ELON MUSK IS NOT A RENEGADE OUTSIDER – HE’S A MASSIVE PENTAGON CONTRACTOR

MAY 31ST, 2022

By Alan Macleod

Source

AUSTIN, TEXAS – Elon Musk’s proposed takeover of Twitter has ruffled many feathers among professional commentators. “Musk is the wrong leader for Twitter’s vital mission,” read one Bloomberg headline. The network also insisted, “Nothing in the Tesla CEO’s track record suggests he will be a careful steward of an important media property.” “Elon Musk is the last person who should take over Twitter,” wrote Max Boot in The Washington Post, explaining that “[h]e seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.” The irony of outlets owned by Michael Bloomberg and Jeff Bezos warning of the dangers of permitting a billionaire oligarch to control our media was barely commented upon.

Added to this, a host of celebrities publicly left the social media platform in protest against the proposed $44 billion purchase. This only seemed to confirm to many free speech-minded individuals that the South African billionaire was a renegade outsider on a mission to save the internet from authoritarian elite control (despite the fact that he is borrowing money from the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia in order to do so).

Musk has deliberately cultivated this image of himself: a real life Tony Stark figure who thinks for himself and is not part of the established order. But behind this carefully constructed façade, Musk is intimately connected to the U.S. national security state, serving as one of its most important business partners. Elon, in short, is no threat to the powerful, entrenched elite: he is one of them.

TO UKRAINE, WITH LOVE

Musk, whose estimated $230 billion fortune is more than twice the gross domestic product of Ukraine, has garnered a great deal of positive publicity for donating thousands of Starlink terminals to the country, helping its people come back online after fighting downed the internet in much of the country. Starlink is an internet service allowing those with terminals to connect to one of over 2,400 small satellites in low Earth orbit. Many of these satellites were launched by Musk’s SpaceX technologies company.

However, it soon transpired that there is far more than meets the eye with Musk’s extraordinary “donation.” In fact, the U.S. government quietly paid SpaceX top dollar to send their inventory to the warzone. USAID – a government anti-insurgency agency that has regularly functioned as a regime-change organization – is known to have put up the cash to purchase and deliver at least 1,330 of the terminals.

Starlink is not a mass-market solution. Each terminal – which is, in effect, a tiny, portable satellite dish – has a markedly limited range, and is useful only in hyper-local situations. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, estimated that the 10,000 Starlink terminals were allowing around 150,000 people to stay online.

Such a small number of people using the devices raises eyebrows. Who is important enough to be given such a device? Surely only high-value individuals such as spies or military operatives. That the Starlinks are serving a military purpose is now beyond clear. Indeed, in a matter of weeks, Starlink has become a cornerstone of the Ukrainian military, allowing it to continue to target Russian forces via drones and other high-tech machinery dependent on an internet connection. One official told The Times of London that he “must” use Starlink to target enemy forces via thermal imaging.

“Starlink is what changed the war in Ukraine’s favor. Russia went out of its way to blow up all our comms. Now they can’t. Starlink works under Katyusha fire, under artillery fire. It even works in Mariupol,” one Ukrainian soldier told journalist David Patrikarakos.

The reference to Mariupol alludes to the infamous Nazi group, the Azov Battalion, who have also reportedly been using Musk’s technology. Even in a subterranean cavern beneath Mariupol’s steelworks, Azov fighters were able to access the internet and communicate with the outside world, even doing video interviews from underground. In 2015, Congress attempted to add a provision to U.S. military aid to Ukraine stipulating that no support could go to Azov owing to their political ideology. That amendment was later removed at the behest of the Pentagon.

Dave Tremper, Director of Electronic Warfare at the Pentagon, sang SpaceX’s praises. “How they did that [keeping Ukrainian forces online] was eye-watering to me,” he said, adding that in the future the U.S. military “needs to be able to have that agility.”

ROCKETMAN

Such a statement is bound to get the attention of SpaceX chiefs, who have long profited from their lucrative relationship with the U.S. military. SpaceX relies largely on government contracts, there being almost no civilian demand for many of its products, especially its rocket launches.

Musk’s company has been awarded billions of dollars in contracts to launch spy satellites for espionage, drone warfare and other military uses. For example, in 2018, SpaceX was chosen to blast a $500 million Lockheed Martin GPS system into orbit. While Air Force spokesmen played up the civilian benefits of the launch, such as increased accuracy for GPS devices, it is clear that these devices play a key role in global surveillance and ongoing drone wars. SpaceX has also won contracts with the Air Force to deliver its command satellite into orbit, with the Space Development Agency to send tracking devices into space, and with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to launch its spy satellites. These satellites are used by all of the “big five” surveillance agencies, including the CIA and the NSA.

Thus, in today’s world, where so much intelligence gathering and target acquisition is done via satellite technology, SpaceX has become every bit as important to the U.S. war machine as more well-known companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Without Musk’s company, the U.S. would not be able to carry out such an invasive program of spying and drone warfare around the world. Indeed, China is growing increasingly wary of this power, and is being advised to develop anti-satellite technologies to counter SpaceX’s all-seeing eye. Yet Musk himself continues to benefit from a general perception that he is not part of the system.

From its origins in 2002, SpaceX has always been extremely close to the national security state, particularly the CIA. Perhaps the most crucial link is Mike Griffin, who, at the time, was the president and COO of In-Q-Tel, a CIA-funded venture capital firm that seeks to nurture and sponsor new companies that will work with the CIA and other security services, equipping them with cutting edge technology. The “Q” in its name is a reference to “Q” from the James Bond series – a creative inventor who supplies the spy with the latest in futuristic tech.

Michael Griffin, left, meets with Musk, right, in 2005 at NASA Headquarters in DC. Renee Bouchard | NASA

Griffin was with Musk virtually from day one, accompanying him to Russia in February 2002, where they attempted to purchase cut-price intercontinental ballistic missiles to start Musk’s business. Musk felt that he could substantially undercut opponents by using second-hand material and off-the-shelf components for launches. The attempt failed, but the trip cemented a lasting partnership between the pair, with Griffin going to war for Musk, consistently backing him as a potential “Henry Ford” of the rocket industry. Three years later, Griffin would become head of NASA and later would hold a senior post at the Department of Defense.

While at NASA, Griffin brought Musk in for meetings and secured SpaceX’s big break. In 2006, NASA awarded the company a $396 million rocket development contract – a remarkable “gamble” in Griffin’s words, especially as it had never launched a rocket before. As National Geographic put it, SpaceX, “never would have gotten to where it is today without NASA.” And Griffin was essential to this development. Still, by 2008, SpaceX was again in dire straits, with Musk unable to make payroll. The company was saved by an unexpected $1.6 billion NASA contract for commercial cargo services. Thus, from its earliest days, SpaceX was nurtured by government agencies that saw the company as a potentially important source of technology.

NUKING MARS & BACKING COUPS

Like Henry Ford, Musk went into the automobile business, purchasing Tesla Motors in 2004. And also like Henry Ford, he has shared some rather controversial opinions. In 2019, for instance, he suggested that vaporizing Mars’ ice caps via a series of nuclear explosions could warm the planet sufficiently to support human life. If this was done, it would arguably not even be his worst crime against space. During a 2018 publicity stunt, he blasted a Tesla into outer space using a SpaceX rocket. However, he did not sterilize the vehicle before doing so, meaning it was covered in earthly bacteria – microorganisms that will likely be fatal to any alien life they encounter. In essence, the car is a biological weapon that could end life on any planet it encounters.

Musk also attracted attention when he appeared to admit that he worked with the U.S. government to overthrow Bolivian President Evo Morales in 2019. Bolivia is home to the world’s largest easy-to-extract lithium reserves, an element crucial in the production of electric-vehicle batteries. Morales had refused to open the country up to foreign corporations eager to exploit Bolivia for profit. Instead, he proposed developing sovereign technology to keep both the jobs and profits inside the country. He was overthrown by a U.S.-backed far-right coup in November 2019. The new government quickly invited Musk for talks. When asked on Twitter point blank whether he was involved in Morales’ ouster, Musk responded, “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

The South African has a long history of trolling and making inflammatory statements, so this “confession” might not be as cast-iron as it seems. Nevertheless, any hope of Musk profiting from Bolivia was shot after Morales’ party returned to power in a resounding victory one year later.

WORLD’S RICHEST MAN, FUNDED BY TAXPAYERS

In addition to the billions in government contracts Musk’s companies have secured, they also have received similar numbers in public subsidies and incentives. Chief among these is Tesla, which benefits greatly from complex international rules around electric vehicle production. In a push to reduce carbon emissions, governments around the world have introduced a system of credits for green vehicles, whereby a certain percentage of each manufacturer’s output must be zero-emission vehicles. Tesla only produces electric cars, so easily meets the mark.

However, the system also allows Tesla to sell their excess credits to manufacturers who cannot meet these quotas. In a competitive market where each manufacturer needs to hit certain targets, these credits are worth their weight in gold, and net Tesla billions in profit every year. For example, between 2019 and 2021 alone, Stellantis, which owns the Chrysler, Fiat, Citroen and Peugeot brands, forked out nearly $2.5 billion to acquire Tesla U.S. and European green credits.

This bizarre and self-defeating system goes some way to explaining why Tesla is worth more by market cap than Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Volvo put together, despite not being even a top-15 car manufacturer in terms of units sold.

Musk’s company also received significant government backing in its early stages, receiving a $465 million low-interest loan from the Department of Energy in 2010, at a time when Tesla was on the rocks and its future was in doubt.

Like many giant companies, Tesla is able to play states off against each other, each job-hungry location bidding against the others to give the corporation as much free cash and tax incentives as possible. In 2020, for example, Austin gave Tesla more than $60 million in tax breaks to build a truck plant there.

This, however, was small fry in comparison to some of the deals Musk has signed. The State of New York handed Musk over $750 million, including $350 million in cash, in exchange for building a solar plant outside of Buffalo – a plant that Musk was bound to build somewhere in the United States. Meanwhile, Nevada signed an agreement with Tesla to build its Gigafactory near Reno. The included incentives mean that the car manufacturer could rake in nearly $1.3 billion in tax relief and tax credits. Between 2015 and 2018, Musk himself paid less than $70,000 in federal income taxes.

Therefore, while the 50-year-old businessman presents himself as a maverick science genius – an act that has garnered him legions of fans around the world – a closer inspection of his career shows he earned his fortune in a much more orthodox manner. First by being born rich, then by striking it big as a dot-com billionaire, and finally, like so many others, by feeding from the enormous government trough.

Perhaps more seriously though, SpaceX’s close proximity to both the military and the national security state marks it out as a key cog in the machine of U.S. empire, allowing Washington to spy, bomb or coup whoever it wants.

It is for this reason that so much of the hysteria, both positive and negative, over Musk’s ongoing purchase of Twitter is misplaced. Elon Musk is neither going to save nor destroy Twitter because he is not a crusading rebel challenging the establishment: he is an integral part of it.

Gonzalo Lira – “Why The Western Elites Are Foolish and Amoral”

March 25, 2022

As a graduate from two top US universities, the School of International Service – SIS – from the American University and the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies – SAIS – from Johns Hopkins University, I can confirm that every word spoken by Gonzalo Lira are true and spot on.  Listen to the man, every word he says is 100% true!

Andrei

The China Distraction and U.S. Destabilization

December 30, 2021

by Joaquin Flores

Source

Today’s war is a class war of the super elites, and this can be fought and won by the great masses of people against their own oligarchs.

The American deep state is playing upon the public’s distaste of China towards its own ends, and just as with the present global mystery illness, they will blame China for a social credit system which in reality was made in the USA. We can deconstruct the anatomy of this scam through the handling of Covid and biological warfare in general.

This same deep state is trying to springboard or otherwise utilize the incessantly bad behaviour of its own rapacious oligarchy, who it must serve, an oligarchy trapped in a system of capital accumulation at all and any costs, even collective suicide, into some sort of controlled paradigm collapse. The incentive to destroy society is just too great compared to the costs of keeping it together. The super elites themselves, like some super virus, can always just vacate the premises and find some other host to infect. This is a pandemic of speculation, usury, and greed.

An interesting twist which Senator Rand Paul exposed in public hearings on the senate floor, was that the novel Corona virus was produced at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s discretion. This was a project of the U.S. corporate state, of a corrupted U.S. intelligence agency, we conclude from Senator Paul’s findings.

This much is also so well known by now, that it’s reached the level of common knowledge. But we say it again now not to preach about it, but to connect it to a broader problem with social credit and China.

Digging further, we see it was all based upon long-standing plans to upwards distribute wealth and strip away constitutional rights from citizens, further concentrate socio-economic power, and destroy medium and small businesses. By any definition of the term, this is open class warfare being waged by the ruling class against all other classes.

And so this same ruling class has used the politics of normalized class war to divide and conquer the citizenry along race and gender lines, using new-left tropes, to shift focus away from real economic issues over to abstract identity issues. A portion of the intelligentsia and student/youth are weaponised into a faux ‘progressive’ militancy against ‘Trumpism’, Antifa and BLM and the non-profit industrial complex all connected to Democracy Action and Sorosian wonderworks.

The non-event which was January 6th is used as some sort of newfangled Oklahoma City bombing which only emboldens the parasitic proclivities of the prosecution and investigation power fetishists, which American authoritarianism has allowed to fester in its crevices. Well, a non-event except for the unjustified killing of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Police. Four officers who died, actually died ‘by suicide’ within a week of the event. What did they know? Why were they ‘suicided’?

Meanwhile the real opponents of Trump are those behind the entire Great Reset and class war of ‘some against all’ underway right now in the U.S.

And that this is already a burgeoning civil war and inter-elite conflict is also openly known.

On December 20th, CNN ran video under the heading, “How close is the U.S. to Civil War? Closer than you think, study says”.

The accuracy or motivations of the study itself are neither here nor there, we can develop a superior metric and method probably at random, because the situation is obvious. The real point of interest is that America’s flagship fake news outlet is openly pushing the story. What could the reason for it be?

What was said is of particular interest:

Host: “The rigid refusal of lawmakers of compromise underscore the disturbing findings of one study on democracy in the U.S. According to a Washington Post editorial, data from the Center for Systemic Peace finds that the U.S. no longer qualifies as a democracy. After the Trump administration years, it’s somewhere between a democracy and an autocratic state.

Barbara Walter is a professor of International Relation at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California at San Diego, she joins me now, I’m delighted. When we look at the research it’s frankly frightening, and you conclude that the U.S. is closer to civil war than any of us would like to Believe. How close?”

Barbara Walter: “Well I’ve been studying civil wars for the last thirty years across the globe, and in fact the last four years I’ve been on a task force run by the CIA that tries to predict where outside the U.S. a civil war, political violence, and instability is likely to break out. And we actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are whether a country is an Anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for partial democracy, and whether ethnic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious, or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power. And the amazing thing about the United States is that both of these factors currently exist, and they have emerged at a surprisingly fast rate.”

Naturally CNN twists words and reason, and makes implications at odds with the real dynamic now working. The ‘Trump administration years’ is thrown in to make us think the erosion of constitutional rights was his doing. It was the opposite: it was those opposed to Trump that eroded the republic.

It was the collusion of the Great Reset technocracy, the collusion of the IMF, the WEF and domestic players in the Transition Integrity Project (which we have written so much about), big media, big tech, big pharma, the too big to fail, that subverted a populist movement and their rightful electoral outcome.

They openly bragged about it and showed the receipts. It is not a conspiracy theory, but something already openly confessed.

In truth, a better study from Princeton concluded in 2014 that the U.S. was no longer a Democracy.

A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argues that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

Of course Barbara Walter is either a liar or an idiot, probably a bit of both, because there is no correlation between a democracy index and stability. Well, there is a connection: once the U.S. targets a country or region for destabilization, they begin to point out features of its society that are less than the progressive idealist dream of a utopian democracy. An easy task and a useful trick, given that we are in reality and not a dream. Then they go on to lay a trade embargo and other punitive measures, thereby exacerbating the tensions within that society, tensions which all societies in reality actually have.

