AuthorTopic: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis  (Read 69172 times)

Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #60 on: September 05, 2016, 12:45:48 AM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-04/ultimate-21st-century-choice-obor-or-war
The Ultimate 21st Century Choice: OBOR Or War

Not ONCE in this article does Pepe mention the ENERGY issue!  WTF is China going to get the energy to build this new "silk road", and WTF living along this silk road will be able to afford whatever products are moving along the high speed rail over the Himalayas to buy it?

Pepe is an ideological idiot.  He is clueless about energy and the real issues here.  It is all political to him.

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Offline Surly1

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #61 on: September 05, 2016, 05:58:23 AM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-04/ultimate-21st-century-choice-obor-or-war
The Ultimate 21st Century Choice: OBOR Or War

Not ONCE in this article does Pepe mention the ENERGY issue!  WTF is China going to get the energy to build this new "silk road", and WTF living along this silk road will be able to afford whatever products are moving along the high speed rail over the Himalayas to buy it?

Pepe is an ideological idiot.  He is clueless about energy and the real issues here.  It is all political to him.

Pepe is most emphatically NOT an ideological idiot, and frames the North/South issues appropriately. For the Empire, it IS all about containing Russia and China.
Ask Dilma.
And where will the Empire get the energy to prosecute it's objectives? They will frack it into being, or steal it from you and me. And as for energy, China Is on an pic solar power binge. China will nearly triple solar capacity by 2020, adding 15 to 20 gigawatts of solar capacity each year for the next five years.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601093/china-is-on-an-epic-solar-power-binge/

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #62 on: September 05, 2016, 08:04:52 AM »
Quote
China will nearly triple solar capacity by 2020, adding 15 to 20 gigawatts of solar capacity each year for the next five years.

5 x 20 GW of additional nameplate capacity, which is about 20 GW continuous, compared to China's 2015 electricity generation of 663 GW continuous, is 3%.  It will need a lot of FF energy spent to make this production happen, and that's the easy 3%. As the production grows, the 3% growth every five years will get harder and harder.

And they still have to build the electric cars, and beef up the transmission grid, and build the OBOR, AND use less FFs. 

Since that doesn't seem possible using only the oil/gas/coal they can buy on the world market, they must be thinking of invading Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia and Australia and taking it.  That means they also have to build for the OBOR alternative - war.

It can't be a coincidence that the top 5 users of PV are also the top 5 makers of PV, having 70% of world installed PV - China, Germany, Japan, US, Italy.  All the remaining countries have less than 4% of world installed PV.  150 countries have less than 0.1%, and 3.2% in total. (Sources: BP(2016) citing IEA, Solar Power Europe, EurObserver, Bloomberg NEF and national sources)

The only explanation is that PV manufacturing countries subsidise their PV industries, and everybody else isn't buying very much of it.
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Offline RE

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #63 on: September 05, 2016, 09:04:00 AM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-04/ultimate-21st-century-choice-obor-or-war
The Ultimate 21st Century Choice: OBOR Or War

Not ONCE in this article does Pepe mention the ENERGY issue!  WTF is China going to get the energy to build this new "silk road", and WTF living along this silk road will be able to afford whatever products are moving along the high speed rail over the Himalayas to buy it?

Pepe is an ideological idiot.  He is clueless about energy and the real issues here.  It is all political to him.

Pepe is most emphatically NOT an ideological idiot, and frames the North/South issues appropriately. For the Empire, it IS all about containing Russia and China.
Ask Dilma.
And where will the Empire get the energy to prosecute it's objectives? They will frack it into being, or steal it from you and me. And as for energy, China Is on an pic solar power binge. China will nearly triple solar capacity by 2020, adding 15 to 20 gigawatts of solar capacity each year for the next five years.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601093/china-is-on-an-epic-solar-power-binge/

They're going to steal the oil from you and me?  You're kidding right?  We're not going to have any EITHER!  You can't steal that which someone does not posess.

Solar power?  Another fucking bridge to nowhere.  It can work in a distributed fashion to keep your lights on, but it does not work as a substitute for thermal or nuke plants on the grid.

Pepe brown noses the Chinese the same way Dmitry and Saker brown nose Mother Russia.  If the Chinese are so fucking smart, why did they turn their country into an industrial sewer?  They made the exact same mistakes as the west did, just they got to the party late when the beer was running out.  They had the Pick Two problem of Fast, Good or Cheap and picked Fast & Cheap.  60% of their groundwater is already unfit for human contact, much less drinking.  If they start fracking, they'll jack that percentage up to 100%.

Even fucking Chinese Oligarchs don't think China is a good investment, they're getting money out of the country as fast as they can and buying up townhouses in the City of London and McMansions in Vancouver and Seattle at ridiculously inflated prices.  They get walloped by a new Super Typhoon on a monthly basis and a new mudslide buries 1000 slant eyes every week.  These folks are going to do Pinky & the Brain and take over the world?  Gimme a break.

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Offline monsta666

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #64 on: September 05, 2016, 01:38:10 PM »
Pepe is most emphatically NOT an ideological idiot, and frames the North/South issues appropriately. For the Empire, it IS all about containing Russia and China.

Pepe is NOT an idiot but the issue here is if your analysis is too narrowly focused in one given area then at some point you are going to look like a mug when your blind spot (which will be vast if you focus on any one area exclusively). To make deep meaningful and memorable dialogues or theories requires one to take a more holistic approach and consider the influences of each field be it economics, politics, ecology, energy or finance and consider the relationships between these elements. It is a difficult thing to do but if managed successfully demonstrates real wisdom. On the opposite end of the spectrum a person who displays a complete refusal to consider other topic areas will at best be an intelligent fool or worse a stool for some particular agenda.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #65 on: September 05, 2016, 03:10:34 PM »
Pepe is most emphatically NOT an ideological idiot, and frames the North/South issues appropriately. For the Empire, it IS all about containing Russia and China.

Pepe is NOT an idiot but the issue here is if your analysis is too narrowly focused in one given area then at some point you are going to look like a mug when your blind spot (which will be vast if you focus on any one area exclusively). To make deep meaningful and memorable dialogues or theories requires one to take a more holistic approach and consider the influences of each field be it economics, politics, ecology, energy or finance and consider the relationships between these elements. It is a difficult thing to do but if managed successfully demonstrates real wisdom. On the opposite end of the spectrum a person who displays a complete refusal to consider other topic areas will at best be an intelligent fool or worse a stool for some particular agenda.

 In following Pepe's work, it is clear that he focuses on the geopolitical. Such phrases as, "Empire of Chaos," "Exceptionalistan,"  and "Pipelineistan" often find their way into his work as a sort of shorthand described over and over again in his writings.  Since he has written in the past about the geopolitics of dueling pipeline routes underpinning certain pieces of the respective foreign policies of the United States and Russia, he is certainly not ignorant of energy issues.

Meanwhile in this country, #ChitoHitler is still talking about building a "big, beautiful wall" between United States and Mexico. Somewhere today I read (but didn't bother to post) one estimate that had the cost of building this wall at $17 billion.  One wonders what the cost of the Silk Road Project will be; and what the benefits of such a project, when completed, will be conferred to the investors compared to the "big, beautiful wall."  One further wonders where the US will find the money to build said wall when our roads and bridges are crumbling to dust underneath us for lack of maintenance or new construction.  It's all about priorities.

I don't believe that Pepe would answer to, or want to be held responsible for, any "deep meaningful and memorable dialogues or theories." is just a journalist, another ink stained wretch on the way to the poor house, one article in a time.  But then, he didn't empower me to speak on his behalf, so there's that…
« Last Edit: September 06, 2016, 03:53:00 AM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2016, 12:25:59 AM »
Friedman (of Stratfor fame) is a stooge of the US Army War College, so he sees things differently from most people.  What he fails to highlight is that if Syria falls, NATO will have a land route from Turkey to Israel, and Russia won't have any naval bases straddling the Bosphorus, and the Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian-Hezbollah axis will be broken.  It is this that makes Syria so geostrategic.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/why-syria-matters-you
Why Syria Matters To You
George Friedman
Sep 22, 2016

The war in Syria is significant in two ways. First, the outcome can reshape the Arab Middle East. Second, and perhaps more important, Syria is not simply about Syrians. The US, Russian, Iranian, Turkish, and French forces are engaged there along with the Islamic State (IS), al-Qaida, and secular Arabs. The Saudis and the rest of the Arab monarchies also exert political and economic influence on Syria.

I have written in the past about how the growing crises in Eurasia are increasingly interacting. Syria is the place where that interaction is the greatest and most violent.

Prior to World War II, there was a civil war in Spain. Nazi Germany and fascist Italy sent troops. The Soviet Union did as well. In addition, leftists from around the world flocked there to fight. The French and British refused to get involved, trying not to be drawn in. The Spanish Civil War was said to be a rehearsal for World War II. The major players of the European war were there—though some weren’t. New weapons were tried out. The civil war ended in April 1939, five months before Germany invaded Poland, which began World War II.

Syria is drawing in major global and regional powers. When, for example, the US and Russia are engaged in a country - with very different goals and supporting hostile factions - it is certainly not something to dismiss out of hand. On the contrary, Syria matters a great deal. If nothing else, it has become a test of the strength of powers with interests far beyond Syria.

The Origins of the Syrian Conflict

There is a class of conflicts whose importance to us diminishes over time. These conflicts involve intense slaughter and suffering and generate endless conferences, meetings, and wringing of hands by global statesman. But these wars seem never-ending. Their origins are lost in the mists of time, the situations on the battlefield are hard to grasp, and they appear to have little consequence to the rest of the world. The relief workers do a heroic job and try to shame us into caring and giving, but in the end, each conflict seems to be just another war in a faraway place having little to do with our own lives.

