China: Rise, Fall and Re-Emergence as a Global Power

The Lessons of History

Global Research, October 28, 2017
Global Research 7 March 2012

First published on GR in March 2012

The study of world power has been blighted by Eurocentric historians who have distorted and ignored the dominant role China played in the world economy between 1100 and 1800.  John Hobson’s[1] brilliant historical survey of the world economy during this period provides an abundance of empirical data making the case for China ’s economic and technological superiority over Western civilization for the better part of a millennium prior to its conquest and decline in the 19th century.

China ’s re-emergence as a world economic power raises important questions about what we can learn from its previous rise and fall and about the external and internal threats confronting this emerging economic superpower for the immediate future.

First we will outline the main contours of historical China ’s rise to global economic superiority over West before the 19th century, following closely John Hobson’s account in The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization.  Since the majority of western economic historians (liberal, conservative and Marxist) have presented historical China as a stagnant, backward, parochial society, an “oriental despotism”, some detailed correctives will be necessary.  It is especially important to emphasize how China , the world technological power between 1100 and 1800, made the West’s emergence possible.  It was only by borrowing and assimilating Chinese innovations that the West was able to make the transition to modern capitalist and imperialist economies.

In part two we will analyze and discuss the factors and circumstances which led to China ’s decline in the 19th century and its subsequent domination, exploitation and pillage by Western imperial countries, first England and then the rest of Europe, Japan and the United States .

In part three, we will briefly outline the factors leading to China’s emancipation from colonial and neo-colonial rule and analyze its recent rise to becoming the second largest global economic power.

Finally we will look at the past and present threats to China ’s rise to global economic power, highlighting the similarities between British colonialism of the 18 and 19th centuries and the current US imperial strategies and focusing on the weaknesses and strengths of past and present Chinese responses.

China:  The Rise and Consolidation of Global Power 1100 – 1800

In a systematic comparative format, John Hobson provides a wealth of empirical indicators demonstrating China ’s global economic superiority over the West and in particular England .  These are some striking facts:

As early as 1078, China was the world’s major producer of steel (125,000 tons); whereas Britain in 1788 produced 76,000 tons.

China was the world’s leader in technical innovations in textile manufacturing, seven centuries before Britain ’s 18th century “textile revolution”.

China was the leading trading nation, with long distance trade reaching most of Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe .  China’s ‘agricultural revolution’ and productivity surpassed the West down to the 18th century.

Its innovations in the production of paper, book printing, firearms and tools led to a manufacturing superpower whose goods were transported throughout the world by the most advanced navigational system.

China possessed the world’s largest commercial ships.  In 1588 the largest English ships displaced 400 tons, China ’s 3,000 tons.  Even as late as the end of the 18th century China ’s merchants employed 130,000 private transport ships, several times that of Britain . China retained this pre-eminent position in the world economy up until the early 19th century.

British and Europeans manufacturers followed China ’s lead, assimilating and borrowing its more advanced technology and were eager to penetrate China ’s advanced and lucrative market.

Banking, a stable paper money economy, manufacturing and high yields in agriculture resulted in China ’s per capita income matching that of Great Britain as late as 1750.

China ’s dominant global position was challenged by the rise of British imperialism, which had adopted the advanced technological, navigational and market innovations of China and other Asian countries in order to bypass earlier stages in becoming a world power[2].

Western Imperialism and the Decline of China

The British and Western imperial conquest of the East, was based on the militaristic nature of the imperial state, its non-reciprocal economic relations with overseas trading countries and the Western imperial ideology which motivated and justified overseas conquest.

Unlike China , Britain ’s industrial revolution and overseas expansion was driven by a military policy.  According to Hobson, during the period from 1688-1815 Great Britain was engaged in wars 52% of the time[3].  Whereas the Chinese relied on their open markets and their superior production and sophisticated commercial and banking skills, the British relied on tariff protection, military conquest, the systematic destruction of competitive overseas enterprises as well as the appropriation and plunder of local resources.  China ’s global predominance was based on ‘reciprocal benefits’ with its trading partners, while Britain relied on mercenary armies of occupation, savage repression and a ‘divide and conquer’ policy to foment local rivalries.  In the face of native resistance, the British (as well as other Western imperial powers) did not hesitate to exterminate entire communities[4].

Unable to take over the Chinese market through greater economic competitiveness, Britain relied on brute military power.  It mobilized, armed and led mercenaries, drawn from its colonies in India and elsewhere to force its exports on China and impose unequal treaties to lower tariffs.  As a result China was flooded with British opium produced on its plantations in India – despite Chinese laws forbidding or regulating the importation and sale of the narcotic.  China ’s rulers, long accustomed to its trade and manufacturing superiority, were unprepared for the ‘new imperial rules’ for global power.  The West’s willingness to use military power  to win colonies, pillage resources and recruit huge mercenary armies commanded by European officers spelt the end for China as a world power.

China had based its economic predominance on ‘non-interference in the internal affairs of its trading partners’.  In contrast, British imperialists intervened violently in Asia , reorganizing local economies to suit the needs of the empire (eliminating economic competitors including more efficient Indian cotton manufacturers) and seized control of local political, economic and administrative apparatus to establish the colonial state.

Britain ’s empire was built with resources seized from the colonies and through the massive militarization of its economy[5].  It was thus able to secure military supremacy over China .  China ’s foreign policy was hampered by its ruling elite’s excessive reliance on trade relations.  Chinese officials and merchant elites sought to appease the British and convinced the emperor to grant devastating extra-territorial concessions opening markets to the detriment of Chinese manufacturers while surrendering local sovereignty.  As always, the British precipitated internal rivalries and revolts further destabilizing the country.

Western and British penetration and colonization of China ’s market created an entire new class:  The wealthy Chinese ‘compradores’ imported British goods and facilitated the takeover of local markets and resources.  Imperialist pillage forced greater exploitation and taxation of the great mass of Chinese peasants and workers.  China ’s rulers were obliged to pay the war debts and finance trade deficits imposed by the Western imperial powers by squeezing its peasantry.  This drove the peasants to starvation and revolt.

By the early 20th century (less than a century after the Opium Wars), China had descended from world economic power to a broken semi-colonial country with a huge destitute population.  The principle ports were controlled by Western imperial officials and the countryside was subject to the rule by corrupt and brutal warlords.  British opium enslaved millions.

British Academics:  Eloquent Apologists for Imperial Conquest

The entire Western academic profession – first and foremost British  imperial historians – attributed British imperial dominance of Asia to English ‘technological superiority’ and China’s misery and colonial status to ‘oriental backwardness’, omitting any mention of the millennium of Chinese commercial and technical progress and superiority up to the dawn of the 19th century.  By the end of the 1920’s, with the Japanese imperial invasion, China ceased to exist as a unified country.  Under the aegis of imperial rule, hundreds of millions of Chinese had starved or were dispossessed or slaughtered, as the Western powers and Japan plundered its economy.  The entire Chinese ‘collaborator’ comprador elite were discredited before the Chinese people.

What did remain in the collective memory of the great mass of the Chinese people – and what was totally absent in the accounts of prestigious US and British academics – was the sense of China once having been a prosperous, dynamic and leading world power.  Western commentators dismissed this collective memory of China ’s ascendancy as the foolish pretensions of nostalgic lords and royalty – empty Han arrogance.

China Rises from the Ashes of Imperial Plunder and Humiliation:  The Chinese Communist Revolution

The rise of modern China to become the second largest economy in the world was made possible only through the success of the Chinese communist revolution in the mid-20th century.  The People’s Liberation ‘Red’ Army defeated first the invading Japanese imperial army and later the US imperialist-backed comprador led Kuomintang “Nationalist” army.  This allowed the reunification of China as an independent sovereign state.  The Communist government abolished the extra-territorial privileges of the Western imperialists, ended the territorial fiefdoms of the regional warlords and gangsters and drove out the millionaire owners of brothels, the traffickers of women and drugs as well as the other “service providers” to the Euro-American Empire.

In every sense of the word, the Communist revolution forged  the modern Chinese state.  The new leaders then proceeded to reconstruct an economy ravaged by imperial wars and pillaged by Western and Japanese capitalists.  After over 150 years of infamy and humiliation the Chinese people recovered their pride and national dignity.  These socio-psychological elements were essential in motivating the Chinese to defend their country from the US attacks, sabotage, boycotts, and blockades mounted immediately after liberation.

Contrary to Western and neoliberal Chinese economists, China ’s dynamic growth did not start in 1980.  It began in 1950, when the agrarian reform provided land, infrastructure, credits and technical assistance to hundreds of millions of landless and destitute peasants and landless rural workers. Through what is now called “human capital” and gigantic social mobilization, the Communists built roads, airfields, bridges, canals and railroads as well as the basic industries, like coal, iron and steel, to form the backbone of the modern Chinese economy.  Communist China’s vast free educational and health systems created a healthy, literate and motivated work force.  Its highly professional military prevented the US from extending its military empire throughout the Korean peninsula up to China ’s territorial frontiers.  Just as past Western scholars and propagandists fabricated a history of a “stagnant and decadent” empire to justify their destructive conquest, so too their modern counterparts have rewritten the first thirty years of Chinese Communist history, denying the role of the revolution in developing all the essential elements for a modern economy, state and society.  It is clear that China ’s rapid economic growth was based on the development of its internal market, its rapidly growing cadre of scientists, skilled technicians and workers and the social safety net which protected and promoted working class and peasant mobility were products of Communist planning and investments.

China ’s rise to global power began in 1949 with the removal of the entire parasitic financial, compradore and speculative classes who had served as the intermediaries for European, Japanese and US imperialists draining China of its great wealth.
China’s Transition to Capitalism

Beginning in 1980 the Chinese government initiated a dramatic shift in its economic strategy:  Over the next three decades, it opened the country to large-scale foreign investment; it privatized thousands of industries and it set in motion a process of income concentration based on a deliberate strategy of re-creating a dominant economic class of billionaires linked to overseas capitalists.  China ’s ruling political class embraced the idea of “borrowing” technical know-how and accessing overseas markets from foreign firms in exchange for providing cheap, plentiful labor at the lowest cost.