The intelligence agencies foster ‘gangs’, counter-gangs, and political violence in the targeted states, to create failed states. They do this across Africa. They did it in Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, etc.

The idea that democracy and stability are directly related works against the truth exposed in the fact of the general tendency of elites in struggling countries to tilt towards dictatorship, in order to bring stability to the instabilities which democratic institutions are subject to, once broader economic issues come to bear. The optimal situation of course are strong democratic institutions which are both justified by, and in turn support, economic prosperity.

Likewise, the U.S. tilts towards dictatorship not as the result of ‘ethnic entrepreneurs’, whatever that means, nor should their appearance (just now?) give us any pause. Rather, the developing system of internal passports, digital ID’s, Covid pass, forced vaccination and imprisonment under the pretext of ‘pandemic’, these are what ought to, and do, give us cause for great concern.

Which brings us back to China.

The pretext of the virus was certainly used in China towards its own ‘national security’ ends in the digital age. Russia has done the same. Neither country, however, has promoted vaccines which are experimental, opting instead to use this U.S. manufactured crisis towards its own security advantage. All while not using it to experiment upon the population with untested gene therapies.

But China will do China, and a country so far away and so far out of reach of the will and moral authority of American citizens to be concerned about, is hardly the proper focus of American citizen concerns.

The biggest problem that Americans face is certainly its own deep state and super elite, who seem to have a penchant for bizarre rituals, child abuse, elective warfare, and the fetishization of power dynamics observed under late capitalism.

The focus on China’s social credit system has a positive effect on western movements against the system insofar as westerners view the developments in Chinese society as negative.

But the blame placed on Chinese society has worked against understanding social credit. While the Chinese social credit system may utilize some of the same technologies as in the U.S., it is different in context, history, and meaning. Most understandable is that China’s social credit system preferences traditional and socially conservative values, whereas the emergent one in the U.S. imposes bourgeois-libertine values.

While Americans transform their justified fears over social credit, alongside the decline of meaningful work and living standards, into anti-China rhetoric, the focus on China serves as a distraction from what is entirely a domestic and technology-driven phenomenon.

If the lesson drawn is that ‘we must not become like Chinese society’, it is missing the mark. China sits in a markedly different position, where its automated industrial production techniques surpass those of the U.S. in many cases, while its large rural population lives in pre-industrial conditions.

China’s social credit system was initially aimed at big firms: imagine something like a ‘better business bureau’ and consumer reporting that actually had teeth. China’s system did not place profitability as the only determining factor for credit worthiness, and given its scale and anonymity, required a numerated system. Imagine if Pfizer, for example, had reduced access to capital because of its criminal activity. That’s exactly the sort of thing that has come about in the Chinese system, one of the few countries that is prone to execute a billionaire oligarch on occasion.

Chinese billionaire businessman, Liu Han was executed after being found guilty of murder and running a mafia-style criminal gang. Credit BBC, February 10, 2015

When China’s system was moved forward, its aim was to develop a non-monetary credit system for rural inhabitants who are still living in pre-industrial conditions. It’s also a massive country, really a civilizational sphere in its own right, with many regions and varying, even conflicting, credit and legal policies.

It is very difficult to implement the modern system of monetary credit when people live on barter, and their psychological motivations relate to not just pre-industrial but pre-modern and onymous social standing.

Bear in mind that China moved through three industrial revolutions within the span of about eighty years, whereas the 1st Industrial Revolution in the U.S. began around 1750.

Big tech mirrors aspects of China’s social credit system, and there is no doubt that social credit is ‘growing’ in the U.S. if we compare it to the Chinese system. But that’s precisely where we will get it wrong.

In our work on Oriental Despotism and Hydraulic societies, we demonstrated the present push by western elites is to prepare for a transition away from a money-regulated (i.e. labor driven) society. This leads to their need for a social credit system that matches the post-labor age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

There are certainly Chinese people unhappy with the Chinese social credit system. The broader point is that that is their issue to solve. It’s a pattern for other countries’ elites to blame its internal woes on the U.S. Whatever truth value those claims have are muddied with the convenience it gives, relieving those political elites of their own responsibilities to govern fairly and justly.

Likewise, the focus on the ‘China virus’ disguises the fact that it was probably created on Dr. Fauci’s watch, coordinating with Bill Gates and other oligarchs invested in the vaccine mandate scheme.

Social credit works the same. It’s far too convenient to misplace both blame and understanding of social credit onto China. Chinese elites, the CCP, the PLA, all have absolutely nothing to do with the growth of social credit on American soil.

Social credit in the U.S. has distinctly American characteristics, based in new-left tropes, backed by American companies and none of the Chinese.

In the U.S., social instability has come about through the logic and process of its own machinations, the socio-economic disparity. The growth of authoritarianism in the U.S. and the implementation of social credit is, if anything, a mitigating force meant to manage the other crises of its own making.

What elites do love to do, however, is blame other countries for their own-goals. When empires collapse, they often like to engage in ‘great resets’, often total wars. Today’s war is a class war of the super elites, and this can be fought and won by the great masses of people against their own oligarchs. Introducing China as a responsible party for either the mystery virus or social credit, however, will only serve to embolden our own oligarchy in a great distraction from their own crimes and programs.

Clouds on the horizon (OPEN THREAD)

December 27, 2021

The US did not provide Russia with any answer on Friday.  By itself, this is not very surprising, the levels of infighting in the US ruling elites have made it impossible to agree on a reply on such short notice, especially during the various end of year celebrations in the West.

As for the Russians, they are fine with that, since their own deadline was mid-January.  So as of right now, nothing significant has changed, what we observe is only a lot of statements by anybody and everybody, most of these statements make little or no sense and they typically all contradict each other.  We should not get too caught up in the “he said this, she said that” thingie, as this is, quite literally, just hot air.

In terms of actions, again we see contradictory developments: some sources report that NATO is preparing for a major war while other report that the US Americans and UK personnel are preparing an emergency evacuation.

There appears to be a meeting between Putin and Biden in the making, according to same sources after the Orthodox Nativity, so sometime around or soon after January 8th.  If so, I welcome that.

Also, Stoltenberg has said that there will be a meeting between NATO and Russia on the 12th.  But then, Stoltenberg is a powerless clown whose verbal emissions mean nothing.  He was the one who totally rejected any negotiations with Russia just a week ago, and now he is offering to negotiate…

I spent the last 3 days reading opinions on the Runet, listening to talk shows and watching various officials and personalities expressing their opinion and I want to share my conclusion with you: there is absolutely overwhelming evidence that the Russians are NOT bluffing, that they really mean every word they said.  There is even a growing chorus of voices saying that it would be better for Russia if the West would simply reject all the Russian demands out of hand.  Many clearly hope that the West will try that as this would completely untie Russia’s hands (or, if you prefer, her bear claws).

Most military officials seem to believe that a full-scale war against NATO will not happen, but that some kind of conflict with the Ukraine is now inevitable.  I tend agree with them.

Many observers also seem to be really fed up.  Fed up with the constant bloodletting in the LDNR, fed up with the constant presence of western military “advisors” in the Ukraine, fed up with the grandstanding and pompous declarations by EU/NATO officials whom the Russians don’t even take seriously.  This entire topic has become a huge abscess in the mind of many Russians and an increasing number of them now want this abscess to be cut open, disinfected and healed.  “More of the same” is just not something anybody is willing to accept.

But while I am sure that the Russians are not bluffing, I am not so sure at all whether decision-makers in the West realize that.  Judging by the nonsense spewed by western officials and the AngloZionist media, I would say that no, they mostly don’t (there are a few notable exceptions like this one).

So I would say that there are definitely clouds on the horizon.

But the fact that the US and Russia seem to be preparing for some kind of summit is definitely a good sign as it shows that there is still a chance for the two sides to make some kind of deal avoiding the worst (if the US Americans only wanted to meet to issue more threats or to dismiss the Russian demands, neither side would bother with organizing a meeting).

The biggest risk now is that the US Americans will try to talk their way out and just let the clock run down without ever giving a clear answer to the Russians.  Deputy Foreign Minister Riabkov said this about that “we don’t need negotiations, we need security guarantees, and very soon”.  The Russians won’t take unilateral action unless and until they become convinced that the West is not willing to restrain itself and offer any legally biding and verifiable security guarantees.  The other side of this coin is that should the West not be willing to restrain itself and refuse to offer any legally biding a verifiable security guarantees, then the Russians will be free take unilateral action.  In other words, the Russians are saying this: look, we will get what we want, one way or another, whether we do that by means of a bilateral/multilateral negotiation or unilaterally now depends on you.  For us, either way is fine, and we will achieve our objective in any scenario.  The key message here is this: there is nothing you, the collective West or the USA, can do to prevent that outcome.

I conclude that the Russian ultimatum was really the very last effort by Russia to settle the problem diplomatically.  If this effort fails, then the West better prepare itself for a lot of unilateral Russian actions.

As they say in Russia “those who will not listen to Lavrov will have to deal with Shoigu“.  Even Lavrov himself seems to agree.

We will soon find out I suppose.

I invite you all to share your views in the open thread below.

Andrei

PS: in the meantime, the LDNR authorities have identified the chemical substances US PMCs have brought to the cities of Mariupol, Krasnyi Liman and Avdeevka: botulinum toxin and dibenzoxazepine.  These chemical weapon were brought over from the USA by USAF contracted aircraft and are now deployed by 120 US mercenaries.

Exit Nord Stream 2, Enter Power of Siberia 2

THURSDAY 23 DEC 21

Military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement.

PEPE ESCOBAR 

Coming straight from President Putin, it did sound like a bolt from the sky:

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the U.S. frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But it’s something, not just verbal assurances.”

And that’s how Russia-U.S. relations come to the definitive crunch – after an interminable series of polite red alerts coming from Moscow.

Putin once again had to specify that Russia is looking for “indivisible, equitable security” – a principle established since Helsinki in 1975 – even though he no longer sees the U.S. as a dependable “partner”, that diplomatically nicety so debased by the Empire since the end of the USSR.

The “frequently withdrawing from treaties” passage can easily be referred to as Washington in 2002 under Bush Jr. pulling out of the ABM treaty signed between the U.S. and the USSR in 1972. Or it could be referred to as the U.S. under Trump destroying the JCPOA signed with Iran and guaranteed by the UN. Precedents abound.

Putin was once again exercising the Taoist patience so characteristic of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: explaining the obvious not only to a Russian but also a global audience. The Global South may easily understand this reference; “When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they [the U.S.] declare it all obsolete and unnecessary.”

Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko had been uncommonly assertive – leaving nothing for the imagination:

“We just make it clear that we are ready to talk about switching over from a military or a military-technical scenario to a political process that will strengthen the security of all countries in the area of the OCSE, Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia. If that doesn’t work out, we signaled to them [NATO] that we will also move over to creating counter threats, but it will then be too late to ask us why we made these decisions and why we deployed these systems.”

So in the end it comes down to Europeans facing “the prospect of turning the continent into a field of military confrontation.” That will be the inevitable consequence of a NATO “decision” actually decided in Washington.

Incidentally: any possible, future “counter threats” will be coordinated between Russia and China.

Mr. Zircon is on the line, Sir

Every sentient being from Atlanticist shores to Eurasian steppes by now knows the content of the Russian draft agreements on security guarantees presented to the Americans, as detailed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.

Key provisions include no further NATO expansion; no Ukraine admission; no NATO shenanigans in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Transcaucasia and Central Asia; Russia and NATO agreeing not to deploy intermediate and short-range missiles in areas from where they can hit each other’s territory; establishment of hotlines; and the NATO-Russia Council actively involved in resolving disputes.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs extensively reiterated that the Americans received “detailed explanations of the logic of the Russian approach”, so the ball is in Washington’s court.

Well, National Security advisor Jake Sullivan at first seemed to kick it, when he admitted, on the record, that Putin may not want to “invade” Ukraine.

Then there were rumblings that the Americans would get back to Moscow this week with their own “concrete security proposals”, after de facto writing the script for their NATO minions, invariably conveyed in spectacularly mediocre fashion by secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg.

The Ukraine narrative didn’t change an inch: “severe measures” – of an economic and financial nature – remain in the pipeline if Russia engages in “further aggression” in Ukraine.

Moscow was not fooled. Ryabkow had to specify, once again, that the Russian proposals were on a bilateral basis. Translation: we talk only to those with deciding power, not to minions. The involvement of other countries, Ryabkov said, “will deprive them of their meaning.”

From the start, NATO’s response had been predictably obvious: Russia is conducting a “substantial, unprovoked, and unjustified” military buildup along its border with Ukraine and is making “false … claims of Ukrainian and NATO provocations”.

That once again proved the point it’s a monumental waste of time to discuss with yapping chihuahuas of the Stoltenberg variety, for whom “NATO expansion will continue, whether Russia likes it or not.”

In fact, whether U.S. and NATO functionaries like it or not, what’s really happening in the realpolitk realm is Russia dictating new terms from a position of power. In a nutshell: you may learn the new game in town in a peaceful manner, civilized dialogue included, or you will learn the hard way via a dialogue with Mr. Iskandr, Mr. Kalibr, Mr. Khinzal and Mr. Zircon.

The inestimable Andrei Martyanov has extensively analysed for years now all the details of Russia’s overwhelming military dominance, hypersonic and otherwise, across the European space – as well as the dire consequences if the U.S. and NATO minions “decide that they want to continue to play dumb.”

Martyanov has also noted that Russia “understands the split with the West and is ready to take any consequences, including, already declining, shrinkage of trade and reduction of the supply of hydrocarbons to the EU.”

That’s where the whole ballet around the security guarantees intersects with the crucial Pipelineistan angle. To sum it all up: exit Nord Stream 2, enter Power of Siberia 2.

So let’s revisit why the looming energy catastrophe in the EU is not forcing anyone in Russia to lose his/her sleep.

Dancing in the Siberian night

One of the top takeaways of the strategic Putin-Xi video conference last week was the immediate future of Power of Siberia 2 – which will snake in across Mongolia to deliver up to 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to China.

So it was hardly an accident that Putin received Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh in the Kremlin, the day after he talked to Xi, to discuss Power of Siberia 2. The key parameters of the pipeline have already been set, a feasibility study will be completed in early 2022, and the deal – minus last-minute pricing tune-ups – is practically clinched.

Power of Siberia 2 follows the 2,200 km long Power of Siberia 1, launched in 2019 from Eastern Siberia to northern China and the focus of a $400 billion deal struck between Gazprom and China’s CNPC. Power of Siberia 1’s full capacity will be reached in 2025, when it will be supplying 38 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

Power of Siberia 2, a much bigger operation, was planned years ago, but it was hard to find consensus on the final route. Gazprom wanted Western Siberia to Xinjiang across the Altai mountains. The Chinese wanted transit via Mongolia straight into central China. The Chinese eventually prevailed. The final route across Mongolia was decided only two months ago. Construction should begin in 2024.

This is a massive geoeconomic game-changer, totally in line with the increasingly sophisticated Russia-China strategic partnership. But it’s also supremely important geopolitically (Remember Xi: China supports Russia’s “core interests”).

The gas for Power of Siberia 2 will come from the same fields currently supplying the EU market. Whatever demented concoctions the European Commission – and the new German government – may apply on stalling the operation of Nord Stream 2, Gazprom’s main focus will be China.

It doesn’t matter for Gazprom that China as a customer in the near future will not fully replace the whole EU market. What matters is the steady business flow and the absence of infantile politicking. For China what matters is an extra, guaranteed overland supply rote boosting its strategy of “escaping from Malacca”: the possibility, in case Cold War 2.0 turns hot, that the U.S. Navy would eventually block maritime shipping of energy sources via Southeast Asia to China.

Beijing of course is all over the place when it comes to buying Russian natural gas. The Chinese have a 30% stake in Novatek’s $27 billion Yamal project and a 20% stake in the $21 billion Arctic project.

So welcome to 2022 and the new, high stakes realpolitik Great Game.

