A commented reading of Putin’s speech at Valdai

October 24, 2021

Note: Below is the full speech made by made by Vladimir Putin, to which I have added red colors to add emphasis and a few comments of my own written in the blue color.  And while I do not have the energy or time to repeat this exercise for the Q&A section which followed his speech, I highly encourage you all to also read it!
Andrei

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A commented reading of Putin’s speech at Valdai

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,

To begin with, I would like to thank you for coming to Russia and taking part in the Valdai Club events.

As always, during these meetings you raise pressing issues and hold comprehensive discussions of these issues that, without exaggeration, matter for people around the world. Once again, the key theme of the forum was put in a straightforward, I would even say, point-blank manner: Global Shake-up in the 21st Century: The Individual, Values and the State.

Here Putin clearly indicated that he is not talking about local or even regional political issues, but that what we are witnessing is a planetary crisis and a planetary shakeup of the international world order.

Indeed, we are living in an era of great change. If I may, by tradition, I will offer my views with regard to the agenda that you have come up with.

In general, this phrase, “to live in an era of great change,” may seem trite since we use it so often. Also, this era of change began quite a long time ago, and changes have become part of everyday life. Hence, the question: are they worth focusing on? I agree with those who made the agenda for these meetings; of course they are.

In recent decades, many people have cited a Chinese proverb. The Chinese people are wise, and they have many thinkers and valuable thoughts that we can still use today. One of them, as you may know, says, “God forbid living in a time of change.” But we are already living in it, whether we like it or not, and these changes are becoming deeper and more fundamental. But let us consider another Chinese wisdom: the word “crisis” consists of two hieroglyphs – there are probably representatives of the People’s Republic of China in the audience, and they will correct me if I have it wrong – but, two hieroglyphs, “danger” and “opportunity.” And as we say here in Russia, “fight difficulties with your mind, and fight dangers with your experience.”

This sentence contains two very important components: first, Putin contrasts difficulties with dangers, hinting at the fact that what Russia considered as primarily as “difficulties” in the past is transitioning into a real danger.  Second, he also indicates how Russia fought dangers in the past.  The single most important collective experience in Russia’s recent history are, of course, the two revolutions in 1917 (February and October) and WWII.  The first two were internal, the other one external.  So this could be summed up as “no revolution inside Russia and no outside aggression against Russia“.

Of course, we must be aware of the danger and be ready to counter it, and not just one threat but many diverse threats that can arise in this era of change. However, it is no less important to recall a second component of the crisis – opportunities that must not be missed, all the more so since the crisis we are facing is conceptual and even civilisation-related. This is basically a crisis of approaches and principles that determine the very existence of humans on Earth, but we will have to seriously revise them in any event. The question is where to move, what to give up, what to revise or adjust. In saying this, I am convinced that it is necessary to fight for real values, upholding them in every way.

As I have been repeating it on this blog for more than a decade, the current crisis is not (just) about resources, it is a civilizational crisis and, here is the crucial factor, while in 2010 Putin still talked about Russia being European, the tone has now changed, he is clearly opposing two civilizational models: the Western one and the Russian one.  That, by the way, clearly implies that Russia is not part of the West, at least not civilizationally.

Humanity entered into a new era about three decades ago when the main conditions were created for ending military-political and ideological confrontation. I am sure you have talked a lot about this in this discussion club. Our Foreign Minister also talked about it, but nevertheless I would like to repeat several things.

A search for a new balance, sustainable relations in the social, political, economic, cultural and military areas and support for the world system was launched at that time. We were looking for this support but must say that we did not find it, at least so far. Meanwhile, those who felt like the winners after the end of the Cold War (we have also spoken about this many times) and thought they climbed Mount Olympus soon discovered that the ground was falling away underneath even there, and this time it was their turn, and nobody could “stop this fleeting moment” no matter how fair it seemed.

This is a direct dig at those narcissistic people in the West who thought that they had “defeated Communism” while, in reality, the CPSU defeated itself, and who thought that from now on, the West would rule the world forever and unchallenged.  Some even got medals for “winning the Cold War” while, in reality, the USSR and the CPSU just committed suicide.

In general, it must have seemed that we adjusted to this continuous inconstancy, unpredictability and permanent state of transition, but this did not happen either.

I would like to add that the transformation that we are seeing and are part of is of a different calibre than the changes that repeatedly occurred in human history, at least those we know about. This is not simply a shift in the balance of forces or scientific and technological breakthroughs, though both are also taking place. Today, we are facing systemic changes in all directions – from the increasingly complicated geophysical condition of our planet to a more paradoxical interpretation of what a human is and what the reasons for his existence are.

Here, again, Putin is trying to wake up his audience, especially the delusional folks in the West, about the nature and magnitude of the changes taking place before our eyes: a series systemic changes in all directions.

Let us look around. And I will say this again: I will allow myself to express a few thoughts that I sign on to.

Firstly, climate change and environmental degradation are so obvious that even the most careless people can no longer dismiss them. One can continue to engage in scientific debates about the mechanisms behind the ongoing processes, but it is impossible to deny that these processes are getting worse, and something needs to be done. Natural disasters such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis have almost become the new normal, and we are getting used to them. Suffice it to recall the devastating, tragic floods in Europe last summer, the fires in Siberia – there are a lot of examples. Not only in Siberia – our neighbours in Turkey have also had wildfires, and the United States, and other places on the American continent. It sometimes seems that any geopolitical, scientific and technical, or ideological rivalry becomes pointless in this context, if the winners will have not enough air to breathe or nothing to drink.

The coronavirus pandemic has become another reminder of how fragile our community is, how vulnerable it is, and our most important task is to ensure humanity a safe existence and resilience. To increase our chance of survival in the face of cataclysms, we absolutely need to rethink how we go about our lives, how we run our households, how cities develop or how they should develop; we need to reconsider economic development priorities of entire states. I repeat, safety is one of our main imperatives, in any case it has become obvious now, and anyone who tries to deny this will have to later explain why they were wrong and why they were unprepared for the crises and shocks whole nations are facing.

This is very important.  Whatever one thinks of the virus and the pandemic, the total chaos in which each country did its own thing has shown that even a major crisis does NOT unite humanity, due to many objective reasons.  Furthermore, the capitalist societies, far from being solid, are all barely surviving, by a very thin thread, mostly by printing money, lying to the people and by creating bubbles.  The western unsinkable Titanic is sinking, but the orchestra is still playing, very loudly.

Second. The socioeconomic problems facing humankind have worsened to the point where, in the past, they would trigger worldwide shocks, such as world wars or bloody social cataclysms. Everyone is saying that the current model of capitalism which underlies the social structure in the overwhelming majority of countries, has run its course and no longer offers a solution to a host of increasingly tangled differences.

Marx saw the internal contradictions of capitalism, as did many many others, but nobody reads him anymore and the others are forgotten.  Personally, I will never forget the speech of a Pakistani delegate to the UN in Geneva saying “the internal contradictions of Communism have caught up with the Soviet Union before the internal contradictions of capitalism will catch up with the West“.  How right he was, and now this is hard to deny!  Capitalism, being parasitical in nature, could only live off the plundering of the planet (hence Lenin’s remark about “imperialism being the latest stage of capitalism”).  The West “survived” the USSR by 3 decades only because these decades were decades of plunder of defenseless countries: now that there is nobody else to plunder and rob (what is left is either too poor or too strong), the crisis of capitalism explodes for all to see.

Everywhere, even in the richest countries and regions, the uneven distribution of material wealth has exacerbated inequality, primarily, inequality of opportunities both within individual societies and at the international level. I mentioned this formidable challenge in my remarks at the Davos Forum earlier this year. No doubt, these problems threaten us with major and deep social divisions.

This especially for those who hate Putin for going to Davos: not only does his presence there not prove at all that he is “in cahoots with the western capitalists”, it proves that when Putin meets them (as he should, they are the real powers ruling the Empire), he warns them about their own future and indicates to them how Russia will act when the crisis comes.  This is something that the people in the West seem to have a mental block over: the Russians always talk to everybody, even their worst enemies.  One thousand years of existential warfare as taught them the wisdom of this approach: there is a time for everything, including a time to talk and a time to kill, and Russians are very expert at both!  This is why Russia talks to Israel, Iran and the KSA, and this is why Russia talks to the Taliban (which under Russian law are still terrorists, though Putin hinted that this might change in the future, depending on what the Taliban do).  Russians will never refuse to talk to any entity, no matter how evil or dangerous it is, as long as it/he has real agency!  Do the folks in Davos have real agency?  Hell yes!  So OF COURSE the Russians will talk to them.  Finally, talking to a dangerous enemy is simply not seen as bad thing, Russian princes did that with the Tatars for several centuries.  Then the Russians won, militarily.

Furthermore, a number of countries and even entire regions are regularly hit by food crises. We will probably discuss this later, but there is every reason to believe that this crisis will become worse in the near future and may reach extreme forms. There are also shortages of water and electricity (we will probably cover this today as well), not to mention poverty, high unemployment rates or lack of adequate healthcare.

Here Putin is being very specific: he warns about a future food crisis which will reach an extreme form.  You can be pretty sure that this warning is based on SVR analyses about the very real risk of violent riots, including food riots, happening in the West.  As for Russia, she has the largest freshwater reserves on the planet, is amongst the top agricultural powers on the planet, and has enough energy to keep her going for centuries.  Last but not least, Russia now has the most powerful military on the planet and she will not allow the West, even a hungry West, to come a simply rob her of her own riches.

Lagging countries are fully aware of that and are losing faith in the prospects of ever catching up with the leaders. Disappointment spurs aggression and pushes people to join the ranks of extremists. People in these countries have a growing sense of unfulfilled and failed expectations and the lack of any opportunities not only for themselves, but for their children, as well. This is what makes them look for better lives and results in uncontrolled migration, which, in turn, creates fertile ground for social discontent in more prosperous countries. I do not need to explain anything to you, since you can see everything with your own eyes and are, probably, versed on these matters even better than I.

As I noted earlier, prosperous leading powers have other pressing social problems, challenges and risks in ample supply, and many among them are no longer interested in fighting for influence since, as they say, they already have enough on their plates. The fact that society and young people in many countries have overreacted in a harsh and even aggressive manner to measures to combat the coronavirus showed – and I want to emphasise this, I hope someone has already mentioned this before me at other venues – so, I think that this reaction showed that the pandemic was just a pretext: the causes for social irritation and frustration run much deeper.

The issue of the need to never conflate or confuse cause and pretext is something Putin often mentions.  In this case, what he is saying is that the lockdowns were not the cause of the protests, but rather the spark that set off the social explosion whose true causes are in the unsustainable and, frankly, inhuman nature of the hypocritical, immoral, and unsustainable western capitalist order and worldview (capitalism is both).

I have another important point to make. The pandemic, which, in theory, was supposed to rally the people in the fight against this massive common threat, has instead become a divisive rather than a unifying factor. There are many reasons for that, but one of the main ones is that they started looking for solutions to problems among the usual approaches – a variety of them, but still the old ones, but they just do not work. Or, to be more precise, they do work, but often and oddly enough, they worsen the existing state of affairs.

Western capitalism is all about individualism.  It is based on the notion that the sum of our greeds will result in the best human society possible.  Of course, this is a lie, and while it does force people to work hard motivated either by greed (the rich) or survival (the poor), it cannot generate a society, a civilization, which can act together against a common threat: everybody pulls the blanket to himself, that is all there is to the so-called “western civilizational values”: the rest is just ideological prolefeed for the deceived masses.

By the way, Russia has repeatedly called for, and I will repeat this, stopping these inappropriate ambitions and for working together. We will probably talk about this later but it is clear what I have in mind. We are talking about the need to counter the coronavirus infection together. But nothing changes; everything remains the same despite the humanitarian considerations. I am not referring to Russia now, let’s leave the sanctions against Russia for now; I mean the sanctions that remain in place against those states that badly need international assistance. Where are the humanitarian fundamentals of Western political thought? It appears there is nothing there, just idle talk. Do you understand? This is what seems to be on the surface.

Here Putin even spells out the self-evident truth which is not impossible to conceal: Where are the humanitarian fundamentals of Western political thought? It appears there is nothing there, just idle talk.  The fact that he said it twice, so publicly, is one of the most important statements in his entire career and one of the key reasons why the western ruling classes are now going into deep hysterics: they feel like the proverbial naked king.

Furthermore, the technological revolution, impressive achievements in artificial intelligence, electronics, communications, genetics, bioengineering, and medicine open up enormous opportunities, but at the same time, in practical terms, they raise philosophical, moral and spiritual questions that were until recently the exclusive domain of science fiction writers. What will happen if machines surpass humans in the ability to think? Where is the limit of interference in the human body beyond which a person ceases being himself and turns into some other entity? What are the general ethical limits in the world where the potential of science and machines are becoming almost boundless? What will this mean for each of us, for our descendants, our nearest descendants – our children and grandchildren?

These changes are gaining momentum, and they certainly cannot be stopped because they are objective as a rule. All of us will have to deal with the consequences regardless of our political systems, economic condition or prevailing ideology.

Verbally, all states talk about their commitment to the ideals of cooperation and a willingness to work together for resolving common problems but, unfortunately, these are just words. In reality, the opposite is happening, and the pandemic has served to fuel the negative trends that emerged long ago and are now only getting worse. The approach based on the proverb, “your own shirt is closer to the body,” has finally become common and is now no longer even concealed. Moreover, this is often even a matter of boasting and brandishing. Egotistic interests prevail over the notion of the common good.

There are too many examples to list them here, so I will pick one: the “molecules of freedom” which Uncle Shmuel promised to its European vassals are now in Asia.  QED.

Of course, the problem is not just the ill will of certain states and notorious elites. It is more complicated than that, in my opinion. In general, life is seldom divided into black and white. Every government, every leader is primarily responsible to his own compatriots, obviously. The main goal is to ensure their security, peace and prosperity. So, international, transnational issues will never be as important for a national leadership as domestic stability. In general, this is normal and correct.

We need to face the fact the global governance institutions are not always effective and their capabilities are not always up to the challenge posed by the dynamics of global processes. In this sense, the pandemic could help – it clearly showed which institutions have what it takes and which need fine-tuning.

The re-alignment of the balance of power presupposes a redistribution of shares in favour of rising and developing countries that until now felt left out. To put it bluntly, the Western domination of international affairs, which began several centuries ago and, for a short period, was almost absolute in the late 20th century, is giving way to a much more diverse system.

Okay, but here allow me to point out that I said the same thing, much more directly and in detail, before Putin did :-).  See this article, where I even gave dates: “the Empire died on January 8th 2020, and the US died almost an exact year later, on January 6th 2021“.  To see the non-moderated and, therefore, quite spontaneous reaction these words elicited, please check out the comments section under the Unz version of the same article.  I fully expect the reaction to these words by Putin to mimic the hysterics in the Unz comments section: impotent rage, personal hatred, hysterical flagwaving, and a barrage of unoriginal insults.  None of that noise will affect the outcome, not in the least.  Uncle Shmuel and his Empire are dead, they only appear alive due to momentum (and superb brainwashing in Zone A) and another world order, one in which the West will play a secondary role, at best, is being formed before our eyes.

This transformation is not a mechanical process and, in its own way, one might even say, is unparalleled. Arguably, political history has no examples of a stable world order being established without a big war and its outcomes as the basis, as was the case after World War II. So, we have a chance to create an extremely favourable precedent. The attempt to create it after the end of the Cold War on the basis of Western domination failed, as we see. The current state of international affairs is a product of that very failure, and we must learn from this.

This is a topic which a lot of Russian historians and analysts talk about: in the past, all the vast reorganizations of the international order resulted in wars which then defined the final shape of that order, until the next crisis, that is.  Plainly, this is the issue the Russians are raising: can the West collapse and merge into the new international order without triggering a major war, especially since such a major war will probably be nuclear and threaten the survival of the human race?  Russia did all she can do to deter the West: she built a military capable of matching and even surpassing the united armies of the imperial West on all levels, from the tactical to the operational to the strategic, and if the West decided to go down in its own Götterdämmerung, Russia will make sure that nobody survives her (as Putin said “what need do we have of a world without Russia?” and “at least we will die like martyrs, they will just croak“).  But at the end of the day, whether the leaders of the AngloZionist Empire will trigger the final holocaust of mankind or not is in their hands.  There is nothing more Russia can do to avert that outcome.

Some may wonder, what have we arrived at? We have arrived somewhere paradoxical. Just an example: for two decades, the most powerful nation in the world has been conducting military campaigns in two countries that it cannot be compared to by any standard. But in the end, it had to wind down operations without achieving a single goal that it had set for itself going in 20 years ago, and to withdraw from these countries causing considerable damage to others and itself. In fact, the situation has worsened dramatically.

But that is not the point. Previously, a war lost by one side meant victory for the other side, which took responsibility for what was happening. For example, the defeat of the United States in the Vietnam War, for example, did not make Vietnam a “black hole.” On the contrary, a successfully developing state arose there, which, admittedly, relied on the support of a strong ally. Things are different now: no matter who takes the upper hand, the war does not stop, but just changes form. As a rule, the hypothetical winner is reluctant or unable to ensure peaceful post-war recovery, and only worsens the chaos and the vacuum posing a danger to the world.

Colleagues,

What do you think are the starting points of this complex realignment process? Let me try to summarise the talking points.

First, the coronavirus pandemic has clearly shown that the international order is structured around nation states. By the way, recent developments have shown that global digital platforms – with all their might, which we could see from the internal political processes in the United States – have failed to usurp political or state functions. These attempts proved ephemeral. The US authorities, as I said, have immediately put the owners of these platforms in their place, which is exactly what is being done in Europe, if you just look at the size of the fines imposed on them and the demonopolisation measures being taken. You are aware of that.

There was no coordinated international response to the pandemic, each country did what it thought it should do.  The same will happen with future threats, such is the nature of our current planetary (dis)organization and international institutions made no difference.

In recent decades, many have tossed around fancy concepts claiming that the role of the state was outdated and outgoing. Globalisation supposedly made national borders an anachronism, and sovereignty an obstacle to prosperity. You know, I said it before and I will say it again. This is also what was said by those who attempted to open up other countries’ borders for the benefit of their own competitive advantages. This is what actually happened. And as soon as it transpired that someone somewhere is achieving great results, they immediately returned to closing borders in general and, first of all, their own customs borders and what have you, and started building walls. Well, were we supposed to not notice, or what? Everyone sees everything and everyone understands everything perfectly well. Of course, they do.

That is a dig at the western libertarians: Putin is most definitely a “statist”, and he believes, like most Russians, that the state is not only useful, it is vital.

There is no point in disputing it anymore. It is obvious. But events, when we spoke about the need to open up borders, events, as I said, went in the opposite direction. Only sovereign states can effectively respond to the challenges of the times and the demands of the citizens. Accordingly, any effective international order should take into account the interests and capabilities of the state and proceed on that basis, and not try to prove that they should not exist. Furthermore, it is impossible to impose anything on anyone, be it the principles underlying the sociopolitical structure or values that someone, for their own reasons, has called universal. After all, it is clear that when a real crisis strikes, there is only one universal value left and that is human life, which each state decides for itself how best to protect based on its abilities, culture and traditions.

Here, again, Putin is not being ideological at all, he brings it all down to a basic issue of survival.  And the key to survival is the existence of a truly sovereign and strong state, with real, actual, agency.

In this regard, I will again note how severe and dangerous the coronavirus pandemic has become. As we know, more than 4.9 million have died of it. These terrifying figures are comparable and even exceed the military losses of the main participants in World War I.

That’s for those who still bought into the entire “there is no pandemic” nonsense and implies a question: what would it take for you to wake up to reality? 5 million? 10 million? 20?

