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Proportionate Responses to Madness, Inequality, Injustice, Death
« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2016, 11:58:43 AM »
http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/07/proportionate-responses-to-madness-inequality-injustice-death/

Proportionate Responses to Madness, Inequality, Injustice, Death

The political and elite class have us in a continual experiment of the new Inquisition

by Paul Haeder / July 30th, 2016

    …the bourgeois order . . . has become a vampire that sucks out its [the smallholding peasantry’s] blood and brains and throws them into the alchemist’s cauldron.

    — Karl Marx, 18th Brumaire

This is proportionally one of a 30-part serialization of a life, mine, in 30 segments, or 30 oddly disenfranchising anti-autobiographical parts, as if a significant chunk of my shaky 59 years on earth is being exhumed and sewn together with twine, or cat guts.

It’s one of a hundred things I coulda-shoulda-woulda written as tomes, but alas, the arteriosclerosis of the mind in America while working as a slave wager, in and out of community colleges, on the edge of newspapers and magazines, each inch gained as a “freelancer” or “freeway flyer” drowned in the constant backpedaling this Consumer Capitalism forces some us into.

I’m not whining. Here, Terminal Velocity — A Man Lost of Tribe, over at LA Progressive, and when the thing’s done, well, I’ll stitch it up into one cover to cover book.

For a really dense but whoopdeedoo sort of ride, try the narrative poem which is part three to the chapters, excluding the preface — Dystopia Blues — Who Will Write a Song About Ice Caps Melting When All Music Dies . Take a look at my daughter’s photos as part of that montage of words, images.

For now, the next installment:

*****

Collateral Damage, Spoils of War, In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Proportionality. The rules of engagement. War crimes, perfected in the 20th Century. You know, going way back, genocides in Turkey, hell, way back, hundreds of years in this country’s and the other White Countries’ histories. I remember Don Onate’s story in what is now New Mexico – cutting off the feet of offenders. Imagine, 1598, and this thug Conquistador with guns, germs and steel (Jarrod Diamond’s book title). The Acoma Pueblo Tribe resisted these Spaniards, killed 11, including the dictator’s (governor) nephew. Proportionality, again, 800 villagers killed, including women and children. And, out of the rest, 80 men had one of their feet sawed off.

This is what Empires do, in one form or another, battlefields, or villages, or wedding parties, or open prison Gaza, or, hmm, remember the first assault in the Iraq desert under first Bush. Hands up, surrendering conscripts, poor devils, sidearms and AK-47s thrown into the Persian sand, dehydration and dysentery, and, there you have it – bulldozed alive, in huge tank trenches with tanks outfitted with Caterpillar blades. Thousands, upon thousands surrendering, white cloths in the air, and, Bush I and Cheney the Butcher, and then some crappy colonel, quoted in NYT via LA Times – “This is war. This isn’t a pickup basketball game.”

These henchmen and henchwomen sleep good at night, play with their Doberman pups, take kids to confirmation and watch the Final Four with the neighbors. Proportionality. I have had fist fights with pigs defending murder, defending anything the police or CIA or US military does. Fights for calling these proportionality experts pigs and scum, big fat wimps, as wimpy as a fourth grade educated Trump calling Mexican immigrants rapists, terrorists, murderers, or a flaccid face Mrs. Clinton laughing it all off, those murdered in Libya, Honduras, Iraq. You have that beady eyed CPA Bernie scoffing at decrying the technocrats’ aided by Israel drone murdering, and he is that proportionality expert in supporting the cold hard murder of people in their own land by invaders, religious extremists, known terrorists (err, wasn’t Britain calling those Zionists terrorists?). Indian raids, women, children, grannies and gramps, slaughtered by West Point-led US Calvary. Proportional response, right: General Jackson and the trail of tears. Geronimo chased by 5,000 soldiers of General Pershing. All proportional, these Empire seekers, failing Empires and current Empire – USA – supporters. Imagine, the proportional response to Greenpeace and the Rainbow Warrior blocking whaling vessels sunk by French military. All proportional rationalizations of the war-mongers and economic hit men and their abiders.

Look, my last installment was about Vietnam. The struggle not to sign up, or even go to West Point to learn all the sapper and deep long range Special Forces stuff and then flip the script there, in-country, or back home. What a fool I was to scrap those plans and become a virulent (their words) anti-War/anti-American/anti-Capitalist/anti-White Man’s World and hoofed it south, became a dive bum, a teacher, a fucking journalist, and, well, a few occupations to supplement precarity and sub-standard wages.

No More Wars Like Vietnam

I had Le Ly Hayslip bless my daughter, who is 20, in El Paso, when I invited her as part of a huge 20th Anniversary of the Fall of Vietnam. Slow Walk in a Sad Rain author and former Special Forces Captain, John McAfee. Dan Yen, vice mayor of Saigon, who helped Steinbeck get around for his Life magazine story assignment. Lots of people called it my undying chutzpah without the Yiddish DNA. Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried, I got him there. Tommy Lee Jones, the American NCO in Stone’s third of the trilogy, Heaven and Earth, adapted from Hayslip’s When Heaven and Earth Changed Places memoir.

Proportionality, man, Vietnam all the way back to the conquerors of old, the Caesars, the Alexanders . . . Imagine, syphilitic fornicating Americans, throwing around their dollars, their Hershey’s bars (ahh, slavery and chocolate, the proportionality there, too, rules of economic engagement, thank you very much consumers), their needles and bongs and Buds, haunting the shadows, looking for that proportionality by raping the allied (sic) Vietnamese’s cousins, sisters, aunties, mothers.

This blasphemy of French or Belgium shit storms of proportionality. How many died in the rubber plantations under the syphilitic French? How many hearts of darkness in the Congo, through the proportionality of the Belgians, died at the hands of the white demon? God, paranoia, insanity, money counting, Oedipal complex, masturbation with the cross, you name it, we have those great levelers of law and order, the White Class, giving us the laws of Proportional Responses, and what is collateral damage, and what are the combatants and what are the targets. Legitimacy is a term defined by the levelers, takers, those with tanks outfitted with plows for which to bulldoze thousands into trenches so they are buried alive to remind the world that an eye is for a thousand eyes. Structural proportionality.

Fatigued by Compassion?

I was in a Compassion Fatigue workshop in Portland today. You know, people helping the homeless, the addicts, the unemployed while all shit falls down alongside us – gentrification, more social security recipients living out of cars, families in tents, angry solo guys pissing and shooting up along one of Portland’s famous green ways. Neighbors mad, mayors impotent, neighborhood groups pissing in the wind, Windmills and Titling and all of that stuff that is the modern man/woman’s tragedy, in slow motion.

What is the profession, generally defined as social work, when we are in the midst of a constant barrage of bad luck narratives to extremely perverted luck stories? One of the facilitators tried to tell us that we have to look at everyone’s context, to embrace more understanding of the people who are at the top as well as those who are at the bottom – our clients. I get that we need to not judge our clients, but, really, I spoke to the group about how the controllers, the point-one-percent are all about proportionality – they to a tee have no love of the rabble, have little care for the ones that are not up by their bootstraps and throwing in on the money making fun. To be a billionaire is to be a sociopath, someone who funds and invests in destroying communities, individuals and entire countries. Proportionality, really, what are those sets of rules when it comes to missing one mortgage payment or owing on the gym membership?

Fucking employers, corporations, really, hedge funders, these multinational companies who own local enterprises, what do they do? Twenty year background checks, forced pissing and blood donations for testing of drugs, forced credit checks.

Here we were, all social workers, many immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and we do all this good, but in the end, equating all people as people, one in the same, deep down, that is, well, I took issue with it, and these people are beyond criminals with billions – they are self-trained sociopaths.

One example is a fellow who sees me every day working with clients. He works at the fascist place, Subway, and he is now assistant manager, but he’s from Puerto Vallarta, ended up doing an armed robbery because of gang influences (single mother) and he spent two years in prison, and once out, after you supposedly paid dues by giving up your freedom and total rights for two fucking years, the state of proportionality has him for $8 grand in fines. He needs his license back for better jobs, but that takes shyster lawyers and a cool grand or two.

What strikes me about the men I work with or who seek me out is the vast amount of proportionality (tongue in cheek, meaning, disproportionate) the justice (sic) system levels on men, and women, but especially men since when they get into addiction and homelessness, a few acting out violence episodes unfold, and, alas, a person-to-person crime is almost as 86-ing as an SO, sex offense.

This fellow, whose mother lives in Puerto Vallarta, just finishing up her doctorate in English and is teaching, and his aunt runs a tourista kinda place, restaurant, near the malecon. This man misses her, tears up about how hard she worked as a single mother, having him as her only offspring, and, he wants his life turned around, maybe get his CDL, and, alas, move back and take care of his mother.

Structure Violence Taught for MBAs

The systems of disproportionate violence-retribution-recrimination-restitution-reneging are strangling people, cutting lives in half, sometimes cutting into them by two thirds. These policy makers, these jurists, these idiots in the political class, the lobbies for prisons-prisoners, for law and order (sic), for rules and regulations, for compliance from diaper to Depends, it is ugly, for sure.

That Proportional response from that star of David hurling with supersonic accuracy by the hundreds First World missiles when a pipe launched rocket from Palestine comes hurtling into the earth far away from the very Jews and Jewish offspring which are part and parcel of the disproportionate business of expropriation with their legalized rules of engagement, a la disproportion responses.

The fucking proportions of it all – I drove through the demilitarized zone, Highway One, in the 1990s, enough craters to be seen from space, more bombs dropped on Indochina by the proportionality freaks of America than in any other war.

Those 58,000 Americans killed in the “other’s” land, while that other experienced 2 million killed.

Proportionality, as we play the greatest generation ever on National Propaganda Radio or Propaganda Broadcast System, crocodile tears for the 495,000 Americans killed, compared to the proportional 27 million Russians, 10 million Chinese, 6 million Poles, 2 million Yugoslavs killed in the Last Great War (sic).

Those firebombs dropped over Japan, that proportionality, uh, how many were burned to death in Tokyo, Yokohama, Toyama, Nagoya . . . oh, several hundred thousand civilians burned alive, and another million-plus burned/injured. Children at play, mothers lactating, grandparents gardening, families going about their business, immolated by the US of Proportional Responses to their Exceptionalism!

Proportionality, Article 51 of the UN Charter, and additional protocol 1 in 1977

Crimes of war, crimes of structural justice, crimes of economic hit-men.

I was there in Vietnam, in Hanoi, saw the photos of kids and nuns and civilians laid out in the courtyards, and I stepped through the courtyards, imagined the murdered gente, people, by the likes of John McCain and the lovely fly-boys, whoring breed that they are in their proportionality of American Life Over Anything That Moves Who Isn’t.

The Colin Powells, all the Westmorelands, the Schwarzkopfs, all the Little Eichmanns, those bean and bullet counters, the war profiteers, those Agent Orange manufacturers, that proportionality of war, making the jungle bleed blood and death, defoliants, toxins, biological warfare, proportionality, cutting electrical systems, bombing hospitals, embargoing medicines, the proportionality of a country that sits in Lazy Boy comfort and watches the perversions of those president conventions.

The political class, the felons they all are, proportionality, yammering that sicko God-fearing, God-sickening, God-smacked proportionality, are the bottom of the barrel, the most crass, not educated in the finer things, dead culturally, but proportionately, more on the spectrum, the spectrum of sociopath, driven to maximize profit, put in place economies of scale, no matter the product, the eking out of pain, mayhem or madness. The amazing advancement of warped education, misandrists and misogynists and misanthropes.

I was there – Nha Trang, Hue, Hanoi, Vinh, from China to Laos, and with women who were children themselves during the McCain Mighty USA bombing, strafing, automatic fifty caliber madness, proportionate to the hell this Proportionate White Race Unleashing to the rest of the world a proportionate insanity against the other – races, cultures, ethnicities smarter, more cultured, deeply tied to organic and natural systems and more harmonies in nature and civilizing forces than all the loopy Ivy League and Other Misguided Intellectuals could even conjure up.

Proportionality, the invaders of Australia – Bandjalang – ripping the souls from entire tribes, pushing their syphilitic proportionality into the original peoples, going back 125,000 years, as the proportional retribution for being different went through the land, like the Indian Schools of the USA, the proportionality of locking up Canadian and American people of Japanese heritage.

