Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Syria: Their War, Not Ours

The debacle that is U.S. Syria policy is today on naked display.

NATO ally Turkey and U.S.-backed Arab rebels this weekend attacked our most effective allies against ISIS, the Syrian Kurds.

Earlier in August, U.S. planes threatened to shoot down Syrian planes over Hasakeh, and our Iraq-Syria war commander, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, issued a warning to Syria and Russia against any further air strikes around the city.

Who authorized Gen. Townsend to threaten to shoot down Syrian or Russian planes — in Syria?

When did Congress authorize an American war in Syria? Is the Constitution now inoperative?

That we are sinking into a civil war where we sometimes seem to be fighting both sides is a tribute to the fecklessness of the Barack Obama-John Kerry foreign policy and the abdication of a Congress that refuses to either name our real enemy or authorize our deepening involvement.

Our Congress appears again to have abdicated its war powers.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Lots of Smoke Here, Hillary

Prediction: If Hillary Clinton wins, within a year of her inauguration, she will be under investigation by a special prosecutor on charges of political corruption, thereby continuing a family tradition.

For consider what the Associated Press reported this week:

The surest way for a person with private interests to get a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, or a phone call returned by her, it seems, was to dump a bundle of cash into the Clinton Foundation.

Of 154 outsiders whom Clinton phoned or met with in her first two years at State, 85 had made contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and their contributions, taken together, totaled $156 million.

Conclusion: Access to Secretary of State Clinton could be bought, but it was not cheap. Forty of the 85 donors gave $100,000 or more. Twenty of those whom Clinton met with or phoned dumped in $1 million or more.

To get to the seventh floor of the Clinton State Department for a hearing for one’s plea, the cover charge was high.

Among those who got face time with Hillary Clinton were a Ukrainian oligarch and steel magnate who shipped oil pipe to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions and a Bangladeshi economist who was under investigation by his government and was eventually pressured to leave his own bank.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Provoking nuclear war by media

The exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.

Far from conspiring with the convicted Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic actually “condemned ethnic cleansing”, opposed Karadzic and tried to stop the war that dismembered Yugoslavia. Buried near the end of a 2,590-page judgement on Karadzic last February, this truth further demolishes the propaganda that justified Nato’s illegal onslaught on Serbia in 1999.

Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in The Hague, during what amounted to a bogus trial by an American-invented “international tribunal”. Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened and was monitored and kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed.

Milosevic was the victim of war propaganda that today runs like a torrent across our screens and newspapers and beckons great danger for us all. He was the prototype demon, vilified by the western media as the “butcher of the Balkans” who was responsible for “genocide”, especially in the secessionist Yugoslav province of Kosovo. Prime Minister Tony Blair said so, invoked the Holocaust and demanded action against “this new Hitler”.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

China’s Pivot to World Markets, Washington’s Pivot to World Wars…

China and the United States are moving in polar opposite directions: Beijing is rapidly becoming the center of overseas investments in high tech industries, including robotics, nuclear energy and advanced machinery with collaboration from centers of technological excellence, like Germany.

In contrast, Washington is pursuing a predatory military pivot to the least productive regions with collaboration from its most barbaric allies, like Saudi Arabia.

China is advancing to global economic superiority by borrowing and innovating the most advance methods of production, while the US degrades and debases its past immense productive achievements to promote wars of destruction.

China’s growing prominence is the result of a cumulative process that advanced in a systematic way, combining step-by-step growth of productivity and innovation with sudden jumps up the ladder of cutting edge technology.

China’s Stages of Growth and Success

China has moved from a country, highly dependent on foreign investment in consumer industries for exports, to an economy, based on joint public-private investments in higher value exports.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Politics Is Most Definitely Not Downstream of Culture

The late Andrew Breitbart is credited with the statement that “politics is downstream of culture.” Since Breitbart made that memorable assertion, Red State, Daily Caller and other Republican websites have expressed the same view. By now this remark has risen to the status of an axiom. Too bad it’s simply wrong as a description of contemporary Western societies! Clearly, those repeating Breitbart’s statement have not read my work on the managerial state and its changing ideological justifications. Having spent decades trying to demonstrate the power of modern democratic states over moral attitudes and social practices, I’ve noticed that no one of journalistic importance has considered my arguments.

Let me begin by noting that modern public administration and its judicial and educational arms should not be equated with any government at any time. A specifically modern Western state has behind it vast coercive power and the capacity to socialize its subject-citizens. Moreover, since elections are scheduled at regular intervals and since rotation is supposed to take place between two parties or party blocs, citizens assume that government operates “democratically.” Never mind that entrenched parties and politicians by their presence and activities serve to strengthen the status quo or that representation becomes more distant and vaguer as both population and bureaucratic centralization continue to grow. Despite occasional complaining, most of the population take on face value what is presented as “democratic” representation. Being free to manage their lives matters less to them than other things, such as not giving actionable offense in the workplace, making sure that government provides social services and not having to fork over “too much” to other state clients.

These attitudes do not arise from politically uncontrolled social interactions.  They are the responses to how people are being ruled. And by now more than half the population in most Western democracies draw half or more of their income from public administration, as government employees, recipients of social programs, and/or retirees. (Although the figures in my book After Liberalism are twenty years old, there is no reason to assume that they’ve gone down in the intervening time.) In Europe culturally, radical leftist parties, such as the German Greens, are collections of government employees. Even more importantly, these leftist, social engineering parties, teeming with government workers, like the German Greens and the French Socialists, run or co-run regimes.