The second point I would like to draw your attention to is the scale of change that forces us to act extremely cautiously, if only for reasons of self-preservation. The state and society must not respond radically to qualitative shifts in technology, dramatic environmental changes or the destruction of traditional systems. It is easier to destroy than to create, as we all know. We in Russia know this very well, regrettably, from our own experience, which we have had several times.

Putin here refers to all the terrible revolutions Russia went through during the 20th century: twice in 1917, then 1991 and 1993.  Putin is strongly opposed to ideologically motivated and violent revolutions.  That does not mean that he believes that whatever preceded these revolutions was good or should have been kept, only that changes must be made very gradually and carefully, and never under the hysterical screams and slogans of crazies drunk on ideological certainties.

Just over a century ago, Russia objectively faced serious problems, including because of the ongoing World War I, but its problems were not bigger and possibly even smaller or not as acute as the problems the other countries faced, and Russia could have dealt with its problems gradually and in a civilised manner. But revolutionary shocks led to the collapse and disintegration of a great power. The second time this happened 30 years ago, when a potentially very powerful nation failed to enter the path of urgently needed, flexible but thoroughly substantiated reforms at the right time, and as a result it fell victim to all kinds of dogmatists, both reactionary ones and the so-called progressives – all of them did their bit, all sides did.

These examples from our history allow us to say that revolutions are not a way to settle a crisis but a way to aggravate it. No revolution was worth the damage it did to the human potential.

Quick reminder: even revolutions which are announced as “bloodless” end up spilling more blood than anybody could imagine.  Here I would like to quote Gandhi “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent“.  Okay, maybe not really permanent, but certainly it lasts much MUCH longer that whatever “good” violence was supposed to achieve.

Third. The importance of a solid support in the sphere of morals, ethics and values is increasing dramatically in the modern fragile world. In point of fact, values are a product, a unique product of cultural and historical development of any nation. The mutual interlacing of nations definitely enriches them, openness expands their horizons and allows them to take a fresh look at their own traditions. But the process must be organic, and it can never be rapid. Any alien elements will be rejected anyway, possibly bluntly. Any attempts to force one’s values on others with an uncertain and unpredictable outcome can only further complicate a dramatic situation and usually produce the opposite reaction and an opposite from the intended result.

That is a direct dig at the Woke-inspired pseudo-Wakanda the crazies in the West are now advocating for, there will be much more about this below.

We look in amazement at the processes underway in the countries which have been traditionally looked at as the standard-bearers of progress. Of course, the social and cultural shocks that are taking place in the United States and Western Europe are none of our business; we are keeping out of this. Some people in the West believe that an aggressive elimination of entire pages from their own history, “reverse discrimination” against the majority in the interests of a minority, and the demand to give up the traditional notions of mother, father, family and even gender, they believe that all of these are the mileposts on the path towards social renewal.

This is about the USA and how it committed suicide.  What Putin is saying is this: you want to commit suicide, by all means, do it, but do not try to get us to follow you, because we never ever will.

Listen, I would like to point out once again that they have a right to do this, we are keeping out of this. But we would like to ask them to keep out of our business as well. We have a different viewpoint, at least the overwhelming majority of Russian society – it would be more correct to put it this way – has a different opinion on this matter. We believe that we must rely on our own spiritual values, our historical tradition and the culture of our multiethnic nation.

It’s all true.  Most Russians, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or political ideas like gender differentiated couples, with a father and a mother, each in his/her role.  If the USA wants to transform itself into a “Trannystan” run by gender fluid creatures of an undetermined nature and function, no problem.  But Russia openly and categorically rejects such a model no matter how loud the protest of “human rights” (or tranny rights) organization in the West will protest.

The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones – all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

That is also something I have said many times: many of the so-called “minorities” in the West are every bit as intolerant and even violent as the Trotskysts in Soviet Russia.  While they wrap themselves in the mantles of “acceptance”, “positivity” or “diversity” the truth is you better agree with them, or else.  I can personally attest that this blog has lost a few readers (not nearly as many as they wish to believe!) and even authors over my refusal to consider homosexuality as a “normal and natural variation of human sexuality”.  Some of these folks even wrote me long letters of insults in the apparent belief this that would impress me.  There are many minorities in the West and the world and the rulers of the Empire use them to great effectiveness to first, distract from the real issues and, second, to destroy the western civilization (I reposted one recently here).  In my experience, the single most intolerant and ideologically-wired group are homosexuals, leaving militant feminists far behind.  But the BLM or Antifa types are also display a typically Trotskyst mindset.  As for the Alt-Right, Q-anon and the rest of the “don’t tread on me” folks (who have been trodded upon since birth and never had be brains or reality awareness realize this!), they dream about “Evropa”, drive around on Harleys, stock on ammo and guns and sometimes even seem to believe that Putin or Russia is on their side.  And yes, while they are rather pathetic, they are much LESS ideological intolerant and, therefore, less potentially violent, than their “progressive” counterparts.  The US ruling classes use them ALL for the sole purpose of staying in power.

This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices, which we, fortunately, have left, I hope, in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past – such as Shakespeare – are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what colour or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

He said is plainly here: “aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity”.  And, believe me, after 70 years of Bolshevik rule, Russians know all they need to know about “aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity”.  Then want NO part of it.

Countering acts of racism is a necessary and noble cause, but the new ‘cancel culture’ has turned it into ‘reverse discrimination’ that is, reverse racism. The obsessive emphasis on race is further dividing people, when the real fighters for civil rights dreamed precisely about erasing differences and refusing to divide people by skin colour. I specifically asked my colleagues to find the following quote from Martin Luther King: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by their character.” This is the true value. However, things are turning out differently there. By the way, the absolute majority of Russian people do not think that the colour of a person’s skin or their gender is an important matter. Each of us is a human being. This is what matters.

That’s one for those ignorant idiots who believe that Russia cares about the “White race”, including, alas, a few folks who consider themselves Russian, or say so, but whose worldview is categorically opposed to the traditional Russian one: Russians don’t think or use categories such as skin color or ethnicity (the last Czar was more German than Russian for example, and his wife was German).  Unlike the West, which was born in the 12th century and who has been imperialist ever since the First Crusade, Russia, like the East Roman Empire (aka Byzantium) or, before that, the Roman and Alexandrian empires, was always multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious and western notions such as “the White race” have no meaning whatsoever in the traditional Russian worldview (even the Bolsheviks officially were internationalists, albeit mostly russophobic ones, but that is another topic).

In a number of Western countries, the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria. Look, beware of going where the Bolsheviks once planned to go – not only communalising chickens, but also communalising women. One more step and you will be there.

Yup, he dared to say it:  “the debate over men’s and women’s rights has turned into a perfect phantasmagoria”.  I can just imagine the rage these words will trigger.

Also, about “communilizing” chicken or women.  He is referring to the various ideologies, from Plato to Marx, who wanted to subvert the traditional family and make women “communal”.  For those who have no idea what I am referring to, I can only recommend the following book by Igor Shafarevich “The Socialist Phenomenon“.

Zealots of these new approaches even go so far as to want to abolish these concepts altogether. Anyone who dares mention that men and women actually exist, which is a biological fact, risk being ostracised. “Parent number one” and “parent number two,” “’birthing parent” instead of “mother,” and “human milk” replacing “breastmilk” because it might upset the people who are unsure about their own gender. I repeat, this is nothing new; in the 1920s, the so-called Soviet Kulturtraegers also invented some newspeak believing they were creating a new consciousness and changing values that way. And, as I have already said, they made such a mess it still makes one shudder at times.

Here again, Putin OPENLY denounces the entire “Woke” ideology, which he compares to the Nazi ideology (hence his use of the term Kulturtraeger), its ideologues and its CRIMES, see next

Not to mention some truly monstrous things when children are taught from an early age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa. That is, the teachers actually impose on them a choice we all supposedly have. They do so while shutting the parents out of the process and forcing the child to make decisions that can upend their entire life. They do not even bother to consult with child psychologists – is a child at this age even capable of making a decision of this kind? Calling a spade a spade, this verges on a crime against humanity, and it is being done in the name and under the banner of progress.

What the US ideologues are doing to children is a crime against humanity.  It is child abuse of the worst kind.  Putin has the courage to say so openly.  Well, at least the gender-crazies in the West cannot get him fired or otherwise “cancelled”.  Good.

Well, if someone likes this, let them do it. I have already mentioned that, in shaping our approaches, we will be guided by a healthy conservatism. That was a few years ago, when passions on the international arena were not yet running as high as they are now, although, of course, we can say that clouds were gathering even then. Now, when the world is going through a structural disruption, the importance of reasonable conservatism as the foundation for a political course has skyrocketed – precisely because of the multiplying risks and dangers, and the fragility of the reality around us.

Same message: enjoy your wannabe Wakanda but stay away from us, our families, our traditions and our children above all!

This conservative approach is not about an ignorant traditionalism, a fear of change or a restraining game, much less about withdrawing into our own shell. It is primarily about reliance on a time-tested tradition, the preservation and growth of the population, a realistic assessment of oneself and others, a precise alignment of priorities, a correlation of necessity and possibility, a prudent formulation of goals, and a fundamental rejection of extremism as a method. And frankly, in the impending period of global reconstruction, which may take quite long, with its final design being uncertain, moderate conservatism is the most reasonable line of conduct, as far as I see it. It will inevitably change at some point, but so far, do no harm – the guiding principle in medicine – seems to be the most rational one. Noli nocere, as they say.

First, “do no harm” should not be a controversial notion.  But the West and all its ideologies and incarnations has dealt with that basic rule in a very simple way: “when WE do it, it is not harm, axiomatically, by definition”.  This sums of 1000 years of western imperialism, violence and intolerance: “when WE do it, it is good, because we are good” – and that is dogma.

Again, for us in Russia, these are not some speculative postulates, but lessons from our difficult and sometimes tragic history. The cost of ill-conceived social experiments is sometimes beyond estimation. Such actions can destroy not only the material, but also the spiritual foundations of human existence, leaving behind moral wreckage where nothing can be built to replace it for a long time.

That is a last warning: keep going on and you will leave nothing such a moral wreckage where nothing can be built to replace it for a long time.  Who are these words addressed to?  Not the leaders of the Empire.  Not the Woke folks, and not the braindead “Don’t tread on me” either. Not the Greta Tunberg types for sure.  I think that this  is a warning to those who still have something to preserve: Mediterranean countries, the Middle-East, Latin America and much of the entire Asian continent.

Finally, there is one more point I want to make. We understand all too well that resolving many urgent problems the world has been facing would be impossible without close international cooperation. However, we need to be realistic: most of the pretty slogans about coming up with global solutions to global problems that we have been hearing since the late 20th century will never become reality. In order to achieve a global solution, states and people have to transfer their sovereign rights to supra-national structures to an extent that few, if any, would accept. This is primarily attributable to the fact that you have to answer for the outcomes of such policies not to some global public, but to your citizens and voters.

However, this does not mean that exercising some restraint for the sake of bringing about solutions to global challenges is impossible. After all, a global challenge is a challenge for all of us together, and to each of us in particular. If everyone saw a way to benefit from cooperation in overcoming these challenges, this would definitely leave us better equipped to work together.

One of the ways to promote these efforts could be, for example, to draw up, at the UN level, a list of challenges and threats that specific countries face, with details of how they could affect other countries. This effort could involve experts from various countries and academic fields, including you, my colleagues. We believe that developing a roadmap of this kind could inspire many countries to see global issues in a new light and understand how cooperation could be beneficial for them.

I have already mentioned the challenges international institutions are facing. Unfortunately, this is an obvious fact: it is now a question of reforming or closing some of them. However, the United Nations as the central international institution retains its enduring value, at least for now. I believe that in our turbulent world it is the UN that brings a touch of reasonable conservatism into international relations, something that is so important for normalising the situation.

The leaders of the West have tried to subvert and discredit the UN for many decades already.  Why?  Simple: they don’t have a superior status there, and the P5 can veto anything.  Hence all the tall by various US Presidents about a new “rules-based international order” or a “alliance of democracies”.  That is just nonsense whose sole purpose to subvert the UN because of Russia and China.  The leaders of the West want a total monopoly on power, and when they can’t get it, they simply ignore the rules they themselves agreed to after WWII.

Many criticise the UN for failing to adapt to a rapidly changing world. In part, this is true, but it is not the UN, but primarily its members who are to blame for this. In addition, this international body promotes not only international norms, but also the rule-making spirit, which is based on the principles of equality and maximum consideration for everyone’s opinions. Our mission is to preserve this heritage while reforming the organisation. However, in doing so we need to make sure that we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes.

There is much more to this: for example, the West has taken total control of organizations such as the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the ICC or even the IOC.  The list of such totally controlled international organizations is very very long.  They also run Amnesty, WWF, the ICRC etc.  As somebody who worked both at the UN and (very shortly) at the ICRC, I can personally confirm this.  Putin is too diplomatic to say this but, believe me, the Russians are absolutely aware of this, and for good reason.

This is not the first time I am using a high rostrum to make this call for collective action in order to face up to the problems that continue to pile up and become more acute. It is thanks to you, friends and colleagues, that the Valdai Club is emerging or has already established itself as a high-profile forum. It is for this reason that I am turning to this platform to reaffirm our readiness to work together on addressing the most urgent problems that the world is facing today.

Friends,

The changes mentioned here prior to me, as well as by yours truly, are relevant to all countries and peoples. Russia, of course, is not an exception. Just like everyone else, we are searching for answers to the most urgent challenges of our time.

Of course, no one has any ready-made recipes. However, I would venture to say that our country has an advantage. Let me explain what this advantage is. It is to do with our historical experience. You may have noticed that I have referred to it several times in the course of my remarks. Unfortunately, we had to bring back many sad memories, but at least our society has developed what they now refer to as herd immunity to extremism that paves the way to upheavals and socioeconomic cataclysms. People really value stability and being able to live normal lives and to prosper while confident that the irresponsible aspirations of yet another group of revolutionaries will not upend their plans and aspirations. Many have vivid memories of what happened 30 years ago and all the pain it took to climb out of the ditch where our country and our society found themselves after the USSR fell apart.

Our society has developed what they now refer to as herd immunity to extremism that paves the way to upheavals and socioeconomic cataclysms“.  That is absolutely true, thanks to 3 terrible revolutions,  several bloodbaths (including the one in 1993 and Chechnia), the total self-destruction of the post-Maidan Ukraine and now the collective suicide of the West, soemthing which is reported about every day in the Russian media, state, corporate and social.  This is why the talk about a coup against Putin is so silly: not only does he have full and total control of all the “power ministries” and the support of a majority of Russians, but as soon as any wannabe “Maidan” (like what the West tried in Belarus recently) is attempted in Russia, an infinitely larger anti-Maidan will spontaneously happen.

The conservative views we hold are an optimistic conservatism, which is what matters the most. We believe stable, positive development to be possible. It all depends primarily on our own efforts. Of course, we are ready to work with our partners on common noble causes.

I would like to thank all participants once more, for your attention. As the tradition goes, I will gladly answer or at least try to answer your questions.

Thank you for your patience.

Conclusion: this was, by far, the most important speech ever made by Putin and it is a direct, open, challenge to the West.  We all, humans, are now truly entering a most dangerous period.  When Putin came to power, he perfectly understood how weak Russia was.  So he engaged in what appeared to be 2 decades of constant Russian concessions, a retreat on all fronts, and that got a lot of people very frustrated and angry at him.  But now, in 2021, we see that what he did was trade time (and space!) to fundamentally transform Russia from a plundered, humiliated and basically dying country into a power which can finally throw a direct challenge at the consolidated West: the dead AngloZionist Empire, the dying Anglosphere and a Europe gone completely insane.  And there is really nothing much his enemies in the West can do, short of starting a suicidal war they cannot win.   After 2 decades of very careful preparations Russia is now looking directly at the West, with no fear whatsoever and with a firm resolution to not allow the West to pull Russia into its own suicidal direction.

Andrei

When the West was itchin’ to go to China 

October 17, 2021

When the West was itchin’ to go to China 

The old Silk Roads played a major role in connecting the world through trade, and the new version can too

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Forget about the incessant drumming of Cold War 2.0 against China. Forget about think-tank simpletons projecting their wishful thinking on the perpetual “end of China’s rise.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SilkRds1-300x203.jpg

Forget even about a few sound minds in Brussels – yes, they do exist – saying Europe does not want containment of China; it wants engagement, which means business.

Let’s time travel to nearly two millennia ago, when the Roman Empire was fascinated by the business opportunities offered by those “mysterious” lands in the East.

After the Fall of Rome and the Western half of the Empire in the 5th century, Constantinople – the second Rome – which was in fact Greek, turned into the maximum embodiment of the only true “Romans.”

Yet contrary to the Hellenistic Greeks following Alexander the Great, who were so enticed by Asia, Romans from the end of the Republic to the establishment of the Empire were prevented from traveling further on down the road, because they were always blocked by the Parthians: never forget the spectacular Roman defeat at Carrhae in 53 BC.

For more than four centuries, in fact, the eastern limes of the Empire were remarkably stable, ranging from the mountains of eastern Armenia to the course of the Euphrates and the Syria-Mesopotamian deserts.

So we had in fact three natural limes: mountain, river and desert.

Rome’s overarching strategy was not to allow the Parthians – and then the Persians – to totally dominate Armenia, reach the Black Sea and go beyond the Caucasus to reach the Russo-Ukrainian plains and forward to Europe.

The Persians, meanwhile, limited themselves to strengthening the Euphrates borders, which were only broken many centuries later, by the Seljuk Turks in the late 12th century and the Mongols in the early 13th century.

This is an absolutely crucial fracture in the history of Eurasia – because this border, later perpetuated between the Ottoman and Persian empires, is still alive and kicking today, between Turkey and Iran.

It explains, for instance, the current high tension between Iran and Azerbaijan, and it will continue to be exploited non-stop by divide and rule actors.

Visual search query image

Something extraordinary happened in the year 166: Roman merchants arrived at the court of Chinese emperor Huan-ti, the 27th emperor of the Han dynasty. We learn from the History of the Later Han that a “Roman envoy” – probably sent by none other than emperor Marcus Aurelius – was received by Huan-ti in Luoyang.

They traveled via what the Chinese in the 21st century would rename the Maritime Silk Road – from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea all the way to northern Vietnam, then overland to Chang’an – today’s Xian.

Trade along the Silk Road was in fact conducted by an array of intermediaries: nobody traveled the whole way back to back.

Luxury industry products – silk, pearls, precious stones, pepper – from China, India and Arabia came into contact with Roman merchants only in one of the fabled hubs of the “communication corridors” between East and West: Alexandria, Petra or Palmyra. Then the cargo would be loaded in Eastern Mediterranean ports all the way to Rome.

Caravan trade was controlled by Nabateans, Egyptians and Syrians. The most efficient “Roman” traders were in fact Greeks from the Eastern Mediterranean. Scholar JN Robert has shown how, since Alexander, Greek was a sort of universal language – like English today – from Rome to the Pamir mountains, from Egypt to kingdoms that were born out of the Persian Empire.

And that brings us to a literally groundbreaking character: Maes Titianus, a Greek-Macedonian trader who was living in Antioch in Roman Syria during the 1st century.

The trip was epic – and lasted more than one year. They started in Syria, crossed the Euphrates, kept going all the way to Bactria (with fabled Balkh as capital) via Khorasan, crossed the Tian Shan mountains, reached Chinese Turkestan, then traversed the Gansu corridor and the Gobi desert all the way to Chang’an.

Since the legendary Geographical Guide by Claudius Ptolemy, the Maes Titianus caravan is recognized as the only Classic Antiquity source completely describing the main Ancient Silk Road land corridor from Roman Syria to the Chinese capital.

