أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية America in the Soviet Moment

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أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية

فاضل الربيعي يكتب أمريكا دخلت اللحظة السوفيتية :: الأنباط
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فاضل الربيعي

القليلونَ فقط -من المحلّلينَ والمتابعينَ- مَنْ يتذكّر اليوم، ما حدثَ في الماضي القريب، عندما شَهِدَ العالمُ ما يمكنُ تسميتهُ بـ(اللّحظةِ السّوفيتيّةِ عام 1989-1990) آنذاك كانَ الرئيسُ السّوفياتيّ بوريس يلتسين يترنّحُ من السّكرِ في اللّقاءاتِ الرسميّة، ومعه كانَ الاتّحادُ السّوفياتيّ يترنّحُ دونَ سكرٍ،و كان يلتسن زعيماً كحوليّاً وفاسداً ومُثيراً للسخريةِ، والعالم كلّهُ آنذاك سَخِرَ منهَ ومن بلاده، ومثل عملاقٍ بقدمين من طين، انهارَ الاتّحادُ السوفياتيّ العظيم فجأةً في لحظةٍ ماجنةٍ، حينَ وقعَ انقلابٌ عسكريٌّ انتهى بتفكّكه. ترنّحَ العملاقُ وسقطَ فجأةً وسطَ ذهولِ العالم

 . اليوم، تبدو الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّةُ، وكأنّها دخلت (اللّحظةَ السّوفيتيّة) ذاتها، فثمّة زعيمٌ يترنح، وبلدٌ عملاقٌ يتصدّعُ بطريقةٍ مفضوحةٍ. ترامب الأمريكيّ من هذا المنظور يُكرّرُ صورةَ يلتسن السّوفياتيّ، ولكنْ بدلاً من أنْ يبدوَ ترامب سكّيراً، سيبدوُ مُهرِّجاً.. ماذا يعني هذا؟ يعني هذا ببساطة، أنَّ العالمَ دخلَ من جديد في حالةِ سيولة سبقَ وأنْ دخلَها مع انهيارِ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، بيد أنَّ العالمَ مع ذلكَ يُعيدُ تشكيلَ نفسهِ كمادّةٍ صلبةٍ من جديد، لأنّهُ يُغادرُ عصراً ويدخلُ عصراً جديداً. بكلامٍ موازٍ؛ دونالد ترامب الأمريكيّ هو بوريس يلتسن السّوفياتيّ، وهما معاً منْ يصنعا اللّحظة ذاتها. كِلاهما جاءَ للقيامِ بالواجبِ المطلوبِ منه. تفكيكُ البلد القديم ببنائِهِ المُتهالِكِ وجدرانِهِ المُتصدّعة. أحدهما اختارَ شخصيّة (السكّير) والآخر اختارَ شخصيّةَ (المهرّج)، إنّها حفلةُ إعادةِ بناءِ العالمِ من جديد، وعلى القادةِ

في عام 1987 نشر المستقبليّ الأمريكيّ آليفين توفلر ثلاثةُ كتبٍ هي الأشهرُ بين كتبه (الموجةُ الثالثةُ وخرائطُ العالمِ وتوزيع/ تشظّي السُّلطة .

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في الكتاب الأول، تنبأَ توفلر بانهيارِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ في غضونِ بضعِ سنوات، وهذا ما تحقّقَ بشكلٍ مُذهل، فبعدَ بضعِ سنواتٍ بالفعلِ من صدورِ الكتابِ سقطَ العملاقُ ذو القدمين الطّينيتّين.

في هذا الوقتِ، وحين صدرَ كتاب توفلر، كنتُ أعيشُ مع أُسرتي في بلغرد (يوغسلافيا)، وصادفَ أنّني ومجموعةٌ من الشّبابِ الفلسطينيّينَ قرّرنا القيام برحلةٍ سريعةٍ لرومانيا المجاورة، في بوخارست – رومانيا، تحدثتُ مع الملحقِ الثّقافيّ في السّفارةِ الفلسطينيّة، فقال لي إنّهُ عَلِمَ من أصدقاءَ لهُ في قيادةِ الحزبِ الشّيوعيّ الرومانيّ أنَّ الرئيسَ شاوشيسكو طلبَ ترجمة كتابِ توفلر، ثمّ وزّعَ بنفسِهِ عشر نسخٍ منه فقط على أعضاءِ في المكتبِ السياسيّ للحزبِ الشّيوعيّ الرّومانيّ، وكان شاوشيسكو مرعوباً ممّا يجري في العالم، وأيقنَ أنَّ هذه النبوءةَ ليست مجرّدَ نبوءة.


حينَ عدتُ إلى بلغراد دعوتُ إلى منزلي رفاقاً لي من الحزبِ الشّيوعيّ اليوغسلافيّ، كنّا نسهرُ معاً باستمرار، فجاءَ ثلاثةٌ منهم فقط مع زوجاتِهم، وكنتُ أُلاحظُ أنَّ زوجاتِ رفاقي اليوغسلاف كُنَّ حزيناتٍ وهنَّ يُحدثنَ زوجتي عن (تنظيفِ البنادق). انتبهتُ إلى سياقِ الحديثِ لكنّني لمْ أفهم النقاشَ بدقّةٍ، ولذا بادرتُ إلى طرحِ السّؤالِ الآتي الذي كان يلحُ عليّ: “هل بدأتم حقاً بتنظيفِ (البواريد)؟ هذا يعني أنَّ يوغسلافيا تتّجهُ نحو الحربِ؟”، ثم سألتهم: “والآن قولوا لي ما الذي جاءَ من أجلهِ غورباتشوف اليوم، لقد رأيتُ في التلفزيون أنّهُ جاءَ لزيارةِ الرئيسِ اليوغسلافيّ (الشهيد) ميلوسوفيتش، لكنّه غادرَ بعدَ ساعةٍ واحدةٍ فقط، وكان مُتجهِماً وبدا عليهِ الانزعاجُ، ما الذي يحدث؟” فقال لي أحدهم: اسمع يارفيق، جاءَ غورباتشوف اليوم برسالةٍ من الأمريكيّينَ مفادُها الآتي: سيّد سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش فكّكَ يوغسلافيا بهدوءٍ أو سنأتي لتفكيكِها بالقوّة، وأذكرُ أنّني في اليوم التالي، كنتُ ضمن المتظاهرينَ في شارعِ تيتو -في قلبِ بغراد- حينَ ذهينا إلى البرلمانِ نُحيّي الرئيسَ (الشهيد) سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش الذي قالَ وهو يُخاطبُنا: سأموتُ دِفعاً عن يوغسلافيا موحّدة، سأقاتلُ إلى النهاية. كان الأمريكيونَ يريدونَ منه تفكيكَ يوغسلافيا إلى (فيدراليّات) وليس تحويلَ يوغسلافيا إلى دولةٍ فيدراليّة؛ أي كانوا يخطّطونَ لتمزيقِها، وكان رسولُهم غورباتشوف هو الدّمية التي تحكّمَ بها السكّير بوريس يلتسن.

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في هذهِ اللّحظة، وحين كانَ غورباتشوف يقومُ بتفكيكِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ، تمّ تدبيرُ (الثورةِ الأمريكيّة) ضدّ شاوشيسكو التي انتهت بقتلِهِ بطريقةٍ بَشِعةٍ، وفي يومِ مصرعِ الرئيسِ الشّهيد شاوشيسكو الذي يُوصَفُ ظلماً بالمجرمِ والقاتل –وياللمفارقة- كانت بوخارست تعلنُ رسميّاً أنّها بلدٌ (دون ديونٍ خارجيّة)؛ أي صفر ديون.

في هذه اللّحظةِ السوفيتيّة المأسويّة، كانَ صدّام حسين يدخلُ الكويتَ، وكثيرونَ يعتقدونَ حتّى اليوم أنَّ الرجلَ الأحمقَ تصرّفَ بحماقةٍ وحسب، وبرأييّ؛ الأمرُ كان مُختلفاً، فكان العراقُ يُدركُ أنَّ خرائطَ العالم التي تَنبّأَ بها توفلر وُضِعَت قيد التطبيق، ولذا حاولَ صدّام حسين العبثَ بالخرائطِ، وكان أوّل ما فعلهُ أنْ جعلَ الكويتَ (محافظةً عراقيّةً)، وكانت المعادلةُ بالنسبةِ لبلدٍ طرفيٍّ صغير من بلدانِ العالمِ الثّالث، وهو يراقبُ تفكّك الإمبراطوريّاتِ والدولِ على النحو الآتي: ما دامَ الأمريكيّونَ سيعبثونَ بخرائطِ العالم، فعلى العالمِ أنْ يعبثَ بخرائطِ أمريكا. لمْ يكن صدّام حسين مجرّد أحمقٍ وحسب، هذه صورةٌ نمطيّةٌ مُزعِجةٌ ولا قيمةَ لها في أيّ تحليلٍ علميّ، وفي النهايةِ هو رئيسُ دولةٍ إقليميّةٍ مهمّةٍ كانَ لديها ما يكفي من المعطياتِ عمّا يجري في العالم، ومهما يكن، وأيّاً يكن (ما إذا كانَ غزو الكويت حماقةً أمْ لا) فليسَ هذا الأمرُ المهمُّ في هذا التحليل، المهمُّ أنْ نلاحظَ هذا الجو الدوليّ الذي بدأَ بالتشكّل.


وهكذا، وقُبيلَ احتلالِ العراقِ (مارس/ آذار 2003) بثلاثةِ أشهرٍ تقريباً، وحينَ مضى أكثرُ من عقدٍ من الزّمنِ على انهيارِ العالمِ القديم، وحينَ كنتُ أعيشُ مع أُسرتي في هولندا، ذهبتُ إلى بغدادَ بدعوةٍ من وزيرِ الخارجيِةِ المرحوم طارق عزيز، بالنسبةِ لي كانَ الأُستاذ طارق عزيز -رحمه الله- صديقاً، وكنتُ أعرفهُ منذُ وقتٍ طويل، وفي بغداد التي عُدتُ إليها من المنفى بعد نحو 30 عاماً -كمعارضٍ- التقيتُ السيّدَ عزة الدوري (عزة إبراهيم نائبُ الرئيسِ صدّام حسين). وسالتُه خلالَ لقاءٍ استمرَّ لساعاتٍ، (ما أرويه –هنا- هو تاريخٌ، وللجميعِ الحقّ في اتّخاذِ أيّ موقف، لكن يجبُ احترامُ الواقعةِ التي أرويها لأنّني أكتبُ بموضوعيّةٍ وللتاريخ).

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مالذي يريدهُ الأمريكيّونَ منكم، أعني ما الذي طلبوهُ منكم بالضبط؟ لماذا هذا الإلحاحُ على إسقاطِ النظامِ في بغدادَ، رجاء قلْ لي ماذا طلبَ الأمريكيّونَ منكم؟ فقالَ لي حرفيّاً ما يأتي (وباللّهجةِ العراقية):

– يا رفيق.. طلبوا منّا شيئاً قُلنا لهم لا نقدر عليه. خذوهُ بالقوّة.

فقلتُ لهُ على الفور:

– شكراً لكَ.. فَهِمت ما طلبوهُ منكم، لقد طلبوا منكم ما طلبوهُ من بلغراد.

في الواقعِ طلبَ الأمريكيّونَ من صدّام حسين عام 1990 ما طلبوهُ من سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش عام 1987 (ثلاث سنوات فقط) : تفكيك يوغسلافيا/ تفكيك العراق. بعدَ عشرِ سنواتٍ من العِنادِ والحصارِ الرهيبِ جاءَ الأمريكيّونَ بأنفسِهم لتفيككِ العراق.

ما دامَ سلوبودان ميلوسوفيتش لم يُفككّ يوغسلافيا بهدوء، فقدَ جاءَ الأمريكيّونَ بأنفسِهم وقاموا بتفكيكِها، تماماً كما حذّرَ غورباغتشوف، وحين امتنعَ صدّام حسين عن تنفيذِ ما طلبهُ الأمريكيّونَ جاؤوا بأنفسِهم، وكانت هناك (خرائط العالم) الجديدةِ التي تنبّأ بها آلفين توفلر.

الأمريكيّونَ كانوا يعرفونَ أنّهم سوفَ يتفكّكونَ كبلدٍ عملاق، بعدَ عقودٍ ثلاثةٍ أو أكثرَ قليلاً من تفكّكِ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، لكنّهم قرّروا أنّهم يجبُ أنْ يُفكّكوا العالمَ كلّه خلال 30 عاماً. 

سأُلخّصُ الفكرةَ الجوهريّةَ في كتبِ آلفين توفلر الثلاثة ولمن لا يعرف؛ فإن المؤلّفُ كانَ عاملاً في مصانعِ سيّاراتٍ من أصولٍ تروتسكية، لكنّهُ درسَ وأصبحَ أستاذاً جامعيّاً، ثمَّ انضمّ إلى فريقِ المستقبليّين، وهو فريقٌ متخصّصٌ مهمّته التنبؤ بالمستقبلِ. توفلر قالَ وداعاً للشيوعيّةِ وأصبحَ مُوالياً للرأسماليّةِ.

ببساطة، مرّت البشريّةُ -برأي توفلر- بثلاثِ موجاتٍ كُبرى، الزراعيّة قبلَ 10 آلاف عامٍ، ثمَّ الموجةُ الصناعيّةُ قبلَ بضعةِ قرون، والآن، يدخلُ العالمُ عصرَ الموجةِ الثالثة (ما بعدَ العصرِ الصناعيّ: عصرُ السّلعةِ النّاعمةِ، أي الـ Software). برأي توفلر، إنَّ العصرَ الصناعيّ انتهى واختفى ولمْ يَعُد لهُ وجود، حتى تعبير (لندن مدينةُ الضبابِ) اختفى؛ لأنَّ لندن لمْ تَعُد كما كانت في القرنِ التاسعِ عشر تستخدمُ الفحمَ في التدفئةِ، وبحيث تتشكّلُ سحابةٌ من الضبابِ في سمائِها، لقد اختفى عصرُ المداخنِ والمحتشداتِ العمّاليّة، والأيديولوجيّاتِ الثوريّة (الشّيوعيّة واليساريّةِ وثورات اللّاهوت الثوريّ في أمريكا اللّاتينيّة)، وفي هذا السّياق وكما اختفت النّازيّةُ، فسوفَ تختفي الصّهيونيّةُ بما هي نتاجُ هذا العصرِ، وكما تزولُ المصانعُ والمحتشدات ويتلاشى الدُّخانُ، ويحلُّ محلّها نمطٌ جديدٌ من إنتاجِ (السّلعِ الناعمةِ) فسوفَ تذهبُ هذه الأيديولوجيّاتِ هباءً مع الدُّخان، والعالمُ سينتقلُ بالفعلِ إلى عصرِ السّلعةِ الناعمةِ؛ أي أنّه سوفَ يتحوّلُ إلى وادي سيلكون.
 

ولذا، اختفى الاتّحادُ السّوفياتيّ من الوجود. 

لكنَّ آلفين توفلر أضافَ ما يأتي: انتبهوا، بعدَ خمسة وثلاثينَ أو أربعينَ عاماً سوفَ تختفي الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّة أيضاً، فقط لأنَّ العصرَ الذي وُلِدَت فيه ووُلد فيه الاتّحاد السوفياتي قد تلاشى وجاءَ عصرٌ جديدٌ، سوفَ يتمزّقُ المجتمعُ الأمريكيّ بثوراتِ السّودِ/ الزنوجِ وطموحِ الولاياتِ الغنيّة، وفي هذا الكتابِ أيضاً، تنبّأ توفلر بـ(أيديولوجيّاتٍ جديدةٍ) سوفَ تحلُّ محلَّ إيديولوجيّاتِ العصرِ الصناعيّ، وفي خرائطِ العالمِ تنبّأ بأوروبا أُخرى غير التي نعرفها، سوف تختفي أوروبا الغربيّة التي نعرفها، هذه التي قالَ عنها وزيرُ الدّفاعِ الأمريكيّ رامسفيلد بعدَ أسبوعٍ فقط من احتلالِ العراقِ ومن العاصمةِ بغداد: “وداعاً أوروبا العجوز”.

أنباء غير مؤكدة عن وفاة وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم | الرجل

كثيرونَ لمْ يصدّقوا ما قالهُ وليد المعلّم أعظمُ وزيرِ خارجيّةٍ لسورية المُعاصرة، حين خاطبَ الصّحفيّينَ في مكتبةِ الأسد قبلَ أعوام: انسوا أوروبا، لقد شطبناها من الخريطةِ، هناك أوروبا جديدةٌ تولدُ هي أوروبا الشّرقيّة (الأرثوذكسيّة من بلغاريا حتّى اليونان). ولذا يحاولُ الناتو نشرَ أسلحتهُ في أراضيها بيأس، إنّها أوروبا الجديدة التي سوفَ تُلاقي روسيا الجديدة وأمريكا الجديدة (بعدَ عشرِ سنوات)، ولأنَّ الولاياتِ المتّحدةَ الأمريكيّةَ هي اليوم في اللّحظةِ السوفيتيّة، فهذا يعني أنَّ العالمَ دخلَ عصرَ (توريعِ السّلطةِ) أو تشظّي السُّلطة. 

في قلبِ هذه اللّحظةِ التاريخيّةِ أصبحت سورية مطبخَ العالمِ الجديد -ويا للأسف-؛ أيّ المكان الذي سوفَ تتقرّرُ فيه حصصُ وأحجامُ الدولِ. إنّها المكانُ الذي سوفَ يتمكّنُ فيه العالمُ من الانتقالِ النهائيّ من (حالةِ السيولةِ) إلى (حالةِ الصَّلابةِ).