But Syria is far more than that.

The current regime was founded by Hafez al-Assad, an air force general, in a military coup. He was an Alawite, part of the Shiite sect of Islam. He was also a secularist. Gamal Abdel Nasser, an Egyptian military officer, had staged a coup in Egypt in 1952 and wanted to create a state based on three principles: secularism, socialism, and Pan-Arabism. His vision was the creation not of a caliphate, but of a secular, socialist, unified Arab world, based on military rule. Many regimes were patterned on this, including Assad’s regime in Syria.

But ideology aside, Assad represented the Alawite faction, and what he created was a state built around his faction. Other factions were excluded, oppressed, and not infrequently, killed. However, Alawites are only around 12% of the Syrian population, which was why he relied heavily on the minorities (Christians, mainstream Shiites, Ismailis, Kurds, and Druze) that together constitute 40% of the population. More important, he also relied on many Sunnis. Even today, the regime is alive because a lot of Sunnis have not rebelled against the state. Nevertheless, Assad kept Syria from fragmenting by suppressing any challenge to him. After he died, his son, Bashar al-Assad, kept running the family business.

The Arab Spring in 2011 generated a challenge to his regime. The problem was that the opposition was deeply split. They spent as much time fighting each other as they spent fighting Assad. Democracy had little to do with it. The Alawite-Sunni split had a great deal to do with it. But the Assad regime had a lot of support.

One of the misunderstandings of US foreign policy has been that tyrants rule only through the threat of violence. That is true, but in order to have a credible threat of violence, you have to have people who are prepared to carry that violence out. And they need to be loyal to you, or they may turn the violence against you. Tyrants do not live alone in isolated palaces. If they did, they wouldn’t live very long.

The Alawites had done extremely well under the Assads. They dominated the military, trade, smuggling, and internal business. They were hated by many Sunnis, especially the more religiously inclined. The Alawites knew that if Assad fell, their position would collapse, and they would become the target. They, therefore, had to resist the uprising, and since they controlled the military, they believed they would not be defeated. Assad was not going to be overthrown by a wildly fragmented and poorly armed and trained opposition.

Enter the Americans

The Assads had been a problem for the United States in many ways. They sent weapons and supplies into Iraq during the US occupation from 2003 to 2011. They helped destabilize Lebanon. They fought multiple wars with Israel. And above all, they were closely aligned with the Iranians, fellow Shiites. Hezbollah in Lebanon, also an ally of Iran and Syria, represented a terrorist threat for the US (even in 2011 when the Sunnis were the main enemy). When the Syrian war began, the US saw a chance to crack Assad, dramatically reduce Iranian influence in the region, and break Hezbollah.

The problem was that the US didn’t want to get directly involved in the war, at least not excessively. Since most Sunni groups were jihadist, the US had to find groups that were anti-jihadist, anti-Iranian, and anti-Assad… and that were motivated to fight. The US was looking for secularists not aligned with Assad. It was, to say the least, difficult to find such a group. It was also hard to be certain that they would stay that kind of group, and that they wouldn’t sell the weapons they were given. Still, the US felt it had enough to gain to keep trying.

At this point, IS emerged, seizing control of parts of Iraq and Syria. This put the US in a fix. If it brought Assad down, IS might extend its power. If it attacked IS, it would give Assad breathing room and alienate some of the opposition (some of which wanted an all-out attack on Assad while others didn’t want IS hindered). The US found itself “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” as the song about the Vietnam War went, and it had yet to create an effective opposition to Assad anyway.

More Global Powers Get Involved

Then, the Russians became involved militarily. Russian intelligence had been close to the Assads since they took over in Syria. Russia did not want him to fall. But it had far greater problems than Assad. First, it suffered a strategic setback in a crucial buffer state, Ukraine, when a pro-Russian government was replaced by a pro-Western one. Attempts to foment an uprising in the east failed, and all Russia could claim was control over Crimea, where by treaty it had already based major force.

Second, the collapse of oil prices had a massive impact on the economy that was going to pyramid. At the very least, President Vladimir Putin needed to demonstrate that, barring Ukraine, Russia was a major power.

The military importance of his decision to deploy a relatively small number of aircraft and special forces in Syria was massively inflated by the Russians, who wanted to appear stronger than they were, and by the Americans, who wanted to make Russia out as an aggressor. Both approaches helped cement Russia’s role. Then, having deployed aircraft and troops, Russia confronted the same problem as the Americans. The Russians could not reshape the Syrian landscape, especially with US resistance.

The US, Russia, and Iran were all active in Syria and unable to end the conflict. That left the Turks. The Turks hated the Assad regime, and when the Russians first intervened, the Turks shot down a Russian plane, causing a serious confrontation. Then, there was an attempted coup in Turkey, and the Turks turned against the Americans (who they partly blamed for the failed coup) and got closer to the Russians. Realizing that the Russians were inflexible on Assad, the Turks shifted back toward the Americans and were prepared to fight IS, but only if the US understood that the Turks had a simultaneous war underway with the Kurds.

Syria did not simply draw players in. It sent huge numbers of migrants to Europe as well. This triggered a huge crisis in the European Union, dividing countries that wanted to block migration from those that would encourage it. This compounded already existing tensions in Europe over the economy. It is reasonable to say that Syrian migrants shaped the Brexit vote, encouraged the rise of radical nationalist groups throughout Europe, and redefined the underlying issues.

The Paris terrorist attacks had another effect. The French sent an aircraft carrier to carry out airstrikes in Syria in cooperation with the United States. The Syrian migrants and the inability of European forces to block them, or to take effective unilateral action against IS after the attacks on Paris and other cities, generated not only greater military involvement in Syria, but long-term planning to manage the fallout from the conflict.

Syria as a Testing Ground

Syria is a battleground in which the United States, Russia, Turkey, and Iran are increasingly involved. Watching barely on the sidelines are the Israelis and the Saudis, while Lebanon is constantly uncertain. Iraq is heavily influenced by what is happening in Syria, while the Kurds, facing IS in Iraq, are now facing Turkish forces in Turkey and Syria. And the Europeans are coping with a wave of terrorism and contemplating rearmament. All of this is driven by Syria, a country that seems gridlocked in a permanent and insoluble war. But it is a country that has brought together friends, enemies, and contenders for power in a small place. It reminds me of nothing as much as Spain in the 1930s.

For the first time since the 1940s, all of Eurasia is unstable. Syria is not the pivot of this instability, but it is the showcase. Most major powers are there or nearby, except the Chinese.

My eyes glaze over when I hear about Syria, yet they shouldn’t. I have to force myself to see the increasing importance of this test war.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2016, 07:26:51 PM »
A paradigm shift, indeed, for NATO and Brussels.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/361832-eu-army-nato-germany/
Germany moves to run its own EU army – leaving both Brussels & NATO in new crisis
Martin Jay, for RT.
Martin Jay is a veteran foreign correspondent, based in Beirut, who works on a freelance basis for a number of respected British newspapers as well as Deutsche Welle TV.
6 Oct, 2016

Despite Britain’s move to block an EU army, a growing number of experts believe a recent German defense paper shows Berlin has ambitions to run an EU army, and has a plan to cut through Brussels red tape and create one by itself. But at what cost to NATO?

While EU defense ministers openly discuss with NATO chiefs how to create an EU army, many might think the haste for the EU to go ahead with such a grandiose plan stems from its own credibility being at an all-time low in the wake of Brexit.

For EU federalists in Brussels, there is indeed some truth in this. But Brussels is also worried about being left behind or dwarfed by Germany’s own plans which would leave the EU in a weak position to negotiate who gets to call the shots in an official EU army, when it is finally created.

And the EU has good reason to worry. Germany is impatient and is looking to position itself as the military leader of a coalition of EU countries which would no longer take orders from NATO, but also would not necessarily even be part of an official EU army.

Few journalists want to report in Brussels that there is a race between the EU getting a formal army together and Germany getting its own renegade pan-European army, which could ultimately present itself to the European Commission as already up and running.

According to one respected military expert, Germany is positioning itself to be the country which would be the dominant force in a new EU army, regardless of its structure.

A German defense white paper recently released argues strongly for an EU army and was ordered by Angela Merkel to be kept under wraps until after the British referendum vote on June 23.

But now military experts are examining the detail of the ‘Weissbuch’ (‘white paper’).

It reveals a radical change in German plans to not only boost its present army’s mandate in troubled hotspots around the world, but also clearly states that it should be running any multinational military organizations, such as the proposed EU army.

“The 2016 [Defense White Paper] represents a paradigm shift in two important respects,” says John R. Deni, a research professor at the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute. “What is perhaps most significant,” he warns, “is the declaration that Germany will be willing to not simply participate in but also to initiate such coalitions. This is a major departure from the past, in which Germany consistently sought to exercise hard power solely through established multilateral institutions.”

The initiative is a bombshell for the head of NATO Jens Stoltenberg who recently attended the EU meeting of Defense Ministers in Bratislava. NATO was hoping for an EU army to work under it. “Clearly a key point for us is to avoid duplication and make sure efforts are complimentary” a spokesman told me, while another NATO official told me that such a subject is not one that the organization wants its German generals commenting on.

Furthermore, according to the US professor, the paper reveals that Germany is ready to take charge of a formal EU army – run by Brussels - or an informal one run by Berlin. That could mean that if an EU army cannot be formed in time, Berlin might simply ask a number of EU countries who are keen to join its own army on international missions, to be part of its ‘coalition’ – thereby creating an informal model which would be later adopted by EU chiefs, who would have little choice than to support it.

But there are stronger arguments for Germany to take control of a formal EU army run by Brussels.

Although some might argue Germany would go ahead with military plans in a given war zone – and then invite others to join such a pact – practically, it is more likely that it would run the EU army as a deal with Brussels guaranteeing that EU countries would not break away from the regular EU army and join Germany on missions.