It’s crucial to note that Bactria, in today’s northern Afghanistan, at the time was the known eastern limes of the world, according to the Romans. But Bactria was way more than that; the key trade crossroads between China, India, the Parthians and Persia, and the Roman empire.

The Pamir mountains – the “roof of the world” – and the Taklamakan desert (“you can get in but you won’t get out”, goes the Uighur saying) were for centuries the major natural barriers for the West to reach China.

So it was geology that kept China in splendid isolation relative to the Roman empire and the West. In military terms, the Romans and then the Byzantines never managed to cross this eastern border that separated them from the Persians. So they never managed to advance their conquests all the way to Central Asia and China, as Alexander famously tried.

Yet the Arabs, during the lightning-fast expansion of Islam, actually managed it. But that’s another – long – story.

The Maes Titianus caravan adventure happened no less than over a millennium before the travels of Marco Polo. Yet Polo had much more sophisticated PR – and that’s the narrative imprinted in Western history books.

To evoke it now is a reminder of the early steps of the Ancient Silk Roads, and how the interconnectedness remains imprinted in the collective unconscious of great parts of Eurasia. Peoples along the routes instinctively understand why an evolving trade corridor uniting China-Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran-Eastern Mediterranean makes total sense.

Parachuted Prime Minister Mario “Goldman Sachs” Draghi may insist that Italy is Atlanticist, and may be constantly deriding the BRI. But sharp heirs of the Roman Empire do see that business partnerships along New Silk Road corridors make as much good sense as during the time of Maes Titianus.

الأميركي وفرضية عدم عودة إيران للاتفاق

التعليق السياسي

أعلنت واشنطن عن سلسلة مشاورات تشمل كيان الاحتلال ودول الخليج لمناقشة فرضية فشل مساعي العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وأوردت واشنطن الفرضية بناء على معطيات يوردها الأميركيون تحت عنوان عدم رغبة إيران بالعودة للاتفاق، وتضعها إيران تحت عنوان مواصلة واشنطن لعبة التذاكي لعودة مشروطة تتبنى ما كان الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب يسعى الى تحقيقه ولا يمكن لإيران القبول به.

التسريبات الأميركية تقول ان إيران تواصل السعي لتطوير برنامجها النووي، وانها باتت قريبة من بلوغ اللحظة النووية الحرجة، أي امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لإنتاج سلاح نووي، ويضيف الأميركيون انه إذا أرادت إيران تأجيل العودة للاتفاق الى ما بعد هذه اللحظة، فإن واشنطن لن تكون مستعدة لذلك.

المسؤولون الأميركيون يتحدثون عن خطة عمل، والوقائع الحاضرة في المنطقة تقول ان هذه الخطة وضعت قيد التطبيق، ففي افغانستان تحول تنظيم “داعش” من تفجيرات عشوائية ضد “طالبان” أو الأجانب الى تفجيرات تسهدف قومية الهزارة القريبة من إيران حيث سقط العشرات كضحايا بتفجيرين كبيرين، وفي العراق خطر انفجار سياسي وربما امني على وقع الإمساك بنتائج الانتخابات النيابية والدفع بها الى نقطة مواجهة داخل البيت الشيعي الذي يشكل بيئة التحرك القريب من إيران، وفي لبنان تحقيق قضائي في انفجار مرفأ بيروت لم يعد خافياً حجم الدعم الذي يلقاه أميركياً، وتوجيه التحقيق نحو حزب الله وحلفائه، وتأتي مجزرة الطيونة لتقول ان المخاطرة بأخذ لبنان نحو الحرب الأهلية فرضية قائمة ضمن سلة الخيارات البديلة.

تتجه واشنطن بعد الانسحاب من افغانستان لترك قواتها للمنطقة، على قاعدة حرق الأخضر واليابس وراءها ما يضع قوى المقاومة امام مسؤوليات جسام، قد يكون بيان غرفة عمليات حلفاء سورية الذي يتضمن إعلاناً عن العزم على رد قاس على الغارات الإسرائيلية أول رسائل محور المقاومة للأميركي نحن عنوان وصلت رسالتكم وإليكم جوابنا.

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Assad is Back: Western MSM Admit the Regime Change Failure in Syria

ARABI SOURI 

Assad Must Leave, His Days Are Nunbered
Assad is back, Newsweek Admitting Syria and President Assad victory over the USA and its Camp

Assad is back, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad returns to the world stage in defeat for US, win for its foes, is the title of Newsweek’s latest front-page post on Syria and the US’s 10.5 years of war of terror and war of attrition against the Syrian people.

Let’s not discuss the mainstream media article, to be honest, I didn’t even bother to read it, if it’s positive it means they came to their senses, highly unlikely, if it’s not it means they’re still in their same propaganda, highly likely, so let’s talk about why Assad is back and why the US and its cronies lost in Syria, aside from them telling their followers for more than a decade it was the Syrian people vs. Assad and not the US vs. Assad.

Yes, President Assad is back and you all failed, the more than 100 countries that combined their evil efforts to topple him and hand Syria over to Al Qaeda and other anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood radicals the likes of the Turkish madman Erdogan who serves Israel.

He’s back because the Syrians weren’t fooled with your plot and lies, they fought back for more than 10.5 years to defend their country at a very hefty price but they didn’t surrender and they’ll fight back for another decade if needed, except this time not anymore on their land only.

Assad is back because he stood up, stood tall, and earned his people’s respect and the respect of the free people in the world, not the Sheeple of the west who think they’re free just because they can talk bad about their politicians who continue to suck their lives dry.

He’s back because the Syrian people never believed the mainstream media lies; only fools and Sheeple would believe again those who lied before several times to justify the Pentagon wars, only fools would believe that over 350,000 Al Qaeda terrorists armed by the USA and its cronies, financed by all of NATO taxpayers’ money, and the Gulfies, are in Syria to protect the Syrian families from their own brothers, sons, fathers, and sisters of the Syrian Arab Army, only fools would believe that the Syrian Arab Army would drop chemical weapons and bombs on their own family members to protect the president while Al Qaeda with all its derivatives are sent to Syria to protect those families, I’m not sure what drugs those Sheeple of the west are on, what I’m certain of it’s whoever their dealers are they didn’t cheat them and provided them with some real mind-absenting stuff.

President Assad was offered tens of billions of dollars just to retire in a place of his choice, he was offered to rule the region unchallenged just to accept the US policies, which is against the interests of his own people, then they went to threaten him and his family, they managed to kill his brother-in-law and his top aides and some of Syria’s top officials including the Syrian defense minister, he didn’t flee, he kept showing up in his office, on the frontlines, and among his people, driving alone, yes, something none of those NATO leaders dares to do in their ‘democratic’ societies, and above all, while they were plotting Syria’s destruction he was planning for victory, and victory he achieved.

Yes, Assad is back and you have to deal with it.

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Repost: why the Empire always supports minorities

OCTOBER 12, 2021

Repost: why the Empire always supports minorities

In the distant 2017, I wrote a piece I entitled “Manipulated minorities represent a major danger for democratic states“.  After reading the comments to my recent “Has the first domino already fallen” post, I have decided to repost that old one as I (hope) that it has a new relevance today, when the USA is been torn apart by the Woke ideology and Europe by multiculturalism.  I also see a direct connection between this issue and the US/NATO/EU war against the Serbian nation.
So I repost it below and open the floor for comments.
Kind regards
Andrei
——-

Manipulated minorities represent a major danger for democratic states
(originally published on August 25, 2017)

First, a quick disclaimer or, should I say, a clarification: When I speak of minorities, as I will below, I do that as a person who belongs to a long list of minorities. I was born in a family of Russian refugees. Right there, that makes me part of a (rather small) minority. Furthermore, I lived most of my life in the French speaking part of Switzerland, that again makes me part of a minority. Then, I am an Orthodox Christian. That is also a minority inside of the so-called “Christian” world (in reality a post-Christian world, of course). Moreover, I am a traditionalist Orthodox Christian, a small minority inside the much bigger “world Orthodoxy”. And inside that, I am a Russian inside a majority Greek Church. I also lived for 5 years in Washington, DC, which was something like 70% Black and, at the time, openly and often rudely hostile to Whites (I never thought of myself as a color before, but I sure felt like one during those 5 years). And now I am a “legal alien” living in the USA. Anyway, while I am “White” (what a nonsensical category!) I suppose, that hardly makes me a typical WASP. So I am quite used to “being a minority” (and I quite like that, would I add). Just thought this might a useful clarification before I engage in the following thoughtcrimes.


Question: why does the US foreign policies always support various minorities? Is it out of kindness? Or a sense of fairness? Could it be out of a deep sense of guilt of having committed the only “pan-genocide” in human history (the genocide of all the ethnic groups of an entire continent)? Or maybe a deep sense of guilt over slavery? Are the beautiful words of the Declaration of Independence “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” really inspiring US foreign policies?

Hardly.

I submit that the real truth is totally different. My thesis is very simple: the reason why the US always support foreign minorities to subvert states and use domestic minorities to suppress the majority US population is because minorities are very easy to manipulate and because minorities present no threat to the real rulers of the AngloZionist Empire. That’s all there is to it.

I think that minorities often, but not always, act and perceive things in a way very different from the way majority groups do. Here is what I have observed:

Let’s first look at minorities inside the USA:

  1. They are typically far more aware of their minority identity/status than the majority. That is to say that if the majority is of skin color A and the minority of skin color B, the minority will be much more acutely aware of its skin color.
  2. They are typically much more driven and active then the majority. This is probably due to their more acute perception of being a minority.
  3. They are only concerned with single-issue politics, that single-issue being, of course, their minority status.
  4. Since minorities are often unhappy with their minority-status, they are also often resentful of the majority.
  5. Since minorities are mostly preoccupied by their minority-status linked issue, they rarely pay attention to the ‘bigger picture’ and that, in turn, means that the political agenda of the minorities typically does not threaten the powers that be.
  6. Minorities often have a deep-seated inferiority complex towards the putatively more successful majority.
  7. Minorities often seek to identify other minorities with which they can ally themselves against the majority.

To this list of characteristics, I would add one which is unique to foreign minorities, minorities outside the USA: since they have no/very little prospects of prevailing against the majority, these minorities are very willing to ally themselves with the AngloZionist Empire and that, in turn, often makes them depended on the AngloZionist Empire, often even for their physical survival.

The above are, of course, very general characterizations. Not all minorities display all of these characteristics and many display only a few of them. But regardless of the degree to which any single minority fits this list of characteristics, what is obvious is that minorities are extremely easy to manipulate and that they present no credible (full-spectrum) threat to the Empire.

The US Democratic Party is the perfect example of a party which heavily relies on minority manipulation to maximize its power. While the Republican Party is by and large the party of the White, Anglo, Christian and wealthy voters, the Democrats try to cater to Blacks, women, Leftists, homosexuals, immigrants, retirees, and all others who feel like they are not getting their fair share of the proverbial pie. Needless to say, in reality there is only one party in the USA, you can call the the Uniparty, the Republicracts or the Demolicans, but in reality both wings of the Big Money party stand for exactly the same. What I am looking at here is not at some supposed real differences, but the way the parties present themselves. It is the combined action of these two fundamentally identical parties which guarantees the status quo in US politics which I like to sum up as “more of the same, only worse”.

I would like to mention an important corollary of my thesis that minorities typically more driven than the majority. If we accept that minorities are typically much more driven than most of the population, then we also immediately can see why their influence over society is often out of proportion with the numerical demographical “weight”. This has nothing to do with these minorities being more intelligent or more creative and everything to do with them willing to being spend much more time and efforts towards their objectives than most people.

So we have easy to manipulate, small groups, whose agenda does not threaten the 1% (really, much less!), who like to gang up with other similar minorities against the majority. Getting scared yet? It gets worse.

Western ‘democracies’ are mostly democracies only in name. In most of them instead of “one man one vote” we see “one dollar one vote” meaning that big money decides, not “the people”. Those in real power have immense financial resources which they cynically use to boost the already totally disproportional power of the various minorities. Now this is really scary:

Easy to manipulate, small groups, highly driven, whose agenda does not threaten the ruling plutocracy, who like to gang up with other similar minorities against the majority and whose influence is vastly increased by immense sums of money invested in them by the plutocracy. How is that for a threat to real people power, to the ideals of democracy?!

The frightening truth is that the combination of minorities and big money can easily hijack a supposedly ‘democratic’ country and subjugate the majority of its population to the “rule of the few over the many”.

Once we look this reality in the face we should also become aware of a very rarely mentioned fact: while we are taught that democracies should uphold the right of the minorities, the opposite is true: real democracies should strive to protect majorities against the abuse of power from minorities!

I know, I have just committed a long list of grievous thoughtcrimes!

At those who might be angry at me, I will reply with a single sentence: please name me a western country where the views of the majority of its people are truly represented in the policies of their governments? And if you fail to come up with a good example, then I need to ask you if the majority is clearly not in power, then who is?

I submit that the plutocratic elites which govern the West have played a very simple trick on us all: they managed to focus our attention on the many cases in history when minorities were oppressed by majorities but completely obfuscated the numerous cases where minorities oppressed majorities.

Speaking of oppression: minorities are far more likely to benefit and, therefore, use violence than the majority simply because their worldview often centers on deeply-held resentments. To put it differently, minorities are much more prone to settling scores for past wrongs (whether real or imagined) than a majority which typically does not even think in minority versus majority categories.

Not that majorities are always benign or kind towards minorities, not at all, humans being pretty much the same everywhere, but by the fact that they are less driven, less resentful and, I would argue, even less aware of their “majority status” they are less likely to act on such categories.

Foreign minorities play a crucial role in US foreign policy. Since time immemorial rulers have been acutely aware of the “divide et impera” rule, there is nothing new here. But the USA has become the uncontested leader in the art of using national minorities to create strife and overthrow a disobedient regime. The AngloZionist war against the Serbian nation is the perfect example of how this is done: the US supported any minority against the Serbs, even groups that the US classified as terrorists, as long as this was against the Serbs. And, besides being Orthodox Slavs and traditional allies of Russia, what was the real ‘crime’ of the Serbs? Being the majority of course! The Serbs had no need of the AngloZionists to prevail against the various ethnic (Croats) and religious (Muslims) minorities they lived with. That made the Serbs useless to the Empire. But now that the US has created a fiction of an independent Kosovo, the Kosovo Albanians put up a statue of Bill Clinton in Prishtina and, more relevantly, allowed the Empire to build the Camp Bondsteel mega-base in the middle of their nasty little statelet, right on the land of the Serbian population that was ethnically cleansed during the Kosovo war. US democracy building at its best indeed…

The same goes for Russia (and, the Soviet Union) were the USA went as far as to support the right of self-determination for non-existing “captive nations” such as “Idel-Ural” and “Cossakia. I would even argue that the Empire has created several nation ex nihilo (What in the world is a “Belarusian”?!).

I am fully aware that in the typical TV watching westerner any discussion of minorities focusing on their negative potential immediately elicits visions of hammers and sickles, smoking crematoria chimneys, chain gangs, lynchmobs, etc. This is basic and primitive conditioning. Carefully engineered events such as the recent riots in Charlottesville only further reinforce this type of mass conditioning. This is very deliberate and, I would add, very effective. As a result, any criticism, even just perceived criticism, of a minority immediately triggers outraged protests and frantic virtue-signaling (not me! look how good I am!!).

Of course, carefully using minorities is just one of the tactics used by the ruling plutocracy. Another of their favorite tricks is to created conflicts out of nothing or ridiculously bloat the visibility of an altogether minor topic (example: homo-marriages). The main rule remains the same though: create tensions, conflicts, chaos, subvert the current order (whatever that specific order might be), basically have the serfs fight each other while we rule.

In Switzerland an often used expression to describe “the people” is “the sovereign”. This is a very accurate description of the status of the people in a real democracy: they are “sovereign” in the sense that nobody rules over them. In that sense, the issue in the United States is one of sovereignty: as of today, the real sovereign of the USA are the corporations, the deep state, the Neocons, the plutocracy, the financiers, the Israel Lobby – you name it, anybody BUT the people.

In that system of oppression, minorities play a crucial role, even if they are totally unaware of this and even if, at the end of the day, they don’t benefit from it. Their perception or their lack of achievements in no way diminishes the role that they play in the western pseudo-democracies.

How do we with deal with this threat?

I think that the solution lies with the minorities themselves: they need to be educated about the techniques which are used to manipulate them, and they need to be convinced that their minority status does not, in reality, oppose them to the majority and that both the majority and the minorities have a common interest in together standing against those who seek to rule over them all. Striving to remain faithful to my “Putin fanboy” reputation, I will say that I believe that Russia under Putin is doing exactly the right thing by giving the numerous Russian minorities a stake in the future of the Russian state and by convincing the minorities that their interests and the interest of the majority of the people are fundamentally the same: being a minority does not have to mean being in opposition to the majority. It is a truism that minorities need to be fully integrated into the fabric of society and yet this is rarely practiced in the real world. This is certainly not what I observe today in Europe or the USA.

The French author Alain Soral has proposed what I think is a brilliant motto to deal with this situation in France. He has called his movement “Equality and Reconciliation” and as of right now, this is the only political movement in France which does not want to favor one group at the expense of the other. Everybody else either wants to oppress the “français de souche” (the native, mostly White and Roman-Catholic majority) on behalf of the “français de branche” (immigrants, naturalized citizens, minorities), or oppress the “français de branche” on behalf of the “français de souche”. Needless to say, the only ones who benefit from this clash is the ruling Zionist elite (best represented by the infamous CRIF, which makes the US AIPAC look comparatively honorable and weak). As for Soral, he is vilified by the official French media with no less hate than Trump is vilified in the USA by the US Ziomedia.

Still, equality and reconciliation are the two things which the majorities absolutely must offer the minorities if they want to prevent the latter to fall prey to the manipulation techniques used by those forces who want to turn everybody into obedient and clueless serfs. Those majorities who delude themselves and believe that they can simply solve the “minority problem” by expelling or otherwise making these minorities disappear are only kidding themselves. To ‘simply’ solve the “minority problem’ by cracking down on these minorities inevitably pushes them directly into the warm embrace of the big manipulators, it turns these minorities into a powerful anti-majority weapon. This is the big danger of movements like Alt-Right or the National Front in France – their actions only serve to “weaponize” minorities. Mind you, this does not mean that the concerns and grievances voiced by these movements are without merits, not at all, it’s their (pseudo) “solutions” which are the real danger.

There is only effective way to defuse the explosive potential of minorities:

  1. Educate minorities and explain to them that they are being manipulated
  2. Educate those joining anti-minority movements that they are also being manipulated
  3. Offer the minorities a future based on equality and reconciliation
  4. Put the spotlight on those who fan the flames of conflict and try to turn minorities and majorities against each other

At the end of the day, this is an identity issue. While we all typically have several co-existing identities inside us (say, German, retired, college-educated, female, Buddhist, vegetarian, exile, resident of Brazil, etc. as opposed to just “White”) in manipulated minorities one such identity (skin color, religion, etc.) becomes over-bloated and trumps all the others. By restoring a healthy identity balance inside its various minorities and by fostering those identities which most residents have in common a society can counteract the toxic effects of those who strive on conflict, chaos and mayhem. Truly, the latter are our only real enemy and they ought to be treated as such.

The Saker

Learning from Your Enemy: Methodological Failures in Western War Analysis

October 12, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception.

Visual search query image

“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent” – Lao Tzu

Washington’s role in at least eight Middle East wars of the 21st century (against the peoples of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Yemen) has been hotly debated between two broad camps: those (including this writer) who regard them all as illegal wars of aggression; and those who either imagine they are not connected or defend them as the necessary policing measures of a global hegemon.

However this debate is plagued by poor method, and in particular by a strategic bias that adopts obligatory ‘loyalty’ elements and fails to study what are seen as enemy perspectives. That cripples even the most articulate and apparently critical discussions.