Ever-lasting White Man/Woman’s Crimes — A Teen Learns to Hate Cops

It’s all a war crime when it comes to the empires and the rabble tied to the money changing of empires – the Switzerlands and Israels, all those out of proportion to what they give and should gain from the world . . . when you follow the land, ending up in the highlands of Guatemala, or in the alleys of Hue or the streets of Cuzco, or on the coast of Vancouver Island – Salish Land. These invaders with guns and ledgers, volumes of forked tongue laws, a dead culture of moldy rooms and rotting minds, but steely people coming into the land of the original peoples with disease, diarrhea, dumb ideas, dissecting laws, and disjointed mishmash of culture.

Proportionality, those laws of combat (sic) set forth by military men of the universities and by the typists writing the pages of murder – any military aged man that moves, treaties flipped on their head, arbitration extracted unethically, resources expropriated, stolen, taken with strokes of the pen and the almighty steel of tank cannons and warships, the new wasps of the out of proportion minority holding sway over the land. Any boy that moves, around 12 or 13 years, shoot. Proportional weights of the laws of the suppressors, each blink counted off as a taxation, a levy, penalties, interest pending, fines, deposits for those out of proportion money changers and digital demigods who hold entire countries sway by the shinny-chin-chin of falsified loans and usury sent into seven generations out.

Proportionality and collateral damage, the clunky words of economic, cultural and physical wars, and the invaders are there, holding babies down, forcing primal screams from prisoners, illegally gotten flora and fauna, diggers and takers, extracting the very soul from the planet’s places, names by flights of parrots and the swift feet of Amazonian climbers.

Proportionality. I was 16, long hair, in a muscle shirt, flip-flops and zooming on my motocross 450cc bike, in the gullies of Edward Abbey, Tucson, and lo and behold two county sheriff vehicles gunning for me as I downshifted and jumped berms and cactus.

Proportionality. Guns drawn, all four holding the pistols aimed at my teenager’s tanned and sparingly clothed body.

Thrown to the ground, .357 to my head, one of the motherfuckers calling me a hippie motherfucker who will get his fucking long haired ass shot if he moves . . . on the side of the busy road, these deputies putting boots on my neck and guns drawn for the advance capital offense of driving without a license plate and illegal exhaust pipes.

Proportionality. They had seen my blue motorcycle before, and I had always found some secret gully to get away. All that hate, that white man’s proportionality, broken cops, broken judges, broken bureaucrats, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clintons, Barak Obamas, all those un-men in the Trump-Republican camp, these un-human people, with their proportionate 401-ks, proportionate fancy homes, second homes, retirement stashes, Martha Vineyard wine and scotch afternoons, sunsets out of proportion on their sailboats and their billionaire friends’ yachts.

You gather those steamy miasmas coming from these conventioneers’ mouths, these trite, puckered white people and their supplicants, vying for one disease, gonorrhea (Trump), and the other, leprosy (Clinton). Wave upon wave of insipid people, and when you want to stamp out Trump, the thugs gang up and open carry themselves into Tough Guy Bruce Willis, or when you want to pillory Hillary, the puckering liberals tell you to pipe down, to take it like an adult, quit rebelling.

I remember the proportionality of being thrown to the pavement in El Paso when I was protesting against the religious thugs and some guy who was a Jew for Christ at the Planned Parenthood. Moronic children marched up at the front ramming their picket signs into our crotches.

The El Paso pig saw it, and I went off the proscribed path, the legal protest strip of land these misanthropes called judges, cops, DA’s deem worthy of our right to stop little god-chew thugs from intimidating people coming into the clinic for STD screenings and other OB-GYN stuff.

I took the sign from one of these little scoundrels for going after my balls, and the two triple-chin cops came after me, accusing me of rioting, assault, criminal mischief, child endangerment, terroristic threats, resisting arrest. This is the proportionality of the rulers and their Little Eichmanns and brown shirts and Gestapos. I was proportionately locked up for 27 hours, in their cells of humiliation, as the jailers were sadists, waiting for any excuse to splatter heads into cement walls.

Proportionality. Charged with theft when protesting another illegal war in the Middle East. I absconded with a shopping cart to put all the picket signs in, and the cops came after me, handcuffed me, and charged me with theft. Take me away so another chink in the protest armor might be dinged. Proportionality.

Thrown onto the hood of my car by another bevy of sheriffs, accusing me of cutting them off on the freeway, all plainclothes, and I was not about to fall onto the ground at 5:30 am when they ordered me into some assassination pose, on my knees, fingers locked behind my head. Sure!

I was on my way in a flag raising ceremony for some veteran friends, Vietnam, in El Paso, and lo and behold, proportionality put me in the back of a squad car, resisting arrest, terroristic threats, illegal lane change. Twenty-two hours later, their proportionality stuck like bile in my soul. The proportionality of the pigs throwing me down at 16, shiny six inch barrel shoved into my temple, the grand scheme of proportionality. Their defense always – mean, violent, insane, thugs. Intimidation, power, demons.

Power and Balance

    The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

    — George S. Patton

    When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die.

    — Jean-Paul Sartre

Always the imbalance of power, the goading, the out of proportion reaction, excessive force, throw downs, almost a zest for challenging just anyone to challenge their bent up authority, the proportionality of their power overpowering.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court reaffirms this by qualifying in Article 8 as a war crime intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities. The use of indiscriminate weapons such as cluster bombs in populated areas is a war crime as well.

As if I couldn’t say it better, a raunchy bit of catharsis that is me, part of my biography to be man living in this house of mirrors and warped fantasies of the controllers. Thanks to Dissident Voice, Five Parts to my evacuation of my intellectual bowels, here, here, here, here, and, here! Just who is the monster eating our souls? Read on:

One, Two, Three, Four, Five

Paul Kirk Haeder has been a journalist since 1977. He's covered police, environment, planning and zoning, county and city politics, as well as working in true small town/community journalism situations in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and beyond. He's been a part-time faculty since 1983, and as such has worked in prisons, gang-influenced programs, universities, colleges, alternative high schools, language schools, as a private contractor-writing instructor for US military in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. A forthcoming book (Oct. 15, 2016), Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber, looks at 10 years of his writing at Dissident Voice, and before, to bring defiance to the world that is now lobotomizing at a rate never before seen in history. Read his autobiography, weekly chapter installments, at LA Progressive, https://www.laprogressive.com/category/terminal-velocity/ Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.

This article was posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2016 at 6:36am and is filed under Activism, Anarchism, Anthropology, Anti-war, Assassinations, Blowback, Capitalism, Communism/Marxism/Maoism, Empire, Fascism, Human Rights, Imperialism, Justice, Language, Militarism, Neoliberalism, Obama, Opinion, Poverty, Racism, Resistance, Revolution, Socialism, Viet Nam.
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #46 on: August 07, 2016, 06:23:11 PM »
Victoria Nuland as Hillary's Secretary of State - now there's a frightening thought.

http://theantimedia.org/neocons-supporting-clinton-confuses/
If the Fact Neocons Are Now Supporting Hillary Clinton Confuses You, Read This
JP Sottile
August 6, 2016

What’s a Neocon to do?

Bill Kristol is downright despondent after his failed search for an alternative to Donald Trump. Max Boot is indignant about his “stupid” party’s willingness to ride a bragging bull into a delicate China policy shop. And the leading light of the first family of military interventionism — Robert Kagan — is actually lining up Neoconservatives behind the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

At the same time, the Democrats have become the party of bare-knuckled, full-throated American Exceptionalism. That transformation was announced with a vein-popping zeal by retired general and wannabe motivation screamer John Allen at the Democratic convention in the City of Brotherly Love. During his “speech,” a few plaintive protests of “no more war” were actually drowned-out by Democrats chanting “USA-USA-USA!”

This is the same Democratic Party often criticized by Kagan & Co. as the purveyors of timidity, flaccidity, and moral perfidy.  It’s not that Democrats haven’t dropped bombs, dealt arms, and overturned regimes. They have. And they’ve even got the Peace Prize-winning Obama-dropper to prove it.  But unlike enthusiastically belligerent Republicans, the Dems are supposed to be the party that does it, but doesn’t really like to do it.

But now, they’ve got Hillary Clinton. And she’s weaponized the State Department. She really likes regime change. And her nominating convention not only embraced the military, but it sanctified the very Gold Star families that Neocon-style interventionism creates. It certainly created the pain of the Khan family who lost their son in the illegal war in Iraq. But the Dems didn’t mention that sad fact as they grabbed the flag away from the Republicans.

Now that’s truly Neo-confusing.

It kinda feels like reality has slipped off its axis and we’ve landed on a Bizarro World version of America. Democrats are acting like Republicans. Pat Buchanan is championing the GOP’s “Peace Candidate.” And the Neocons are fleeing from a party they’ve used like a geopolitical cudgel for the better part of three decades.

At first glance, it all makes sense. Trump captured the GOP nomination in no small part by trashing two of the Neocons’ favorite things ever — the Bush family and the Iraq War. He also suggested early on that he’d approach the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza as (gasp!) an honest broker. Trump said he really wanted to “make that deal.” Without irony, one-time Neocon wonderboy Marco Rubio remarked that it isn’t a “real estate deal” when, in fact, that’s exactly what it is.

But the ever-pliable Trump quickly got religion on Israel. He did an about-face, marched into AIPAC’s annual confab, and staked out a claim on the reflexively pro-Israel side of the issue. But it wasn’t enough to assuage the angst of the GOP’s forever-circling hawks.

Frankly, nothing seems enough to sway the Neocons in Donald’s direction. But it’s not for lack of trying on Trump’s part. Really, he’s checked off many of the boxes that make Neocons smile.

Trump wants a “yuuge” military … the biggest and baddest ever! So big, that no one in a million years will ever challenge it. That sure sounds a lot like Reagan’s “peace through strength.” Neocons do love Reagan. And, as if on cue, the Kristol/Kagan-led “Foreign Policy Initiative” just posted a clarion call to spend more bucks to buy bigger bangs for an already gargantuan military. Doesn’t that fit with Donald’s plan to spend defense dollars like a drunken sailor?

Maybe Neocons don’t want the military to be so big that no one will ever try anything. Maybe they want a few challenges here and there, just for a little creative destruction to keep the world on its toes. But Trump’s right there with them. He wants to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS. And he even said America has “no choice but to bomb Libya” and “take out” the Islamic State.

C’mon, Neocons … what’s not to like?

And how about Trump’s Islamophobia? It sure seems simpatico with the last two decades of Neoconservative drum-beating. Trump repeatedly uses the magic words — “Radical Islamic Terrorism.” Can’t you just hear the longing sighs coming out of the American Enterprise Institute? He also wants to ban Muslims. Or “just” ban people coming from countries where Muslims have committed terrorism. Who knows? Either way, the message is “Muslims bad.” It even gave Neocon bushwacker Frank Gaffney a serious man-crush on The Donald.

To be fair, other less “fringy” Neocons like Kristol have repudiated the Muslim ban idea. But, as filmmaker Robbie Martin showed in his just-completed series on the Neocons and their “very heavy agenda,” even the most intellectually renowned among them has engaged in the dangerous stereotyping of all Muslims as terrorists.

In fact, Martin featured a frightening clip of two Kagans (Robert’s dad Donald and his brother Fred) making the case that the US military should clean out the Occupied Territories in the aftermath of 9/11 because radical Muslims and “the Arabs” are all basically the same. Oh, by the way, they only respect brute force.  So why not take advantage of the “New Pearl Harbor” and show them all who’s boss?

It’s kinda like the “dancing Muslims” Trump — and only Trump — saw celebrating the 9/11 attacks in New Jersey. Even if he didn’t see them, or just conflated them with an isolated incident in East Jerusalem, what’s the difference? It’s all the same to him. Just like aggrieved and aggressive Muslims were all the same to the Kagans on 9/11. Doesn’t that make Trump’s persistent suspicion of Muslims a perfect match for the Neoconservative wrecking crew?

And then there’s the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has relentlessly criticized as being so bad that it’s downright suspicious. He said he wants to “renegotiate” immediately after taking office. And he wrongly claims the deal is a fast-track to a nuclear-armed Iran (an error that puts him squarely in the Neocon camp). As a rule of thumb, he’s livid about all things related to Iran. So, what’s the problem? Why can’t the Neocons wrap their arms around Donald Trump?

In a word — it’s Russia.