Brussels would certainly have to give in to German demands, in order to save face and keep its own “EU army.”

Don’t stir the Russian Bear

Yet even a formal EU army run by Germany or EU officials would still harm NATO, whose credibility took a knock recently when Turkey went rogue in Syria. Some military experts say the thinking is flawed and a German-led (non-EU) coalition, as an alternative, would even be welcomed.

“The biggest concern is that EU ambitions would lead to a split in NATO,” argues Geoffrey van Orden MEP, a retired Brigadier and respected military analyst. “EU defense policy is all about creating a federal Europe. It has little to do with providing more military capability.”

The British conservative MEP suggests the idea of an EU military arm strengthening NATO is folly: “There are huge flaws in this approach. For a start, the two largest military powers in Europe, the UK and Turkey, are both NATO members but they won't be in the EU,” but goes on to hint that an autonomous German-led military organization wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

“I don't worry about the Germans as such - in fact I’d welcome greater defense commitment from them - it's the idea of EU military ambition, creating distraction and schism in NATO, that is the real concern,” he adds.

For British MEPs, anything which casts a shadow on NATO operations is a worry.

“NATO has served us well,” argues Mike Hookem MEP. “It is not perfect but it is a much safer option than the EU federalists and war mongers who wish to antagonize the Russian bear,” he warns.

The British UKIP MEP, who sits on the defense committee in the European parliament, adds it will be a sad day for Britain when Germany’s army takes control of an EU army. “There are still people who remember WWII and the atrocities carried out by the Nazis,” he told me. “Now, because of Merkel's actions over the migrant crisis the far right are on the rise in Germany which will not fill people with confidence that Germany may once again have control of such military might.”

Show me the money, Juncker

Yet despite Germany being the strongest EU member economically, how would a German government pay for such a hugely expensive venture, given that America’s invasion of Iraq cost taxpayers close to two trillion dollars?

According to the American academic Dr. John R. Denie, it wouldn’t need to. Denie claims Germany has further reason to take the leadership of an EU army, in that the country’s own resources do not correspond with Berlin’s military ambitions around the world, the American professor claims in a recent article for a US defense website.

Being the leading player in an EU army would be hugely beneficial to Germany’s plans to punch above its weight around the globe – and get others to pay for it. An army top heavy with German generals and packed with troops from other EU countries keen to be part of it would resolve Berlin’s present dilemma, according to the paper. Presently, Germany’s defense budget is only €35 billion compared to the UK’s which is over £35 billion.

The plan has also received a real push from Europe’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, who is reported to have told colleagues that an EU military scheme - billed by some countries as the foundation of a “European army” - represented a chance for the EU to relaunch itself after the "shocking" Brexit vote which has made the project shaky and led to some EU leaders even talking of a crisis.

“We have the political space today to do things that were not really doable in previous years,” Ms Mogherini told EU ambassadors, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

In fact, Mogherini’s vision, if studied closely corresponds with Germany leading a multinational coalition of European armies first. An EU army, she hopes, would evolve slowly from an initial plan where countries like France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland create permanent military structures to act on behalf of the EU and for the deployment of the EU's battle groups and 18 national battalions.

In essence, it would act independently from NATO which has always taken the role of defending Europe with some even arguing that such a move might even threaten the organization, which also has its headquarters in Brussels.

For skeptics of the broader plan, it’s a stark choice between a German chancellor running such an ambitious military operation or the rather ineffective EU diplomat Federica Mogherini, who has struggled to achieve even the most fledgling success since heading up the EU ‘foreign office’ which spends €600 million a year on diplomats and EU embassies around the world, but was not even invited to the Syrian peace talks recently.

“No one in the EU has a clue about defense or security - just look at their reaction to the Paris, Brussels and Nice attacks and their refusal to admit their policies have led to the Calais crisis,” says Hookem. “Even when they have small missions abroad in Africa they just end up wearing out the parade square. To hand over power to a woman with such an appalling track record is frightening,” he adds.


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Offline RE

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Illegality, Ignorance, and Imperialism
« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2016, 03:47:24 PM »
http://dissidentvoice.org/2016/10/illegality-ignorance-and-imperialism/

Illegality, Ignorance, and Imperialism
(and the Need for Revolution)

by Gary Leupp / October 13th, 2016

The Illegality of the U.S. War on Iraq

One overlooked lesson of the invasion and occupation of Iraq is that international law–even the most fundamental one embodied in Article 2 of the UN Charter prohibiting use of force in international relations–can be violated with impunity, without legal ramifications or sanctions. Even Henry Kissinger–that embodiment of vicious amorality and imperialist aggression–noted in 2002 that the planned invasion would upset the structure of international relations existing since the Treaty of Westphalia 1648. Never mind, it happened anyway.

The U.S.-led assault on Iraq, in a war based entirely on lies–about Iraq’s 9/11 complicity; mobile chemical weapons labs; al-Qaeda training camps; a nuclear weapons program that could produce “a mushroom cloud over New York”; aluminum tube imports to abet that mythical effort; Saddam-backed al-Qaeda Kurds in Iraq producing chemical weapons; Saddam’s maintenance of a missile fleet on 45-minute standby to attack British military bases in Cyprus, as well as Israel, Greece and Turkey; imports of uranium from Niger, a meeting in Baghdad between Saddam and Mohammad Atta, meetings between Iraqi officials with al-Qaeda in Prague and elsewhere, etc.–was obviously criminal.

The war based on lies obviously produced horrific results (half a million dead for no good reason, for example), sharpening international tensions. But it doesn’t matter, in this post-empiricism world, in which (the then George W. Bush aide Karl Rove opined to a journalist in 2004) “we’re an empire now, we create our own reality; and while you [rational, normal humans] are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”

“We’re history’s actors,” the Machiavellian political operative boasted. “And you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” And he was right, in the sense that forces of decency on the planet have been unable to thwart the actions of the empire in the fourteen years since. And no amount of study and analysis have deterred those actors from their chosen roles.

The so-called “international community” did not punish the U.S. and its “coalition of the willing” henchmen in 2003, even as hapless UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan somberly pronounced the war “illegal.” (Repeat: the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which had rejected the U.S. case for war, stated publicly that the war was “illegal.” Should have been end of story, were there some justice in this world.)

Nor did the American people successfully demand prosecution of such war criminals as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, “Scooter” Libby, David Wurmser, Elliott Abrams, Adam Shulsky, John Bolton etc.

These moral monsters are all doing very nicely in their current careers, if somewhat constrained in their international travels due to the possibility of arrest in certain countries. One must imagine them getting together for the occasional reunion, remembering the good old days of Shock and Awe, sharing Geneva Accords jokes, toasting the fact that they all remain at large, and recently rejoicing together about the likelihood of a Hillary Clinton administration. (In truth, they’ve always liked her).

The Officially-Promoted Ignorance of the People about the Recent Past

Another overlooked lesson is that, despite heroic efforts by countless activists to educate the masses about the criminality of the Iraq war, and its disastrous human toll, the masses seem to have learned nearly nothing. (No, I take that back; I over-speak; I perhaps show bitterness that my own voice crying in the wilderness is so little heard.)

Of course there are millions in this sad country that do understand what’s been going on. But polls suggest that historical memories are short and confused. Suffice it to say that as recently as June 2015 CNN/ORC poll showed that 52% of Americans had a positive opinion of George W. Bush.

Remember him? (I have to ask this–just because some of my college students were just two years old when this happened.) “Dubya” Bush was the president who came to office in that rigged election in 2000 (the one decided when the Supreme Court stopped a recount of votes in Florida, after Bush had received a minority of the popular vote), He was a son of George H.W. Bush, a former president known for his war on Iraq in 1991, who’d been thrown out after one term for his handling of the economy. The second Bush installed a cabinet led by an incredibly powerful and super-secretive vice president named Dick Cheney consisting of big oil representatives, anti-science Christian conservatives and lots of neocons out to remake the whole Middle East on behalf of Israel. These were hand-picked by Cheney, who became the de facto leader of the country during the first four years of the Bush administration.

Bush was the president that used the tragedy of 9/11 (in which around 3000 died) to invade Afghanistan killing tens of thousands. U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban (who had nothing to do with 9/11, by the way) and installed a puppet named Hamid Karzai. (In fairness, Karzai became more independent over time.) But the central government in Kabul has remained weak, at the mercy of the warlords, and 15 years after the Taliban’s “fall” the group controls more of the country (about one-third) than at any time since 2002!

(George W. Bush stupidly conflated al-Qaeda–an international terror network bent on provoking a general Islam-western conflict, to realize some future vague aim of a reconstituted Caliphate, with the Taliban–a Pashtun-based Afghan-nationalist network of militants and clerics that combine traditional “Pashtunwali” hospitality to outsiders, such as bin Laden, and xenophobia. In deposing their rule and imposing a new regime, which after all these years remains fragmented, unstable, corrupt, with warlords-cum-governors continuing to administer provinces, Bush rejected a Taliban offer to turn bin Laden over to U.S. custody and insisted on regime change. He said the U.S. “would not distinguish” between al-Qaeda and the Taliban although he ought to have made a firm distinction. The Al-Qaeda foreigners were quickly driven from Afghanistan in 2001-2. The Taliban born of the Afghan soil and rooted in the anti-Soviet struggle of the 1980s remain, and make advances.