Yet failing to read and understand one’s enemy is dangerous, as Lao Tzu said many centuries ago, creating an ignorant ‘yes man’ culture of self-deception. The refusal to read and learn from a substantial enemy is simply childish or ignorant cynicism.

Let me illustrate this problem with a few articles from the ‘New Middle East’ wars, a piece on Yemen by Bruce Riedel (Brookings, 2017), an article on Iran by Hassan Hassan (Politico, 2020), and a discussion on terrorism by Paul Pillar (Responsible Statecraft, 2021). These are far from the worst of western war analysis, but all share similar methodological problems.

1. The obligatory but misleading element: strategic loyalty

Many years into these various wars, to ‘qualify’ as published war discussion western journals carry a strong expectation of some initial expression of loyalty to the overall project, if not to all the tactics. In the most obvious version of this, the analyst directly identifies with a state party at war, speaking in the first person plural (“we”).

So Riedel speaks of “our de facto enemies”, asking “why are we at war” with “the Houthis” (i.e. the Ansarallah-led Yemeni government), while Pillar refers to “our allies” and Hassan to “our adversaries”. This is an immediate sign of biased orientation, but also of a desire to please and so qualify with likely patrons.

Loyalty is also expressed by an early denunciation of the enemy. Most of the permissible western media criticisms of “Israel”, for example, begin with a denunciation of the Palestinian resistance, or of Iranian support for the resistance. At the least loyalty to the big power must be demonstrated by suggesting some kind of moral equivalence. 

The targets of terrorism should also be relatively privileged groups. In the case of Pillar’s criticism of Israeli terrorism, itself a departure from the normal western defense of the Zionist entity, he chooses the earlier British victims of Israeli terrorism – rather than the many thousands of contemporary Palestinian victims – and makes a moral equivalence with Palestinian resistance. The latter is typically reduced to “Hamas” and their alleged “poorly guided rockets”.  All this is to qualify the discussion for western publication and consumption.

Terminology also plays an important part in demonstrating loyalty, with the enemy described as a “regime” (implicitly illegitimate) and the intervening western power cloaked in an assumed stabilizing or conflict resolution role. 

With this in mind, Hassan speaks of Iranian influence as “a problem for the United States”, the Syrian government as a “regime”. Middle Eastern nations are said to be riven by sectarian conflicts (e.g. Sunni v. Shi’ite) and other “complexities”. On the other hand, Washington faces problems as a “stabilizing ally”. Pillar speaks of the Saudi-backed idea for repartition (and weakening) of Yemen as a “federal solution”.

2. Allowable criticism, within permissible space

Taking the problem-solving and stabilizing role of Washington as a given, criticism is allowed mainly as regards tactics. Accepting the benevolence of hegemonic prerogatives is a general principle of qualification. It is unimportant that this has little to do with post-colonial international law.

So Riedel writes of the US supposedly looking for a “political solution” in Yemen, while Hassan speaks of the US seeking to “stabilize” the region in face of the allegedly opportunistic agendas of Iran and the Saudis. 

Riedel also spoke of Yemen as a “complex problem” for US President Obama, while Pillar comfortingly agreed that it is necessary for Washington to “conduct business” with both “Israel” and Saudi Arabia, despite their terrorism. No real question is raised about what business the USA has initiating war after war in the Middle East region.

Indeed any serious questioning of the overall aims or strategy of western interventions would most likely invalidate or disqualify the article. It would not be published. Yet criticism of the tactical (and chronic) failure of interventionist wars to achieve their goals is allowed.

3. What can be learned from the enemy?

State integrated media (which includes most corporate media, as they are typically key associates of western states) typically steers mass audiences away from enemy media at times of war. Many analysts also either accommodate or fall prey to that prohibition. 

In recent decades we have seen many exhortations to stay away from the ‘regime media’ of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, and so on. Enemy ‘regime’ media is often labeled as such in western social media. Not so the BBCVoice of America etc. In fact the US government has been busy taking down dozens of Iranian websites and banning or blocking Russian, Venezuelan, Chinese, Cuban, and other social media accounts linked to these various ‘enemy’ nations.

The problem for western war analysts in adopting this dictate is that important lessons are missed. In general, it is wrong to ignore ‘enemy’ sources because they might be seen as “biased” or “unreliable”. Any source with detailed information (as opposed to just spin and slogans) can be informative, properly read, in at least the following ways. 

A. Concessions and admissions: biased or enemy sources, when they contain detailed information, can make concessions on particular matters. This can help avoid pointless and endless debates. For example, senior US officials admitted in 2014 that US allies were funding and arming virtually all the Middle Eastern terrorist groups including ISIS, in support of US efforts to remove the Syrian Government. Syrian and Iranian sources had said this for some years, but the US admissions helped expose the charade.

B. Alerts to information and argument: hostile or ‘unreliable’ sources may alert us to particular information or argument, including independent factual information as well as vulnerabilities in enemy arguments. Any serious researcher or observer must remain open to the possibility that hostile sources might be correct, at least on some particular matters. The Israeli media, for example, understands this well. It has made the statements of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah virtually mandatory reading, while the man is effectively banned in much other western media, including social media.

The lesson, therefore, should be how to intelligently read enemy sources, rather than avoid them. This must be done according to principle, that is, with regard to general principle and using traditional forensic tools while recognizing self-interest. This requires developing an ability to distinguish between self-serving statements and admissions against interest, a common distinction in law.

Learning in this regard has more to do with observing the detail of argument and particular evidence, and less about the adoption and recitation of conclusions.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

The Golden Age of America

October 10, 2021

The Golden Age of America

By Walt Garlington for the Saker Blog

Mr Paul Gottfried gives us a standard line about the need to return to the Golden Age of the American republic at the end of a short book review he penned:

Since Janowski leaves his heuristic queries open, this reviewer feels free to note that the egalitarian democracy he so graphically describes represents a falling away from something much better. It is a denaturing of the constitutional republic upholding federalism and ordered liberty that marked America’s earlier phase. The United States was not always the quasi-tyranny it is now becoming. It started with a well-conceived political order, one that some Americans wish to return to.

But is this still really a tenable ideal and goal? What did the former English colonies gain from independence in 1776? Is it not the truth that the colonies lost nearly everything a traditional people would consider worth living for and exchanged it for never-ending political feuds and money-grabbing after that fateful year?

There is hardly anything of cultural value to speak of in the United States today. What lover of beauty 500 years from now will have any desire to watch Saturday Night Live or play Grand Theft Auto or own a Ford F-150 pickup truck? But the usual farming village or small city of artisans in Christian Europe was filled with cultural treasures, however externally poor those people may appear to modern eyes. Their life revolved firstly around the parish church: the Divine Liturgy – the union of Heaven with earth, morning and evening prayers, the feasts and fasts of the Church calendar, the holy days dedicated to our Lord and His Most Pure Mother, the patron saint of the parish church, the patron saint of each person in the parish, baptisms, etc.

Then there was the life of each family, whose members included those who lived long ago by virtue of their graves in the parish churchyard and by virtue of remembering those same members and others often in prayers for the departed. The family home was also a major part of the family itself, more often than not being the same place in which their forebears had lived for many generations, with the furniture, tools, etc., also being handed down from many years before. Entertainment too was handed down from many old hands: ballads and folk songs, communal dances and games, and so on.

Related to family life was the vocation of each person, for the children usually followed in the profession of one of their close kinsmen. And the members of these professions themselves often formed communities of their own, each with its own traditions.

For this peaceful and stable way of life, the English colonies in North America substituted something truly atrocious. They called it ‘liberty’, but it is nothing of the sort. It was an unleashing of the passions, which is slavery of the lowest and most degraded form, and manifests itself in the constant re-creation of the methods of production and the grasping after money and material goods. This kind of life undermines the well-being of society, breaks all the traditional bonds between people – within families and outside them, dissipates the societal virtues accumulated by the previous generations, and causes anxiety to abound. What occupation should I pursue? What college should I go to? Where should I live afterwards? Where can I go to make the most money? Such questions were largely unknown to our ancestors.

Compounding these problems, we now have a never-ending political drama that further erodes the influence of the Church, families, and other healthy traditions. In order to protect the ‘liberty’ we won through independence from Great Britain, we placed ourselves within an unending cycle of political elections and battles. There is hardly ever any rest from it. ‘The price of liberty is eternal vigilance’, we are taught here in the exceptional nation. Vicious, lengthy campaigns are waged to gain elected offices, and no sooner are these watchmen of our freedoms chosen than we turn our jealous Argus-eyes upon them to make sure they don’t encroach upon anything that is ours.

Politics in the old countries, and in the colonies before 1776, was much less volatile and imposed itself much less in daily life. Most officials held their positions by heredity, meaning little jostling and wrangling to obtain them. Likewise, many modern government functions were handled by kin-groups or churches: education of children, care for the poor, sick, and elderly, etc. When there was interaction with the government, it was usually not with a nameless bureaucrat but with the count or lord who lived in the village manor and whom they knew well – a man with whom the villagers received Holy Communion, who supplied their festivals with foodstuffs, in whose fields they worked at harvest-time.

The federalism and order liberty of the American constitutional republic hailed by Mr Gottfried above were merely the vestiges of a healthy pre-Modern Christian society. As the States began to fulfil the telos of their new republican creation, however, those forms faded away. Now we have no true communities, whether villages or cities, only atomized urban apartments and rural suburbs. Here we have no Christian life to speak of, but we may squeeze in a church service at the mega-church beside the interstate on Christmas Eve to keep Grandmother from nagging us. Here we have few family connections, save those that are mediated by social media, and which are further cheapened by our desire for views and likes of our posts related to family life.

This view can be confirmed by looking at the South, where old European attitudes lasted the longest in the US. In Dixie there were hereditary government offices (de facto rather than de jure); political elections were not all-consuming affairs (turnout was often very low at elections); ancestors were remembered; the Church calendar still played some role in determining the rhythm of life; families remained rooted in a particular place and home for generations. Some of this still holds true today, in a very weakened form.

New England has shown the opposite tendency. She has from the beginning been in a constant state of ferment, developing new religions, new industries, new political theories.

Some Southerners (this author included) are sometimes tempted to throw all the fault for the decay of old settled ways in the States entirely on New England, but that is dishonest, for the South also found ways to undermine them on her own: by repealing primogeniture laws, by disestablishing Christianity as the official religion of the Southern States, by extending the franchise to more and more people, by outlawing nobility.

The abnormality of post-1776 America is also reflected in the fact that Christian monasteries, one of the foundation stones for spreading and strengthening the Christian faith in the old countries of Asia, Africa, and Europe, are few in number in all regions. The vocation of total dedication to God has found shallow soil in the US, as Metropolitan Kallistos Ware says in his little book The Orthodox Church, because we are all of us – New England, South, Great Plains, and the rest – so preoccupied with improving our material condition that vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience are anathema to most. Only in a handful of the Spanish and French Roman Catholic communities that were later absorbed by the expanding American union were some scattered monasteries to be found, and the number of monasteries has been bolstered in recent years largely by the influx of immigrants from Orthodox and Roman Catholic countries.

From today’s vantage point, the days of the young American republic do look pleasant. But it is a deception, like a mirage in the desert. As soon as we look more closely at them, we see that the hollowness of present-day American life began with the separation from Great Britain in 1776, which was a separation from the whole stream of traditional Christian life and its replacement with the new idols of an all-engrossing political life (which is everywhere present and fills all things, to use the words the Orthodox Church uses in a prayer to the Holy Ghost) and economic upheaval and progress without end.

Thus, to good men like Mr Gottfried who pine for the by-gone days of the early American republic, we say, They are right to look to the past for a model of how to live, but they must go back further, before the federal constitution of 1787, and before the separation from Europe in 1776, and before even the Renaissance, when the Orthodox Church and family and neighbor were the sources of life, the only sources of a life that is worth living. Unless the peoples of the States rediscover those springs, life will continue to be parched and barren, and no paper constitution will be able to make it verdant and fruitful again.

Allies’ Interests Matter? When Morals Fall, Money Comes First and Business Is Business!

9 October, 2021

Allies’ Interests Matter? When Morals Fall, Money Comes First and Business Is Business!

By Mohammed Sleem

Beirut – Amid the ongoing crisis over the Australian-French submarine deal, the United States and the United Kingdom coupled and betrayed France, stealing a 40 billion dollars’ worth deal in order to provide Canberra with nuclear armed submarines.

The action led to a serious diplomatic issue between France on one side and the US, UK and Australia on the other, prompting France to summon its ambassadors to Canberra and Washington. The submarine contract was signed in 2016 between Paris and Canberra and was ready to be approved between both countries.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian slammed the US and Australian governments over the deal, describing what happened as a “stab in the back”, adding that US President Joe Biden’s policy with his allies is the same as his predecessor Donald Trump.

As tension in France peaked, Le Drian considered the attitude of its NATO ally, the United State – which they regret – especially with regard to the common challenges and interests they have in the Indo-pacific area, were lacking coherency.

France expressed that Australia had committed a mistake regarding the partnership between the two sides, as trust was a key element in their relationship and it demanded an explanation over what has happened.

The alliance between the European country and the United States seems to be semi-broken, and the procedures for making amends to get things back on track might be hard, since accumulated incidents were heavy on Paris especially in the Trump era, who during presidency said that without America’s help during WWII, Parisians would be speaking German rather than French, in a reference to Macron’s call to form a European army for defending Europe against any potential threats.

The American-French trade dispute was basically triggered by an economic factor. Trump had imposed high tariffs on American exports to Paris in contrast to the low tariffs on French imports to the US – as with French wine. For their part, the French demanded fair import-export regulations.  

The real competition among major powers such as the US and France, mostly lies on the economic sectors and huge assets in countries where natural minerals are distributed among them without any disputes in an already agreed deal among all.

However, the paradox in this incident among these major powers is that one is willing to disregard alliances when ambitions are so bold and one is ready to take advantage of the situation for personal gains even if it may lead to a diplomatic issue and at sometimes to unwanted actions with ones allies. Ironically, what may seem illogical or may not happen is a betrayal as it is, and without any hesitation among allies when in fact they are supposed to have equal slices of the pie.

To sum up the unique occasion that took place, when ambitions are so bold and the competition reaches the seal, morals fall blatantly and money comes first and business is business, even with the allies of major powers.

كورونا وفايسبوك: أزمات النمو أم الأفول؟

أكتوبر/ 5 تشرين الأول 2021

 ناصر قنديل

منذ سقوط جدار برلين وتقدم أميركا كصاحب نموذج للعالم تحت عنوان العولمة المستنسخة وفقاً لنظرية نهاية التاريخ، أي اعتبار النموذج الليبرالي الجديد آخر نتاج التقدم الإنساني اقتصاديا وسياسياً وثقافياً واجتماعياً، كانت الحملات العسكرية الأميركية الجزء الأقل أهمية من المشروع الأميركي العالمي، على رغم كونها أخطر وجوه المشروع وأكثرها ظهوراً وحضوراً، ولكن وقفت خلف هذه الحملات العسكرية الأميركية سواء في حرب يوغوسلافيا او أفغانستان أو العراق، مشهدية فلسفية وثقافية وتسويقية تقوم على نهاية عهد الدولة الوطنية، والمقصود نهاية عهد الدولة لحساب الشركة أولاً، ونهاية عهد الوطنية، أي الحفاظ على الخصوصيات الثقافية والسياسية للكيان الوطنية للدول لصالح نموذج عالمي، لا مكان فيه للهويات والخصوصيات، التي ترتبط عموماً بفكرة الدولة، وسيتكفل حلول الشركة مكان الدولة بالتمهيد لتكون الشركة عالمية، وتزامن استعراض التفوق العسكري الأميركي مع استعراض نماذج التفوق التكنولوجي، ومن خلالهما نموذج الشركة، ففي الحرب لم تعد الجيوش قوة وطنية تحمل مشروع بلادها، بل صارت الحرب عملاً مأجوراً تعاقدياً تنفذه الشركات، تواكبه شركات أخرى في تكنولوجيا الإعلام والاتصال، ومثلها الثورات لم يعد قائماً على فعل تاريخي معبر عن إرادة نخب تقود شعوبها نحو مشروع حالم، بل صارت الثورات مقاولة تلتزمها شركات تسمى جمعيات مجتمع مدني، وتواكبها موازنات تنفقها الشركات على وسائل التواصل والأقنية التلفزيونية، وشعارات صنعتها شركات الدعاية المتخصصة، كعملية تجارية صرفة اعتمدت فيها قواعد توصيف المنتج ودراسات الجدوى وتحديد الكلفة والأرباح المتوقعة.

جاء الاعتراف الأميركي بالفشل العسكري بنظر البعض منفصلاً عن فشل المشروع الذي جسدته أميركاً الجديدة، أي نموذج الشركة العالمية، ولذلك يذهب هذا البعض إلى الدعوة للتمهل في الحديث عن فشل المشروع أو دخوله مأزقاً بنيوياً ويتخيلون فرصة لتعديل في وجهته يتراجع خلالها العسكري لصالح الاقتصادي، الذي لا يزال الأميركي فيه أولاً إن لم يكن حاكماً، وهم بالتالي يقرأون الأزمة التي يمر بها المشروع الأميركي بصفتها واحدة من أزمات النمو لمشروع في طور الصعود على رغم الإخفاقات، ولذلك تجب معاينة المأزق العسكري للحملات الأميركية، بعدما صار الاعتراف الأميركي بالفشل علنياً ورسمياً، وصولاً للقول بسقوط إمكانية صناعة السياسة باللجوء للقوة العسكرية، كما وصف الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الإطار السياسي لقرار الانسحاب من أفغانستان، من دون أن ينسى أن المعيار هو سقوط الجدوى الاقتصادية لاستثمار ثلاثمئة مليون دولار يومياً، وما يزيد على تريليون دولار خلال عشرين عاماً، كتفسير للفشل، فهل كانت الحال مختلفة في مسيرة الانتقال من الدولة إلى الشركة؟

الخلاصة الأولى التي كتبتها سنوات الحروب هي تثبيت الخصوصيات والهويات على حساب نظرية الهوية العالمية القائمة على الربحية وحدها، وفق معادلة اقتلاع شجرات الزيتون لصالح التنافس على سيارة اللكزس، فنهضت أشجار الزيتون، بما ترمز إليه من هويات خصوصية، وهذا ما قاله النهوض الروسي والصعود الصيني والصمود الإيراني، ووقفت أميركا بعظمتها ضعيفة أمام شجرة زيتون الهوية الصهيونية، مؤكدة سقوط نظرية سقوط الهويات، وتراجع مشروع الشركة عن عالميته، لصالح الاكتفاء بكونه أميركياً، وصار الحديث عن الدولة العظيمة لا الدولة العظمى، وعن استعادة أميركا النموذج والمثال، ولكن الاختبارات القاسية لم تترك المجال لنظرية الشركة أن تبقى بعيداً عن تحديات إثبات أهليتها، وكانت جائحة كورونا أصعب الاختبارات الإنسانية، بينما كانت أزمة شركات تكنولوجيا المعلومات والاتصالات الفقاعة الأبرز التي وضعت الأزمة على الطاولة.