It’s framed as a troublesome “bromance” between Vladimir Putin and Trump. Critics don’t like Trump’s comfort with a “dictator” who, as Kagan’s wife Victoria Nuland recently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, engages in “aggression.” She’s currently the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. She basically managed the 2014 coup in Ukraine. And she’s outraged by Russian aggression in Ukraine. But she’s nonplussed by her husband’s role in pushing for the most blatant and wanton act of aggression thus far this century — the unwarranted destruction of Iraq.

Go figure.

On the other hand, Putin has the unmitigated gall to move military forces around inside the borders of his own country. He’s blamed for hacking the Democratic Party — despite a lack of actual evidence and the NSA’s own hacking hijinks. And he’s accused of “meddling” in U.S. elections — a pretty rich accusation given America’s long history of surreptitious electioneering around the world.

There is no doubt that “Bad Vlad” likes Donald. And Donald likes Vlad. But the real problem isn’t their bromance. This is about the Neoconservative desire to make sure the United States is the lone guarantor of the geopolitical order. This is about Pax Americana. This is about resurrecting the faded dream of a new American century.

And what stands in the way of the type of the Neocon dream of global “full-spectrum dominance?” Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Russia is the only nation with an arsenal big enough to withstand the subtle nuclear blackmail of America’s trillion-dollar nuclear “upgrade.” That’s why Russia is concerned about the missile defense systems arrayed on their border. Those systems can knock down retaliatory strikes, thus making a first strike with new nuclear cruise missiles at least theoretically possible.

The United States is also using NATO expansion to increasingly encircle a nation that once was America’s geopolitical equal. That’s why Trump’s criticism of America’s outsized support for NATO must’ve been the tipping point from disdain to panic among Neocon and Neoliberal interventionists alike.

The oddity is that there does seem to be more than a passing affinity between Trump and Putin. Trump’s statements on Ukraine would be easily dismissed if his campaign manager Paul Manafort hadn’t worked as a political consultant to the pre-Nuland leadership of Ukraine. And Trump’s statements on Crimea might be written off if he’d release his taxes and end speculation of financial ties to Putin’s regime.

But the visceral reaction against his repeated calls for cooperation — “By the way, wouldn’t it be great if we got along with Russia?”— exposes the extent to which the entire foreign policy and political establishments are squarely on the same page. They are angling for Cold War 2.0, and Trump is the only major figure willing to challenge that orthodoxy.

Unlike Hillary Clinton, of course, which brings the whole thing back to the miasma of confusion hanging over this strange election. Hillary is on the Neocon team — if not in name, certainly in deed. She will “stand up” to Bad Vlad. She’s targeted by Russian hackers because Putin prefers his “unwitting agent” Donald Trump. And Donald is, according to an emerging narrative, a latter-day Neville Chamberlain just inviting the Ruskies to take over the Baltic States, Ukraine, and God knows what else.

The greatest irony of all is that Trump catapulted over the Neocons’ preferred presidential options by slamming their pet project — the War on Iraq. Trump’s criticism of that war and the chaos it unleashed resonated with the very voters the Neocons took for granted as pliable, fear-responsive bumpkins. That left them out in the cold just as they were angling to trump the disorderly, hard-to-prosecute mess they call “The Global War on Terror.”

What they really want, and have always wanted, is to revive the greatest war of all — the Cold War. That’s the grand chessboard they yearn to play on once again.  The War on Terror was really just a stop-gap, like methadone for imperialists. But now they’ve scored because it looks like the supposed party of imperial intransigence is, under the guidance of Hillary Clinton, poised to take the reins from a Trump-addled GOP.

And if a recent article in Der Spiegel is right, Kagan’s wife Victoria has emerged as a candidate for the prized position of secretary of state should Hillary win. If that comes to pass, the Neocons may not have succeeded in their initial plan for a new American century, but they will have hastily completed their last-minute project for a new Democratic Party. And that means this election isn’t that Neo-confusing after all.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2016, 07:59:18 PM »
http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/08/07/americas-dangerous-game-of-intrigue-inside-international-organizations.html
America’s Dangerous Game of Intrigue Inside International Organizations
Wayne MADSEN
7.08.2016

From the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Washington has been playing a dangerous game of intrigue and deception with regard to steering these organizations in a pro-American direction. The Obama administration has decided that the halls, offices, and conference rooms of international organizations are acceptable battlefields to wage propaganda and sanctions wars.

The first American target of note was the international football association, FIFA. Not content with trying to sully the reputation of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics with issues of gay rights and doping of athletes, the US disinformation boiler rooms began a full-scale attack on FIFA. The major reason is Russia’s hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The US Justice Department, in a major move toward the internationalization of domestic US law, began unsealing indictment after indictment of FIFA officials for financial crimes. The actual target of these indictments was Russia.

The United States, continuing its economic and political pressure on Venezuela, decided to pressure its three right-wing allies in Latin America – Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay – to deny the chair of the Mercosur customs union to Venezuela. After Uruguay, whose term was expiring, the next country in alphabetical order to assume the chair of the Latin American customs union was to be Venezuela. However, two countries where the Central Intelligence Agency arranged for constitutional coups to oust progressive presidents – Brazil and Paraguay – joined Argentina, ruled by a right-wing president narrowly elected in a dubious electoral process, in denying the chair to Venezuela.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said that what Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay were doing to Venezuela was the restoration of the CIA’s Operation Condor against Venezuela. Condor was a 1970s operation concocted by Henry Kissinger, the CIA, and fascist governments in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay to target leftists throughout the Condor participants with assassination and torture. In a display of ultimate hubris, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay refused to recognize Venezuela as the chair of Mercosur, citing Venezuela’s economic, political and social crises, all of which were hatched by the CIA and its surrogates inside Venezuela.

If Washington wanted to split Mercosur, it got its wish. Uruguay responded to the actions of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay by stating, “there are no legal grounds to prevent the handover of the pro tempore presidency to Venezuela”. Bolivian president Evo Morales tweeted that the Washington-inspired diplomatic assault on Venezuela was “Another attack on the economic integration by instruments of the capitalist system. We salute the Venezuelan pro tempore presidency of Mercosur.”

The operation to oust progressive president Dilma Rousseff as president of Brazil and replace her with the proto-fascist Michel Temer was designed to prevent Rousseff from opening the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Neither the Obama administration nor the CIA wanted to see South America’s first Olympics opened by a progressive leftist who had once been tortured by CIA-trained interrogators.

The CIA’s nightmare scenario was a 2016 Olympics where Rousseff would have been joined in the VIP section of the Olympics stadium in Rio by Latin America’s other progressive leaders: Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Bolivia’s Morales, Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, and Chile’s Michelle Bachelet. With Temer opening the Olympics, Rousseff and many of her political allies in Latin America will not be present in Rio. The United States had no problem ensuring the Rio Olympics became a total disaster just to guarantee that progressive Latin American leaders were denied a platform to show the world that Latin America was no longer under the colonialist boot heel of Washington. It was the same mindset that Washington had in mind for Sochi. The United States was more than willing to ensure disruption at the 2014 Winter Olympics through quiet support, much of it through George Soros-financed organizations, for gay rights and other pressure groups to damage the reputation of the Sochi games.

Not content with disrupting the Rio Olympics by ousting Rousseff as president of Brazil, Washington doubled down by using its agents of influence to resurrect doping accusations against the Russian Summer Olympics team. Washington’s goal was to see Russia suspended from the Rio games.

Resisting pressure from Washington, IOC president Thomas Bach wisely decided to avoid a blanket ban of Russian athletes. Bach called such a unilateral ban on Russia participating in the Rio games as a “nuclear option”. He also said that such a “nuclear option” would have resulted in “collateral damage” among innocent athletes. Bach’s use of two geopolitical military terms was no mistake and it bore the mark of someone responding to familiar American “shock and awe” pressure. The United States used its compliant stooges, Germany and Canada, as well as the dubious World Anti-Doping Agency, run by a Scottish lawyer, to call for a total ban on Russian athletes in Rio.

Washington has also used its influence in ASEAN to ensure the organization became part of the US alliance against China in East Asia. Working behind the scenes within ASEAN, Washington attempted to get the organization, which does not include the United States among its members, to issue a statement backing the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejecting China’s maritime claims to waters and islands in the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines. Cambodia blocked Washington’s maneuver and prevented an ASEAN statement in support of the Philippines against China.

In 2012 and 2016, ASEAN failed to issue a joint statement following a foreign ministers’ summit. This has happened only twice in the 49-year history of the organization. In both cases, it was Cambodia that stood in the way of an ASEAN statement, initiated by American agents within the ASEAN Secretariat in Indonesia, in opposition to China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Across the globe, the United States has sought to expand its influence in international organizations. The United States, using Germany and a few right-wing countries in Eastern Europe as surrogates, has ensured the European Union does not weaken economic sanctions against Russia. The Arab League has become a tool of the United States in applying pressure on Syria, thanks mostly to jihadist-supporting regimes in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. The African Union has become nothing more than a pathetic cheerleader for the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which only seeks to undermine the sovereignty of African nations and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.

Through its neo-colonialist local partners, Australia and New Zealand, Washington ensures the Pacific Islands Forum remains nothing more than a powerless talking shop. To ensure that the forum never touches the issue of the colonial status of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands, Washington has permitted all three colonial territories to join the Pacific Islands Forum as observer states to advance America’s agenda. American nuclear weapons in the Pacific Ocean region are never discussed by the forum nor is the semi-colonial status of three full members of the forum that remain beholden to the dictates of Washington: Micronesia, Marshall Islands, and Palau.

There is a bull in the china shop of international diplomacy and it wears the ugly and discredited attire of Uncle Sam.
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Controlling Dissent by Funding Dissent
« Reply #48 on: August 15, 2016, 01:26:49 AM »
http://www.globalresearch.ca/rockefeller-ford-foundations-behind-world-social-forum-wsf-the-corporate-funding-of-social-activism/5540552


Rockefeller, Ford Foundations Behind World Social Forum (WSF). The Corporate Funding of Social Activism
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 10, 2016
Theme: Global Economy, Poverty & Social Inequality


This year the World Social Forum is being held in Montreal, regrouping committed social activists, anti-war collectives and  prominent intellectuals.

Most of the participants are unaware that the WSF is funded by corporate foundations including Ford, Rockefeller, Tides, et al.  Much of this funding is channelled to the WSF organizers under the helm of the WSF International Council.

This is an issue which has been raised on numerous occasions with progressive organizations and WSF activists: you cannot effectively confront neoliberalism and the New World Order elites  and expect them to finance your activities.


The World Social Forum operating under the banner of  “Another World is Possible” was founded in 2001 at its inaugural venue of Porto Alegre. Brazil.

From the outset in 2001, the WSF has been upheld as an international umbrella representing grassroots people’s organizations, committed to reversing the tide of globalization. Its stated intent is to challenge corporate capitalism and its dominant neoliberal economic agenda.

The World Social Forum at its inaugural meeting defined itself as a counter-offensive to the World Economic Forum (WEF) of business leaders and politicians which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland. The 2001 Porto Alegre WSF was held simultaneously with that of the WEF in Davos.

While  there have been many important accomplishments of the WSF, largely as a result of the commitment of grassroots activists, the core leadership of WSF  –rather than effectively confronting the New World Order elites– serves (often unwittingly) their corporate interests. In this process, co-optation has been achieved through the corporate funding of the WSF.

Among the two major accomplishments are the participation of the WSF in the February 2003 Worldwide protest against the US led war on Iraq. The WSF has also supported progressive movements and governments, particularly in Latin America.

In contrast, at the Tunis 2013 WSF, the final declaration paid lip service to to the US sponsored “Syrian opposition”.  Similarly the Al Qaeda affiliated Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which allegedly led the “Arab Spring” against the government of Muammar Gaddafi was tacitly upheld as a revolutionary force. Several workshops on  Libya applauded Western military intervention. A session entitled “Libya’s transition to democracy” focused on “whether Libya was better off without Muammar Gaddafi.”

[Update] Similarly, a Montreal WSF 2016 event on Syria refers to a country “in ruins as a result of a multifaceted  war between the dictatorship of Bashar al Assad and a host of opposition organizations,” echoing almost verbatim the narrative of the mainstream media.  The central role of US-NATO in destroying Syria as a sovereign country is not mentioned.


Funding dissent

From the outset in 2001, the World Social Forum was funded by governments and corporate foundations, including the Ford Foundation which has ties to US intelligence.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Ford, Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Wall Street and Big Oil), etc. with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.