In other words: Bush’s decision for regime change in Afghanistan–supposedly as a response to the 9/11 attacks remotely “directed” by a Saudi man in Afghanistan–was not so much a rational response to the attacks but the seizure of an opportunity to gain control of a large Central Asian Country. Let us not mention for the time being Afghanistan’s position as host for a gas pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean, or what former President Hamid Karzai estimated as $ 30 trillion in mineral deposits. The point is, Bush did not embark on a “war of necessity.” He triggered an ongoing disaster in Afghanistan. Does it not seem strange that after so many years of training the Afghan Army (180,000) costing so many billions to fight maybe 20,000 Talibs, the U.S. military remains entrenched in Afghanistan, unable to rely on natives to suppress their own crazies who in any case at this point are no threat to the U.S.? It’s not like the Taliban is threatening to attack U.S. soil.)

Worse–for those of you who don’t remember clearly–Bush followed up Afghanistan with the Iraq War, based–to repeat, because you can never ever repeat it enough–entirely on lies.

Yet (since the topic is ignorance) a January 2015 poll showed 40% of Americans and 51% of Republicans actually believe weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Does that not depress you? If not, what is wrong with you?

Tens of millions of people actively warring against reality live in a dream world induced by viewing their favorite cable network. The problem of ignorance is as terrifying as the problem of bombing, when one leads to the other.

Tired Old Russophobia in the Service of U.S. Imperialism

The people have in general been successfully seduced into a neo-Cold War mentality. Even young people mercifully born after the Cold War are victimized by the lingering Russophobia of that period. It is ingrained in popular culture. (Notice how it figures routinely in Saturday Night Live sketches, for example. Why do you keep doing that babushka character, Kate McKinnon? Don’t you realize how many people you’re insulting?)

The people have been persuaded that Russia is an aggressive power, which has invaded Georgia and Ukraine in an effort to revive the Soviet Union–that “existential threat” to the U.S. throughout the Cold War. They’ve been persuaded to embrace a contra-reality; the State Department (rather like Donald Trump responding to criticism) responds to exposure of its crimes with ferocious counter-attacks.

Russia points out that the U.S. sabotaged the peace process in Syria last month by bombing 62 Syrian soldiers; the U.S. responds indignantly, changing the subject, claiming Russia’s support for the Syrian Arab Army is the basic problem. It suspends talks with Russia on the Syrian problem and warns of the possibility of unilateral actions to bring down Assad. (As the exceptional and indispensable Nation; the last, best hope of mankind; the shining city on the hill, etc., the U.S. has rights transcending normal mundane rights that allow it to smash states at will without any need for apology or even half-persuasive explanation.)

Or the U.S. finances a fascist-fueled regime change in Ukraine in February 2014, toppling a democratically elected president, provoking a secessionist movement in the east and the Russian annexation of Crimea (whose people in fact overwhelming welcomed that re-incorporation), and tells the world that what’s happened is a popular uprising deposing a corrupt Russia-backed dictator, causing peeved Putin to “invade” Ukraine. Notice how the mainstream media never for a moment entertains the possibility that the armed opposition in Ukraine’s Donbass region reflects genuine local feelings and isn’t (and needn’t be) generated by Moscow. They virtually deny agency to the Russian-speakers who constitute the opposition to a regime whose first move was to derecognize the Russian language for official purposes. They fail to mention how the February coup threatened the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, a crucial component in the Russian navy which unlike the U.S. has precious few naval bases anywhere, with the prospects of expulsion and a NATO takeover of Sevastopol.

The Hillary campaign leans heavily on a curious post-Soviet form of red-baiting, even condemning people for merely granting interviews (with Larry King!) to RT Television, the state-funded Russian news channel that I personally find at least as credible as CNN or MSNBC, usually more so. But now Trump’s VP choice, Mike Pence, has jumped on board the Russophobe bandwagon as well, trashing Putin as “small and bullying” in his “debate” with Tim Kaine, and implicitly endorsing Hillary’s no-fly zone. Yes, the entire U.S. political class appeals to a mentality rooted in terrifying ignorance.

If Obama, enjoying his 55% favorable numbers, were to order a general assault on the Syrian state forces tomorrow, “to protect the people of Aleppo from further genocide” or whatever, most people would be unenthusiastic, dubious, and worried. Some especially confused people might be angry, asking why “we” are helping “those people” rather than making America great again, and why we don’t just “take their oil” to make everything better. There would be mass demos, of course. But asininity rules, because it’s been so long cultivated as part of our culture.

Asininity Rules

That’s harsh, you say. But were this not the case, why would this country of 310 million be presented (by its 1% who decide most things) with two options for next oppressor: Hillary who continues to maintain that the destruction of Libya was a good, happy thing; or Donald, who opportunistically inveighs against unpopular past foreign policy (as it seems politically opportune) but generally appears asinine about the world when thinking on his feet. And why does the leading third-party candidate–most kindly received by the monopoly press–keep playing to their script, answering questions about his knowledge of the world that continuously humiliate him, exposing his abject ignorance?

Asininity is pervasive, not because people are stupid, but because it’s publicly supported, subsidized. One of Kerry’s nameless subordinates, or one of Jay Carter’s, texts Andrea Mitchell or Christiane Amanpour or Richard Engel laying down the talking points. The media reports that “officials confirm” this or that about Russia. No mind that six months later investigative journalists explode the disinformation, or at least cast doubt on what were depicted as “slam-dunk” truths; the goal has already been achieved (by the eternally immune), the damage done. And the liars responsible bask in the understanding that they will never, ever, face consequences.

The corporate media is, at it were, infected by members of the most discredited political dynasties–with names like Brzezinski, Cuomo, Scarborough, Bush, and Amanpour–less “journalists” than political operatives whose commonly held system of political values includes knee-jerk, unthinking Russophobia.

That media that unfortunately mediates many minds effectively is mind-bogglingly illogical by its very nature. Its monitors determine the limits. And so an anchor brimming over with moral indignation will inveigh against Russia hackers “influencing U.S. elections” without mentioning that U.S. NGOs backed by the two political parties spend billions influencing foreign elections; that the U.S. State Department boasted the U.S. $ 5 billion to influence Ukrainian politics up to the February 2014 coup; and that the NSA monitors of everybody’s personal emails from the Pope to Angela Merkel to EU trade negotiators?

Or covering a Russian military drill on Russian territory next to the Baltics the talking head will depict it as threatening to Latvia or Lithuania, not bothering to mention the massive drills preceding it in Poland. The relentless expansion of the anti-Russian NATO alliance, from 16 at the end of the Cold War when Washington promised Moscow the alliance would not expand, to 28 members some now bordering Russia itself, is seldom noticed and never questioned. When Trump, loose cannon that he is, raised the question of NATO’s continued relevance and expenses, the Democrats were all over him for departing from a “staple” of the post-war world–something that must never be questioned by a sober-minded person. Instead we are asked to believe that Putin wants to reestablish the Soviet Union and that Russia is the number one existential threat to the United States.

That is, again, asinine. It does not correspond to objective reality. But as Chris Cuomo can tell you, you can get people to believe it.

Thus the imperialism of our times entails gross illegality allowed by mass ignorance. But how to educate the masses, brainwashed as they are by the corporate media in league with the State Department, to seriously, methodically oppose that imperialism? Or, to rephrase, how do we overthrow the system itself?

If I weren’t afraid of being placed on a no-fly list or worse, I would frankly–reasoning logically (just as you can)–opine that nothing less than a revolution will overthrow this rotten, rigged system, always so slickly (and usually, effectively) packaged by its media, but in essence so blood-sucking, so murderous.

It’s so crying out for upheaval–violent, one might suppose, given the national religion of gun violence and the very dim prospect that those who are the problem will ever yield power peacefully. When mass demonstrations against police murder result in the deployment of militarized police, imagine what will befall future crowds seeking to storm the citadels of power in Washington D.C. and elsewhere.

The system is so exposed, in this magical moment, as the two clowns take the stage to show the world the collective consciousness of the U.S. bourgeoisie, distilled into these two small minds that while dissimilar in many respects agree on the basics: capitalism is good, pay for play is normal, militarism is good, the military must be further strengthened, and (recall the common mantra of the two conventions) USA! USA! USA! USA!

If you don’t know what the latter means, it means ignorance, illegality, and imperialism.

The Morning after the Asinine Debate

While I self-medicated throughout to ease the pain, such that the memory was vague this morning, the morning talk shows caused me to revisit last night’s highlights. These included Hillary’s reiteration–yes, even after the Russians have installed their new missile defense systems in Syria which some thought would rule the option out–of her desire to declare a “no-fly zone” over Syria; more Russophobia and Putin-baiting; more crude opportunistic positing of a Putin-Trump bromance. And Trump’s noteworthy but unelaborated disagreement with his running mate on the Syrian issue.

With her coalition of the ignorant, criminal and militaristic–as “deplorable,” surely, as anything in the opposing camp–Clinton will surely win the election. It’s already been rigged (by the mistreatment of Sanders by the DNC, which denied him the nomination; and by DNC-aligned NBC’s conscious effort to give Trump ridiculous amounts of free air time to energize his campaign from its very inception, allowing him to drive out his many Republican competitors and become–as an unwinnable buffoon–Hillary’s dream opponent).

It shouldn’t require any email leak revealed by Wikileaks, Russia or extraterrestrials to “sow doubts” among people in this country (as concerned commentators in and out of government are doing) “about the legitimacy of our democratic system.” The facts speak for themselves. How many DNC top staffers aside from the hideous Debbie Wasserman Schulz had to step down when someone (Russia, Hillary wants us to think) revealed that the party leaders were so upset with Bernie’s popularity that they thought about using both his Jewishness and his lack of apparent religious belief to damage him in the south?

The whole Democratic primary process was in fact illegitimate, and the Republican one no better. The whole thing is a farce, and the deeply unpopular new U.S. president should at the earliest possible time experience what regime change feels like.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu. Read other articles by Gary.