خلال جائحة كورونا ظهرت الفوضى وانكشف ضعف النظام الصحي، وانكشفت خطورة الاعتماد على منهج الربحية في عمل الشركات للإجابة على تحديات العناية بصحة البشرية ومواكبة أخطار الأوبئة، فبقيت أميركا الأولى الأشد تأثراً بالجائحة وعجزاً عن السيطرة عليها على رغم أنها الدولة الأغنى والدولة الأقوى تقيناً، والأكثر امتلاكاً لأدوات المواجهة والوقاية، وعلى رغم دخول الجائحة عامها الثالث لا تزال الإصابات والوفيات تسجل أعلى الأرقام في أميركا، على رغم أنها بقياس عدد السكان تشكل 20 في المئة من عدد سكان الصين التي نجحت بالسيطرة على الجائحة وخرجت عملياً من تداعياتها، في مواجهة عملية لنموذجي الدولة والشركة، وقبل أن تحط كورونا رحالها، انفجرت أزمة شركات الاتصالات العملاقة وتحولت إلى قضية عالمية مع الأزمة التي حلت بالشركة الأعظم التي تتحكم بيوميات نصف سكان العالم، فالأزمة التي تفجرت حول شركة فايسبوك ليست مجرد عطل تقني، ولا مجرد نقاش حول الضوابط التي يجب أن تحكم حال شركات التواصل، بل هي تعبير عن الأسئلة الكبرى التي يطرحها نموذج الشركة بدلاً من الدولة، حيث الربح هو الموجه الأول، على حساب ضمانات سلامة التشغيل وأمان المواد المتداولة وأخلاقيات استخدامها، حيث ما نشهده ليس إلا أول النقاش، كما حدث يوم الأزمة التي تفجرت عام 2008 من بوابة الرهونات العقارية، وانهيار النظام المصرفي ومن خلفه البورصة، واضطرار الدولة إلى اللجوء لتأميم بعض المصارف ووضع اليد عليها، وتقييد الباقي منها.

ليس ما تشهده أميركا مجرد أزمة، بل انفجار لنموذج، وتعبير عن أفول مشروع إمبراطوري، وهذا لا يعني أن أميركا ستزول عن الخريطة، أو أنها ستكف عن التصرف كدولة قوية ومقتدرة، أو أنها لن تحاول ترميم نموذجها ومحاولة إصلاحه، لكن كل ذلك سيجري تحت عنوان عريض هو أن الشركة العالمية فشلت كبديل للدولة الوطنية، وأن ما يجري نقاشه الآن في واشنطن هو كيفية العودة لمفهوم الدولة الوطنية القوية، بعد فشل الشركة العالمية الحاكمة.

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Sitrep: China. Is. Dead. Serious.

October 04, 2021

Escalation?  Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

By Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

China will not be conquered again, even if every last Chinese has to join the fight.

In the past four days, China has sent first 28, then 29 fighters and bombers near Taiwan. (Taiwan itself reports different numbers). Then, the US announced on Sunday that this is provocative. So, China called the statement irresponsible and sent a massive number of 59 fighters and bombers near Taiwan in a ‘take that!’ move.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235639.shtml

But first, why would China militarily get involved in Taiwan, as it is their own territory under the 1992 Consensus for “one-China”? Taiwan is clearly China’s internal affair.  What are their red lines?

  • Taiwan declaring a flash independence (they cannot really because they are umbilically connected to the mainland)
  • Internal turmoil inside Taiwan as we saw in Hong Kong
  • Taiwan may make a non-legal military alliance with another country
  • And any violation of the 1992 consensus.

None of these conditions are currently present, but we will need expert advice on the 1992 consensus. I do not know de jure how close Taiwan is to that red line. De facto the Taiwan announcement that they are preparing for war is completely provocative.

Currently China is not threatening, she is using her air force to deliver very strong warnings that the conditions are approaching red lines.

Lets look at Global Times. Bear in mind that the Global Times is not a bullhorn for Chinese people. It is for the dissemination of information to western people. That is its function. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235638.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– Time to warn Taiwan secessionists and their fomenters: war is real:

“The secessionist forces on the island will never be allowed to secede Taiwan from China under whatever names or by whatever means, and, the island will not be allowed to act as an outpost of the US’ strategic containment against China. “

– “The strategic collusion between the US and Japan and the DPP authorities is becoming more audacious, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has almost lost any room for maneuver teetering on the edge of a face-off, creating a sense of urgency that the war maybe triggered at any time.”

Sunday, further Global times writing appeared, by a GT voice, warning the EU (GT voice should indicate to us that this is unified among the Chinese people).

EU warned not to play with fire on Taiwan question. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202109/1235387.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– China will reconsider the European trade agreement.

“If the EU simply wants to develop normal economic and trade relations with the Taiwan island, its unusual emphasis on the latter’s role in its Indo-Pacific strategy should be viewed with suspicion. Some European politicians may think that playing the “Taiwan card” will draw more attention and could help pressure the mainland to make more concessions. But confusing the right and the wrong on China’s bottom line is a dead end.

The Chinese mainland’s position on the Taiwan question remains clear and resolute. All exchanges with the island must be handled in strict accordance with the one-China principle. They cannot exceed the scope of normal nonofficial cooperation and exchange.”

So, this is where we stand in this face-off and more analysis will follow.

October 05, 2021

Escalation? Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

Let’s take a look at what China overcame in our near history.

  • The NED and similar organizations’ sponsored “Color Revolutions” in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang all collapsed. We can also be sure that this escalation that we see now is not really about Taiwan. Taiwan is playing its role, like the dissidents in Hong Kong did.
  • The Trump Trade War collapsed and his focus on tariffs is now taking a tremendous toll on the US West Coast Ports.
  • The western propaganda war on China is collapsing because of the efforts of blogs like The Saker Blog and many others that took up writing about this.
  • The economic war is collapsing. For this, we have to follow Michael Hudson who details the butt-hurt Soros types who cannot make China dance to their tune. China has done massive work so that they do not have monopolies and internal destabilization by ‘too big to fail types’.
  • The return of Meng Wanzhou as a figure of national pride, which was a very delicate operation if one follows all of the plane routes during the sensitive exchange. Meng was exchanged for two worthless Canadian spies. There is another theory and this is that Canada tumbled to pay back the US for not including them in AUKUS.
  • The idea that the Chinese are not soldiers. They are that now because they have to be. * More about this following.

Let’s see what China gained in our near history

  • The pride, persistence, and trust of the citizens.
  • Major developments in space, like their own space station (slated to be a launching platform for? For what really? I do not know but the west has declared space a warfighting domain.) Most nations are welcome to come and hook up their own module, but the western world is not. This is a little payback for not allowing Chinese astronauts on the international space station.
  • A top US general, Milley, is so fearful of China that he called his counterpart in the late days of the Trump administration and told them that the US will not attack. (General Miley called to deliver a madman message–we have a madman at the helm and he may send nukes your way, so don’t do anything to give him an excuse. The poor general also had to deliver a contradicting message–at the same time, America is not falling apart; everything is hunky-dory and the well-oiled machine is running smoothly. ) (I know this has been taken out of perspective by almost everyone, but I am thankful, no matter that he may be a sniveling idiot. He did the rest of the world a favor).
  • China is in the process of destroying the dollar hegemony slowly but surely with Russia already having done its part and divesting from the dollar in their sovereign wealth fund. This deserves an analysis all by itself. Needless to say, China is launching its digital Renminbi, or Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as E-CNY, a central bank digital currency issued by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China. It is the first digital currency to be issued by a major economy. The digital RMB is legal tender and has equivalent value with other forms of CNY, such as bills and coins.
  • The fight against a virus called Covid.
  • China is now exceeding the US in almost all economic metrics, although they still refer to themselves as the 2nd major economy.

And at this stage, China makes major military flights near Taiwan.

A few statements:

  • China has no interest in military action against Taiwan
  • Taiwan has no real desire for military action against China (it would be somewhat like swatting a fly for China and will be over in an hour whichever method China chooses).
  • Here is Taiwanese Foreign Minister warning that his country is preparing for war with China.  He asks Australia for help and Australia’s 60 minutes distributes the war propaganda.
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-04/taiwan-preparing-for-war-with-china/100511294.
  • Is the US interested in a war against China over Taiwan? We simply do not know.

What do we know?

Taiwan is a smaller copy of the economic miracle of China and there is no question of its economic success and high tech ability. But China mainland purchases over 40% of Taiwan’s production in both high-tech and agricultural products.

By studying Taiwan’s financial reports, MintPress has ascertained that the semi-autonomous island of 23 million people has, in recent years, given out millions of dollars to many of the largest and most influential think tanks in the United States.

It is then easy to conclude that with this revolving door, the US decided that Taiwan is an easy ingress to their hope for regime change in China itself (stated publicly by Mike Pompeo) and the AUKUS deal started the new range of increased provocations: It looks like any of the old color revolution tactics or initiatives, just now with an added threat.

This one, could end up in a hot war with both Russia and China.

Taiwan will not have a referendum for independence, because independence is not a done deal for the Taiwanese people. The ruling class fears that such a referendum will not be successful. We all know the ‘call to democracy’ and we all know that this is invoked over and over by hegemonic powers to justify their own excesses. Well today, Taiwan’s Tsai is invoking ‘a call to democracy’ via an article in Foreign Affairs Magazine. China is not impressed as she knows as well as you and I, what that really means. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235658.shtml

China’s interest is peace and security in the region, which is now being called Indo-Pacific. Martyanov says this terminology is hegemon speak, and I’m inclined to agree with him. It used to be Asia Pacific. I so hope someone can draw me the borders (even a dash line) where the Indo pacific and the Asia Pacific exists. Wikipedia, instead of being obscurantist as usual, this time gives the plot away.

The term first appeared in academic use in oceanography and geopolitics. Scholarship has shown that the “Indo-Pacific” concept circulated in Weimar Germany, and spread to interwar Japan. German political oceanographers envisioned an “Indo-Pacific” comprising anticolonial India and republican China, as German allies, against “Euro-America”.[2] Since 2010s, the term “Indo-Pacific” has been increasingly used in geopolitical discourse. It also has “symbiotic link” with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, an informal grouping of in the region, comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the United StatesIt has been argued that the concept may lead to a change in popular “mental maps” of how the world is understood in strategic terms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pacific

Martyanov says that the US has clear dominance in submarine capability and he also says that escalation is something that is very hard to predict. Here we see escalation toward war, with the US using probably the only card that they have to play, trying to kick off an ocean-wide domination conflict on the shipping lanes of communications, with probably the only weapon that they have left, submarines to try and consolidate at least something of US economy and influence across the world. Right here the issue of escalation becomes complex. Russia will not stand out of this and what happens when the Zircons start flying? How soon until Japan, Australia and Taiwan are demolished? We will leave this here for professional analysts to opine.

With that as a backdrop, let’s return to China, specifically the general belief that the Chinese are not born soldiers. That is true, yet the difference is that they prefer to solve problems non-kinetically. (Which is 100% fine with me!) But, they have other abilities, one of which is that they do not give up. The Saker has often said that morale is the greatest weapon of a military force. In this case, I would add to that: preparedness. Again Martyanov said that this thinking on the dominance of sea-lanes is not new. Well, China knows that as well, and they have prepared.

Every school child and university student in China now goes through military training. For the school kids, it is part of the initiative by the Chinese leaders to relieve the school kids from absurd requirements for STEM learning and to get them outside to take part in healthy play and strengthen them physically.

Every city has a local militia and they are armed to the teeth and drill and practice continually. This alone is estimated at 1 million feet on the ground (from Chinese sources).

If kinetic action breaks out in their own backyard, they have the numbers and home team advantage.

Following are some comments from our China correspondents. I don’t have the necessary 2 sources plus another for these, but I put them here to give you an idea of the chat.

China is known to be able to set together production lines very quickly. In these comments, this one is comical and says that China is mass producing nuclear warheads like they crank out paper lanterns. The only thing on earth that is faster is the US money machine.

It may be a comical comment, but the underlying issue here is that the average Chinese person has no doubt that China will, and is able to build whatever is necessary, any war materiel of any kind, to withstand kinetic action.

Is this meaningful in discussing this escalation? I would say yes.

More comments:

If you think a war against China (and Russia – we have to call in Russia at this stage) will be a perpetual war, kindly think again. This is not a win or a lose – it is total destruction of the one that fires the first shot or shoots the first missile or positions the first submarine to destabilize sea-lanes.

This represents the average Chinese and their chat and it is not the type of barroom soldier chat. These are ordinary people.

China is a merit nation and very serious. One can expect precision and ruthlessness. You may want to believe that the Chinese are not born warriors or you may want to believe that they cannot innovate. You can believe what you want, but take a look at these comments:

They do not believe in surgical strikes should anyone attack them. They believe in pounding the source of the attack and whatever is around it, into oblivion. They have their own history as a template.

Btw, does this remind you of the Russians, who said that any strike on Russia will not only take out the strike, but also the platform where the strike comes from? The interaction between Russia and China militarily has grown tremendously as well, but again, this is another analysis.

I expect full-on military readiness as the Chinese military has been on a readiness footing for about a year now.

An outstanding question is how unified Asia is around China. Again we come up against Martyanov’s principle of escalation and this is really difficult to predict.

There is the old saying that goes like this: Do not march on Moscow!. We need to add one. Do not militarily threaten Baba Beijing!. It does not matter how for how long, they do not count their own possible dead, but they will stay the course.

Can we hope for level heads in Washington DC? Realism tells us that we have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. China is doing that.

Iraq’s Agriculture Reaps the Despoiled Seeds of US Meddling

October 5, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Farah Hage-Hassan

The poisonous effects of American interference and failed policies are still affecting Iraq’s agricultural sector today. Here’s how.

Visual search query image
  • Decades of US interference have plagued Iraq’s agricultural sector
  • “You lied!”

    Those were the screams of former US Army veteran Mike Prysner echoing in the lecture hall during a speech by George W. Bush, and the lasting trauma still resonates in the ears of millions of Iraqis and Americans today, almost two decades later.

    From a full-scale invasion under the pretext of overthrowing Saddam Hussein to the insurgence of ISIS, Iraq has been plagued with endless wars and destruction. This invasion and endless interventions aggravated the marginalization of sectors in Iraqi society and allowed the internal state of Iraq to crumble under sectarianism and violence.

    The lasting effects of the US policies are especially present within the aftermath of the agricultural sector among others. Farmers across the country continue to be displaced and doubt remains overcast on Iraq’s environmental capabilities and the future of agricultural development.

    American invasion 

    One of the many false pretenses for the heavily documented war was the alleged harboring of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell infamously claimed that the US was aware of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and their role in terrorism. Powell’s bold statements and deceptive assertions regarding the evidence that was available have ultimately haunted the US for what has become known as the very public “campaign of lies” the US tricked global citizens into believing.  

    For over 7 years, Iraq was invaded and bombed by the US and the coalition of the willing, not to mention their use of white phosphorous munitions. Although they claimed that white phosphorus was used whilst fully considering the incidental effects on civilians, the secondary effects on Iraq’s agriculture were most definitely not taken into account.

    Deliberate destruction

    The invasion and destruction that accompanied the war did not only permanently damage arable lands with mines and cluster ammunition, but the suspension of government agricultural institutions and irrigation projects also caused disastrous results to the population.

    From 2002 to 2008, agriculture’s contribution to the country’s GDP has decreased from almost 9% to 3.6% due to challenges created by war, social instability, and institutional and economic concerns. 

    Visual search query image
  • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value-added, % of GDP (Source: World Bank)
  • In a final blow after causing significant damage to the agricultural sector, the US secured its monopoly over the Iraqi farming industry and the future of agriculture by issuing Order 81. The Order was described as an attempt to “rebuild” Iraq’s agriculture industry by the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Paul Bremer.

    What was Order 81?

    After Coalition Provisional Authority Order 81 was implemented, farmers were forbidden from conserving, distributing, or propagating harvested seeds, resulting in a dependency on big businesses such as Monsanto, Cargill Inc., and Dow Chemical. As a consequence, Iraq has only been able to meet 4% of its seed demands since 2005. These distributors are known to patent their seeds and collect fees without considering if crops were proven to contain their proprietary genetic information.

    Monsanto, an agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation founded in 1901, is notorious for its contribution to the neutron initiators inside the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, as well as for producing Agent Orange. The US military used Agent Orange in Vietnam during the infamous operation Ranch Hand, destroying crops and ultimately causing half a million Vietnamese children to be born with birth defects and millions of others left with cancer and other serious health conditions. 

    Dying of thirst

    Reconstruction efforts in Iraq also targeted the distribution of safe drinking water. 

    Millions of dollars were lost in the attempt and efforts failed, with only one-third of the objectives reached in the context of providing safe drinking water. 

    Iraq’s infrastructure was heavily bombed in the 1990s after the US-led coalition conducted massive airstrikes on the region during the gulf war. Water and sewerage treatment facilities were heavily damaged. As people suffered from a lack of access to clean water, diseases multiplied.

    The US war has critically aggravated the water crisis. Water is scarcely passing through the Tigris and Euphrates as is, causing contaminated water to reach crops, and in turn poisoning much of the population. The UN Security Council described the effects of the war as returning Iraq to the “pre-industrial age”, and warned of the imminent catastrophe that would hit the Iraqi population. 

    The Tigris River is bordered by Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. Along with the Euphrates, they create a river system that encircles Mesopotamia known as the Fertile Crescent. The Tigris is an important source of transportation and irrigation, with a history dating back to the earliest known civilizations.

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    Tigris River (Global Atlas)

    Scorched earth

    The catastrophic insurgence of ISIS ripped Iraq’s already suffering sectors into developmental and economic shreds. 

    The US policies created a weak state that resulted in the marginalization of considerable sectors of Iraqi society. ISIS militants, armed partially with CIA-funded weapons, developed into one of the goriest terrorist organizations of our time. 

    The world watched in horror as ISIS became globally renowned for unspeakable atrocities like beheadings, kidnapping of women and children, and numerous suicide bombings and terrorist attacks that not only affected the Middle East but many western countries, especially Europe. 

    ISIS used the burning tactic to terrorize inhabitants, laid landmines, and destroyed agricultural equipment. IEDs were frequently utilized to fortify their defense. They attempted to meticulously carry out a form of ecocide, as their “scorched earth” tactics took hold. Oil wells were set on fire and thousands of civilians came close to suffocation and others suffered respiratory complications.

    In a final effort to devastate their targets, they booby-trapped escape routes, barns, and pump stations. 

    The presence of the terrorist group forced agricultural workers and farmers to evacuate their farmlands during the bloody conflicts. Numerous families retell their experiences of being forced to abandon their farming communities when ISIS militants surrounded the area in mid-2014. The same families who evacuated their homes reported returning to their homes post-ISIS and finding them heavily booby-trapped. Numerous families have lost children and relatives after bombs inexplicably detonated on their properties. 

    A glimpse of hope

    Away from the nightmares that haunt Iraq, as one of many initiatives, Iraq’s holy shrines have begun to establish massive farms for relying on agricultural production and providing national agricultural products that are distinguished by quality, as well as meat at subsidized prices.

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  • Farms administrated by the Imam Hussein Holy Shrine (Website)
  • Agricultural cities are being established to provide the cultivation of wheat, barley, yellow corn, fodder, jet, and cattle, as well as raising sheep and cows.

    Despite the seemingly irreversible effects of America’s assaults and intrusion on Iraq’s wellbeing have undoubtedly damaged the country, things can still be turned around. With Iraq’s Parliamentary elections looming, the crucial vote of the youth may have the power to carry Iraq out of decade-long darkness and into the light. 

    China in the crosshairs – is a war in the Far East and Pacific next?

    OCTOBER 03, 2021

    China in the crosshairs – is a war in the Far East and Pacific next?

    As in my previous post, I will begin with referring you to two pieces.

    First, the typical China-bashing propaganda: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/taiwan-bristles-lashes-out-after-chinas-record-aerial-show-force

    Second, a very solid debunking of the China-bashing crap above: https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/10/how-ap-reuters-and-scmp-propagandize-their-readers-against-china.html

    By the way, I also highly recommend to all my readers to read Moon of Alabama  (https://www.moonofalabama.org/) at least once a day.  ‘b’ is a very solid analyst and his website is superb.  Even better is the fact that he often writes about topics I do not cover, or he covers them differently, so make sure to check him out daily 🙂

    Now about China.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Anglos have had China in the crosshairs for a while and that now China has become the evil, devious boogeyman #1, displacing Russia from that position.   By the way, this hysterical paranoia and hatred of China is equally shared by the two indistinguishable factions of the single Imperial Party which runs the USA: hatred for China is a political consensus, at least in the USA ruling class (hence the stupid “CCP virus” expression and other such illiterate infantilisms).

