Thursday, December 28, 2017

China Plans to Break Petrodollar Stranglehold

Petrodollars have dominated the global energy markets for more than 40 years. But now, China is looking to change that by replacing the word dollars for yuan.

Nations, of course, have tried this before since the system was set up by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in tandem with the House of Saud back in 1974

Vast populations across the Middle East and Northern Africa quickly felt the consequences when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein decided to sell oil in euros. Then there was Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi’s pan-African gold dinar blueprint, which failed to create a splash in an oil barrel.

Fast forward 25 years and China is making a move to break the United States petrodollar stranglehold. The plan is to set up oil-futures trading in the yuan, which will be fully convertible into gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong foreign exchange markets.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange and its subsidiary, the Shanghai International Energy Exchange (INE), have already run four simulations for crude futures.

It was expected to be rolled out by the end of this year, but that looks unlikely to happen. But when it does get off the ground in 2018, the fundamentals will be clear – this triple oil-yuan-gold route will bypass the mighty green back.

The era of the petroyuan will be at hand.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Iraq Redux in the Making? US Rhetoric on Iran Brings Back Memories of 2003

Sometimes you wake up in the morning and it’s 2003 all over again. That was the year when the United States embarked on its catastrophic course of intervention in Asia. It was at least "somewhat justified" in invading Afghanistan to eliminate al-Qaeda but then made the mistake of sticking around to fix the country, a repair job that has lasted sixteen years and counting with no end in sight. And it was also the time when the neoconservatives who were then controlling the Pentagon and White House decided that it was necessary to go after Iraq.

As Baghdad in no way threatened the United States, and everyone who had examined the actual evidence knew that to be the case, a false narrative about Saddam Hussein had to be contrived. The White House claimed that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda, that it was seeking uranium to construct a nuclear weapon and that it was building gliders that could cross the Atlantic Ocean with cargoes of chemical and biological weapons.

None of that turned out to be true, but the piece de resistance of the go-to-war crowd was the presentation made by Secretary of State Colin Powell before the United Nations on February 5, 2003. With Central Intelligence Director George Tenet sitting behind him presumably to establish bona fides for the information that was about to be revealed, Powell detailed how Iraq was preparing and concealing from inspectors weapons of mass destruction, was avoiding disarming and was colluding with al-Qaeda. It was all a lie, intended only to make a minimal case to the U.N. that increasing the military pressure on Iraq was a supportable, indeed a necessary, policy. One month later President George W. Bush called on President Saddam Hussein to resign based on his failure to comply with U.N. demands and, when he did not do so, launched an invasion of Iraq.

America’s current United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is no Colin Powell either in terms of intellect or credibility, but she did try to act like him when she spoke on December 14th in front of a sparsely attended press conference that was focused on a much larger US television audience. Haley displayed parts of what she claimed to be fragments from an Iranian-sourced missile that was allegedly used in an attack initiated by Houthi “rebels” and directed against the Saudi capital Riyadh. Haley denounced what she described as Tehran’s “increasing military role” all around the Middle East. She claimed hyperbolically “It’s hard to find a conflict or terrorist group in the Middle East that doesn’t have Iran’s fingerprints all over it,” and warned that Washington will “build a coalition to really push back against Iran and what they’re doing.” To give weight to her message, she pointed at the fragments and said “They are allowing missiles like this to be fired over to innocent civilians.”

Read the entire article

Friday, December 22, 2017

Russia and China Challenge Dollar Domination

The Russian government has recently announced it will issue nearly $1 billion equivalent in state bonds, but denominated not in US dollars as is mostly the case. Rather it will be the first sale of Russian bonds in China’s yuan. While $1 billion may not sound like much when compared with the Peoples’ Bank of China total holdings of US Government debt of more than $1 trillion or to the US Federal debt today of over $20 trillion, it’s significance lies beyond the nominal amount. It’s a test run by both governments of the potential for state financing of infrastructure and other projects independent of dollar risk from such events as US Treasury financial sanctions.

Russian Debt and China Yuan

Since the August 1998 sovereign default triggered by the West, Russian state finances have been prudent to almost a fault. The size of the national government debt is the lowest of any major industrial country, a mere 10.6% of GDP for the current year. This has enabled Russia to withstand the US financial warfare sanctions imposed since 2014, and forced the country to turn elsewhere for their financial stability. That “elsewhere” is increasingly called the Peoples’ Republic of China.

Now the Russian Ministry of Finance is reportedly planning the first sale of Russian debt in the form of bonds denominated in Chinese yuan currency. The size of the first offering, a testing of the market, will be 6 billion yuan or just under $1 billion. The sale is being organized by the state-owned Russian Gazprombank, the Bank of China Ltd., and China’s largest state bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. The move is being accelerated by reports that the US Treasury is examining potential consequences of extending penalties, until now concentrated on Russian oil and gas projects, to include Russian sovereign debt in its sanctions warfare. The new yuan bond will be traded on the Moscow Exchange and will aim to sell to mainland Chinese investors as well as international and Russian borrowers at attractive interest rates.

Western sanctions or threats of sanctions are forcing Russia and China to cooperate more strategically on what is becoming the seed of a genuine alternative to the dollar system. The Russian yuan debt offerings will also give a significant boost to China’s desire to build the yuan as an accepted international currency.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

No positive responses to Trump’s Jerusalem shock

Donald Trump’s flouting of international law with his recognition that [occupied] Jerusalem is Israel’s capital elicited worldwide condemnation, not least from predominately Muslim states. Protestors have taken to the streets throughout the Middle East, Asia and Europe to vent their frustrations burning effigies of the US president. To date there is no nation on earth willing to follow the Trump administration’s lead.