The Chinese state re-directed massive public subsidies to promote high capitalist growth by dismantling its national system of free public education and health care.  They ended subsidized public housing for hundreds of millions of peasants and urban factory workers and provided funds to real estate speculators for the construction of private luxury apartments and office skyscrapers. China ’s new capitalist strategy as well as its double digit growth was based on the profound structural changes and massive public investments made possible by the previous communist government.  China ’s private sector “take off” was based on the huge public outlays made since 1949.

The triumphant new capitalist class and its Western collaborators claimed all the credit for this “economic miracle” as China rose to become the world’s second largest economy.  This new Chinese elite have been less eager to announce China ’s world-class status in terms of brutal class inequalities, rivaling only the US .

China:  From Imperial Dependency to World Class Competitor

China ’s sustained growth in its manufacturing sector was a result of highly concentrated public investments, high profits, technological innovations and a protected domestic market.  While foreign capital profited, it was always within the framework of the Chinese state’s priorities and regulations.  The regime’s dynamic ‘export strategy’ led to huge trade surpluses, which eventually made China one of the world’s largest creditors especially for US debt.  In order to maintain its dynamic industries, China has required huge influxes of raw materials, resulting in large-scale overseas investments and trade agreements with agro-mineral export countries in Africa and Latin America .  By 2010 China displaced the US and Europe as the main trading partner in many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America .

Modern China ’s rise to world economic power, like its predecessor between 1100-1800, is based on its gigantic productive capacity:  Trade and investment was governed by a policy of strict non-interference in the internal relations of its trading partners.  Unlike the US , China did initiate brutal wars for oil; instead it signed lucrative contracts.  And China does not fight wars in the interest of overseas Chinese, as the US has done in the Middle East for Israel .

The seeming imbalance between Chinese economic and military power is in stark contrast to the US where a bloated, parasitic military empire continues to erode its own global economic presence.

US military spending is twelve times that of China .  Increasingly the US military plays the key role shaping policy in Washington as it seeks to undercut China ’s rise to global power.

China’s Rise to World Power: Will History Repeat Itself?

China has been growing at about 9% per annum and its goods and services are rapidly rising in quality and value.  In contrast, the US and Europe have wallowed around 0% growth from 2007-2012.  China ’s innovative techno-scientific establishment routinely assimilates the latest inventions from the West (and Japan ) and improves them, thereby decreasing the cost of production.  China has replaced the US and European controlled “international financial institutions” (the IMF, World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank) as the principle lender in Latin America .  China continues to lead as the prime investor in African energy and mineral resources.  China has replaced the US as the principle market for Saudi Arabian, Sudanese and Iranian petroleum and it will soon replace the US as the principle market for Venezuela petroleum products.  Today China is the world’s biggest manufacturer and exporter, dominating even the US market, while playing the role of financial life line as it holds over $1.3 trillion in US Treasury notes.

Under growing pressure from its workers, farmers and peasants, China ’s rulers have been developing the domestic market by increasing wages and social spending to rebalance the economy and avoid the specter of social instability.  In contrast, US wages, salaries and vital public services have sharply declined in absolute and relative terms.

Given the current historical trends it is clear that China will replace the US as the leading world economic power, over the next decade,  if the US empire does not strike back and if China ’s profound class inequalities do not lead to a major social upheaval.

Modern China ’s rise to global power faces serious challenges.  In contrast to China ’s historical ascent on the world stage, modern Chinese global economic power is not accompanied by any imperialist undertakings.  China has seriously lagged behind the US and Europe in aggressive war-making capacity.  This may have allowed China to direct public resources to maximize economic growth, but it has left China vulnerable to US military superiority in terms of its massive arsenal, its string of forward bases and strategic geo-military positions right off the Chinese coast and in adjoining territories.

In the nineteenth century British imperialism demolished China ’s global position with its military superiority, seizing China ’s ports – because of China ’s reliance on ‘mercantile superiority’.

The conquest of India , Burma and most of Asia allowed Britain to establish colonial bases and recruit local mercenary armies.  The British and its mercenary allies encircled and isolated China , setting the stage for the disruption of China ’s markets and the imposition of the brutal terms of trade.  The British Empire’s armed presence dictated what China imported (with opium accounting for over 50% of British exports in the 1850s) while undermining China ’s competitive advantages via tariff policies.

Today the US is pursuing similar policies:  US naval fleet  patrols and controls China ’s commercial shipping lanes and off-shore oil resources via its overseas bases.  The Obama-Clinton White House is in the process of developing a rapid military response involving bases in Australia , Philippines and elsewhere in Asia .  The US is intensifying  its efforts to undermine Chinese overseas access to strategic resources while backing ‘grass roots’ separatists and ‘insurgents’ in West China, Tibet, Sudan, Burma, Iran, Libya, Syria and elsewhere.  The US military agreements with India and  the installation of a pliable puppet regime in Pakistan have advanced its strategy of isolating China .  While China upholds its policy of “harmonious development” and “non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries”, it has stepped aside as US and European military imperialism have attacked a host of China’s trading partners to essentially reverse China’s  peaceful commercial expansion.

China’s lack of a political and ideological strategy capable of protecting its overseas economic interests has been an invitation for the US and NATO to set-up regimes hostile to China .  The most striking example is Libya where US and NATO intervened to overthrow an independent government led by President Gadhafi, with whom China had signed multi-billion dollar trade and investments agreements. The NATO bombardment of Libyan cities, ports and oil installation forced the Chinese to withdraw 35,000 Chinese oil engineers and construction workers in a matter of days.  The same thing happened in Sudan where China had invested billions to develop its oil industry.  The US, Israel and Europe armed the South Sudanese rebels to disrupt the flow of oil and attack Chinese oil workers[6].  In both cases China passively allowed the US and European military imperialists to attack its trade partners and undermine its investments.

Under Mao Tse Tung, China had an active policy countering imperial aggression:  It supported revolutionary movements and independent Third World governments.  Today’s capitalist China does not have an active policy of supporting governments or movements capable of protecting China ’s bilateral trade and investment agreements.  China ’s inability to confront the rising tide of US   military aggression against its economic interests, is due to deep structural problems.  China’s foreign policy is shaped by big commercial, financial and manufacturing interests who rely on their ‘economic competitive edge’ to gain market shares and have no understanding of the military and security underpinnings of global economic power.  China ’s political class is deeply influenced by a new class of billionaires with strong ties to Western equity funds and who have uncritically absorbed Western cultural values. This is illustrated by their preference for sending their own children to elite universities in the US and Europe .  They seek “accommodation with the West” at any price.

This lack of any strategic understanding of military empire-building has led them to respond ineffectively and ad hoc to each imperialist action undermining their access to resources and markets.  While China ’s “business first” outlook may have worked when it was a minor player in the world economy and US empire builders saw  the “capitalist opening” as a chance to easily takeover China ’s public enterprises and pillage the economy.  However, when China (in contrast to the former USSR) decided to retain capital controls and develop a carefully calibrated, state directed “industrial policy”  directing western capital and the transfer of technology to state enterprises, which effectively penetrated the US domestic and overseas markets, Washington began to complain and talked of retaliation.

China ’s huge trade surpluses with the US provoked a dual response in Washington :  It sold massive quantities of US Treasury bonds to the Chinese and began to develop a global strategy to block China ’s advance. Since the US lacked economic leverage to reverse its decline, it relied on its only “comparative advantage” – its military superiority based on a world wide  system of attack bases,  a network of overseas client regimes, military proxies, NGO’ers, intellectuals and armed mercenaries.  Washington turned to its vast overt and clandestine security apparatus to undermine China ’s trading partners.  Washington depends on its long-standing ties with corrupt rulers, dissidents, journalists and media moguls to provide the powerful propaganda cover while advancing its military offensive against China ’s overseas interests.

China has nothing to compare with the US overseas ‘security apparatus’ because it practices a policy of “non-interference”.  Given the advanced state of the Western imperial offensive, China has taken only a few diplomatic initiatives, such as financing English language media outlets to present its perspective, using its veto power on the UN Security Council to oppose US efforts to overthrow the independent Assad regime in Syria and opposing the imposition of drastic sanctions against Iran .  It sternly repudiated US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s vitriolic questioning of the ‘legitimacy’ of the Chinese state when it voted against the US-UN resolution  preparing  an attack on Syria[7].

Chinese military strategists are more aware and alarmed at the growing military threat to China .  They have successfully demanded a 19% annual increase in military spending over the next five years (2011-2015)[8].  Even with this increase, China’s military expenditures will still be less than one-fifth of the US military budget and China has not one overseas military base in stark contrast to the over 750 US installations abroad.  Overseas Chinese intelligence operations are minimal and ineffective.  Its embassies are run by and for narrow commercial interests who utterly failed to understand NATO’s brutal policy of regime change in Libya and inform Beijing of its significance to the Chinese state.

There are two other structural weaknesses undermining China ’s rise as a world power. This includes the highly ‘Westernized’ intelligentsia which has uncritically swallowed US economic doctrine about free markets while ignoring its militarized economy.  These Chinese intellectuals parrot the US propaganda about the ‘democratic virtues’ of billion-dollar Presidential campaigns, while supporting financial deregulation which would have led to a Wall Street takeover of Chinese banks and savings.  Many Chinese business consultants and academics have been educated in the US and influenced by their ties to US academics and international financial institutions directly linked to Wall Street and the City of London .  They have prospered as highly-paid consultants receiving prestigious positions in Chinese institutions.  They identify the ‘liberalization of financial markets’ with “advanced economies” capable of deepening ties to global markets instead of as a major source of the current global financial crisis.  These “Westernized intellectuals” are like their 19th century comprador counterparts who underestimated and dismissed the long-term consequences of Western imperial penetration.  They fail to understand how financial deregulation in the US precipitated the current crisis and how deregulation would lead to a Western takeover of China ’s financial system- the consequences of which would reallocate China ’s domestic savings to non-productive activities (real estate speculation), precipitate financial crisis and ultimately undermine China ’s leading global position.