    Here is my strictly personal and subjective interpretations of what happened and why China is now the Official Enemy Number One Hypervillain.

    I will being by comparing China to the other two AngloZionist Official Hypervillain Enemies Number 2 and 3.

    Russia.  The US/NATO/EU policy on Russia has comprehensively failed.  It has failed politically (the Evil Putin “KGB killer” is still in power and does not even have a semi-serious competitor – pro-western sentiments in Russias are now somewhere in the 1-2 percent max), economically (Russia has recovered from both sanctions and the COVID induced crisis and is booming, at least compared to the West) and militarily (the US and NATO are now the proverbial paper tigers).  Finally, the entire “Ukrainian strategy” has also faceplanted and has now turned into an unmanageable nightmare for the EU (which richly deserves this). In other words, Europe is now a “bad place” for the USA which really can’t do much to change this reality.

    Iran.  The US/NATO/EU policy on Iran has also comprehensively failed.  Yes, Iran is going through very difficult times, the sanctions and COVID did, and are still, hurting it, but militarily Iran has successfully defeated the AngloZionist alliance in two ways: first, by deterring the AngloZionists from a direct attack (so far) and by showing its true capabilities in its superb missile strikes on US bases: a CENTCOM+Israeli attack on Iran would be suicidal, and the AngloZionists know it (even while they deny it).  Add to this the Russian+Iranian victory in Syria and the terminal inability of the Israelis to deal with Hezbollah and and Saudis to deal with the Houthis, and you will see that the Middle East is yet another “bad place”  for the USA which really can’t do much to change this reality (if they attack Iran it will be the end of Israel and CENTCOM). And I won’t even mention the Kabul event which showed to the word the true face and capabilities of the US armed forces.

    Which logically leaves only China as the Official Enemy Number One Hypervillain.  Here are a few reasons for that:

    • China is the biggest and strongest economic power on the planet and the Chinese are geniuses in commerce and trade.
    • China is run by a leadership which the US cannot control, break, corrupt or otherwise subdue (I am talking about the leadership collectively, not individuals;  traitors exist everywhere).
    • China and Russia have a very successful alliance which the Anglos tried very hard to break by spreading anti-Chinese propaganda in Russia and anti-Russian propaganda in China.  The result?  The two countries are MORE than “just” allied, they are symbionts who are so “perfectly different” and that “fit together” like Lego pieces!
    • China has made incredible progress in the military field: in the 80s and 90s, China had a huge military, but which was decades behind the USA and the USSR/Russia.  This is now changing very very fast and has been for 20 years.
    • While the US has a money printing press, China has actual technologies and real manufacturing capabilities and the outcome here is not in doubt: it’s just a matter of time before the quasi industrialized USA becomes un-resucable by just printing billions of dollars.
    • The US cannot control the Chinese Internet, which deprives it from is main weapon (all that crap about human rights, the (non-) massacre in Tienanmen, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet etc. etc. etc. as if the West was not the worst violator of human rights on the planet, and by far!)

    I am sure there are many more reasons, but the above is just a sample.  It is crucial to keep in mind the difference between reasons and pretexts.  Nobody in the western ruling class give a damn about human rights or any other Chinese problems (fictional or very real).  And I am not denying that there are real problems in China, like in any other country by the way.  I am saying that the western rhetoric about China is hypocritical crap.

    Also, China does have real weaknesses.  I will list only the few I am aware of:

    • While the Chinese military has made immense progress, it is mostly technological.  Russian officers who trained with their Chinese counterparts regularly report that “culture” of the Chinese ground forces is still much inferior to, say, the Russian ones.  But I bet you that a Chinese solider in defense of his own land will outperform any Anglo imperialist solider fighting for “democracy” (Ha!) thousands of miles away from home.  Again, like the USA, the Chinese culture is not really a military one and the strengths of the Chinese lie elsewhere (commerce, emigration, business, etc.).  Also, it is likely that the problems reported by Russian military advisors about the Chinese ground forces do not apply to “high tech” domains such as aerospace, acoustics, etc.  Finally, even if  historically the Chinese are not a nation born warriors, it is likely that this weakness is much more evident in “general purpose” military forces and is much less applicable to the PRC’s specialized and high-tech forces (Air Force, Navy, special forces, ELINT, etc.)
    • The Chinese are still struggling in some key military technology domains, such as aircraft engines, but they are catching up really fast.  From the Anglo point of view, this means that it is a “now or never” situation, lest China accomplishes what Russia did between 2000 and 2021, which they might.
    • China, like Russia, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious state, which is why the Anglos always try to use this diversity against the peoples of China (they failed in Russia, but in Chechnia they came very close, do we should never discount that real Anglo capability!).
    • China is run by the Chinese Communist Party which inevitably brings images of Nike-Gulags, devious secret agents and all the rest of the stuff Anglos like to scare themselves with.  That the word “Communism” in 2021 has a totally different meaning than in the 20th century is too complex a notion for many to even contemplate.
    • As many of my readers know, I do not consider that Russia is culturally part of Europe, but it is geographically European, at least west of the Urals, and the Russians are (mostly) “White” which western racists nowadays seem to like a lot (not so much in the times of Nazi Europe, obviously).  So the bad old European racism, itself a pretext for imperialism, is even worse with these “Fu-manchu gooks”.  Sinophobia has a particularly long history in the United States, much older than russophobia, by the way.
    • China is at least partially surrounded by Anglo colonies run comprador elites (Taiwan, Japan, etc.) and by countries who fear the very real regional influence and power of China (Philippines, India, etc.).
    • The US has some truly ideal “unsinkable bases” in the region (Japan, Hawaii, Australia, etc.) which are hard to neutralize (but that is also changing, and quickly).

    Again, this is a partial list, and I am sure that our commentators can expand on this, or point out that some of my assumptions are simply wrong.

    But let’s not overthink this either.

    The western ruling elites are in a panic and they are consolidating into a smaller but potentially tougher “Anglosphere” whose best (or “least bad”) positions are in the Pacific (as I have always maintained, big, multinational alliances are great as fig-leafs to justify imperialism, but militarily they inevitably suck, badly).  From their point of view this policy of “circling the wagons” (expression straight from genocidal, imperialistic times) makes sense and is really the own viable option.

    I will mention a few good news, and then let our commentators take over.  Here are a few good ones:

    • Russia will never allow the Anglosphere to defeat China militarily.  Simply put, she can’t afford it.  I will make a prediction: Chinese SSNs will, in the near future, get much better sensors and integration, they “develop” better quieting technologies and faster SSNs with smaller crews and superior automation.  As for Chinese aircraft, they are already very impressive, and China does not have the same need as Russia for advanced long range strategic bombers (where they still lag behind the most): they can use missiles instead.
    • The pace of progress of the PRC is truly amazing and, unlike Russia’s, the Chinese industrial base is huge and once they “get” a technology “right” – they can produce it in huge amounts.  So even IF the best Chinese submarine is still inferior or, at best, more or less on par, with the original Los Angeles class, they can produce them (and other ships or aircraft) in much larger amounts than the Anglosphere.
    • The Chinese space program does, to my admittedly non-engineer eyes, look much more promising that the PR crap of Bezos or Musk managed to peddle to the terminally misinformed US tax payer.  This is very important, crucial even, for modern warfare.
    • The Chinese leaders are (FINALLY!) speaking up!!  In the past, it was all Putin and Russia, the Chinese mostly kept a low profile, but now they are confident enough to call a “stone and stone” and they are very successfully hitting back at the Anglo propaganda, openly and bluntly.
    • By all accounts, the Chinese are proud patriots who will not sell their newly and very painfully acquired sovereignty to anybody (good for them, may all countries follow this model!).  They also know history, including how the Anglos waged war on them to sell opium (no crap about human rights then, just brute gang warfare).  They can also look at modern Japan and see what true Anglo domination can do to a ancient and noble culture.

    Again, I invite you all to add to this list, or dispel my misconceptions!

    My personal bottom line is this: the major powers are all preparing for a major war in Far East Asia and the Pacific.  God willing, and with the wise leadership of Putin and Xi, it will never happen.

    But yes, China is, in my opinion, definitely in the Anglo crosshairs.

    Now I turn this over to you.

    Hugs and cheers

    Andrei

    The Living Dead Pax Americana

    September 30, 2021

    The Living Dead Pax Americana

    Perth in Australia will be a forward base for nuclear-powered and nuclear weapon-carrying American subs.

    by Pepe Escobar – posted with the author’s permission and cross-posted widely. 

    Pax Americana was always a minor character in a zombie apocalypse flick.

    Pax Americana is actually The Eternal Return of the Living Dead. “Pax” was never in order; War Inc. rules. The end of WWII led directly to the Cold War. The unipolar moment was an arc from the First Gulf War to the bombing of Yugoslavia. 9/11 launched the Global War on Terror (GWOT), renamed Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) by Team Obama. We are now entering Cold War 2.0 against China.

    What former CIA analyst Ray McGovern memorably describes as the MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) never did “Pax”. They do War, in unison, like The Knights Who Say “Ni!” – minus the comic flair.

    Take this Knight for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the heart of the establishment matrix. CFR specializes in Kissingerian Divide and Rule. Now that applies, in spades, to the Russia-China strategic partnership.

    Knights overwhelmingly state the obvious: “Chinese power must be contained”. They sell the current, serial imperial debacle as “grand strategic moves”, in a quirky, lost in translation mixed salad of Gramsci and Lampedusa: a “new order” (engineered by the Empire) is being born via “everything must change so everything may remain the same” – privileging the Empire.

    Other Knights even propose the ludicrous notion that the current POTUS, an actual zombie remote-controlled by a teleprompter, is capable of conceiving a “foreign policy for the middle class” , as if the MICIMATT would ever approve a scheme to “advance prosperity in the free world as a whole”. The “free world” has just been stunned by the “prosperity” offered to Afghanistan during 20 “bombing to democracy” years.

    And then there are British Knights, who at least should have known their Monty Python by heart, carping about illiberalism and the “regimes created by Xi and Putin” , which will “crumble” and be succeeded by “anarchy and new despotisms.” Same old Anglo haughtiness mixed with piercing ignorance. Oh, those Asiatic “tyrannies” threatening the White Man’s civilizational drive.

    We all live in an Aussie submarine

    Now it’s all about AUKUS – actually U SUK A. Until recently, only the P5 – the five permanent UNSC members – possessed nuclear-powered submarines. India joined the club, and later rather than sooner, Australia.

    Every major player knows the next American war will not be about remote Pacific islands. Taiwan, though, is a completely different ball game. U SUK A is mostly about Taiwan.

    U SUK A was finalized at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay last June. That was an Anglo Boys Club affair, discussed exclusively by the Biden-BoJo-Morrison troika – and duly excluding Japan, even as Tokyo all but drew a samurai sword yelling its intent of supporting Taiwan.

    The problem is there have been no leaks of the fine print contained in U SUK A. Only spin. Yet it’s already clear that U SUK A goes way beyond building Aussie nuclear subs. Canberra will also have access to Tomahawks, Hornets and even become part of American hypersonic missile research.

    But then, in a slip, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton gave away the game: U SUK A will allow the upgrading of “the infrastructure in Perth, that will be necessary for the operation of these submarines. I expect we will see…lease arrangements or greater joint operations between our navies in the future.”

    Translation: Perth will be a forward base for nuclear-powered and nuclear weapon-carrying American subs.

    Why U SUK A now? Let’s go back to WWII – and the same old cartoonish geopolitics of benign Anglo maritime island powers pitted against the “evil” Eurasian heartland.

    WWII was the solution to simultaneously prevent Germany from dominating the Atlantic and Japan from dominating the Asia-Pacific (by the way, that’s the correct terminology: “Indo-Pacific” is Empire-speak).

    Germany-Japan was all about an alliance that would be predominant across the Eurasian heartland. Now, the Empire of Chaos is being slowly but surely expelled from the Eurasian heartland – this time by the Russia-China strategic partnership.

    Those with technical knowledge across the Beltway – not, not the Knights – are aware the US is not a match for hypersonic Russia. Yet the Americans believe they can make life unbearable for Beijing. The US establishment will allow China to control the Western Pacific over their dead bodies. Enter the instrumentalization of Australia.

    A big question is what will be the new role of the Five Eyes. With U SUK A, the Anglo Club has already stepped beyond mere intel sharing and spying on communications. This is a military pact between Three Eyes.

    Depending on the composition of its new government, Germany could become a Sixth Eye – yet in a subordinate role. With U SUK A, NATO as a whole, fresh from its spectacular Afghan debacle, becomes little else than a semi-relevant vassal. This is all about maritime power.

    U SUK A in effect is a Quad Plus, with India and Japan, the Fifth Columnist Asians, only allowed to play the role of, once again, mere vassals.

    War before 2040

    Not surprisingly, the first, concise technical and strategic assessment of U SUK A is Russian, written by Alexander Timokhin and published in Vzglyad, closely linked to GRU intelligence. Here, provided by John Helmer, is an essential English translation.

    The key points:

    – the extra subs will create a serious, additional threat; “the problem of combating enemy submarine forces will become quite acute for China.”

    – Geographically, “Australia can completely block the connection between China and the Indian Ocean.”

    – Australia will meet the deadlines only if it lays “more submarines a year than the Americans.”

    – It is “possible to quickly make Australia a country with a submarine fleet.” These “gigantic investments and sharp political turns are not carried out just like that. The hegemony of the Anglo-Saxons in the world is seriously shaken.”

    And that brings us to the inevitable conclusion: “It is worth recognizing that the world is on the verge of war.”

    Even before the Vzglyad strategic assessment, I had submitted the ravings of yet another Beltway Knight – widely praised as a sage – to an old school, dissident Deep State intel analyst. His assessment was merciless.

    He wrote me, “the geopolitical logic is that the China-Russia alliance was determined to be against US interests, much as the Mao-Stalin alliance. SEATO and NATO are being replicated. The treaty between England, Australia and the US is part of the Pacific rebalancing, or a new SEATO. NATO is part of the offset against Russia-China in Europe.”

    On what might lie ahead, he noted that “the coup against the US, Australia, England and NATO would be a French-Russian alliance to break up NATO and isolate Germany. Russia has unsuccessfully approached Germany, and now may approach France. The loss of France would effectively end NATO.”

    He sees U SUK A all dressed up with nowhere to go: “As it stands now, China is in command of the Pacific and Australia and Britain mean nothing. Russia can overrun NATO in two weeks, our adversaries’ hypersonic missiles can destroy all NATO airfields within five to ten minutes and the battle for Europe would be over.”

    He’s adamant that “the US cannot project power into the Pacific. Chinese submarine missiles would finish off the US fleet in short order. The Australian submarine issue is really irrelevant; if the CIA had an organization that was worth anything they would know that our adversaries already can spot and destroy our nuclear submarines without the slightest difficulty. The entire US Navy is obsolete and defenseless against Russian missiles.”

    And it gets worse – at least for the cheerleading Knights: “The F-35 is obsolete. The Air Force is largely worthless, as Russian and Chinese missiles can finish off their airfields or aircraft carriers in short order. The woke US Army is more worthless than the French Army with their Maginot Line. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are paid less than 200k a year, and are second or third rate talent. The US is a sinking ship.”

    Assuming that’s really the case, the – nuclear – war against China in the Western Pacific, projected in the Beltway to happen in the second half of the 2030s, would be over even before it started. Taiwan may even be part of China by then – an offshoot of Beijing always proposing economic exchanges to all, while Washington always “proposes” war.

    One thing though will never change: The Knights Who Say “Ni!” singin’ the praise of Pax Americana to the utter indifference of the unruly plebs.

    Chris Hedges: America’s Fate: Oligarchy or Autocracy

    September 27th, 2021

    Chris Hedges

    Source

    Visual search query image
    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.

    America Faces Supply-Chain Disruption and Shortages. Here’s Why

    October 2, 2021

    America Faces Supply-Chain Disruption and Shortages. Here’s Why

    By Matt Stoller, The Guardian

    There’s a quiet panic happening in the US economy. Medical labs are running out of supplies like pipettes and petri dishes, summer camps and restaurants are having trouble getting food, and automobile, paint and electronics firms are curtailing production because they can’t get semiconductors. One man told me he couldn’t get a Whopper meal at a Burger King in Florida, as there was a sign saying “Sorry, no French fries with any order. We have no potatoes.”

    Imagine that, no French fries in America.

    The problem seems to be getting worse, as the shortages pile on top of each other like a snake eating its tail. For instance, the inability to fix trucks means that truck drivers can’t haul boxes of goods, which might actually contain the parts needed to fix the trucks, and so forth.

    There are multiple arguments about why the problem is as bad as it is. Everyone agrees that the COVID pandemic and chaotic changes in consumption habits have caused inevitable short-term price hikes and shortages. As people go on vacation less and do outdoor sports more, the price of, say, airline tickets should drop, and the price of bicycles will go up. But some point to government spending and money printing at the Fed as worsening the problem, while others suggest it is temporary and will resolve on its own.

    Both arguments have merit. But what we’re experiencing is also the net result of decades of policy choices starting in the 1970s that emphasized consumer sovereignty over citizenship. The consolidation of power into the hands of private equity financiers and monopolists over the last four decades has left us uniquely unprepared to manage a supply shock. Our hyper-efficient globalized supply chain, once romanticized by men like Tom Friedman in The World Is Flat, is the problem. Like the financial system before the 2008 crash, this kind of economic order hides its fragility. It seems to work quite well, until it doesn’t.

    The specific policies that led to our supply constrained world are lax antitrust, deregulation of basic infrastructure industries like shipping, railroads and trucking, disinvestment in domestic production, and trade policy emphasizing finance over manufacturing.

    Take biopharmaceutical equipment necessary to make vaccines. There’s a shortage of fancy plastic bags that you mix chemicals in to make medicine, which isn’t surprising in a pandemic. But the reason for the shortage isn’t just COVID but a merger wave; over the last 15 years, four firms bought up the biopharmaceutical equipment industry, without any antitrust agency taking meaningful action. These firms now have market power, and dominate their competitors, by ensuring their bags can only interoperate with their specific mixing machines. It’s like not having enough Keurig coffee machine pods; the shortage isn’t the coffee, it’s the artificial bottleneck used to lock in customers.

    Another example is railroads. Since deregulation in 1980, Wall Street consolidated 33 firms into just seven. And because the Surface Transportation Board lacks authority, Wall Street-owned railroads cut their workforce by 33% over the last six years, degrading our public shipping capacity. The Union Pacific closed a giant Chicago sorting facility in 2019; it now has so much backed up traffic that it suspended traffic from west coast ports.

    Ocean shipping is the same. The 1997 Ocean Shipping Reform Act legalized secret rebates and led to a merger wave. The entire industry has now consolidated globally into three giant alliances that occasionally crash their too-big-to-sail ships into the side of the Suez canal.

    Then there’s trucking. Talk to most businesspeople who make or move things and they will complain about the driver shortage. This too is a story of deregulation. In the 1970s, the end of public rate-setting forced trucking firms to compete against each other to offer lower shipping prices. The way they did this was by lowering pay to their drivers. Trucking on a firm-level became unpredictable and financially fragile, so for drivers schedules became unsustainable, even if the pay during boom times could be high. Today, even though pay is going up, the scheduling is crushing drivers. The result is a shortage of truckers.