This article was posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 3:57pm and is filed under Crimes against Peace, Democrats, Disinformation, GWB, Imperialism, Iraq, Militarism, Narrative, Revolution, Russia, United Nations, War Crimes, WikiLeaks.
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Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2016, 08:59:52 PM »
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-19/why-hillary-clinton-bigger-concern-china-donald-trump
Why Hillary Clinton Is A Bigger Concern For China Than Donald Trump
Tyler Durden
Oct 19, 2016
Pepe Escobar
originally posted op-ed via The South China Morning Post

So you think Donald Trump is the biggest threat to world peace? And Barack Obama engineered America’s “pivot to Asia”?

It was actually Hillary Clinton, emphasising the necessity of a “strategic turn” for the United States, who launched the pivot to Asia in an October 2011 article titled “America’s Pacific Century”. The tone was martial: “Our military is by far the strongest and our economy is by far the largest.”

The South China Sea duly featured: “Half the world’s merchant tonnage flows through this water”. Informed observers didn’t need a manual to spot Clinton’s subtle cue alerting them to the danger of China’s “nine-dashed line”.

Clinton’s essay preceded Obama’s November 2011 speech to the Australian Parliament in which he officially announced the pivot. The key theme was the US as a “Pacific nation”. The tone was mostly combative. Only after 10 long confrontational paragraphs did a meek “effort to build a cooperative relationship with China” appear.

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Clinton’s tone was way more composed. She admitted that the US budget deficit was largely funded by Chinese purchases of US Treasury bills. She then seemed to be subscribing to the widely held notion in the Beltway that the root of US global hegemony is economic.

Five years later, Clinton had substantially changed her mind to write her pivot essay. The source was none other than the intellectual/conceptual author of the pivot: Kurt Campbell, then US assistant secretary of state for Asia.

Campbell is classic revolving door material – Marshall scholar at Oxford, active duty in the navy, a job at the Pentagon under Bill Clinton, and at the State Department in the first Obama term under Hillary. It took him a full two years to “win” the bureaucracy/intellectual battle inside Foggy Bottom that resulted in Hillary Clinton’s essay and Obama’s speech.

From the beginning, the pivot’s focus was of course China – an attempt to reach a delicate balance between economic partners/strategic rivals. Obama may have been progressively swinging towards “rival”. But, already in mid-2010, the decision had actually been Clinton’s. In a conference in Hanoi, she announced that the US had a “national interest” in “respect for international law in the South China Sea”.

That was the crucial moment when the evolving US-China showdown in the South China Sea actually began – framing the whole subsequent pivot as a provocative, over-militarised gambit liable to spin out of control.

Kurt Campbell is now the CEO of an Asia-centred advisory group. He’s also associated with the Washington think tank Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), a neocon-neoliberalcon mix. It’s CNAS that came up with the geopolitical road map to be adopted by a future President Clinton. Key signatories include Campbell, the godfather of the neocons Robert Kagan, and Michele Flournoy, formerly with the Pentagon and a co-founder of CNAS.

“Extending American Power: Strategies to Expand US Engagement in a Competitive World Order”, as the report is titled, predictably peddles Exceptionalism. It extols “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea – which is code for the US navy forever controlling the sea lanes straddling China’s supply chain. It calls for a no-fly zone in Syria – which would pit the US air force against the Russian air force. And it’s a sucker for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the China-excluding, Nato-on-trade-style arm of the pivot.

Clinton, the real pivot champion, was of course a huge supporter of the TPP from the start. But during the presidential campaign, she flip-flopped. If elected, there’s no question the TPP will be promoted no holds barred.

Clinton’s CNAS road map made a surreptitious appearance during the first, contentious presidential debate, when she aligned no less than three of the Pentagon/US Strategic Command’s five existential “threats” to the US in the same breath.

While discussing cyberattacks on the US, Clinton managed to expand in one sweep from cyberspace to Full Spectrum Dominance – the official Pentagon doctrine since 2002.

“Whether it’s Russia, China, Iran, or anybody else, the United States has much greater capacity. And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private sector information or our public sector information,” she said.

The message was clear; the Pentagon is closely watching – in every domain – these three “existential threats” who happen to be the key powers closely involved in Eurasian integration: Russia, China and Iran.

The “Full Spectrum Dominance” doctrine also implies nuclear pre-eminence. The guarantee of a US first nuclear strike – arguably against one of those top Pentagon existential “threats” – is a crucial vector of this doctrine, to which the pivot to Asia is subordinated. No wonder pivot champion Clinton, during the first debate, could not reject the doctrine.

And yet Trump, in one short sentence, actually may have ruled out World War III if he becomes president. He said: “I would certainly not do first-strike”.

The CNAS report is essentially a diluted version of the Pentagon’s Full Spectrum Dominance. China, as well as Russia and Iran, are essentially seen as hostile powers bent on Eurasian integration – standing between America’s “Pacific Century” and an irreversible, tumultuous decline. This is a bipartisan, neocon/neoliberalcon feeling in Washington. And pivoting, nuclear first-strike Clinton is their Great White Hope.
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Offline RE

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INSIDE THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT: WAR, PROPAGANDA, CLINTON & TRUMP
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2016, 04:35:20 AM »
http://johnpilger.com/articles/inside-the-invisible-government-war-propaganda-clinton-trump

INSIDE THE INVISIBLE GOVERNMENT: WAR, PROPAGANDA, CLINTON & TRUMP
27 October 2016


The American journalist, Edward Bernays, is often described as the man who invented modern propaganda.

The nephew of Sigmund Freud, the pioneer of psycho-analysis, it was Bernays who coined the term "public relations" as a euphemism for spin and its deceptions.

In 1929, he persuaded feminists to promote cigarettes for women by smoking in the New York Easter Parade - behaviour then considered outlandish. One feminist, Ruth Booth, declared, "Women! Light another torch of freedom! Fight another sex taboo!"

Bernays' influence extended far beyond advertising. His greatest success was his role in convincing the American public to join the slaughter of the First World War.  The secret, he said, was "engineering the consent" of people in order to "control and regiment [them] according to our will without their knowing about it".

He described this as "the true ruling power in our society" and called it an "invisible government".

Today, the invisible government has never been more powerful and less understood. In my career as a journalist and film-maker, I have never known propaganda to insinuate our lives and as it does now and to go unchallenged.


Imagine two cities. Both are under siege by the forces of the government of that country. Both cities are occupied by fanatics, who commit terrible atrocities, such as beheading people.


But there is a vital difference. In one siege, the government soldiers are described as liberators by Western reporters embedded with them, who enthusiastically report their battles and air strikes. There are front page pictures of these heroic soldiers giving a V-sign for victory. There is scant mention of civilian casualties.

In the second city - in another country nearby - almost exactly the same is happening. Government forces are laying siege to a city controlled by the same breed of fanatics.

The difference is that these fanatics are supported, supplied and armed by "us" - by the United States and Britain. They even have a media centre that is funded by Britain and America.

Another difference is that the government soldiers laying siege to this city are the bad guys, condemned for assaulting and bombing the city - which is exactly what the good soldiers do in the first city.

Confusing? Not really. Such is the basic double standard that is the essence of propaganda. I am referring, of course, to the current siege of the city of Mosul by the government forces of Iraq, who are backed by the United States and Britain and to the siege of Aleppo by the government forces of Syria, backed by Russia. One is good; the other is bad.

What is seldom reported is that both cities would not be occupied by fanatics and ravaged by war if Britain and the United States had not invaded Iraq in 2003. That criminal enterprise was launched on lies strikingly similar to the propaganda that now distorts our understanding of the civil war in Syria.

Without this drumbeat of propaganda dressed up as news, the monstrous ISIS and Al-Qaida and al-Nusra and the rest of the jihadist gang might not exist, and the people of Syria might not be fighting for their lives today.

Some may remember in 2003 a succession of BBC reporters turning to the camera and telling us that Blair was "vindicated" for what turned out to be the crime of the century. The US television networks produced the same validation for George W. Bush. Fox News brought on Henry Kissinger to effuse over Colin Powell's fabrications.


The same year, soon after the invasion, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the renowned American investigative journalist. I asked him, "What would have happened if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged what turned out to be crude propaganda?"

He replied that if journalists had done their job, "there is a very, very good chance we would not have gone to war in Iraq".

It was a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question -- Dan Rather of CBS, David Rose of the Observer and journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous.

In other words, had journalists done their job, had they challenged and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be alive today, and there would be no ISIS and no siege of Aleppo or Mosul.

There would have been no atrocity on the London Underground on 7th July 2005.  There would have been no flight of millions of refugees; there would be no miserable camps.

When the terrorist atrocity happened in Paris last November, President Francoise Hollande immediately sent planes to bomb Syria - and more terrorism followed, predictably, the product of Hollande's bombast about France being "at war" and "showing no mercy". That state violence and jihadist violence feed off each other is the truth that no national leader has the courage to speak.

"When the truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."

The attack on Iraq, the attack on Libya, the attack on Syria happened because the leader in each of these countries was not a puppet of the West. The human rights record of a Saddam or a Gaddafi was irrelevant. They did not obey orders and surrender control of their country.

The same fate awaited Slobodan Milosevic once he had refused to sign an "agreement" that demanded the occupation of Serbia and its conversion to a market economy. His people were bombed, and he was prosecuted in The Hague. Independence of this kind is intolerable.

As WikLeaks has revealed, it was only when the Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in 2009 rejected an oil pipeline, running through his country from Qatar to Europe, that he was attacked.

From that moment, the CIA planned to destroy the government of Syria with jihadist fanatics - the same fanatics currently holding the people of Mosul and eastern Aleppo hostage.

Why is this not news? The former British Foreign Office official Carne Ross, who was responsible for operating sanctions against Iraq, told me: "We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence, or we would freeze them out. That is how it worked."