However as always the case, it is the Palestinian people who are bearing the brunt of Israeli retaliation against their valid objections. At least four Palestinians have been killed, over 800 have suffered injuries and more than 80 have been arrested, including boys under the age of ten.

Videos have emerged showing a very young child being dragged away by dozens of Israeli soldiers in riot gear, an elderly man being brutally beaten and a 29-year-old man, robbed of both legs by an Israeli bomb, was shot in the head for the ‘crime’ of waving a Palestinian flag.

Without doubt Trump’s unilateral announcement has been strongly denounced by Arab and Muslim leaders. The Arab League was united in characterising the decision as being “dangerous and unacceptable” as well as “a flagrant attack on a political solution” to the conflict.

Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Jibran Bassil was the most impassioned and outspoken delegate calling for economic sanctions to be imposed on the United States, a call that was met with applause.

Read the entire article

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Case Against Iraqing Iran

The case against Iraqing Iran includes the following points:

Threatening war is a violation of the U.N. Charter.

Waging war is a violation of the U.N. Charter and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact.

Waging war without Congress is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Have you seen Iraq lately?

Have you seen the entire region?

Have you seen Afghanistan? Libya? Syria? Yemen? Pakistan? Somalia?

War supporters said the U.S. urgently needed to attack Iran in 2007. It did not attack. The claims turned out to be lies. Even a National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 pushed back and admitted that Iran had no nuclear weapons program.

Having a nuclear weapons program is not a justification for war, legally, morally, or practically. The United States has nuclear weapons and no one would be justified in attacking the United States.

Read the entire article

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Here Comes the Next ‘Defense’ Shakedown

“Today with the signing of this defense bill,” US president Donald Trump said as he affixed his signature to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on December 12, “we accelerate the process of fully restoring America’s military might.”

Is Trump truly under the mistaken impression that US military might is ailing? Or is he mindlessly aping Ronald Reagan and hoping it brings in the re-election votes? Or perhaps something else entirely?

The NDAA budgets nearly $700 billion for the US military next year. Despite its name, there’s precious little “defense” involved.

While it’s true that the United States is involved in several ongoing wars ($65.7 billion of the NDAA’s appropriations go to the “Overseas Contingency Fund” for continuing those wars), none of them serve any vital, let alone existential, US interest, and none of them are defensive in nature.

The US has no militarily significant adversaries in the western hemisphere. Further afield, it already floats by far the most powerful naval and expeditionary capability on Earth. Of the world’s 41 aircraft carriers, the US operates 20, including 11 flat-top “supercarriers.” The remaining 21 are scattered among the navies of 12 other countries, mostly US allies. America’s two most likely military adversaries, China and Russia, each operate one light STOBAR (“Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery”) carrier.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Why the Documentary Must Not Be Allowed to Die

I first understood the power of the documentary during the editing of my first film, The Quiet Mutiny.

In the commentary, I make reference to a chicken, which my crew and I encountered while on patrol with American soldiers in Vietnam.

“It must be a Vietcong chicken – a communist chicken,” said the sergeant. He wrote in his report: “enemy sighted”.

The chicken moment seemed to underline the farce of the war – so I included it in the film.

That may have been unwise.

The regulator of commercial television in Britain – then the Independent Television Authority or ITA – had demanded to see my script.

What was my source for the political affiliation of the chicken? I was asked. Was it really a communist chicken, or could it have been a pro-American chicken?

Of course, this nonsense had a serious purpose; when The Quiet Mutiny was broadcast by ITV in 1970, the US ambassador to Britain, Walter Annenberg, a personal friend of President Richard Nixon, complained to the ITA.

Read the entire article

Friday, December 8, 2017

BATTLESHIP ADMIRALS IN CYBER-SPACE

On December 7,1941 Japan attacked and destroyed most of the US Navy fleet based at Pearl Harbor. In many ways the bloody war in the pacific was a combat of codes. In late 1941, the American leadership was aware of the tensions with Japan because we were able to read most of the diplomatic and military communications.

However, the attack on Pearl Harbor was not made available in the Japanese coded traffic. The US Army broke into the highest level of Japanese diplomatic cypher - code named "PURPLE" - well before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Yet, PURPLE produced little of military value, as the Japanese Foreign Ministry was considered unreliable by the Tokyo political leadership.

The strike, devised and led by the brilliant Japanese Naval commander, Admiral Isoruko Yamamoto, crippled the American fleet, killing over 2,000 Americans, and sinking nine US Navy battleships.

In 1941, the battleship was considered to be the most powerful weapon of war. In the 1920s, US Navy "Battleship" Admirals were the most powerful force in America's military command. The Battleship admirals led an effort to disgrace airpower advocate General Billy Mitchell because he predicted that tiny airplanes could sink the mighty battleships. Mitchell knew of the coming science in flight and that aircraft would soon dominate. The entrenched naval command would have nothing of this new idea and hounded Mitchell out of the service in 1926.

On December 7, 1941, in the span of a few short minutes, Admiral Yamamoto demonstrated that Mitchell was right. Fortunately, Yamamoto missed the US Navy aircraft carriers which were out on exercises that day. Yet, the devastating attack propelled America into World War II.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Russiagate Becomes Israelgate

Reading the mainstream media headlines relating to the flipping of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to provide evidence relating to the allegations about Russian interference in America’s last presidential election requires the suspension of one’s cognitive processes. Ignoring completely what had actually occurred, the “Russian story” with its subset of “getting Trump” was on display all through the weekend, both in the print and on the live media.

Flynn’s guilty plea is laconic, merely admitting that he had lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about what was said during two telephone conversations with then Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak, but there is considerable back story that emerged after the plea became public.