    There are more problems that strike at the heart of our economy. The most obvious is semiconductors. Production of high-end chips has gone offshore to east Asia because of deliberate policy to disinvest in the hard process of making things. In addition, the firm that now controls the industry, Taiwan Semiconductor, holds a near monopoly position with a substantial technological lead and a track record in the 1990s and early 2000s of dumping chips at below cost.

    Fortunately, policymakers have noticed. The Federal Reserve’s most recent Beige Book, a report on the economy that is published eight times a year, mentions “shortage” 80 times, and the FTC commissioner, Rohit Chopra, recently pointed out that shortages are slowing the economic recovery. The chair of the Surface Transportation Board, Martin Oberman, noted that railroads stripping down their operations to please Wall Street resulted in container congestions at US ports, a significant chokepoint for imports. And Congress is on the verge of funding tens of billions of dollars to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

    Even business leaders are getting it. Chemical firms are asking regulators to act. And at last week’s Intermodal Association of North America’s Intermodal Expo, where representatives from the shipping, rail, ports and drayage industries spoke, one executive said, “Without fear of regulation, I don’t know what will motivate all stakeholders to be at the table.”

    It is possible to fix our economy and our supply chains, if we choose to do so. Several times in the 20th century, Congress or the FTC undertook detailed studies of the firms in the economy. We need one of those again. At the same time, Congress should strengthen antitrust law, ban all large mergers, strictly control finance, and re-regulate our transportation industries.

    Fundamentally, America has to move away from the goal of seeking cheap stuff made abroad for consumers in a low-wage economy. That means rearranging our hierarchies of power so finance, consulting and capital-light tech leaders became less important than people who know how to make things. The problem we have is shortages, so it’s time to put people in charge who value production.

    Who Really Runs the Middle East?

    September 25, 2021

    Who Really Runs the Middle East?

    By Cynthia Chung for the Saker Blog

    Afghanistan is on many people’s minds lately, though the sentiment is rather mixed. Some think of it as a cause for celebration, others for deep concern, and then there are those who think it an utter disaster that justifies foreign re-entry.

    Most of the western concern arises out of 9/11 and the Taliban’s supposed connection to this through Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, however, as Scott Ritter (who was the lead analyst for the 7th Marine Amphibious Brigade on the Soviet war in Afghanistan) wrote:

    The entire Afghan conflict must be examined considering this reality – everything is a lie. Every battle, every campaign, every contract written and implemented – everything was founded in a lie…

    Admiral McRaven, when speaking of the operation to kill Bin Laden, noted that there wasn’t anything fundamentally special about that mission in terms of the tactics. ‘I think that night we ran 11 or 12 [other] missions in Afghanistan,’ McRaven noted. Clearly there was a military focus beyond simply killing Bin Laden. It was secretive work, reportedly involving the assassination of Taliban members, that often resulted in innocent civilians beings killed.

    It should be noted that, as of 2019, McRaven believed that this kind of special operations activity should be continued in Afghanistan for years to come. So much for the US mission in Afghanistan being defined by the death of Bin Laden. The mission had become death, and the careers that were defined by those deaths.

    The fact is the war in Afghanistan did not need to be fought. We could have ended the threat posed by Bin Laden simply by negotiating with the Taliban in the aftermath of 9/11, providing the evidence we claimed to have linking Bin Laden to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Any student of Afghanistan worth their salt knows the fundamental importance of honor that is enshrined in the concepts of Pashtunwali, the unwritten ethical code that defines the traditional lifestyle of the Pashtun people. If, as we claimed, Bin Laden carried out an attack on women and children while he was living under the protection of Pashtunwali, then his dishonor is that of the Pashtun tribes. To clear their honor, they would seek justice – in this case, evicting Bin Laden and his followers from Afghanistan.

    In fact, the Taliban made precisely this offer.

    For America, however, this would have been an unsatisfying result. We needed blood, not justice, and we sent our troops to Afghanistan to stack bodies, which they did, in prodigious numbers. Most of these bodies were Taliban. We excused this by claiming the Taliban were providing safe haven to Bin Laden, and as such were complicit in the 9/11 attacks.

    Which was a lie.

    Scott Ritter (who was a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq from ’91-98) had also played a leading role in bringing to the public’s attention the lies told to justify the illegal war in Iraq, which was based off of cooked British intelligence.

    It was not just based on the illusion of “justice,” there was a deeper and much more disturbing agenda under the patriotic trumpet blaring.

    In this light, Afghanistan is indeed an incredible American “failure,” not only in failing to install their puppet government; it has also failed the American people, however, not in the way most are talking about.

    The 20 year, some say occupancy others say terrorizing, of Afghanistan, is estimated at $1-2 trillion. This is only for the case of Afghanistan, it does not account for the total cost thus far of the War on Terror. Such extravagant spending with really nothing to show for it but destruction, the slaughter of innocents, instability and chaos; you would think the United States must be a very rich country to afford such a budget with no clear goal or objective. Instead, what we find is that the American economy is tanking and the living standard is plummeting, while drug use and overdose rates are sky-rocketing and suicide is among the top causes of death in the United States, especially among their youth.

    What is going on here? Have the Americans gone mad? Or is there something much much more sinister afoot?

    This situation cannot just be explained away as incompetence or the money-making business of war, or even the crazed end-of-world ideologies of neo-conservatives or Zionists, although these are all major factors.

    The reason for this is because there has been something operating within the Middle East for much longer, it is even the reason why we call the Middle East and the Far East by such a name, it is the reason for why many countries in this region have the boundaries they do, and was the originator of the Palestine/Israel conflict.

    It is also found at the center of the origin and funding of Islamic terrorism as we see in its modern form today.

    Whose “Arab Awakening”?

    The renunciation will not be easy. Jewish hopes have been raised to such a pitch that the non-fulfilment of the Zionist dream of a Jewish state in Palestine will cause intense disillusionment and bitterness. The manifold proofs of public spirit and of capacity to endure hardships and face danger in the building up of the national home are there to testify to the devotion with which a large section of the Jewish people cherish the Zionist ideal. And it would be an act of further cruelty to the Jews to disappoint those hopes if there existed some way of satisfying them, that did not involve cruelty to another people. But the logic of facts is inexorable. It shows that no room can be made in Palestine for a second nation except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in possession.” [emphasis added]

    – the concluding paragraph of George Antonius’ “The Arab Awakening” (1938), graduate from Cambridge University, civil servant in the British Mandate of Palestine

    Much of what is responsible for the war and havoc in the Middle East today has the British orchestrated so-called “Arab Awakening” to thank, led by characters such as E.G. Browne, St. John Philby, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia, and Gertrude Bell. Although its origins go as far back as the 19th century, it was only until the early 20th century, that the British were able to reap significant results from its long harvest.

    The Arab Revolt of 1916-1918, had been, to the detriment of the Arab people, a British led rebellion. The British claimed that their sole interest in the affair was the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire and had given their word that these Arab territories would be freed and allowed independence if they agreed to rebel, in large part led and directed by the British.

    It is a rather predictable feature of the British to lie and double cross and thus it should be of no surprise to anyone that their intentions were quite the opposite of what they had promised and thanks to the Sykes-Picot Russian leak, were revealed in their entire shameful glory.

    Once the Arab Revolt was “won” against the Ottoman Empire, instead of the promised Arab independence, the Middle East was carved up into zones of influence under British and French colonial rule. Puppet monarchies were created in regions that were considered not under direct colonial subjugation in order to continue the illusion that Arabs remained in charge of sacred regions such as Mecca and Medina.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062101.jpg

    In central Arabia, Hussein ibn Ali, Sharif of Mecca, the puppet leader of the Arab Revolt laid claim to the title Caliph in 1924, which his rival Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud rejected and declared war, defeating the Hashemites. Hussein (British Cairo Office favourite) abdicated and Ibn Saud (British India Office favourite), was proclaimed King of Hejaz and Najd in 1926, which led to the founding of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The Al Saud (House of Saud) warriors of Wahhabism were a formidable strike force that the British believed would help London gain control of the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

    Hussein ibn Ali’s son Faisal (under the heavy tutelage of T.E. Lawrence, Cairo Office) was bestowed as King of Iraq and Hussein’s other son, Abdullah I was established as the Emir of Transjordan until a negotiated legal separation of Transjordan from Britain’s Palestine mandate occurred in 1946, whereupon he was crowned King of Jordan.

    While the British were promising Arab independence they simultaneously were promising a homeland in Palestine to the Jews. The Balfour Declaration of November 2nd, 1917 states:

    “His majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object…”

    Palestine had been seized by the British during the so-called “Arab Revolt” on December 11th, 1917 when General Allenby marched into Jerusalem through the Jaffa Gate and declared martial law over the city. Palestine has remained occupied ever since.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062102.jpg

    Britain would receive the mandate over Palestine from the League of Nations in July 1922.

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing thousands of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire. In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/sc15062103.jpg

    The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel’s “prescription” and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police.

    Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

    In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews. Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947. Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

    The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

    “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.”

    – Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

    In 1869, a man named Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, the intellectual founder of the Salafiyya movement, went to India where British led colonial authorities welcomed him with honors and graciously escorted him aboard a government owned vessel on an all-expenses paid voyage to the Suez. [1]

    In Cairo he was adopted by the Egyptian prime minister Riad Pasha, a notorious enemy of the emerging nationalist movement in Egypt. Pasha persuaded Afghani to stay in Egypt and allowed him to take up residence in Cairo’s 900 year old Al Azhar mosque considered the center of Islamic learning worldwide, where he received lodging and a monthly government stipend (paid for by the British).[2]

    While Egypt was fighting its nationalist fight from 1879-1882, Afghani and his chief disciple Muhammad Abduh travelled together first to Paris and then to Britain, it was in Britain that they would make a proposal for a pan-Islamic alliance among Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan against Czarist Russia.[3]

    What Afghani was proposing to the British was that they provide aid and resources to support his formation of a militant Islam sect that would favour Britain’s interest in the Middle East, in other words, Afghani was offering to fight Islam with Islam to service British interests, having stated in one of his works “We do not cut the head of religion except by sword of religion.[4]

    Although it is said that the British refused this offer, this is not likely considering the support Afghani would receive in creating the intellectual foundation for a pan-Islamic movement with British patronage and the support of England’s leading orientalist E.G. Browne, the godfather of twentieth century Orientalism and teacher of St John Philby and T.E. Lawrence.

    E.G. Browne would make sure the work of Afghani would continue long beyond his death by lionising him in his 1910 “The Persian Revolution,” considered an authoritative history of the time.

    In 1888, Abduh, the chief disciple of Afghani, would return to Egypt in triumph with the full support of the representatives of her Majesty’s imperial force and took the first of several positions in Cairo, openly casting his lot with Lord Cromer, who was the symbol of British imperialism in Egypt.

    Abduh would found, with the hold of London’s Egyptian proconsul Evelyn Baring (aka Lord Cromer) who was the scion of the enormously powerful banking clan (Barings Bank) under the city of London, the Salafiyya movement.[5]

    Abduh had attached himself to the British rulers of Egypt and created the cornerstone of the Muslim Brotherhood which dominated the militant Islamic right throughout the twentieth century.

    In 1899, Abduh reached the pinnacle of his power and influence, and was named mufti of Egypt.

    ***

    In 1902, Riyadh fell to Ibn Saud and it was during this period that Ibn Saud established the fearsome Ikhwan (translated as “brotherhood”). From the 1920s onward, the new Saudi state merged its Wahhabi orthodoxy with the Salafiyya movement (which would be organised into the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928).

    William Shakespear, a famed British agent, forged the first formal treaty between England and Saudi Arabia which was signed in 1915, which bound London and Arabia for years before Saudi Arabia became a country. “It formally recognized Ibn Saud as the independent ruler of the Nejd and its Dependencies under British protection. In return, Ibn Saud undertook to follow British advice.[6]

    Harry St. John Bridger Philby, a British operative schooled by E.G. Browne and father to the legendary triple agent Kim Philby, would succeed Shakespear as Great Britain’s liaison to Ibn Saud under the British India Office, the friendly rival of the Cairo Arab Bureau office which was sponsoring T.E. Lawrence of Arabia.

    In Egypt 1928, Hassan al-Banna (a follower of Afghani and Abduh) founded the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimeen), the organization that would change the course of history in the twentieth century Middle East.

    Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood was established with a grant from England’s Suez Canal Company[7] and from that point on, British diplomats and intelligence service, along with the British puppet King Farouq would use the Muslim Brotherhood as a truncheon against Egypt’s nationalists and later against Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. (For more on this refer to my paper.)

    To get the Muslim Brotherhood off the ground, the Suez Canal Company helped Banna build the mosque in Ismailia that would serve as its headquarters and base of operation.[8] The fact that Banna created the organization in Ismailia is itself worthy of note. For England, the Suez Canal was the indispensable route to its prize possession, India, and in 1928 the town Ismailia happened to house not only the company’s offices but a major British military base built during WWI. It was also, in the 1920s a center of pro-British sentiment in Egypt.

    In the post-WWI world, England reigned supreme, the flag of the British Empire was everywhere from the Mediterranean to India. A new generation of kings and potentates ruled over British dominated colonies, mandates, vassal states, and semi-independent fiefdoms in Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Transjordan and Persia. To varying degrees those monarchies were beholden to London.

    In the half century between 1875 and 1925 the building blocks of the militant Islamic right were cemented in place by the British Empire.

    Islamic Banking Made in Geneva/London

    Islamic banking [that is the banking system dominated presently by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States] was born in Egypt and financed by Saudi Arabia and then spread to the far corners of the Muslim world. Eventually the Islamic banking movement became a vehicle not only for exporting political Islam but for sponsoring violence. However, Islamic banking did not get off the ground on its own, as Ibrahim Warde (a renowned scholar of international finance) explains in his book “Islamic Finance in the Global Economy,” Islamic banking:

    operates more out of London, Geneva, or the Bahamas than it does out of Jeddah, Karachi or Cairo…Ideologically, both liberalism and economic Islam were driven by their common opposition to socialism and economic dirigisme…Even Islamic Republics have on occasion openly embraced neo-liberalism…In Sudan, between 1992 and the end of 1993, Economics Minister Abdul Rahim Hamdi – a disciple of Milton Friedman and incidentally a former Islamic banker in London – did not hesitate to implement the harshest free-market remedies dictated by the International Monetary Fund. He said he was committed to transforming the heretofore statist economy ‘according to free-market rules, because this is how an Islamic economy should function.’ ” [emphasis added]

    Perhaps the best case study to this phenomenon is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

    BCCI was an international bank founded in 1972 by Agha Hasan Abedi, a Pakistani financier. The bank was registered in Luxembourg with head offices in Karachi and London. A decade after opening, BCCI had over 400 branches in 78 countries in excess of $20 billion USD, making it the seventh largest private bank in the world.

    In the 1980s investigations into BCCI led to the discovery of its involvement in massive money laundering and other financial crimes, and that the BCCI had illegally and secretly gained the control of a major American bank, First American, according to Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA) who had been investigating the bank for over two years.

    BCCI was also to be found guilty for illegally buying another American bank, the Independence Bank of Los Angeles, using a Saudi businessman Ghaith Paraon as the puppet owner. The American depositors lost most of their money when BCCI was forced to foreclose since it was essentially operating a Ponzi scheme to fund illegal activity of all sorts.

    According to Elizabeth Gould and Paul Fitzgerald’s book “The Valediction”:

    Afghanistan offered the opportunity for BCCI to migrate the lucrative heroin business from Southeast Asia [Laos/Cambodia/Vietnam] to the Pakistani/Afghan border under the cover of destabilization. President Carter supported Brzezinski’s provocations into Soviet territory from the minute they got into the White House. He then sanctioned Brzezinski’s plan to use Afghanistan to lure the Soviet Union into its own Vietnam and lied to the public about it when they fell into the trap on December 27, 1979.

    …The destabilization kills three birds with one stone. It weakens the Soviets…It acts as a cover for moving the heroin business out of Vietnam/Laos and Cambodia to a safe haven on the Pakistan frontier with Afghanistan – a trade that propped up the British Empire financially for over a hundred years.

    …Afghan drug dealer and CIA asset Gulbuddin Hekmatyar…[then organizes] a deal with the renegade gangster, Afghan prime minister, and possible CIA asset Hafizullah Amin…to make Kabul the center of the world heroin trade…pays for the off-the-books operation with drug money brought in by Hekmatyar and laundered through a Pakistani bank…known as BCCI. Everything goes smoothly until the new US Ambassador Adolph Dubs launches a campaign against the destabilization…

    US Ambassador Adolph Dubs was assassinated, just seven months after taking his post, under an extremely suspect situation, on February 14, 1979, to which Gould and Fitzgerald do a superb investigation of, as well as what really happened in Afghanistan in 1979, in their book “The Valediction.

    Investigators in the United States and the UK determined that BCCI had been “set up deliberately to avoid centralized regulatory review, and operated extensively in bank secrecy jurisdictions. Its affairs were extraordinarily complex. Its officers were sophisticated international bankers whose apparent objective was to keep their affairs secret, to commit fraud on a massive scale, and to avoid detection.[9]

    This is an incredibly sophisticated operation, and interestingly, uses the very same methods that the City of London has been using for centuries and presently operates to a diabolical perfection today. There is no way that a solo Pakistani financier, even if he was financed by the Sheik of Abu Dhabi, could rise in less than a decade, operating on the turf of ancient banking channels that go back several centuries, to rise to become the seventh largest bank in the netherworld of finance without a little help from the big boys.

    On July 29th, 1991, a Manhattan grand jury indicted BCCI on twelve accounts of fraud, money laundering and larceny. Robert Morgenthau (Manhattan DA), who was in charge of the investigation, has described BCCI as “the largest bank fraud in world financial history.”

    Through the Rabbit Hole and Out Again

    Today, the actions of the United States can best be understood in the context of the Anglo-American Empire, with Wall Street operating as an extension of the ancient banking channels of the City of London and Geneva.

    The disastrous foreign policy of namely Britain and the United States in the War on Terror Crusade has been exposed multiple times. That is, that the very governments who have been shouting the loudest against Islamic extremism and for stability in the Middle East, are the very ones who have been weaponising, training and funding such terrorist groupings. The Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, ISIS (and all its viral variants) would not exist today if it were not for namely Britain’s age old strategy.

    So what is the goal?

    Well, what does any empire seek? Global domination.

    In this light, the War on Terror is exposed for what it truly is. It is meant to impoverish and destroy the national sovereignty of the people, not only of the Middle East (or more accurately Southwest Asia), but as we are seeing clearly today, it has also acted as a slow blood-letting of the western people, whose economies are much weaker today than they were 20 years ago.

    While western countries are increasingly unable to provide a proper standard of living, with mass unemployment, lack of healthcare, increased crime and suicide rates, and increased overdoses and homelessness, and pretty much everything you would expect to rise during a Dark Age straight out of a Goya painting, these “first-world” governments are applying further austerity measures on the people, even after prolonged lockdowns, while openly pumping trillions of dollars into wars that not only fund the destruction of entire nations, but funds the global drug, arms and sex-trafficking trade. All of this dirty money then circles back into the London-Geneva fondi, benefitting a select class that has existed and thrived for centuries on this sort of backdrop.

    Nobody has benefitted from this War on Terror except the global elite.

    So stop getting sucked into the same old same old lies; stop being a slave to the system and let us finally unite and stand up against the true common enemy of the people of the world.

    The author can be reached at https://cynthiachung.substack.com/

    1. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam” 
    2. Ibid. 
    3. The proposal to London from Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was reported by a British Orientalist and author W.S. Blunt, a friend of Afghani’s. It is cited in C.C. Adams, “Islam and Modernism in Egypt.” 
    4. Elie Kedourie, “Afghani and Abduh: An Essay on Religious Unbelief and Political Activism in Modern Islam.” 
    5. Ibid. 
    6. David Holden and Richard Johns, “The House of Saud.” 
    7. Richard P. Mitchell, “The Society of the Muslim Brothers.” 
    8. Ibid. 
    9. John Kerry “The BCCI Affair: A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations.” 