The West's medieval client, Saudi Arabia - to which the US and Britain sell billions of dollars' worth of arms - is at present destroying Yemen, a country so poor that in the best of times, half the children are malnourished.

Look on YouTube and you will see the kind of massive bombs - "our" bombs - that the Saudis use against dirt-poor villages, and against weddings, and funerals.


The explosions look like small atomic bombs. The bomb aimers in Saudi Arabia work side-by-side with British officers. This fact is not on the evening news.

Propaganda is most effective when our consent is engineered by those with a fine education - Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Columbia -- and with careers on the BBC, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post.

These organisations are known as the liberal media. They present themselves as enlightened, progressive tribunes of the moral zeitgeist. They are anti-racist, pro-feminist and pro-LGBT.

And they love war.

While they speak up for feminism, they support rapacious wars that deny the rights of countless women, including the right to life.

In 2011, Libya, then a modern state, was destroyed on the pretext that Muammar Gaddafi was about to commit genocide on his own people.  That was the incessant news; and there was no evidence. It was a lie.

In fact, Britain, Europe and the United States wanted what they like to call "regime change" in Libya, the biggest oil producer in Africa. Gaddafi's influence in the continent and, above all, his independence were intolerable.

So he was murdered with a knife in his rear by fanatics, backed by America, Britain and France.  Hillary Clinton cheered his gruesome death for the camera, declaring, "We came, we saw, he died!"

The destruction of Libya was a media triumph. As the war drums were beaten, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian: "Though the risks are very real, the case for intervention remains strong."

Intervention - what a polite, benign, Guardian word, whose real meaning, for Libya, was death and destruction.

According to its own records, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. They included missiles with uranium warheads. Look at the photographs of the rubble of Misurata and Sirte, and the mass graves identified by the Red Cross. The Unicef report on the children killed says, "most [of them] under the age of ten".

As a direct consequence, Sirte became the capital of ISIS. Ukraine is another media triumph. Respectable liberal newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, and mainstream broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, CBS, CNN have played a critical role in conditioning their viewers to accept a new and dangerous cold war.

All have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia when, in fact, the coup in Ukraine in 2014 was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.

This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington's military intimidation of Russia is not news; it is suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war. Once again, the Ruskies are coming to get us, led by another Stalin, whom The Economist depicts as the devil.

The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The fascists who engineered the coup in Kiev are the same breed that backed the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Of all the scares about the rise of fascist anti-Semitism in Europe, no leader ever mentions the fascists in Ukraine - except Vladimir Putin, but he does not count.

Many in the Western media have worked hard to present the ethnic Russian-speaking population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, as agents of Moscow, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.

There is almost the joie d'esprit of a class reunion of warmongers. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post inciting war with Russia are the very same editorial writers who published the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain. But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behaviour and opinions. To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Trump is an obstacle to America's design for the 21st century.

This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.

To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China.

In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, "I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it's over." That was not news.

Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world - unlike Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.

Clinton has the form, as she often boasts. Indeed, her record is proven. As a senator, she backed the bloodbath in Iraq.  When she ran against Obama in 2008, she threatened to "totally obliterate" Iran. As Secretary of State, she colluded in the destruction of governments in Libya and Honduras and set in train the baiting of China.

She has now pledged to support a No Fly Zone in Syria - a direct provocation for war with Russia. Clinton may well become the most dangerous president of the United States in my lifetime - a distinction for which the competition is fierce.

Without a shred of evidence, she has accused Russia of supporting Trump and hacking her emails. Released by WikiLeaks, these emails tell us that what Clinton says in private, in speeches to the rich and powerful, is the opposite of what she says in public.

That is why silencing and threatening Julian Assange is so important. As the editor of WikiLeaks, Assange knows the truth. And let me assure those who are concerned, he is well, and WikiLeaks is operating on all cylinders.

Today, the greatest build-up of American-led forces since World War Two is under way - in the Caucasus and eastern Europe, on the border with Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, where China is the target.

Keep that in mind when the presidential election circus reaches its finale on November 8th,  If the winner is Clinton, a Greek chorus of witless commentators will celebrate her coronation as a great step forward for women. None will mention Clinton's victims: the women of Syria, the women of Iraq, the women of Libya. None will mention the civil defence drills being conducted in Russia.  None will recall Edward Bernays' "torches of freedom".

George Bush's press spokesman once called the media "complicit enablers".

Coming from a senior official in an administration whose lies, enabled by the media, caused such suffering, that description is a warning from history.

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: "Before every major aggression, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack. In the propaganda system, it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons."

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Offline Palloy

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #71 on: October 30, 2016, 11:53:51 PM »
A new name with the right analysis.  I'm less sure that the US deep state can continue ruling while the colonies move away.  The war machine and the fiat financial machine have milked the country dry, the infrastructure is crumbling, the debt is piling up at State Governments/corporations/ small-business/households/students, the pension funds are nearly broke, the courts and prisons are overflowing.  All it would take is for a few hungry, angry people to stop peacefully protesting and confrontationally rioting, and to start throwing Molotov cocktails at Government buildings, banks, police stations, courthouses in the dead of night with a fast getaway, and it would spread like ...  wildfire.

http://fredoneverything.org/the-loosening-grip-a-beginners-guide-to-death-throes/
The Loosening Grip: A Beginner’s Guide to Death Throes
Fred Reed
October 27, 2016

Oh good. The world reaches a crossroads, or probably a road off a cliff, just when I want to relax and watch gratuitous violence on the tube. To judge by the rapid drift of events aboard our planetary asylum, the talons of Washington and New York on the world’s throat are fast being pried a-loose. The Global American Imperium is dying. Or so it sure looks anyway.

I say talons of  “New York and Washington” because America’s foreign policy, forged in those two cities, belongs entirely to them. Americans have no influence on it. Further, none of of what the Empire does abroad is of any benefit to Americans. Do you care at all what happens in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, or the South China Sea?  Do you want to pay for it? America has been hijacked.

And the Empire prospereth not. It prospereth very not. Consider the recent record of the world’s  hyperpower:

Washington does not have control of Afghanistan, and obviously is not going to.

Washington does not have control  of Iraq, and appears unlikely to.

Washington did not back Iran down, and isn’t going to.

Washington did not back Russia down in Ukraine and Crimea, and isn’t going to.

Washington did not back China down in the South China Sea and, while this is perhaps not over, the Empire seems to be losing.

Washington has not backed North Korea down and is not going to.

In the Philippines, President Duterte has told Obama to “go to hell” as being “the son of a whore,” which may be taken to indicate latent hostility. He is vigorously seeking rapprochement with China. While Washington may have him murdered, it seems to be losing control of the Little Vassals of ASEAN.

Turkey seems to be cuddling up to Russia–that is, looking East like Duterte. Maybe Washington can turn this around temporarily, but there-s a whole lot of wavering going on.

Meanwhile Washington thrashes around impotently as per usual in Syria, and, though the jury remains out on this one, looks to have poor prospects. If Washington–AKA New York–loses here, after doing so in Iraq, Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan, the Empire will beyond redemption be on the downward slope.

The United States is not in danger. The Empire is. This is not good. Empires, the Soviet Union notwithstanding, seldom go quietly. Either Washington gambles on war of some sort against Russia, or Russia and China, in the desperate hope of reversing things, or the Empire  gets slowly eaten. Or not so slowly. Once one country pries itself loose, many may rush for the door.

New York may go for calculated war against Russia–say, cyberwar expected not to turn into shooting war, shooting war in Syria not expected to turn into global shooting war, global shooting war not expected to turn into nuclear war. This will be a  crapshoot. Note that America has badly misguessed the outcomes of every war since Korea.

This is why the American election actually matters, unusual in Presidential contests. It is Blowhard against Corruption, a swell choice, but Trump is firmly against war with Russia, and Hillary for. Her military understanding is that of a fried egg.

The woman is both a fool and a knave but, it seems, Trump has talked trash, and therefore she will likely be President. Weirdly, the future of the world depends on how an excited electorate of political middle-schoolers responds to one candidate’s dirty talk. From a curmudgeon’s point of view, it is pretty funny. It is funnier if one lives  outside of the radiation footprint.

But back to business. The seaboard Axis of Evil needs a war because almost every tide runs against it. Proximately, the Axis has pushed China, Russia, and Iran together against the Empire. (First rule of empire: Do not let the dissidents unite.) Many signs suggest that the world, or much of it, is beginning to see China as its future. The BRICS, the SCO, the NDB, the AAIB–all exclude the US. China becomes the major trading partner of country after country. The twilight deepens.

Not all goes wrong for the Empire–not yet, but things are getting spooky. On the European Peninsula of Asia, countries remain docile, especially England and, much more importantly, Germany. Yet even among Washington’s European harem, there seem to be faint stirrings of a forgotten independence. As I understand it, Germany’s businessmen would very much like to end Washington’s sanctions on Russia and improve trade with China, which would be greatly to the benefit of the Peninsula.  Washington won’t let them. It can’t. If the Europeans did what would be good for themselves, and looked to Eurasia, then the fat lady, already warming up, would burst into full bellow.

Which, methinks, raises the likelihood that Washington will in desperation do something phenomenally stupid. At this writing Hillary’s camp seems to be prepping the public for war with Russia. The telescreen tells us day after day that Putin is Hitler, that Russia is expanding, that the Russkies are hacking the election, that they cause indigestion and falling hair. Is this just Hillary waggling her codpiece in the expectation that Moscow will demurely back down, as God intended? Or will she again send other people’s children to fight for her in somebody else’s country?