The mechanisms of “manufacturing dissent” require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle co-optation of  a small number of key individuals within “progressive organizations”, including anti-war coalitions, environmentalists and the anti-globalization movement. Many leaders of these organizations have in a sense betrayed their grassroots.

The corporations are funding dissent with a view to controlling dissent.

The Ford Foundation (which has links to the CIA) provided funding under its “Strengthening Global Civil Society” program during the first three years of the WSF.

When the WSF was held in Mumbai in 2004, the Indian WSF host committee declined support from the Ford Foundation. This in itself did not modify the WSF’s relationship to the donors. While the Ford Foundation formally withdrew, other foundations positioned themselves.

The WSF (among several sources of funding is supported by a consortium of corporate foundations under the advisory umbrella of Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE).

This organization, which previously went under the name of The Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (FTNG), has played a central role in the funding of successive WSF venues. From the outset in 2001, it had an observer status on the WSF International Council. 

In 2013, the Rockefeller Brothers representative Tom Kruse co-chaired EDGE’s program committee. At the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Kruse was responsible for “Global Governance” under the “Democratic Practice” program. Rockefeller Brothers grants to NGOs are approved under the “Strengthening Democracy in Global Governance” program, which is broadly similar to that put forth by the US State Department.

A representative of the Open Society Initiative for Europe currently sits on EDGE’s Board of directors. The Wallace Global Fund is also on its Board of Directors. The Wallace Global Fund is specialized in providing support to “mainstream” NGOs and “alternative media”, including Amnesty International, Democracy Now (which supports Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president of the US).

Several members of the EDGE BoD, however, are from non-corporative and family foundations with a social mandate. (see below).


In one of its key documents (2012), entitled Funders Network Alliance In Support of Grassroots Organizing and Movement-Building  (link no longer available) EDGE acknowledged its support of social movements which challenge “neoliberal market fundamentalism.” including the World Social Forum, established in 2001:

    “From the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas (1994) to the Battle in Seattle (1999) to the creation of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre (2001), the TINA years of Reagan and Thatcher (There Is No Alternative) have been replaced with the growing conviction that “another world is possible.” Counter-summits, global campaigns and social forums have been crucial spaces to articulate local struggles, share experiences and analyses, develop expertise, and build concrete forms of international solidarity among progressive movements for social, economic and ecological justice.”

But at the same time, there is an obvious contradiction: another world is not possible when the campaign against neoliberalism is financed by an alliance of corporate donors firmly committed to neoliberalism and the US-NATO military agenda.

The following is the EDGE Montreal WSF Communique. The donors not only fund the activities, they also influence the structure of the WSF venue, which was determined in Puerto Alegre in 2001, namely the decentralized and dispersed mosaic of “do it yourself” workshops.



With regard to the Montreal WSF, the Consortium of Donors (EDGE) intent is:

    “…to develop an intersectional space for funders and various movement partners – organizers thought leaders and practitioners – to build alignment by cultivating a shared understanding of the visions, values, principles and pathways of a “just transition.”  (See http://edgefunders.org/wsf-activities/)

“Just Transition” implies that social activism has to conform to a “shared vision” with the corporate foundations, i.e. nothing which in a meaningful way might upset the elite structures of global capitalism.

From the standpoint of the corporate donors “investing in the WSF” constitutes a profitable (tax deductible) undertaking. It ensures that activism remains within the confines of  ”constructive dialogue” and “critique” rather than confrontation. Any deviation immediately results in the curtailment of donor funding:

    “Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as “making the World safe for capitalism”, reducing social tensions by helping to comfort the afflicted, provide safety valves for the angry, and improve the functioning of government (McGeorge Bundy, National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (1961-1966), President of the Ford Foundation, (1966-1979))

The limits of social dissent are thereby determined by the “governance structure” of  the WSF, which was tacitly agreed upon with the funding agencies at the outset in 2001.

“No Leaders”

The WSF has no leaders. All the events are “self-organized”. The structure of debate and activism is part of an an “open space” (See y Francine Mestrum, The World Social Forum and its governance: a multi-headed monster, CADTM, 27 April 2013, http://cadtm.org/The-World-Social-Forum-and-its ).

This compartmentalized structure is an obstacle to the development of a meaningful and articulate mass movement.

How best to control grassroots dissent against global capitalism?

Make sure that their leaders can be easily co-opted and that the rank and file will not develop “forms of international solidarity among progressive movements” (to use EDGE’s own words), which in any meaningful way might undermine the interests of corporate capital.

The mosaic of separate WSF workshops, the relative absence of plenary sessions, the creation of divisions within and between social movements, not to mention the absence of a cohesive and unified platform against the Wall Street corporate elites, against the fake US sponsored “global war on terrorism”, which has been used to justify and US-NATO’s  ”humanitarian R2P interventions (Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, etc).

The corporate agenda is to “manufacture dissent”.“The limits of dissent” are established by the foundations and governments which ultimately finance this multimillion dollar venue. The financing is twofold:

    1. Core financing of the WSF Secretariat and the Costs of the WSF venue.

    2. Many of the constituent NGOs which participate in the venue are recipients of donor and/or government support.

    3. The WSF venue in Montreal also receives funding from the Government of Canada as well as from the Quebec provincial government.

What ultimately prevails is a ritual of dissent which does not threaten the New World Order. Those who attend the WSF from the grassroots are often misled by their leaders. Activists who do not share the WSF consensus will ultimately be excluded:

    “By providing the funding and the policy framework to many concerned and dedicated people working within the non-profit sector, the ruling class is able to co-opt leadership from grassroots communities, … and is able to make the funding, accounting, and evaluation components of the work so time consuming and onerous that social justice work is virtually impossible under these conditions” (Paul Kivel, You Call this Democracy, Who Benefits, Who Pays and Who Really Decides, 2004, p. 122 )

“Another World is Possible” is nonetheless an important concept, which characterizes the struggle of the peoples movements against global capitalism as well as the commitment of thousands of committed activists who are currently participated in the Montreal 2016 WSF.

Activism is being manipulated:  ”Another World is Possible”  cannot, however, be achieved under the auspices of the WSF which from the outset was funded by global capitalism and organized in close liaison with its corporate and government donors.

The important question for activists in Montreal:

Is it possible to build “an Alternative” to global capitalism, which challenges the hegemony of the Rockefellers et al and then asks the Rockefellers et al to foot the bill? 

We call upon participants of the Montreal World Social Forum (WSF) to raise and debate these issues: the campaign against neoliberalism is financed by corporate foundations (and governments) which are firmly committed not only to the tenets of neoliberalism but also to the US-NATO led military agenda.

Why would they fund organizations which are actively campaigning against war and globalization? The answer is obvious. …
The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2016
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2016, 06:28:14 AM »
That's what will happen to any new third party too.  It has also happened to Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace already.
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2016, 06:30:41 PM »
Kunstler gets it absolutely right.  He might have elaborated on renewable energy's need to build a worldwide fleet of cars, trucks, buses, tractors, bulldozers, and industrial furnaces, out of FFs to complete the transition, but I guess he has done that before.

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/dark-dynamics/
Dark Dynamics
Howard Kunstler
Aug 22, 2016

What the world is witnessing, without actually paying much attention, is the death of our debt-based economy — that is, borrowing the means to thrive in the now from a future that can’t really furnish it anymore. The illusion that the future would always provide was a legacy of the cheap energy era. That era ended in 2005. The basic promise is broken and with it the premise for living as we had been. The energy available today, especially oil, is no longer cheap enough to run the industrial economies designed to run on it. Any way that you look at the dynamic, Modernity loses.

With oil under $50 a barrel, and gasoline under $3 a gallon (back east), the public apparently thinks that the Peak Oil story is dead and gone. But when it costs $75 a barrel to pull the stuff out of the ground, and the stuff only sells for $47 a barrel, the oil companies’ business model doesn’t really work. The shale oil companies especially have been gaming the system by issuing bonds that pay relatively high interest rates in an investment climate where almost nothing else offers enough yield to live on, especially for pension funds and insurance companies. Two little upward bumps this year in the price of oil toward the $50 range prompted a wish that the good old days of high-priced oil were coming back, that the oil business would be profitable again.

The trouble is that high oil prices — say, over $100 a barrel, as it was in 2014 — crush advanced economies, so that demand for oil crashes, and with it productive activity. Without productivity, the debts issued by companies (and even governments) don’t get repaid. There really is no “sweet spot” in this energy cost equation.

A lot of wishful thinkers would like to believe that you can run contemporary life on something beside oil. But the usual “solutions,” solar and wind energy, don’t pencil out, especially when you consider that the hardware for running them — the photovoltaics, charge controllers, batteries, turbines, and blades, can’t be mass-produced and distributed without the very fossil fuels they are supposed to replace.

These matters add up to the essential quandary of our time. It has expressed itself in falling standards of living for what used to be the middle class, most particularly in the USA. European countries have tried to work around this problem with their rigid bureaucracies for keeping those already employed from losing their jobs. In France, Spain, and Italy, this has only made it much harder for people under 30 to get a job. The jobs picture for millennials in the USA is not much better, though there’s no structural job-protection for their elders who are still working here. They live in abject fear of termination by the HR ghouls of the big corporations.

Sooner or later the younger generation will explode in rage at the system and there is no telling what the result will be. We’re already seeing it in the black ghettos, where decades of accrued social dysfunction make the anomie and purposelessness — of young men especially — much worse. The newer loser class of people who once had good jobs and now have poor prospects of ever getting them back gets swept up in the mania for their incoherent champion, Trump, who shows no sign of understanding the essential quandary of our time. The tragedy of Trumpism is that the man so poorly represents a large group of Americans with genuine woes and grievances. And the larger tragedy of our country these days is that events did not prompt better leaders to step forward.

The explanation may be that people who actually understand the dark dynamics spinning out are rather pessimistic about the our ability to carry on under the familiar disposition of things. Hillary represents the forces in our national life that want to pretend that nothing is wrong, that all the splendid rackets of the day — Federal Reserve interventions, corporate debt-fueled stock buybacks, military log-rolling, medical racketeering, the college loan Ponzi, pension fund levitation, primary dealer bank interest rate arbitrage, agribiz Frankenfood proliferation — can just grind along like some old riverboat banger engine keeping the garbage barge of American life afloat. Thus, Hillary is shaping up to be the patsy of the century, likely to preside, if elected, over the biggest blowup of established arrangements that world has ever seen.

The debt problem alone is absolutely certain to express itself in at least three major ways: the crash of equity markets, the collapse of the bond markets, and the loss of faith in the value and meaning of whatever money you’re using. Any of those events would turn the economic life of the linked advanced economies upside down. Any of them could occur during the 2016 US election season.
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The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski's Volte Face
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2016, 10:02:44 PM »
Next, Kissinger will suck Chinese Cock.  ::)

RE

http://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/08/25/the-broken-chessboard-brzezinski-gives-up-on-empire/

The Broken Chessboard: Brzezinski Gives Up on Empire
Author shorty Date August 25, 2016

BY MIKE WHITNEY


Photograph courtesy of Munich Security Conference, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license.
The main architect of Washington’s plan to rule the world has abandoned the scheme and called for the forging of ties with Russia and China. While Zbigniew Brzezinski’s article in The American Interest titled “Towards a Global Realignment” has largely been ignored by the media, it shows that powerful members of the policymaking establishment no longer believe that Washington will prevail in its quest to extent US hegemony across the Middle East and Asia. Brzezinski, who was the main proponent of this idea and who drew up the blueprint for imperial expansion in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, has done an about-face and called for a dramatic revising of the strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the article in the AI:

“As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.

Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.

The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power.” (Toward a Global Realignment, Zbigniew Brzezinski, The American Interest)

Repeat: The US is “no longer the globally imperial power.” Compare this assessment to a statement Brzezinski made years earlier in Chessboard when he claimed the US was ” the world’s paramount power.”

“…The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world’s paramount power. The defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union was the final step in the rapid ascendance of a Western Hemisphere power, the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power.” (“The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997, p. xiii)

Here’s more from the article in the AI:

“The fact is that there has never been a truly “dominant” global power until the emergence of America on the world scene….. The decisive new global reality was the appearance on the world scene of America as simultaneously the richest and militarily the most powerful player. During the latter part of the 20th century no other power even came close. That era is now ending.” (AI)

But why is “that era is now ending”? What’s changed since 1997 when Brzezinski referred to the US as the “world’s paramount power”?