لقد لَعِبَ بوريس يلتسن دورَهُ كسكّيرٍ ثمَّ سلّمَ الأمانةَ لبوتين، وترامب اليوم يلعبُ دورَهُ كمهرّجٍ قبلَ أنْ يُسلّمَ الأمانةَ لـ(بوتين أمريكيّ) يُعيدُ بناءَ أمريكا المُتهالِكة. في مزحةٍ عابرةٍ قال بوتين تعليقاً على قراراتِ ترامب “إنّهُ ينفّذُ ما تطلبهُ الآلة”. نعم، هناك (آلةٌ) تأمرُ الرئيسَ أنْ يبدوَ سكّيراً أو مُهرِّجاً، ولكن شرطَ أنْ ينفذَ، ليس مهمّاً ما هي هيئتهُ، سكّيراً يكونُ أو مهرّجاً، ليخترَ ما يشاء. المهمُ أنْ ينفّذَ.

في نبوءةِ توفل نقرأ الآتي: الولاياتُ المتّحدةُ الأمريكيّةُ على طريقِ الاتّحادِ السوفياتيّ سوف تختفي وتتفككّ، لكنّها سوفَ تَعودُ في شكلٍ آخرَ. عاملُ السيّاراتِ التروتسكي الذي أصبحَ من أنبياءِ أمريكا، لا ينطقُ عن هَوى، (إنْ هو إلّا وحيٌ يُوحى) كما في القرآن الكريم. إنّهُ مُتنبئ وليسَ نبيّاً، أي كاهنٌ في المؤسّسةِ الرأسماليّةِ التي تقبضُ على عنقِ العالمِ وقد خرجَ إلى الأسواِق ليتنبأَ مُحذِّراً أنَّ أمريكا دخلت اللّحظة السوفيتيّة، وسوفَ تنهارُ كما انهارَ الاتّحادِ السّوفياتيّ، وأنَّ المهرّجَ الأمريكيّ مثل السكّيرِ السّوفياتيّ يمكنُ أنْ يسقطَ في أيّ لحظةٍ وفجأةً. القوى العظمى كما قالَ ماو تسي تونغ ذاتَ يوم: عملاقٌ بقدمينِ من طين، وحين يترنّحُ العملاقُ في لحظةِ سكرٍ أو تهريجٍ لا فرقَ؛ فإنَّ القدمينِ الطّينيّين سوفَ تتداعيانِ وتتلاشى (المادّةُ الصمغيّة) اللّاصقةُ فيهما.

في مقالةٍ قادمةٍ سوفَ أروي لكم ما سمعتهُ من الرئيسِ بشار الأسد حين التقيتهُ مرتين وأهديتهُ نسخة من مؤلّفي الضّخم (فلسطين المُتخيّلة). 

الحربُ على سوريّةَ جرت على خلفيّةِ الطّلبِ نفسه:

فكّك بهدوءٍ أو نأتي لتفكيكِ سورية.

الأسد حين يتجوّلُ في الغوطةِ مع بدايةِ ربيعِ سورية؛ فإنّهُ يرسلُ رسالةً بليغةً:

أنا لا أترنّح.


America in the Soviet Moment

فاضل الربيعي يكتب أمريكا دخلت اللحظة السوفيتية :: الأنباط

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Fadel Al-Rubaie

Only a few analysts and followers remember today what happened in the recent past, when the world witnessed what might be called the Soviet moment of 1989-1990. The Soviet Union was reeling without sugar, Yeltsin was an alcoholic, corrupt and ridiculous leader, and the whole world at the time mocked him and his country, and like a giant with two feet of mud, the great Soviet Union collapsed at a crazy moment, when a military coup ended in its disintegration. The giant lurched and suddenly fell amidst the amazement of the world. Today, the United States of America seems to have entered the same (Soviet moment), a leader is reeling, and a giant country is cracking in a scandalous way. From this perspective, The American Trump repeats Yeltsin’s Soviet image, but instead of trump looking drunk, he will look like a clown. What does that mean? This simply means that the world has re-entered into a state of liquidity that had already entered it with the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the world is nevertheless reshaping itself as a solid material, as it leaves an era and enters a new era. In parallel, Donald Trump is the Soviet Boris Yeltsin, and they are together making the same moment. They both came to do the duty required of him. Dismantling the old country with its dilapidated structure and cracked walls. One chose the character of the drunk and the other chose the character of the clown, it’s a party to rebuild the world again, and the leaders have to master/disguise in a specific form.

In 1987 the American futurist Alvin Toffler published three books, most famous among his books (The Third Wave, Maps of the World, and The Distribution / Fragment of Power.

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In the first book, Toffler predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union within a few years, and this was achieved in an amazing way. Indeed, a few years after the publication of the book, the two-footed giant had fallen.

At this time, when Tofler’s book was published, I was living with my family in Belgrade (Yugoslavia), and it happened that I and a group of Palestinian youth decided to make a quick trip to neighboring Romania, in Bucharest I spoke with the cultural attaché at the Palestinian embassy, and he told me that he had learned from friends in the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party said that President Ceausescu requested the translation of Toffler’s book, and then distributed only 10 copies of it to members of the Political Bureau of the Roman Communist Party, and Ceausescu was terrified of what was going on in the world, and knew that this prophecy was not just a prophecy.

When I got back to Belgrade, I invited my comrades from the Yugoslav Communist Party to my home. Only three of them came with their wives, and I noticed that the wives of my Yugoslav comrades were sad while they were talking to my wife about (cleaning the guns). I paid attention to the context of the conversation, but I did not understand the discussion precisely, and so I asked “Did you really start cleaning the guns? This means that Yugoslavia is heading towards war?” Then I asked them: “Now tell me what Gorbachev came for today, I saw on television that he came to visit Yugoslav President (martyr) Milosevic, but he left only an hour later, and he appeared to be upset, what is going on? ”

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One of them said to me:“ Listen, comrade. Gorbachev came today with a message from the Americans saying the following: Mister Slobodan Milosevic, dismantled Yugoslavia calmly, or we will come to dismantle it by force, and I remember that the next day, I was among the demonstrators on Tito Street – in the heart of Belgrade – when we went to parliament to salute President (martyr) Slobodan Milosevic, he said, “I will die in defense of a united Yugoslavia, I will fight to the end. The Americans wanted him to dismantle Yugoslavia into federalism, not to turn Yugoslavia into a federal state, i.e., they were planning to tear it apart, and their messenger Gorbachev was the puppet ruled by the drunk Boris Yeltsin.

At this moment, when Gorbachev was dismantling the Soviet Union, the (American Revolution) was orchestrated against Ceausescu, which ended in a gruesome manner, and on the day of the death of the martyr president Ceausescu, who was unjustly described as a criminal and murderer— And ironically – Bucharest was officially declaring that it was a country (without foreign debts); That is, zero debts.

At this tragic Soviet moment, Saddam Hussein was entering Kuwait, and many believe to this day that the foolish man only acted foolishly, and in my opinion, it was different, Iraq was aware that the maps of the world that Toffler had predicted had been put into practice, so Saddam Hussein tried to tamper with the maps, and the first thing he did was to make Kuwait (an Iraqi province), and the equation for him was: As long as the Americans tamper with the maps of the world, the world must tamper with the maps. USA. Saddam Hussein was not just a fool, this is a disturbing stereotype that has no value in any scientific analysis, and in the end he is the head of an important regional state who had enough information about what is going on in the world.

Thus, about three months before the occupation of Iraq (March 2003), and when more than a decade had passed since the collapse of the old world, and when I lived with my family in the Netherlands, I went to Baghdad at the invitation of the late Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, for me it was the professor. Tariq Aziz – may God have mercy on him – is a friend, and I have known him for a long time, and in Baghdad, to which I returned from exile after nearly 30 years – as an opponent – I met Mr. Azza al-Douri (Azza Ibrahim, Vice President Saddam Hussein). During a meeting that lasted for hours, I asked him, (What I am telling – here – is history, and everyone has the right to take any position, but the incident I tell must be respected because I write objectively and for history).

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What exactly do the Americans want from you? Why is this insistence on overthrowing the regime in Baghdad, please tell me what the Americans have asked of you? He “Comrade. They asked us for something that we told them that we cannot do. Take it by force.”

I said to him immediately:

– Thank you. I understand what they asked of you, they asked you what they asked Belgrade.

In fact, in 1990, the Americans asked Saddam Hussein for what they had asked Slobodan Milosevic in 1987 (before three years): to dismantle Iraq. After 10 years of stubbornness and terrible siege, the Americans themselves came to dismantle Iraq.

As long as Slobodan Milosevic did not quietly dismantle Yugoslavia, the Americans came themselves and dismantled it, just as Gorbachev warned, when Saddam Hussein refrained from doing what the Americans had asked for themselves, and there were new (world maps) predicted by Alvin Toffler. The Americans knew they would disintegrate as a giant country, three or a little more decades after the disintegration of the Soviet Union but decided that they should dismantle the whole world in 30 years.

I’ll sum up the core idea in Alvin Toffler’s three books and for those who don’t know; the author was a worker in Trotsky car factories, but studied and became a university professor, and then joined the Futures Team, a specialized team tasked with predicting the future. Toffler said goodbye to communism and became pro-capitalist.

Simply put, humanity, in Toffler’s view, went through three major waves, agriculture 10,000 years ago, then the industrial wave a few centuries ago, and now, the world is entering the age of the third wave (post-industrial era: the era of soft commodity, software). In Toffler’s view, the industrial age is over and disappeared and no longer exists, even the expression “London is the city of fog” disappeared, because London is no longer what it was in the 19th century, using coal for heating, and so that a cloud of fog is formed in its skies, the age of chimneys and labor tensions, revolutionary ideologies (communism, leftists and theology revolutions) has disappeared. In this context Just as Nazism disappeared, Zionism will disappear as it is the product of this era, and as factories and gatherings disappear and the smoke disappears, and a new pattern of production of (soft goods) will replace them, these ideologies will be wasted with smoke, and the world will indeed move into the era of soft commodity;. That is, it will turn into Silicon Valley.

The Soviet Union therefore disappeared from existence.

But Alvin Toffler added the following: Be careful, after thirty-five or forty years, the United States of America will disappear as well, only because the era in which the Soviet Union was born has disappeared and a new era has come, the American society will be torn apart by the black and black revolutions. In this book also, Toffler predicted (new ideologies) that will replace the ideologies of the industrial age, and in the maps of the world he predicted a Europe other than the one we know, the western Europe we know will disappear, this is what US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld said about a week after the occupation of Iraq and from the capital Baghdad: “Farewell, old Europe.”

Many did not believe what Walid al-Muallem, the greatest foreign minister of contemporary Syria, said when he addressed journalists in the al-Assad library years ago: “Forget Europe, we have removed it from the map, there is a new Europe that is being born, which is Eastern Europe” (Orthodoxy from Bulgaria to Greece). Therefore, NATO is trying to spread its weapons in its lands desperately, it is the new Europe that will meet the new Russia and the new America (after ten years), and because the United States of America is today in the Soviet moment, this means that the world has entered an era of (scourging power) or the fragmentation of power.

At the heart of this historic moment, Syria has become the kitchen of the new world, and, unfortunately, where the quotas and sizes of countries will be decided. It’s where the world will be able to make the final transition from (a state of liquidity) to a (a state of solidity).

Boris Yeltsin played his role as a drunkard and then handed over the trust to Putin, and today Trump is playing his role as a clown before handing over the trust to (an American Putin) rebuilding a rickety America.

In a passing joke, Putin said, commenting on Trump’s decisions, “He does what the machine requires.” Yes, there is a (machine) that orders the president to appear to be a drunkard or a clown, but on condition that he implement, it does not matter what his appearance is, whether he is a drunkard or a clown, to choose what he wants. The important thing is to carry out.

The Trotsky car worker, who became one of the “prophets” of America, does not utter a whim, (it is only a revelation that is revealed) as in the Holy Quran. He is not a prophet, but, a priest in the capitalist institution that grabs the neck of the world and has gone out to the markets to prophesy that America has entered the Soviet moment, and will collapse like the Soviet Union collapsed, and that an American clown like a Soviet drunk can fall at any moment and suddenly. The great powers, as Mao Zedong once said: a giant with two feet of clay, and when the giant staggers in a moment of drunkenness or clowning, it makes no difference. The clay feet will crumble and the (resin) sticking in them will dissolve.

In a forthcoming article, I will narrate to you what I heard from President Bashar al-Assad when I met him twice and presented him with a copy of the authors of the great (Imagined Palestine). The war against Syria took place against the background of the same demand: “Disassemble quietly, or we will come to dismantle Syria“. Assad when he wanders around Ghouta at the beginning of the Syrian Spring; It sends an eloquent message:

I am not reeling.

Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

Incentives: Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin possible moves – Donbass crisis.

April 11, 2021

By David Sant for the Saker Blog

Several analysts have written articles about how Russia is likely to respond in the theater to an offensive by Ukraine to restart the Donbass War. My purpose in this article is to look at the psychology and incentives of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin and the possible moves that each of them may make in response to the Donbass crisis.

The Nature of the Dispute

It is fairly well established that two primary motives seem to be driving the Atlanticist pressure on Russia and continuing eastward expansion of NATO. The larger issue is that Russia, Iran, and China seem to be increasingly resistant to the rule of the Atlanticist monopolar hegemony enforced by the US Military and NATO. As someone recently said, the American empire is a currency empire sustained by forcing all energy transactions to be priced in US Dollars, and controlling energy transit points. By moving away from using USD for oil and gas transactions, Russia, China, and Iran pose a mortal threat to the empire.

The secondary issue, the one driving the timing, is control of oil and gas pipelines. In short the USA wants Europe to use American-controlled gas and oil, which means Saudi and Qatari oil, and American LNG. They want to create pipelines and delivery routes for American-controlled energy, and close or prevent delivery routes for Russian energy. The three current flashpoints are Syria, Ukraine, and the route of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, all three of which are current or potential pipeline routes.

Several years ago the US successfully pressured Bulgaria into cancelling the South Stream Pipeline through the Black Sea. However, US sanctions have been unable to deter Germany from allowing the Russians to complete the Nord Stream 2.

With the completion of the project only a few months away, the US seems determined to stop it at any cost. This appears to be the motive behind instigating the Ukrainian government to invade Donbass. If Russia defends Donbass, she will be demonized in the Western press, and this will be used to pressure Germany to cancel Nord Stream 2. From the American perspective, getting the Ukrainians to fight the Russians weakens both at no political cost to the US.

It is my opinion that the Biden Administration is making a major miscalculation by continuing this approach. For the past seven years, Russia has absorbed round after round of sanctions and provocations by the US government in Ukraine and Syria. The Biden regime seems to assume that if they instigate a war in Donbass now, that Russia will continue as they have before, to absorb the blow without striking back. I suggest that this time it will be different.

The History and Psychology of Biden and Putin

Vladimir Putin was handpicked by the Western handlers to replace Boris Yeltsin in 1999, largely because he was known to be reliable. However, Putin surprised those who appointed him by turning against the oligarchs and reigning in the chaos that was dismembering Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Putin enforced the law and cracked down on corruption, including corruption by the Western interests that put him in power.

Displeased by this turn of events, the West, led by Bill Browder, has spent the past fifteen years demonizing Putin. For example, when Russia granted asylum to Edward Snowden in 2013, multiple US politicians used scripted talking points calling Mr. Putin “a schoolyard bully.” That analogy was rather inept, as Russia did not invite Snowden, but rather got stuck with him, as his passport was cancelled while in transit, making it impossible for him to board his flight out of Russia. Putin actually said that as a former intelligence officer himself, he did not view Snowden’s leak of classified information in a positive light.

The problem with demonizing one’s opponent is that it can lead to strategic errors if you make the mistake of believing your own propaganda. If we look at Mr. Putin’s past behavior we see four consistent characteristics.

First, he follows the rules. Whether it is the START treaty, the chemical weapons accord, or the Minsk Agreements, the Putin regime has consistently tried to keep the old treaties alive and to follow agreed upon UN procedures for conflict resolution.

Second, when Mr. Putin has taken steps to oppose the Atlanticist agenda, he has done so in a way that allowed his opponents to save face. When the US was preparing to invade Syria in 2013, Putin persuaded Assad to agree to eliminate his chemical weapon stockpile. This pulled the rug out from under the US invasion, but it did not make the US look bad.

When Russia entered Syria to fight ISIS, they did not publicly expose the fact that the US and Israel were the primary backers of ISIS. Putin went along with the ruse and said, if America is fighting ISIS we will fight ISIS too, and did so legally at the invitation of Syria. Russia’s work allowed Trump to take credit for defeating ISIS, even though it completely ruined eight years of CIA efforts to train and arm those terrorists.

Third, Mr. Putin keeps his word. When he draws a red line, he enforces it. He speaks quietly but it is wise to listen carefully to what he says. We have seen this in the way that Russia dealt with terrorist groups that agreed to deconfliction versus those that did not, as well as the ones that agreed and then went against it.

And, lastly, when all else has failed and the other party crosses the red line anyway, Putin punches fast, hard, and unexpectedly, and often in a different theater than where the provocation has occurred. We saw this when Russia destroyed the oil smuggling network that the US and Turkey had set up in Northeastern Syria. We saw it again when Russia saved Mr. Erdogan from a US-backed coup only thirty minutes before he probably would have been captured.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden loved to tell the story on the campaign trail about his interaction with a black gangster named “Corn Pop” when he was a lifeguard in college. They almost had a fight but Biden brought a chain with him, and they later became friends. The fact that he even tells this tale signals that Biden has no real experience against a serious enemy. Men with street credibility don’t need to tell stories. They are known and respected.

The reality of Biden’s career is that he has played second fiddle to stronger leaders and only appears to have gotten the presidential nomination because it was his turn and he was deemed to be controllable by his handlers. Biden obtained the presidency through a fraud seen so openly that he has one of the lowest presidential approval ratings in history.

Biden and Putin met for the first time alone in 2011 for talks in Russia. According to Mike McCormick, who was Biden’s stenographer, Biden was halfway through his talk when suddenly the microphone, cameras, and lights were turned off and Putin and all of the media walked out leaving Biden humiliated. Something similar happened to Biden in China a few months later.

This is probably what Biden was referring to when he recently said that Putin was “a killer” with “no soul.” That interaction tells us exactly what Putin thinks of Biden. He considers him to be a weakling with no substance.