The two phone calls in question include absolutely nothing about possible collusion with Russia to change the outcome of the U.S. election, which allegedly was the raison d’etre behind the creation of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel office in the first place. Both took place more than a month after the election and both were initiated by the Americans involved. I am increasingly convinced that Mueller ain’t got nuthin’ but this process will grind out interminably and the press will be hot on the trail until there is nowhere else to go.

Based on the information revealed regarding the two conversations, and, unlike the highly nuance-sensitive editors working for the mainstream media, this is the headline that I would have written for a featured article based on what I consider to be important: “Israel Colluded with Incoming Trump Team to Subvert U.S. Foreign Policy,” with a possible subheading “FBI Entraps National Security Adviser.”

Read the entire article

Monday, December 4, 2017

From the Caucasus to the Balkans, China’s Silk Roads are Rising

The 19th Chinese Communist Party Congress made it clear that the New Silk Roads – aka, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – launched by President Xi Jinping just four years ago, provides the concept around which all Chinese foreign policy is to revolve for the foreseeable future. Up until the symbolic 100th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, in 2049, in fact.

Virtually every nook and cranny of the Chinese administration is invested in making the BRI Grand Strategy a success: economic actors, financial players, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the private sector, the diplomatic machine, think tanks, and – of course – the media, are all on board.

It’s under this long-term framework that sundry BRI projects should be examined. And their reach, let’s be clear, involves most of Eurasia – including everything from the Central Asian steppes to the Caucasus and the Western Balkans.

Representatives of no fewer than 50 nations are currently gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, for yet another BRI-related summit. The BRI masterplan details six major economic “corridors,” and one of these is the Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor. That’s where Georgia fits in, alongside neighboring Azerbaijan: both are vying to position themselves as the key Caucasus transit hub between Western China and the European Union.

On the first day of the summit, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili extolled the drive to “strengthen the economic and civilizational ties between Europe and Asia.” In practice, that translates into a push to build an economic free zone, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding signed by the Chinese and Georgian economic ministers.

Read the entire article

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Russiagate Explained

Michael Flynn is in the news again. Russiagaters are gushing with excitement at the revelation that Flynn’s lawyers are no longer sharing information with the president’s legal team now that Robert Mueller’s investigation is looking more closely at the former National Security Advisor’s involvement in the production of a film about an exiled cleric from Turkey. The story goes that this separation means that Flynn has struck a deal with Mueller, which Mueller wouldn’t permit him to do if he didn’t have damning information on Trump.

Of course this excitement is dependent on the false belief that Mueller’s job is to get the president impeached, and that he would only cut deals toward that ultimate end. It is also dependent on the false belief that there is any evidence to be found that Trump illegally colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election. And, like the rest of the Russiagate enthusiasm around Flynn, it is also somewhat dependent on compartmentalizing away from the fact the Turkey and Russia are two completely different countries.

This is all par for course in the interminable dance of soaring excitement followed by thinly veiled disappointment that Russiagaters have been engaged in for over a year. I’ve been receiving some complaints that I don’t recap enough on the specific details of why I reject the establishment Russia narrative so aggressively, so if you’re just tuning in, what follows is a quick synopsis of how this weird thing has been going so far.

At the beginning of 2015 Hillary Clinton was already scaring people with her intensely hawkish positions on Russia, long before she went all-in on her horrifying support for a no-fly zone in a region where Russian military planes were conducting operations. Coincidentally this same nation Clinton wanted to fight happens to be the nation everyone in her political party is supporting new cold war escalations with today.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Is North Korea Really a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism'?

President Trump announced last week that he was returning North Korea to the US list of “state sponsors of terrorism” after having been off the list for the past nine years. Americans may wonder what dramatic event led the US president to re-designate North Korea as a terrorism-sponsoring nation. Has Pyongyang been found guilty of some spectacular terrorist attack overseas or perhaps of plotting to overthrow another country by force? No, that is not the case. North Korea is back on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism because President Trump thinks the move will convince the government to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. He believes that continuing down the path toward confrontation with North Korea will lead the country to capitulate to Washington’s demands. That will not happen.

President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson argued that North Korea deserved to be back on the list because the North Korean government is reported to have assassinated a North Korean citizen – Kim Jong-Un’s own half-brother -- in February at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. But what does that say about Washington’s own program to assassinate US citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son under Obama, and later Awlaki’s six year old daughter under Trump? Like Kim’s half brother, Awlaki and his two children were never tried or convicted of a crime before being killed by their own government.

The neocons, who are pushing for a war with North Korea, are extremely pleased by Trump’s move. John Bolton called it “exactly the right thing to do.”

Designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism will allow President Trump to impose the “highest level of sanctions” on North Korea. Does anyone believe more sanctions – which hurt the suffering citizens of North Korea the most – will actually lead North Korea’s leadership to surrender to Washington’s demands? Sanctions never work. They hurt the weakest and most vulnerable members of society the hardest and affect the elites the least.

Read the entire article

Friday, November 24, 2017

Did The Putin/Assad Meeting Cement The End Of America's Mid-East Dominance?

I’m not a terribly religious man.  But, I’d like to believe there is a special corner in Hell reserved for those that fomented the Syrian Civil War.

From its beginnings in Libya with gun-funneling through the U.S. embassy in Benghazi to yesterday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, this entire affair will be remembered as one of the most cynical and abusive periods of history.

The Syrian ‘Civil War’ was meant to be the crowning achievement of U.S./Israeli/Saudi policy in the Middle East, the apotheosis of neoconservatism.

Had it succeeded it would have transformed the world into a living hell governed by the likes of Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Angela Merkel and the U.S./U.K. banking cartel.