U.S. elites had been terrified of playing Russia against China because they fear this would lead Germany to ally with Russia and China – leaving the Empire of Chaos out in the cold.

And that leads to the “mystery” inside the enigma of the whole Ukrainian face: use it to force the EU away from Russian natural resources.

Russia is turning the whole show upside down. As an energy superpower, instead of an internally corroded EU dictated by NATO, Russia will be mostly focused on its Asian customers.

In parallel, military superpower Russia, having had enough of U.S./NATO bullying, is now dictating the terms of a new arrangement. Lavrov confirmed the first round of Russia-U.S. talks on security guarantees will be held in early 2022.

Are these ultimatums? Not really. Seems like Ryabkov, with notable didacticism, will have to keep explaining it over and over again: “We do not speak in the language of ultimatums with anyone. We have a responsible attitude towards our own security and the security of others. The point is not that we have issued an ultimatum, not at all, but that the seriousness of our warning must not be underestimated.”

Related Posts

Meet the folks who make the Russians laugh and wonder

December 23, 2021

Today, on a lighter note, I want to share with you two official US statements which gave the Russians a monumental case of uncontrollable laughter.  First, US Trade Representative Tai which actually declared that the Russian import substitution program violates the WTO norms and hurts the US workers (see here and here).  Yup, you read that right.  The US imposes (totally illegal) sanctions on Russia and when Russia begins to produce domestically, the US whines that this violates WTO norms.

What did they expect?  I mean, seriously, did they think the Russians would simply do nothing?

Still, there is even better.  Listen to US Secretary of State Blinken:

A few guiding premises animated our work this year. One is that American engagement – American leadership – matters. The world doesn’t organize itself. When we’re not engaged, when we don’t lead, then one of two things happens: either some other country tries to take our place, but probably not in a way that advances our interests and values, or no one does, and then you get chaos. Either way, it doesn’t serve the American people.

Get that?  Blinken seriously believes that:

  • The US can still lead something (other than itself into the grave) and
  • Blinken believes that “chaos” is not the inevitable outcome of “US leadership” (the US screwed up every country it ever touched), but believes that the way to avoid chaos is for the US to try to run the planet again

Both Tai and Blinken are viewed by Russians as the US version of Zelenskii: clowns, which are really funny, but should not be tasked with anything bigger than a smalltown theater.

More serious Russian analysts marvel at the level of degradation of the US ruling elites.  During the Cold War the US and the USSR were enemies, but nobody on the Soviet side would have denied that their US counterparts were at least competent professionals, some of them quite formidable.

One Russian commentator suggested that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs hire psychiatrists to deal with the US officials.  He was only half joking.

Anyway, tomorrow should be an interesting day, the US will give its response to the Russians.  Right now the US sides is saying that it does not want to engage in public diplomacy, but since the Russian ultimatum was public, I don’t really see how they will be able to keep their reply confidential, especially if the US reply is as out of touch with reality as are the delusional ravings of Tai and Blinken.  We shall soon see.

Andrei

‘Media Bears a Responsibility’ – Protesters Demand Justice for Survivors amid Maxwell Trial

December 08th, 2021

By Dan Cohen

Source

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Thurghood Marshall Courthouse in New York City, where Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for her role in Jeffrey Epstein’s decades-long sex trafficking operation invovling numerous elite figures. Dan Cohen reports from the demonstration.

NEW YORK – On December 4, protesters and survivors of sex trafficking gathered outside the Thurghood Marshall Courthouse in New York City to demand justice for the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, whose trial is ongoing.

“Epstein and Maxwell trafficked children for 25 years and Maxwell is only charged with one count of child trafficking,” investigative journalist Nick Bryant told the crowd.

“Testimonies indicate that Epstein demanded sexual acts from women and girls up to three times a day,” explained Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking In Women, adding:

If true, that would be 1,032 acts of sexual violence a year. And with at least 3 decades of Epestin’s reported patterns of sexual abuse, that is over 32,000 instances of rape and sexual assault by Epstein alone. And 30, 40 years later, there are four survivors in that courtroom that are accusing Maxwell of pimping. Four!”

While the legal system has leveled a mere six charges against Maxwell, mass media from Google and Wikipedia to television networks uniformly describe her as a “socialite.”

Both Google and Wikipedia characterize Maxwell as a “socialite”

It’s a stark contrast to the media treatment of Alisha Owen – a survivor of a similar pedophilia ring involving powerful businessmen, political and intelligences figures – who spoke at the rally.

“I am no longer going to just be a survivor. I am going to be a warrior,” she told the cheering crowd. “On the front page of the Omaha World Herald, they called me short, fat and ugly. ‘This couldn’t possibly happen to her, she’s short, fat and ugly….’ It was so brutal. So I think the media bears a responsibility,” Owen remarked to MintPress News.

On top of being smeared by her local newspaper, Owen says she was pressured by the FBI to recant her testimony. “Between 50 and 100 times, the FBI was, ‘You’re gonna change. You know, you’re gonna recant. You’re gonna say you’re a liar…’ The FBI told me, ‘You’re gonna be an old woman.’ I was supposed to be in [for] 250 years.”

But no outlet has given such an explicit display of sympathy as Bloomberg News, which asked if Ghislaine Maxwell is a victim in the affair.

It’s no surprise, given that the owner of the outlet, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is tied to Maxwell and Epstein. Photos from 2013 show Bloomberg and Maxwell together:

Another photo of Ghislaine Maxwell with vertically challenged Democrat/Independent former Mayor of NYC Michael Bloomberg pic.twitter.com/wLJ0viEQHY

— Ghislaine Maxwell Trial Updates (@MaxwellTrial) November 27, 2021

And Epstein’s infamous Little Black Book contains five different phone numbers for Bloomberg.

Also curiously missing from most mainstream reporting on Epstein and Maxwell are questions about their ties to U.S. and Israeli intelligence.

Jeffrey Epstein was an FBI informant, and former Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, who in 2008 was the U.S. attorney in Miami, cut a plea deal with Epstein after he was told Epstein “belonged to intelligence.” Ghislaine Maxwell’s late father, Robert Maxwell, is reported to have been a Mossad operative.

What became of the Epstein dirt?

With Epstein dead in what many suspect was a covered-up murder, and Maxwell facing only a handful of charges, the elite figures who visited Epstein’s mansions – from Bill Clinton and Donald Trump to Bill Gates and Ehud Barak – are not under investigation. As journalist Chris Hedges explained:

The videos that Epstein apparently collected of his guests engaged in sexual escapades with teenage and underage girls from the cameras he had installed in his opulent residences and his private island have mystersously disappeared, most probably into the crucial hole of the FBI along with other evidence.”

With the system that allowed Epstein and Maxwell to commit their crimes intact, the protesters vow to carry on their struggle for justice.

Chris Hedges: America’s Fate: Oligarchy or Autocracy

September 27th, 2021

Chris Hedges

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The competing systems of power are divided between alternatives which widen the social and political divide — and increase potential for violent conflict.

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost) — The competing systems of power in the United States are divided between oligarchy and autocracy. There are no other alternatives. Neither are pleasant. Each have peculiar and distasteful characteristics. Each pays lip service to the fictions of democracy and constitutional rights. And each exacerbates the widening social and political divide and the potential for violent conflict.

The oligarchs from the establishment Republican party, figures such as Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, George and Jeb Bush and Bill Kristol, have joined forces with the oligarchs in the Democratic Party to defy the autocrats in the new Republican party who have coalesced in cult-like fashion around Donald Trump or, if he does not run again for president, his inevitable Frankensteinian doppelgänger.

The alliance of Republican and Democratic oligarchs exposes the burlesque that characterized the old two-party system, where the ruling parties fought over what Sigmund Freud called the “narcissism of minor differences” but were united on all the major structural issues including massive defense spending, free trade deals, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, the endless wars, government surveillance, the money-saturated election process, neoliberalism, austerity, deindustrialization, militarized police and the world’s largest prison system.

The liberal class, fearing autocracy, has thrown in its lot with the oligarchs, discrediting and rendering impotent the causes and issues it claims to champion. The bankruptcy of the liberal class is important, for it effectively turns liberal democratic values into the empty platitudes those who embrace autocracy condemn and despise. So, for example, censorship is wrong, unless the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop are censored, or Donald Trump is banished from social media. Conspiracy theories are wrong, unless those theories, such as the Steele dossier and Russiagate, can be used to damage the autocrat. The misuse of the legal system and law enforcement agencies to carry out personal vendettas are wrong, unless those vendettas are directed at the autocrat and those who support him. Giant tech monopolies and their monolithic social media platforms are wrong, unless those monopolies use their algorithms, control of information and campaign contributions to ensure the election of the oligarch’s anointed presidential candidate, Joe Biden.

The perfidy of the oligarchs, masked by the calls for civility, tolerance, and respect for human rights, often out does that of the autocracy. The Trump administration, for example, expelled 444,000 asylum seekers under Title 42, a law that permits the immediate expulsion of those who potentially pose a public health risk and denies the expelled migrants the right to make a case to stay in the U.S. before an immigration judge. The Biden administration not only embraced the Trump order in the name of fighting the pandemic, but has thrown out more than 690,000 asylum seekers since taking office in January. The Biden administration, on the heels of another monster hurricane triggered at least in part by climate change, has opened up 80 million acres for oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and boasted that the sale will produce 1.12 billion barrels of oil over the next 50 years. It has bombed Syria and Iraq, and on the way out the door in Afghanistan murdered ten civilians, including seven children, in a drone strike. It has ended three pandemic relief programs, cutting off benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that were given to 5.1 million people who worked as freelancers, in the gig economy or as caregivers. An additional 3.8 million people who received assistance from the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for the long term unemployed have also lost access to their benefits. They join the 2.6 million people who no longer receive the $300 weekly supplement and are struggling to cope with a $1,200 drop in their monthly earnings. Biden’s campaign talk of raising the minimum wage, forgiving student debt, immigration reform, and making housing a human right has been forgotten. At the same time, the Democratic leadership, proponents of a new cold war with China and Russia, has authorized provocative military maneuvers along Russia’s borders and in the South China Sea and speeded up production of its long-range B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

Oligarchs come from the traditional nexus of elite schools, inherited money, the military and corporations, those C. Wright Mills calls the “power elite.” “Material success,” Mills notes, “is their sole basis of authority.” The word oligarchy is derived from the Greek word “oligos” meaning “a few” and it is the oligos that sees power and wealth as its birthright, which they pass on to their family and children, as exemplified by George W. Bush or Mitt Romney. The word “autocracy” is derived from the Greek word “auto” meaning “self,” as in one who rules by himself. In decayed democracies the battle for power is always, as Aristotle points out, between these two despotic forces, although if there is a serious threat of socialism or left-wing radicalism, as was true in the Weimar Republic, the oligarchs forge an uncomfortable alliance with the autocrat and his henchmen to crush it. This is why the donor class and hierarchy of the Democratic Party sabotaged the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, although on the political spectrum Sanders is not a radical, and publicly stated, as the former CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein did, that should Sanders get the nominee they would support Trump. The alliance between the oligarchs and the autocrats gives birth to fascism, in our case a Christianized fascism.

The oligarchs embrace a faux morality of woke culture and identity politics, which is anti-politics, to give themselves the veneer of liberalism, or at least the veneer of an enlightened oligarchy. The oligarchs have no genuine ideology. Their single-minded goal is the amassing of wealth, hence the obscene amounts of money accrued by oligarchs such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos and the staggering sums of profit made by corporations that have, essentially, orchestrated a legal tax boycott, forcing the state to raise most of its revenues from massive government deficits, now totaling $3 trillion, and disproportionally taxing the working and middle classes.

Oligarchies, which spew saccharine pieties and platitudes, engage in lies that are often far more destructive to the public than the lies of a narcissist autocrat. Yet, the absence of an ideology among the oligarchs gives to oligarchic rule a flexibility lacking in autocratic forms of power. Because there is no blind loyalty to an ideology or a leader there is room in an oligarchy for limited reform, moderation and those who seek to slow or put a brake on the most egregious forms of injustice and inequality.

An autocracy, however, is not pliable. It burns out these last remnants of humanism. It is based solely on adulation of the autocrat, no matter how absurd, and the fear of offending him. This is why politicians such as Lindsey Graham and Mike Pence, at least until he refused to invalidate the election results, humiliated themselves abjectly and repeatedly at the feet of Trump. Pence’s unforgiveable sin of certifying the election results instantly turned him into a traitor. One sin against an autocrat is one sin too many. Trump supporters stormed the capital on January 6 shouting “hang Mike Pence.” As Cosimo de’ Medici remarked, “we are nowhere commanded to forgive our friends.”

The political and economic disempowerment that is the consequence of oligarchy infantilizes a population, which in desperation gravitates to a demagogue who promises prosperity and a restoration of a lost golden age, moral renewal based on “traditional” values and vengeance against those scapegoated for the nation’s decline.

The Biden’s administration’s refusal to address the deep structural inequities that plague the country is already ominous. In the latest Harvard/Harris poll Trump has overtaken Biden in approval ratings, with Biden falling to 46 percent and Trump rising to 48 percent. Add to this the report by the University of Chicago Project on Security & Threats that found that nine percent of Americans believe the “use of force is justified to restore Donald J. Trump to the presidency.”  More than a fourth of adults agree, in varying degrees, the study found, that, “the 2020 election was stolen, and Joe Biden is an illegitimate president.” The polling indicates that 8.1 percent  — 21 million Americans  — share both these beliefs. Anywhere from 15 million to 28 million adults would apparently support the violent overthrow of the Biden administration to restore Trump to the presidency.

“The insurrectionist movement is more mainstream, cross-party, and more complex than many people might like to think, which does not bode well for the 2022 mid-term elections, or for that matter, the 2024 Presidential election,” the authors of the Chicago report write.

Fear is the glue that holds an autocratic regime in place. Convictions can change. Fear does not. The more despotic an autocratic regime becomes, the more it resorts to censorship, coercion, force, and terror to cope with its endemic and often irrational paranoia. Autocracies, for this reason, inevitably embrace fanaticism. Those who serve the autocracy engage in ever more extreme acts against those the autocrat demonizes, seeking the autocrat’s approval and the advancement of their careers.

Revenge against real or perceived enemies is the autocrat’s single-minded goal. The autocrat takes sadistic pleasure in the torment and humiliation of his enemies, as Trump did when he watched the mob storm the capital on January 6, or, in a more extreme form, as Joseph Stalin did when he doubled over in laughter as his underlings acted out the desperate pleading for his life by the condemned Grigori Zinoviev, once one of the most influential figures in the Soviet leadership and the chairman of the Communist International, on the way to his execution in 1926.

Autocratic leaders, as Joachim Fest writes, are often “demonic nonentities.”

“Rather than the qualities which raised him from the masses, it was those qualities he shared with them and of which he was a representative example that laid the foundation for his success,” Fest wrote of Adolf Hitler, words that could apply to Trump. “He was the incarnation of the average, ‘the man who lent the masses his voice and through whom the masses spoke.’ In him the masses encountered themselves.”

The autocrat, who celebrates a grotesque hyper-masculinity, projects an aura of omnipotence. He demands obsequious fawning and total obedience. Loyalty is more important than competence. Lies and truth are irrelevant. The statements of the autocrat, which can in short spaces of time be contradictory, cater exclusively to the transient emotional needs of his followers. There is no attempt to be logical or consistent. There is no attempt to reach out to opponents. Rather, there is a constant stoking of antagonisms that steadily widens the social, political, and cultural divides. Reality is sacrificed for fantasy. Those who question the fantasy are branded as irredeemable enemies.

“Anyone who wants to rule men first tries to humiliate them, to trick them out of their rights and their capacity for resistance, until they are as powerless before him as animals,” wrote Elias Canetti in Crowds and Power of the autocrat. “He uses them like animals and, even if he does not tell them so, in himself he always knows quite clearly that they mean just as little to him; when he speaks to his intimates, he will call them sheep or cattle. His ultimate aim is to incorporate them into himself and to suck the substance out of them. What remains of them afterwards does not matter to him. The worse he has treated them, the more he despises them. When they are no more use at all, he disposes of them as he does excrement, simply seeing to it that they do not poison the air of his house.”