Biden’s team is stacked with Russophobes who are motivated by the desire to finish what they began in Ukraine under Obama. They believe they can successfully use information war and dirty tricks to isolate Russia from Europe and control all the energy conduits. Whether due to hubris or ignorance, they do not believe Russia would dare to strike back at the real instigator of the war in Ukraine.

Biden’s response to a Russian strike would probably be a plaintive high pitched, “c’mon man!” However, if Kamala Harris is making the decisions the risk of escalating to a nuclear response is much higher. The problem is that both Biden and Harris were picked and installed by a “power behind the throne,” so it is unclear exactly who would be making the decision of how to respond.

The Imminent Danger of the Current Imbroglio

There is no doubt that the US intends to create a war in Ukraine before the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline can be finished. This will happen within months if not weeks. It is also clear that Zelensky is being placed under tremendous pressure to force Russia into defending Donbass.

Russia has drawn a red line around Donbass. Ukraine had agreed to a peaceful resolution through the Minsk Accords. But with US encouragement, Kiev violated everything they agreed to, making it now politically impossible to re-integrate Donbass into Ukraine.

If Zelensky invades Donbass, then not just Ukraine, but the USA and NATO will be viewed by Russia as having crossed an inviolable red line. Yes, Russia will be forced to defend Donbass, because Putin will not allow Russians to be subjected to genocide. Russia does not want to fight Ukrainians, whom despite the jokes, they view as their Russian brothers. They are frustrated and angry that the USA has forced them into this position.

For this reason, I believe that Mr. Putin will do something that the Biden regime is not expecting with similar psychological impact to the sudden turning off of the lights and cameras. He will find a way to inflict debilitating pain on the decision makers who have forced Russia into intervening in Ukraine.

In addition to defending Donbass, Russia may strike the USA in a different theater. But they will do so in a way that cannot be confused with a nuclear attack. Unlike the previous chess moves that allowed the US leadership to save face, this one will neutralize and publicly humiliate the USA and the Biden regime as a paper tiger.

The Narrow Window of Technological Supremacy

While the US was busy invading third world countries as part of the War on Terror, Russia was quietly developing their defense technologies. They have now achieved technological supremacy over the USA in three areas: air and missile defenses, hypersonic missiles, and electronic countermeasures (ECM).

In the area of air defenses the Russian S-400 is an extremely capable platform which the West has very little experience fighting against. Russia has the capability to impose a no fly zone within about 500 kilometers of its S-400 batteries, of which there are several from Crimea to Kaliningrad. Israel’s use of the F-35 to bomb Syria has given the Russians live data on NATO’s most advanced stealth fighter.

The S-500 space defense system is scheduled to enter service in 2021. Since the S-500 can defend against ICBMs it may affect the balance of power of mutual assured destruction (MAD).

The Zircon and Khinzal hypersonic missiles are currently in service and are the most effective anti-ship weapons in the Russian arsenal that we know of. Their standoff range enables strikes on enemy ships from 500 to 2,000 kilometers. This means that Russia has the ability to strike ships in the Mediteranean and North Sea using assets based on Russian soil, not even counting the assets based in Latakia, Syria. NATO forces currently have no defense against hypersonic missiles.

Russian ECM capabilities have been somewhat exaggerated by news stories about the 2014 encounter with the USS Donald Cook. The Donald Cook was allegedly shut down by ECM attack while an SU-24 overflew the vessel. However, more accurate sources noted that any ECM attack, if there even was one, would have been executed using ground-based equipment, not the Su-24 fighter. If this attack really happened, the US Navy has presumably hardened its vessels against ECM in the seven years since.

We do know that Russian ECM systems in Syria were able to disable the vast majority of Tomahawk Missiles fired at Syria in April 2017. Other than aircraft carriers, the primary American method of projecting power is Arleigh-Burke class destroyers such as the USS Donald Cook which carry about 50 Tomahawk missiles each. The 2017 exercise in Syria probably indicates that Russia is able to jam volleys of Tomahawk missiles with better than 90% success. The remaining 10% of the subsonic Tomahawks can be easily shot down by anti-aircraft batteries.

The question is whether the US Navy has found a way to harden the Tomahawk missiles against Russian ECM since 2017. If not, then given the much smaller size and number of missiles that can be carried by Navy attack aircraft, the US Navy’s primary weapon for ground attack has no teeth against Russian targets. Of course in any conflict, the first target of NATO’s “wild weasel” aircraft will be SAM radars and ECM equipment.

Conclusion – Biden has Created Strong Incentives for Russia to Strike First

The US is spending billions to catch up technologically, and the window of Russian supremacy may only last for two or three years at most. Russia can be expected to reach the peak technological advantage over NATO in late 2021 after the S-500 system has been fully deployed. However, the Donbass crisis may force Russia to act sooner than they are comfortable.

If Russia were to use the window of supremacy to attempt a debilitating strike on the US military the US Navy is the most likely target. Ships are the most exposed, are not located inside another country’s borders, and are also the primary means of projecting US power. However, I would not rule out a non-missile attack on DC. For example, there are many ways that the US power grid could be turned off without using missiles. The ensuing domestic chaos might prevent the US from responding.

This is a very dangerous situation for the world because it could easily escalate to World War III or nuclear war, depending on the Biden Administration’s reaction. Part of the problem is that it is not clear who is really in charge of the Whitehouse. A nuclear response to a devastating conventional weapons defeat would be a disaster for both sides.

Russia will only strike the USA if they believe they have no other choice. What they have learned from seven years of sanctions, attempted coups, fake poisonings, and other provocations is that the US will continue this behavior for as long as Russia continues to accept it, or until Russia is broken and conquered. In short, Biden’s team may have finally convinced Russia that they have no other choice.

President Biden has handed Putin the justification for a first strike by openly stating his intention to conduct a cyber attack on Russia “soon.” That is a public declaration of war. The fact that the Russian ambassador was recalled from Washington and has not been sent back should be a wakeup call to America that DC itself is on the potential target list.

For these reasons I believe that there is a high probability that Russia will strike first before NATO can fully put in place the forces for planned exercises for this Summer. The strike will probably be non-nuclear, focused against US forces only, and its purpose will be to delegitimize the US power in the eyes of the junior members of NATO, and to weaken or cripple the US ability to project power.

If China and Iran see Russia strike the US military, it would not be surprising if they also pile on using their own hypersonic missiles to destroy US Navy assets in the Persian Gulf and South China Sea.

The Biden regime’s underestimation of Russia and failure to heed Putin’s warnings have created conditions which make possible a sudden and humiliating defeat of the US Navy, which could effectively end the US ability to project power overseas.

However, wars are rarely short, and victories rarely decisive. For this reason it would be better for all parties to de-escalate the conflict immediately. Unfortunately, the Biden regime is the only one in a position to do that, and they have shown no intention of doing so.

Raging Twenties Book Review – Pepe Escobar – the philosopher, the court jester, the mystic, the historian.

Raging Twenties Book Review – Pepe Escobar – the philosopher, the court jester, the mystic, the historian.

April 08, 2021

By Larchmonter445 for the Saker Blog

Early on in the introduction to “Raging Twenties”, Pepe Escobar points to the change, the disruption that confronts the Established Elites who for 30 years ruled the globe with a free hand: “The Empire we have been taught to accept as a fact of life is irretrievably losing its leadership position—and will have to deal with much pain implicit in the acceptance of an increasingly multipolar world.”

Escobar’s concept from “Raging Twenties” that impressed is: “We are all being carried forward through the tides by a harpooned whale, with no idea how, where, or when our journey ends. Like Melville’s Ishmael, we’ve got to stay cool as we relentlessly fight the winds of fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that the expiring system manipulates non-stop.”

This is the vision of Pepe’s book “Raging Twenties”, a volume of works dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on people, governments and world affairs, especially the macro world economy.

Escobar is a man of many journeys, an adventurer, explorer, mapper and story-teller. For decades he has traveled the capitals of the globe and trekked the backroads of the third and fourth worlds more than any writer in our lifetime.

His professional vocation is understanding the human condition and transmitting via his writings that understanding of facts, people, events and situations. He has a unique quality to absorb information he personally gathers, demonstrating his grasp of geopolitical, philosophical and historical context, from ancient to modern.

Focusing on this decade, the “Raging Twenties”, a collection of Pepe’s definitive prose, is a “voice-over” that narrates the change in our world from a single-polar hegemon to a multi-polar world order in the time of a pandemic. He teases apart the complexities that often are unknown, misunderstood or misconstrued. His “voice” is pleasing though authoritative, yet instantly familiar. Writing that talks, as if it were an audio track, is his style.

“For the first time in two millennia, China is able to combine the dynamism of political and economic expansion both on the continental and maritime realms, something that the civilization-state did not experience since the short expeditionary stretch led by Admiral Zheng He in the Indian Ocean in the early 15th century. Eurasia, in the recent past, was under Western and Soviet colonization. Now it’s going all-out multipolar—a series of complex, evolving permutations led by Russia-China-Iran-Turkey-India-Pakistan-Kazakhstan.”

Escobar is a man comfortable in any of the five civilizations on Earth. He moves easily in the West, China, Russia, India or Iran, and most parts neighboring these giant cultures. He presents his narratives, tales of his travels and meetings in differing performances. Escobar has mastered four story-telling voices–philosopher, court jester, mystic, historian. He moves through these presenters seamlessly, embellishing his writing with intellectual depth and artful illumination.

In Chapter 8, “How the Riddler may teach us to fight a disease”, we perceive the Philosopher investigating the nature of our universe through the eyes of Heraclitus, the Riddler. “In his heart of hearts a contemptuous aristocrat, this master of paradox despised all so-called wise men and the mobs that adored them. Heraclitus was the definitive precursor of social distancing.”

“Heraclitus was a Taoist and a Buddhist. If opposites are ultimately the same, this implies the unity of all things. Heraclitus even foresaw the reaction we should have towards COVID-19: ‘It is disease that makes health sweet and good, hunger satiety, weariness rest.’ The Tao would approve it. In the Heraclitus framework of serial cosmic recycling, disease gives health its full significance.”

The Court Jester authors Chapter 5, entitled “We are all Stoics now”. Imagine a Court Jester flowing with Stoicism as pop culture in Ancient Greece. Pepe brings it to you. Escobar marks the first punk in History, Diogenes the Cynic. “It’s enlightening to know that the upper classes of the Roman empire, their 1%, regarded Zeno’s insights as quite solid, while—predictably—deriding the first punk in History, Diogenes the Cynic, who masturbated in the public square and carried a lantern trying to find a real man.”

He follows the transition from Greece to Rome as the ideas of the Stoics migrate over the centuries and better suit the Roman minds of Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, the trio we view as role models of Stoicism.

“The Stoics were very big on ataraxia (freedom of disturbance) as the ideal state of our mind. The wise man cannot possibly be troubled because the key to wisdom is knowing what not to care about.”

Have you ever read such a ‘take’ on Stoics, Cynics, Epicureans, Humanists, and Skeptics? Pepe ties it into the impact of the pandemic.

“Perhaps the ultimate Stoic secret is the distinction by Epictetus between things that are under our control—our thoughts and desires—and what is not: our bodies, our families, our property, our lot in life, all elements that the expansion of COVID-19 now put in check.”

“What the postmodern world retains from the Stoics is the notion of resigned acceptance—which makes total sense if the world really works according to their insights. If Fate—once again, Zeus, not the Christian God—rules the world, and practically everything that happens is out of our hands, then realpolitik means to accept “everything to happen as it actually does happen”, in the immortal words of Epictetus. Thus, it’s pointless to get excited about stuff we cannot change. And it’s pointless to be attached to things that we will eventually lose. But try selling this notion to the Masters of the Universe of financial capitalism.” You can hear Pepe’s laughter.

“So, The Way—according to the Stoics—is to own only the essentials, and to travel light. Lao Tzu would approve it. After all, anything we may lose is more or less gone already—thus we are already protected from the worst blows in life.”

As with each of the personas of Pepe we perceive in his collected work, he changes from one to another in mid-flight. The Court Jester can be seen and felt throughout “Raging Twenties”. Just take a tour of the Chapter Headings and the section sub-headings. Pepe does floor gymnastics, handstands and backflips, cartwheels and tumblesaults with terminology and labels. That big Escobar smile and hearty chest laugh abound: “Remember Pax Mongolica”, “The Sirens and La Dolce Vita”, “The Westlessness Myth”, “East is East, West is More”, “Barbarism With A Human Face”, “Enter The Triad”, “The City In A Time of Plague”, “Show Me Your Fragility”, “Barbarism Begins At Home”, “Flying Dragon, Crashing Eagle”, “Blake Meet Burroughs”.

The modern Mystic is with us in Chapter 10, “How Confucious, Buddha and The Tao Are Winning This War”, as well as the anchor chapter, “Eurasia, The Hegemon and the Three Sovereigns”. The Mystic appears most definitely in Chapter 25, a retrospective column Pepe chose to explore the digital ether that has wrapped around our brains. “Kim No-Vax Does Darpa” is a trip back into the early days of AI,3 research financed by Darpa, the teat that nearly all US computer scientists sought to suck. Reading this nostalgia spotlights the many dead-ends of US technology that generated the perverse present High-Tech Silicon Valley feudalism.

Travel with the Mystic to Venice, Chapter 3, “The Sirens and La Dolce Vita”. Pepe floats in Venice waterways to retrace selected steps with Ezra Pound. In “The Cantos”, we find The Sirens, sculptures that represent to Pound the beautiful culture, a time and place of the best which preceded a time (the present) of tawdry cheapness. The Mystic smoothly elides into “La Dolce Vita”, the Fellini film, that epitomizes the glitzy ugliness oncoming in the sixties. A period of trash culture that now envelopes the globe, foretold by Pound, embossed by Fellini and absorbed by us.

Pepe the Historian appears nearly everywhere in the pages of “Raging Twenties”. In a most clever Chapter 13, “Siren Call of A ‘System Leader’”, Pepe wends through the Mongol age of Genghis Khan, to the death of Kublai Khan and the end of that Empire right into the 21st Century where the USA Empire, like the last great Khan, faces China. However, China is a part of Eurasia, the vast resource of the multi-polar sovereigns China, Russia, Iran, India, their neighbors and friends, arrayed ready to construct a new world based on four civilizations, not an ideology like the failed Empire of the USA.

The Historian gathers from Thucydides and others regarding plagues. Pertinently, Escobar delivers the connection of the fall of empires and plagues as cause. “Predictably eyeing the Decline and Fall of the American Empire, a serious academic debate is raging around the working hypothesis of historian Kyle Harper, according to whom viruses and pandemics—especially the Justinian plague in the 6th century—led to the end of the Roman Empire.”

Escobar’s journalistic roots remain in real politic while consistently pointing out the gap between the twisted souls that feel the need to lie, cheat and murder to achieve their ends. With acerbic ink, he writes: “Those were the days when NATO, with full impunity, could bomb Serbia, miserably lose a war on Afghanistan, turn Libya into a militia hell and plot myriad interventions across the Global South. And of course, none of that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded forced into becoming refugees in Europe.”

Pepe’s economic interest in Belt and Road and the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era opens our eyes to the real geo-political shifts. The pandemic has fractured world trade. “Soon we will be facing three major, interlocking debates: the management of the crisis, in many cases appalling; the search for future models; and the reconfiguration of the world-system.”

Peering over our Covid masks, we read Chapter 12, “How To Think Post-Planet Lockdown”. Pepe’s main insight remains valid: the state of exception has been completely normalized. And it gets worse: “A new despotism, which in terms of pervasive controls and cessation of every political activity, will be worse that the totalitarianisms we have known so far.”

“As dystopia and mass paranoia seem to be the law of the (bewildered) land, Michel Foucault’s analyses of biopolitics have never been so timely, as states across the world take over biopower—the control of people’s life and bodies.”

Pepe gives us, among many, Giorgio Agamben, who redoubles his analyses of science as the religion of our time: “The analogy with religion is taken literally; theologians declared that they could not clearly define what is God, but in his name they dictated rules of conduct to men and did not hesitate to burn heretics. Virologists admit they don’t know exactly what is a virus, but in its name they pretend to decide how human beings shall live.”

In the section, “Enter the triad”, Chapter 10, Pepe postulates: “I offer as a working hypothesis that the Asia triad of Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu has been absolutely essential in shaping the perception and serene response of hundreds of millions of people across various Asian nations to COVID-19—compared to the being is the greatest joy.” It also helps to know that “life is a series of natural and spontaneous choices. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Buddhism runs in parallel to the Tao: “All conditioned things are impermanent—when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” And to keep our vicissitudes in perspective, it helps to know that, “better it is to live one day seeing the rise and fall of things than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the rise and fall of things.”

Quo Vadis. Where are you marching?

Pepe shows us the way, the paths we are on. He offers, too, a pantheon of “travelers” who opine from the high clouds of history, from books on dusty shelves of libraries, from blogs and videos on digital platforms, all snatched by his rapier mind to weave affirmation into his ideas and analysis. In sum, a feast awaits the reader, taken as a banquet or a serial read chapter by chapter. Enjoy.

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Where you can buy RAGING TWENTIES by Pepe Escobar

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses

MARCH 30 ,2021

By Rick Sterling

Source

In the past few months, Grayzone journalist Aaron Mate has interviewed two former ambassadors to Syria: former UK Ambassador Peter Ford and former U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford.  

The two ambassadors have a common surname but dramatically different perspectives. This article will compare the statements and viewpoints of the two diplomats.

UK Ambassador Peter Ford (PF)

Newsnight: Peter Ford warns of 'bloodbath' if Syria's Bashar al-Assad goes  | World | News | Express.co.uk

Peter Ford trained as an Arabist and served in the British foreign service in numerous cities including Beirut, Riyadh, and Cairo. He was Ambassador to Bahrein from 1999 to 2003, then Syria from 2003 to 2006.  From 2006 until 2014 he was a senior officer with the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees.  