Syria was to be the wedge that blew open not only the Middle East but Central Asia as well.  It would stop the resurgence of Russia as a world power, subjugate Europe to an endless nightmare of forced cultural assimilation and completed bankrupting the United States to bring it in line with the a failing European integration project.

Supranational treaties like the TPP, TTIP and the Paris Accord were designed to create a superstructure that would supplant national sovereignty without any input from the people who were most affected by it.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman

I was in my room in the Baghdad Hotel on al-Sadoun street last Sunday evening, writing about the chances for stability in Iraq taking hold, when the walls and floor began to shake. They jerked sideways and up and down several times as if my room was the cabin of boat in a rough sea.

My first confused thought was – this being Baghdad – that there must have been some huge bomb explosion, which would explain the rocking motion of everything around me. But almost simultaneously, I realised that I had not heard the sound of an explosion, so a better explanation was that there was an earthquake, though I had never thought of Baghdad as being in an earthquake zone.

The jerking movements of the walls and floor of my room were so spectacular that I wondered if the building was going to collapse. I looked under the desk where I was sitting, but the space was too small for me to crouch in. I got down on my hands and knees and started to crawl towards the bathroom which is meant to be the safest place in the event of a bomb explosion, and I supposed the same must be true of earthquakes.

I had got about half way there when the shaking stopped. The lights were still on which seemed a good sign. I got back on a stool and googled “Baghdad earthquake” on my laptop and read a series of alarmed tweets confirming that was indeed what had just happened.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Israel’s Ploy Selling a Syrian Nuke Strike

In September 2007, Israeli warplanes bombed a building in eastern Syria that the Israelis claimed held a covert nuclear reactor that had been built with North Korean assistance. Seven months later, the CIA released an extraordinary 11-minute video and mounted press and Congressional briefings that supported that claim.

But nothing about that alleged reactor in the Syrian desert turns out to be what it appeared at the time. The evidence now available shows that there was no such nuclear reactor, and that the Israelis had misled George W. Bush’s administration into believing that it was in order to draw the United States into bombing missile storage sites in Syria. Other evidence now suggests, moreover, that the Syrian government had led the Israelis to believe wrongly that it was a key storage site for Hezbollah missiles and rockets.

The International Atomic Agency’s top specialist on North Korean reactors, Egyptian national Yousry Abushady, warned top IAEA officials in 2008 that the published CIA claims about the alleged reactor in the Syrian desert could not possibly have been true. In a series of interviews in Vienna and by phone and e-mail exchanges over several months Abushady detailed the technical evidence that led him to issue that warning and to be even more confident about that judgment later on. And a retired nuclear engineer and research scientist with many years of experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has confirmed a crucial element of that technical evidence.

Published revelations by senior Bush administration officials show, moreover, that principal U.S. figures in the story all had their own political motives for supporting the Israeli claim of a Syrian reactor being built with North Korean help.

Read the entire article

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dennis Kucinich: US Has a "Permanent Government" Where Elected Presidents Have No Say

In a recent interview with host Wilmer Leon at the Inside the Issues show, former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed how what Kucinich terms the “permanent government” has worked to ensure the United States continues pursuing destructive foreign interventions and to keep America “at the precipice of a much wider war” irrespective of who is president.

November 15, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - In a recent interview with host Wilmer Leon at the Inside the Issues show, former presidential candidate and United States House of Representatives Member Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discussed how what Kucinich terms the “permanent government” has worked to ensure the United States continues pursuing destructive foreign interventions and to keep America “at the precipice of a much wider war” irrespective of who is president.

“There’s an unbroken line going back over the last 30 years where American presidents have continued to proceed with an interventionism that has been counterproductive,” states Kucinich. This “continued commitment to a failed foreign policy of interventionism, of unilateralism, of first strike,” Kucinich continues, “imperils America,” “does not make us safer,” “separates us from the world community,” “has people looking to extract vengeance on Americans,” and “has made the world a more dangerous place.”

Saying we need to look beyond the personalities of the succession of US presidents from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Donald Trump, Kucinich recommends we “look at the foreign policy establishment of the United States of America” that, he explains, includes people in the State Department who have a neoconservative ideology, in the Pentagon who are dedicated to the military-industrial complex, and in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) who can “conjure conflicts” and “try to justify the further involvement of the military and the State Department.” This, Kucinich says, “is the permanent government, which we see reflected through Democrat and Republican administrations, no matter whether they are so-called conservative or liberal or populist; it’s all the same.”

While this “permanent government” push for US intervention overseas has produced many harmful consequences, some of which Kucinich discusses in the interview, it also, he argues, produces the additional danger that it “keeps us at the precipice of a much wider war.”

Read the entire article

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Assault On RT America

In one of the most horrendous blows to press freedom since the anti-communist witch hunts of the 1950s, the U.S. Department of Justice has forced the news broadcaster RT America to file under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The assault on RT America, on which I host the show “On Contact,” has nothing to do with the dissemination of Russian propaganda. It is driven by RT America’s decision to provide a platform to critics of American capitalism and imperialism, critics who lambast a system of government that can no longer be called democratic. And it is accompanied by the installation of algorithms by Google, Facebook and Twitter that divert readers away from left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, including Truthdig. The World Socialist Web Site has seen its search traffic from Google fall by 74 percent since April. Google, in a further blow, this month removed RT from its list of “preferred” channels on YouTube. Twitter has blocked all advertising by the channel.

Put the censorship campaigns together and the message is clear: Left-wing critics, already marginalized by the state, must be silenced.