It is, ironically, the oligarchs who build the institutions of oppression, the militarized police, the dysfunctional courts, the raft of anti-terrorism laws used against dissidents, ruling through executive orders rather than the legislative process, wholesale surveillance and the promulgation of laws that overturn the most basic Constitutional rights by judicial fiat. Thus, the Supreme Court rules that corporations have the right to pump unlimited amounts of money into political campaigns because it is a form of free speech, and because corporations have the constitutional right to petition the government. The oligarchs do not use these mechanisms of oppression with the same ferocity as the autocrats. They employ them fitfully and therefore often ineffectually. But they create the physical and legal systems of oppression so that an autocrat, with the flick of a switch, can establish a de facto dictatorship.

The autocrat oversees a naked kleptocracy in place of the hidden kleptocracy of the oligarchs. But it is debatable whether the more refined kleptocracy of the oligarchs is any worse than the crude and open kleptocracy of the autocrat. The autocrat’s attraction is that as he fleeces the public, he entertains the crowd. He orchestrates engaging spectacles. He gives vent, often through vulgarity, to the widespread hatred of the ruling elites. He provides a host of phantom enemies, usually the weak and the vulnerable, who are rendered nonpersons. His followers are given license to attack these enemies, including the feckless liberals and intellectuals who are a pathetic appendage to the oligarchic class. Autocracies, unlike oligarchies, make for engaging political theater.

We must defy the oligarchs as well as the autocrats. If we replicate the cowardice of the liberal class, if we sell out to the oligarchs as a way to blunt the rise of autocracy, we will discredit the core values of a civil society and fuel the very autocracy we seek to defeat. Despotism, in all its forms, is dangerous. If we achieve nothing else in the fight against the oligarchs and the autocrats, we will at least salvage our dignity and integrity.

Afghanistan: Hegemon USA’s Graveyard?

August 21, 2021

By Stephen Lendman

Source

In 2010, historian Alfred McCoy discussed “four scenarios for the end of the American century by 2025.”

Asking if it’ll land softly, “(d)on’t bet on it,” said McCoy, adding:

Its “demise…as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.”

By 2025, it “could (be) over except for the shouting” and postmortems.

When triumphs become defeats, “empires unravel” swiftly.

McCoy believes that Bush/Cheney’s aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq hastened its decline.

“(H)ave no doubt,” he stressed.

“When Washington’s global dominion…ends” — what’s inevitable as with all previous empires — it’ll be accompanied by a “demoralizing impact on a society…”

“(A)t least a generation of economic privation” will likely follow. 

“As the economy cools, political temperatures rise, often sparking serious domestic unrest.”

Triumphant USA post-WW II will likely “fad(e) by 2025.” 

Its decline and fall could be over by 2030.

A US National Intelligence Council Global Trends 2025 assessment cited the following:

“(T)he transfer of global wealth and economic power…under way…from West to East (is) without precedent in modern history…”

It’s mainly responsible for sapping Washington’s strength compared to rising power China and other nations…”even in the military realm.” 

McCoy believes that China will surpass hegemon USA as the world’s leading global economic power by 2026 — India to overtake the US economically by 2050.

“Viewed historically, the question is not whether the US will lose its unchallenged global power, but just how precipitous and wrenching the decline will be,” McCoy stressed.

Its three main threats include “loss of economic clout thanks to a shrinking share of world trade, the decline of American technological innovation, and the end of the dollar’s privileged status as the global reserve currency.”

Its dominance in these and other areas are waning, including its education system.

Economist Kenneth Rogoff earlier said that “(o)ther countries are no longer willing to buy into the idea that the US knows best on economic policy.”

Unfolding events may “hasten the bankruptcy of the US financial-military world order,” economist Michael Hudson observed.

According to McCoy, the world community is paying scant attention “as the American Century ends in silence.”

Its military adventurism is part of its undoing. Waging forever wars, it hasn’t won one since WW II — over 75 years ago at the height of its power, now waning.

Rising powers China, Russia, India, Iran, and other nations free from its control can play a waiting game on the sidelines — observing Washington’s decline and fall from superpower status to history’s dustbin.

McCoy sees little chance of the US turning things around, including its forever war policy on invented enemies, its bloated national security state…starved education system, and…antiquated energy supplies,” and other major issues to land softly and remain prosperous, adding:

Earlier empires are gone, “America’s imperium…going” in similar fashion.

In his 2017 book, titled “In the Shadows of the American Century:

The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,” McCoy explained its fall from grace is in stark contrast to China’s rise as a global economic, technological and military superpower.

Despite US capabilities, China, Russia, India and other nations are rising at a time of America’s decline.

China far surpasses the US in numbers of highly capable young scientists, engineers and others with technological skills.

According to McCoy, “the 2020s will likely be remembered as a demoralizing decade of rising prices, stagnant wages, and fading (US) international competitiveness.”

“After years of swelling deficits fed by incessant warfare in distant lands, in 2030 the US dollar(’s) special status as the world’s dominant reserve currency” will be gone.

They’ll be “punitive price increases for (US) imports…from clothing to computers,” and other goods. 

“(T)he costs for all overseas activity surges as well, making travel for both tourists and troops prohibitive.” 

“Unable to pay for swelling deficits by selling now-devalued Treasury notes abroad, Washington is finally forced to slash its bloated military budget.” 

“Under pressure at home and abroad, its forces begin to pull back from hundreds of overseas bases to a continental perimeter.” 

“Such a desperate move…comes too late.”

As “a fading superpower (is) incapable of paying its bills,” China, Russia India, Iran, and other nations can increasingly challenge US dominion over the world’s landmass, waterways, space, and cyberspace.

Instead of pursuing sustainable longterm development and cooperative relations with other nations in peace, US policies have been self-destructive.

Its ruling class can no longer dictate to other nations because of its declining power on the world stage.

Yet post-WW II, the US was “the first empire in 1,000 years to control both ends of the vast Eurasian continent (Eurasia)…the epicenter of world power,” McCoy explained, adding:

It was “linked…with layers of power, multilateral defense treaties, starting with NATO in Europe, all the way to SETO and ANZUS with Australia, the Japan Mutual Security Treaty, the South Korea US Mutual Security Treaty, the Philippine US Mutual Security Treaty.”

US fleets span the world’s oceans and seas, along with a global empire of bases, including dozens drone facilities for unnamed aerial warfare, surveillance and related purposes.

Yet its pillars are crumbling, notably compared to China’s rise on the world stage, especially in Eurasia.

Notably when the dollar goes as the world’s preeminent reserve currency, imperial USA will go with it.

According to McCoy, it’s coming by end of the 2020s, America’s decline and fall with it.

A Final Comment

Discussing McCoy’s analysis, China’s Xinhua said “America’s worst enemy is itself,” adding:

It’s “counter(ed) the trend of peace and development of our times by indulging in dreams of hegemony, with a foreign policy characterized by power politics.”

Its ruling class “launched one war after another and exported color revolutions around the world, seriously threatening global security.” 

“Under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ — notions it abhors —  the US brutally interfere(s) in the internal affairs of other countries” in pursuit of its hegemonic aims.

It egregiously “violat(es) principles of equality, mutual respect and mutual trust in international exchanges.”

“It…bully(’s) other countries…build(s) walls, and wantonly imposes sanctions on” nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.

In decline for decades, its preeminence of the world stage is fading.

Unwilling to change its wicked ways is hastening its fall from grace.

Lee Camp: How Corporate America Supports Racism, Hatred & Exploitation (in New & Fun Ways!)

By Lee Camp

Source

Corporate America Social Justice
Corporations like General Mills and ExxonMobil aren’t going to save us from white supremacist violence or climate annihilation with their piddly tweets.

modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

So I believe we can all admit that there are large groups of racist pricks wandering around our country — usually armed, rarely friendly. Everyone knows it. I bet even the racist parents of a 32-year-old white supremacist know he’s a dick. At Thanksgiving dinner they probably tell him, “Listen, Robbie. We’re very proud of you. We love what you’ve done with hating Black people online. But the thing is — you’re kinda a dick. Can you just be more polite? Just approach people slowly and kindly ask if they would like to be racist with you. You don’t have to make such a scene — with all the guns and the camo.”

Anyways, I bring this up because I don’t think we’re going to solve America’s militant hate group problem until we get the help of Fruit by the Foot and Gushers. …You heard me.

We all know that this country will not heal without further efforts from the gummy candy community. I mean, you remember when they solved racist policing in this country, don’t you? In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Gushers literally tweeted, “Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black community and your voices. We’re working with Fruit by the Foot on creating space to amplify that. We see you. We stand with you.”

t just brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it? Gushers was there for Black lives. (Although this tweet does raise the question, “If Gushers wouldn’t be Gushers without the Black Community” then what would it be? Do gummy candies taste different if there aren’t Black people around? What would be the point of that? Why invent a racist candy like that?)

Point being, after Gushers’ unprecedented alliance with Fruit by the Foot (both of which are owned by General Mills), racist police brutality in America ceased to exist (one assumes). And so, building on that success, I think we clearly need another gummy-based Manhattan Project to tackle the unnerving prevalence of extremist hate groups and racist ideology. Perhaps if they made a statement that only good little Proud Boys get Fruit by the Foot? That might do it.

Or perhaps (he writes knowingly) this could be just one of the countless examples of corporate America trying to act like they aren’t an actual negative force on community, sustainability, fairness, and equality.

Chevron and ExxonMobil and banks and credit card companies and franchise restaurants all often tell us they care about Black Lives or care about the LGBTQ+ community or are working to create a safe space for folks with disabilities or they tell us we’re all in this together.

No. We. Aren’t.

Corporations only care about you as far as they can extract profit from you. That is their only goal. The moment Black lives or white lives or Asian lives don’t make them a profit, they no longer give a shit. The moment people try to demand something from them that will benefit the community and world but not improve their bottom line, those companies are not there to listen — just look at  the current fight for unionization at Amazon. Or try going up to Wells Fargo and saying, “Hey, I saw your ad that we’re all in this together. I was so glad to hear that. Really made me feel blisstastic. Seeing as we’re all in this together, I would like to ask you to stop funding oil pipelines that are killing, um, everything. Oh, and also can you stop working with weapons contractors, too? They like to kill children and stuff. So what do ya say? ….Hello? Hello? I thought we were in this together? …Does this mean you also won’t babysit my cockatoo next week?”

Corporate America does not care about you or me or any of us outside of what they can extract from us, and that’s as true for Betty Crocker as it is for ExxonMobil. For example, it has become a problem in America that workers (the ones lucky enough to still have a job or three) are working themselves to the bone. People literally fall asleep or collapse on the job. They’re trying to work non-stop in order to afford meaningless consumer goods like, well, health care. And it’s kind of common sense that if we raised the minimum wage or gave workers free child care and more paid time off then they wouldn’t be suffering so much. So Ford Motor Company saw this problem and said, “Hold my beer.”

The good people at Ford have come out with a new answer to this tragic issue. It’s a hat that keeps you awake while you’re collapsing on the job. No, really. The commercial writes itself — “Just strap this thing to your fucking head while your subconscious brain is telling you that if you don’t sleep soon you’ll DIE, and the hat will tell your conscious brain, “NO! Fight the urge to give in to your urgent biological needs!”

’m hopeful Ford will soon come out with a version of this dystopian headgear that connects to a long tube which you just place up your backdoor so it can vacuum out any waste your body needs to expel. Once you have that device bolted into your skull and secured up your rear, you’ll actually be able to drive for upwards of 56 hours without hitting the brake pedal once. There is a small chance brain matter will ooze out your ears and your heart will explode. But if that happens — guess who’s getting Employee of the Month?!

Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed. These corporations have become largely decoupled from reality, from humanity, from sustainability, and from the environment. Any time they take a breather from their rapacious, glutinous greed to belch out some tired exclamation of care for social justice or care for environmental rejuvenation or care for ending inequality and hate — those moments are beyond meaningless. In fact, those moments are actually harmful due to the number of people who honestly believe they mean something, who think the corporate world can ever be a force for good rather than the center of our own waltz off the cliff.

If we want to end oppression, we must end inequality. If we want to end inequality, we must evolve beyond our rancid exploitative socioeconomic system and the corporations that thrive in it.

NEO – Biden has just crossed the Red Line

Putin is a killer, and Biden, Obama and Trump were not?

BDN

By Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor -March 22, 2021

Valeria Kilkov, with New Eastern Outlook, Moscow, …and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a research institution for the study of the countries and cultures of Asia and North Africa.

[ Editor’s Note: Putin is a killer, and Biden, Obama and Trump were not? Really? Mr. Obama’s adminstration collected the plum of getting Assad to turn over all of his chemical weapons, where silly me would credit Mr. Assad with half the honor.

Later, the Obama administration claimed Assad to be using chemical weapons, with marginal effect, but which if true would have devastating credibility consequences for Assad’s government, which has never given evidence that it would be so stupid as to hand its head on a silver platter to those trying to destroy it.

VT has not found a shred of credible evidence that Assad ever used such weapons other than when the jihadis fired chlorine gas cannisters at the SAA where it sometimes fired back. Those decisions were made by local units.

You will notice that the endless claims of Syria gassing its own people came from totally discredited sources like the White Helmets. VT debunked one of the claims by having a Turkish film crew go to the scene to interview locals who described the story entirely bogus.

Then we had US pilots flying over the Iraq, Syria border reporting of the endless line of ISIS tankers taking oil through Syria to the back door of Turkey in a mass that high school level astronomy telescopes could see the massed tankers from the moon. The pilots were never allowed to bomb these columns, but the Russians sure did when they came in.

The American government hid (very poorly) its support for terrorist proxies in Syria and Iraq. It now, as cover, admits to training 10,000 ‘resistance fighters’, but thinks we are all too stupid not to know about the former PM and FM of Qatar admitting on the Charlie Rose show that the ‘US coalition’ spent $160 billion trying to carve up Syria. I have never seen the US government refute this.

And then Mr. Biden, you were fully aboard the Yemen disaster, where reports are coming out now that the Al Qaeda presence there was exaggerated to give cause for US forces to operate inside the country.

You are the leader of a country that has a solid provable history of using proxy terror forces. Of all the nice things you are intending to do, I am wondering what you don’t want to ban the use of proxy terrorism or push to have all private military contrators under constant government control to prevent abuses.

The last thing we need from you now is to be a Democratic version of Donald Trump on foriegn affairs, where you have your pet boogie men to defends us from. We are tired of this scam.

The world is much more sophisticated now about fake threats and fake wars. And old intel guys in their 70’s could debate you on this and it would not be pretty if you pretended this was not the case. Please don’t copy Trump on the Mr. Tough guy foreigh policy schtick. It will lower your stature for no gain Jim W. Dean ]

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Yemen

First published … March 22, 2021

In a recent interview that the sitting US president gave to the ABC channel, Joe Biden confirmed that he considers Russia’s president Vladimir Putin a “soulless killer”, adding a series of threats against Russia to those remarks.

Such a statement, that was based purely on Russophobic misinformation, would do no honor to any politician. However, when such remarks are made by a person that occupies the position of the head of the United States, they start looking particularly queer, since Russian leaders, unlike their American counterparts, are not generally known for unleashing bloody senseless conflicts like the Vietnam war or the wars in the Middle East, that resulted in hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties.

Such improper and aggressive behavior can hardly be attributed to the mental challenges that Biden might or might not be suffering from.

However, there are a lot of speculations going around in the mainstream media about his mental capabilities, that were first started by the Australian TV show host Cory Bernardi that discussed those issues in his show on Sky News as early as last February.

For sure, one cannot rule out that the entire White House and the Biden family got infected with a “biting frenzy” that first affected Joe’s German Shepherd that had a “biting incident” with a member of White House security. However, if the sitting US president did in fact got affected by this “disease”, it still doesn’t excuse his remarks.