These Chinese yuppies imitate the worst of Western consumerist life styles and their political outlooks are driven by these life styles and Westernized identities which preclude any sense of solidarity with their own working class.

There is an economic basis for the pro-Western sentiments of China ’s neo-compradors.  They have transferred billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts, purchased luxury homes and apartments in London , Toronto , Los Angeles , Manhattan , Paris , Hong Kong and Singapore . They have one foot in China (the source of their wealth) and the other in the West (where they consume and hide their wealth).

Westernized compradores are deeply embedded in China ’s economic system having family ties with the political leadership in the party apparatus and the state. Their connections are weakest in the military and in the growing social movements, although some “dissident” students and academic activists in the “democracy movements” are backed by Western imperial NGO’s.  To the extent that the compradors gain influence, they weaken the strong economic state institutions which have directed China ’s ascent to global power, just as they did in the 19th century by acting as intermediaries for the British Empire .  Proclaiming 19th Century “liberalism” British opium addicted over 50 million Chinese in less than a decade.  Proclaiming “democracy and human rights” US gunboats now patrol off China ’s coast.  China ’s elite-directed rise to global economic power has spawned monumental inequalities between the thousands of new billionaires and multi-millionaires at the top and hundreds of millions of impoverished workers, peasants and migrant workers at the bottom.

China ’s rapid accumulation of wealth and capital was made possible through the intense exploitation of its workers who were stripped of their previous social safety net and regulated work conditions guaranteed under Communism.  Millions of Chinese households are being dispossessed in order to promote real estate developer/speculators who then build high rise offices and the luxury apartments for the domestic and foreign elite.  These brutal features of ascendant Chinese capitalism have created a fusion of workplace and living space mass struggle which is growing every year.  The developer/speculators’ slogan  “to get rich is wonderful” has lost its power to deceive the people.  In 2011 there were over 200,000 popular encompassing urban coastal factories and rural villages.  The next step, which is sure to come, will be the unification of these struggles into  new national social movements with a class-based agenda demanding the restoration of health and educational services enjoyed under the Communists as well as a greater share of China’s wealth. Current demands for greater wages can turn to demands for greater work place democracy.  To answer these popular demands China ’s new compradore-Westernized liberals cannot point to their ‘model’ in the US empire where American workers are in the process of being stripped of the very benefits Chinese workers are struggling to regain.

China , torn by deepening class and political conflict, cannot sustain its drive toward global economic leadership.  China ’s elite cannot confront the rising global imperial military threat from the US with its comprador allies among the internal liberal elite while the country is  a deeply divided society with an increasingly hostile working class.  The time of unbridled exploitation of China ’s labor has to end in order to face the US military encirclement of China and economic disruption of its overseas markets.  China possesses enormous resources.  With over $1.5 trillion dollars in reserves China can finance a comprehensive national health and educational program throughout the country.

China can afford to pursue an intensive ‘public housing program’ for the 250 million migrant workers currently living in urban squalor.  China can impose a system of progressive income taxes on its new billionaires and millionaires and finance small family farmer co-operatives and rural industries to rebalance the economy.  Their program of developing alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and wind farms – are a promising start to addressing their serious environmental pollution.  Degradation of the environment and related health issues already engage the concern of tens of millions.  Ultimately China ’s best defense against imperial encroachments is a stable regime based on social justice for the hundreds of millions and a foreign policy of supporting overseas anti-imperialist movements and regimes – whose independence are in China ’s vital interest.  What is needed is a pro-active policy based on mutually beneficial joint ventures including military and diplomatic solidarity.  Already a small, but influential, group of Chinese intellectuals have raised the issue of the growing US military threat and are “saying no to gunboat diplomacy”.[9]

Modern China has plenty of resources and opportunities, unavailable to China in the 19th century when it was subjugated by the British Empire . If the US continues to escalate its aggressive militaristic policy against China , Beijing can set off a serious fiscal crisis by dumping a few of its hundreds of billions of dollars in US Treasury notes.  China , a nuclear power should reach out to its similarly armed and threatened neighbor, Russia , to confront and confound the bellicose rantings of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.  Russian President-to-be Putin vows to increase military spending from 3% to 6% of the GDP over the next decade to counter Washington’s offensive missile bases on Russia’s borders and thwart Obama’s ‘regime change’ programs against its allies, like Syria[10].

China has powerful trading, financial and investment networks covering the globe as well as powerful economic partners .These links have become essential for the continued growth of many of countries throughout the developing world.  In taking on China , the US will have to face the opposition of many powerful market-based elites throughout the world.  Few countries or elites see any future in tying their fortunes to an economically unstable empire-based on militarism and destructive colonial occupations.

In other words, modern China , as a world power, is incomparably stronger than it was in early 18th century.  The US does not have the colonial leverage that the ascendant British Empire possessed in the run-up to the Opium Wars.  Moreover, many Chinese intellectuals and the vast majority of its citizens have no intention of letting its current “Westernized compradors” sell out the country.  Nothing would accelerate political polarization in Chinese society and hasten the coming of a second Chinese social revolution more than a timid leadership submitting to a new era of Western imperial pillage.

Notes

[1] John Hobson, The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization ( Cambridge UK :  Cambridge University Press 2004)
[2] Ibid, Ch. 9 pp. 190 -218
[3] Ibid, Ch. 11, pp. 244-248
[4] Richard Gott, Britain’s Empire:  Resistance, Repression and Revolt ( London : Verso 2011) for a detailed historical chronicle of the savagery accompanying Britain ’s colonial empire.
[5] Hobson, pp. 253 – 256.
[6] Katrina Manson, “South Sudan puts Beijing ’s policies to the test”, Financial Times, 2/21/12, p. 5.
[7] Interview of Clinton NPR, 2/26/12.
[8] La Jornada, 2/15/12 ( Mexico City ).
[9]  China Daily (2/20/2012)
[10]Charles Clover, ‘Putin vows huge boost in defense spending’, Financial Times, 2/12/2012

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Letter to my American friends

Letter to my American friends

The Saker

Introduction by the Saker: During my recent hurricane-induced evacuation from Florida, I had the pleasure to see some good friends of mine (White Russian emigrés and American Jews who now consider themselves American and who fully buy into the official propaganda about the USA) who sincerely think of themselves as liberals, progressives and anti-imperialists. These are kind, decent and sincere people, but during our meeting they made a number of statements which completely contradicted their professed views. After writing this letter to them I realized that there might be many more people out there who, like myself, are desperately trying to open the eye of good but completely mislead people about the reality of Empire. I am sharing this letter in the hope that it might maybe offer a few useful talking points to others in their efforts to open the eyes of their friends and relatives.

——-

Dear friends:

During our conversation you stated the following:

  1. The USA needs a military
  2. One of the reasons why the USA needs a military are regimes like the North Korean one
  3. The USA has a right to intervene outside its borders on a) pragmatic and b) moral grounds
  4. During WWII the USA “saved Europe” and acquired a moral right to “protect” other friends and allies
  5. The Allies (USSR-US-UK) were morally superior to the Nazis
  6. The Americans brought peace, prosperity and freedom to Europe.
  7. Yes, mistakes were made, but this is hardly a reason to forsake the right to intervene

I believe that all seven of these theses are demonstratively false, fallacies based on profoundly mistaken assumptions and that they all can be debunked by common sense and indisputable facts.

But first, let me tackle the Delphic maxim “know thyself” as it is, I believe, central to our discussion. For all our differences I think that there are a number of things which you would agree to consider as axiomatically true, including that Germans, Russians, Americans and others are roughly of equal intelligence. They also are roughly equally capable of critical thinking, personal investigation and education. Right? Yet, you will also agree that during the Nazi regime in Germany Germans were very effectively propagandized and that Russians in Soviet Russia were also effectively propagandized by their own propaganda machine. Right? Do you have any reason to suppose that we are somehow smarter or better than those propagandized Germans and Russians and had we been in their place we would have immediately seen through the lies? Could it be that we today are maybe also not seeing through the lies we are being told?

It is also undeniable that the history of WWII was written by the victors of WWII. This is true of all wars – defeated regimes don’t get to freely present their version of history. Had the Nazis won WWII, we would all have been treated to a dramatically different narrative of what took place. Crucially, had the Nazis won WWII, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that the German people would have shown much skepticism about the version of history presented in their schools. Not only that, but I would submit that most Germans would also believe that they were free people and that the regime they live under was a benevolent one.

You doubt that?

Just think of the number of Germans who declared that they had no idea how bad the Nazi regime really was. Even Hitler’s personal secretary, Traudl Junge, used that excuse to explain how she could have worked for so many years with Hitler and even like him so much. There is an American expression which says “where I sit is where I stand”. Well, may I ask – where are we sittting and are we so sure that we have an independent opinion which is not defined by where we sit (geographically, politically, socially and even professionally)?

You might ask about all the victims of the Nazi regime, would they not be able to present their witness to the German people and the likes of Traudl Junge? Of course not: the dead don’t speak very much, and their murderers rarely do (lest they themselves end up dead). Oh sure, there would be all sorts of dissidents and political activists who would know the truth, but the “mainstream” consensus under a victorious Nazi Germany would be that Hitler and the Nazis liberated Europe from the Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists.

This is not something unique to Germany, by the way. If you take the Russian population today, it has many more descendants of executioners than descendants of executed people and this is hardly a surprise since dead people don’t reproduce. As a result, the modern Russian historiography is heavily skewed towards whitewashing the Soviet crimes and atrocities. To some degree this is a good thing, because it counteracts decades of US anti-Soviet propaganda, but it often goes too far and ends up minimizing the actual human cost of the Bolshevik experiment in Russia.

So how do the USA compare to Germany and Russia in this context?