Brzezinski points to the rise of Russia and China, the weakness of Europe and the “violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims” as the proximate causes of this sudden reversal. His comments on Islam are particularly instructive in that he provides a rational explanation for terrorism rather than the typical government boilerplate about “hating our freedoms.” To his credit, Brzezinski sees the outbreak of terror as the “welling up of historical grievances” (from “deeply felt sense of injustice”) not as the mindless violence of fanatical psychopaths.

Naturally, in a short 1,500-word article, Brzezniski can’t cover all the challenges (or threats) the US might face in the future. But it’s clear that what he’s most worried about is the strengthening of economic, political and military ties between Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and the other Central Asian states. This is his main area of concern, in fact, he even anticipated this problem in 1997 when he wrote Chessboard. Here’s what he said:

“Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power.” (p.55)

“…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” (p.40)

“…prevent collusion…among the vassals.” That says it all, doesn’t it?

The Obama administration’s reckless foreign policy, particularly the toppling of governments in Libya and Ukraine, has greatly accelerated the rate at which these anti-American coalitions have formed. In other words, Washington’s enemies have emerged in response to Washington’s behavior. Obama can only blame himself.

Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin has responded to the growing threat of regional instability and the placing of NATO forces on Russia’s borders by strengthening alliances with countries on Russia’s perimeter and across the Middle East. At the same time, Putin and his colleagues in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have established an alternate banking system (BRICS Bank and AIIB) that will eventually challenge the dollar-dominated system that is the source of US global power. This is why Brzezinski has done a quick 180 and abandoned the plan for US hegemony; it is because he is concerned about the dangers of a non-dollar-based system arising among the developing and unaligned countries that would replace the western Central Bank oligopoly. If that happens, then the US will lose its stranglehold on the global economy and the extortionist system whereby fishwrap greenbacks are exchanged for valuable goods and services will come to an end.

Unfortunately, Brzezinski’s more cautious approach is not likely to be followed by presidential-favorite Hillary Clinton who is a firm believer in imperial expansion through force of arms. It was Clinton who first introduced “pivot” to the strategic lexicon in a speech she gave in 2010 titled “America’s Pacific Century”. Here’s an excerpt from the speech that appeared in Foreign Policy magazine:

“As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment — diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise — in the Asia-Pacific region…

Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia…

The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia…and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.”

(“America’s Pacific Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)

Compare Clinton’s speech to comments Brzezinski made in Chessboard 14 years earlier:

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… (p.30)….. Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. ….About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.” (p.31)

The strategic objectives are identical, the only difference is that Brzezinski has made a course correction based on changing circumstances and the growing resistance to US bullying, domination and sanctions. We have not yet reached the tipping point for US primacy, but that day is fast approaching and Brzezinski knows it.

In contrast, Clinton is still fully-committed to expanding US hegemony across Asia. She doesn’t understand the risks this poses for the country or the world. She’s going to persist with the interventions until the US war-making juggernaut is stopped dead-in-its-tracks which, judging by her hyperbolic rhetoric, will probably happen some time in her first term.

Brzezinski presents a rational but self-serving plan to climb-down, minimize future conflicts, avoid a nuclear conflagration and preserve the global order. (aka–The “dollar system”) But will bloodthirsty Hillary follow his advice?

Not a chance.
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2016, 12:15:44 AM »
Quote
Brzezinski: “As its era of global dominance ends, the United States ..."

 :emthup:

You can get one free article per month from American Interest, so this is my pick:

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/04/17/toward-a-global-realignment/
Toward a Global Realignment Zbigniew Brzezinski
Zbigniew Brzezinski
April 17, 2016

As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture.

Five basic verities regarding the emerging redistribution of global political power and the violent political awakening in the Middle East are signaling the coming of a new global realignment.

The first of these verities is that the United States is still the world’s politically, economically, and militarily most powerful entity but, given complex geopolitical shifts in regional balances, it is no longer the globally imperial power. But neither is any other major power.

The second verity is that Russia is experiencing the latest convulsive phase of its imperial devolution. A painful process, Russia is not fatally precluded – if it acts wisely – from becoming eventually a leading European nation-state. However, currently it is pointlessly alienating some of its former subjects in the Islamic southwest of its once extensive empire, as well as Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia, not to mention the Baltic States.

The third verity is that China is rising steadily, if more slowly as of late, as America’s eventual coequal and likely rival; but for the time being it is careful not to pose an outright challenge to America. Militarily, it seems to be seeking a breakthrough in a new generation of weapons while patiently enhancing its still very limited naval power.

The fourth verity is that Europe is not now and is not likely to become a global power. But it can play a constructive role in taking the lead in regard to transnational threats to global wellbeing and even human survival. Additionally, Europe is politically and culturally aligned with and supportive of core U.S. interests in the Middle East, and European steadfastness within NATO is essential to an eventually constructive resolution of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The fifth verity is that the currently violent political awakening among post-colonial Muslims is, in part, a belated reaction to their occasionally brutal suppression mostly by European powers. It fuses a delayed but deeply felt sense of injustice with a religious motivation that is unifying large numbers of Muslims against the outside world; but at the same time, because of historic sectarian schisms within Islam that have nothing to do with the West, the recent welling up of historical grievances is also divisive within Islam.

Taken together as a unified framework, these five verities tell us that the United States must take the lead in realigning the global power architecture in such a way that the violence erupting within and occasionally projected beyond the Muslim world—and in the future possibly from other parts of what used to be called the Third World—can be contained without destroying the global order. We can sketch this new architecture by elaborating briefly each of the five foregoing verities.

First, America can only be effective in dealing with the current Middle Eastern violence if it forges a coalition that involves, in varying degrees, also Russia and China. To enable such a coalition to take shape, Russia must first be discouraged from its reliance on the unilateral use of force against its own neighbors—notably Ukraine, Georgia, the Baltic States—and China should be disabused of the idea that selfish passivity in the face of the rising regional crisis in the Middle East will prove to be politically and economically rewarding to its ambitions in the global arena. These shortsighted policy impulses need to be channeled into a more farsighted vision.

Second, Russia is becoming for the first time in its history a truly national state, a development that is as momentous as it is generally overlooked. The Czarist Empire, with its multinational but largely politically passive population, came to an end with World War I and the Bolshevik creation of an allegedly voluntary union of national republics (the USSR), with power resting effectively in Russian hands, took its place. The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 led to the sudden emergence of a predominantly Russian state as its successor, and to the transformation of the former Soviet Union’s non-Russian “republics” into formally independent states. These states are now consolidating their independence, and both the West and China—in different areas and different ways—are exploiting that new reality to Russia’s disadvantage. In the meantime, Russia’s own future depends on its ability to become a major and influential nation-state that is part of a unifying Europe. Not to do so could have dramatically negative consequences for Russia’s ability to withstand growing territorial-demographic pressure from China, which is increasingly inclined as its power grows to recall the “unequal” treaties Moscow imposed on Beijing in times past.

Third, China’s dramatic economic success requires enduring patience and the country’s awareness that political haste will make for social waste. The best political prospect for China in the near future is to become America’s principal partner in containing global chaos of the sort that is spreading outward (including to the northeast) from the Middle East. If it is not contained, it will contaminate Russia’s southern and eastern territories as well as the western portions of China. Closer relations between China and the new republics in Central Asia, the post-British Muslim states in Southwest Asia (notably Pakistan) and especially with Iran (given its strategic assets and economic significance), are the natural targets of Chinese regional geopolitical outreach. But they should also be targets of global Sino-American accommodation.

Fourth, tolerable stability will not return to the Middle East as long as local armed military formations can calculate that they can be simultaneously the beneficiaries of a territorial realignment while selectively abetting extreme violence. Their ability to act in a savage manner can only be contained by increasingly effective—but also selective—pressure derived from a base of U.S.-Russian-Chinese cooperation that, in turn, enhances the prospects for the responsible use of force by the region’s more established states (namely, Iran, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt). The latter should also be the recipients of more selective European support. Under normal circumstances, Saudi Arabia would be a significant player on that list, but the current inclination of the Saudi government still to foster Wahhabi fanaticism, even while engaged in ambitious domestic modernization efforts, raises grave doubts regarding Saudi Arabia’s ability to play a regionally significant constructive role.

Fifth, special attention should be focused on the non-Western world’s newly politically aroused masses. Long-repressed political memories are fueling in large part the sudden and very explosive awakening energized by Islamic extremists in the Middle East, but what is happening in the Middle East today may be just the beginning of a wider phenomenon to come out of Africa, Asia, and even among the pre-colonial peoples of the Western Hemisphere in the years ahead.

Periodic massacres of their not-so-distant ancestors by colonists and associated wealth-seekers largely from western Europe (countries that today are, still tentatively at least, most open to multiethnic cohabitation) resulted within the past two or so centuries in the slaughter of colonized peoples on a scale comparable to Nazi World War II crimes: literally involving hundreds of thousands and even millions of victims. Political self-assertion enhanced by delayed outrage and grief is a powerful force that is now surfacing, thirsting for revenge, not just in the Muslim Middle East but also very likely beyond.

Much of the data cannot be precisely established, but taken collectively, they are shocking. Let just a few examples suffice. In the 16th century, due largely to disease brought by Spanish explorers, the population of the native Aztec Empire in present-day Mexico declined from 25 million to approximately one million. Similarly, in North America, an estimated 90 percent of the native population died within the first five years of contact with European settlers, due primarily to diseases. In the 19th century, various wars and forced resettlements killed an additional 100,000. In India from 1857-1867, the British are suspected of killing up to one million civilians in reprisals stemming from the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The British East India Company’s use of Indian agriculture to grow opium then essentially forced on China resulted in the premature deaths of millions, not including the directly inflicted Chinese casualties of the First and Second Opium Wars. In the Congo, which was the personal holding of Belgian King Leopold II, 10-15 million people were killed between 1890 and 1910. In Vietnam, recent estimates suggest that between one and three million civilians were killed from 1955 to 1975.

As to the Muslim world in Russia’s Caucasus, from 1864 and 1867, 90 percent of the local Circassian population was forcibly relocated and between 300,000 and 1.5 million either starved to death or were killed. Between 1916 and 1918, tens of thousands of Muslims were killed when 300,000 Turkic Muslims were forced by Russian authorities through the mountains of Central Asia and into China. In Indonesia, between 1835 and 1840, the Dutch occupiers killed an estimated 300,000 civilians. In Algeria, following a 15-year civil war from 1830-1845, French brutality, famine, and disease killed 1.5 million Algerians, nearly half the population. In neighboring Libya, the Italians forced Cyrenaicans into concentration camps, where an estimated 80,000 to 500,000 died between 1927 and 1934.

More recently, in Afghanistan between 1979 and 1989 the Soviet Union is estimated to have killed around one million civilians; two decades later, the United States has killed 26,000 civilians during its 15-year war in Afghanistan. In Iraq, 165,000 civilians have been killed by the United States and its allies in the past 13 years. (The disparity between the reported number of deaths inflicted by European colonizers compared with the United States and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan may be due in part to the technological advances that have resulted in the more productive use of force and in part as well to a shift in the world’s normative climate.) Just as shocking as the scale of these atrocities is how quickly the West forgot about them.

In today’s postcolonial world, a new historical narrative is emerging. A profound resentment against the West and its colonial legacy in Muslim countries and beyond is being used to justify their sense of deprivation and denial of self-dignity. A stark example of the experience and attitudes of colonial peoples is well summarized by the Senegalese poet David Diop in “Vultures”:

In those days,
When civilization kicked us in the face
The vultures built in the shadow of their talons
The blood stained monument of tutelage…

Given all this, a long and painful road toward an initially limited regional accommodation is the only viable option for the United States, Russia, China, and the pertinent Middle Eastern entities. For the United States, that will require patient persistence in forging cooperative relationships with some new partners (particularly Russia and China) as well as joint efforts with more established and historically rooted Muslim states (Turkey, Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia if it can detach its foreign policy from Wahhabi extremism) in shaping a wider framework of regional stability. Our European allies, previously dominant in the region, can still be helpful in that regard.

A comprehensive U.S. pullout from the Muslim world favored by domestic isolationists, could give rise to new wars (for example, Israel vs. Iran, Saudi Arabia vs. Iran, a major Egyptian intervention in Libya) and would generate an even deeper crisis of confidence in America’s globally stabilizing role. In different but dramatically unpredictable ways, Russia and China could be the geopolitical beneficiaries of such a development even as global order itself becomes the more immediate geopolitical casualty. Last but not least, in such circumstances a divided and fearful Europe would see its current member states searching for patrons and competing with one another in alternative but separate arrangements among the more powerful trio.