    Big, huge changes, in the near future (a tentative list)

    SEPTEMBER 26, 2021

    by Andrei for the Saker blog

    Note: I will be terminating the fund drive today, and I want to thank ALL those who donated, be it prayers, words of support or money.  You have made a huge difference to us in a difficult moment and I want to thank you all for this!  As for the blog, it is now doing better than ever and I have you all to thank for it.

    ***

    Truly, tectonic changes are happening before our eyes, and today I just want to list some of them but without going to deep into specific analyses, that I plan to do later in the coming weeks.  But just looking at this list is impressive enough, at least for me.  So, here we go:

    The Anglos are circling the wagons:

    The planned sale of US/UK SSNs to Australia is nothing short of a HUGE game changer.  It is also just the tip of a big iceberg:

    • The US seems to have de-facto given up on Europe, not only because the UK left or because the EU is crashing and unmanageable anyway, but because the political grip the US had on the continent is now clearly slipping: NATO is a paper tiger, the “new Europeans” have outlived their utility and Russia has basically successfully diffused the threat from the West by her titanic effort to develop capabilities which make an attack on Russia suicidal for any country, including the USA, whether nukes are involved or not.
    • By screwing over France, the US has jettisoned a pretty useless ally which had a short hysterical fit, but is already going back to its usual groveling and begging (BTW – those who think that de Gaulle was the last French patriot capable of telling Uncle Shmuel to “take a hike” are wrong, Mitterrand was the last one, but that is a topic for another day).
    • Of course, in political/PR terms, the US will continue to declare itself committed to NATO and the EU, but the “body language” (actions) of the US directly contradicts this notion.
    • For all its immense progress since the 80s and 90s, China still has two major technological weak points: aircraft engines and SSNs.  It just so happens that these are also two real US strong points.  By deploying 8 more SSNs near China, the US is very intelligently maximizing the use of its best assets and hurting China were it will hurt the most.  This does come with some very real risks, however, which I will discuss below.

    The BRICS is close to becoming useless:

    Brazil is currently run by the US and Israel.  South Africa is in a deep crisis.  As for India, it is doing what it has been doing for decades: trying to play all sides while trying to weaken China.  So it sure looks like the BRICS are becoming the “BRICS” which really leaves us with “only” the “RC” alliance which actually has a real name: the Chinese call it the “Strategic comprehensive partnership of coordination for the new era”.

    Again, I don’t think that anybody will formally dissolve what was a rather informal alliance to begin with, but de-facto the BRICS seems to be loosing much of its former glamour and illusions.  As for Russia and China, they are not going to “save” the former BRICS members out of some sense of sympathy especially not against their own will: let them save themselves, or at least try.  Then, maybe.

    Also, let’s be honest here, BRICS was an economic concept which was mostly an alliance of weak(er) countries against the big economic and military powers of the North and West.

    As for the Russian-Chinese alliance (let’s call it that, even though formally that is not what this is), it is, by itself, already more powerful than BRICS and even more powerful that the united West (US+NATO+EU+etc.).

    The SCO is changing (thanks to Uncle Shmuel), fast

    If Biden was a secret “Putin agent” (“KGB agent” is the preferred term in the US, at least by those who do not seem to realize that the KGB was disbanded thirty years ago) he could not have done “better” than what he did in Afghanistan.  Now, thanks to this galactic faceplant, the small(er) guys in the SCO (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) are now getting seriously concerned about what will happen next.  Even better, the (very powerful) Iran will officially become a SCO member this month!  Again, neither Russia not China “need” the SCO for their defense, but it sure makes things easier for them.  Speaking of Afghanistan, Pakistan is already a SCO member, as is India.

    It is important to note that the SCO will not become an “Asian NATO” or an “anti-NATO” or anything similar.  Again, why would Russia, China and other want to follow a failed model?  They have repeated ad nauseam that their alliances are of unions of (truly!) sovereign states and that this union will not impede on this sovereignty in any ways (besides, neither Russia not China need to limit the others SCO members sovereignty to begin with).

    The EU is slowly committing economic and political suicide

    Initially, France had a major hissy fit, but is probably not doing the only thing France should do after what happened: leave NATO and slam the door on it, very loudly.  De Gaulle or Mitterrand would have done so immediately, but Macron?  Being the ultimate spineless fake that he is, it would be miraculous if he did anything meaningful (other than brutally repressing all the riots in France).

    At this time of writing the result of the elections in Germany are too close to call, but even if NS2 is allowed to function, the level of russophobic hysteria in Europe is so extreme that the following will almost certainly happen: the EU will continue with its rhetoric until the prices go even further up, at which point they will turn to the only country which the EU desperately need to survive: the much hated and feared Russia.  Don’t quote me on that, but last week I remember the following prices for 1000 cubic meters of gas in Europe (just under 1000 dollars), the Ukraine (1600 dollars) and Belarus (120 dollars).  I might have memorized this wrong (I was traveling), and this might have changed, but the bottom line is this: only Russia can’t give the EU the energy it needs, and she has exactly ZERO reasons to make those russophobic prostitutes any favors (other than symbolic).  And even if my memory played a trick on me, what is certain that the prices for energy are soaring, the EU reserves are very low, and the temperatures falling.  Welcome to the real world 🙂

    I won’t even go into the “multiculturalism” “inclusivity” “positivity” and other Woke nonsense which most of the EU countries have accepted as dogmas (even Switzerland caved in).

    The US is like an aircraft breaking apart in mid-air

    As most of you know, I have decided to stay away from internal US politics (for many different reasons).  So I will just use a metaphor: the US is like an aircraft which, due to pilot incompetence and infighting, is breaking apart in mid-air with its passengers still arguing about who should be the next pilot as that could make any difference.  Some passengers will continue to argue until the hit the ground.  Others are engage in “mid-air fistfights” apparently believing that if they succeed in beating the crap out of the other guy, they will somehow prevent gravity from doing what it does.

    The reality is much simpler: a system that is not viable AND which cannot reform itself (too busy with self-worshiping and blaming others for everything) can only do one thing: collapse and, probably, even break-apart.  Only after that can the US, or whatever the successor state(s) will be called, rebuilt itself into something totally different from the US which died chocking on its own arrogance this year (like all the other empires in history, by the way, the latest one being the Soviet one).

    The Russian elections

    The results are in and they are yet another galactic faceplant for the AngloZionist Empire.  The main Kremlin Party took a hit, the Communists did very well, Zhirinovski’s LDPR lost a lot and a new (moderately pro-Kremlin) party made it in for the first time.  Considering the many billions of dollars the West has spent on trying to create a Belarus-like crisis in Russia (Navalnyi, Petrov, Boshirov & Co.), this is yet another truly gigantic failure for the West.  If anything, the rise of the KPRF shows that a lot of people are fed up with two things: 1) what they see as a tepid, if not outright weak, Russian foreign policy towards the West and 2) with the liberal (economically speaking) policies of Putin and his entourage.  Absolutely NOBODY in Russia wants “better relations” or any kind of “dialog” with the rabidly russophobic West.  And to the extend that Russia and the USA simply *have* to talk to each other (being nuclear superpowers) they, of course, will.  But the EU as such is of zero interest to Russia.  And if Russia needs to get something done (like what anyway?), she will talk to the US, not its EU underlings.  For all its problems, the US still matters.  But the clowns of the EU?

    [Sidebar: the word “Communist” usually elicits a knee-jerk reaction from brainwashed US Americans.  But for the rest of them, let me just say that while I don’t think the KPRF is what Russia needs and while I have nothing good to say about Ziuganov or most of the KPRF leadership, I will say that KPRF does not mean Gulags, hammers and sickles smashing Ukie babies, Russian tanks in downtown Warsaw or any such nonsense.  There are several “Communist” parties in Russia, and none of them are even remotely similar to the kind of party the bad old CPSU was.  So while US politicians feel very witty to speak of the CCP-virus and that kind of nonsense (Ted Cruz is officially my “favorite idiot” in Congress now), this is so far detached from any reality that I won’t even bother explaining it here.]

    The COVID pandemic

    Wow, just wow.  Where do I even begin???  Biden’s speech on this topic was hateful declaration of war on all those who don’t fully accept the “official” White House line.  The fact that many (most?) of those who do not accept the official party line DO accept an even dumber version of events does not make it right to force them into choosing between their beliefs and, say, their job, or their right to move around.  Again, after listening to Biden I kept wondering if he was a “Putin agent” as his actions are only accelerating the breakup of the “US aircraft” I mentioned above.  You can say many things about COVID-dissidents, but you can’t deny them two things: 1) a sincere belief in their ideas and 2) an equally sincere belief that their core freedoms, values and rights are trampled upon by pathological liars and crooks (aka politicians + BigPharma).

    They will resist and, yes, violently if needed.  Because for them it is a both a matter of personal human dignity and even survival!

    At least, and so far, the US still has a powerful Constitution which will make it very hard for the current nutcases in the White House to do what they apparently want to do (force 80M US Americans to obey “or else”).  Furthermore, Federal courts cannot be simply ignored.  Also, US states still have a lot of power.  Finally, most US Americans still hold dear the ideals of freedom, liberty, small government, privacy, etc. But EU countries have no such protections from governmental abuse: true, in the US these are all rights are weakened by the day if not the hour, but at least they have not been *officially* abrogated (yet?).

    If you want to see how bad things can get without such rights, just look at the pandemic freak show in Canada, Australia or New Zealand!

    Finally, and irrespective of its actual origin (I am still on the fence on that), the COVID pandemic wiped all the make-up and has showed the entire world the true face of the West and its rulers: weak, ignorant, arrogant, hypocritical cowards whose only true concern is to cover their butts and “grab whatever can be grabbed” before the inevitable and final explosion (nuclear, economic or social).

    Now back the the Aussie SSNs

    The sale/lease of these SSNs is not only a danger for China, but also one for Russia.  Simply put, Russia cannot and will not allow the Anglos to strangle China like they did with Japan before WWII.  The good news is this: the latest Russian SSNs/SSGNs are at least as good as the latest Seawolf/Virginia class, if not better.  Ditto for ASW capabilities.  What Russia does lack is the needed numbers (and Anglo submarine fleets are much lager, even “just” the USN alone) and funds, both of which China has (or can have).  From the Kremlin’s point of view, the Anglos are trying to create an “Asian NATO”, something which neither China nor Russia will allow.  The Chinese already informed the Aussies that they are now a legitimate target for nuclear strikes (apparently, Australia wants to become the “Poland of the Pacific”), while the Russians only made general comments of disapproval.  But take this to the bank: the Russian General Staff and the Chinese (who both probably saw this coming for a while) will jointly deploy the resources needed to counter this latest “brilliant idea” of the Anglos.  In purely military terms, there are many different options to deal with this threat, which ones China and Russia will chose will become apparent fairly soon because it is far better to do something prevent that delivery from actually happening than to deal with eight more advanced attack submarines.

    By the way, the Russians are also semi-deploying/semi-testing an advanced SSK, the Lada-class, which has both very advanced capabilities and, apparently, still many problems.  SSKs are not capable of threatening SSNs in open (blue) waters, but in shallower (green/brown) waters such as straits or littorals, they can represent a very real threat, if only by “freeing up” the SNNs to go and hunt into the deep (blue) waters.  Also, the main threat for subs comes from the air, and here, again, China and Russia have some very attractive options.

    Conclusion: interesting times for sure…

    Like the Chinese curse says, we are living in very interesting times.  The quick collapse of the Empire and the US is, of course, inherently very dangerous for our planet.  But it is also a golden opportunity for Zone B nations to finally kick the Anglos out and regain their sovereignty.  True, the US still has a lot of momentum, just like a falling airliner would, but the fact  remains that 1) they ran from Afghanistan and 2) they are circling their Anglo wagons shows that somebody somewhere does “get it” and even understood that in spite of the huge political humiliation both of these development represent for narcissistic politicians and their followers, this was a price which absolutely HAD to be paid to (try) to survive.

    In my article (infamous) analysis ” Will Afghanistan turn out to be US imperialism’s “Last Gleaming”?” (it triggered even more hysterics and insults than usual, at least on the Unz review comments section) I wrote this: “the British Empire had the means of its foreign policies. The US does not.

    This is now changing.

    Yes, what the Anglos (aka 5 eyes) are doing is a retreat.  But it is a *smart* one.  They are cutting off all the “useless imperial weights” and going for the “smaller but stronger” option.  We might not like it, I certainly don’t, but I have to admit that this is pretty smart and even probably the only option left for the AngloZionist Empire. At the very least, it is now clear that the Anglos have no allies, and never had them.  What they had where colonial coolies who imagined themselves as part of some “community of civilized, democratic and peace-loving, nations”.  These coolies are now left in limbo.

    So, who will be the next one to show Uncle Shmuel to the door?  My guess is the Republic of Korea.  And, frankly, since the DPRK is not a country the Empire can take on, and since China will only increase its (already major) influence on both the DPRK and the ROK, the US might as well pack and leave (maybe for Australia or occupied Japan?).

    Okay, end of this overview of developments.

    Now it’s your time to chime in as I am pretty sure that I missed quite a few things while in a short trip.

    Cheers

    Andrei

    Anti-China US/UK/Australia Axis of Evil

    The Stephen Lendman Blog

    Both wings of the US war party target all nations free from their control for regime change — forever wars by hot and/or other means their favored tactics.

    China is hegemon USA’s target No. One — for its growing political, economic and technological prominence on the world stage, not for any national security threat its leadership poses.

    While preemptive US war on the country is extremely unlikely, it’s possible by accident or design — given how often its ruling class chooses this option.

    Its risk increased by a newly formed anti-China axis of evil.

    On Wednesday, the Biden regime and imperial UK/Australian partners announced what they called a “historic” security alliance (sic).

    Unrelated to the security of their nations — facing no threats from others, just invented ones — newly formed “Aukus” is all about challenging China in a part of the world where hegemon USA and Britain don’t belong.

    View original post 671 more words

    Fake News on Invented US Enemies: Focus on Russia

    The Stephen Lendman Blog

    Virtually all nations free from US control prioritize world peace, stability, cooperative relations with other countries and compliance with international law.

    At peace with their neighbors and other countries, their foreign policy is polar opposite how hegemon USA and its imperial co-conspirators operate.

    Ahead of Russia’s lower house State Duma elections — to conclude on Sunday — the Washington Post recited its customary litany of bald-faced Big Lies about the country and Vladimir Putin.

    It lied claiming “the deck (was) stack(ed) for Putin (sic).”

    It lied accusing Russia of running “fake candidates and jailing opposition figures (sic).”

    Last month, Putin expressed “hope that the United Russia (party) will maintain its position and have an opportunity at the legislative level to take relevant decisions in the interests of the country,” adding:

    “The party’s program is an important, fundamental document.”

    “It is a living document that must respond to what is happening…

    View original post 523 more words

    Dissenting Voices in the USA

    September 10, 2021

    Dissenting Voices in the USA

    By Walt Garlington for The Saker Blog

    Mr Robert Bridge is mostly right when he says the American impulse to dominate other countries is quite old. Mostly right, for he fails to mention that ‘America’ is not a monolithic entity that speaks with a single voice. There are, in fact, several regional cultures and subcultures with their own folkways that often clash with one another. Relationships with foreign countries is just one of many flash points that have risen between them over the years.

    American exceptionalism, as he rightly sees, has its origins with the settlers of New England, who believed they were sent by God to build New Jerusalem in North America. But the Pilgrims were not the only cultural group that settled in the land area that now belongs to the United States. The Southern people, whose history begins at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, had quite a different temperament and beliefs than the Yankees of New England. Their views of foreign policy were, accordingly, also quite different.

    The well-known Farewell Address (1796) of President George Washington (a Southerner from Virginia), is a good place to begin. In it he recommends the following to those in the States:

    ‘Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? . . . The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.’

    Pres Thomas Jefferson, also of Virginia, echoes these sentiments:

    ‘Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto’ (letter of 1799).

    ‘The presumption of dictating to an independent nation the form of its government is so arrogant, so atrocious, that indignation as well as moral sentiment enlists all our partialities and prayers in favor of one [independent nations] and our equal execrations against the other [dictating to other nations]’ (letter of 1823).1

    Another important Southern voice is John Randolph of Roanoke: ‘His political creed was that of a latter-day Antifederalist. “Love of peace, hatred of offensive war, jealousy of the state governments toward the general government; a dread of standing armies; a loathing of public debt, taxes, and excises; tenderness for the liberty of the citizen; jealousy, Argus-eyed jealousy, of the patronage of the President.”’

    The critical moment for the United States was the so-called Civil War of 1861-1865 (more properly called the War of Northern Aggression or the War to Prevent Southern Independence, for the South was not fighting to take over Washington, D. C.; she wanted to peacefully separate form it and the Northern States and chart her own course). Here Confederate President Jefferson Davis’s statement is key: ‘The lust of empire impelled them [Yankees] to wage against their weaker neighbors [the South] a war of subjugation.’2

    The dramatic change that was wrought in the Union through this horrible War – from a voluntary confederation of States to an involuntarily unified nation dominated by the Yankee ruling elite in Washington City – was admitted even by Yankees themselves. A professor at Harvard, George Ticknor, after the War was over, said, ‘It does not seem to me as if I were living in the country in which I was born.’3

    From that point onward, the restraint in foreign policy advocated by many Southerners was rejected by and large for the imperial expansion desired by Northerners from Alexander Hamilton to Pres Lincoln. The prediction of General Robert E. Lee in 1866, that the US government would become ‘aggressive abroad and despotic at home’, after the old principles of decentralization and a voluntary compact of independent States were destroyed by Lincoln’s War,4 has come true.

    However, with more and more voices predicting a breakup of the current American Union, due to various cultural divisions, failures abroad, and so on, it is possible that the South and the other cultural regions (Great Plains, Old Midwest, etc.) will be able to free themselves after decades of Yankee domination. Smaller confederations conducting foreign policy along the lines laid down by the Old Southern statesmen would spare the countries of the world any further violence from the current Yankee Empire.

    Professor William Riker once speculated about how the 20th century would have looked if the unitary American Empire had not arisen; if, instead, North America looked more like South America, with several smaller ‘disconnected republics’ populating it:

    ‘“I know for certain,” writes Riker, “that the relatively smaller and weaker American nations would not have been able to participate in European wars.” An America-less First World War—or Great War, as we’d be calling it—would have ended in a German triumph, according to Riker. “There would, of course, have been no occasion for Hitler and the Second World War,” and in carving up European Russia the Germans would have unwittingly prevented the rise of Soviet communism.

    ‘No Constitution means no Hitler, no Stalin . . . and no American Civil War, for that matter.’5

    What would the 21st century look like if the American Empire were broken up into its more natural cultural-ethnic components? What terrors could be avoided – war with China, Iran, and Russia? What good could be fostered – more restrictions on the power of Big Tech?

    New England does not make up the totality of culture in the United States. There are other cultures, other voices; but they have unfortunately been silenced by the Yankees for the time being. The future of geopolitics hinges in part on whether the peoples of the South, the Midwest, the Spanish Southwest, etc., rediscover and strengthen their cultural identities, withdraw from the arrogant, heretical Yankee American Empire, and pursue a modest and peaceful foreign policy that is in keeping with their unique historical, ethnic qualities.

    Notes

    1 James and Walter Kennedy, Yankee Empire: Aggressive Abroad and Despotic at Home, Shotwell Publishing, Columbia, SC, 2018, p. 140.

    2 Ibid., p. 342.

    3 Ibid., p. 142.

    4 Ibid., p. ix.

    5 Bill Kauffman, Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin, ISI Books, Wilmington, Del., 2008, p. 34.

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