Most Americans trust the version of history presented to them by their own “mainstream”. Why? How is their situation objectively different from the situation of Germans in a victorious Third Reich? Our modern narrative of WWII was also written by victors, victors who had a vested reason in demonizing all the other sides (Nazis and Soviets) while presenting us with a heroic tale of liberation. And here is the question which ought to really haunt us at night: what if we had been born not Russians and Jews after a Nazi defeat but if we had been born Germans after an Allied defeat in WWII? Would we have been able to show enough skepticism and courage to doubt the myths we were raised with? Or would we also be doubleplusgoodthinking little Nazis, all happy and proud to have defeated the evil Judeo-Bolshevik hordes and the Anglo-Masonic capitalists?

Oh sure, Hitler considered Jews as parasites which had to be exiled and, later, exterminated and he saw Russians as subhumans which needed to be put to work for the Germanic Master Race and whose intelligentsia also needed to be exterminated. No wonder that we, Jews and Russians, don’t particularly care for that kind of genocidal racist views. But surely we can be humans before being Jews and Russians, and we can accept that what is bad for us is not necessarily bad for others. Sure, Hitler was bad news for Jews and Russians, but was he really so bad news for “pure” (Aryan Germanic) Germans? More importantly, if we had been born “pure” Germans, would we have have cared a whole lot about Jews and Russians? I sure hope so, but I have my doubts. I don’t recall any of us shedding many tears about the poly-genocided (a word I coined for a unique phenomenon in history: the genocide of all the ethnicities of an entire continent!) Native Americans! I dare say that we are a lot more prone to whining about the “Holocaust” or “Stalinism”, even though neither of them ever affected us personally, (only our families and ethnicity) than about the poly-genocide of Native Americans. I very much doubt that our whining priorities would have been the same if our ethnicity had been Lakota or Comanche. Again, I hope that I am wrong. But I am not so sure.

Either way, my point is this:

We are hard-coded to be credulous and uncritically accept all the demonization of Nazis and Soviets because we are Jews and White Russians. Careful here, I am NOT saying that the Nazis and Soviets were not evil – they definitely were – but what I am saying is that we, Jews and Russians, are far more willing to accept and endorse any version of history which makes the Nazis and Soviets some kind of exceptionally evil people and that, in contrast, we almost instinctively reject any notion that “our” side (in this case I mean *your* side, the American one since you, unlike me, consider yourselves American) was just as bad (if only because your side never murdered Jews and Russians). So let’s look at this “our/your side” for a few minutes.

By the time the USA entered WWII it had already committed the worse crime in human history, the poly-genocide of an entire continent, followed by the completely illegal and brutal annexation of the lands stolen from the Native Americans. Truly, Hitler would have been proud. But that is hardly all, the Anglo invaders then proceeded to wage another illegal and brutal war of annexation against Mexico from which they stole a huge chunk of land which includes modern Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico!

Yes, all this land was illegally occupied and stolen by your side not once, but TWICE! And do I even need to mention the horrors of slavery to add to the “moral tally” of your side by the time the US entered the war?

Right there I think that there is more than enough evidence that your side was morally worse than either the Nazis or the Soviets. The entire history of the USA is one of endless violence, plunder, hypocrisy, exploitation, imperialism, oppression and wars. Endless wars of aggression. None of them defensive by any stretch of the imagination. That is quite unique in human history. Can you think of a nastier, more bloodthirsty regime? I can’t.

Should I even mention the British “atrocities tally”, ranging from opium wars, to the invention of concentration camps, to the creation of Apartheid, the horrors of the occupation of Ireland, etc. etc. etc.?

I can just hear you say that yes, this was horrible, but that does not change the fact that in WWII the USA “saved Europe”. But is that really so?

To substantiate my position, I have put together a separate PDF file which lists 5 sources, 3 in English, 2 in Russian. You can download it here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByibNV3SiUooWExTNGhMTGF5azQ

I have translated the key excerpts of the Russian sources and I am presenting them along with the key excerpts of the English sources. Please take a look at this PDF and, if you can, please read the full original articles I quote. I have stressed in bold red the key conclusions of these sources. You will notice that there are some variations in the figures, but the conclusions are, I think, undeniable. The historical record show that:

  1. The Soviet Union can be credited with the destruction of roughly 80% of the Nazi military machine. The US-UK correspondingly can be credited with no more than 20% of the Allied war effort.
  2. The scale and scope of the battles on the Eastern Front completely dwarf the biggest battles on the Western Front. Battles in the West involved Divisions and Brigades, in the East they involved Armies and Groups of Armies. That is at least one order of magnitude of difference.
  3. The USA only entered the war a year after Stalingrad and the Kursk battle when it was absolutely clear that the Nazis would lose the war.

The truth is that the Americans only entered the war when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated and that their real motive was not the “liberation of oppressed Europe” but to prevent the Soviets from occupying all of Europe. The Americans never gave a damn about the mass murder of Jews or Russians, all they cared about was a massive land-grab (yet again).

[Sidebar: By the way, and lest you think that I claim that only Americans act this way, here is another set of interesting dates:

Nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

Soviet Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation: August 9–20, 1945

We can clearly see the same pattern here: the Soviets waited until it was absolutely certain that the USA had defeated the Japanese empire before striking it themselves. It is also worth noting that it took the Soviets only 10 days to defeat the entire Kwantung Army, the most prestigious Army of the Japanese Empire with over one million well-trained and well-equipped soldiers! That should tell you a little something about the kind of military machine the Soviet Union had developed in the course of the war against Nazi Germany (see here for a superb US study of this military operation)]

Did the Americans bring peace and prosperity to western Europe?

To western Europe, to some degree yes, and that is because was easy for them: they ended the war almost “fresh”, their (stolen) homeland did not suffer the horrors of war and so, yes, they could bring in peanut butter, cigarettes and other material goods. They also made sure that Western Europe would become an immense market for US goods and services and that European resources would be made available to the US Empire, especially against the Soviet Union. And how did they finance this “generosity”? By robbing the so-called Third World blind, that’s all. Is that something to be proud of? Did Lenin not warn as early as 1917 that “imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism”? The wealth of Western Europe was built by the abject poverty of the millions of Africans, Asians and Latin Americas.

But what about the future of Europe and the European people?

There a number of things upon which the Anglos and Stalin did agree to at the end of WWII: The four Ds: denazification, disarmament, demilitarisation, and democratisation of a united Germany and reparations to rebuild the USSR. Yes, Stalin wanted a united, neutral Germany. As soon as the war ended, however, the Anglos reneged on all of these promises: they created a heavily militarized West Germany, they immediately recruited thousands of top Nazi officials for their intelligence services, their rocket program and to subvert the Soviet Union. Worse, they immediately developed plans to attack the Soviet Union. Right at the end of the WWII, Anglo powers had at least THREE plans to wage war on the USSR: Operation DropshotPlan Totality and Operation Unthinkable. Here are some basic reminders from Wikipedia about what these operations were about:

Operation Dropshot: included mission profiles that would have used 300 nuclear bombs and 29,000 high-explosive bombs on 200 targets in 100 cities and towns to wipe out 85% of the Soviet Union’s industrial potential at a single stroke. Between 75 and 100 of the 300 nuclear weapons were targeted to destroy Soviet combat aircraft on the ground.

Plan Totality: earmarked 20 Soviet cities for obliteration in a first strike: Moscow, Gorki, Kuybyshev, Sverdlovsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Saratov, Kazan, Leningrad, Baku, Tashkent, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Tagil, Magnitogorsk, Molotov, Tbilisi, Stalinsk, Grozny, Irkutsk, and Yaroslavl.

Operation Unthinkable: assumed a surprise attack by up to 47 British and American divisions in the area of Dresden, in the middle of Soviet lines. This represented almost a half of roughly 100 divisions (ca. 2.5 million men) available to the British, American and Canadian headquarters at that time. (…) The majority of any offensive operation would have been undertaken by American and British forces, as well as Polish forces and up to 100,000 German Wehrmacht soldiers.

[Were you aware of these? If not, do you now wonder why?]

I am not making these things up, you can look it up for yourself on Wikipedia and elsewhere. This is the Anglo idea of how you deal with Russian “allies”: you stab them in the back with a surprise nuclear attack, you obliterate most of their cities and you launch the Nazi Wehrmacht against them.

I won’t even go into the creation of NATO (before the WTO – known in the West as the “Warsaw Pact” – was created in response) or such petty crimes as false flag terrorist attack (Operation Gladio).

[Have you ever heard of Operation Gladio or the August 1980 “Bologna massacre”, the bombing of the Bologna train station by NATO secret terrorist forces, a false-flag terrorist attack (85 dead, over 200 wounded) designed to discredit the Communist Party of Italy? If not – do you now wonder why you never heard of this?]

The sad reality is that the US intervention in Europe was a simple land-grab, that the Cold War was an Anglo creation, as was the partition of Europe, and that since WWII the USA always treated Europe as a colony form which to fight the “Communist” threat (i.e. Russia).

But, let’s say that I am all wrong. For argument’s sake. Let’s pretend that the kind-hearted Americans came to Europe to free the European people. They heroically defeated Hitler and brought (Western) Europe peace, prosperity, freedom, happiness, etc. etc. etc.

Does this good deed give the USA a license for future interventions? You both mentioned WWII as an example and a justification for the need for the USA to maintain a military large enough to counter regimes such as the North Korean one, right? So, let me ask again,

Does the fact that the USA altruistically, kindly and heroically liberated Europe from both the Nazis and the Soviets now grant the moral legitimacy to other, subsequent, US military interventions against other abhorrent, aggressive or evil regimes/countries out there?

If you reply “no” – then why did you mention it as a justification?

If you reply “yes” – then please forgive me for being so obtuse and ask you for how long this “license to militarily intervene” remains valid? One year? Five years? Maybe ten or even seventy years? Or maybe this license grants such a moral right to the USA ad aeternam, forever? Seriously, if the USA did liberate Europe and bring it peace and happiness, are we to assume that this will remain true forever and everywhere?