It would seem, given how we are locked out of the corporate media and public broadcasting, that the assault is overkill. But the ideology that sustains the corporate state, the “free market” and neoliberalism has lost all credibility. The corporate state has no counterargument to its critics. The nakedness of corporate greed, exploitation and repression is transparent across the political spectrum. The ideological fortress erected by corporate power and sustained by its courtiers in the press and academia has collapsed. All it has left is a crude censorship.

Complicit in this censorship is a bankrupt liberal class. The institutions tasked with defending press freedom—including the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists and PEN—along with major news outlets such as The New York Times, have served as the corporate state’s useful idiots. Only a handful of journalists, including Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, grasp and decry the very real danger before us.

Read the entire article 

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Privatization of Nuclear War, Towards a World War III Scenario: Michel Chossudovsky

With tensions growing in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, a new generation of nuclear weapons technology is making nuclear warfare a very real prospect. And with very little fanfare, the US is embarking on the privatization of nuclear war under a first-strike doctrine.

“On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, commemorating when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held behind closed doors at Strategic Command Headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Senior executives from the nuclear industry and the military industrial complex were in attendance. This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima. The meeting was intended to set the stage for the development of a new generation of “smaller”, “safer” and “more usable” nuclear weapons, to be used in the “in-theater nuclear wars” of the 21st Century. 

“Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”. 

US-NATO weapons of mass destruction are portrayed as instruments of peace. Mini-nukes are said to be “harmless to the surrounding civilian population”. Pre-emptive nuclear war is portrayed as a “humanitarian undertaking”. 

US nuclear doctrine is intimately related to “America’s War on Terrorism” and the alleged threat of Al Qaeda, which in a bitter irony is con- sidered as an upcoming nuclear power.

Read the entire article

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Arabian peninsula returns to warring princes and tribes

Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, fancies himself as a champion of “moderate Wahhabism,” something that does not actually exist, and clean government. In fact, this fast-rising son of the decrepit 81-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was a prime motivator behind the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or “Da’esh,” in Iraq and Syria, the chief architect of the genocidal Saudi-led war in Yemen, and the driving force behind the Gulf Cooperation Council’s economic and travel sanctions imposed on Qatar.

Rather than being a reformer or “moderate,” MBS, as he is known in Saudi Arabia and abroad, hearkens back to an age when rival sheikhs and tribal leaders vied for control over wide patches of desert lands in Arabia. MBS’s ongoing coup d’√©tat against some of Saudi Arabia’s most powerful and wealthiest princes points to his determination to become an autocratic ruler over Saudi Arabia once his father, King Salman, leaves the scene. MBS has curbed the power of Saudi Arabia’s dreaded religious police and allowed women the right to drive in an effort to gain popular support for his own “Salmanist” movement in Saudi Arabia, one that brooks no dissent and rules with an iron fist. MBS will use Wahhabism for his own advantage and when it is against his interests, he will not hesitate to clamp down on Wahhabist domestic clerics and foreign missionaries. Indeed, some Middle East experts see MBS’s rapid rise to power as eventually achieving the same autocratic rule over Saudi Arabia as that commanded by the founder of the modern Saudi state, Abdulaziz bin Saud, in the 1930s.

MBS’s rise to a prominent role within the House of Saud began in October 2011 when Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz died. Salman, who had been governor of Riyadh province, and, as WMR reported, a major bankroller for Al Qaeda mercenaries traveling to Afghanistan, became second deputy prime minister and defense minister in November 2011. Salman made MBS his personal adviser and with that wide portfolio, the young prince helped initiate the jihadist rebellion in Syria against President Bashar al Assad and the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. MBS also aided his father, the defense minister, in helping to brutally crush a pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain.

In November 2012, Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Salman’s brother, died. Salman was named crown prince and first deputy prime minister. Salman basically ran Saudi Arabia’s domestic affairs while his half-brother, King Abdullah, was out of the country, which was often. Crown Prince Salman’s penchant for charitable contributions to poor majority Muslim countries, which was shared by MBS, saw Saudi funds flow into the coffers of Wahhabist radical groups in Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sudan.

Read the entire article

Monday, November 6, 2017

Deep State: Follow the Rothschild, Soros, and Rockefeller Money

It may sound clich√©, but there is a great deal of wisdom in the old saying about catching criminals: “Follow the money.” That advice applies as much to catching small-time petty thieves as it does to big-time global crime syndicates. And it is especially relevant when trying to understand the bureaucratic and intelligence community components of the “Deep State,” and more importantly, the “Deep State Behind the Deep State.” This shadowy network, which is barely concealed at this point, includes secret societies such as Skull and Bones and the Bohemian Grove, as well as less-secretive organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberg meetings. Money is key.

Of course, much of what has been referred to amid the Trump era as the “Deep State” is merely part of the government — the legions of entrenched Big Government bureaucrats and especially the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), and other secretive agencies. Other analysts have pointed — quite properly — to elements of the Big Business community and Wall Street in particular. Former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, a top-secret security clearance holder and one of the early voices to develop the idea of a “Deep State” in America, refers to it as “a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country.” He is right, in a sense, to point at Wall Street. But there is more to the story.

Wall Street and the Deep State

“Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one,” argued Lofgren, who wrote a book on the subject before Donald Trump became president. “Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests.”

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Mueller Mugs America: The Case of Baby George Papadopoulos

This is how the Deep State crushes disobedience by the unwashed American public. It indicts not only ham sandwiches but, apparently, political infants in diapers too, if that’s what it takes. Hence the sudden notoriety of Baby George Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to "lying" about an essentially immaterial date to the FBI.

Oh, and by all signs and signals that plea came after this 30 year-old novice had been wearing a wire for several months.