A constructive U.S. policy must be patiently guided by a long-range vision. It must seek outcomes that promote the gradual realization in Russia (probably post-Putin) that its only place as an influential world power is ultimately within Europe. China’s increasing role in the Middle East should reflect the reciprocal American and Chinese realization that a growing U.S.-PRC partnership in coping with the Middle Eastern crisis is an historically significant test of their ability to shape and enhance together wider global stability.

The alternative to a constructive vision, and especially the quest for a one-sided militarily and ideologically imposed outcome, can only result in prolonged and self-destructive futility. For America, that could entail enduring conflict, fatigue, and conceivably even a demoralizing withdrawal to its pre-20th century isolationism. For Russia, it could mean major defeat, increasing the likelihood of subordination in some fashion to Chinese predominance. For China, it could portend war not only with the United States but also, perhaps separately, with either Japan or India or with both. And, in any case, a prolonged phase of sustained ethnic, quasi-religious wars pursued through the Middle East with self-righteous fanaticism would generate escalating bloodshed within and outside the region, and growing cruelty everywhere.

The fact is that there has never been a truly “dominant” global power until the emergence of America on the world scene. Imperial Great Britain came close to becoming one, but World War I and later World War II not only bankrupted it but also prompted the emergence of rival regional powers. The decisive new global reality was the appearance on the world scene of America as simultaneously the richest and militarily the most powerful player. During the latter part of the 20th century no other power even came close.

That era is now ending. While no state is likely in the near future to match America’s economic-financial superiority, new weapons systems could suddenly endow some countries with the means to commit suicide in a joint tit-for-tat embrace with the United States, or even to prevail. Without going into speculative detail, the sudden acquisition by some state of the capacity to render America militarily inferior would spell the end of America’s global role. The result would most probably be global chaos. And that is why it behooves the United States to fashion a policy in which at least one of the two potentially threatening states becomes a partner in the quest for regional and then wider global stability, and thus in containing the least predictable but potentially the most likely rival to overreach. Currently, the more likely to overreach is Russia, but in the longer run it could be China.

Since the next twenty years may well be the last phase of the more traditional and familiar political alignments with which we have grown comfortable, the response needs to be shaped now. During the rest of this century, humanity will also have to be increasingly preoccupied with survival as such on account of a confluence of environmental challenges. Those challenges can only be addressed responsibly and effectively in a setting of increased international accommodation. And that accommodation has to be based on a strategic vision that recognizes the urgent need for a new geopolitical framework.
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2016, 01:05:59 AM »

You can get one free article per month from American Interest, so this is my pick

You can do better than that if you ditch the cookies and use a privte browsing window.

RE
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2016, 09:59:58 PM »
IMHO, disruption to the US banking system would be the single biggest weak point, so a supersonic cruise missile to the Fed would probably be enough to precipitate collapse, but not very subtle.  Instead a small bomb in the Wall Street internet routing centre would be enough, or better yet a cyber attack on NY and Washington.

Anyway, Dmitri really goes to town on this one - enjoy.

http://www.cluborlov.com/
A Thousand Balls of Flame
August 23, 2016

“Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear.”

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious!

But, you know, this is hardly unreasonable of them. The US is spiraling down into financial, economic and political collapse, losing its standing in the world and turning into a continent-sized ghetto full of drug abuse, violence and decaying infrastructure, its population vice-ridden, poisoned with genetically modified food, morbidly obese, exploited by predatory police departments and city halls, plus a wide assortment of rackets, from medicine to education to real estate… That we know.

We also know how painful it is to realize that the US is damaged beyond repair, or to acquiesce to the fact that most of the damage is self-inflicted: the endless, useless wars, the limitless corruption of money politics, the toxic culture and gender wars, and the imperial hubris and willful ignorance that underlies it all… This level of disconnect between the expected and the observed certainly hurts, but the pain can be avoided, for a time, through mass delusion.

This sort of downward spiral does not automatically spell “Apocalypse,” but the specifics of the state cult of the US—an old-time religiosity overlaid with the secular religion of progress—are such that there can be no other options: either we are on our way up to build colonies on Mars, or we perish in a ball of flame. Since the humiliation of having to ask the Russians for permission to fly the Soyuz to the International Space Station makes the prospect of American space colonies seem dubious, it’s Plan B: balls of flame here we come!

And so, most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise. This is a well-understood psychological move—projecting the shadow—where one takes everything one hates but can’t admit to about oneself and projects it onto another. On a subconscious level (and, in the case of some very stupid people, even a conscious one) the Americans would like to nuke Russia until it glows, but can’t do so because Russia would nuke them right back. But the Americans can project that same desire onto Russia, and since they have to believe that they are good while Russia is evil, this makes the Armageddon scenario appear much more likely.

But this way of thinking involves a break with reality. There is exactly one nation in the world that nukes other countries, and that would be the United States. It gratuitously nuked Japan, which was ready to surrender anyway, just because it could. It prepared to nuke Russia at the start of the Cold War, but was prevented from doing so by a lack of a sufficiently large number of nuclear bombs at the time. And it attempted to render Russia defenseless against nuclear attack, abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, but has been prevented from doing so by Russia’s new weapons. These include, among others, long-range supersonic cruise missiles (Kalibr), and suborbital intercontinental missiles carrying multiple nuclear payloads capable of evasive maneuvers as they approach their targets (Sarmat). All of these new weapons are impossible to intercept using any conceivable defensive technology. At the same time, Russia has also developed its own defensive capabilities, and its latest S-500 system will effectively seal off Russia’s airspace, being able to intercept targets both close to the ground and in low Earth orbit.

In the meantime, the US has squandered a fantastic sum of money fattening up its notoriously corrupt defense establishment with various versions of “Star Wars,” but none of that money has been particularly well spent. The two installations in Europe of Aegis Ashore (completed in Romania, planned in Poland) won’t help against Kalibr missiles launched from submarines or small ships in the Pacific or the Atlantic, close to US shores, or against intercontinental missiles that can fly around them. The THAAD installation currently going into South Korea (which the locals are currently protesting by shaving their heads) won’t change the picture either.

There is exactly one nuclear aggressor nation on the planet, and it isn’t Russia. But this shouldn’t matter. In spite of American efforts to undermine it, the logic of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) remains in effect. The probability of a nuclear exchange is determined not by anyone’s policy but by the likelihood of it happening by accident. Since there is no winning strategy in a nuclear war, nobody has any reason to try to start one. Under no circumstances is the US ever going to be able to dictate its terms to Russia by threatening it with nuclear annihilation.

If a nuclear war is not in the cards, how about a conventional one? The US has been sabre-rattling by stationing troops and holding drills in the Baltics, right on Russia's western border, installing ABM systems in Romania, Poland and South Korea, supporting anti-Russian Ukrainian Nazis, etc. All of this seems quite provocative; can it result in a war? And what would that war look like?

Here, we have to look at how Russia has responded to previous provocations. These are all the facts that we know, and can use to predict what will happen, as opposed to purely fictional, conjectural statements unrelated to known facts.

When the US or its proxies attack an enclave of Russian citizens outside of Russia's borders, here are the types of responses that we have been able to observe so far:

1. The example of Georgia. During the Summer Olympics in Beijing (a traditional time of peace), the Georgian military, armed and trained by the US and Israel, invaded South Ossetia. This region was part of Georgia in name only, being mostly inhabited by Russian speakers and passport-holders. Georgian troops started shelling its capital, Tskhinval, killing some Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in the region and causing civilian casualties. In response, Russian troops rolled into Georgia, within hours completely eliminating Georgia’s war-making capability. They announced that South Ossetia was de facto no longer part of Georgia, throwing in Abkhazia (another disputed Russian enclave) for good measure, and withdrew. Georgia’s warmongering president Saakashvili was pronounced a “political corpse” and left to molder in place. Eventually he was forced to flee Georgia, where he has been declared a fugitive from justice. The US State Department recently gave him a new job, as Governor of Odessa in the Ukraine. Recently, Russian-Georgian relations have been on the mend.

2. The example of Crimea. During the Winter Olympics in Sochi, in Russia (a traditional time of peace) there occurred an illegal, violent overthrow of the elected, constitutional government of the Ukraine, followed by the installation of a US-picked puppet administration. In response, the overwhelmingly Russian population of the autonomous region of Crimea held a referendum. Some 95% of them voted to secede from the Ukraine and to once again become part of Russia, which they had been for centuries and until very recently. The Russians then used their troops already stationed in the region under an international agreement to make sure that the results of the referendum were duly enacted. Not a single shot was fired during this perfectly peaceful exercise in direct democracy.

3. The example of Crimea again. During the Summer Olympics in Rio (a traditional time of peace) a number of Ukrainian operatives stormed the Crimean border and were swiftly apprehended by Russia's Federal Security Service, together with a cache of weapons and explosives. A number of them were killed in the process, along with two Russians. The survivors immediately confessed to planning to organize terrorist attacks at the ferry terminal that links Crimea with the Russian mainland and a railway station. The ringleader of the group confessed to being promised the princely sum of $140 for carrying out these attacks. All of them are very much looking forward to a warm, dry bunk and three square meals of day, care of the Russian government, which must seem like a slice of heaven compared to the violence, chaos, destitution and desolation that characterizes life in present-day Ukraine. In response, the government in Kiev protested against “Russian provocation,” and put its troops on alert to prepare against “Russian invasion.” Perhaps the next shipment of US aid to the Ukraine should include a supply of chlorpromazine or some other high-potency antipsychotic medication.

Note the constant refrain of “during the Olympics.” This is not a coincidence but is indicative of a certain American modus operandi. Yes, waging war during a traditional time of peace is both cynical and stupid. But the American motto seems to be “If we try something repeatedly and it still doesn't work, then we just aren’t trying hard enough.” In the minds of those who plan these events, the reason they never work right can’t possibly have anything to do with it being stupid. This is known as “Level III Stupid”: stupidity so profound that it is unable to comprehend its own stupidity.

4. The example of Donbass. After the events described in point 2 above, this populous, industrialized region, which was part of Russia until well into the 20th century and is linguistically and culturally Russian, went into political turmoil, because most of the locals wanted nothing to do with the government that had been installed in Kiev, which they saw as illegitimate. The Kiev government proceeded to make things worse, first by enacting laws infringing on the rights of Russian-speakers, then by actually attacking the region with the army, which they continue to do to this day, with three unsuccessful invasions and continuous shelling of both residential and industrial areas, in the course of which over ten thousand civilians have been murdered and many more wounded. In response, Russia assisted with establishing a local resistance movement supported by a capable military contingent formed of local volunteers. This was done by Russian volunteers, acting in an unofficial capacity, and by Russian private citizens donating money to the cause. In spite of Western hysteria over “Russian invasion” and “Russian aggression,” no evidence of it exists. Instead, the Russian government has done just three things: it refused to interfere with the work of its citizens coming to the aid of Donbass; it pursued a diplomatic strategy for resolving the conflict; and it has provided numerous convoys of humanitarian aid to the residents of Donbass. Russia’s diplomatic initiative resulted in two international agreements—Minsk I and Minsk II—which compelled both Kiev and Donbass to pursue a strategy of political resolution of the conflict through cessation of hostilities and the granting to Donbass of full autonomy. Kiev has steadfastly refused to fulfill its obligations under these agreements. The conflict is now frozen, but continuing to bleed because of Ukrainian shelling, waiting for the Ukrainian puppet government to collapse.

To complete the picture, let us include Russia’s recent military action in Syria, where it came to the defense of the embattled Syrian government and quickly demolished a large part of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Islamic Caliphate, along with various other terrorist organizations active in the region. The rationale for this action is that Russia saw a foreign-funded terrorist nest in Syria as a direct threat to Russia’s security. Two other notable facts here are that Russia acted in accordance with international law, having been invited by Syria’s legitimate, internationally recognized government and that the military action was scaled back as soon as it seemed possible for all of the legitimate (non-terrorist) parties to the conflict to return to the negotiating table. These three elements—using military force as a reactive security measure, scrupulous adherence to international law, and seeing military action as being in the service of diplomacy—are very important to understanding Russia’s methods and ambitions.