I also want to ask you this: let’s say, for the argument’s sake, that the moral license given by the US participation in the war in Europe is, truly, forever. Let’s just assume that, okay? But let me ask you this: could it be revoked (morally, conceptually)? Say the USA did something absolutely wonderful in Europe. What about the subsequent horrors in southeast Asia, Latin America or the Middle-East. How many murdered, maimed, occupied, terrorized, bombed and otherwise genocided “non-West Europeans” would it take to outweigh the putatively “happily liberated” Europeans which, according to you, grant the USA the license to intervene? Even if the US in Europe was all noble and pure, do the following seventy years of evil mass murder worldwide really count for nothing or does there come a point were “enough is enough” and the license can be revoked, morally speaking, by people like us, like you?

May I point out to you that your words spoken in defense of a supposed need for the USA to maintain a military capable of overseas operations strongly suggest that you believe that the USA has a moral right (if not a duty!) to conduct such operations, which means that the post WWII atrocity-tally of the USA is not, in your opinion, sufficient to elicit a “enough is enough” reaction in you. Are you sure that you are comfortable with this stance?

In theory, there could be another reason to revoke such a moral license. After all, one can have the moral right to do something, but not necessarily the capability to do so. If I see somebody drowning in a flood, I most certainly have the moral right to jump in the water and try to save this person, do I not? But that does not mean that I have the strength or skills to do so. Right? So when you say that the USA needs to maintain a military capable of protecting friends and allies from rogue and dangerous regimes like the one in North Korea, you do imply that besides having the right to extend such a protection the USA also has the capabilities and the expertise to do so?

Really?

And what is the evidence for that, may I ask?!

I asked you to name me a single successful US military intervention since WWII and you could name none. Good! I agree with you. The reality is that every single US military operation since WWII has resulted in a disaster either on the humanitarian, political and military level (often on all of them combined). Even Grenada was a total (military) failure! Also, do you see who sits in the White House today? Do you really want The Donald in charge of protecting “our friends and allies” and are you confident that he has the skillset needed to do this competently? Or Hillary for that matter? Even Sanders has a record of defending catastrophic military operations, such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006 which, you guessed it (or not), ended in abject defeat for the Israelis and untold civilians horrors in Lebanon. But forget the President, take a look at US generals – do they inspire in you the belief that they are the kind of people who can be trusted to skillfully execute a military intervention inspired by moral and ethical reasons?! What about US “Congresspersons”? Would you trust them? So where do you see honest and competent “saviors of others” in the US polity?

Did you notice that there was no Islamic State in Iraq before the US invasion? Or did you notice that ever since the US declared a war on ISIS the latter has been getting stronger and stronger and taking over more countries. Yes, of course, once the Russians got involved ISIS began suffering defeat after defeat, but all the Americans had to say about the Russian intervention was to denounce it and predict it would fail. So why is it that the Russians are so good at fighting ISIS and the Americans, and their allies, so bad? Do you really want the Americans in charge of world security with such a record?!

Is insanity not repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

Now I hear the reply you gave me to this point. You said “yes, mistakes were made”.

Mistakes?!

I don’t think that millions of murdered people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are “mistakes” (how would you react if somebody conceded to you that Hitler and Stalin made “mistakes”?). But there is something even more insidious in this notion of “mistake”.

How would you define “success”?

Say the US armed forces were not only good at killing people (which they are), but also good at winning wars (which they ain’t). Say the USA had been successful in not only invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in fully pacifying these countries. Say the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been successfully defeated, their economy had bounced back, and democratic regimes put in power: capitalism everywhere, 100 channels on each TV, McDonalds in every Afghan villages, gay pride parades in downtown Kabul, gender-neutral toilets in every mosque, elections every 4 years or so and not a single shot fired, not a single bomb going off? Would that be a “success”?

I pray to God and hope with all my heart that your reply to this question is a resounding “no!!”. Because if you answered “yes” then you are truly messianic genocidal imperialists. Yup, I mean that. Why? Because your notion of “success” is the spiritual, psychological and cultural death of an ancient civilization and that makes you, quite literally, an mortal enemy of mankind as a whole. I can’t even imagine such a horror. So I am sure that you answered “no!!” as every decent human being would, right?

But then what is a “success”? You clearly don’t mean the success as defined by your rulers (they would enthusiastically support such an outcome; in fact – they even promise it every time over and over again!). But if their idea of “success” is not yours, and if you would never want any other nation, people or ethnicity to ever become a victim of such as “successful” military intervention, why do you still want your rulers with their satanic notion of “success” to have the means to be “successful” in the future? And that in spite of the fact that the historical record shows that they can’t even achieve any type of “success” even by their own definition, nevermind yours?!

Did you notice that nowhere in my arguments above did I mention the fact that the USA has never asked people (as opposed to local Comprador elites) whether they wanted to be saved by Uncle Sam or not? Neither did they ask the American people if they wanted to go to war, hence all the well-known false flags from the “remember the Maine”, to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, to Pearl Harbor, to the “Gulf of Tonkin incident”, to September 11th: every time a lie had to be concocted to convince the American people that they had to go to war. Is that really people power? Is this democracy?!

Are there people out there, anybody, who really favor US military interventions? Yes, I suppose that there are. Like the Kosovo Albanians. I suspect that the Afghan Tajiks and Hazara were pretty happy to see the US bomb the crap of the Taliban. So there might be a few cases. Oh, and I forgot our Balt and Ukrainian friends (but then, they were also happy when the Nazis came, hardly much of an example). But it is pretty safe to say that in reality nobody wants to be liberated by Uncle Sam, hence the wordwide use of the “Yankee go home” slogan.

This letter is already way too long, and I will forgo the listing of all the reasons why the USA are pretty much hated all over the planet, not by the ruling elites, of course, but by the regular people. And when I say “the USA” I don’t mean Paul Newman, Mark Twain, Miles Davis, Quentin Tarantino, James Taylor or the Bill of Rights or the beautiful country called “the USA”. But the regime, as opposed to any one specific government or administration in Washington, the regime is what is truly universally hated. I have never seen any anti-Americanism directed at the American people anywhere, not even in France, Greece or Latin America. But the hate for the Empire is quasi universal by now. Only the political elites whose status, power and well-being is dependent on the Empire do, in fact, support the Empire and what it stands for. Everybody else despises what the USA stands for today. And every military intervention only makes this worse.

And you want to make sure this continues? Really?

Right now the US is desperately trying to save al-Qaeda (aka IS, ISIS, Daesh, al-Nusra, etc.) from defeat in Syria. How is that for a moral stance after 9/11 (that is, if you accept the official narrative about 9/11; if you understand that 9/11 was a controlled demolition in which al-Qaeda patsies were used as a smokescreen, then this makes sense, by the way).

By the way – who are the current allies the US are so busy helping now?

  • The Wahabi regime in Saudi Arabia
  • The Nazi regime in the Ukraine and
  • The last officially racist regime on the planet in Israel

Do these really strike you as allies worth supporting?!

And what are the American people getting from that? Nothing but poverty, oppression, shame, hatred, fear and untold physical, psychological and moral suffering.

These are the fruits of Empire. Every Empire. Always.

You mentioned that every time you see a veteran you thanked him for his service. Why? Do you really think that he fought in a just war, that his service is something he can be proud of? Did he fight for his people? Did he defend the innocent? Or was he an occupier in a foreign land and, if he saw combat, did he not kill people who defended their own land, their families and their way of life? What exactly do you thank that veteran for? For following orders? But is that not something the Nuremberg trials specifically condemned as immoral and illegal?

Do you remember how you told me that xxxxx’s Marine husband lived in a nice house with all their material needs taken care of? You added “compare that to Russian servicemen”. Well, you clearly are not aware of how Russian soldiers live nowadays, under your hated Putin, but that is besides the point. The question which I wanted to ask you then and which I will ask you now is this: is the comfortable lifestyle granted to US Marines good enough a reason to be a Marine – that is being part of the very first force called in to murder innocent people and invade countries? Do you even know what Marines did to Fallujah recently? How much is a human soul worth? And it is really your belief that being a hired killer for the Empire is an honorable way of life? And should you think that I am exaggerating, please read the famous essay “War is a Racket” by Marine Brigadier General Smedley Butler, who had the highest rank a Marine could achieve in his time and who was the most decorated Marine in history. If war is a racket, does that not make Marines professional racketeers, hired thugs who act as enforcers for the mobsters in power? Ask yourself this: what would be the roughly equivalent counterparts of the US Marines in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia? To help you answer this question, let me offer a short quote from the Wikipedia entry about the Marine Corps: (emphasis added)

The Marine Corps was founded to serve as an infantry unit aboard naval vessels and was responsible for the security of the ship and its crew by conducting offensive and defensive combat during boarding actions and defending the ship’s officers from mutiny; to the latter end, their quarters on ship were often strategically positioned between the officers’ quarters and the rest of the vessel.

Does that help you identify their Nazi or Soviet counterparts?

Of all people, is it not we, Jews and Russians, who ought to recognize and categorically reject the trappings of Empire and all the rationalizations used to justify the subservient service to Empires?

I believe that history shows beyond any doubt that all Empires are evil, inherently and essentially, evil. They are also therefore equally evil. Shall I explain why?

Do you know what crimes is considered the ultimate, supreme, most evil crime under international law? It is not genocide, or crimes against humanity. Nope, the ultimate crime is the crime of aggression (that, by the way, makes every single US President a war criminal under international law, think of it!). In the the words of the chief American prosecutor at Nuremberg, Robert H. Jackson, the crime of aggression is the ultimate crime because “it contains within itself the accumulated evil” of all the other war crimes. Well, to paraphrase Jackson, imperialism contains within itself all the accumulated evil of all empires. Guantanamo, Hiroshima, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, Gladio and all the rest, they “come with the territory”, they are not the exception, they are the norm.

The best thing which could happen to this country and its people would be the collapse of this Empire. The support, even tacit and passive, of this Empire by people like yourself only delays this outcome and allows this abomination to bring even more misery and pain upon millions of innocent people, including millions of your fellow Americans. This Empire now also threatens my country, Russia, with war and possibly nuclear war and that, in turn, means that this Empire threatens the survival of the human species. Whether the US Empire is the most evil one in history is debatable, but the fact that it is by far the most dangerous one is not. Is that not a good enough reason for you to say “enough is enough”? What would it take for you to switch sides and join the rest of mankind in what is a struggle for the survival of our species? Or will it take a nuclear winter to open your eyes to the true nature of the Empire you apparently are still supporting against all evidence?