Crusades against discrimination on behalf of a variety of groups designated as historically disadvantaged or victimized by xenophobia have been essential for expanding government. It has allowed administrators and judges in the US, Western Europe, and other Anglophone countries to bully “reactionaries” and to mold the young through state-run education. As an engine of social and moral change, the state is on a perpetual behavior-modifying mission. Political Correctness is not just about “culture.” It results from government policies relentlessly applied for the purpose of changing the way we think about human relations. Accelerating immigration from different cultures also furthers the state’s presence in our lives. Demographic change weakens established patterns of social interaction that might resist the state’s expanding control, such as long-standing cultural identities. Further, immigration generates conflicts that require or are thought to require the intervention of state actors.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Real Existential Threats of 2016

On Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion.

With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year’s projected $600 billion.

National bankruptcy, then, is among the existential threats to the republic, the prospect that we will find ourselves in the not-too-distant future in the same boat with Greece, Puerto Rico and Illinois.

Yet, we drift toward the falls, with the issue not debated.

Ernest Hemingway reminded us of how nations escape quagmires of debt: “The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

“Debauching the currency,” Lenin’s depiction, is the way we will probably destroy the debt monster.

Hemingway’s second option, war, appears to be the preferred option of the war chiefs of the Beltway’s think-tank archipelago, who see in any Putin move in the Baltic or Black Sea casus belli.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

TRUMP IS RIGHT: HERE’S PROOF HILLARY & OBAMA FOUNDED ISIS

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are founding members of ISIS by bankrolling, arming and supporting jihadists in Syria and Libya to both destabilize the Middle East and expand the domestic police state.

Clinton even even admitted in 2009 that the U.S. government – staffed with many of her closest allies – was responsible for al-Qaeda, which morphed into ISIS.

“I mean, let’s remember here: The people we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago, and we did it because we were locked in this struggle with the Soviet Union,” she said.

Clinton continued:

They invaded Afghanistan, and we did not want to see them control central Asia, and we went to work, and it was President Reagan, in partnership with the Congress, led by Democrats, who said, “You know what? Sounds like a pretty good idea! Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistani military, and let’s go recruit these Mujahedin! That’s great! Let’s get some to come from Saudi Arabia and other places, importing their Wahhabi brand of Islam, so that we can go beat the Soviet Union!” And guess what? They retreated, they lost billions of dollars, and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. So there’s a very strong argument, which is: It wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union, but let’s be careful what we sow, because we will harvest.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pentagon, CIA Form Praetorian Guard for Clinton as Warmonger President

Former director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael J Morell is the latest in a phalanx of senior US military-intelligence figures who are shedding any pretense of political neutrality and giving their full-throated endorsement to Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Morell starkly backed Clinton as the most «highly qualified to be commander-in-chief… keeping our nation safe».

The ex-CIA chief’s op-ed piece also served as a blunt hatchet job on Republican presidential rival Donald J Trump. Morell said the New York billionaire-turned politician is «not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security».

The hoary, old scare-theme of «national security» is being rehabilitated as the criterion for electing Clinton. It also has the disturbing connotation of an increasingly militarized totalitarian regime that the United States is becoming.

While showering Clinton with glowing praise, the former CIA spymaster trounced Trump with a litany of flaws, including «self-aggrandizement, his overreaction to perceived slights, his tendency to make decisions based on intuition, his refusal to change his views based on new information, his routine carelessness with the facts, his unwillingness to listen to others and his lack of respect for the rule of law».

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Monday, August 08, 2016

“Thinking Through the Unthinkable”: RAND Corporation Lays out Scenarios for US War with China

A new study by the RAND Corporation titled “War with China: Thinking Through the Unthinkable” is just the latest think tank paper devoted to assessing a US war against China. The study, commissioned by the US Army, provides further evidence that a war with China is being planned and prepared in the upper echelons of the American military-intelligence apparatus.

That the paper emerges from the RAND Corporation has a particular and sinister significance. Throughout the Cold War, RAND was the premier think tank for “thinking the unthinkable”—a phrase made notorious by RAND’s chief strategist in the 1950s, Herman Kahn. Kahn devoted his macabre book On Thermonuclear War to elaborating a strategy for a “winnable” nuclear war against the Soviet Union.

According to the preface of the new study, released last week, “This research was sponsored by the Office of the Undersecretary of the Army and conducted within the RAND Arroyo Center’s Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program. RAND Arroyo Center, part of the RAND Corporation, is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Army.”

The paper is a war-gaming exercise in the Kahn tradition: weighing the possible outcomes of a war between two nuclear powers with utter indifference to the catastrophic consequences for people in the United States, China and the rest of the world.

The study is based on a series of highly questionable assumptions: that a war between the United States and China would not involve other powers; that it would remain confined to the East Asian region; and that nuclear weapons would not be used. In reality, a war on China would from the outset involve US allies and would thus, in all likelihood, rapidly escalate out of control, spread beyond East Asia, and heighten the danger that nuclear weapons would be used.

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

$400 Million: The Partial Price of Peace?

When the US government sends $400 million in cash, stacked on pallets, to Iran on the same day the Iranian government releases four imprisoned Americans, it looks an awful lot like ransom.

On the other hand, when the US government decides to keep $400 million sent to it by the Iranian government pursuant to an arms deal for 35 years without ever shipping the arms, it looks an awful lot like stealing.

And when the US government reaches a settlement to finally pay back that money with interest, it looks an awful lot like justice.

Yes, the simultaneity of payment and release looks pretty damning on both ends.

On the other hand, it seems very understandable from both ends.

The Iranians have had good reason to distrust the US government for more than 60 years, ever since the US overthrew their elected government and saddled them with a US-approved dictator, then stole their money when they overthrew that dictator. As often as the US has screwed them, why would they trust the US to repay them absent some kind of leverage?

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