Turning now to US military/diplomatic adventures, we see a situation that is quite different. US military spending is responsible for over half of all federal discretionary spending, dwarfing most other vitally important sectors, such as infrastructure, public medicine and public education. It serves several objectives. Most importantly, it is a public jobs program: a way of employing people who are not employable in any actually productive capacity due to lack of intelligence, education and training. Second, it is a way for politicians and defense contractors to synergistically enrich themselves and each other at the public’s expense. Third, it is an advertising program for weapons sales, the US being the top purveyor of lethal technology in the world. Last of all, it is a way of projecting force around the world, bombing into submission any country that dares oppose Washington’s global hegemonic ambitions, often in total disregard of international law. Nowhere on this list is the actual goal of defending the US.

None of these justifications works vis-à-vis Russia. In dollar terms, the US outspends Russia on defense hands down. However, viewed in terms of purchasing parity, Russia manages to buy as much as ten times more defensive capability per unit national wealth than the US, largely negating this advantage. Also, what the US gets for its money is inferior: the Russian military gets the weapons it wants; the US military gets what the corrupt political establishment and their accomplices in the military-industrial complex want in order to enrich themselves. In terms of being an advertising campaign for weapons sales, watching Russian weaponry in action in Syria, effectively wiping out terrorists in short order through a relentless bombing campaign using scant resources, then seeing US weaponry used by the Saudis in Yemen, with much support and advice from the US, being continuously defeated by lightly armed insurgents, is unlikely to generate too many additional sales leads. Lastly, the project of maintaining US global hegemony seems to be on the rocks as well. Russia and China are now in a de facto military union. Russia’s superior weaponry, coupled with China’s almost infinitely huge infantry, make it an undefeatable combination. Russia now has a permanent air base in Syria, has made a deal with Iran to use Iranian military bases, and is in the process of prying Turkey away from NATO. As the US military, with its numerous useless bases around the world and piles of useless gadgets, turns into an international embarrassment, it remains, for the time being, a public jobs program for employing incompetents, and a rich source of graft.

In all, it is important to understand how actually circumscribed American military capabilities are. The US is very good at attacking vastly inferior adversaries. The action against Nazi Germany only succeeded because it was by then effectively defeated by the Red Army—all except for the final mop-up, which is when the US came out of its timid isolation and joined the fray. Even North Korea and Vietnam proved too tough for it, and even there its poor performance would have been much poorer were it not for the draft, which had the effect of adding non-incompetents to the ranks, but produced the unpleasant side-effect of enlisted men shooting their incompetent officers—a much underreported chapter of American military history. And now, with the addition of LGBTQ people to the ranks, the US military is on its way to becoming an international laughing stock. Previously, terms like “faggot” and “pussy” were in widespread use in the US military’s basic training. Drill sergeants used such terminology to exhort the “numb-nuts” placed in their charge to start acting like men. I wonder what words drill sergeants use now that they’ve been tasked with training those they previously referred to as “faggots” and “pussies”? The comedic potential of this nuance isn’t lost on Russia’s military men.

This comedy can continue as long as the US military continues to shy away from attacking any serious adversary, because if it did, comedy would turn to tragedy rather quickly.

    If, for instance, US forces tried to attack Russian territory by lobbing missiles across the border, they would be neutralized in instantaneous retaliation by Russia’s vastly superior artillery.
    If Americans or their proxies provoked Russians living outside of Russia (and there are millions of them) to the point of open rebellion, Russian volunteers, acting in an unofficial capacity and using private funds, would quickly train, outfit and arm them, creating a popular insurgency that would continue for years, if necessary, until Americans and their proxies capitulate.
    If the Americans do the ultimately foolish thing and invade Russian territory, they would be kettled and annihilated, as repeatedly happened to the Ukrainian forces in Donbass.
    Any attempt to attack Russia using the US aircraft carrier fleet would result in its instantaneous sinking using any of several weapons: ballistic anti-ship missiles, supercavitating torpedos or supersonic cruise missiles.
    Strategic bombers, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles would be eliminated by Russia’s advanced new air defense systems.

So much for attack; but what about defense? Well it turns out that there is an entire separate dimension to engaging Russia militarily. You see, Russia lost a huge number of civilian lives while fighting off Nazi Germany. Many people, including old people, women and children, died of starvation and disease, or from German shelling, or from the abuse they suffered at the hands of German soldiers. On the other hand, Soviet military casualties were on par with those of the Germans. This incredible calamity befell Russia because it had been invaded, and it has conditioned Russian military thinking ever since. The next large-scale war, if there ever is one, will be fought on enemy territory. Thus, if the US attacks Russia, Russia will counterattack the US mainland. Keeping in mind that the US hasn’t fought a war on its own territory in over 150 years, this would come as quite a shock.

Of course, this would be done in ways that are consistent with Russian military thinking. Most importantly, the attack must be such that the possibility of triggering a nuclear exchange remains minimized. Second, the use of force would be kept to the minimum required to secure a cessation of hostilities and a return to the negotiating table on terms favorable to Russia. Third, every effort would be made to make good use of internal popular revolts to create long-lasting insurgencies, letting volunteers provide the necessary arms and training. Lastly, winning the peace is just as important as winning the war, and every effort would be made to inform the American public that what they are experiencing is just retribution for certain illegal acts. From a diplomatic perspective, it would be much more tidy to treat the problem of war criminals running the US as an internal, American political problem, to be solved by Americans themselves, with an absolute minimum of outside help. This would best be accomplished through a bit of friendly, neighborly intelligence-sharing, letting all interested parties within the US know who exactly should be held responsible for these war crimes, what they and their family members look like, and where they live.

The question then is, What is the absolute minimum of military action—what I am calling “a thousand balls of fire,” named after George Bush Senior’s “a thousand points of light”—to restore peace on terms favorable to Russia? It seems to me that 1000 “balls of fire” is just about the right number. These would be smallish explosions—enough to demolish a building or an industrial installation, with almost no casualties. This last point is extremely important, because the goal is to destroy the system without actually directly hurting any of the people. It wouldn’t be anyone else’s fault if people in the US suffer because they refuse to do as their own FEMA asks them to do: stockpile a month’s worth of food and water and put together an emergency evacuation plan. In addition, given the direction in which the US is heading, getting a second passport, expatriating your savings, and getting some firearms training just in case you end up sticking around are all good ideas.

The reason it is very important for this military action to not kill anyone is this: there are some three million Russians currently residing in the US, and killing any of them is definitely not on strategy. There is an even larger number of people from populous countries friendly to Russia, such as China and India, who should also remain unharmed. Thus, a strategy that would result in massive loss of life would simply not be acceptable. A much better scenario would involve producing a crisis that would quickly convince the Russians living in the US (along with all the other foreign nationals and first-generation immigrants, and quite a few of the second-generation immigrants too) that the US is no longer a good place to live. Then all of these people could be repatriated—a process that would no doubt take a few years. Currently, Russia is the number three destination worldwide for people looking for a better place to live, after the US and Germany. Germany is now on the verge of open revolt against Angela Merkel’s insane pro-immigration policies. The US is not far behind, and won’t remain an attractive destination for much longer. And that leaves Russia as the number one go-to place on the whole planet. That’s a lot of pressure, even for a country that is 11 time zones wide and has plenty of everything except tropical fruit and people.

We must also keep in mind that Israel—which is, let’s face it, a US protectorate temporarily parked on Palestinian land—wouldn’t last long without massive US support. Fully a third of Israeli population happens to be Russian. The moment Project Israel starts looking defunct, most of these Russian Jews, clever people that they are, will no doubt decide to stage an exodus and go right back to Russia, as is their right. This will create quite a headache for Russia’s Federal Migration Service, because it will have to sift through them all, letting in all the normal Russian Jews while keeping out the Zionist zealots, the war criminals and the ultra-religious nutcases. This will also take considerable time.

But actions that risk major loss of life also turn out to be entirely unnecessary, because an effective alternative strategy is available: destroy key pieces of government and corporate infrastructure, then fold your arms and wait for the other side to crawl back to the negotiating table waving a white rag. You see, there are just a few magic ingredients that allow the US to continue to exist as a stable, developed country capable of projecting military force overseas. They are: the electric grid; the financial system; the interstate highway system; rail and ocean freight; the airlines; and oil and gas pipelines. Disable all of the above, and it’s pretty much game over. How many “balls of flame” would that take? Probably well under a thousand.

Disabling the electric grid is almost ridiculously easy, because the system is very highly integrated and interdependent, consisting of just three sub-grids, called “interconnects”: western, eastern and Texas. The most vulnerable parts of the system are the Large Power Transformers (LPTs) which step up voltages to millions of volts for transmission, and step them down again for distribution. These units are big as houses, custom-built, cost millions of dollars and a few years to replace, and are mostly manufactured outside the US. Also, along with the rest of the infrastructure in the US, most of them are quite old and prone to failure. There are several thousand of these key pieces of equipment, but because the electric grid in the US is working at close to capacity, with several critical choke points, it would be completely disabled if even a handful of the particularly strategic LPTs were destroyed. In the US, any extended power outage in any of the larger urban centers automatically triggers large-scale looting and mayhem. Some estimate that just a two week long outage would push the situation to a point of no return, where the damage would become too extensive to ever be repaired.

Disabling the financial system is likewise relatively trivial. There are just a few choke points, including the Federal Reserve, a few major banks, debit and credit card company data centers, etc. They can be disabled using a variety of methods, such as a cruise missile strike, a cyberattack, electric supply disruption or even civil unrest. It bears noting that the financial system in the US is rigged to blow even without foreign intervention. The combination of runaway debt, a gigantic bond bubble, the Federal Reserve trapped into ever-lower interest rates, underfunded pensions and other obligations, hugely overpriced real estate and a ridiculously frothy stock market will eventually detonate it from the inside.

A few more surgical strikes can take out the oil and gas pipelines, import terminals, highway bridges and tunnels, railroads and airlines. A few months without access to money and financial services, electricity, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, air transport or imported spare parts needed to repair the damage should be enough to force the US to capitulate. If it makes any efforts to restore any of these services, an additional strike or two would quickly negate them.

The number of “balls of flame” can be optimized by taking advantage of destructive synergies: a GPS jammer deployed near the site of an attack can prevent responders from navigating to it; taking out a supply depot together with the facility it serves, coupled with transportation system disruptions, can delay repairs by many months; a simple bomb threat can immobilize a transportation hub, making it a sitting duck instead of a large number of moving targets; etc.

You may think that executing such a fine-tuned attack would require a great deal of intelligence, which would be difficult to gather, but this is not the case. First, a great deal of tactically useful information is constantly being leaked by insiders, who often consider themselves “patriots.” Second, what hasn’t been leaked can be hacked, because of the pitiable state of cybersecurity in the US. Remember, Russia is where anti-virus software is made—and a few of the viruses too. The National Security Agency was recently hacked, and its crown jewels stolen; if it can be hacked, what about all those whose security it supposedly protects?

You might also think that the US, if attacked in this manner, could effectively retaliate in kind, but this scenario is rather difficult to imagine. Many Russians don’t find English too difficult, are generally familiar with the US through exposure to US media, and the specialists among them, especially those who have studied or taught at universities in the US, can navigate their field of expertise in the US almost as easily as in Russia. Most Americans, on the other hand, can barely find Russia on a map, can’t get past the Cyrillic alphabet and find Russian utterly incomprehensible.

Also consider that Russia’s defense establishment is mainly focused on... defense. Offending people in foreign lands is not generally seen as strategically important. “A hundred friends is better than a hundred rubles” is a popular saying. And so Russia manages to be friends with India and Pakistan at the same time, and with China and Vietnam. In the Middle East, it maintains cordial relations with Turkey, Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Iran, also all at the same time. Russian diplomats are required to keep channels of communication open with friends and adversaries alike, at all times. Yes, being inexplicably adversarial toward Russia can be excruciatingly painful, but you can make it stop any time! All it takes is a phone call.

Add to this the fact that the vicissitudes of Russian history have conditioned Russia’s population to expect the worst, and simply deal with it. “They can’t kill us all!” is another favorite saying. If Americans manage to make them suffer, the Russian people would no doubt find great solace in the fact they are making the Americans suffer even worse, and many among them would think that this achievement, in itself, is already a victory. Nor will they remain without help; it is no accident that Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, previously ran the Emergencies Ministry, and his performance at his job there won him much adulation and praise. In short, if attacked, the Russians will simply take their lumps—as they always have—and then go on to conquer and win, as they always have.