The larger picture, assuredly obvious to New York, is truly grim–for New York, not for Americans. China has a huge population of a billion Han Chinese, versus two hundred million Caucasian Americans–these being the scientific, technological and entrepreneurial brains of the Empire. One must not notice this, but you can bet that New York and Beijing do. Economically China is growing hugely, advancing technologically at a high rate, building rail lines that now extend from  the Chinese Pacific coast to Madrid. It will increasingly dwarf the Empire no matter what happens–short of a world war.

The curtain falls in ways unnoticed. China recently launched a communications satellite, the world’s first employing quantum cryptographic links, which cannot be intercepted. The intention of this, as well of the QC link from Beijing to Shanghai, is to keep the NSA off China’s back. A small thing, perhaps. Yet if successful and adopted en masse by other countries weary of Washington’s meddling, the result will be a loosening of the Empire’s grip on everybody’s communications.

For the Empire it is, as Elvis sang, “now or never.” Lenin spoke of “useful idiots.” Ours aren’t even useful, but they call the shots.
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #72 on: October 31, 2016, 05:10:02 AM »
Eddie already posted this.
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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #73 on: October 31, 2016, 05:24:10 AM »
Fred must read Ilargi.

Ilargi: Ungovernability
Posted on October 24, 2016 by Yves Smith
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Yves here. Even though readers may differ with Ilargi on some of the particulars in his argument, I suspect that many will agree that he’s focusing on a critical overarching issue, which is a loss of legitimacy of governments in many advanced economies. Personally, I’m not keen about the term he uses in this headline, “ungovernability,” because that was one of the big claims made by the extreme right in the late 1960s and early 1970s to justify their campaign to move the values of the country to the right: that the civil disobedience of the 1960s and the unreasonable social welfare demands of unions were making the US “ungovernable” and Something Had To Be Done.

And I take issue with this view:

What America and Britain would need right now is a ‘traditional media outlet’ -just one- that is actually objective; the first one that tries that approach could make a killing, but all are scared of being killed in the process.

I agree 100% that we desperately need a press that is dedicated to traditional journalistic values, as opposed to merely mouthing them while they act as official scribes. But need and commercial success are two different matters.

The Internet has killed traditional journalism. What allowed them to be independent in the past was that half their ad revenues came from classified ads. The Internet wiped that out and has also wreaked havoc with their subscriptions. Lucrative print subscribers are literally dying off, and to the extent they can get online subscribers, their profitability is much lower. Employment and pay among journalists have collapsed.

On the revenue side, newspapers and traditional media depend on delivering a particular slice of viewers to advertisers who want to reach them. The most valuable are well-educated, upper income customers. Do you think they want to hear about how bad corruption really is, how they are enabling more and more surveillance via their addiction to tech convenience, how official responses to climate change are grossly inadequate, or how US and UK policy in the Middle East is being run by nutcase ideologues, the military-industrial complex, and Saudi Arabia, and is going to wreck Europe if we don’t change course? Those readers would abandon an outlet that was more candid on these topics because it would go against their class interests and most would find it too distressing to digest.

And that’s before you get to the fact that the majority of what is considered to be news are initiated by government and business. A big chunk of the rest comes from think tanks and other interested parties. Comparatively little (a Pew study on post-crisis financial news stories found a mere 2%) is initiated by the media player itself. And reported stories, whether they start from the journalist or are prompted by sources or a skeptical take on official PR, take vastly more work than adding some journalistic decoration to planted stories.

More specifically, what happens when Clinton wins, as the press and pollsters tell us she will? The House is already planning to go to war with her, with two committee investigations supposedly green-lighted. It’s not hard to imagine given Clinton’s sense of entitlement, and the fact that there does appear to be a lot of very dirty Clinton Foundation laundry, that these investigations could quickly move to a full-blown Constitutional crisis even in the absence of an impeachment, which would almost certainly follow in the event of a refusal to cooperate.

By Ilargi, editor of Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

Over the summer I introduced a two-fold assertion: 1) global economic growth is over (and has been for years and won’t come back for many more years) and 2) the end of growth marks the end of all centralization, including globalization. You can read all about these themes in “Globalization Is Dead, But The Idea Is Not” and “Why There is Trump” There are also extensive quotes of the second essay in wicked former UK MI6 spymaster Alastair Crooke’s “‘End of Growth’ Sparks Wide Discontent”.

When I say ‘the end of growth’, I don’t mean that in a Limits to Growth kind of way, or peak oil or things like that. Not because I seek to invalidate such things, but because I mean economics, finance only. Our economies simply ceased growing, and quite a few years ago. The only reason that is not, and very widely, recognized is the $21 trillion and change that central banks have conjured up ostensibly to kickstart a recovery that always remains just around the corner.

That those $21 trillion will have massive negative effects on all of us is not my point either right now. Just that growth is gone. And that’s hard enough to swallow for a system that’s based uniquely on that growth. That is what this ‘essay’ is about: what consequences that will have.

All that said, I don’t have the idea that too many people are willing to accept the notion of the end of eternal economic growth (let alone right this minute), nor of globalization’s demise. Which may be partially understandable, but not more than that. Instead, quite a few people may honestly feel that the end of growth will make ‘leaders’ try for more, not less, centralization/globalization, but that, if it happens, is temporary. Unless, as I wrote earlier, we see dictators in the west.

Because, as I said in those articles, the overbearing principle is, and must be, that when centralized power ceases to deliver benefits to people, they will no longer accept that decisions about their – ever poorer- lives are taken by people hundreds or thousands of miles away from where they live. People allow that only when they reap sufficient benefits from it. With growth gone, there are no such benefits left. Look at Greece and Italy and Brexit, and look at why Trump is where he is.

 

Since it will apparently take a while for the above to sink in – which is not because I’m wrong-, I’m a little hesitant to introduce the next assertion, which is very closely related to the other two and takes it a step further. That assertion is that there are multiple countries in the western world -and perhaps beyond- today that run a serious risk of becoming de facto ungovernable. I’ll refrain from using the term anarchy.

I’ve been playing around in my head for a while with the thought that it is striking that the last two major global powers, which together have dominated world politics and economics for over 200 years, look well on their way towards becoming ungovernable. It is perhaps even more striking that nobody appears to understand or even contemplate this.

Both Britain and America are caught in an apparent trap in which various groups of their citizens blame each other for everything that’s going wrong with their lives -which admittedly is plenty-. But that’s where the end of growth and globalization comes in: societies are in urgent need of new ways of organizing themselves, of formulating new goals, priorities and policies.

And since nary a soul recognizes that the old ways have expired, this is bound to be a very difficult process. Before formulating anything new, we will first see (well, we already do) forces, movements and individuals rise to the fore whose claim to fame is kicking against the existing grain without providing much in the way of -coherent- ideas of what should come next.

In fact, most of these ‘transitory forces’ don’t even realize or acknowledge the need for any novel paradigms; they -often hugely- gain in popularity basing themselves on talk of tweaking existing paradigms, on the notion of pretty much leaving things as they are but with a few different focus points here and there. Re-arranging deckchairs.

And if anyone would try on ‘real change’, they’d likely be voted down in record numbers, because the end of growth will mean loss of wealth and prosperity everywhere. And neither the people nor the times are ready for that message. Let alone the media machine or the establishment it serves. Which would rather go to war than admit they lost and give up their profits.

 

Before moving on to the most prominent and perhaps urgent examples, the US and UK, let’s take a look at a handful or so European countries. By the way, the European Union is a prime example of an entity that is caught blinded on the way towards being ungovernable like a deer in 27/28 pairs of headlights. No growth, no EU.

In the same way that, as I explained in the earlier articles, all supranational entities face the fate of the dodo. Or at least the existing ones do, with their structures geared towards ever increasing centralization of power and money. Countries, societies, people will always find ways to trade and cooperate, and they will again, but the next time they do it will be only if and when they keep control over decisions that concern what’s important to them.

But on to those European countries on their way towards challenging existing power structures and governability. Italy has a -constitutional- referendum on December 4, and it looks right now like PM Renzi will lose that, opening the way for our friend Beppe Grillo and his M5S Five Star movement to take over. Beppe wasn’t against the euro when we met in 2010, but he is now. And M5S has since grown hugely, into a solid national force.

In the rich core of the EU, there are general elections in Holland in March 2017, France in April and Germany in September 2017. Holland’s traditional parties have been losing clout for a long time, and Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam anti-EU pro-Freedom party scores big in the polls. And that in a country that says it’s doing great, talks about raising wages across the board and is stuck in a massive housing bubble.

France has a president, Hollande, who’s polling lower numbers (a while ago it was 6%) than any US president probably ever did in history, and that’s saying something. France has new crown princes on Hollande’s Socialist side in PM Manuel Valls and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, but they are badly tainted by Hollande’s ‘achievements’.

They have old crown princes for the Republican conservative party in ex-PM Sarkozy and the for some reason very popular Alain Juppé, but both can really only try and steal votes from Marine Le Pen’s Front National by leaning ever further right. Which leaves Le Pen, who has sworn to take France out of the EU, as the no. 1 contender.

Given what might happen in Italy, Holland and France, one must wonder what the September 2017 German elections will even matter anymore when they happen. Unless an M5S type movement stands up there, Merkel will have no choice but to pull sharply to the right to try and hold off the right wing AfD from getting into a kingmaker position. Germany’s once proud and strong left wing movement looks bound for near extinction.

Belgium and Spain don’t have elections scheduled for 2017, but both have recently endured long periods without functioning governments, and both look no closer to solving the issues than they were before. Just look at Wallonia blocking the CETA trade deal between the EU and Canada. One might say they already are, for all intents and purposes, on the verge of being ungovernable.

Grillo, Wilders, Le Pen and Spain’s Podemos are very different people and movements, but what they have in common is they can produce such a backlash in their respective countries, win or lose, that they can render the existing political structures obsolete and thereby their countries ungovernable. Maybe, then, those structures are already obsolete, and maybe that’s why they’ve gained such popularity?!