The interview with UK Amb. Peter Ford (PF) shows why he is exceptional former diplomat. He analyzes and criticizes western aggression against Syria. 

PF describes the current situation:

“The Syrian government forces control about 70% of the country. There’s that pocket of jihadi fighters controlling Idlib province and a couple of patches of neighboring provinces, and then you’ve got the big—what I call the wild east of Syria—the big triangle of land up all the way along the thousand miles along the Turkish border and then down the Iraqi border, and that is effectively a US protectorate. There are US forces there being helped on the ground by basically Kurdish militia, the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces.”

PF describes the crushing economic sanctions:

“It’s utterly shocking…The policy has been effective in the sense that Syrian people are suffering every day. There are long queues for bread, long queues for gasoline. The policy of sanctions and denial of assistance for reconstruction has been effective, but what kind of policy is it that tries to immiserate a whole country? It’s delusional because it’s not even going to work….

“The experience of 10 years of this conflict is that the Syrian government is amazingly resilient. They’ve been on the ropes many times in this conflict and pulled through largely because they have the support of great swaths of the Syrian populace. Assad is not going to buckle under this new increased economic pressure. It is utterly delusional to believe that this cynical, callous policy could work.”

PF analyzes the US troops in north eastern Syria.

“By their mere presence, they’re preventing the advance of the Syrian government forces. The result is that the Syrian people are denied the great oil and grain wealth of that triangle, the territory. And, so the war over the last year has been more an economic war than a military war…

“The troops are there basically as a tripwire, a deterrent, so that if the Syrian government forces advanced, they would trip over a few American soldiers and that would incur the massive intervention of the US Air Force. This is what it comes down to. They don’t even need big numbers of troops to create the tripwire.

“Even so, it’s interesting that the architects of this policy in the permanent government of the US found it necessary to deceive the head of the executive, the President, keep him in the dark about the numbers…. So, the deceit that has gone on—on every level—is jaw-dropping to me as a former ambassador and an insider in the British system. I find it absolutely incredible.”

PF describes what the war is and is NOT about.

“US policy is NOT about installing in Syria a democratic government, because there is no prospect of that while the US is effectively supporting Islamist fanatics, and while it’s supporting elsewhere in the Middle East regimes like the feudal regime of Saudi Arabia. No, it’s not about democracy. It’s about helping Israel on the one hand and scoring points against Russia on the other. And when it comes down to it, that is what this whole war is really about, from the US standpoint.”

PF analyzes accusations Syrian government used chemical weapons.

“The world has amnesia over Iraq, the non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the Colin Powell dossier proof presented to the UN. It’s like Groundhog Day when you hear the claims made about Assad, the use of chemical weapons.

“In the first place, it would make no practical sense for Assad to use chemical weapons; it could only ever have been an own goal. If he wanted to invite heavy Western intervention, he would not have gone about it any other way. You’d have to be incredibly either twisted or delusional to believe that Assad could have been so stupid as to do the one thing—use chemical weapons—which would bring about, or possibly bring about, his obliteration.

“I’m quite convinced this is an elaborate hoax. A series of hoaxes. It’s very revealing that not one of the alleged instances of use of chemical weapons was investigated on the ground by any UN or other international investigations, with the sole exception of Douma. And why Douma? Because that was a piece of territory that the government forces managed to recover immediately after the alleged incident, so that the US and its allies were unable to keep away the international investigators…. That ultimately is the purpose of the chemical weapon hoaxes—to justify the occupation of northeast Syria and the continuing cruel economic pressure.”

PF comments on the senior staff from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons who say they did NOT find evidence of chemical weapons attack and their findings were changed by management.

“These gentlemen [from OPCW]) drafted a report stating that they found evidence that was consistent with staging of an incident, rather than an authentic incident. And ever since, they have been vilified, condemned, undermined. And the campaign against the truth goes on and on and on….”

PF comments on the role of the “White Helmets”.

“The White Helmets’ role is absolutely crucial, pivotal to the Western effort to undermine Syria through these accusations of use of chemical weapons. I think, basically, what happened is that Western governments realized that after the Iraq debacle, that if they were going to use claims about WMD, chemical weapons, whatever, again, they were going to have to produce some kind of smoking gun.

“And this is the role of the White Helmets. They produced the phony pictures of phony incidents which constitute the smoking gun. And that is absolutely pivotal to the propaganda to justify the bombing and the relentless economic and military pressure on Syria…. Western governments [have] been funding the White Helmets to the tune of about $50 million a year. That’s peanuts compared to what they see as the advantages of bringing Syria to its knees.”

PF predicts what may happen ahead.

“I think things are likely to get worse, rather than better.

“What we’ll probably see is simply a continuation of the status quo. The current policies will simply be extended…. to prolong the conflict, to prevent Assad gaining military victory, the continuation of economic warfare to try to bring Assad to his knees and force him to sign a suicide note, which would be acceptance of elections on US terms. I’m sure these policies will be continued.

“But there’s a question mark over whether policy might not become even more adventurous and interventionist with a beachhead of a few thousand soldiers already occupying part of Syria. I greatly fear that Biden might be tempted to increase those numbers, put some military pressure on the Syrian government forces, create more no-fly zones. Already, there’s effectively a no-fly zone over that big triangle of territory that’s occupied by the US forces and Kurdish allies. An attempt might be made to create the no-fly zone of Idlib, which would be ironic. It would mean that the US Air Force was the air wing of al-Qaeda…

“I’m definitely not optimistic. And I fear things could get even worse.”

US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF)

Two Ambassadors to Syria with Wildly Different Analyses - LA Progressive

Robert S. Ford was a U.S. diplomat in numerous cities including Algiers and Cairo. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrein from 2001 to 2004, then Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2004 to 2006. As an Arabic speaker,  he may have helped Ambassador John Negroponte launch the “El Salvador option” (death squads) in Iraq.  Robert S. Ford was Ambassador to Syria from the end of 2010 until 2014 when the US terminated diplomatic relations with Syria. He has continued as an unofficial advisor on Syria policy.

In contrast with the Peter Ford interview, the interview with US Ambassador Robert S. Ford (RSF) is a case study in public relations. Interviewer Aaron Mate asks important questions but RSF deflects the questions, claims ignorance of new revelations, and repeats standard talking points on Syria.

RSF acknowledges there has been “mission creep” for US troops in Syria.

“American troops were sent into Syria originally to fight ISIS.  Now that that job is more-or-less finished, we have a sort of mission creep where now the American forces are there not to defeat ISIS—ISIS is already defeated…   But now, so what are the Americans doing?  Well, now they sort of changed the mission to putting pressure on Damascus, the Assad government, trying to get the Iranians out, trying to limit the Russian influence.”

RSF implies the sanctions on Syria are just.

“Sanctions is a different question, Aaron.  I think a lot of it is emotional here in the United States.  There’s a desperate desire for justice after all the war crimes committed in Syria.  And I think getting rid of the sanctions is going to be a much harder battle to fight in the Congress.  So, the sanctions have very strong approval in Congress…”

RSF maintains the initial protests were “almost entirely peaceful”

“In March and April, May into June, the protests were almost entirely peaceful. That’s not to say there was no violence.  In the first protest, for example, in Daraa, in which we’re now coming up on the 10-year anniversary, yeah, the protesters did attack the telephone office [Syriatel] that’s owned by Bashar al-Assad’s cousin, Rami Makhlouf.  They did attack a court building…”

[Fact check: RSF neglects to mention seven police were killed in the “almost entirely peaceful” Daraa protest.]

RSF acknowledges US allies were sending weapons early but claims the US began sending weapons in 2013.

“Those countries [Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey] did send in weapons before the Americans…

 “I supported arming factions of the Free Syrian Army as early as the summer of 2012.  And it took the president a year to get to a decision.”

[Fact check: US Central Intelligence Agency was sending weapons from Benghazi Libya to Syria in Oct 2011.]

RSF compares the Free Syrian Army to the anti-Nazi resistance in WW2.

“The United States never gave anti-tank weapons to al-Qaeda…. the number might be half a dozen.

“I want you to think about this in historical context. Do you think when the Americans airdropped weapons into the French resistance against the Nazis in France, do you think the Nazis never got their hands on any of those air drops?… 

“The leakage to the al-Qaeda elements, there was a small amount of leakage, but much, much, much more of their weaponry came from the Assad government, either, because the Assad soldiers were corrupt, as we said, we talked at the start about corruption.  They sold them, or in some cases, they surrendered, and with that, huge caches of weaponry made their way into al-Nusra hands.  The amount of material that al-Nusra got from the United States wouldn’t have lasted them for a day of combat.”

Fact check:  This claim is preposterous. As reported by Janes Defense, the US supplied nearly one thousand TONS of weapons in December 2015, much of which ended up in Nusra (Al Qaeda) hands. Nusra obtained weapons when they over-ran Syrian military bases, but otherwise they were amply supplied with weapons by the Gulf monarchies, Israel, Turkey, the US and UK. 

RSF claims the Syrian government has primary responsibility for the war and are the “bad guys”.  

“What I hope your listeners will take away from this is that it is not an equal combat on both sides; is not an equal responsibility on both sides.  One side from the beginning was using torture and shooting at innocent people, thousands of arrests.  And one side was trying peacefully, for a very large part, to bring about change.  And, unfortunately, in this instance, the bad guys won.”

Fact check:  The campaign against Syria has been waged by a coalition of western powers, Turkey, Israel and the Gulf monarchies. About 121 thousand Syrians in the Syrian army and militias have died defending their country.

RSF claims that Syria is responsible for the war refugees and destabilizing its neighbors.

“Even had Turkey, Qatar and the United States, Saudi Arabia, stayed out of it, there still would have been huge refugee flows trying to escape from those same brutal Syrian security forces, and they still would have flooded the borders of Lebanon and Jordan and of Turkey, which is itself destabilizing, particularly in Lebanon, but some places like Jordan, Turkey.  Therefore, you can’t just say that all these other countries intervened in sovereign Syrian territory.  The Syrian government itself was taking actions which were destabilizing to its neighbors.”

Fact check: Most refugees fled when their neighborhoods were taken over by militants and became battle zones, NOT because they were afraid of Syrian security.

RSF criticizes Turkey but thinks Syrian government bears primary responsibility.

“I’m never going to justify the Turks allowing Salafi jihadists to go into Syria.  I think that I’ve already said that that was a bad mistake.  And we criticized them at the time of playing with snakes.  I’m never going to justify it.  But I have to say, Aaron, that in the end, they came in response to what the Assad government was already doing.  And so, the principal responsibility … do the Americans have a share of responsibility?  Of course, we do.  Yeah.  It was our anti-tank missiles blowing up Syrian government tanks, and not just a few; I mean, hundreds of them.

“I think we have to go back to where it started in 2011.  And that’s with the Syrian government…”

RSF says he is not aware of the huge scandal at the OPCW but believes Syria has used chemical weapons.

“I’m not familiar with that controversy within the OPCW…. 

“But I guess I would just say this, Aaron.  There’s plenty of documentation by the UN’s joint investigative group with the OPCW that looked at incidents in Syria chemical weapons use, from 2013 onwards.  They’ve issued several reports…. So, the 2018 incident, I don’t know about that report, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons on multiple instances, the same government that bombs hospitals, the same government that bombs bakeries, the same government that kills people in detention routinely.  Look at the photos that were brought up by the military defector.  You know, why would you think they wouldn’t use chemical weapons?  Why would you think they would suddenly have moral scruples against these?   It doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

[Fact check: the OPCW scandal has confirmed manipulation of that organization by the US and west. The “military photographer” refers to the ‘Caesar torture photos’ propaganda stunt.]

RSF wants to increase humanitarian aid to Syria refugees.

“Something the Americans could do that would be hugely helpful is to increase humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees that number some five million, particularly in Lebanon, where their living circumstances are precarious, very precarious, but also in Jordan and Turkey…  I’d like to spend less on the military operation and much more on humanitarian aid.

“And then there is the issue of Northwest Syria, Idlib, where the UN is in charge of an operation getting humanitarian aid to some two million displaced Syrian civilians.”

[Fact check and observation:  Idlib province is dominated by Nusra (Al Qaeda). Robert Ford seems to want to perpetuate the AQ stronghold and refugee crisis by supplying aid to Idlib and foreign countries while preventing return of refugees and rebuilding war torn Syria.]

Conclusion

Both ambassadors speak Arabic and have intimate knowledge of Syria.

Robert S. Ford criticizes some past decisions and tactics, but not the assumptions or right of the US to violate the UN Charter and commit aggression against Syria.

Meanwhile, Peter Ford is doing his best to expose the reality of the situation, contrary to government and media bias and falsehoods. Like Daniel Ellsberg, Scott Ritter and Katharine Gun, he is using his special knowledge to publicly challenge the claims and assumptions of western policy. With Ellsberg it was about Vietnam. With Ritter and Gun, it was about Iraq. With Peter Ford, it is about Syria.

The full interview with UK Ambassador Peter Ford is well worth watching or reading.

The Endless War: Afghanistan Goes On and On

APRIL 02 ,2021

By Philip Giraldi

Source

All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield.

Given the present atmosphere in Washington in which there is no lie so outrageous as to keep it out of the mainstream media, a great deal of policy making takes place without even key players in the government knowing what is going on behind their backs. Of course, there is a long tradition of government lying in general but most politicians and officials have probably convinced themselves that they are avoiding the truth because complicating issues might lead to endless debate where nothing ever gets done. There may be some truth to that, but it is a self-serving notion at best.

The real damage comes when governments lie in order to start or continue a war. The Administration of George W. Bush did just that when it lied about Iraq’s secular leader Saddam Hussein seeking nuclear weapons, supporting terrorists and developing delivery systems that would enable Iraq to attack the U.S. with the nukes. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice knew she was not telling the truth when she warned that “the problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” She also was a key player in the Bush team approval of the CIA’s use of torture on captured al-Qaeda.

Rice is, by the way, not in jail and is currently a highly esteemed elder statesman serving as Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Likewise for her friend and patron Madeleine Albright who famously declared that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to U.S. imposed sanctions were worth it. In the United States the only ones who are ever punished are those who expose the crimes being committed by the government, to include a number of whistleblowers and journalists like Julian Assange.

The active American military role in lying probably started at Valley Forge but it came into prominence with the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, which was an alleged attack by the North Vietnamese on U.S. Navy ships that led to an escalation in Washington’s direct role in what was to become the Vietnam War, which produced 58,000 American dead as well as an estimated three million Vietnamese. No one was punished for faking the casus belli and today Vietnam is a communist state in spite of the martial valor of the U.S. Army.  Overall commander of US forces in Vietnam General William Westmoreland, who died in 2005, repeatedly advised the media and the White House that the American military was “winning” and there would be victory in six more months. General Westmoreland knew he was lying, as the Pentagon Papers subsequently revealed, and he also proved reluctant to share his plans with the White House. He even developed a contingency plan to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam without informing the president and Secretary of Defense.

Prize winning investigative reporter Gareth Porter has written an article “Trump Administration Insider Reveals How US Military Sabotaged Peace Agreement to Prolong Afghan War” that describes how the brass in the Pentagon currently are able to manipulate the bureaucracy in such a way as to circumvent policy coming out of the country’s civilian leadership. The article is based in part on an interview with retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, a decorated combat arms officer who served as an acting senior adviser to the Secretary of Defense during the last months of Donald Trump’s time in office.  He would have likely been confirmed in his position if Trump had won reelection.

Porter describes the negotiations between the Taliban and Trump’s Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, which began in late 2018 and culminated in a peace agreement that was more-or-less agreed to by both sides in February 2019. The Pentagon, fearing that the war would be ending, quickly moved to sabotage a series of confidence building measures that included disengagement and cease fires. In short, US commanders supported by the Pentagon leadership under Secretary of Defense Mike Esper as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued to attack Taliban positions in spite of the agreements worked out by the diplomats, blaming all incidents on the Taliban. They also used their “perception management” media contacts to float fabricated stories about Taliban activity, which included the false account of Russians paying Taliban fighters bounties for every American they could kill.

After the 2020 election, which Donald Trump appeared to have lost, Esper, Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie and the senior field commander General Scott Miller took the offensive against any withdrawal by sending a memo to the president warning that no troops should be removed from the country until “certain conditions” had been met. An enraged Trump, who believed that the disengagement from Afghanistan was the right thing to do, then used his authority to order a withdrawal of all US troops by the end of the year. He also fired Esper, replacing him with Christopher Miller as SecDef and brought in Macgregor, who had openly expressed his belief that the war in Afghanistan should be ended immediately as well as the wars in the Middle East.

Macgregor and Miller reasoned that the only way to remove the remaining troops from Afghanistan by year’s end would be to do so by presidential order. Macgregor prepared the document and President Trump signed it immediately. On the next day November 12th, however, Colonel Macgregor learned that Trump had subsequently met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Acting Secretary Miller. Trump and Miller were told by Milley and O’Brien that the orders he placed in the memorandum could not be executed because a withdrawal would lead to a surge in violence and would damage chances for an eventual peace settlement. Trump was also told that an ongoing US presence in Afghanistan had “bipartisan support,” possibly a warning that he might be overruled by Congress if he sought to proceed. Trump later agreed to withdraw only half of the total, 2,500 troops, a number that has continued to remain in place under President Joe Biden. A current agreement has the US withdrawing those last soldiers, together with allied NATO troops, by May 1st but it is under attack from Congress, think tanks, the mainstream media and the military leadership for the same reasons that have been cited for staying in Afghanistan over the past twenty years and predictably Biden has folded. Last week he announced that some American soldiers will remain in country to maintain stability after the deadline.

The story of Trump and Afghanistan is similar to what took place with Syria, where plans to withdraw were regularly reversed due to adroit maneuvering by the Pentagon and its allies. It remains to be seen what Joe Biden will do ultimately as he is being confronted by the same forces that compelled Trump to beat a retreat. The more serious issue is, of course, that the United States of America portrays itself as a nation that engages only in “just wars” and which has a military that is under control and responsive to an elected and accountable civilian government. As Afghanistan and Syria demonstrate, those conceits have been unsustainable since the US went on a global dominance spree when it launched its War on Terror in 2001. All indications are that the Pentagon will be able to maneuver more effectively in Washington than on the battlefield. It will continue to have its pointless wars, and its bloated “defense” budgets.