The Saker

Divide and Rule is a Mechanism of Repression

Posted on August 17, 2017

America is extremely divided right now, but whose fault is it? Does the blame lie with the alt-right and alt-left protesters punching and clubbing each other in the streets, or does the fault possibly lie elsewhere?

Below are a couple of items–one is a video featuring an interview with former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney that was posted back in April of this year; the other is an article posted just a couple of days ago by Gilad Atzmon and commenting on last weekend’s events in Charlottesville. Both–Atzmon andMcKinney–offer essentially a very similar view: that the destructive societal divisions we are seeing now have been deliberately engineered.

McKinney shares some quite interesting and worthwhile observations on 9/11 as well as the US deep state, but my main reason for posting this video pertains to her reflections on the necessity of finding common ground with one’s ideological opponents. Dialog, she says, is everything–and in that regard she relates a story about her years of service in the Georgia State Legislature, where she served with white conservatives. This was in the 1980s, and she recalls a debate going on at the time over the Georgia state flag–which in those days incorporated an image of the Confederate flag into its fabric.

Legislative debates on the flag were held, in the course of which McKinney learned a valuable lesson: that whites are not the enemy. And that even in the case of white conservatives who were in favor of keeping the Confederate markings on the state flag, it was possible, through dialog, to achieve understanding.

And in 2008, when she was running for president on the Green Party ticket, a similar lesson hit home to her–at a  town hall meeting in Oklahoma that turned into a remarkable confab between blacks and whites in attendance. “Through the process of dialog we were actually able to reach each other; we were actually able to communicate with each other,” she comments. And then she goes on to utter the words which I have used as the title to this post: “Divide and rule is a mechanism of repression.”

A little background here is worth mentioning. The Durban Conference on Racism McKinney talks about took place in 2001, right before 9/11. Israel and the US got up and angrily stalked out of the conference after a measure was introduced equating Zionism with racism. I recall it quite well. It was big news at the time, although the furor over the measure was quickly swept out of the news by the events of 9/11, which occurred just three days after the conference ended.

“I didn’t know what a Zionist was when I first got elected to Congress,” McKinney states.

It’s interesting that all the social justice warriors who have gotten themselves so worked up over perceived white supremacism seem to have no complaints with our annual gifting of billions of dollars to a racist apartheid state which has Jews-only settlements and Jews-only roads.

In the overall scheme of things, what would you say is of greater detriment–a few statues in a few city parks here and there…or an ongoing occupation which results in deaths, home destruction, and which has robbed an entire people of their land? How is it the alt-left hasn’t protested this? How is it their entire focus of attention has been deflected from Palestine to the spectacle of a small number of moonstruck misfits showing up at a protest wearing Ku Klux Klan robes?

“I didn’t know what a Zionist was when I first got elected to Congress.”

No, but she quickly found out.

As McKinney relates, she was a member of Congress when the 9/11 attacks occurred, and she offers some interesting information on certain things she personally observed in Washington at the time. One of these was a set of “talking points” members were given on how to respond to the attacks in interviews with the media. Who drew up these talking points and distributed them? We don’t know.

She also discusses a “joint congressional briefing” she attended. Top Pentagon brass, as she tells it, came to Capitol Hill to brief members of both houses on the attacks, and the meeting had specifically been designated for Congress members only. But just as the session was getting under way, a freshman House member commented on the curious presence of a group of people who were not  members of either the House or the Senate. The people in question, as it turns out, were guests of Tom Lantos, a Jewish congressional representative from California, and McKinney believes now that they were Mossad agents.

The former congresswoman’s comments on the deep state are also quite instructive. The deep state, as she defines it, is comprised  of a group of people who are able to command and utilize the powers of the state for their own interests. “After 12 years in Congress I came to know the names of many of these people who were using the apparatus of the state for their personal gain.”

Do “white supremacists” control the Federal Reserve? Do they own the media? Doubtless there are those on the alt-left convinced this is the case. Just as there are those in the alt-right convinced the media are controlled by “liberals.” Both sides are barking at straw men.

The media and the Federal Reserve (two very key components to the deep state, I would contend) are controlled by an extremely small group of people who, as McKinney puts it, are “using the apparatus of the state for their personal gain.” They are not “liberals.” They are not “white supremacists.” They are overlords who have learned that “divide and rule is a mechanism of repression.”

By the way, the year 2001 was pivotal in one other respect. In addition to the 9/11 attacks and the Durban conference, 2001 was also the year the Georgia State Legislature voted to change its flag. Below is the Georgia state flag today. This is what is achieved through dialog and understanding:

Watching the alt-left and alt-right protestors punching, pounding, and pepper spraying each other reminds me of nothing so much as a cloud of gnats swarming and colliding aimlessly with each other in midair. I suspect there are those in the deep state who got a huge chuckle out of the events in Charlottesville.

The media deceptions have been like a battering ram, a series of punches in the face, the pain from which has wracked through the entire body politic. Trump as much as anyone else has fallen prey to these deceptions–Trump, who evidently believes the media are spreading fake news when they report on his presidency but somehow must be telling the truth on everything else, including chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

In the article below, author and jazz saxophonist extraordinaire Gilad Atzmon discusses the destructive impact that identity politics is having on western societies, particularly here in America. Identity politics–the tendency of people to identify according to their gender, sex orientation, skin color, etc., rather than as working class people in general–is a major part of the problem. It is a problem that has been deliberately embroidered and stitched into the collective consciousness to the extent that people now see themselves as fighting a war on behalf of their particular group–something which of course eliminates the possibility of wider unity. As Atzmon puts it, “ID politics is a very dangerous political game,” one that is “designed to pull people apart.”

The hatreds are manifest. They are a dark presence in the American soul, and the sort of dialog that served McKinney so well in the Georgia Legislature seems nowhere to be found these days. I’m reminded of a passage from the first letter of John:

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. [ I John 1:9-11]

The remedy is clear, says Atzmon. We have to break away from identity politics. And he also issues a call for “a radical spiritual, ideological and metaphysical transition.” Indeed, such a transition is much to be desired, but until it catches on and sweeps the country, Americans will continue to walk blindly in the darkness.


Being in Virginia in Time

By Gilad Atzmon

In my recent book Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I pointed out that the West and America in particular have been led into a disastrous Identity (ID) clash. This week in Virginia we saw a glimpse of it.

In the book I argue that the transition from traditional Left ideology into New Left politics can be understood as the aggressive advocacy of sectarian and divisive ideologies. While the old Left made an effort to unite us all: gays, blacks, Jews or Whites into a political struggle against capital, the New Left has managed to divide us into ID sectors. We are trained to speak ‘as a…’: ‘as a Jew,’ ‘as a black,’ ‘as a Lesbian.’ The new left has taught us to identify with our biology, with our gender, sex orientation and our skin colour, as long as it isn’t ‘White’ of course.

In Being in Time, I noted that it was question of time before White people would also decide to identify with their biology. And this is exactly what we saw in Virginia last weekend.

Tragically, ID politics is a very dangerous political game. It is designed to pull people apart. It is there to introduce conflict and division. ID politics doesn’t offer a harmonious vision of society as a whole. Quite the opposite, it leads to an increasingly fractured social reality. Take, for instance, the continuous evolution of the LGBT group. It is constantly expanding to include more and more sectarian sexually oriented social subgroupings (LGBTQ, LGBTQAI and even LGBTQIAP ).

In the New Left social reality, we, the people are shoved into ID ghettos that are defined by our biology: skin colour, sexual orientation, the Jewish mother, etc.

Instead of what we need to do: fight together against big money, the bankers, the megacorporations, we fight each other, we learn to hate each other. We even drive our cars over each other.

I am opposed to all forms of ID politics, whether it is White, Black, Jewish, Gender or sex oriented. But, obviously if Jews, Gays and others are entitled to identify with their ‘biology’, white people are entitled to do the same. I think that universalism is what we used to call it when we still cared about intellectual integrity.

The problem created by ID politics is extremely grave.

ID politics doesn’t offer a prospect of peace and harmony. Within the context of ID politics, we cannot envisage a peaceful resolution of the current ID clash. Can anyone foresee the LGBT community embracing KKK activists into their notion of ‘diverse society?’ The same can be said about the KKK, are they going to open their gates to cultural Marxists?

ID politics equals ID clash, an irreconcilable conflict with no end, the complete destruction of American and, to a certain extent, Western civilisation.  This may explain why George Soros and his open society are invested in this battle. As long as the working people are fighting each other, no one bothers to challenge the root cause of our current dystopia, namely the banks, global capitalism, wall street, Mammonism and so on.

The remedy is clear. America and the West must, at once, break away from all forms of ID politics. Instead of celebrating that which separates us, we must seek what unites and makes us into one people.  I am advocating a radical spiritual, ideological and metaphysical transition. Whether or not we like to admit it, these moments of unity are often invoked by waves of patriotism, nationalism and religious figures. But they could also be inspired by the spirit of justice, equality compassion and love.  Neither the New Left or the Alt Right offers any of the above. They are equally invested in Identitarian ideologies. The electoral success of Trump, Corbyn and even Sanders or Le Pen points at a general human fatigue.  Readiness for change is in the air.

***

Click here to read an excerpt from Being in Time.

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Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 14.06.2017

Vladimir Putin: The Most Powerful Person in the World

Paul Craig ROBERTS

Dear Friends, current problems with the website’s functionality, which are being addressed, are affecting the newsletter and email and, based on the light response to my quarterly call for donations, possibly donations as well.

In order to keep the content section functioning, the webmaster has turned off some of the other features until the problem has been fully identified and corrected. With the email down, I am unable to learn if any of you are encountering problems making donations. Some donations are being made, but the number is not comparable to past experience. Remember, this is your site. It depends on your support. If PropOrNot and the presstitutes convince you that I am a Russian Agent, you will be dependent on PropOrNot and presstitutes for your information and analysis.