 

Plenty of candidates in Europe for governmental chaos; and I haven’t even touched on many countries, including in Eastern Europe, where the end of growth will shatter many dreams and promises of better lives that have been put on hold indefinitely. Even as many Czechs and Polish workers risk being sent back home from countries like Britain. Europe truly is a continent full of powder kegs. Even before you add refugees.

However, I still think the US and UK are first in line when it comes to the risk of being rendered ungovernable. Partly simply because of timing, and partly because the differences between various ‘groups’ and movements are as pronounced as they are already today. Both countries are running out of carpet to sweep their dirt under.

A conspicuous part in all this is played by the nations’ respective media, who seem to have given up all attempts at pretending to be neutral, a.k.a. ‘journalistic’. Traditional media, newspapers and radio and TV channels, used to have reporters and then, separately, they would have opinion columns, and the difference would be clear. But that’s all gone, every single article is now an opinion piece, which goes a long way towards explaining why people turn their backs on them.

The MSM media are digging their own graves. Or, rather, their graves were being digitally dug anyway, and they’re greatly speeding up the process of their own demise. What America and Britain would need right now is a ‘traditional media outlet’ -just one- that is actually objective; the first one that tries that approach could make a killing, but all are scared of being killed in the process.

Moreover, most ‘reporters’ have fooled themselves into thinking that they ARE objective; that ‘objective’ means Trump and Brexit MUST be condemned, as well as everyone and everything that has anything to do with the two, and some that don’t, like Putin. Which happens to play a major role into how both countries inexorably slide down into a state of chaos.

Their traditional political parties are self-immolating as we speak, and yet in neither country is there space for new parties to stand up. That seems to be a major difference (perhaps it’s an Anglo thing?) from countries in continental Europe, and even there things are screaming out of hand. The post-growth model appears to be: new parties or not, the incumbents are toast. Plenty room for big gaping holes.

 

Post Brexit, the UK has the Tories, who lost the Brexit vote but for some reason are still in power, just with a different figurehead. But they are hopelessly divided in pro-Brexit and pro-EU factions, and they appear so far to be messing up anything at all having to do with Brexit. All the egos collide too, of course; egos are all that politics has left to provide us.

Then there’s the Labor Party, which is equally hopelessly divided into the pro-Corbyn camp and the anti-Corbyn ‘Blairites’, which have conducted a kind of guerrilla warfare that might put the Viet Cong to shame. The Blairites have made such a fuss over Corbyn not being electable that they made their wishes come true like a boomerang. But that’s the MPs, not the voters or even the party members, who are behind Corbyn in massive droves.

The UK doesn’t have a general election scheduled until 2020, but with all the infighting and even more importantly the ‘real’ start of Brexit that’s supposed to come in early 2017, and/or a potential parliamentary vote seeking to make the referendum null and void, it’s hard to see how the country could NOT descend into total chaos way before 2020.

The people who were comfortable before June 23 blame it all on ‘Brexiteers’, but they conveniently forget that before that date they completely ignored the people who did vote to Leave the EU, and are therefore now grasping at straws when it comes to explanations. The term ‘deplorables’ has been patented by the Hillary camp, but it seems to express quite well how Remain feels about Brexit voters today. And that’s toxic for any society.

This is just not good enough. Brexit voters from what I can see are a mix between those who have been hit hardest by former PM Cameron and his goon squad (and ignored by Remainers), and those who really find the EU a failed experiment, an aspect I rarely see discussed in Britain. They should be elated to be rid of Brussels, but it’s all only about how much money they will have short term, not about identity or pride or anything.

A country full of people pointing fingers at others, while remaining blind to their own failures. The mote and the beam, a recipe for mayhem. So you have this entire godawful political mess, and now imagine throwing in the end of growth, and deteriorating economic circumstances from here on in.

Britain had better start some kind of National Conversation first on where it wants to go, hire something in the vein of a bunch of National Therapists to tell people it’s not okay to blame everything on somebody else, whether they’re Brits or foreigners, or, with Scotland planning another independence vote, we could be back all the way to Braveheart.

 

That leaves the US. The country that has elections before any of the other ‘basket cases’. And, this being America, the land that’s better than anyone at painting pictures of itself as tempting as they can be false, the antagonism is dripping off the walls and through the streets. The land that discusses which lives matter.

It’s glaringly obvious that the majority of the US media would like you to believe that when it comes to ungovernability, a Trump victory would be a sure bet to lead the US into political mayhem. That may be true, though it’s by no means guaranteed, they make it up as they go along, but a Hillary win may well end up being even worse.

As I wrote mid-September in “Hillary Became Unelectable Long Ago”, Mrs. Clinton faces a ton of unanswered questions that will not just go away just because she might win a vote. If anything, scrutiny may well increase, and a lot, if she wins on November 8. And that’s not just because the Donald is a sore loser (which also may or may not be true).

There are a lot of intelligence (FBI) voices protesting the decision to not charge Hillary for her email shenanigans. There are plenty of serious issues related to the capture of the DNC by Hillary’s campaign, and the subsequent ousting of Bernie Sanders and all his supporters. The campaign went so far as to pay people to -violently- disrupt Trump events. Now spell democracy for me.

What may play an even bigger role going forward is the unrelenting blame game played by the campaign on Russia and Vladimir Putin, a litany of allegations for which precious little proof, if any, has been presented. Trying to link Putin to Trump to Julian Assange may have seemed a winning election strategy, and it may prove to be one, crazy as it is, but on November 9 the world will still keep turning and-a churning. And where are they all then?

Trump will not forget this. The Republicans won’t. The FBI won’t. All the people who support Wikileaks won’t. Vladimir Putin won’t. And neither will the leaders of a lot of other countries. They have now seen that sovereign nations and their leaders can be used as cannon fodder in a US election, or any other US political purposes, and that’s going to make them feel queasy, and then some, for a long time.

It’s very hard to see how Hillary and her people, as well as the American media, can climb down from the stance they’ve taken. It’s not exactly something you can easily apologize for after the fact. So the only thing to do would be to dig in and persevere.

 

For the media, as I said, it’ll be merely another step towards irrelevance. Just a bit steeper. For Hillary and her supporters, it won’t be that smooth of a way down. When they dig in deeper into their trenches, all that’s left them is to try and escalate the Russia tension.

But while an attack on Russia may go down reasonable well in American minds, Hillary would need to involve NATO, and there are plenty of member countries, and their citizens, who will not accept anything of the kind, no matter what their leaders say. The fact that NATO relies on unity would become a liability instead of an asset, in the same way that the EU will experience.

NATO would fall apart if the US under a Hillary presidency attacks Russia. So would the EU, which will fall apart anyway. And that’s just on the international front.

Domestically, the Obama reign has been ‘saved’ by those trillions from the Fed, by the crazy growth in debt, both public and private, and by a list as long as your arm of questionable ‘official’ data, unemployment numbers, personal ‘wealth’, that sort of thing. While we all know that there would not be a Trump if those numbers reflected Americans’ real lives.

Trump may go away, though it won’t be in silence, but what he represents will not. And what he represents is 180º squarely removed from Hillary. And it’s not going to be subdued, silent or obedient. Blaming that on Trump, or on things he says, misses the point by a mile.

Given what the Hillary campaign has perpetrated, given the links to the Clinton Foundation, and given a ton of other things, it’s not all that crazy that Trump says he may not accept an election result off the bat. And given what many voices in the Democratic party, including Obama, have said in the past about elections and systems being rigged, it’s nonsense to try and demonize him for suggesting that.

Of course American elections can be rigged. Hanging chads or not. As long as people have to wait in line for hours in certain districts to cast their vote, and as long as Diebold machines are used, they can be rigged. But you can’t say it out loud?

 

Look, if Trump wins, how docile will the Democrat crowd be, given the propaganda machine targeted at Putin and Assange and anyone else (Bernie!) who dared stand in Hillary’s way? If the result is close, will Hillary accept it without a single protest or question? She won’t. But if Trump says he’ll keep you in suspense about the exact same thing, he’s a threat to democracy itself?

Points of view and belief are so far apart that indeed, democracy is under threat. But not because of Trump. That threat goes back to times long before him.

Hillary owes her position, and her wealth, to the Saudis and Qataris and Wall Street banks and US industrial/military neocons. And they will all demand that she return the favor. But they want something completely different than the people who vote for her. And since the economy is shrinking, she will have to take whatever it is they demand in return for putting her on her pedestal, away from the people who voted for her.

And no matter how much propaganda is unleashed upon Americans, as they see their lives deteriorate, they will be on to this, more and more. And they will lean towards Trump or Bernie Sanders -or someone else in the future-, anyone they feel expresses their frustration.

Hillary won’t be able to ‘cure’ the economy any more than Obama has, she won’t have the Fed’s virtual trillions to help her veil the real state of the economy, and she’s already close to the lowest ‘likeability’ rate in history to begin with.

I’m thinking Trump would probably be an awful president, but he perhaps wouldn’t be the worst option. And I’m saying that from the point of view of keeping America governable going forward, something he may well screw up yuugely, but at least he’s not certain to.

It’ll be hard to keep America quiet in the years to come whoever wins, and I’m going to have to think about this more, I just wanted to say for now that what many people think and claim is a given, is not. And that is a big thing given that the elections are only 16 days away.




http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/10/ilargi-ungovernability.html

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Eddie

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Re: Global Systemic Geopolitical Crisis
« Reply #74 on: October 31, 2016, 06:49:56 AM »
I strongly suspect one of the Tyler Durdens is reading the forum, because this (Fred) post above appeared here first, and I've noticed the same thing happening several times now. Mere coincidence? I doubt it. (Cue the Twilight Zone Intro).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 06:53:25 AM by Eddie »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

 

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