China Isn’t the Problem, Neoliberalism Is

APRIL 2, 2021

BY ROB URIE

The ascendance of Wall Street, and of a managerial bureaucracy (PMC) more generally, largely explains the political realignments that have been playing out in the U.S. Beginning in the 1970s, the American political class made decisions at the behest of business interests and oligarchs to restructure the U.S. economy in ways intended to shift the balance of political and economic power towards capital. Finance was, and still is, the method of affecting this transfer of power. However, the current epoch of finance capitalism has run its course. Its logic has been lost. The threats to the neoliberal order are now internal to it.

Bi-partisan claims that China is a growing economic and military threat to the U.S. places economic competition within the national frame that American capitalists have spent the last five decades arguing is no longer relevant because of globalization. This posture of a unified national interest follows several decades of American industrialists cum financiers doing everything they can to concentrate wealth and power for themselves. Now, having done so, the frame of ‘nation’ is being opportunistically reasserted to claim a unified national interest to oppose ‘foreign’ competition. However, China didn’t pass NAFTA and China didn’t bail out Wall Street.

Graph: the top contributors to U.S. GDP are also the beneficiaries of government bailouts and favorable policies. This may seem reasonable until you consider that they might not be the top contributors to U.S. GDP without bailouts and favorable policies. Contrast this with manufacturing that has been shedding workers as the result of trade policies. The balance between the people who make stuff and those who facilitate the making of stuff has grown top-heavy as a result of these policies. This imbalance threatens economic stability. Source: statista.

The contours of current U.S. political divisions can be seen in the graph above. The top three sectors in terms of contribution to GDP by industry are finance, professional services and government. Manufacturing has declined as a relative contributor just as the neoliberal program intended. Unionized industrial jobs have been replaced with non-unionized service jobs. The PMC is the functionary class facilitating this shift as it assumes roles as, and managing, service sector workers. It is the representative face of capital as manufacturing has been migrated abroad. The ‘anti-labor left’ that has emerged in the U.S. since the 1990s is concentrated within the PMC.

The latter point isn’t meant to be gratuitous. In descriptive terms, a central goal of liberalism is to make capitalism fair. However, fairness in capitalist terms is that .0000000000001% of the population owns half of the national wealth. This is equitable distribution in capitalist theory. So, liberalism wants to make the system where .000000000001% of the population owns half of the wealth fair without changing the system or redistributing wealth. Inclusivity— the ‘level playing field,’ is the metric of fairness. Support for labor, and the power of labor, is a challenge to that system of distribution. It balances the power of employers. But it is antithetical to neoliberalism.

Caution needs to be applied in considering the actual economic contribution of finance. In the first, the GDP arithmetic is Price X Quantity = Output. Government support for finance has resulted in a very large rise in ‘P’ in finance and professional services. Pay levels (‘P’) in these industries have risen as they have stagnated or declined for ‘ordinary’ service workers. This represents the concentration of economic power, not the production of the stuff that money can buy. The tautology that people are paid the value of what they produce gets turned around when bankers create most of the money.

The size of finance relative to the making of actual stuff is a case of the proverbial tail wagging the dog. The theoretical justification for its existence is as facilitator of the productive economy. As facilitator, its ‘cut’ should be a small fraction of what is produced. The same is true of the PMC whose role is to manage the production of stuff and the provision of services. What has been effectively created in the U.S. is a bureaucratic neo-feudalism where nominal facilitators take most of what is produced globally for themselves. The rising power of China is seen as a threat to this practice.

The imperial-colonial frame of ‘managerialism’ is of an elite class that organizes the labor of colonial subjects who are constitutionally incapable of organizing their own economic production. Modern managerial practices were first conceived and implemented to ‘manage’ slaves on American plantations. The 1990s narrative of neoliberalism was of American managers organizing global economic production. This explains in part the willingness of industrialists and the U.S. political ‘leadership’ to send industrial production abroad. The result: an eviscerated and immiserated domestic working-class now lorded over by wildly overpaid and self-congratulatory bureaucrats.

This economic taxonomy has thus far left out the petite bourgeois shopkeeps who Gramsci identified a century ago as the reactionary core of European fascism. While the prevalence of small business is often overstated through the inclusion of branch offices of large corporations, small business owners exist on the front-line of capitalist mythology. And they are often the victims of its ordinary tendency toward economic concentration. Most small businesses fail very quickly. Those that succeed feed a myth of self-reliance that turns to resentment when power or happenstance turn against them.

The fragility of the global ‘supply chain,’ the dependence of billions of people on the interdependence of globalized production, was brought to the fore through shortages caused by the pandemic. In fact, people who are dependent on international trade for critical supplies like food, energy, medical supplies, etc. are vulnerable to the whims of predictable and unpredictable forces. The power dynamic of this manufactured ‘state of nature’ is of economic dependencies to which screws are then applied. In good times, this leverage is used to enforce favorable terms of trade. In bad, famines and world wars are its product.

Since the pandemic began a large number of small businesses have gone under and large enterprises like automobile makers that made themselves reliant on global supply chains have been forced to limit production. On the one hand, the pandemic is a rare enough occurrence in recent history to have made planning for it a low-payoff endeavor for businesses. On the other hand, prior epochs of globalization ended quite poorly for related reasons. Economic dependencies are sources of political and economic leverage. Economic warfare tends to be taken with offense by those on its receiving end.

With globalization under reconsideration by economists in the West, the intersection of state with business interests is being restated in geopolitical terms. The base charge is against the utopian ‘one-world’ version of global capitalism that grew to prominence in the U.S. in the 1990s. In this version, an adjunct of the Marshall Plan capitalism that followed WWII, global trade would produce political integration to facilitate the economic integration undertaken between trading partners. This theory requires near-total ignorance of the impact of the Great Depression on global trade and its contribution to the rise of European fascism.

The newly restated frame of globalization whereby business interests represent the vanguard of state interests is (descriptively) liberal politics attached to a liberal theory of the state. Posed as an answer to the charge of globalization utopianism, it relies on the imagined history of the early capitalist theorists. ‘The state’ is neither singular, nor has its non-singularity been static across time. The American state has spent the last five decades in league with oligarchs to support their interests. In contrast, the Chinese state— motivated in part by a desire for political stability, has concentrated on raising living standards for the Chinese people.

In Western economic theory ‘Mercantilism’ is the integrated state-private enterprise whereby state power is used to support the expansion of business interests. The sleight-of-hand used to bring ‘us’ from this earlier period to the present is an imagined starting point where economic power was equitably redistributed in the way needed to make capitalism ‘fair.’ If Western states supported the accrual of private wealth— which many did, then capitalism was rigged from the start. At any rate, the fantasy of the clean break of capitalism from state support is just that, a fantasy. Otherwise, when did it occur? Please be specific.

More recently, the Obama administration rebuilt Wall Street under the theory that it would serve as a vanguard against growing Chinese political power. That Wall Street, in league with PMC neoliberals, spent three-plus decades outsourcing U.S. military production to China illustrates the not-well-thought-outness of economic liberalism with respect to so-called national interests. While most of the anti-China rhetoric in the U.S. is for domestic political consumption, the idea that the U.S. would launch a military conflict against China while it is dependent on military production from it illustrates the shallow logic of neoliberalism.

To bring this back around, Wall Street was rebuilt (in 2009) to serve the state interests that it effectively controls. This makes it true that capitalism is a projection of state power without answering the question of the nature of state power. The U.S. war against Iraq is a modern example of state power being used to assure a steady supply of oil for Western oil companies. All of the current U.S. geopolitical flash-points— Iran, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Ukraine, Russia, etc. tie to the resource needs of capitalist enterprises. The Bush administration stated publicly that Iraq played no role in 9/11— a geopolitical event, while it used the attack as a pretext for its war against Iraq.

The ‘political’ question within the U.S. from the perspective of citizens in an allegedly democratic nation is: what makes the economic interests of wealthy bankers any more worthy of state support than anyone else? In fact, banks make loans that create a legal obligation to repay. Debt has been used as a geopolitical weapon for centuries. Its utility as a weapon lies in the legal obligation to repay it. Failure to repay can be used to seize assets and / or assume a controlling interest in far more valuable enterprises. In this sense, debt joins other economic dependencies— such as fragile and tenuous global supply chains, as potential weapons in power politics.

Graph: one way to explain student debt is as the failure of the state to educate its people. Along with housing and transportation, in economic terms household debt represents costs of production borne by workers. And rising household debt in the face of stagnant wages means a falling capacity for ‘political’ self-determination. Source: New York Fed.

This isn’t to argue that debt is universally or intrinsically bad. It is to make the point that U.S. policy makers have long understood that it is a geopolitical ‘tool.’ Austerity is a term used to describe the economic conditions imposed by the IMF on debtor countries to force them to accept neoliberal reforms. However, if these reforms are mutually beneficial, why are countries being forced to accept them? Additionally, ‘countries’ are historically and legally contingent entities. From the side of power, oligarchs and political leaders benefit from the political leverage that indebtedness provides them.

For oligarchs, corporate executives and workers in industries favored by government policies and bailouts, neoliberalism is producing its promised benefits. That these benefits are the product of, or more minimally, associated with, specific government policies and largesse points to the role of ‘the state’ in economic outcomes. The IMF has long represented the economic interests of large banks along with the political interests of state representatives in the Federal government. This is an integrated relationship, not a matter of serendipity. The banks make loans, a business decision, after which the IMF forces reforms that assure both the repayment of money owed and future business for the banks.

What is being brought into focus is the growth in class privilege that is created through the integration of state with private power. There is no logical reason in purely political terms for the oil industry to have a say in U.S. foreign policy, for agricultural conglomerates to have a say in agricultural policy, or for the health care industry to have a say in healthcare policy. In ‘political’ terms, these are realms to be legislated by and for citizens, not corporations. And yet these industries determine policy. They not only determine it, but in many cases, they write the actual legislation.

The short-sightedness of elevating the alleged facilitators of capitalism—finance, professional services and government, has a bloated, lemon-socialist quality in that the question of how people get by in the world ultimately impacts the political-economic order. That this elevation is tied through policy and history to ‘freeing’ industrial workers to compete internationally while creating a large working class of service workers who labor for less than a living wage without benefits, gives a distinctive class character to this elevation. That managerialism is tied to the imperial / colonial projects through hierarchies of labor crafted through dubious distinctions adds to this class dimension.

This all ties back to the question of globalization through complicating the (descriptively) liberal conceptions of both ‘the state’ and capital. It is telling that a central role of U.S. presidents has been to sell wars of economic conquest as having geopolitical motives. One of Howard Zinn’s contributions in A People’s History of the United States was to ascribe economic motives to American ‘political’ history. Adam Tooze did an admirable job in The Wages of Destruction detailing the economic motives of the Nazis. In class terms, the PMC now plays the reactionary role of the petite bourgeoisie described by Gramsci in the 1920s. That didn’t end well.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

March 30, 2021

Sitrep China : Xinjiang backlash market shock

Selections from Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China, plus editorial notes. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe


The last two weeks we’ve watched in awe the Chinese telling the US in Alaska that a more assertive China now is a reality as the empire has left it no choice.  Of course the Alaska meeting was spiked with sanctions poison minutes before the meetings started, to present a strongman ‘advantage’ (or so they thought) to empire.   This backfired spectacularly and lasted but 15 minutes of a blistering response by China, so perfectly translated by the Chinese translator that she immediately became a new sensation in the eyes of the Chinese people.   The Chinese response is continuing and the stance is now permanent.  I think it is fair to say that China will take no more empire so-called ‘rules-based’ international order.

We saw Mr.Biden calling President Putin a “killer with no soul”.  We saw Russia moving away from empire, in action and in (less than diplomatic) words, with Foreign Minister Lavrov completing a triumphant visit to China directly after the Alaska meeting, and in press conferences making it clear that the petrodollar is now oh so last century news.  New economic and financial mechanisms will put it in its place and we already see this.  Take a look:

China signed a currency swap agreement with Sri Lanka before $3.7 billion of its foreign debt matures this year. Sri Lanka is entitled to a $1.5 billion swap facility from the PBOC, valid for three years. More than 22% of the nation’s foreign purchases were from China last year. Read full article →.

And then these wild two weeks ended with China and Iran signing a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership, of course, not using any last century petrodollars.

The US fought back fiercely, with nothing else but rumors and the rest of the west sanctioned everything that they could possibly think of.  The rumors and propaganda are about Xinjiang and included the bathwater and the baby, cold war style, threatening hot war style and seemingly quite out of step with developments in the rest of the world.  We will look at the market fall-out in some detail.

But why now? Why did both Russia and China stand up and declare that they are here to stay, while we were used to a more muted approach from both?

James W. Carden and Patrick Lawrence considers that it is a deep disappointment with discovering the “retrograde character of the Biden administration’s foreign policies”  “We thought too well of the United States” Mr Yang, Foreign Minister of China said.  They had hopes for Biden, in other words. Given his fading competence, we ought to add, we think these policies will be shaped and directed in large measure by Blinken and Sullivan, with an adjunct role for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. This will prove another competence problem.

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/our-cold-two-front-war

What has not had much media coverage, is foreign minister Wang Yi’s tour to the Middle East after the Iran agreement announcement.   He visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman, all Belt and Road member countries.   To cap off these two weeks of telling empire to become productive, take their rightful place in the world if they can, stop playing warmonger and policeman and economic hitman, the take-away statement from this tour is that Wang repeatedly said global powers should butt out of making the Middle East their arena for big-power rivalry.

(Imagine empire confusion while the penny drops that their empire is over.  Anyone hearing someone playing the fiddle or more accurately the lute?)


A short video from Professor Bill Brown at Xiamen University in southeast China’s Fujian province about the changes in China after spending 33 years there.

The empire struck back with an all-out attack against the province of Xinjiang.  The Xinjiang cotton industry was attacked with baseless rumors and propaganda about the Uyghur people and the propaganda and sanctions machines went into overdrive and we saw sanctions everywhere, mainly against anyone buying cotton from the region.  It is quite ludicrous to pretend to care for the Uyghurs if your sanctions are designed to deprive them of their major industry and their income, which is from cotton.  As fast as the western sanctions were announced, they were responded to with reciprocal sanctions.  Mr.Lavrov already mentioned that there will be a concerted effort throughout the world to do away with unilateral sanctions, so, it is almost as if they do not matter, as no country in the world can or should spare the resources to manage all the sanctions.

But China is striking back hard.  In addition, the cotton manufacturers out of Xinjiang are bringing legal action against Adrian Zenz, who stitched together the rumors of forced labor, labor camps, forced sterilization, and many others.  If you do not want to watch this video, just take a scroll through the comments though.

The Chinese people got angry and a major market kerfuffle commenced and is still ongoing.  For Australia with their thoughtless comments against China, their trade (excluding iron ore) has dropped by 40%.

H&M’s agony, Nike’s fear, the market strikes back. H&M craters after saying it would not source cotton from Xinjiang. All e-commerce platforms removed it from their websites. Searches for ‘H&M’ and ‘HM’ yielded no results, celebrities cut ties, and 200 million Weibo users boycotted H&M’s 450 stores. Nike and Adidas are under attack for using the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which stopped licensing farms in Xinjiang. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3126828/hm-under-fire-china-over-refusal-buy-xinjiang-cotton

A-list Uyghur stars Dilraba Dilmurat (Dílì Rèbā), an actress with a huge Han fan base, and Liú Yìfēi, who starred in Mulanended their business relationships with Adidas. Nike, Calvin Klein, and Converse have lost their Chinese brand ambassadors. https://supchina.com/2021/03/24/hm-faces-boycott-in-china-over-year-old-xinjiang-cotton-ban/

Japanese fashion retailer Muji, with 17% of its total sales from China, said its stores in China will continue carrying products made with Xinjiang cotton. The company has conducted due diligence on all companies in Xinjiang involved in its supply chain. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Retail/Muji-features-Xinjiang-cotton-as-Chinese-netizens-lash-its-rivals

“H&M, Nike, and others are now suffering heavy losses to their reputations in the Chinese market. Enormous investment in public relations has been destroyed instantly. They need to complain to Western society, because they know that, whether they are active or passive, they have indeed done something intolerable to Chinese consumers”. – Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1219413.shtml

Why this focus on the Chinese province Xinjian?  Is it really caring deeply about the Uyghurs?  Of course not.  This is not how empire conducts its business.

“The investments and the infrastructure development under the BRI will bring an explosion of growth in Xinjiang. It will not just become a wealthy region, it will become ‘Dubai wealthy,’ said engineer Robert Vannrox, “the West does not want this. The more Chinese investment pours into Xinjiang, the louder the anti-China propaganda becomes.”


Cover Image: Chinese archaeologists announced Saturday that some new major discoveries have been made at the legendary Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest China, helping shed light on the unified, diverse origin of the Chinese civilization.  https://www.shine.cn/news/nation/2103206280/

This is but a fraction of what I gleaned from the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Amarynth

After 10 Years of Civil War in Syria, US (Quietly) Declares Defeat but Won’t Go Home

March 25th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

Syria Media Bias
After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA — This March marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring and the protests that rocked Syria, which were a starting point for the ongoing civil war. That conflict has led to over half a million deaths and nearly 13 million people displaced, according to some estimates.

Now, after 10 years of attempts to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, it appears that many in the U.S. government and media are quietly conceding defeat.

“We tell Syria’s human stories so that the ‘victors’ don’t write its history,” ran the headline of a CNN article marking the anniversary. Who the victors are is not spelled out explicitly, although it is clear that the reference is to the Syrian government. In explaining the reasons for the violence, the article tells us:

The Assad regime gunned down those who called for a peaceful transition to democracy. Gulf countries sent in suitcases of cash with a wink and a nod towards more religiously conservative fighting units. Assad let former al-Qaeda members and other criminals out of jail. The U.S., at the peak of its involvement, half-heartedly trained some ‘moderate’ rebels, many of whom went on to join the ranks of extremist groups.