Here is today’s column:

It must be wonderful being Vladimir Putin and being the most powerful person on earth. And not even have to say so yourself. The US Democratic Party is saying it for Putin along with the entirety of the Western presstitute media and the CIA and FBI also. The Russian media doesn’t have to brag about Putin’s power. Megyn Kelly, the Western presstitutes, and Western leaders are doing it for them:Putin is so powerful that he is able to place in office his choice for the President of the United States.

I mean, Wow! What power! Americans are simply out of the game. Americans, despite a massive intelligence budget and 16 separate intelligence services plus those of its NATO vassals, are no match whatsoever for Vladimir Putin.

I mean, really! What is the CIA for? What is the NSA for? What are the rest of them for? Americans would do better to close down these incompetent, but expensive, “intelligence services” and pay the money to Putin as a bribe not to select our president. Maybe the CIA should get down on its knees and beg Putin to stop electing the President of the United States. I mean, how humuiliating. I can hardly stand it. I thought we are the “world’s sole superpower, the uni-power, the exceptional, indispensable people.” It turns out that we are a nothing people, ruled by the President of Russia.

When the Democrats, CIA, and media decided to launch their PR campaign against Trump, they didn’t realize how inconsequential it would make the United States appear by putting American democracy into Putin’s pocket. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They were fixated on making sure Trump did not endanger the massive military/security complex budget by restoring normal relations with Russia.

There is no sign that American leadership in any area is actually capable of thought. Consider Wall Street and corporate leadership. To boost share prices Wall Street forced all corporations to desert their home country and move the production of goods and services sold to Americans offshore to where labor and regulatory costs were lower. The lower costs raised profits and share prices. Wall Street threatened resistant corporations with takeovers of the companies if they refused to move abroad in order to increase their profits.

Neither Wall Street nor corporate boards and CEOs were smart enough to understand that moving jobs offshore also moved US consumer incomes and purchasing power offshore. In other words, the financial and business leadership were too stupid to comprehend that without the incomes from high value-added, high productivity US jobs, the American consumer would not have the discretionary income to continue in his role as the economy’s driver.

The Federal Reserve caught on to Wall Street’s mistake. To rectify the mistake, the Fed expanded credit, allowing a buildup in consumer debt to keep the economy going on credit purchases. However, once consumer debt is high relative to income, the ability to buy more stuff departs. In other words, credit expansion is not a permanent fix for the lack of consumer income growth.

A country whose financial and business leadership is too stupid to understand that a population increasingly employed in part-time minimum wage jobs is not a big spending population is a country whose leadership has failed.

It is strictly impossible to boost profits by offshoring jobs without also offshoring US consumer incomes. Therefore, the profits from offshoring are temporary. Once enough jobs have been moved offshore that aggregate demand is stymied, the domestic market stagnates and then declines.

As I have demonstrated so many times for so many years, as has John Williams (shadowstats.com), the jobs reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are nonsense. The jobs in the alleged recovery from June 2009 are largely low income domestic service jobs and the product of the theoretical birth/death model. The alleged recovery from the 2007-08 financial crisis is the first recovery in history in which the labor force participation rate declined. Labor force participation rates decline when the economy offers scant job opportunities, not when employment opportunities are rising.

What we know about US jobs is that the jobs are increasingly part-time minimum wage jobs. According to a presstitute news report that might or might not be true, there are only 12 counties in the entirety of the United States in which a person can rent a one-bedroom home on a minimum wage income.

In response to this report, a professor at Virginia Tech suggested that the government offer increased rental assistance and boost programs such as the National Housing Trust Fund, which invests in affordable housing.

In other words, taxpayers are to pick up the costs to Americans of US corporations deserting the US labor force. Those Americans who still have middle class incomes will be taxed to cover the lost incomes that the offshoring corporations and Wall Street have snatched away from American workers who can no longer earn enough to pay for their own housing.

In other words, capitalism has reached the point in its descent that it cannot exist without public subsidies for the people dispossessed by capitalism.

On a number of occasions I have written about how many costs of production are imposed on third parties, such as the environment. A significant percentage of the profits of capitalist corporations comes from the political and legal ability of the corporations to impose their costs of production on third parties. In other words, capitalism makes money because it can impose its costs of production on the environment and on people who do not share in the profits. I have provided many examples of this, especially in the area of real estate development. The developer is able to shift a large part of his costs to others.

This cost shifting has now reached the level of inducing Armaggedon. There is an effort to impeach Trump and put the warmonger VP Pence in the presidency. As Trump campaigned on restoring normal relations with Russia, a defeat of the attempt to reduce tensions would reinforce the recent conclusion of the Russian military high command that Washington is planning a first strike nuclear attack on Russia.

This is the risk that the entire world faces due to the dependence of the power and profit of the US military/security complex on war and enemies.

In other words, there is only one remaining rationale for the existence of the United States of America — the interests of the military/security complex — and these interests require a powerful enemy whether real or orchestrated.

Former CIA official John Stockwell wrote: “It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms.” The hatred and distrust of Russia that the West is currently being force-fed reflects Stockwell’s revelation, as does the orchestrated hatred and distrust of Muslims that has supported Washington’s destruction in whole or part of seven countries and trillions of dollars in new US war debt.

Globalism, that is, labor arbitrage across national boundaries, and financialization, the diversion of consumers’ incomes into interest and fees to banks, have wrecked the US economy. The “opportunity society” has vanished. Children have poorer economic prospects than their parents. The offshoring of manufacturing and professional service jobs such as IT and software engineering has collapsed the growth of aggregate demand in the US. The Federal Reserve’s credit expansion was only a temporary reprieve.

Formerly prosperous areas are in ruins. States’ budgets and pension systems are failing. There is no payoff to a university education. Americans’ economic prospects have been erased by globalism. Getting ahead requires connections as it did in the aristocratic systems. The high concentration of income and wealth has negated democracy. The government is only accountable to the rich.

American political and business leadership not only destroyed the image of US sovereignty by placing American democracy in Putin’s pocket, but also destroyed the formerly vibrant American economy, once the envy of the world.

Where can Americans find leadership? Certainly not in the Democratic Party, nor in the Republican Party, nor in the media, nor in the corporate community. How then does the US compete with Russia and China, two countries with good leadership? Is war the only answer to the question?

Being In Time: Gilad Atzmon’s journey through post-modern crises

May 22, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

By Adam Garrie, theduran.com/

In Being In Time, author and musician Gilad Atzmon explores the historical and psychological basis for the many crises gripping the western world.

Many of the same people lament the state of a broad, however amorphous western society that has succumbed to the trends of hyper-identity politics, political and economic sectarianism, brutal financial capitalism and the death of industry and censorship in societies that still preach the self-righteous yet vague cause of ‘freedom’.

In Being In Time, author Gilad Atzmon offers a philosophical explanation for how these divergent trends are actually systematic outgrowths of societies simultaneously bewitched and confused by the abject failures of the three domineering ideologies of the 20th century: communism, fascism and liberalism.

Atzmon approaches how an uneasy calm in mid-20th century western states has given way to a world where the dams of free speech, prosperity and political predictability have been burst open leading to a flood of insecurity, third world style poverty and perhaps most importantly for Atzmon, the poverty of ideas.

Atzmon who has previously written about his personal struggles with and opposition to Jewish identity politics in The Wandering Who, takes his dialectical approach further, subjecting many contemporary and post-modern trends to the same scrutiny.

Such trends include, post-modernism, Cultural Marxism, post-Freudian social theory, the sexual identity agenda, post-modern attitudes to race and religion and the so-called populist political phenomena of Brexit and Donald Trump.

Atzmon calls his book a post-political manifesto, but it could equally be called a post-dogma manifesto. Atzmon laments a western world that has forsaken the Socratic method of embracing wisdom based on a combination of logic and ethics. Instead, Atzmon sees a western society obsessed with legal minutiae that he traces to strict Talmudic jurisprudence.

The book is very much in the tradition of the great secular conservative leaning sceptics and metaphysicists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Those who have read Nietzsche or Spengler will recognise familiar diagnosis to modern problems combined with Atzmon’s unique world view shaped by the rejection of the Zionist creeds of his Israeli place of birth.

One might be so bold as to say that a great deal of geo-political philosophical commentary in the 21st century is largely shaped by people trying to either debunk or revise the manifestly ludicrous hypothesis of Francis Fukuyama.

At the dawn of the 1990s, Fukuyama in The End of History and the Last Man stated that history had ceased to move forward and was comfortably numbed to the neo-liberal realities that everyone had accepted.

The problem is that not everyone accepted them and even those who did, have largely been failed by them both materially and spiritually.

Atzmon doesn’t merely lacerate the post-Fukuyama developments in the metaphysical crisis currently gripping an increasingly hysterical liberal western establishment, but instead explains the root of these problems from the perspective of an historic prism illuminated through a combination of late-modern cultural analysis and Atzmon’s own unique trials and tribulations with the crises inherent in intra-Zionist Jewish identity.

I personally rarely recommend such books. I highly recommend this one.

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com

The book is now available here

 

Being in Time reviewed by June Terpstra

May 21, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

https://www.opednews.com/

Firmly rooted in the Western intellectual tradition, Gilad Atzmon’s “Being In Time” opens doors to shed light on the particular ideological constructs that influenced the schools and movements of left and right political wings that have produced a world in poverty and war, offering a matrix of controlled opposition embedded in modern, Jewish, secular politics to distract and destroy from within. Atzmon’s analysis, written like an intellectual jazz composition, celebrates Athenian philosophical calls to reason while urging the unpacking of political ideology to reveal the con-game being played to keep power in the hands of those who already have it.

In the first half of the book Atzmon offers a brilliant decoding of left and right wings of the Imperial Houses of Domination. On the left, he gives the reader Marx, Adorno, and the Frankenfurters defending principles of utopianism and what ought to be. To the right, are Breitbart, Murry and Hernnstein, playing Johnny one note for conserving the structures of power in hopes to hold on to their piece of that pie. Atzmon suggests that, “instead of looking at the world through the lens of the Right/Left dichotomy, or a particular ideological perspective, it will be more instructive to impose a meta-ideological method that juxtaposes ‘the humane’ i.e. the human condition and the political spectrum as a whole. Instead of imposing any particular ideology, be it Right, Left, Marxism, Capitalism, Liberalism, Fascism and so on I want to examine the relationship between a political system and the human condition.”