What is clear is that this aggressive posturing was met with widespread outrage in different parts of the world.

Biden’s statement is a triumph of political insanity and senile dementia of the US ruling class said the leader of the ruling United Russia party Andrei Turchak. In turn, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled its ambassador to the US for “consultations”, which occurred for the first time in the entirety of the modern Russian-American relations.

Most of the countries reacted critically to Biden’s statement, as it’s been pointed out by major newspapers and online publications. Readers in their comments to the stories published on those platforms point out that the demonization of Russia and the attempts to publicly insult Russia’s president are plain crazy.

What is curious, even Japanese readers do not hide their surprise and indignation these days. In particular, one can come across comments on Yahoo News Japan, where they argue about Biden’s frail mental state and make remarks that his entourage shouldn’t be allowing POTUS anywhere near the nuclear button.

Indeed, Joe Biden looks weak and his health condition would repeatedly draw the attention of various media outlets. Due to his age, and Biden has recently turned 78, there’s a lot of doubts voiced publicly about his ability to fully perform his duties in the highest position of power. During the presidential race, he would frequently get into awkward situations.

The media discussed his senile gait, his numerous gaffes. When Biden was giving a speech at the beginning of March dedicated to women serving in the US military, he would show symptoms of dementia yet again by forgetting the name of the secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin.

During the presidential campaign, he said that he was trying to get elected to the Senate, and last December he named US vice president Kamala Harris the president of the United States. In November, Biden confused his granddaughter Natalie with his deceased son Beau, he also called his political rival George, confusing Trump him with his predecessor – George W. Bush.

The National Pulse and a number of other American outlets have already pointed out that the better part of important telephone conversations with other world leaders are conducted by Kamala Harris. In this regard, questions about Biden’s physical and mental ability to perform his duties are openly voiced even in the United States.

It’s noteworthy that ever since the days of Franklin Roosevelt both American parties prefer to put forward weak political figures to occupy the Oval Office and Joe Biden that replaced Donald Trump in the capacity of the US president is the pinnacle of this political trend.

One cannot describe such actions as illogical, as it is easier to manipulate such politicians, and when things don’t go the way they were planned those politicians would typically get all the blame for the decisions that were made by someone else.

However, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the duties of a weak president are still performed by a group of hidden functionaries. Therefore, the “collective Biden” makes the decisions that were approved by leading Democratic party figures, sponsors and lobbyists. Those are the people that are calling the shoots and they know perfectly well what they are up to.

Therefore, behind Biden’s antics in the now scandalous interview one can distinguish a clear desire of the ruling political elite to drive the public discussion away from the failed domestic policies by promoting hysteria about Russia or China, or to build a narrative about such “existential enemies” to the US as Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, etc. The escalation of this hysteria, as the “collective Biden” certainly hopes, will justify a new war of words, a new arms race, and even a new military conflict.

It’s clear that the United States will not dare to take any direct military action against Russia, knowing full well that there’s no use planning a war when Moscow has the advantage of superior weapons and the well-trained army.

However, Washington is thoroughly invested in provoking some of its new “satellites” to pursue an armed escalation with Russia. That is why the “collective Biden” is not just shaking the air with loud statements, but also tacitly aggravates tensions on Russia’s borders by allowing NATO to stage provocations with its reconnaissance and bomber aircraft in the Baltic, Black and Barents Seas, by deploying additional military units and American offensive weapons to Romania, Poland, Norway, and the Baltic States.

What is curious is that the population of all these countries hasn’t been informed yet that, in response to such provocations, Russia would prepare to defend itself with the full might of its entire arsenal.

It is a well-known fact that war has always been one of the solutions to internal crises that different aggressive countries faced throughout history. That is why Western countries would start their wars. However, neither the Soviet Union nor the Russian Federation have resorted to this tactics, on the contrary, they would face the necessity to defend themselves from external aggression.

That is why it is highly probable that under Biden, the United States will be dragged into a new military conflict, or into aggravating the situation in the traditional hot spots of the Middle East or Asia. Under certain conditions, the US may fulfill Israel’s demands to launch air-strikes against Iran, without sending any ground troops in.

Getting a large number of boots on the ground in the Middle East will result in an ever increasing number of casualties, which the US cannot afford, thus it will not succeed in a direct assault against Tehran.

Therefore, it is quite possible that in one of his future public speeches Biden will proclaim that Washington needs a small “victorious campaign” in an area that is geographically closer to the United States – for example, in Latin America, or in Southeast Asia.

And that’s why Biden, as he has fallen victim to an age-related loss of direction, will be lashing out not just against Russia, but against China, and a number of other countries supporting the two, an his remarks are to become ever more and more furious.

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

BIOGRAPHYJim W. Dean, Managing EditorManaging EditorJim W. Dean is Managing Editor of Veterans Today involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews. Read Full Complete Bio >>>

Jim W. Dean Archives 2009-2014https://www.veteranstoday.com/jim-w-dean-biography/jimwdean@aol.com

Wherefore Art Thou Ghislaine Maxwell?

By Philip Giraldi

Source

Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 1995 69b08

It is now going on a year and a half since “financier” and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein died, allegedly by hanging himself in a New York City prison. Since that time it has surfaced that there were a number of “administrative” errors in the jail, meaning that Epstein was not being observed or on suicide watch even though he had reportedly attempted to kill himself previously. The suspicion that Epstein was working for Israel’s external intelligence agency Mossad or for its military intelligence counterpart also seemed confirmed through both Israeli and American sources. A recent book Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales written by Ari Ben-Menashe the former Israeli intelligence officer who actually ran the Epstein operation, described inter alia how Epstein was blackmailing prominent politicians on behalf of Israeli intelligence. Epstein had been working directly for the Israeli government since the 1980’s and his operation, which was funded by Israel and also by prominent American Jews, was a classic “honey-trap” which used underage girls as bait to attract well-known politicians from around the world, a list that included Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton. The politicians would be photographed and video recorded when they were in bed with the girls. Afterwards, they would be approached and asked to do favors for Israel.

It doesn’t take much to pull what is already known together and ask the question “Who among the celebrities and top-level politicians that Epstein cultivated were actually Israeli spies?” And of course there is a subplot. Assuming that Epstein was in fact involved in recruiting and/or running high level American agents in an “influence operation” that may have involved blackmail it is possible to come to the conclusion that he was killed in prison and that the suicide story was just a convenient cover-up. The Epstein case remains “open” and under investigation though it doesn’t seem that anything is actually happening, the sure sign that someone powerful in the Establishment is making sure that nothing incriminating surfaces. Indeed, there already exists some evidence that Epstein was being protected when he was convicted in Florida of sex crimes in 2008 and was given a sentence that was little more than a slap on the wrist. After the fact, the U.S. Attorney for Miami Alexander Acosta involved in the case reported that the arrest and sentencing were above his pay grade, that he had been told that Epstein “’belonged to intelligence’, and to leave it alone” a comment that apparently has never been pursued by investigators.

That the Epstein investigation appears to be in reverse gear suggests that one or more powerful Americans are still not implicated in the case but are concerned that that might change, but there remains an accessory to what went on at the Epstein mansion in Manhattan and on his private island in the Caribbean. That would be Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in prison in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn and will be tried in July. Like the Epstein story in general, she has largely dropped off the media screen and one has to wonder what “get out of jail free” card she might be holding.

It has long been assumed that Epstein video recorded the sexual encounters with the underage girls that he used in his intelligence activity to blackmail prominent politicians among others. It has been suspected that Ghislaine has at least some of those tapes hidden in a secret location and may be using them to cut a deal with investigators and prosecutors. It now appears that she briefly discussed the tapes with CBS News 60 Minutes producer Ira Rosen, also making clear that there were tapes of both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. The conversation took place in 2016 and she reportedly told Rosen that, given Trump’s involvement in the upcoming election, she would not release any information derived from the tapes relating to Clinton until after the election and she would only do so while also exposing Trump. Up until now, she has done neither.

It has long been known that Epstein knew both the ex-and future presidents, though both have denied knowing the sex offender well for obvious reasons. Clinton, for example, flew on Epstein’s Lolita Express private 727 at least 26 times and his presence at Epstein’s island refuge has also been well documented. Trump clearly knew Epstein but has denied having any contact with him after his registration as a sex offender in 2008.

Ghislaine, for her part, was allegedly recruited young girls for Epstein to exploit and was a partner in his activity, though she has denied any guilt. Numerous victims say otherwise. Her lawyers have tried a number of ploys to free her, including claims that she had been abused by prison staff and that the jury being selected to try her will be “too white.” Her brother Ian claimed last week that she is enduring “brutal and degrading treatment” in prison with four guards watching her at all times. He added that she has lost 20 pounds and “ability to concentrate.”

Ghislaine also offered to post a $28.5 million bail or a $5 million bond for home arrest in which she would wear an ankle monitor, but the judge decided that given her extensive resources she constitutes a considerable flight risk even if she turns in her American, British and French passports. She would also be able to flee to Israel based on her father Robert’s religion and service to that country and Israel does not normally extradite.

The most interesting aspect of the arrest, imprisonment and trial of Ghislaine Maxwell is what it does not do. She basically is being tried on whether it can be confirmed that she was a “pimp” for Jeffrey Epstein. Her father was an Israeli intelligence asset and it is believed that he made the connection between Epstein and the Jewish state’s military intelligence. But no one in that New York court room in July will be asking that. Nor will there be any revelations about Epstein’s “intelligence connection” nor of the possibility that the Israelis had their hooks in both a former and a future American president. None of that will be on the table and meanwhile Ghislaine might have those possibly incriminating tapes squirreled away somewhere. That is the really important stuff that I would like to have the answers to. The fact that the answers are not forthcoming sounds a bit like a cover-up, doesn’t it?

Leaked: Smith College memo demands workers admit White privilege

Leaked: Smith College memo demands workers admit White privilege
Ramin Mazaheri  (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

March 02, 2021

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

As a daily reporter, columnist and author it seems I have developed a reputation for unparalleled bravery in exposing truths which the 1% want to keep hidden.

That is the only reason I can think of to explain why an anonymous whistleblower chose me to release this shocking internal memo from embattled Smith College.

The memo demands that their White workers, “admit to White privilege, and work on my so-called implicit bias as a condition of my continued employment”, to nick a phrase from a recently resigned employee of the school, Jodi Shaw.

A thorough recap of the Smith College saga (and the above quote) can be found by reading this article from The New York Times, “Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College”. To summarise: In 2018 an 18-year old Black female student at Smith College (which is part of the nation’s elite “Seven Sisters” historical women’s colleges) wrongly accused several White service workers of racism, “misgendering” and other threatening behaviors. The workers were later found innocent of all accusations, but they still lost their community standing, personal safety, privacy and socioeconomic well-being, and all without apology or compensation.

The case has remained in the American spotlight mainly because it serves as an example of fake-leftism run amok. In order to distinguish the real from the fake, I agreed to publish this leaked form which White Smith College employees must now sign in order to avoid another embarrassing incident.

—RM

From: Smith College Board of Trustees

To: White Smith College employees

Re: Work Sets You Free (sign or be fired)

We at Smith College are committed to providing these United States of America – excepting the states which swung for Donald Trump in either 2016 or 2020 – with the highest quality of education possible in order to create a more perfect and enlightened union.

This is why our annual tuition is set at $78,000 per year – in order to deny any sort of deplorable infiltration by the non-elite – be they financial, sexual, ethnic or ideological non-elite – into the upper echelon of American society.

Therefore I, the undersigned and guilty White defendant/employee, hereby agree with, consent to, and admit the following in order to continue my employment with Smith College:

By being White I benefit from “White privilege”.

Repeat and internalise the following:

“Whether I am a tenured professor who cannot be fired or a longtime janitor, as a White person we Whites are all the same. This is true in ideas, speech and – of course – looks.”

“I confirm that Whiteness is our only important socioeconomic characteristic. By being White we have undoubtedly reaped enormous financial and social benefits from being White.”

“Even if we are signing this pact from our single-wide trailer home while our neighbour is having yet another meth-induced psychotic episode, our Whiteness has always guaranteed prosperity and social success.”

“By being White I cannot possibly have an intelligent analysis of racial and social relations in the United States and/or beyond. I hereby swear to stop reading books as it will just confuse me further, due to my Whiteness.”

The White workers in the service sector who were falsely accused in this case by must additionally admit: “My experience being falsely accused, dismissed from work, socially harassed and/or unfairly shunned has no bearing on anything at all, nor should it, because these problems happened to a White person.”

By being White I have an implicit bias.

Among White people an implicit bias is universal. It includes but is not limited to: White supremacism, Nazism, the supremacy of Whites, race-based totalitarianism, White supremacy and the Confederacy.

Smith College is in Massachusetts, but any service sector worker whose ancestors died for the North in the Civil War must still admit their bias in favor the defeated Confederate States of America who killed their ancestor.

Being non-White means never having to say you are sorry.

The 18-year old Black student who accused our uppity hired help was not at all just another overdramatic, socially brutal and self-centered 18-year old for the following reason: she was Black.

Also: because she was a “she”. Smith College trustees fully support #MeToo’s “Believe all women” motto, yet we even more strongly support, “Believe all rich liberal arts college students”.

In fact, Smith College – a hallowed, 145-year American institution – has always had the same motto: “The customer is always right.” Thus we commend The New York Times for accurately reporting that we have lived up to that very demanding slogan: “We used to joke, don’t let a rich student report you, because if you do, you’re gone,” said Mark Patenaude, a janitor.” We proudly note that Smith College gives as many as six scholarships to non-rich students over every three-year period.

Smith College will immediately implement the following, as relayed by The New York Times: “…the creation of dormitories — as demanded by (the accusing student) and her A.C.L.U. lawyer — set aside for Black students and other students of color.” Smith College employees must ignore complaints from Smith College students who find a cross burning in front of their dorm room in order to expedite this “re-segregation” plan.

Being White means you are an obstacle to any and every “social justice mission”.

We hold such a truth to be self-evident in enlightened 21st century America, where – with the recent restoration of Joe Biden – a true leftism now reigns supreme. It is one which must be ruthlessly implemented in all non-American nations.

This is why we denounce The New York Times’ introduction of pernicious class warfare – which is not at all acceptable in “leftism with American characteristics” – and so very, very early in their article: By relaying the following intellectual concept proposed in the 61st paragraph of a 66-paragraph article (and from someone from the untouchable janitor class, no less!), all Smith College employees are now banned from talking to The New York Times.

“He (Patenaude) recalled going through one training session after another in race and intersectionality at Smith. He said it left workers cynical. (Editor’s note: such classes were not for teaching faculty but only for workers.) “I don’t know if I believe in white privilege,” he said. “I believe in money privilege.”

This worker will soon be fired for suggesting that economic class is even close to being as important as race, gender, sexuality, religion, ableness, handedness, hair color, height, weight, eye color, favourite sports team or shoe size in modern American society.

And to prove there is no “money privilege” at Smith College: White Smith College service sector workers who additionally pay the $78,000 yearly tuition are hereby exonerated from signing this agreement.

Your signature here _______________________________

Is the American Dream Still Alive?

Is the American Dream Still Alive? — Strategic Culture

Is the American Dream Still Alive?

Strategic Infographics

February 28, 2021© Photo: SCF

The post-WWII United States was at the peak of its soft power. One of its pillars was the American Dream. Every American could expect that his children would be better off – better off in every respect: healthier, longer-lived, better educated, happier, richer – than he was. Seventy years later, this dream seems to be blown to bits.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture

Damascus and Moscow Slam Escalated US Aggression in Syria

See the source image

By Stephen Lendman

Source

On Thursday, Biden regime terror-bombing strikes in Syria showed his contempt for the rule of law and unbending hostility toward Damascus and Tehran.

It also showed the illusion of his diplomatic outreach to Iran, an act of rhetorical head-fake deception with no policy action follow-through.