Thus, Assad is presented as an ally of al-Qaeda, while forces the U.S. and its allies “half-heartedly” supplied and trained register merely as “religiously conservative fighting units” and “moderate rebels,” inverting reality on its head.

The New York Times was less cryptic in its description of the outcome of the conflict, its headline reading “Having Won Syria’s War, al-Assad Is Mired in Economic Woes.” While accepting military defeat in Syria, the U.S. appears to be using its economic power to make sure there can be no clear victory for Assad, enacting waves of sanctions that have crushed the country’s economy, leading to power outages, food shortages, inflation and falling wages.

In its article covering a potential change in Syria policy by the Biden administration, the Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted one former Obama official who said the international take-home message is that “the Syria war is over, Assad has won, Assad will be in power as long as he is breathing oxygen.”

Those in the current administration are more tacit in their acceptance of the situation on the ground. A joint statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his European counterparts last week asked for a nationwide ceasefire, promising that they were not “abandoning” the conflict or Syria’s people, whatever it might look like. The statement also condemned the fast-approaching presidential elections as neither free nor fair, historically a very good indicator that they expect the result to go against their interests. “It’s clear that the regime will leverage the upcoming presidential elections in May to unfairly claim Assad’s legitimacy,” said the United States’ acting deputy ambassador to the UN, Jeffrey DeLaurentis, last week. “The United States will not recognize these elections unless they are free, fair, representative of Syrian society, and supervised by the United Nations,” he added.

The prospect of holding a proper election in a country destroyed by ten years of constant war is indeed very dim. With food prices rising, millions displaced, and millions more having fled abroad, just surviving is a task enough for many. Last month the World Food Program warned that a record 12.4 million Syrians — more than half of the population — are currently food insecure. This is an increase of around 4.5 million from last year. Over the past 12 months, the price of basic foodstuffs has increased by an average of 236%. Some of this is down to U.S. sanctions, with Washington apparently deciding that — as in Venezuela, Cuba and other nations — if the U.S. cannot overthrow the government, it will fall back on starving the country as a punishment.

Ten years of violence

While the conflict is universally described as a civil war, from the outset it has been dominated by foreign groups. March 15, 2011 saw the Arab Spring spread to Syria, with large demonstrations against Assad’s rule in many major cities. However, this unrest was quickly overtaken by armed groups whose goal was to take the country by force. In July of that year, the Free Syrian Army was established, quickly receiving considerable Western backing. Almost immediately, the country of 21 million people became a proxy war for various regional and world powers, including Turkey, the United States and its European allies, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. At one point, the CIA was spending almost $1 billion per year training and fielding an army of jihadists. Fighters came from as far afield as Libya and Xinjiang province in China to join their ranks.

A U.S.-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy automatic machine gun, left, next to an American soldier as they take their positions at Tanf, a border crossing between Syria and Iraq (Hammurabi’s Justice News/AP)
A US-backed anti-government fighter mans a heavy machine gun next to a US soldier in al Tanf. Hammurabi’s Justice News | AP

The bitter fighting and terrible violence on all sides led to a refugee crisis for a country that had historically been a haven for victims of war in the region. The famously secular nation also became a stronghold for the Islamic State. With the help of Russian forces, ISIS was beaten back, but to this day, a number of foreign powers continue to occupy the country militarily. One of them is the United States, which last month launched a strike on a town on the Syria/Iraq border, dropping 1.75 tons of explosives and reportedly killing 22 people. Between 2014 and 2019, the U.S. and its allies dropped at least 118,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also continues to militarily occupy Syria’s oil fields, hamstringing the nation’s efforts to recover economically.

A short spring, a long winter

Unfortunately, Syria is far from the only country that has been left in a much worse state than what it was in ten years ago. In 2011, the Arab Spring sparked hope across the Middle East, capturing the world’s attention for months as, one after another, movements arose challenging the power of undemocratic governments. Yet few, if any, can be said to have succeeded.

Egypt was the centerpiece of the uprising, as hundreds of thousands of people poured into Tahrir Square in Cairo. Dictator Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign and Mohamed Morsi was elected president in a democratic election. Yet barely a year later many were in the streets again, begging the military to overthrow him. The resulting coup brought General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to power, establishing a dictatorship every bit as brutal as Mubarak’s. Sisi has signalled his intent to remain in power until at least 2034, which, considering his age, is effectively a lifetime appointment.

In Libya, protests against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule were used as a pretext by NATO for regime change, sparking a bitter civil war, Gaddafi’s assasination, and the rise of Al-Qaeda and other jihadist forces that turned the once-rich country into a failed state, replete with slave markets.

Meanwhile, Yemen is now commonly described as the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” where 24 million people need assistance, including 20 million with little or no access to clean water. Yesterday, Oxfam warned that the country is reaching a tipping point, amid a massive spike in COVID-19 cases and a feared outbreak of cholera. The cause for the crisis is clear: the Saudi-led onslaught against the country, which, in turn, has its roots in the constitutional crisis sparked by the Arab Spring protests.

Few remember that the Arab Spring actually started in Western Sahara. But over the past 10 years, the country is being progressively eroded, as Morocco continues to occupy it militarily, building a succession of walls and annexing its most valuable land. As a result, the fortunes of the Sahrawi people are as bad as ever.

After a decade of bombing, invasions, exoduses and economic strife, it is clear that there are precious few winners in the Syrian Civil War — or from the rest of the Arab Spring, for that matter. There are, however, millions of losers. Chief among them are the people of Syria, who have seen their country torn apart as foreign powers, great and minor, wrestle for control of their nation. While the U.S. and its media might be tacitly conceding defeat, few are proclaiming victory.

The Lion and the Eagle: The Interaction of the British and American Empires, 1783-1972 – Book Review

March 23, 2021

The Lion and the Eagle: The Interaction of the British and American Empires, 1783-1972 by Kathleen Burk. (Photo: Book Cover)

By Jim Miles

(The Lion and the Eagle – The Interaction of the British and American Empires 1783-1972.  Kathleen Burk.  Bloomsbury, London/New York, 2018)

The 200-year historical span of Kathleen Burk’s “The Lion and the Eagle” shows the changes in the interactions between the newly formed United States and its imperial drive and the ongoing imperial drive of the British. In general, the former overtook the latter with the United States momentarily being the single superpower, but still with strong ties to Britain and the remnants of empire and the Commonwealth. Along the way, there were agreements and disagreements as well as many commonalities that pervaded both empires.

North America’s Dividing Line – The US-Canada Border

The first two chapters cover the not-so-well-known minor conflict between Britain and the US over the border between Canada and the US as they spread across the continent. The only actual war, although there were other skirmishes – including one in which the only casualty was a pig – was the war of 1812 which ended with both sides able to claim some kind of victory.

Apart from these descriptions the overriding theme became that of both countries not really wanting to go to war with each other in spite of political rhetoric. Britain was preoccupied with France and other European countries all striving for a ‘balance’ in Europe from which to control all the different colonial enterprises overseas.  The United States remained financially tied to Britain through various loans and debts, while the US navy for much of the time could not match the power of the British navy’s ability to blockade their former colony.

By the time the border was fully resolved (1903) the power differential between the two empires had shifted.  The U.S had settled many of its internal problems, and its navy grew to a strong enough position to negate any possible British threat. Throughout most of this time, while technically independent, “the US was a developing country, an economic and financial colony of Britain.”  The US industrial production grew significantly but Britain “did maintain its overwhelming supreme position…in finance.”  The pound sterling was the world’s “only reserve currency and the City of London was the world’s financial center.”

A discussion that was not developed was the manner in which both empires looked at the ‘new world’ and how they treated the indigenous people and the resources of the land.  For all the talk of freedom and independence, control of the land and the people, and power and money ruled the empires. This becomes much more evident in Burk’s discussion concerning China and Japan.

Empirical parallels

The histories of the “opening” of China and Japan are – or should be – relatively well known.  What stands out in Burk’s discussion, much of it extracted from original journals and government records is the arrogance and self-aggrandizement of both empires in their self-righteous roles to control the resources and people of the world.   Underneath it all lies the largest factor – racism.

From the Chinese perspective, “Any relationship between the Celestial Empire and a foreign country must be as one between supreme ruler and vassal…the uncultured barbarian would recognize the superiority of Chinese civilization…by bringing tribute and taking part in full Court ritual” – kowtowing.  The British of course refused to kowtow and expected to be treated as an equal and indeed saw itself as the superior power.

“The Chinese saw Western Ocean barbarians as warlike and dangerous and the British as the most dangerous of all. The Emperor warned…that ‘England is stronger and fiercer than the other countries in the Western Ocean. Since things have not gone according to their wishes, it may cause them to stir up trouble.’”

As for British cultural superiority, the first British ambassador, Viscount Macartney, after presenting British presents to the Emperor, “was taken from the pavilion to pavilion and realized just how relatively unimpressive were the objects that he had brought from Britain.”

Burk’s discussion develops the history through the opium wars, the intrusions of the other European powers, and more importantly for this work, shows how the US adventures in China more or less rode along on the coat-tails of the other empires, in particular the British.

Japan was different in many aspects, but the same racial arrogance from both empires becomes obvious, and the use of military power – at least the threat of using it – is one of the main bargaining points of  US diplomacy.  Japan was a unified country but at the time of initial US interventions, a power struggle was developing between the Emperor and the Shogunate.  At this point, the US “remained an economic colony of Britain”  and used mainly threats to coerce the Japanese into accepting trade relations.

The British in Japan showed the same arrogance towards the Japanese as they did the Chinese and their actions “were largely conditioned by Britons’ experience in China…assuming there were few differences between Asian countries,” and that “Japan had no right to prevent other countries from sharing its riches.”  At the initial stages the US “had substantial economic interests in China, not least in the opium trade, but relatively little diplomatic or military influence,” and was “running behind the British.”   British negotiations with Japan came mostly as military threats.

The Japanese were in a different position than China, and between the two factions, the one that succeeded to power wished to acquire “scientific and engineering knowledge” in order to push out the barbarians after they had mastered the technology.

Empires Reversed…

The last chapter covers a large span from 1897 to 1972.  During that period two World Wars and several financial crises affected the relationship.  World War II was the final turning point as one of the US’ goals was “significant control over international finance.”  The Bretton Woods agreement which essentially established this formally is only mentioned in regards to the financial havoc created by the US’ Vietnam War. The Suez Crisis and the Israeli attack on its Arab neighbors combined with the financial demise of the British pound, brought the US empire to full dominance militarily and financially. The US became the prime supporter of the colonial-settler state of Israel militarily and financially, while Britain remained as a military empire in its own right with 145 bases around the world to complement those of the US.

…Current Events

In her very short epilogue “Envoi”, Burk ends on a confusing note.  She talks briefly about the US empire of bases and then mentions the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Her next statement, her next to the last statement, reads, “As long as these countries can be protected without becoming protectorates, this American power will be welcomed, or at least tolerated.”  By the rules of grammatical sequencing, this refers to Afghanistan and Iraq, making the statement a rather sad wilfully ignorant ending as there is no way the US’ presence in either of these two countries is either welcomed or tolerated.

If it is an improper grammatical reference to 130 countries with military bases then its sentiment remains highly arguable.  The many countries with bases (which do include Afghanistan and Iraq) may have governments accepting US bribes, graft, and financial manipulation, but it is not likely the everyday citizen is as accepting of the US presence.

…And Beyond

That small point aside – and it is the only point in the book that I question marked – both empires have moved on.  The US is no longer the sole superpower, although it remains the most powerful military and financial empire. It uses both its military power (mostly – covertly and overtly) and financial power – sanctions mainly – vis a vis its control of the “Washington consensus” institutions (the IMF, World Bank, BIS, SWIFT, et al).

Britain remains within the US thrall, supporting the arrogance and imperial lies that sustain domestic support during the election cycles.  As a part of NATO, as a member of the “Five Eyes”, with veto power on the Security Council at the UN, and maintaining a recently renewed arsenal of 260 nuclear weapons, Britain is no slouch.

Concomitant with that is the residual power of the “City”, the London financial district.  The LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate still powers much of the world’s financial interactions. Established much more recently, the LBMA, the London Bullion Market Association, comprises the largest gold and silver markets in the world. It would be unusual if these two organizations do not liaise with their US counterparts to maintain control of the current global financial position in which the US $ is now the world reserve currency.

Also important financially are the other polar elements of world power, China and Russia.  Both have mainly extricated themselves from direct US currency manipulations (it’s not all that easy) and both have accumulated large amounts of the “barbarous relic” – gold – which many of the world’s central banks are also accumulating or repatriating from New York and London.

With Brexit, with the COVID crisis, and with the US ‘recovering’ from four years of an overtly racist government, the entanglements between the two empires will continue with that racism and general arrogant outlook towards the rest of the world.  Kathleen Burk’s “The Lion and the Eagle” is an excellent history covering the events and attitudes of the politicians involved with this ongoing duet.

– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews to Palestine Chronicles.  His interest in this topic stems originally from an environmental perspective, which encompasses the militarization and economic subjugation of the global community and its commodification by corporate governance and by the American government.

Captain America – The Man with Two Brains

March 21, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jDSZ6bDfIJw/YFUOBcDpC3I/AAAAAAAAQOE/t1Y4l_a51VYOufEwIxWWNrH1CiHUA8mWgCLcBGAsYHQ/w512-h640/Captain%2B%2B%2BAmerica%2Bmain%2Bpicture.jpg

An earlier essay titled, “If America Dissolves . . .” formed an introduction to the series on Bernays and Propaganda. This essay functions as the epilogue.

I will briefly repeat here several observations I made earlier, in order to develop a point that requires some elaboration.

In the essay titled The Utopia Syndrome, I mentioned Elizabeth Anderson’s theory of what I call ‘The Propaganda Mask’, which states that when political ideals or the ‘official story’ diverge too widely from reality, the ideals or the official narrative themselves become a kind of mask that prevents us from perceiving the gap. When the tenets of the propaganda are too far removed from factual truth, the victims lose their ability to separate fact from fiction and become unable to recognise the discrepancy between their ideals and their actions, or between their convictions and the truth. In the same essay I outlined that Americans are guilty of what I call ‘the Utopia Syndrome’, comparing themselves not with the real world of their actions but with some utopian standard of ideals that exists only in their own imaginations, a world of fancy and illusion divorced from reality. Next, I noted the black and white mentality that pervades America, the result of their Christianity and the work of Bernays, whose methods of manipulation of the public mind created a kind of binary mentality. Bernays claimed the excessive emotional loading in his propaganda could produce only a limited range of powerful emotional responses in his victims, forcing one’s emotional switch into a binary ‘on or off’ mode, with no other choices.

Within this binary framework, it is interesting that Americans are of two minds with respect to their treasured democracy. On the one hand, they preach glassy-eyed and fervently that their multi-party political system is the pinnacle of human evolutionary development, a universal value gifted to them by their god and representing the yearnings of all mankind, while on the other hand vehemently condemning that same democracy as hopelessly corrupt and its politicians less trustworthy than snakes and used-car salesmen. Thus, Americans seem to have two brains which are apparently unconnected and unable to communicate with each other. We have one brain stridently preaching the utopian fiction of a beautiful mansion on a hill, while the other dismisses with contempt the reality of a cracked foundation and leaking roof, sagging floors and faulty wiring, and all the rest. Yet the brain’s owner is seemingly unaware of these two successive and starkly contradictory realities.

These behavior patterns are not difficult to understand if we assume that Americans really do have two unconnected brains, not physically but mentally. Like all schizophrenics, most Americans exhibit what researchers call a ‘splitting of mental functions’, a mental disorder characterised by a failure to recognize what is real, the most common symptom being false beliefs. This derived schizophrenia appears to share the stage with a variation of what is called a ‘multiple personality disorder’, “a mental defect characterised by two distinct but dissociated personality states that alternately control a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.” This combination summarises to a people (a) holding totally false beliefs, unable to distinguish fiction from reality, (b) displaying two distinct but dissociated and opposite mental states, and (c) exhibiting little if any memory overlap between these two states. Odd as all this may seem, this describes Americans too perfectly to be an irrelevant coincidence. I should note here that both these mental disorders are diagnosed more frequently in the US than in any other nation.

Americans have been overwhelmed with utopian propaganda from infancy, an insidious New Testament heavily loaded with religion and emotion, indoctrinating them with a belief in their own moral superiority endowed upon them by their god, resulting in the Propaganda Mask where they can no longer recognise the vast discrepancy between their ideals and their actions (or the actions of their government). Their evangelical brand of Christianity endows them with the conviction that they are “good” and that all their actions, however evil, are also “good”. It then follows that they compare themselves not to the real world of their actions but only to their programmed utopian ideals. It is logical that Americans appear blind to this stark discrepancy due to the memory impairment when shifting personality states, the explanation lying with Bernays and the ‘on and off’ switch that controls the two brains. The issue is simply that both brains (or personality states) cannot be “ON” at the same time.

The condition and its states are easy to observe. In moments of unthreatening discourse, most any American brain can switch to its reality state and recognise democracy and capitalism for what they are, with all the open sores and unlanced boils readily apparent and heartily condemned. In these unguarded moments, many Americans will release a tide of criticism and moral condemnation of their capitalist system, with at least intuitive if not factual understanding of the criminal character of their corporations and banks, and the fundamentally unjust nature of their legal and judicial systems, as well as the failings of their vaunted multi-party democratic system. They know full well their Wall Street bankers are predatory vampires, that their courts are neither of law nor justice, that their democracy is corrupted beyond redemption, and that most of their politicians and corporate executives belong in prison. They are mostly quite aware of the devastating injustices of their capitalist system, and surprisingly aware of the futility of their great ‘democracy’. It can be startling to see their clarity of vision and harsh judgments of these failings.