So here’s how this noxious act of bullying by Robert Mueller’s Federally-deputized thugs came down. It seems that during the early months of 2016, when Trump was winning primary after primary against all mainstream media expectations, the Donald’s establishment betters began attacking his foreign policy credentials with special malice aforethought.

That was mainly owing to his sensible suggestion that it would be better to seek rapprochement with Russia rather than pursue Hillary’s Cold War 2.0 and that 25 years after the disappearance of the Soviet Union from the pages of history that NATO was obsolete.

Since this totally plausible (and correct) viewpoint was deeply offensive to the Imperial City’s group think and threatened the Warfare State’s existential need for a fearsome enemy, Trump’s ruminations about making a deal with Putin were belittled. They were, in fact, attributed not to a fresh look at the realities abroad or the possibility that homeland security does not require a global empire, but to the candidate’s lack of any pedigreed foreign policy advisors.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In Shocking, Viral Interview, Qatar Confesses Secrets Behind Syrian War. Weapons to Al Qaeda First Started in 2011

A television interview of a top Qatari official confessing the truth behind the origins of the war in Syria is going viral across Arabic social media during the same week a leaked top secret NSA document was published which confirms that the armed opposition in Syria was under the direct command of foreign governments from the early years of the conflict.

And according to a well-known Syria analyst and economic adviser with close contacts in the Syrian government, the explosive interview constitutes a high level “public admission to collusion and coordination between four countries to destabilize an independent state, [including] possible support for Nusra/al-Qaeda.” Importantly, “this admission will help build case for what Damascus sees as an attack on its security & sovereignty. It will form basis for compensation claims.”

A 2013 London press conference: Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. A 2014 Hillary Clinton email confirmed Qatar as a state-sponsor of ISIS during that same time period. 

As the war in Syria continues slowly winding down, it seems new source material comes out on an almost a weekly basis in the form of testimonials of top officials involved in destabilizing Syria, and even occasional leaked emails and documents which further detail covert regime change operations against the Assad government. Though much of this content serves to confirm what has already long been known by those who have never accepted the simplistic propaganda which has dominated mainstream media, details continue to fall in place, providing future historians with a clearer picture of the true nature of the war.

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Friday, October 27, 2017

Xi’s Road Map to the Chinese Dream

Now that President Xi Jinping has been duly elevated to the Chinese Communist Party pantheon in the rarified company of Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, the world will have plenty of time to digest the meaning of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.”

Xi himself, in his 3½-hour speech at the start of the 19th Party Congress, pointed to a rather simplified “socialist democracy” – extolling its virtues as the only counter-model to Western liberal democracy. Economically, the debate remains open on whether this walks and talks more like “neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics”.

All the milestones for China in the immediate future have been set.

“Moderately prosperous society” by 2020.
Basically modernized nation by 2035.
Rich and powerful socialist nation by 2050.

Xi himself, since 2013, has encapsulated the process in one mantra; the “Chinese dream”. The dream must become reality in a little over three decades. The inexorable modernization drive unleashed by Deng’s reforms has lasted a little less than four decades. Recent history tell us there’s no reason to believe phase 2 of this seismic Sino-Renaissance won’t be fulfilled.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger

The death of four U.S. Special Operations Forces troops in Niger has generated a raucous conversation about how presidents should comfort bereft Gold Star families.

But, quietly, it’s fueling a more difficult debate than whether a phone call or a letter suffices in the aftermath of tragedy; mainly, why were U.S. troops in the country in the first place, and does Congress need to exert more authority when it comes such deployments?

Many lawmakers assiduously duck these questions. But on the Sunday shows, several were forced to address them in the aftermath of four soldiers dying under still-mysterious circumstances near the small town of Tongo Tongo. In the process, two powerful Senators tacitly admitted that they hadn’t even known the extent of U.S. involvement in Niger in the first place.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the chamber’s most hawkish members, told host Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he didn’t know until recently that a thousand U.S. troops are stationed in Niger.

Graham is on the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, tasked with overseeing the Pentagon. And he made the admission when Todd pressed him on whether Congress needs to vote on an Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) for that mission.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Raqqa Destroyed To Liberate It

The so-called Islamic State organization was primarily a bogeyman encouraged by the western powers.  I’ve been saying this for the last four years.

I asserted, as a former soldier and war correspondent, that IS would collapse like a wet paper bag if proper western ground forces attacked their strongholds in Syria and Iraq.  This week, the western powers and their local satraps finally took action and stormed the last IS stronghold at Raqqa.  To no surprise, IS put up almost no resistance and ran for its miserable life.

The much-dreaded IS was never more than a bunch of young hooligans and religious fanatics who were as militarily effective as the medieval Children’s Crusade.

In the west, IS was blown up by media and governments into a giant monster that was coming to cut the throats of honest folk in the suburbs.

IS did stage some very bloody and grisly attacks – that’s what put it on the map.   But none of them posed any mortal threat or really endangered our national security.   In fact, the primary target of IS attacks has been Shia Muslims in the Mideast.

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

America's Predictable Betrayal of the Iran Deal

In a recent public statement, US President Donald Trump announced the United States' decertification of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) also known as the "Iran Deal."

Fox News and AP in their article, "Trump decertifies Iran nuclear deal, slaps sanctions on IRGC in broadside at ‘radical regime’," would claim:

 “I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House. “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror, and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakthrough.” 

Friday's announcement does not withdraw the United States from the Iran deal, which the president called “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” 

But the president threatened that he could still ultimately pull out of the deal.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Is War With Iran Now Inevitable?

With his declaration Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is not in the national interest, President Donald Trump may have put us on the road to war with Iran.

Indeed, it is easier to see the collisions that are coming than to see how we get off this road before the shooting starts.