It doesn’t help matters that most of what little Americans have been told about Russia by their political leaders and mass media is almost entirely wrong. They keep hearing about Putin and the “Russian bear,” and so they are probably imagining Russia to be a vast wasteland where Vladimir Putin keeps company with a chess-playing, internet server-hacking, nuclear physicist, rocket scientist, Ebola vaccine-inventing, polyglot, polymath bear. Bears are wonderful, Russians love bears, but let’s not overstate things. Yes, Russian bears can ride bicycles and are sometimes even good with children, but they are still just wild animals and/or pets (many Russians can’t draw that distinction). And so when the Americans growl about the “Russian bear,” the Russians wonder, Which one?

In short, Russia is to most Americans a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and there simply isn’t a large enough pool of intelligent Americans with good knowledge of Russia to draw upon, whereas to many Russians the US is an open book. As far as the actual American “intelligence” and “security” services, they are all bloated bureaucratic boondoggles mired in political opportunism and groupthink that excel at just two things: unquestioningly following idiotic procedures, and creatively fitting the facts to the politics du jour. “Proving” that Iraq has “weapons of mass destruction”—no problem! Telling Islamist terrorists apart from elderly midwestern grandmothers at an airport security checkpoint—no can do!

Russia will not resort to military measures against the US unless sorely provoked. Time and patience are on Russia’s side. With each passing year, the US grows weaker and loses friends and allies, while Russia grows stronger and gains friends and allies. The US, with its political dysfunction, runaway debt, decaying infrastructure and spreading civil unrest, is a dead nation walking. It will take time for each of the United States to neatly demolish themselves into their own footprints, like those three New York skyscrapers did on 9/11 (WTC #1, #2 and #7) but Russia is very patient. Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear. But if you still think that there is going to be a war with Russia, don’t think “Armageddon”; think “a thousand balls of flame,” and then—crickets!
The State is a body of armed men

Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2016, 11:18:46 PM »
IMHO, disruption to the US banking system would be the single biggest weak point, so a supersonic cruise missile to the Fed would probably be enough to precipitate collapse, but not very subtle.  Instead a small bomb in the Wall Street internet routing centre would be enough, or better yet a cyber attack on NY and Washington.

Anyway, Dmitri really goes to town on this one - enjoy.

Dmitri did REALLY GOOD with this one!  Not only did Zero Hedge Cross Post it, PCR quoted it in his most recent article too!  He's a Superstar of Collapse again!

OK, I admit it, I'm jealous.  lol.

RE
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Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2016, 12:00:21 AM »
Third, every effort would be made to make good use of internal popular revolts to create long-lasting insurgencies, letting volunteers provide the necessary arms and training. Lastly, winning the peace is just as important as winning the war, and every effort would be made to inform the American public that what they are experiencing is just retribution for certain illegal acts. From a diplomatic perspective, it would be much more tidy to treat the problem of war criminals running the US as an internal, American political problem, to be solved by Americans themselves, with an absolute minimum of outside help. This would best be accomplished through a bit of friendly, neighborly intelligence-sharing, letting all interested parties within the US know who exactly should be held responsible for these war crimes, what they and their family members look like, and where they live.

As I commentedtried to comment unsuccessfully on Club Orlov, doesn't that sound suspiciously like Trump's presidential campaign?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 12:11:47 AM by jdwheeler42 »
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #57 on: August 29, 2016, 02:19:13 AM »
IMHO, disruption to the US banking system would be the single biggest weak point, so a supersonic cruise missile to the Fed would probably be enough to precipitate collapse, but not very subtle.  Instead a small bomb in the Wall Street internet routing centre would be enough, or better yet a cyber attack on NY and Washington.

Anyway, Dmitri really goes to town on this one - enjoy.

Dmitri did REALLY GOOD with this one!  Not only did Zero Hedge Cross Post it, PCR quoted it in his most recent article too!  He's a Superstar of Collapse again!

OK, I admit it, I'm jealous.  lol.

RE

I don't know what you are jealous about.

Quote
On a subconscious level (and, in the case of some very stupid people, even a conscious one) the Americans would like to nuke Russia until it glows <- DO
 

The Russian is demented.  I also don't see where you get:

Quote
He's a Superstar of Collapse again!

Really?!

As is the new Dmitri he is nothing about collapse.  He is all about pro-Russian international politics and being rude to people.  That is all he wrote about above so explain your jealousy please.  We know Clinton is what she is but to Orlov, Hillary is nothing but proof that America is satanic.  And that means you and that means me; not just her.  It is a topic he is obsessed with.  He perverts everything for his own purposes.  He has already thrown the collapse crowd under the bus.  He is extremely loyal, but only to himself.  The rest of us are shit.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 02:22:42 AM by K-Dog »
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Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #58 on: August 29, 2016, 02:29:09 AM »
IMHO, disruption to the US banking system would be the single biggest weak point, so a supersonic cruise missile to the Fed would probably be enough to precipitate collapse, but not very subtle.  Instead a small bomb in the Wall Street internet routing centre would be enough, or better yet a cyber attack on NY and Washington.

Anyway, Dmitri really goes to town on this one - enjoy.

Dmitri did REALLY GOOD with this one!  Not only did Zero Hedge Cross Post it, PCR quoted it in his most recent article too!  He's a Superstar of Collapse again!

OK, I admit it, I'm jealous.  lol.

RE

I don't know what you are jealous about.

Quote
On a subconscious level (and, in the case of some very stupid people, even a conscious one) the Americans would like to nuke Russia until it glows <- DO
 

The Russian is demented.  I also don't see where you get:

Quote
He's a Superstar of Collapse again!

Really?!

As is the new Dmitri he is nothing about collapse.  He is all about pro-Russian international politics and being rude to people.  That is all he wrote about above so explain your jealousy please.  We know Clinton is what she is but to Orlov, Hillary is nothing but proof that America is satanic.  And that means you and that means me; not just her.  It is a topic he is obsessed with.  He perverts everything for his own purposes.  He has already thrown the collapse crowd under the bus.  He is extremely loyal, but only to himself.  The rest of us are shit.

I agree with all of that.  However, this spin has catapulted Dmitri to the "Front Page" of Collapse AGAIN! It is a self serving lotta shit, but it plays a whole lot better than what I write!

RE
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2016, 12:21:59 AM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-04/ultimate-21st-century-choice-obor-or-war
The Ultimate 21st Century Choice: OBOR Or War
Pepe Escobar
Sep 4, 2016

The G20 meets in tech hub Hangzhou, China, at an extremely tense geopolitical juncture.

China has invested immense political/economic capital to prepare this summit. The debates will revolve around the main theme of seeking solutions “towards an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.”

G20 Trade Ministers have already agreed to lay down nine core principles for global investment. At the summit, China will keep pressing for emerging markets to have a bigger say in the Bretton Woods system.

But most of all China will seek greater G20 backing for the New Silk Roads – or One Belt, One Road (OBOR), as they are officially known – as well as the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

So at the heart of the G20 we will have the two projects which are competing head on to geopolitically shape the young 21st century.

China has proposed OBOR; a pan-Eurasian connectivity spectacular designed to configure a hypermarket at least 10 times the size of the US market within the next two decades.

The US hyperpower – not the Atlanticist West, because Europe is mired in fear and stagnation — “proposes” the current neocon/neoliberalcon status quo; the usual Divide and Rule tactics; and the primacy of fear, enshrined in the Pentagon array of “threats” that must be fought, from Russia and China to Iran. The geopolitical rumble in the background high-tech jungle is all about the “containment” of top G20 members Russia and China.

It doesn’t take an oracle to divine which project is intriguing — and in many ways seducing — the Global South, as well as an array of G20 member-nations.

That connectivity frenzy

Shuttling between the West and Asia, one can glimpse, in myriad forms, the graphic contrast between paralysis and paranoia and an immensely ambitious $1.4 trillion project potentially touching 64 nations, no less than 4.4 billion people and around 40 per cent of the global economy which will, among other features, create new “innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive” trade horizons and arguably install a post-geopolitics win-win era.

    An array of financial mechanisms is already in place. The AIIB (which will fund way beyond the initial commitment of $100 billion); the Silk Road Fund ($40 billion already committed); the BRICS’s New Development Bank (NDB), initially committing $100 billion; plus assorted players such as the China Development Bank and the Hong Kong-based China Merchants Holdings International.

Chinese state companies and funds are relentlessly buying up ports and tech companies in Western Europe – from Greece to the UK.

Cargo trains are now plying the route from Zhejiang to Tehran in 14 days, through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan; soon this will be all part of a trans-Eurasia high-speed rail network, including a high-speed Transiberian.

    The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has the potential to unblock vast swathes of South Asia, with Gwadar, operated by China Overseas Port Holdings, slated to become a key naval hub of the New Silk Roads.

Deep-sea ports will be built in Kyaukphyu in Myanmar, Sonadia island in Bangladesh, Hambantota in Sri Lanka. Add to them the China-Belarus Industrial Park and 33 deals in Kazakhstan covering everything from mining and engineering to oil and gas.

Back in February, PwC was already detailing $250 billion in OBOR projects that had been built, recently started or agreed on and signed.

An array of Silk Road projects now crisscross Eurasia, progressively networking east-west and north-south corridors through many an economic zone; an expanding connectivity and infrastructure development frenzy involving Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Southeast and Central Asia. Connectivity, now more than geography, is destiny.

It’s not by accident that a lot of the action happens in member-states or observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The New Silk Roads are about to be totally intertwined with the reprogramming of the SCO as a security-economic cooperation umbrella.

In parallel Russia, with the progressive coordination of the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU) with the New Silk Roads, projects the Russia-China strategic partnership much further than just New Silk Road connectivity to Europe.

Follow those CUES

Southeast Asia – via the Maritime Silk Road — is a key hub in the New Connectivity Game in Eurasia. Which brings us to the alleged illegality of the “nine-dash line” Chinese claim of indisputable sovereignty as recently ruled in The Hague.

The US and the Philippines have a mutual defense treaty since 1951, according to which “island territories under [Manila’s] jurisdiction” must also be defended. Washington under a potential neoliberalcon Hillary Clinton presidency – and Kurt Campbell, who conceptualized the “pivot to Asia” as possible Secretary of State — might be tempted to declare the treaty applies to offshore islands, atolls, “rocks” and even underwater features such as Scarborough Shoal.

    Beijing won’t wait to fall into this possible trap. Following a recent meeting in Inner Mongolia, China and ASEAN are set to launch an emergency diplomatic hotline and eventually adopt a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES).

ASEAN and East Asian powers, meanwhile, keep weighing the merits of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) — 16 nations, 29% of global trade – as an alternative to the US corporate-pushed TPP, a sort of NATO-on-trade that excludes China.

China is hyperactive on all fronts. It will boost the use of Singapore know how to advance New Silk Road projects. Singapore, with a population nearly 75% ethnic Chinese, is China’s largest foreign investor and a major overseas hub for yuan trade. More than 20% of Singapore’s GDP is linked to China.

At the same time, planning for a post-war Syria, Beijing is committed to boost trade and economic cooperation with Damascus, another future OBOR hub. It does not hurt this is also asymmetrical payback for Pentagon interference in the South China Sea and the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.

Beijing has made it clear that the South China Sea won’t be discussed at the G20. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for his part has insisted, "We're not in a hurry to wage war, we're in a hurry to talk."

The heart of the matter in the OBOR-linked South China Sea is not sovereignty over “rocks” or even unexploited reserves of oil and gas; it hinges on the capacity of the Chinese Navy to regulate and eventually deny “access” to the Pentagon and the US Navy. What’s certain is that the US Navy will take no prisoners to prevent China from strategically dominating the Western Pacific, as much as Washington will go no holds barred to ram TPP to prevent China from economically reign over the Asia-Pacific.

Deng Xiaoping's maxim – “never take the lead, never reveal your true potential, never overstretch your abilities" – now belongs to the past. At the G20 China once again is announcing it is taking the lead. And not only taking the lead – but also planning to overstretch its abilities to make the hyper-ambitious OBOR Eurasia integration masterplan work. Call it a monster PR exercise or a soft power win-win; the fact that humanitarian imperialism as embodied by the Pentagon considers China a major “threat” is all the Global South – and the G20 for that matter — needs to know.
The State is a body of armed men

 

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