But on occasions when these fundamentals are threatened, or when exposed to an emotionally-nourishing propaganda stimulus containing an opportunity to ‘feel good to be an American’, the reality brain switches off, the utopian brain switches on, and we are subjected to a sometimes frighteningly religious flood of nationalistic nonsense. I wrote earlier that much of what we attribute to American hypocrisy may in reality be due to a peculiarly American kind of mass insanity, which would appear to be precisely the case.

No other nation in the world has been exposed to political-religious brainwashing propaganda on such a massive scale. Patriotism in America is neither natural nor spontaneous; it has been planned, programmed and instilled in all Americans from birth, at least all white Americans. It is often so foolish as to be comical and open to ridicule, but simultaneously rather frightening. Consider this example:

The media topic is that fewer Americans are buying live Christmas trees in favor of artificial ones that are less bother and are re-usable. The live tree industry feels a long-term threat to its survival. No politics here, no religion. But then this is America and things are different here. The problem, according to the US media, is not the change in consumer tastes but rather is China, specifically “China’s cheap, fake Christmas trees”. China is “threatening our authentic American trees” and, even more importantly, China is also threatening “the patriotic Americans” who supply the authentic American trees. The media article therefore advised these threatened Americans to evidence their patriotism by going out into the forest to find “a God-grown tree”. When you read this, do you laugh or cry?

This tragic combination of serious mental imbalance and distressing emotional immaturity creates an existential problem for these hysterical pre-pubescent Americans. On the one hand, they desperately must feel good to be an American because it is their only source of emotional sustenance. But on the other hand, the fact of being American contains nothing in itself to make anybody feel good about anything. Even worse, it isn’t sufficient for them to merely feel good about themselves; it is crucially necessary to feel they are better than others, which is why they need an external comparison to illuminate their superiority. In spite of their imaginary exceptionalism and professed overwhelming moral superiority, there is also an inner recognition that these claims are false, evidenced by their constant attempts to prove a superiority which, if real, should be so obvious as to require no proof.

But Americans have nothing valuable of their own, not in themselves, nor in their national identity, history or culture, so they compensate by denigrating those who do have. This is why they so vigorously blind themselves to their own faults, crimes and atrocities, and focus only on the sins of others – even if they have to create imaginary ones. This is in part why hypocrisy has become a defining adjective of Americans: they cannot permit their national identity to collapse from a revelation of their current faults and historical crimes. When overlaid with their malignant Christianity, this combines to produce their imaginary and marvelously-warped self-image of moral superiority. The end result is a nation with little intrinsic self-worth and few genuine human values, unable to see itself as it really is: empty, superficial, vacuous, ignorant, mean-spirited, hysterical, envious, aggressive, self-obsessed, and hypocritical.

This is what Lippman and Bernays (and their European masters) did to the American people – reprogrammed an entire nation in equally as brutal a fashion as did the US with the Philippines, and the UK with Hong Kong, in this case creating an entire society of deluded, hysterical, and profoundly sick killer-consumers with a totally fictional history. It is probably fair to say that these men had good and fertile material to work with, a composition of the worst features of Christianity, native ignorance, and insatiable greed, but still we need to give credit where credit is due. Americans have always been racist and violent, but it was Lippman and Bernays who turned them into serial killers celebrating their Afghan “bug splats” (1) in the national media. And it was in this fertile and evil soil that American Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense Secretaries so lushly sprouted into the longest string of sociopathic genocidal killers in history. Democracy never had a chance.

*

Notes

(1) For those who don’t know, a ‘bug splat’ is both the sound and the result of a large insect like a grasshopper impacting the windshield of a car at high speed. Americans were renowned for shooting children in Afghanistan (usually in the head) with high-powered weapons, and referring to the resulting explosion as a ‘bug splat’.

*

Introduction – If America Dissolves…  https://thesaker.is/if-america-dissolves/

Bernays and Propaganda – Part 1 of 5 — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda/

Bernays and Propaganda – Part 2 of 5 — The Marketing of War — https://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-the-marketing-of-war/

Bernays and Propaganda – Part 3 of 5 –– Democracy Control – http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-democracy-control/

Bernays and Propaganda – Part 4 of 5 –The Transition to Education and Commerce – http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-the-transition-to-education-and-commerce-part-4/

Bernays and Propaganda – Part 5 of 5 — Propaganda Continues Unabated — http://thesaker.is/bernays-and-propaganda-propaganda-continues-unabated-part-5/

Epilogue – Captain America –The Man with Two Brains


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

His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Hell on Earth Exists

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Made in the USA, assisted by its imperial partners, hell exists in raped and destroyed nations by US-led aggression.

It’s worst of all in ravaged Yemen since October 2001, a nation under attack by the US and complicit aggressors for nearly two decades without let-up.

According to World Food Program executive director David Beasley in remarks to Security Council members last week:

“Just two days ago, I was in Yemen, where over 16 million people now face crisis levels of hunger or worse.” 

“These aren’t just numbers. These are real people.” 

“And we are headed straight toward the biggest famine in modern history.” 

“It is hell on earth in many places in Yemen right now.”

“Around 400,000 children may die in Yemen this year without urgent intervention.” 

“That is roughly one child every 75 seconds.” 

“So, while we’re sitting here, every minute and a quarter, a child is dying.”

“Are we really going to turn our backs on them and look the other way?”

“To add to all their misery, the innocent people of Yemen have to deal with a fuel blockade.”

“(M)ost hospitals (still operating) only have electricity in their intensive care units because fuel reserves are so low.” 

“I know this first-hand because I’ve walked in the hospital.” 

“And the lights were off. The electricity was off.” 

“The people of Yemen deserve our help. That blockade must be lifted, as a humanitarian act.” 

“Otherwise, millions more will spiral into crisis.”

“Man made conflict is driving instability and powering a destructive new wave of famine that threatens to sweep across the world.” 

“The toll being paid in human misery is unimaginable.” 

“These looming famines have two things in common: they are primarily driven by conflict, and they are entirely preventable.”

“The cycle of violence, hunger and despair pulls in more and more individuals and families as the weeks and months pass.” 

“But the potential consequences are truly global: economic deterioration, destabilization, mass migration and starvation.”

“Beyond the immediate crisis, we also need to invest in peace, so that in the future, desperate families are not forced to the brink of survival by the bullet and the bomb.” 

“The costs of this violence are immense: just in 2019 $14.5 trillion dollars a year – 15 percent of global GDP.” 

“It would take a fraction of this money to fund the development programs that could transform the lives of people in fragile, conflict-scarred nations – and help lay new pathways to peace.”

Beasley added that he earlier warned that famines “of biblical proportions” are happpening in over three dozen countries.

He estimates around 270 million people worldwide today on the brink of starvation — what’s entirely avoidable but it’s happening because of endless wars and indifference to the health, welfare and rights of world’s most vulnerable people.

Millions reside in Yemen, victimized by US aggression because of its strategic location.

It’s near the Horn of Africa on Saudi Arabia’s southern border, the Red Sea, its Bab el-Mandeb strait — a key chokepoint separating Yemen from Eritrea through which millions barrels of oil pass daily — and the Gulf of Aden connection to the Indian Ocean.

It’s why war to gain and maintain control of the country rages endlessly.

Yemeni Houthi freedom fighters want their country back.   

They want US-led aggression ended, US/Saudi forces out of the country once and for all.

Millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation want to live, not die.

The Saudis are waging US proxy war on the country, massacring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure —  schools, food storage facilities, residential areas, and hospitals, wrecking Yemen’s healthcare system.

Millions of Yemenis face endless violence, lack of treatment for illnesses and injuries, starvation, and for many in the country widespread famine.

The entire population is at risk.

Beasley warned that things are “sliding toward the brink of the abyss” today.

Millions of desperate people in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Sudan, South Sudan, the Sahel and elsewhere — dozens of countries where millions of people go hungry because of US aggression and/or support for endless wars.

Beasley visited Sana’a, Yemen’s Al Sabeen children’s hospital.

He was overwhelmed by horror stories and what he saw firsthand.

He witnessed pain, incredible hardships, sick children whose bodies were skin and bones, and countless numbers on the brink of death from preventable or treatable illnesses and hunger.

“If I showed you some of the pictures, you would not believe it, and no one with a heart at all could sit idly by and let this continue. No one,” he stressed!  

Ending war in Yemen and other countries, along with lots of money for food and healthcare are desperately needed to save lives. end pain and indescribable suffering.

Beasley estimates around 250,000 deaths in Yemen from war, untreated diseases and starvation.

A more accurate toll since Bush/Cheney launched aggression in the country almost two decades ago is likely at least ten-fold higher than Beasley’s estimate.

What’s going on won’t likely end unless world community members no longer tolerate US-led wars on humanity.

They continue in multiple theaters by hot and/or other means, the human toll mounting exponentially each day.

Biden becomes the fourth successive President to bomb Iraqis: how far could this latest round of escalation go?

Biden becomes the fourth successive President to bomb Iraqis: how far could this latest round of escalation go?

March 04, 2021

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

Another president, another act of aggression. For the past few decades, it’s almost like a mandatory rite of passage for US presidents to bomb Muslim countries. I don’t think many of us are surprised to see that current US President Joe Biden turned out to be no different to his predecessors, when Washington once more bombed Iraqis last week.

Continuing the same policy of terrorism and humiliation from the Trump era, Washington felt the need to show strength against the Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border area. What angers me most, is not just the terrorist act of killing people who are fighting US occupation and US backed terrorism, but the fact that Washington cannot and will not recognize that there is a growing local resistance to Zionist hegemony, instead resorting to degrading and humiliating legitimate resistance groups such as Hashd al-Sha’abi of Iraq (PMU) or the Houthis of Yemen by labelling them “Iranian backed proxies”.

Everything and everyone that oppose Washington and Zionist hegemony in West Asia are “Iranian backed”. Whether it is a Houthi attack on a Saudi airport, a Taliban attack on a NATO convoy or a suspiciously random rocket attack on a US base in Iraq, it is always Iran’s fault and somehow the Islamic Republic must be held responsible for these attacks. Both Washington and the Zionist entity keep attacking Resistance forces in the very area where ISIS remnants have been re-emergent for the past months, claiming their right to self defense. Self defense?! America is more than 10 000 kilometres away. US troops are occupying Syrian and Iraqi territory and Washington claims the right to self defense? This narrative has been drilled into the minds of so many people in the West that nobody even reacts when one of the Obama gang’s old crude liars, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby was telling the press that Washington acted to “de-escalate” the situation when it bombed Resistance forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

What Kirby really meant by “de-escalation” was that he believes that Washington sent Iran and its allies a “clear message”, that messing with Washington is unwise. The sad part is that he and the other psychopaths in Washington actually believe that the so called “message” will in any way deter the Resistance forces in West Asia. It is pretty clear what the US is doing with these random attacks on the Resistance forces. Washington knows the realities on the ground and acts in response to them. In Syria, it has become clear for Washington that Damascus won’t fall, that dream came down crashing when Russia entered the war in 2015. So, Washington is acting to deny Syria and her allies their well deserved victory through the occupation and looting of eastern Syria. Washington will act for as long as it takes to starve the Syrian people into submission.

In Iraq, Washington, being well aware that the Iraqi parliament has voted to expel US forces from Iraq, is desperately seeking new reasons to prolong their occupation. Be it through the magical re-emergence of Daesh terrorists in Western Iraq or through suspicious Katyusha rocket attacks on US interests in Baghdad’s green zone, which are then blamed on the Iraqi Resistance forces without any kind of evidence presented, Washington is seeking to undermine the Iraqi parliament’s decision.
In Iraq, Washington has a foothold in Baghdad not seen in Syria’s Damascus. It is through this foothold that Washington wields influence over many Iraqi politicians and thus has the ability to cause great internal disunity and animosity among Iraqis themselves.

Washington has both great influence over the Kurds in northern Iraq and over the Prime Minister’s office. PM Al-Kadhimi is known to be a close associate of Washington’s and is suspected to be cooperating with the US to prolong their stay in Iraq. During his tenure, tensions between Baghdad and the PMU have run high as government forces have made random raids on the PMU headquarters, arresting some members even. Yet even more dangerous is the escalating tensions between Washington and the PMU. On Wednesday March 3rd, a new rocket attack on the Ain Al-Assad military base was reported. This is the same military base that was struck by the IRGC last year in retaliation for Washington’s murder of martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. Previously the PMU had vowed revenge for Washington’s attack last week, which makes it rather obvious that Washington will blame the PMU for this recent strike.

With this latest round of escalation, one wonders what will happen next? Of course I’m just speculating but I see some real dangers with tensions running this high. I believe that Washington could very well seek to push Iraq into a new civil war in a bid to eradicate the Hashd al-Sha’abi. Many of the groups within the PMU have threatened to wage war on US forces if Washington refuses to withdraw. Unfortunately, this threat by the PMU can easily be exploited by the US, giving Washington a casus belli, as they intensify their “defensive” airstrikes while claiming to support Baghdad’s campaign to bring “stability” to Iraq. Such an endeavour could risk dragging several regional countries into the conflict as the Islamic Republic could be forced to intervene on behalf of the Iraqi Resistance forces. It is clear that Washington cannot and will not attack Iran directly, such an adventure would be too risky for the crazies in the White House and Pentagon. However, fighting “Iranian backed” forces and rolling back Iranian influence could serve to both solidify the continued US occupation of Iraq in the short term, and prevent the Resistance forces from achieving complete victory, in the mid-to-long term. In order to manufacture consent, Washington must portray their actions as both “defensive” and in service of “stability and peace”. Having others fight Washington’s wars for them is a speciality for the Empire. This is why I believe the most likely scenario to be one where Washington attempts to pit Baghdad against the PMU, then sweep in to “help” Baghdad “preserve stability”. This strategy has been used in different ways before by the Obama regime when it unleashed the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq, then claimed to fight the same terrorists it had armed and trained, in a bid to continue their occupation of Iraq and pressure pro-Iran PM Nouri Al-Maliki to resign. Obama then did the same thing in Syria with the support of Kurdish militants in a bid to pressure Damascus into concessions. Trump continued on the same path but went even further when his administration began using phony attacks on “US interests” in Iraq as a pretext for direct confrontation with the PMU, a path that ultimately led to the murder of Martyrs Soleimani and Al-Muhandis. The then-secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Washington had acted to “stabilize” Iraq with the murder of these “terrorists” who were “hated among Iraqis”.

Iraq is key to the Resistance Axis and cannot fall into enemy hands. It is however also the most vulnerable of the countries where the Resistance forces are active, as not only does Washington have great influence over Baghdad, but also over the Kurdish autonomous region in the north.

Supporting Kurdish independence is another way that Washington could seek to attack the Resistance Axis. This can be seen in Syria as well where the Kurdish militants are acting as excellent proxy troops for Washington, occupying about a third of the country and helping US forces in the looting of Syrian oil. Kurdish parties also have excellent ties to the Zionist entity in Tel Aviv, as Zionist chieftain Netanyahu has on several occasions been a vocal supporter of Kurdish independence, often likening the Kurdish people’s cause with the Zionist one. The reactionary Kurdish parties, who are too ignorant and too greedy to understand and realize that they are being used as cannon fodder to further US imperial ambitions, will be more than happy to wage war on Syria and Iraq with US support behind them.

It’s been almost 10 years since the war in Syria began, and 18 years since the war in Iraq began, and still there seems to be no peace in sight for any of the Arab countries. Biden has been in office in less than two months, but in my opinion, the next four years seem to be rather clear in terms of Washington’s policies towards the West Asia region- the long wars will continue and more blood is to be expected. Bush bombed Iraq, Obama bombed Iraq, Trump bombed Iraq, and now Biden bombs Iraq. For our people, it never matters who or what occupies the White House, the bombings and wars will continue. Iraq has a rather young population, more than 60 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. This means that most Iraqis have known nothing else except the US imposed wars on their homeland. It is a tragedy and a shameful moment in human history where most people in the totally “advanced, civilized, democratic, morally superior” West don’t care about what their despicable governments are doing in Iraq or Syria, because they are stupid Muslim terrorists anyway. This is why Iraq cannot and should not rely on Western public opinion. Resistance is the only way, and the US Empire must be kicked out with force in order for Iraqis to finally have some peace.

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NO VICTORIES? INVENT SOME: BIDEN’S QUEST TO MIDDLE EAST DOMINATION

South Front

You can read this article in German. LINK

The new leadership of the United States is attempting to position itself as the strongman in the Middle East. Or at least make it appear so.

Following the Biden Administration’s first strike on pro-Iranian groups on or near the Syrian-Iraq border, it showed that it can bite. What was left is to show that nothing can hurt it. In recent months, its bases have been under rocket fire. Its convoys have been targeted by IED attacks numerous times. None of these, however, resulted in any significant injuries or deaths.

As such, Washington needs to look further back and one thing stands out – it happened more than a year ago.

The time has come to correct the blemish that is the Iranian ballistic missile strike on the Ain al-Asad base in Iraq in 2020, which happened in response to the US assassination of Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani.

The strike took place on January 8th, and initially official reports said that it had caused close to no damage. Then it turned out that helicopters had been almost entirely destroyed, and that buildings had been razed. Finally, in the following weeks and months, dozens of soldiers turned out to have had “traumatic brain injuries”.

What really happened? US TV channel CBS made a special documentary on the strikes and released it on March 1st, 2021. The recollection is based on the Pentagon’s version of events and the timeline that the US Defense officials have provided.

On January 8th, hours before the strike all the soldiers knew it was coming and hid to safety. The flights of the Iranian missiles were all tracked by US Central Command. More than 50 aviation units and 1,000 people were evacuated. 16 missiles were launched from 3 different locations, five of which missed. A video was released, taken by an UAV, showing that the base “didn’t receive any significant damage”. All the grainy footage showed was finding an excuse and attempting to change the facts one year later.

The United States is attempting to present it in a way that shows its one strike along the Syrian-Iraqi border as a significant one, while downplaying the most notable strike on its own positions in the last year.

The Biden administration wants to present itself as the strong man, and promises to send more troops to the region. Trump’s troop withdrawal and limited military involvement approaches have been abandoned.

