. You beat me to it.

" President Trump has decided to end the CIA's covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials."

Now that they've "decided," let's hope they get on with it, (and don't compensate with some other lunacy).

[Jul 20, 2017] It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine.

Jul 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria > , July 19, 2017 at 8:46 pm GMT

@Mr. Hack Why are you going on a childish offensive by defending the US-installed junta in Kiev and demanding others to provide you with evidence that the neo-nazis and Banderites have nothing to do with Yatz and Poroshenko and Nuland-Kagan?
Google "neo-Nazi parades in Ukraine" and enjoy the show. If you still have doubts about the direct responsibility of Poroschenko for the neo-Nazi presence in the government of Ukraine, read about Pravyj sector and its role in the Maidan revolution. Also, Proschenko had been in contact with the State Dept for years before the Maidan revolution. Your take on this?
The main point is the US-orchestrated regime change in Kiev. Or you want to convince the UNZ reader that Nuland was a virtual reality and nothing has changed in Ukraine since Mrs. Nuland-Kagan' and Mr. Brennan's visit to Kiev? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-14/white-house-admits-cia-director-brennan-was-secretly-kiev?page=7
Do you realize that the US has brought a range of US officials to Kiev – including the Director of the CIA – to "improve" a democratic process there by removing a lawfully elected and acting president?
Yes, the US intervention has brought neo-Nazis and Banderites to the positions of influence in Ukraine. What could be more natural than a combination of the name "Kagan" and the word "neo-Nazis?" https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/20/a-family-business-of-perpetual-war/

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/15/the-kagans-are-back-wars-to-follow/

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31887-the-ukraine-mess-that-nuland-made

annamaria > , July 20, 2017 at 2:46 am GMT

" they served up a lot more than just milk and cookies"
It was Nuland-Kagan who brought the treats to Kiev. It was the (former) Director of CIA Brennan who came to Kiev (supposedly in secret) on the eve of the Kiev' military actions against the civilian population of the pro-federalist east Ukraine. And you want to convince the UNZ readers that the Maidan was organized by Russians? What is the name of your new Prime Minister? – Mr. Groysman? "Groysman was born in Vinnytsia into a Jewish family " How come that the predominantly anti-semitic Ukraine has elected this nonety with the proper ethnic background? – Sure you know how to explain that this is also the Russians' fault. How about the US-enforced appointment of Misha Saakashvilli to the governorship of Ukraine's Odessa? – Kremlin's affair? Ukraine has lost its independence with the regime change in 2014.

"From what I've read " – You mean the presstituting MSM? None of the respectable sources, from consortium.com to Sic Semper Tyrannus ( http://turcopolier.typepad.com ) have ever suggested that the coup d'etat involved – in any capacity – Russian government. Keep in mind that the above-mentioned sources present the analyses of the principled and patriotic Americans who dedicated their lives to the US nationals security. For obvious reasons, they are hated by ziocons.

[Jul 20, 2017] Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

Jul 20, 2017 | moonofalabama.org

Liam | Jul 19, 2017 9:22:07 PM | 34

Just released and there is nothing else like it - Truth of Ukraine War Revealed: Watchdog Media Releases Definitive Chronological Timeline Video of Ukrainian War From Euromaidan to MH-17

https://clarityofsignal.com/2017/07/19/truth-of-ukraine-war-revealed-watchdog-media-institute-releases-definitive-chronological-timeline-video-of-ukrainian-war-from-euromaidan-to-mh-17/

[Jul 20, 2017] "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016

Jul 20, 2017 | "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: July 19, 2017 at 3:35 am The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016 (report of U.S. Department of Energy). In January-March 2017 Kiev bought coal at $206 per tonne, and a year earlier the price was $71 dollars. The volume of supply has increased from 355 thousand to 865 thousand tons over the same period this year the value of American coal for some countries has declined. In particular, Norway has purchased the fuel at $125 per ton, a year, and earlier for $140.

Who can answer the question why the Junta pays nearly twice the price for the same coal pay.

See: ,a href="http://mikle1.livejournal.com/7700305.html">Межгосударственная угольная коррупция

Interstate coal corruption

Тлеющая дружба: США почти в три раза увеличили цены на уголь для Украины в 2017 году

Smouldering friendship: up to 2017 the United States has almost threefold increased the price of coal for the Ukraine

[Jul 19, 2017] Regarding the newest row between Russia and US about US seizing Russian diplomatic compounds, why does Russia again only complain but doesn't really do anything?

Notable quotes:
"... "DAS WAR EN BEFEHL! DER ANGRIFF STEINER WAR EIN BEFEHL!" ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

karl1haushofer , July 19, 2017 at 1:42 am

Regarding the newest row between Russia and US about US seizing Russian diplomatic compounds, why does Russia again only complain but doesn't really do anything?

If the US seizes Russian property on American soil the correct countermeasure would be to seize American property on Russian soil.

The same goes for those diplomats that the Obama administration deported. Russia has still not extradited any US diplomats in return.

Usually countries answer to provocations like these with similar actions, but Russia chooses not to.

Moscow Exile , July 19, 2017 at 2:30 am
I don't know.

Do you?

If you do know, please tell us all, because I'm sure I'm not the only person here who is losing a lot of sleep over this pressing question.