After "de-certifying" the nuclear agreement, signed by all five permanent members of the Security Council, Trump gave Congress 60 days to reimpose the sanctions that it lifted when Teheran signed.

If Congress does not reimpose those sanctions and kill the deal, Trump threatens to kill it himself.

Why? Did Iran violate the terms of the agreement? Almost no one argues that – not the UN nuclear inspectors, not our NATO allies, not even Trump’s national security team.

Iran shipped all its 20 percent enriched uranium out of the country, shut down most of its centrifuges, and allowed intrusive inspections of all nuclear facilities. Even before the deal, 17 U.S. intelligence agencies said they could find no evidence of an Iranian nuclear bomb program.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Where’s the Beef? The Senate Intel Committee and Russia

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA’s accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr’s statement is an example of “confirmation bias”  which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one’s own preexisting beliefs.  In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of “hand-picked” analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda.  In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that’s been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23,… the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what’s the point?

Let’s take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in “feeling confident” in the ICA’s accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How the Military-Industrial Complex Preys on the Troops

I’m sure you’ve heard about the $65 million.  Or was it $86 million?  Or was it even more?  You know, the funds the Pentagon sunk into that hotshot plane it was preparing for its Afghan drug interdiction program. You haven’t?

Well, as Megan Rose reported at ProPublica, with its “electro-optical infra-red video capacity,” that counternarcotics plane was supposed to lend a significant hand in surveilling and disrupting the Afghan heroin trade. Only one small problem. That single plane never made it out of a warehouse in Delaware or flew a mission in Afghanistan, whatever its cost (which the Pentagon was typically incapable of tracking), and when it was recently offered for sale at auction, no one wanted to put down a red cent for it.  And lest you think of that as a bizarre anomaly, consider, as Rose points out, the $3 million patrol boats for Afghanistan the Navy purchased that never made it out of Virginia or the 20 planes for the Afghan air force that the Pentagon spent a mere $486 million on, even though they never flew and finally brought in just $32,000 as scrap metal.  Or think for a moment about the more than $65 billion (yep, billion!) that went into the woeful Afghan military, an inept force long mentored by the U.S. military that remains filled with “ghost soldiers” and plagued by soaring casualties and staggering desertion rates.  Or since America’s war zones have, in these years, been sinkholes of corruption, just recall the $43 million gas station built by the Pentagon in the middle of an Afghan nowhere, or the similarly infamous “highway to nowhere,” or the state-of-the-art U.S. military headquarters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, that doubled in cost to $25 million while under construction and was never used, or the $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in cash that was somehow stolen from the U.S. in Iraq, which itself was just a drop in the bucket, given the $60 billion lost to waste and fraud in that particular morass of a war zone.  And mind you, that’s just to start down a list of catastrophic “investments” in this country's wars.

If you consider them in this fashion, don’t they start to seem like gigantic scam operations? Yet, as TomDispatch regular William Hartung often makes clear at this site, all of that’s just icing on the cake. The real zone of corruption doesn’t lie in Afghanistan or Iraq but in a five-sided building in Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., where, as Hartung explains today, American taxpayer dollars disappear regularly into the coffers of various giant weapons-makers or into the pockets of their CEOs and top officials.  War, it turns out, is the ultimate domestic scam and your tax dollars are its heart and soul. Worse yet, in a Washington endlessly riven by conflict, by the inability of more or less anyone to agree on anything, there is but one true bipartisan subject: the Pentagon. Into it, the representatives of both embattled parties couldn’t be happier or more eager to pour yet more money.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

US Public Don’t Care if ‘News’media Lie

To say that the US public don’t care if ‘news’media lie, is shocking, but I shall here present evidence that it actually is true — not in some mere theory, but in empirical fact.

A typical example of Americans not caring about the truthfulness, nor even about the honesty, of their sources of alleged ‘news’, is that, during the period of October 3rd through the 5th, there were two news-reports both of which were true, but which, when taken together, display the total disconnect between newsmedia-honesty, on the one hand, and the confidence that the American people have in the nation's ‘news’media, on the other.

One of these two news-reports was published on October 5th by the anonymous blogger who has come to be, amongst readers who closely follow and investigate the war in Syria, the most-trusted source of reporting on it, and the article was headlined, "Russia Issues Third Warning Against US Cooperation With Terrorists”, and it provided links to each of the three recent instances in which the US Government was cooperating with ISIS to defeat Syria and its defender Russia, in Syria. It summarily described the ways in which the US had been exposed (but not by US ‘news’media) as having been providing vital intelligence and other crucial assistance to ISIS, in ISIS’s efforts to overthrow and replace the existing Syrian Government (headed by Bashar al-Assad). That report should be read by anyone who proceeds further here, because it covers events that were certainly of top international importance and that might even precipitate war between the US and Russia, but which were reported little if at all in US ’news’media. Of course, it would be very bad for US ’news’media to allow the US to become involved in a nuclear war against Russia and to have hidden, from the American public, the US Government’s provocations which had produced such a war.

The US here was helping ISIS kill Russian and Syrian soldiers in Syria, who are trying to eradicate ISIS and all other jihadist groups there (including Al Qaeda etc.). Obviously, ISIS is not popular amongst the American public; and, for the United States to be constantly condemning ISIS in public, while secretly assisting ISIS to kill Russian troops and Syrian Government troops inside Syria (whose Government had invited Russia into the war to assist it to survive the onslaughts from ISIS and from the other US-backed fundamentalist-Sunni jihadist groups who are backed also by Saudi Arabia and by some other fundamentalist-Islamic Sunni governments, as well as by the US Government), would be disapproved of by the American people, if they were to have been informed of it. Some Americans would even be disturbed to recognize that the US and its allies in Syria are all invaders there, very unlike those Russian troops are, because Russians are allies of the existing government — quite the opposite of invaders (such as the US and its allies there). Some Americans dislike not only ISIS, but invaders and invasions, on basic principle. But American ‘news’media are very supportive of all of the US Government’s invasions — Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. So, that was a very important article about very important matters that are being hidden from the US public by the US ‘news’ media.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Last Sunday In Catalonia: Pirates 1, The Invincible Armada 0

One of the many stereotyped images of the Catalans propagated over the years by the Castile-centered Spanish state is that of the freebooting corsair interested, above all, in money, and disposed to doing just about anything to get more of it, a mindset, it is said, that makes them fundamentally different and less trustworthy than the supposedly spiritual and non-materialistic people in the rest of Spain.