In reality, its convoys are under constant fire in Iraq and its positions are regularly targeted. And they are targeted in such a precise manner, that no human life is taken, except a few exceptions.

Who, exactly is Biden trying to impress?

Damascus and Moscow Slam Escalated US Aggression in Syria

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ignore rhetoric by regime officials. Follow their actions.

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

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

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

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

It refuses to die because Big Lies keep it alive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We are in permanent contact with Syrian colleagues.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Biden Says That America Is Back, But That Might Be A Bad Thing

The world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

US President Joe Biden thundered that “America is back” while addressing the Munich Security Conference last week via video, but his understanding of what this means might be a bad thing for the rest of the world. There were high hopes that he’d pragmatically re-engage with the international community in order to right his predecessor’s many foreign policy wrongs, but it seems from the rest of the words that he shared during his speech that he has other motivations in mind. The problem is that President Biden revealed how ideological his envisioned foreign policy is, which will inevitably contribute to further international instability in the future.

According to the American leader, the world is presently at an inflection point between democracy and what he described as “autocracy”. He said that his country’s “galvanizing mission” must therefore be to “demonstrate that democracies can still deliver for our people in this changed world” since he’s convinced that “it’s the single best way to revitalize the promise of our future.” In and of itself, that wouldn’t be an issue so long as the US focused solely on improving the state of its democracy at home, but regrettably, he wants to impose its interpretation of this governing system onto the rest of the world in a paradoxically undemocratic way.

Democracy is supposed to be about respecting differences, yet President Biden proclaimed that America will “speak out to defend [its values] around the world”, which differ from other countries’. Every state should have the right to practice their own form of democracy at home in line with their national traditions and culture without coming under pressure from abroad for this choice. Just like every person in a democracy should be able to do whatever they’d like as long as it’s peaceful, responsible, and doesn’t infringe on others’ rights, so too should every member of the international community be able to do this as well.

Unfortunately, President Biden’s ideologically driven foreign policy denies this right to China, which discredits America’s pro-democratic approach to International Relations. He proposed that “the United States, Europe, and Asia work together to secure the peace and defend our shared values and advance our prosperity across the Pacific” due to what he described as their “long-term strategic competition with China”. He also said that “We have to push back against the Chinese government’s economic abuses and coercion that undercut the foundations of the international economic system. Everyone — everyone — must play by the same rules.”

That statement is extremely hypocritical since it doesn’t align with reality. It’s the US that carries out economic abuses and pursues a policy of coercion against others which confirms it’s unwillingness to play by the same rules as everyone else. This is proven by its trade war against China and reliance on illegal sanctions as a foreign policy tool. China, by contrast, has always complied with international law and the rules of the World Trade Organization. Beijing doesn’t believe that there should be any double standards in this respect. It’s consistently advocated for America to return back to respecting international rules and norms instead of violating them.

President Biden’s messianic belief in America’s mission to impose its national interpretation of democracy onto others seems to have made him think that it’s acceptable to apply double standards towards this end. That’s the only explanation for why he’d so shamelessly lie to the rest of the world by claiming that China carries out a policy of economic abuses and coercion when that’s actually what his own country has a proven track record of doing. This observation strongly implies that the fundamental fallacy of his foreign policy is the mistaken assumption that America’s model of democracy is universal and that this thus makes the country exceptional.

That’s not true, though. America isn’t better than anyone else like the country’s conservatives claim, nor is it “the first among equals” like its liberals seem to believe. It’s simply just another member of the international community, albeit the one which is arguably the most responsible for destabilizing the world because of its dangerous belief in its own messianic mission and exceptionalism. Considering this, the world shouldn’t celebrate President Biden’s declaration that “America is back” but should tremble in fear. He doesn’t mean that it’s returning to the international community as an equal member, but that it’s doubling down on its bad habits.

Shouldn’t All Republicans Applaud Biden’s Syria Strike?

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Shouldn

President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there surprisingly prompted some criticism from influential Republicans like Don Jr., which was unexpected because one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed.

American politics is characterized by hypocrisy, and nowhere is this seen more clearly at the moment than with President Biden’s Thursday night strike on Eastern Syria against alleged pro-Iranian militias there. Breitbart pointed out how the American leader and some of his officials like Vice President Harris and spokeswoman Psaki criticized former President Trump’s assassination of Iranian Major General Soleimani at the start of last year yet ironically went and supported a similar killing albeit against much lesser-known figures a little less than a month after taking office. That’s a valid observation to make, but equally valid is the fact that influential Republicans like Don Jr. are also being hypocritical for criticizing Biden for the first attack of his presidency. After all, one would have thought that they’d applaud his aggression since it advances the security interests of their country’s “Israeli” ally and also made it less likely that his efforts to revive the nuclear negotiations will succeed. It also deserves mentioning that Trump himself bombed Syria just several months into his presidency in response to false claims that President Assad carried out a chemical weapons attack.

What’s happening here isn’t that everyone suddenly had a change of heart and coincidentally reversed their prior positions at the same time, but simply that they’re behaving as they’re expected to considering their current political positions. Opposition figures usually always criticize the ruling party’s strikes, hoping that this will endear them more to anti-war voters who are largely skeptical of larger military involvement overseas, whether for reasons of principle, security, and/or financial cost. Biden and his ilk behaved this way when Trump killed Soleimani, which is the exact same role that Don Jr. is now playing. Trump himself, while thankfully not starting another major war during his term in office unlike other presidents over the past four decades or so, went back on his prior anti-war pledges from the campaign trail by bombing Syria so soon after entering the White House. Just like Biden nowadays, this proves that opposition figures who are critical of the incumbents’ military actions abroad almost always end up carrying out their own such attacks because they believe in their own way — whether rightly or wrongly — that they do indeed support America’s national interests.

Trump’s Syria strike was the result of “deep state” manipulations while Biden’s was much more voluntary on his part, but nevertheless, they both served to send a message to Iran’s Syrian ally that the US won’t go “soft” on it despite Trump’s prior peaceful talk and Biden’s ongoing attempts to revive the nuclear deal with Tehran. About the most recent attack and the context in which it was carried out, Biden was also pressured by domestic factors to show Republicans that he won’t be “soft” on Iran either despite his administration’s diplomatic outreaches to it and their policy shift regarding Yemen. Although some criticized Trump for his proud pro-”Israeli” foreign policy sympathies, Biden is just as bad from this perspective because he directly targeted alleged pro-Iranian militias in Syria as a strong showing of his administration’s “goodwill” towards Tel Aviv in response to their concern that Washington is neglecting its regional interests by wanting to re-enter into nuclear talks with Tehran. Those negotiations might now be more difficult to revive than ever since Iran’s ruling “reformists” are under severe pressure from the “principalists” not to talk to the US until after June’s elections.

These two outcomes — the US’ clear signs of geostrategic fealty to “Israeli” regional security interests and potentially self-sabotaging the nuclear talks with Tehran — arguably align with Republican foreign policy interests and were unquestionably advanced by Trump himself during his tenure through his assassination of Major General Soleimani and decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Many Republicans, however, don’t want to remember this since they’re just interested in criticizing the incumbent leader of their rival party due to how sour they still are over the contentious outcome of last year’s elections. Had Trump won re-election and been the one to bomb Syria last Thursday instead, they’d all probably be cheering him and praising his decisive military support for “Israeli” regional security interests at Iran’s alleged expense. At the same time, those Democrats who stand in support of Biden’s latest strike would have probably condemned it had Trump been the President who authorized the attack. This is all so predictable, yet few are talking about it because they’re blinded by the desire to make rhetorical points of relevance in the immediate moment.

The explained dynamic probably won’t ever change because the American people are so easily manipulable. Although outliers certainly exist as proven by the reader themselves for even being interested in this analysis in the first place, the majority have been conditioned to react to political rhetoric instead of think on their own. Partisan politics plays an enormous role in all of this since it’s rare for the average Democrat or Republican to criticize their side, especially when doing so would place them in the same camp as their opponents. That’s why so few Republicans can bring themselves to applaud Biden’s Syria strike even though they’d have likely praised it to high heaven had Trump been the one to carry it out. Similarly, few Democrats want to call Biden and his team out for their hypocrisy in criticizing Trump’s assassination of Soleimani yet nevertheless authorizing the assassination of a much higher number of lesser-known individuals allegedly linked to Iran. At the end of the day, more such examples are inevitable since this dynamic will remain the same so long as Americans continue to allow themselves to be manipulated in such simplistic political-rhetorical ways.

Another Step Back for Biden: Attack on Syria Draws Establishment Cheers

Alan Macleod

February 26th, 2021

By Alan Macleod

Source

WASHINGTON — Barely a month into his presidency, Joe Biden launched an airstrike on Syria yesterday. The attack was reportedly aimed at militias close to the Iraq border, killing 22 people — considerably more than the White House first claimed. In the attack, 1.75 tons of bombs were dropped on a small border-crossing village, according to The New York Times.

It was commonly reported that the target of the raid was pro-Iran forces — specifically, members of the Popular Mobilization Front, a contingent of Iraqi militia groups formed to fight ISIS that were eventually brought under the command of the Iraqi government. In its headline, the Times described the militias as such, although in the body of its report the paper admitted it had no evidence and was not sure this was the case.

U.S. government spokespersons framed the decision to bomb a country over 6,000 miles away as “defensive in nature” and as a response to attacks on American personnel in the region. The Syrian government characterized the incident as “cowardly” and a violation of international law.

Predictable cheers (and jeers)

The news was met with cheers from many of Biden’s more prominent supporters. “Good. Targeting our troops should carry a consequence,” wrote Time columnist David French. Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul was of a similar opinion, tweeting his approval of the attack. “So different having military action under Biden. No middle school-level threats on Twitter. Trust Biden and his team’s competence,” reacted Amy Siskind, a prominent liberal writer.

Others in the press were equally delighted. “By authorizing air strikes, the U.S. president showed he won’t ignore Tehran’s provocations while pursuing diplomacy,” wrote Bloomberg columnist Bobby Ghosh. Ghosh claimed that the strike would be sure to snap Iran out of its “sense of impunity” and deter any more “aggression” against the United States.

While the bombing drew applause from establishment Democrats, it also elicited condemnation from anti-war voices. “This is basically the polar opposite of getting back in the peace agreement, which was what [Biden] promised to do. A liar and a warmonger,” concluded political commentator Kyle Kulinski. “You will never bomb your way to peace,” reacted progressive activist and podcast host Jordan Uhl.

No step forward, two steps back

The news of the bombing came at the same time as reports that the new administration was planning to drop its attempts to pass a federal $15 minimum wage. Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that a $15 minimum wage could not be part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. It is perfectly within the power of the Vice President Kamala Harris, serving in her capacity as president of the Senate, to overrule the decision and push forward with the plan regardless. However, reports suggest the Biden administration is not looking to do so. “Today Biden approved an airstrike in Syria and the Senate parliamentarian shot down the federal minimum wage hike through reconciliation. Dems can overrule her but Biden doesn’t want to. Dems will lose everything in the midterms and possibly the next general election. And they’ll deserve it,” fumed Ana Kasparian of “The Young Turks.”

The news capped off a month marked largely with disappointment for progressives. After campaigning on a promise to “immediately” send out a $2,000 check to every American, Biden has walked back that offer to a means-tested $1,400, something that is still stuck in negotiations and will only be sent out in the spring at the earliest.

Earlier this week, Trump-era child prisons along the Mexican border were reopened, this time with the word “bienvenidos” (Spanish for “welcome”) daubed on their exterior. Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent insisted that Biden’s camps were fundamentally different. “What Biden is doing has nothing in common with ‘kids in cages,’” he wrote, describing them merely as “warehouse-like facilities.”

The new president’s Middle Eastern policies have left many pro-peace figures disappointed. While pledging to end the war in Yemen as part of his election campaigning, Biden has merely promised to halt support for “offensive” Saudi actions and pause “relevant” arms sales. Yet his administration simultaneously reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself and immediately began condemning supposed Houthi attacks on its neighbor to the north, suggesting that the change is one of semantics rather than policy. Earlier this week, State Department official Timothy Lenderking also, according to an official communication, bizarrely “expressed gratitude for Saudi Arabia’s generous support over the decades for the people of Yemen.” Biden has also approved the controversial Trump-era decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

While few expected him to be an anti-war president, the expectation on Iran was that Biden would return to the nuclear deal signed by President Barack Obama, a deal that kept a lid on U.S. aggression against the country. However, the 78-year-old Delawarean is dragging his feet on that, too. This latest strike is hardly likely to improve matters.

Biden’s Diverse Strangelove Pentagon Bombs Syria

 MIRI WOOD 

Breaking News Syria News

Biden’s diverse Strangelove Pentagon dropped an undisclosed number of bombs on undisclosed areas of eastern Syria near the Iraqi border, around 1830 Langley time, 25 February.

Taking a war criminal page from little urchin Hollande who war criminally bombed Syria after a French national engaged in terrorism in Paris (who then bombed Syria again after the Frenchman magically escaped to Brussels, which is in Belgium which is not Syria), Centcom reported on the Pentagon statement that the US aggressive bombings were of an Orwellian self-defensive nature, somehow in fascist retaliation for the recent bombings of some US military bases in Iraq, which is not in Syria.

No mention was made that after the Trump assassination of Soleimani in Iraqi, the Iraqi Parliament had taken the first step to formally eject US troops from its country.

War criminal Centcom utilizing Newspeak for US war crimes.

The Biden diverse Strangelove Pentagon issued a statement “attributed to” Press Secretary John Kirby who was adamant that the latest round of US war crimes against the Syrian Arab Republic were “defensive.”

The Pentagon paid perfunctory lip service to President Biden being in charge of the most recent war criminal bombing of the SAR by the US, but let us show some integrity in sharing this pre-inaugural screenshot when Dr. Jill let go of hubby’s arm for a moment, and he started to wander just prior to the time they were to head down the ramp:


At this writing, the Syrian Arab Republic has not released an official statement of the Biden regime/Strangelove Pentagon war crimes against the homeland.

This is the 4th US/ Israeli illegal bombing of Syria since Biden’s diverse regime took over from his predecessor war criminal Trump, blatant aggression against a sovereign state and founding member of the United Nations by a permanent member state of the Security Council supposedly responsible for painting peace and security around the world and upholding international law and the UN Charter, not breaching each article of them the way the US is doing with no accountability.

— Miri Wood

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Biden Deploying More US Troops to Middle East

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By Stephen Lendman

Source

Throughout his time in Washington from the early 1970s, Biden supported all US wars of aggression against invented enemies.

Will he escalate inherited conflicts in multiple countries, perhaps launch one or more new ones?

Like his predecessors, peace and stability are off the table.

A permanent state of forever war is highly likely to continue on his watch.

It’s been hard-wired US policy throughout most of the post-WW II period.

When Biden took office, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al Jaafari called on his regime to end a near-decade of US war in his country, saying the following:

“The American occupation forces continue to plunder Syria’s wealth of oil, gas and agricultural crops, burning and destroying what it cannot steal,” adding:

“The new (US regime) must stop acts of aggression and occupation, plundering the wealth of my country, (and) withdraw its occupying forces.”

It must “stop supporting (jihadists), illegal entities, and attempts to threaten Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”

Obama/Biden launched aggression against Syria in early 2011, a failed attempt to transform the country into a pro-Western vassal state and isolate Iran.

Biden/Harris have no intention of ending US forever war on Syria and its people — despite failure to achieve the aims of its predecessors.

The US is building one or more new bases in the country, suggesting no end to permanent occupation and war.

More Pentagon troops are being deployed to Syria and Iraq — on the phony pretext of combatting an ISIS resurgence the US supports, a statement by Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica McNulty saying the following:

“The US is participating in the force generation process for NATO Mission Iraq and will contribute its fair share to this important expanded mission (sic),” adding: 

“The US and its partners in the global coalition to defeat ISIS (sic) remain committed to ensuring the enduring defeat of ISIS (sic), and the department looks forward to continued consultations with Iraq, NATO, and the global coalition going forward (sic).”

According to US installed NATO secretary general Stoltenberg, thousands more alliance troops are being sent to Iraq — on the phony pretext of combatting ISIS.

Defying reality, he added that US-controlled NATO occupation of Iraq will “expand (to) fight terrorism” the alliance supports.

He falsely claimed that the expanded mission comes “at the request of the Iraqi government (sic).”

“It is carried out with full respect for Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (sic).”

The vast majority of Iraqis and members of parliament want their country back. They want unacceptable US occupation ended.

US hardliners intend permanent occupation of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries, along with a permanent state of war on these nations and their long-suffering people.

Trump wanted US troops withdrawn from the region but failed to achieve this objective.

Biden wants more Pentagon occupying forces sent to Middle East countries, more likely to Afghanistan.

US war secretary Austin “welcomed” greater numbers of US and NATO forces in the Middle East and elsewhere, saying:

“From Afghanistan and the Middle East, across Europe, Africa and our own hemisphere, to the wide expanse of the Western Pacific, the United States stands shoulder-to-shoulder with allies old and new, partners big and small (sic),” adding: 

“Each of them brings to the mission unique skills, knowledge and capabilities.” 

“And each of them represents a relationship worth tending, preserving and respecting. We will do so.”

Before Trump left office, acting war secretary Miller said the following:

“The drawdown of US force levels in Iraq is reflective of the increased capabilities of the Iraqi security forces.” 

“Our ability to reduce force levels is evidence of real progress.”

Biden reversed dubious “progress” in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

A state of greater US war in multiple countries exists than when he took war.

Is much more of the same coming, perhaps facilitated by one or more US false flags?

According to a White House statement,” the Biden regime claims the “right (to strike its enemies) at a time and place of (its) choosing.”

Is escalated US aggression in Syria and Iraq coming?

Will Iran be falsely blamed for things it had nothing to do with as before?

Resurgence of US supported ISIS appears part of a Biden regime plan for greater belligerence instead of turning a page for peace and stability in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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

Via The Saker

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

February 17, 2021

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

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

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