On Thursday, Blinken’s spokesman Price pretended otherwise, saying:

“(O)ur approach recognizes that maximum pressure accompanied by the lack of diplomatic engagement got us to where we are.” 

“That is why we are embarking on a different path, one that prioritizes real, principled, clear-eyed diplomacy (sic).”

Actions are polar opposite, indicating more of the same ahead.

Falsely blaming Iran for strikes on US bases and Baghdad’s Green Zone it had nothing to do with, followed by sending a message to Tehran by terror-bombing Syria, shows no change in maximum failure policy toward the Islamic Republic.

So does refusal to return to JCPOA compliance and lift illegally imposed sanctions.

Endless US war on Iran by other means continues under Biden.

Ignore rhetoric by regime officials. Follow their actions.

They show continuation of Trump’s anti-Iran agenda instead of going another way.

Biden officials also relentlessly push the phony threat of Iran advancing toward developing and producing nukes — knowing reality is polar opposite.

Where the Islamic Republic hasn’t gone for over 42 years, it shows no intention of moving toward now.

Yet the Big Lie otherwise persists in Washington, other Western capitals and Tel Aviv.

It refuses to die because Big Lies keep it alive.

In response to Biden’s escalated aggression, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“In a flagrant violation of the rules of international law and Charter of the United Nations, the US warplanes on Thursday, February 25, 2021, launched a cowardly aggression by bombing some areas in Deir Ezzor province near the Syrian-Iraqi borders,” adding:

It sent a message to Damascus and Tehran that Biden intends continuation of endless aggression in Syria that aims to gain another US client state along with seeking to isolate Iran regionally.

It shows no change in US hostility toward the Islamic Republic, no intention to engage with its officials diplomatically according to the rule of law, no change in longstanding US regional imperial aims.

They’re all about dominating the Middle East, partitioning targeted countries for easier control, plundering their resources, and exploiting their people.

US ruling authorities aim to achieve their objectives through endless wars by hot and other means — even though they haven’t succeeded and won’t likely ahead.

It’s futile for Iran to believe that Biden will diverge from Trump’s hardline agenda.

Since taking office, he’s followed Trump’s toughness and escalated aggression, showing more of the same is highly likely.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry also slammed endless Israeli aggression, its undeclared war on the country with no end of it in prospect, so-called “international forces” in the country pursuing the same agenda, and high crimes by ISIS and other terrorists the West and Jewish state support.

The Syrian Arab Republic affirms its determination to defeat illegal occupation, eliminate the scourge of terrorism, and liberate “every inch” of its territory.

Moscow criticized Biden’s aggression, a Foreign Ministry statement saying:

“We strongly condemn such actions and call for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity to be unconditionally respected.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e are closely monitoring the situation on the ground.”

“We are in permanent contact with Syrian colleagues.”

Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria said the Biden regime has yet to cooperate with Russia on issues relating to Syria or Iran.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia was only notified of US airstrikes four to five minutes in advance, a useless, offensive heads-up, adding the following:

“We have recently heard different information from different sources.” 

“While we cannot confirm this, we want to ask the Americans directly.” 

“Reportedly, they could be making a decision to never leave Syria at all, eventually leading to the destruction of the country as a whole.”

There’s no ambiguity about US aims. Wars by hot and other means continue endlessly, no resolution in prospect anywhere.

Permanent occupation of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other countries is planned.

Regime change targets all nations free from US control, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing their sovereign independence.

US rage for unchallenged dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations makes unthinkable global war possible.

Going another way with Iran and other independent nations was never Washington’s intention and surely isn’t now.

The Post-American World; Crooke, Escobar, Blumenthal and Marandi lay it all out

Via The Saker

The Post-American World; Crooke, Escobar, Blumenthal and Marandi lay it all out

February 17, 2021

Thirty years ago, the United States dominated the world politically, economically, and scientifically. But today?

Watch this in-depth discussion with distinguished guests:
Alastair Crooke – Former British Diplomat, the Founder, and Director of the Conflicts Form
Pepe Escobar – Brazilian Political Analyst and Author
Max Blumenthal – American Journalist and Author from Grayzone
Chaired by Dr. Mohammad Marandi – Professor at University of Tehran

Does the US Still Have an Economy?

February 10, 2021

Image result for paul craig roberts

Paul Craig Roberts

People want to know where the economy is headed.  What they should be asking is does the US still have an economy?  My answer is no, it doesn’t.  I will explain why.

For a quarter century I have pointed out the destructive effect of moving American investment and jobs to China and other points abroad.  Offshoring served the interests of corporate executives and shareholders. The lower labor costs raised profits and, thereby, executive bonuses and the prices of the stocks, resulting in capital gains for shareholders.  

These benefits accrued to a small percentage of the population.  For everyone else these closely held benefits imposed huge external costs many times greater than the rise in profits.  The American manufacturing workforce was devastated, as was the tax base of cities, states, and the federal government. The middle class shrunk and the populations of St Louis, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, South Bend and Gary Indiana, Flint Michigan and other cities declined as much as 20%. The hopes and aspirations of millions of Americans were crushed. Once thriving American cities became blighted. Supply chains and real estate values collapsed. (See Paul Craig Roberts, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, Clarity Press, 2013. https://www.claritypress.com/book-author/paul-craig-roberts/ )

As incomes fell for the bulk of the American population, incomes rose for the One Percent. Income and wealth gains have been concentrated at the top resulting in the United States today having one of the most unequal distributions of income and wealth in the world.

As the offshoring of high productivity, high value-added manufacturing jobs reduced American incomes, US aggregate domestic demand was impacted and economic growth fell.  The Federal Reserve expanded credit and substituted an increase in consumer debt for the missing growth in consumer income.  This aggravated the indebtedness that economist Michael Hudson correctly emphasizes is exhausting consumer income to pay debt service—mortgages, car payments, credit card and student loan debts—which leaves little or no discretionary income to drive economic growth. 

Hudson, who has been on the job of analyzing America’s eroding economy for a long time, emphasizes that the US economy is no longer a productive or industrial economy but a financialized economy in which bank lending is not used for new plant and equipment but for the financing of takeovers of existing assets in pursuit of interest, fees, and capital gains– what the classical economists called unearned income or “economic rent.”  In short, Hudson demonstrates that the American economy is no longer a productive economy.  It is a rent-seeking economy.

Hudson points out that as the economy is increasingly financialized, looting shifts to the privatization of public assets.  The examples are endless. In the UK the post office was privatized at a fraction of its value, along with public housing, transportation and British Telephone, resulting in huge private gains. The French also privatized public holdings. In Greece the municipal ports and water companies were privatized along with Greek protected islands. In the US, segments of the armed forces are privatized, along with prisons. Chicago sold 75 years of its parking meter fees to a private entity for one lump sum payment. Everywhere public assets, including services, are being sold to private interests.  In Florida, for example, the issuance of the annual vehicle license tag is privately provided. When there is nothing left to privatize, what will banks finance?

Hudson notes that the real economists, the classical ones, focused on taxing unearned economic rent, not labor income and productive activity.  Today’s neoliberal economists are unable to differentiate between economic rent and productive activity. Consequently, GDP analysis fails to reveal the economy’s transformation from a productive to a rentier economy. Hudson terms neoliberal economists “junk economists,” and I concur.  Essentially, they are shills for the financial sector and for the offshoring corporations who paid them to conflate job and investment offshoring with free trade.

I am convinced that if the entirety of neoliberal economics were erased nothing of value would be lost.  Economists, particularly academic economists, are in the way of truth. They live in a make-believe world that they created with assumptions and models that do not bear on reality.

I am familiar with universities and academic economics. I graduated from an engineering and scientific institution—Georgia Tech—and then was a graduate student in economics at the University of Virginia, University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford University. I had four Nobel prize-winners as professors. I have a Ph.D. in Economics. I have made contributions to major journals of economics and to others outside the field, 30 published articles altogether before I left academia. I served for years as a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy with the power to decide publication of submitted research.  I have peer-reviewed books from Harvard University Press and Oxford University Press. I have debated Nobel prize winners before professional audiences. I served as a Wall Street Journal editor and as Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, and have had many university appointments.  Michael Hudson also has real world experience in major financial institutions, international organizations, and governments, as well as US and overseas professorships  and  contributions to academic publications in many languages.

In other words, we know what we are talking about. We have no interest to serve except truth. No one pays us to serve an agenda. 

But we are only two voices.

Two decades ago I was presented with the prospect of a large increase in amplification of my voice about the deleterious effects of offshoring.  In December 2003 I received a telephone call from US Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat, New York. Senator Schumer had been reading my columns in which I made the case that under the guise of free trade, jobs and investment were being moved offshore at the expense of US economic success. Senator Schumer shared my concern and asked if a Reagan Treasury official would agree to coauthor with a Democrat Senator an article for the New York Times raising the issue whether job offshoring was in America’s interest. 

Our article appeared on January 6, 2004.  Here it is:

Second Thoughts on Free Trade

By CHARLES SCHUMER and PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

New York Times, January 6, 2004

“I was brought up, like most Englishmen, to respect free trade not only as an economic doctrine which a rational and instructed person could not doubt but almost as a part of the moral law,” wrote John Maynard Keynes in 1933. And indeed, to this day, nothing gets an economist’s blood boiling more quickly than a challenge to the doctrine of free trade.

Yet in that essay of 70 years ago, Keynes himself was beginning to question some of the assumptions supporting free trade. The question today is whether the case for free trade made two centuries ago is undermined by the changes now evident in the modern global economy.

Two recent examples illustrate this concern. Over the next three years, a major New York securities firm plans to replace its team of 800 American software engineers, who each earns about $150,000 per year, with an equally competent team in India earning an average of only $20,000. Second, within five years the number of radiologists in this country is expected to decline significantly because M.R.I. data can be sent over the Internet to Asian radiologists capable of diagnosing the problem at a small fraction of the cost.

These anecdotes suggest a seismic shift in the world economy brought on by three major developments. First, new political stability is allowing capital and technology to flow far more freely around the world. Second, strong educational systems are producing tens of millions of intelligent, motivated workers in the developing world, particularly in India and China, who are as capable as the most highly educated workers in the developed world but available to work at a tiny fraction of the cost. Last, inexpensive, high-bandwidth communications make it feasible for large work forces to be located and effectively managed anywhere.

“We are concerned that the United States may be entering a new economic era in which American workers will face direct global competition at almost every job level — from the machinist to the software engineer to the Wall Street analyst. Any worker whose job does not require daily face-to-face interaction is now in jeopardy of being replaced by a lower-paid, equally skilled worker thousands of miles away. American jobs are being lost not to competition from foreign companies, but to multinational corporations, often with American roots, that are cutting costs by shifting operations to low-wage countries.

Most economists want to view these changes through the classic prism of “free trade,” and they label any challenge as protectionism. But these new developments call into question some of the key assumptions supporting the doctrine of free trade.

The case for free trade is based on the British economist David Ricardo’s principle of “comparative advantage” — the idea that each nation should specialize in what it does best and trade with others for other needs. If each country focused on its comparative advantage, productivity would be highest and every nation would share part of a bigger global economic pie.

However, when Ricardo said that free trade would produce shared gains for all nations, he assumed that the resources used to produce goods — what he called the “factors of production” — would not be easily moved over international borders. Comparative advantage is undermined if the factors of production can relocate to wherever they are most productive: in today’s case, to a relatively few countries with abundant cheap labor. In this situation, there are no longer shared gains — some countries win and others lose.

When Ricardo proposed his theory in the early 1800’s, major factors of production — soil, climate, geography and even most workers — could not be moved to other countries. But today’s vital factors of production — capital, technology and ideas — can be moved around the world at the push of a button. They are as easy to export as cars.

This is a very different world than Ricardo envisioned. When American companies replace domestic employees with lower-cost foreign workers in order to sell more cheaply in home markets, it seems hard to argue that this is the way free trade is supposed to work.

“To call this a “jobless recovery” is inaccurate: lots of new jobs are being created, just not here in the United States.

In the past, we have supported free trade policies. But if the case for free trade is undermined by changes in the global economy, our policies should reflect the new realities. While some economists and elected officials suggest that all we need is a robust retraining effort for laid-off workers, we do not believe retraining alone is an answer, because almost the entire range of “knowledge jobs” can be done overseas. Likewise, we do not believe that offering tax incentives to companies that keep American jobs at home can compensate for the enormous wage differentials driving jobs offshore.

America’s trade agreements need to to reflect the new reality. The first step is to begin an honest debate about where our economy really is and where we are headed as a nation. Old-fashioned protectionist measures are not the answer, but the new era will demand new thinking and new solutions. And one thing is certain: real and effective solutions will emerge only when economists and policymakers end the confusion between the free flow of goods and the free flow of factors of production.

Charles Schumer is the senior senator from New York. Paul Craig Roberts was assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy in the Reagan administration.”

Senator Schumer’s staff seemed to think that free trade was the problem because real world conditions had changed.  My position was that jobs offshoring was not free trade.  But I realized that any opening of the question was promising.

Our article in the New York Times had an extraordinary impact. The Brookings Institution, at that time an important liberal economic policy think tank that was home to former economic policy makers, called a Washington conference to hear us and examine our position. There was a panel with myself, Schumer, a former policymaker and the head of the US manufacturing lobby who could not figure out which side to be on.  C-Span gave the conference  live coverage and rebroadcast it a number of times.

Here is the video of the conference called in Washington to submit the argument by Schumer and myself to scrutiny: https://www.c-span.org/video/?179821-1/us-trade-policy-global-economy 

Schumer and I carried the day. Members of the audience came up afterwards, including World Bank economist Herman Daly, in support of my position that the destruction of the American manufacturing economy could not be reasoned away as a free trade result.

Senator Schumer had a sincere interest in what job offshoring was doing to his constituents.  He proposed that we continue our collaboration and write a second article for the New York Times. In those days the Times was still, partly, a newspaper rather than a total propaganda voice for the Establishment, and the Times assumed nevertheless that a Democrat Senator from New York and an Treasury Official who had been confirmed in office by the US Senate  were part of the establishment. 

The second column began and then suddenly went dead.  No response.  A telephone call revealed that the staffer with whom I was working was no longer there.  After discussing this with old Washington hands, I concluded that Schumer had not realized that he was threatening Wall Street’s interest in higher profits by opening the question of jobs offshoring and had received a good talking to.  

Wall Street Killed the Schumer/Roberts truth squad and protected the profits from job and investment offshoring.

This is what happens to elected officials when they attempt to represent the general interest rather than the special interests that finance political campaigns. The public interest is blocked off by a brick wall posted with a sign that says get compliant with the Establishment or get out of politics. Unless money is taken completely out of electoral politics, there will be no democracy.

Globalism serves to destroy sovereign and accountable government. In the US globalism destroyed the manufacturing middle class. Now Covid lockdowns are destroying the remainder of the middle class—family businesses.  Businesses have fixed costs.  When they cannot operate red ink mounts and the businesses fail.  The lockdowns together with jobs offshoring monopolize the economy in few hands.  This is not a theory.  It is what we are experiencing.  Feudalism is being resurrected.  A few lords and many serfs. The serfs will be dependent on the lords and will have no independence.

Bernays and Propaganda

Bernays and Propaganda

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

February 06, 2021

Many years ago, the Jewish-American political commentator Walter Lippmann realised that political ideology could be completely fabricated, using the media to control both presentation and conceptualisation, not only to create deeply-ingrained false beliefs in a population, but also to entirely erase undesirable political ideas from the public mind. This was the beginning of not only the American hysteria for freedom, democracy and patriotism, but of all manufactured political opinion, a process that has been operative ever since. Lippmann created these theories of mass persuasion of the public, using totally fabricated “facts” deeply insinuated into the minds of a gullible public, but there is much more to this story. An Austrian Jew named Edward Louis Bernays, who was the nephew of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, was one of Lippmann’s most precocious students and it was he who put Lippmann’s theories into practice. Bernays is widely known in America as the father of Public Relations, but he would be much more accurately described as the father of American war marketing as well as the father of mass manipulation of the public mind.