Lyttenburgh , July 19, 2017 at 3:33 am
Wow, karl! So much activity in just one day! One has to imagine you, sitting tight in the badly lit poorly airconditioned bunker beneath Helsinki, reading one newspice about Russia after another, then, with you shaly hand, taking off the glasses from your red with rage sweaty face and exploding in:

"DAS WAR EN BEFEHL! DER ANGRIFF STEINER WAR EIN BEFEHL!"

Jen , July 19, 2017 at 4:23 am
Well, Karl, it would be a dull world if everyone behaved like robots engaging in tit-4-tat behaviours that by their very nature increase the chances of all-out war and annihilation. If Russia has a choice between two actions or a choice of several actions against US provocation, why should Moscow behave the way you (and the Americans) expect?
Patient Observer , July 19, 2017 at 4:13 pm
With Matt's departure, there is apparently an opening for another resident troll.
Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt , July 19, 2017 at 11:46 am
Prof. Stephen Cohen discusses this in this week's interview on the John Batchelor show. However, he says Putin is under a great deal of pressure from the Russian public to get this sorted out. True or not, I don't know. Listen for yourself: https://audioboom.com/posts/6120078-tales-of-the-new-cold-war-will-moscow-retaliate-for-washington-property-confiscations-stephen-f-cohen-nyu-princeton-part-2-of-2
cartman , July 19, 2017 at 2:13 pm
As soon as Mike McFaul was appointed Spaso House was hosting one kreakl after another. Confiscating that property would make it a lot more difficult to do that. Taking the Anglo-American school might cause the United States to cut back the number of embassy employees. With relations as they are, I would say that it is bloated and unnecessary.
marknesop , July 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm
They could build the American Ambassador a new residence which reflected the current state of the countries' relations; perhaps something like this . It should be on the outskirts of the city, far away from everything to minimize his meddling, and be in the center of about an acre of asphalt so that he could not leave without being spotted. Better still, just break off diplomatic relations and send him off to be the Russian Ambassador in Prague, like RFE/RL is.

The Russian government actually owns Pullman House, which serves as the residence of the Russian Ambassador to the United States, having paid $350,000.00 for it in 1913 . Spaso House, though, does not belong to the USA – the first US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, William C Bullit, 'selected' it as his official residence , and leased it for three years. I suppose the US government still pays something for using it, but the USA doesn't own it.

[Jul 19, 2017] F. William Engdahl looks at the claims that the economy of the RF is foundering

Jul 19, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Cortes , July 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

F. William Engdahl looks at the claims that the economy of the RF is foundering:

https://journal-neo.org/2017/07/19/a-tale-of-two-nations-russia-vs-usa-economic-prospects/

His essay includes remarks about how US ratings agencies appear to be adjuvant parts of the Treasury economic warfare unit; the application of lessons learned in production of military assets to ensuring that civilian enterprises benefit from leading edge technologies to gain significant product improvement and cost reductions; and further detail on the high speed rail system being developed.

Patient Observer , July 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm
Yes well worth reading.
kirill , July 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm
Debt is not the main parameter of Uncle Scumbag's decline. It is the de-diversification and offshoring of most manufacturing. Aside from the military sector, the US civilian economy has transformed into a mercantile trickle down of cheap imports sold at high prices. Nobody has demonstrated how the downsized, right-sized, and offshored economy is supposed to be sustainable. All I see is a catabolic process where enough money keeps circulating in the system as the middle class disappears. The trickle down injection of money creates retail low wage jobs and props up consumer demand. But ultimately the consumers in the USA will become a minority. There is a clear shift of the job spectrum from well paying ones (related to manufacturing) to low wage ones (retail sector and "services"). Consumption is lubricated by debt increases both private and public (the local and federal governments in the USA are propping up consumption).

US multinationals do not care since they gain consumers abroad faster than they lose consumers at home. A globalist mega-corporation wins from the expansion of the middle class in China, India and elsewhere. These corporations are literally walking over the dead body of the USA to reach their goals.

By contrast, Russia is diversifying and de-offshoring and import substituting. As the cherry on top of this GDP growth cake, Russia has a very low debt (both public and private). Russia's growth and development is basically natural and not artificial stimulus through debt generation.

The trash talk about "Russia does not make anything" (Obama) and "Russia is a gas station posing as an economy" (McShitStain) reflects deep insecurity by US leaders.

They know that post-globalism America will be a 3rd world husk. Trump is going to have to really act like a dictator to unseat the globalist corporate interests that steer the US. I don't see this happening.

[Jul 19, 2017] The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics

Notable quotes:
"... Foreign Affairs ..."
"... Capital in the Twenty-First Century ..."
"... Financial Times ..."
Jul 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/21/death-of-neoliberalism-crisis-in-western-politics#comments

Martin Jacques

In the early 1980s the author was one of the first to herald the emerging dominance of neoliberalism in the west. Here he argues that this doctrine is now faltering. But what happens next?

Trump seeks a return to 1950s America, well before the age of neoliberalism

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, pictured in 1984, ushered in the era of neoliberalism. Photograph: Bettmann Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Brexit was the marker of a working-class revolt. Photograph: Mark Thomas/Alamy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook Twitter Pinterest 'Virtually no one foresaw the triumph of Jeremy Corbyn', pictured at rally in north London last week. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

Just as the Labour party took far too long to come to terms with the rise of Thatcherism and the birth of a new era at the end of the 70s, now it could not gr