Like all stereotypes this one has a grain of truth to it. Though it is not widely known today, Catalonia was a major Mediterranean trading power competing, often quite successfully, with the erstwhile giants of commerce in that region, Genoa and Venice, for access to the most lucrative markets around the Mare Nostrum in the years between 1292 and 1516. And as anyone who has studied Mediterranean history of the era knows, the line between commerce and piracy (along with its twin vice, smuggling) at the time was often quite thin.

While the Catalans were making deals – albeit not always devoid of a certain degree of coercion – in the cradle of European deal-making, Castile was still deeply immersed in a holy war against the Muslim residents of the Peninsula, the clear goal being that of forcing every follower of Muhammad (as well as the Jews that often lived peaceably and comfortably among them) there to either leave for other parts of the world, or convert to Christianity.

Whereas concepts of personal and group identity in the Mediterranean at the time were quite fluid and often subject to sudden and opportunistic transformations, those in the heartland of the Peninsula were comparatively static –and unlike those deployed in the prime trading nations of the Mediterranean basin – undergirded by a high degree rigidity-inducing sacrality.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

When Did Congress Vote to Aid the Saudi’s Yemen War?

The bill introduced by a bipartisan group of House members last week to end the direct U.S. military role in the Saudi coalition war in Yemen guarantees that the House of Representatives will vote for the first time on the single most important element of U.S. involvement in the war—the refueling of Saudi coalition planes systematically bombing Yemeni civilian targets.

In doing so, moreover, the bipartisan bill, H. Con. Res. 81, will provide a major test of Congressional will to uphold the War Powers Act of 1973, which reasserted a Congressional role in restraining presidential power to enter into wars without its approval in the wake of the Vietnam War debacle.

Since the Obama administration gave the green light to the Saudi war of destruction in Yemen in March 2015, it has been widely recognized by both Congress and the news media that U.S. military personnel have been supplying the bombs used by Saudi coalition planes. But what has seldom been openly discussed is that the U.S. Air Force has been providing the mid-air refueling for every Saudi coalition bombing sortie in Yemen, without which the war would quickly grind to a halt.

The Obama administration, and especially the Pentagon and the U.S. military, became nervous about public statements about that direct U.S. military role in the Saudi war after some legal experts began to raise the issue internally of potential U.S. legal responsibility for apparent war crimes in Yemen. Refueling Saudi coalition bombing missions “not only makes the U.S. a party to the Yemen conflict, but could also lead to U.S. personnel being found complicit in coalition war crimes,” Kristine Beckerle, Yemen and UAE researcher at Human Rights Watch, has observed.

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Friday, September 29, 2017

The Strategies of Global Warfare: War with China and Russia? Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

It is important to focus on Southeast Asia and East Asia in a broader geopolitical context. China, North Korea as well as Russia are potential targets under Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”, involving the combined threat of missile deployments, naval power and pre-emptive nuclear war.

We are not dealing with piecemeal military endeavors. The regional Asia-Pacific military agenda under the auspices of US Pacific Command (USPACOM) is part of a global process of US-NATO military planning.

US military actions are carefully coordinated. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Asia Pacific region. In turn, the planning of military operations is coordinated with non-conventional forms of warfare including regime change, financial warfare and economic sanctions.

While a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia and China is now contemplated at an “operational level”. U.S. and NATO forces have been deployed in essentially three major regions of the World:

  1. The Middle East and North Africa. Theater wars and US-NATO sponsored insurgencies directed against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen  under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism”
  2. Eastern Europe including Poland and Ukraine, with military maneuvers, war games and the deployment of military hardware at Russia’s doorstep which could potentially lead to a confrontation with the Russian Federation.
  3. The U.S. and its allies are also threatening China under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”.
  4. Russia is also confronted on its North Eastern frontier,  through the deployment of NORAD-Northcom
  5. In other regions of the World including Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, US intervention is geared towards regime change and economic warfare directed against a number of non-compliant countries: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

THE EXIT STRATEGY OF EMPIRE

In his monograph Rise of Empire, the libertarian journalist Garet Garrett (1878–1954), lays out a blueprint for how Empire could possibly be reversed as well as the reason he believes reversal would not occur.  Garrett was in a unique position to comment insightfully on the American empire because he’d had a front-row seat to events that cemented its status: World War II and the Cold War. World War II America already had a history of conquest and occupation, of course, but, during the mid to late 20th century, the nation became a self-consciously and unapologetic empire with a self-granted mandate to spread its ideology around the world.

A path to reversing Empire

Garrett identifies the first five components of Empire:

  • the dominance of executive power: the White House reigns over Congress and the judiciary.
  • the subordination of domestic concerns to foreign policy: civil and economic liberties give way to military needs.
  • the rise of a military mentality: aggressive patriotism and obedience are exalted.
  • a system of satellite nations in the name of collective security;
  • and a zeitgeist of both zealous patriotism and fear: bellicosity is mixed with and sustained by panic.

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