Bernays claimed “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind” it will be possible “to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it”. He called this scientific technique of opinion-molding the ‘engineering of consent’, and to accomplish it he merged theories of crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle Sigmund Freud. Bernays regarded society as irrational and dangerous, with a “herd instinct”, and that if the multi-party electoral system (which was fabricated by a group of European elites as a population control mechanism) were to survive and continue to serve those elites, massive manipulation of the public mind was necessary. These elites, “invisible people”, would have, through their influence on government and their control of the media, a monopoly on the power to shape thoughts, values, and responses of the citizenry. His conviction was that this group should flood the public with misinformation and emotionally-loaded propaganda to “engineer” the acquiescence of the masses and thereby rule over them. According to him, this manufactured consent of the masses, creating conformity of opinion molded by the tool of false propaganda, would be vital for the survival of democracy. (1) (1a) (2)

Bernays wrote, “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” He stated that in America, people are governed, their minds molded, their tastes formed, their ideas suggested, largely by men they have never heard of. He claimed, “This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner. In almost every act of our daily lives we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” (3)

In his main work titled ‘Propaganda’, (4) (4a) which he wrote in 1928, Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy in which individuals were inherently dangerous (to the rapacity of the elites) but could be harnessed and channeled by these same elites for their economic benefit. He wrote further that “No serious sociologist any longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any … wise idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by … those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion. It is composed of inherited prejudices and symbols and clichés and verbal formulas supplied to them by the leaders. Fortunately, the … politician is able, by the instrument of propaganda, to mold and form the will of the people.” He clearly believed that virtually total control of a population was possible, and perhaps easy to accomplish: “So vast are the numbers of minds which can be regimented, and so tenacious are they when regimented, that (they produce) an irresistible pressure before which legislators, editors, and teachers are helpless.”

And it wasn’t only the public masses that were ‘inherently dangerous’, but a nation’s leaders fit this description as well, therefore also requiring manipulation and control. Bernays realised that if you can influence the leaders of a nation, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you can control the government and the country, and that is precisely where he set his sights. Bernays again: “In some departments of our daily life, in which we imagine ourselves free agents, we are ruled by dictators exercising great power. There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes. Nor, what is still more important, the extent to which our thoughts and habits are modified by authorities.” He went on to tell us that “The invisible government tends to be concentrated in the hands of the few because of the expense of manipulating the social machinery which controls the opinions and habits of the masses.” And in this case, the “few” are the wealthy elites, their even wealthier bankers, and their brethren who control the media, publishing and entertainment industries.

US President Wilson was desperate to fulfill his obligations to his handlers by putting the US into the First World War as they wished, but was having little success with public opinion at home; few Americans wanted to enter the European war. In 1917 Wilson founded what was called The Committee on Public Information, of which Bernays became a star member. It was Bernays’ vast propaganda schemes and his influence in promoting the patently false idea that US entry to the war was primarily aimed at “bringing democracy to all of Europe”, that proved so successful in altering public opinion about the war. Thanks to Edward Bernays, American war marketing was born and would never die.

Until the First World War, these theories of creating an entirely false public opinion based on misinformation, then manipulating this for population control, were still only theories, but the astounding success of propaganda by Bernays and his group during the war laid bare the possibilities of perpetually controlling the public mind on all matters. The “shrewd” designers of Bernays’ “invisible government” developed a standard technique for what was essentially propaganda and mind control, or at least opinion control, and infiltrated it throughout the US government, its departments and agencies, and its leaders and politicians. Coincident with this, they practiced infecting the leaders of every identifiable group – fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social – and encouraging these men to likewise infect their supporters.

Bernays was apparently stunned by the outstanding success of his democracy slogan and hate campaign in swaying public opinion in favor of war, and so immediately began to apply his model to peacetime enterprises. “In applying his uncle’s Freudian theories to deal with public conceptions, Bernays realised that provoking a fear of communism and then manipulating the public’s emotions toward it, could be a sure recipe for success in the widespread engineering of popular opinion and control of the population. This theory was so powerful that it became a weapon of its own during the cold war.” The term ‘propaganda’ had acquired a poor reputation so Bernays created and promoted the term ‘Public Relations’, but of course his processes were no such thing. Bernays’ PR ethic involved psychological manipulation and control of the public mind through cleverly-devised – and thoroughly false – propaganda.

Bernays carries the blame for more than American entry into the two world wars, having been instrumental in paving the way for the US cannibalisation and military colonisation of much of the world, and for the US installing and supporting the dozens of brutal military dictatorships around the world. His first international project was helping to engineer the US overthrow of the popular elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. At the time, the Rockefellers’ United Fruit Company and various US elites and international financiers owned most of Guatemala including 70% of all the arable land, the communications facilities, the only railroad and shipping port, and controlled most exports. When Arbenz commenced expropriations and land redistribution, Bernays developed a massive propaganda campaign that colored Arbenz as communist, a terrorist, an enemy to democracy, a blot on humanity, and much more, to the extent that American public opinion supported an outrageous travesty and one of the most brutal violations of human rights in US history. Bernays’ template has been used about 70 times with US invasions of that many nations, which is one source of the vast disconnect between what the American people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. As a side note, Guatemala appealed to the United Nations to stop the Americans’ massive interference in their country, a plea that was sympathetically received by UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold who proved troublesome for the US. He would do so again a few years later, and would be assassinated by the CIA for his trouble.

I discussed earlier the black and white mentality that pervades America. Much of this is supported by the witch-hunting versions of Christianity that Americans have embraced, but much of the blame must be laid on Bernays’ propaganda methods. Bernays himself asserted that propaganda could produce rapid and strong emotional responses in the public, but that the range of these responses was limited because the emotional loading inherent in his propaganda would create a kind of binary mentality, eventually forcing the population into a programmed black and white world – which is precisely what we see in the US today. This isn’t difficult to understand. In a discussion of a landscaping option for our garden, we could have a range of dispassionate responses from antipathy to adoration, but when Bernays flooded the public with fabricated tales of Germans killing babies, the range of potential responses was not dispassionate but rather entirely emotional and would be limited to either abhorrence or perhaps a blocking of the information. In a sense, our emotional switch will be forced into either an ‘on’ or ‘off’ position, with no other reasonable choices. We see this in debates on subjects like global warming, where positions do not correspond to educational or employment circumstances, nor to experience, but tend to be strongly emotional responses along ideological and political lines with precisely the kind of binary mentality Bernays predicted.

It is interesting to note that the manipulators eventually became the manipulated. Wilson, in his eagerness to manipulate public opinion in favor of war, failed to realise he was himself being manipulated by his handlers, by these same elite propagandists whose war ambitions he was fulfilling, as well as other schemes they had already planted in his mind. The puppeteer became the puppet, and the practice became permanent. The elite few, as Bernays called them, realised early on the potential for control of governments, and in every subsequent US administration the president and his White House staff, the politicians, the leaders of the military and intelligence agencies, all fell prey to this same disease of shrewd manipulation. Roosevelt’s “intense desire for war” (5) (6) (7) in 1939 was the result of this same infection process and, once infected, he of course approved of the infection of the entire American population. George Bush with Iraq and Obama with Libya and Syria are not different. Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

Bernays was very correct in stating that a society’s ability to participate in a democracy was dependent on how well-informed the society was, but Americans fail to appreciate that it is ignorance and not knowledge or education that protects the existence of multi-party political systems. That is why American leaders, controlled by the same “invisible government” and with a fully-compliant elite-owned media, have intentionally misrepresented their current policies and actions to the public, while their “elite few” specialised in massive historical revisionism, especially American history in the world and the effects of that history on other nations. By keeping Americans ignorant and uninformed, their minds filled with foolish and false myths, and forever distracted by irrelevancies, American leaders and their puppet-masters have used Bernays’ theories to control public opinion and beliefs with lies, religion, patriotism and emotional propaganda. It was very much an “engineered ignorance” created by a continuing program of misinformation, manipulation and deception, a shrewdly-planned subversion of the American public.

The almost overwhelming political-religious ideological fog permeating America today is due to generations of institutionalized deception and propaganda, and is the direct cause of much of the renowned ignorance of the American people. Their capitalist ideology as well, is rooted in economic misconceptions and false propaganda, with the result that almost no Americans today have any understanding of the real (and largely criminal) reasons for their nation’s economic success. The astonishing extent of the binary polarisation of politics and government is another example, yet few Americans have any understanding of their condition. As one author noted, “The wealthy in America have created an inherently imbalanced system that is exploitable by the wealthy and they are working through the use of propaganda and misinformation to convince Americans that the system is just, or, if anything, unfairly biased toward the poor.” And again, “The economic system that America has developed is dependent on the exploitation of foreign countries and the acquisition of foreign resources, which is why (the US) pursues a strategy of global preeminence.” He went on to state that the foreign policy of the American Right-Wing has been developed through extensive propaganda and exaggeration of foreign threats in order to maintain the conditions for public support and to justify the suppression of dissent.

I have written before that no Right-Wing government could survive in the full light of day with all truths exposed, because most of these truths are bitterly anti-social and designed only to create a flow of a nation’s wealth to the relatively few members of the elites and financiers. In order to function at all, a Right-Wing government like that in the US must be increasingly secretive and rely ever more heavily on Bernays and on his propaganda in order to produce in the population both his engineered consent and engineered ignorance, without which a democracy could not survive. This is so true that after World War II, the US military heavily restricted media control in occupied Germany and Japan because it recognized that the media could easily educate citizens to the dangers of the American presence both at home and in Europe. This veil of secrecy has been carried to an extent that the American and international elites have created what one writer called a massive framework of lies that functions as an arena within which the desired propaganda ideas are presented to the American people as information, but where the reality is very different from that in which American leadership functions. The same writer stated so perfectly, “Within this framework of lies the world appears to be a simplistic place of good and evil. The feeling of Americans that we are the most successful people on earth, and that America is the most successful country, is used to support the idea that America’s policies are inherently altruistic because our culture tells us that success is the measure of goodness. What is actually the case, though, is that America is successful precisely because American policy is not altruistic.”

The next essay in this series will outline in detail the beginnings – and the devastating results – of Bernays’ initial efforts.


Mr. Romanoff’s writinghas been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Notes

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Engineering-Consent-Edward-L-Bernays/dp/B0007DOM5E;

(1a) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1b/The_Engineering_of_Consent_%28essay%29.pdf

(2) http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Fall07/28/Engineering_of_consent.pdf

(3) https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/203430-the-conscious-and-intelligent-manipulation-of-the-organized-habits-and

(4) https://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays/dp/0970312598; (4a) http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/bernprop.html

(5) https://famguardian.org/Subjects/Scams/FDR/fdr.htm

(6) https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/article/wikileaks-1941/

(7) https://mises.org/library/roosevelt-nobody-knows

American Prospect

Via The Saker

January 27, 2021

by Sushi for the Saker Blog

If you wish to understand the concerns of those who attended the 1/6 Save America rally, you can learn much by watching the first three minutes of this video . If you wish to understand the issues that lie at the heart of the Nancy Pelosi – Never-Trump response, you can do no better than watching the same three minutes. Three minutes is not a long time. Maybe it saves the Republic. Perhaps not.

I recognize many of the locations shown; it was in Seattle that I met my first wife and my memory of the city is tainted by the youthful hormones associated with love and romantic attachment. Dispense with those gemütlich thoughts, strip all the romance away, and the video remains a searing reintroduction to an America in decline.

The Articles of Impeachment cite Trump for the remark,” ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.’ He said those words because he believed them to be true. His supporters believed them to be true. The founders of this country believed them to be true. The ghosts of Concord, Omaha, Antietam, Betio, and a thousand other forgotten battles, laid down their lives to consecrate those words. America is drenched in blood. Is it worth asking who spilt it and why?

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At the end of President Regan’s term in office, America was the greatest exporter of manufactured goods, the world’s largest creditor nation, the world’s largest importer of raw materials. Each year, America created the greatest value added in the history of the world. Today all these numbers are reversed. America is the world’s greatest debtor nation, America imports almost all its manufactured goods, and the main source of value added is found in the FIRE sector.

In an earlier era, America hired people to add value to raw materials and sell the finished products. People had good jobs. They lived the American dream. Today, they live the American nightmare. Today the route to wealth is found in the creation of SPACs and CDOs and other pieces of paper backed by little more than a promise. Or it is found in creating a new virtual universe composed entirely of electrons. The plungers have bid up the market to incredible heights of fantasy, interest rates border on the negative, and Biden is in the process of adding a few trillion more dollars to the top of an already teetering matchstick pyre. As the great sage of America once said: “What, me worry?”

In the years since President Regan, middle America has been in constant decline. Republicans came into office, made a lot of promises, and when they left office the majority of America was worse off than before. The Democrats came into office, promised hope and change, and when the Democrats left office the majority of America was worse off than before. The Red Hatters suspect the emergence of a pattern.

There have been 16 years of Republican presidents: Bush 41, Bush 43, Trump 45, and 16 years of Democrat presidents Clinton and Obama. Trump’s supporters have learned, much to their chagrin, and at great personal expense, that it does not matter who you vote into office, the outcome is always the same. The average American is yearly worse off, their savings erode, their debt explodes as increased debt is the only way to keep their head above water, send their children to school, pay their bills. On the coasts, and in Washington, live the elites who get richer and richer every year. The banks collapse and wipe out the savings of ordinary Americans? No problem. We bail out the culprits with trillions of dollars and the bank executives, the ones who created the funny money in the first place, they give themselves multi-million-dollar bonuses. For what? For crashing the world economy and coming out on top? Nice work if you can get it. And the ordinary folk? They lose their job, their savings, possibly their home. Some get the bonus of a cardboard mansion.

When Enron collapsed, people went to jail. When the savings and loans collapsed people went to jail. In the financial crisis fat paychecks and get out of jail cards went to a small segment of the population. None of them wore Red Hats. The systemic causes were never addressed, except as a band-aid solution, which implies they remain as a hidden set of weaknesses ready to rip open at the next great signs of stress.

The Democrats want you to believe that 1/6 was a coup, a rebellion, a putsch, an overthrow of a legitimate government. It is unclear how you claim to be a legitimate government, of the people, by the people, for the people, when each year the elites get more and more wealthy and ordinary folk are driven into poverty and then laughed at. Called Deplorables. Despicables. Traitors. Insurrectionists. Domestic Terrorists. Refused airline travel because of their political views. Refused legal counsel because of their political views. Have their employment threatened because of their political views. Have their insurance contracts revoked because of their political views. Have their communications media cancelled because of their political views. Put on watch lists because of their political views. Labelled as American ISIS for their political views. Al Qaeda in America. Bin Laden’s corpse is adrift in the Arabian Sea but he is winning.

Two observations. The first is that the Red Hatters have legitimate grounds for grievance. The elites that populate the coasts and inhabit the Capitol appear greatly unwilling to acknowledge that fact. In fact, the response of the Washington and coastal elites appears dedicated to the destruction of any form of political unorthodoxy. The Red Hatters strike me as empiricists. They experience the fact of reduced opportunity, reduced paychecks, a decline in their standard of living. These are the people who staff small business, the fire stations, the police stations, who are shipped overseas to combat the war on error. Those who send them overseas, who seek assistance from the fire stations, the police stations, are ideologues. And the ideologues are disconnected from reality and therefore indifferent to the plight of their fellow citizens. They hold the belief that the physical and financial distress the Red Hatters claim to experience is all in their head. If they removed the hat all would be fine. And what they really require is ostracization. A period of re-education and indoctrination. A few years in the Gulag. Ship them out to the Xinjiang re-education camps. Store them in Gitmo. It’s the American way.

The Ideologues have it all. And they want even more. Their appetites are immense and unyielding. Any form of challenge, appeal, or protest, is to be crushed. Legitimate grievance will be labelled Al Qaeda in America and destroyed. The orange man who appears to have provoked the uprising; he too will be destroyed. None can be allowed to remain standing because the sheer fact of their presence threatens the Ideologues beatific view of a world in which they have absolute mastery. Political mastery, commercial, and military.