Atzmon engagingly utilizes the controversial Bell Curve of the Right Wing to show how a Jewish “cognitive elite” attempted to separate itself from the rest of society’s “unchosen” through selective breeding conflating genetic determination with heritability to fit what scientists call a power distribution so that a small group of exceptional performers overtake the rest. Atzmon poses that rather than increasing the performance of cognitive elites, the ideology of the curve has actually been constraining how all people perform.

A Return to Athens

In the post-political neighbourhood in which we live, much of humanity has been reduced to serving the interests of big money, mammon and oligarchy, with Left and Right, those two familiar poles of politics as we have always understood them to be, now indistinguishable and irrelevant. The freedom to think openly and speak clearly are but nostalgic concepts. Our Western Liberal Utopia has turned into an Orwellian dystopia. Gilad Atzmon

Atzmon, taking philosopher, Pierre Hadot’s advice, models the determinate individual separating himself from the All, be they Left or Right, by adding a difference which, as Plotinus says, is a negation. The best life depends upon becoming one’s true self via the intellect, which means to step away from identity politics, which teaches us to identify ourselves by our victimhood and oppressions in a competition for least powerful giving us an excuse not to act.

“Being in Time” is a peripatetic walk, from the man who brought us The Wandering Who,through the present post-political narrative. Intendedto make the ideologies driving the narrative available to all, thereby depriving it of its power, the book takes us on path to build moral courage. The chief consideration is how to popularize the walk of “being in time”, and to provide the individual, in a time of general confusion and dissolution, with a living and breathing moral basis for practical life.

The book can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com

The book is now available here

Saudi America

May 18, 2017

by Jimmie MogliaSaudi America

As a European commentator noted recently, it is symbolic that the president of the most advanced democracy in the world makes his first foreign trip to the most feudal among Arab monarchies.

On the other hand, US citizens at large see happening what they vaguely expected, and probably wanted when they voted for Trump. Namely, that the curtain of elitist euphemisms and contrived metaphors masking the lying and the rudeness of previous administrations, would be dropped in favor of greater coarseness of expression and less palpable disguise.

This is apparent even in the body language and voice of (at least some) members of the Cabinet. I think particularly of the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. With his cowboy name, he may not have an Eastwood smile and a Robert Redford hair, but when he begins to speak, it is as if he said, “I am sir Oracle, and when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.”

Still, for unbiased observers of the worldly scene, the de-facto alliance between Israel, the US and the Saudi monarchy, however thinly disguised, is unspeakable, unbelievable and unimaginable. It is a truly unholy trinity where Israel is God, the US the Son, and Saudi Arabia the hellish Ghost.

For while everybody knows who did 9/11 but is not allowed to say it, everybody is now allowed to say who financed it. And, equally, who set up, funds and finances the mercenaries of the so-called ISIS and their associates with sundry other names.

It will be the task of a courageous and dedicated historian to trace the seeds of the faked resurgence of a Mohammedan Sect – Salafists or Wahabis or whatever – and of its conversion into a well funded and organized mercenary army and state, with an actual political and economic infrastructure to boot.

For no one, unless he be a cultured Muslim, heard of Sunnis, Shias, Salafists and Wahabis, until after Reagan financed the plot to remove the lay government in Afghanistan that had called the Soviet Union to its aid. And apart from the spilled blood of thousands, it is ironic that the emblem image of “pre-freedom” Afghanistan is the picture of young girls in European skirt and uniform walking to their school. Whereas the iconic image of “post-freedom” Afghanistan is the dynamiting of the 5th centuries “Buddahs of Bamiyan,” by the US-financed and now somewhat unruly “freedom fighters.” And most recently, the footprint left by the explosion of the American “mother of all bombs,” and alleged consequent hecatomb of “insurgents.”

As for Saudi Arabia, I can say I know something about the country through direct experience. During my first job, my employer sent me to Saudi Arabia to explore the option, the difficulties and the opportunities of opening a branch office in Riyadh, the capital.

While still on the plane, I had bought a Glen Fiddich in one of those mini bottles shaped like the original. Then, through the speaker, passengers were reminded that no alcoholic beverages were allowed off the plane after landing in Dhahran, the port of entry. Still infused with some of the goliardic spirit, I decided on the spot to conduct a test – partly a student’s prank and partly a sociological experiment.

Waiting in the lounge for the next connection, I positioned the unopened mini Glen Fiddich in the geometrical center of an empty seat in a row of empty seats, and waited at a distance for what would happen next.

After a few minutes an Arab in his night-gown (which experts call jillaba, but it still looks like a night gown to me), began to circle the seats, much as a bird of prey hovers over the center of its killing field.

After two rounds, the Arab sat down on the chair and when he got up the Glen Fiddich had disappeared.

Later in Riyadh I was struck by the almost total absence of women in the streets. Of course women could not (and still cannot) drive. No doubt a sign of progress for die-hard male chauvinists.

My other discovery was that, in the world of local business people dealing with American and European counterparts, there were few who were not either sheiks or princes, as printed on their business card.

My immediate reference was a sheik who could not speak English but used the services of his factotum-manager for interpretation. He was a Pakistani, who spoke an amusing English, with words reminiscent of Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” made even more amusing by his Pakistani accent.

In fairness, the sheik entertained me in a way that seemed royal to me, given my humble expectations. His house was richly decorated with the beautiful intricate Arabic geometrical mosaics and scripts, and with enormous rugs.

He organized a banquet, held in the center of his house-compound, under the stars, with guests customarily accommodated on the ground. Several of them spoke English, and throughout the dinner I was vaguely aware of some black moving shadows hardly standing out against the obscured background of the other inner side of the building.

As we stood up at the banquet’s end, a group of several uncounted children jumped out from the dark and eagerly partook of the large quantity of unconsumed food. The black, hardly-noticeable shadows, I learned later, were the four wives of the sheik and the children were his offspring.

After the initial introductions and discussion, the sheik left me in the hands of his interpreter-manager who accompanied me through the length of my stay in Riyadh. And he also told me something about local customs and culture.

From the notes of my faded diary, I read that at one time he said,

“Here in Saudi Arabia, if you kill a man they cut your head. If you are a thief and make a theft, they cut your hand. And if you go with a girl and do an evil thing…. “

“Hold it – I said – you need not go any further. I think I’ve got the picture.” “No – he said – you have an evil mind. If you go with a girl and do an evil thing, they stone you to death.”

Of course I had no intention to do any evil thing of the sort, especially in Saudi Arabia, but my host’s lecture strengthened my determination. Even if…. “all this the world well knows, yet none knows well how to shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.”

But I digress. It seems, however, that so many years later, little has changed as far as Saudi Arabia-American relations. And if it did, I think it did for the worse – compounded with a widespread perception that, for the Western-Zionist-Saudi cabal, the world at large is a den of fools, save the 1% or equivalent.

Circumstances of no elegant recital concur to raise disgust. One example, as clear as the summer’s sun, is the election of the Saudi Mr. Abdulaziz Alwasil as representative of the UN Human Rights Council. And, notwithstanding Saudi Arabia’s record on religious freedom and justice at large, this worthy official will have vote and oversight, among other things, on “freedom of religion and belief” and “integrity of the judicial system.”

That could even pass for a joke. But, apart from the President’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the US driven cabal is dropping ever more rapidly the myth of America as a custodian of liberty. It is not an exaggeration that whatever US foreign policy touches becomes scorched earth, with victims in the millions, assassination of progressive leaders and annihilation of the soul of nations. To pay homage to the genocidal murderers of Yemen says much about what is loosely called the American image.

As evident at large, to destroy the capacity of independent thought, the cabal has completely subjugated academia, through the lure of money or the threat of harm. For no one really understands the true nature of fawning servility until he has seen an academic who has glimpsed the prospect of money, or personal publicity.

The Constitution is still held as an untouchable symbol of American democracy. In practice it is a myth, quoted for effect or convenience, and more honored in the breach than in the observance.

There is a universe of lies, distortions and deformations that the capitalist world wraps around the masses – masses it despises and detests. It is the reflection of the pervading subservience to the interests of the 1%, and of a mythical and in itself distorted vision of the Western world.

As observed recently in France, a ruthless Fascism won the elections pretending to be anti-Fascist. And as a journalist noted, the European Union is but a media dictatorship, practicing the utopia of supreme selfishness.

To peddle the European Union as a means to prevent European nations waging war against each other is a sick joke. Sick because it implies that without the EU, Europeans were and would continue to seethe with lust at the idea of killing each other. Whereas, it was two fascisms – different in name but not in kind, and competing with each other for supremacy – that led Europe to slaughter, twice.

Furthermore, the famed prosperity that the EU should deliver to its citizens is a senseless euphemism to mask the implementation of extreme capitalism, imposed by the local servants of the transatlantic master.

For a while, the presence of the Soviet Union forced so-called Keynesian policies across the European continent. They led to the greatest growth and income distribution in the Western world. It’s no wonder that it was necessary and indispensable to destroy the only remaining obstacle to the end of history.

We are living in the final winning stage of neo-liberal capitalism, primitive, ruthless, instinctive, though masked in its spirit and action by the airy and almost meaningless lexicon of academic lackeys and economists. Neo-liberal philosophy spreads misery at large, more often not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which undermine security and by building anxiety inject a chronic fear of life.

All this has slowly, inadvertently but steadily become custom. And established custom is not easily broken, till some great event shakes the whole system of things, and life seems to recommence upon new principles.

Meanwhile, a “super-centrist”, multi-level, multi-form and multi-faceted world government, meaningfully renamed ‘governance’ is clearing away the remnants of democracy, while the democrats applaud. On both sides of the pond, and probably in Saudi Arabia as well.

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