The second observation is that history has gone out of fashion. It is an outdated subject well past its best before date. America’s history of rebellion and revolution is outmoded and inapplicable. Not pints, but gallons, hundred of gallons, VLCCs brimming with blood, all of it spilt, and none of it matters. Because this time its different. Those history guys in their funny hats, weird britches, and leggings, they did not have computers. They knew nothing of social media. If any remain alive today, they are dodos, too stupid to know they went extinct years ago. The problem is exacerbated by a Fourth Estate which is of the belief that “goebbels” is a noise made by turkeys, or the description of a rushed and greedy eater. People who do not know history are forever condemned to repeat it. That includes 1929 as well as 1776.

I remain confident of one thing. Joe Biden will unify the country.

The truth of this is found in his first initiatives. His imposition of a $15 minimum wage, his approval of increased immigration, his grant of amnesty to those present in the country illegally, his increase in corporate taxes, and his termination of the XL pipeline, coupled with the termination of drilling on Federal lands, will increase the cost of energy which will act as a regressive tax on those who can least afford it. These initiatives will have negative impact on Blacks, Latinos, hard hats, and Red Hats. All will have a negative impact on jobs and employment.

Biden’s single greatest achievement is the executive order stipulating that those males who self-identify as a woman are to be free to participate in women’s sports. For any impoverished youth seeking a higher education the best means to a scholarship is now to self-attest to female identity and win a post-secondary sports scholarship.

By this initiative alone, Biden will add fifty percent of the population to the group of persons already united against him. He only needs another 15% to 20% and he will have achieved 100% of his inaugural goals. I think he can do it.

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There has been some feedback from persons who attended the Save America rally on 1/6. They dispute my estimate of crowd size which was based on the only aerial photograph I was able to locate. I have since found other imagery which confirms a new estimate of close to 500,000. It was standing room only in the ellipse and there was a multitude on the West end of the mall and to the East of the George Washington Monument.

When the British burned the Capitol, they came with a small brigade of 4,500 men. That small force burned the Capitol, the White House, the US Treasury, and the War Department. Then they blew up Fort McNair. That was achieved by 4,500 men.

Does anyone honestly believe there would be much of Washington left standing if a force of 500,000 had been incited to attack?

The current public estimate is of 800 people having entered the Capitol (I believe this to be high. The available imagery does not support such a high number. The F.B.I. presently has case files on 200 persons). If the full size of the crowd was 500,000 then the entrants are 0.0016 of the total participants. The Democrats and the press are gleefully slandering large numbers of people possibly creating grounds for a class action suit. The litigants would have grounds for damages based on loss of employment and loss of reputation.

Second, Incitement requires that people attacking the Capitol, heard what Trump had to say, listened to it as instruction, command, or direction, and acted as they did because of what he said. Press reports show the first attacks commenced at 12:50 and Trump did not complete his remarks until 13:13. The alleged incitement did not occur until the end of his speech. In addition, the significant size of the crowd completely swamped the available cell towers. Many Save America attendees reported no cell phone reception.

Third, incitement requires that those persons allegedly incited are in fact guilty of some crime. Marching to the Capitol is not a crime. Thousands of tourists do it every day. The words: ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore’ is language not found in the criminal statutes. It is used as a legitimate form of grievance and has been used throughout history for exactly that purpose. Trump never incited burglary. He never told anyone “steal Pelosi’s lectern” In fact, it is unclear what exactly it is presumed he incited.

Fourth, there may still exist in this country a legal tradition known as the presumption of innocence. All of those charged by the state for alleged criminal activity are innocent of that criminal charge until such time as the legal process pronounces them guilty. Madame Pelosi and her compatriots in the House have put the cart before the horse. What if every alleged criminal is found innocent? What then is Trump to be found guilty of inciting? An Antifa conspiracy? Was Trump a secret BLM plotter?

Fifth, the evidence suggests that there were multiple independent groups at the Capitol on 1/6. This citizen report by a person with some knowledge of special forces activity claims there were at least four different groups present: 1) Plainclothes militants; 2) Agents-provocateurs; 3) Fake Trump protesters; 4) Disciplined, uniformed column of attackers. This citizen account confirms details found in The Defense of Mr. Trump: there was a relatively minor observed police presence, there was limited, or no, cell phone reception, the majority of the crowd was jovial and friendly, and included people of all ages, and races, including parents with children. There was minimal sense of threat.

Sixth, this new account supports the fact that among the Save America participants there were persons who were not Trump supporters but who sought to appear to be Trump supporters. Some were dressed in militant gear. The exact numbers of these militants, and their pollical affiliation, will not be known until the police complete their investigation (if the police complete an investigation) and have obtained statements. Trump cannot be accused of inciting people who were part of a pre-existing disciplined and militant cadre, persons who conspired to disrupt the Save America rally, and attack the Capitol, weeks before Trump made his remarks. The fact that some of those charged are alleged conspirators suggests the police are aware the violence was pre-meditated well in advance of Trumps remarks at the Save America rally.

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Seventh, it is well known that in the summer of 2020 there were riots across the United States and these riots were led by groups known as Antifa and BLM. These riots and violence were described as “peaceful” by both the press and political leaders. In the summer of 2020, a group of violent militants had been permitted to raise havoc. There was no condemnation of this rioting and violence. It was applauded. The Vice-President worked to provide bail for those arrested. These rioters were not Trump supporters. Trump condemned this violent action. If Antifa and BLM agitators were present on 1/6, as it appears that they were, if they conspired to stir up a peaceful protest (as it appears that they did), if they ordered Save America participants forward into the attack (as it is reported that they did), if they sought to prevent peaceful participants from departing the scene (as it is reported that they did), then those individuals are guilty of incitement. If they are found guilty of conspiracy and incitement, then why the impeachment of Trump?

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Eighth, by not condemning the violence occurring in the summer of 2020, the political leaders communicated to the citizens that violent protest was acceptable. That to burn buildings was acceptable. To proclaim an independent state was acceptable, That police defunding and disbanding was acceptable. The press, and the political leadership who failed to condemn activity that put lives at risk, condoned unlawful deaths, and caused over 1 billion in property damage. Certain groups known to have led the 2020 violence are reported to be complicit in the events of 1/6. The political leaders and the press, by virtue of their lack of condemnation, gave notice to Antifa and BLM that their actions would be tolerated, that there would be no legal sanctions, that the police would not arrest them, and the state would not prosecute them. They sent entirely the wrong message to the hoodlums. Did sending this inaccurate message lay the foundation for the riots at the Capitol? Was it misleading to claim Antifa to be just an idea? The press reporting during this period, and in prior periods, also gave endorsement to Antifa. Support for Antifa was seen as a means to undermine a sitting President. Does such conduct rise to the level of sedition? Is it possible the wrong president is being impeached? If you can impeach an out of office president, should others also be held to account for their conduct?

I do not have the answer to these questions. But I think the following sums up the situation:

The president-elect’s demeanor and furor certainly were not compatible with his media image as the supposedly angelic uniter of the country. Within 24 hours he had gone from blasting the police authorities as racists to the old reductio ad Hitlerum trope of comparing a few Republican senators to Nazi propogandist Joseph Goebbels, in a hysterical rant that descended into incoherent numerology about the bombing of Dresden. I’m sure Xi Jinping and Ayatollah Khamenei were impressed by his historical recollections. (see American Greatness)

Lastly, if disputing an election result is an impeachable offense what does this say about the Democrats who have disputed election results multiple times in the past? What does it say about the Speaker of the House, the person who bears ultimate responsibility for the security of the Capitol and appears to have been negligent in the discharge of her duties? On 1/6 did she fail to properly execute her responsibilities toward Congress? Is this the reason for her attack on legitimate assembly and grievance? To reassign blame for her own failure? Should Pelosi be subject to impeachment?

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Part One of this series: On Democracy

Part Two of this series: What is to be Done?

Part Three of this series: The Defense of Mr. Trump

Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., right, and Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo., confer during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing for Gina Raimondo, nominee for Secretary of Commerce, in Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC on January 26, 2021. / AFP / POOL / Tom Williams
Democrats’ ‘divide and conquer’ Senate show trial may jeopardize duopoly
(Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US election. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China,’ which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.)

Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:40 PM  [ Last Update: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 10:44 PM ]

Press TV and The Saker

By Ramin Mazaheri

Much ink could be spilled about the upcoming, and second, Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, but that would be a waste of ink – the trial has nothing to do with social justice or patriotism and everything to do with aggravating political divisions for elites’ gain.

We could say it’s just “politics as usual”, but only if: the “True Rate of Unemployment” wasn’t pushing 30%, even per Politico; 2020 didn’t witness the biggest annual rise in the US poverty rate since the 1960s; America didn’t just have its most disputed election in anyone’s memory; there weren’t armed soldiers protecting politicians nationwide, or, according to nearly 40% of the country, there weren’t armed soldiers making sure politicians are illegitimately installed in the White House. In the US right now politics are not usual, whatsoever.

It is incredibly bad journalism the way the US Mainstream Media endlessly overplays the number of Republican defectors against Trump – they get way, way too much press, and of course it’s because they don’t want to admit Trump has any grassroots support (which is not from neo-Nazis). One might have easily imagined that scores of House Republicans were about to vote in favor of Trump’s impeachment, yet only 10 out of 211 did (5%). To give one mainstream example, it was totally misleading of the Los Angeles Times to write that a “bipartisan House majority voted to charge him” after the House’s January 13 vote, and in their lede paragraph, no less, and to even mention the 10 Republicans in their headline. Trump remains the most popular Republican by leaps and bounds – there is no way 17 of 50 Republican senators will end their re-election chances just to appease a Never Trumper movement which only won the general election by a 51-47 margin. Trump’s first Senate trial was a landslide – by supermajority standards – for “not guilty”: 52-48 in favor of Trump.

Given the assurance of acquittal (again) we should ask who benefits from this second trial, and who does not benefit?

Obviously, the enormous mass of everyday Americans will see no benefit from the trial, and I listed just a few of the once-in-a-century reasons why they have more pressing concerns. It is never declared in the US media that the US public has no real appetite for the Senate trial – they need and want the governors of the nation to govern, and right now.

The only way Americans could possibly be convinced that the nation needs to shut down Congress for weeks with a trial whose conclusion is not in doubt is via constant Mainstream Media talking heads shrieking about its necessity, and with the very same fervor that they were shrieking that Russia stole the 2016 election. This is fake-news, too, and it certainly takes airtime away from discussing things like the “True Rate of Unemployment”.

The only people among average Americans who insist that seeing ex-president Trump in the dock is more pressing than resolving the multiple areas of socioeconomic disaster are the most bloodthirsty and rabid of the Never Trumpers. How can one easily switch off four years of demonization? Answer: many simply are psychologically unable to move on, and even though they got what they want – Trump is out of the White House. But while these people – generally upper- and upper-middle class persons who are not very touched by the economic crisis – are loudly obnoxious they are not in actual control of the levers of power.

It’s primarily the nation’s elite-level politicians who really want to make America’s Marianas Trench-depth cultural-political divide even deeper, but not for the reasons one may think.

Many Congressional Democrats are no doubt embarrassed and vengeful over having been turned into cowering, world’s fanciest gas mask-wearing deserters on January 6 – these people control the legislative docket and they want Trump to look afraid now. That would be a self-centered and over-emotional reaction, but why should we ascribe self-sacrifice for the well-being of the nation among the virtues of Congressional Democrats?

The Capitol Hill protest did make many Democrats even more dead-set on getting Trump out: Despite being elected president once and narrowly winning re-election – or rather, precisely because of this electoral success – Democrats want to try and ensure that Trump cannot run in 2024, and a Senate conviction would bar Trump from ever holding public office again. Again, they are deluded by endless MSM spin if they think they have a realistic chance of turning so many Republicans.

Those are two plausible motivations for the Senate trial, but they are not sufficiently convincing.

How elite Democrats gain from a trial, but America loses (unless a 3rd party truly sprouts)

There seem to be so many tiny groups which gain in the many instances where one reads “but America loses”? Thirty million Americans file for unemployment in 2020 – the S&P 500 gains $14 trillion in value over the same timeframe (up 16% annually). Four hundred thousand Americans die from coronavirus – the first vaccine announced only two days after Joe Biden prematurely declares victory, allowing Biden to change the media focus from his divisive and promise-backtracking early declaration.

By forcing a trial in the Senate Democrats seem to think they can win big by playing “divide and conquer” or even just “divide and divide”.

In the latter scenario Democrats certainly gain by forcing Congressional Republicans to openly divide themselves into pro- and anti-Trump factions, which will necessarily be revealed during the Senate vote on the 2nd impeachment. That vote will be like the 2003 Iraq War vote for Democrats (but only if we falsely imagine today’s Democrats to actually be an anti-war party anymore). If nothing else is gained for elite Democrats – who happily watched households crumble and workers go hungry until after Biden’s election to finally become willing to negotiate a second, paltry household stimulus – a Republican Party distracted by squabbles, and thus open to being bought into defection on certain key votes, is enough reason to waste everyone’s time with a Senate show trial.

The “divide and conquer” scenario is more worrying for national health, because the pro-War Democratic Party does like to conquer human beings: There are incredibly shocking efforts to blacklist, censor and seemingly criminalize Trump supporters. By forcing Trump’s Congressional supporters into the open Democrats will know exactly where to set their stigmatizing sights. I cannot believe that Democrats are going to lead a multi-month, much less multi-year, “Trumperphobia” campaign, but I also couldn’t believe the 2016 Russophobia campaign lasted until even after the 2019 Mueller Report’s exoneration of Russia. Is it possible that Democrats are going to persist in their anti-Trumper cultural pogrom for years rather than honestly discuss America’s decline?

But the main question is: How deep is the American duopoly? Answer: the deepest and oldest in the world.

What if Democrats are actually trying to create a Republican Party division into two parties, with the Trumper faction defecting to a new “Patriot” or “America First” party? That would end the need for Democratic legislative majorities – all they’d need is a plurality (as in every other modern democracy).

Is it possible that Trump will actually undo America’s awful legislative duopoly and bring in a multi-party system? Like most good things Trump has done, this boon would be an unintended consequence of Trump’s actual political agenda.

Are Democrats looking to end the two-party system by giving Trumpers a clear indication that they can either organize, drop out or get persecuted by the US system? Are anti-Trump Republicans daft enough to think that the Republican Party will stay Reaganite forever, even after Reaganites allowed the Great Financial Crisis to mushroom into the Great Recession for so many of their voters?

I would say that – in the end – Democrats are not looking to end the duopoly, in which they are the party which is paid no matter what: they are paid to make sure actual leftist ideas lose, by combining them with fake-leftists idea such as identity politics, and they are paid to make sure leftist gains are truly, truly minimal when they do occasionally have power.

But Democrats are US politicians, after all – they cannot think long-term, and they openly admit they spend 2/3rds of their working hours focused on getting campaign money for their re-election – and so they really don’t know what they are doing, or even care about the medium- and long-term consequences of their actions. The Senate trial of Trump is useless theater, but who knows what these professional actors really feel or if they even feel anything at all? If they feel anything it is for their supporters and “work family”, which can be found on Wall Street and not Main Street.

Just as the January 6th protest was improvised and not the start of a long-term “Occupy Capitol Hill” movement – it had none of the determination and planning of Egypt’s Tahrir Square” (in a nod to this week’s 10th anniversary of that wonderful progressive movement, which was repeatedly sabotaged by Washington and Tel Aviv and their Egyptian compradors). Democrats are now improvising a way to keep inflicting opprobrium, censorship and maybe even criminal convictions on the odious – yet quite popular and taboo-breaking – Trump. Just like in 2016: anything to keep from discussing the real roots of any sort of “drain the Swamp” political feeling and America’s undeniable decline. 

Elite Democrats don’t have Russia to kick around anymore, let’s remember – all they have is Trump and his 74 million supporters. Kick them too much and Democrats might break their own precious duopoly.

(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV.)


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