كورونا وفايسبوك: أزمات النمو أم الأفول؟

أكتوبر/ 5 تشرين الأول 2021

 ناصر قنديل

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

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

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

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

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

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US retreat from Afghanistan signals a wider regional withdrawal

Sep 10, 2021

This and that, and some news and some more music

September 06, 2021

This and that, and some news and some more music

Dear friends

First, a few quick announcements:

  • We currently have 79 participants signed up for the Christian Vignettes
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  • In the Christian Vignette #1 we had a total of eight different members (besides myself) posting comments which is not bad for a first one, but that also means that 70 members either chose to lurk (which is fine!!), or missed the post (which is also fine) or had nothing to say (which is fine too).  However, I do hope for more active participation and I hope for discussions between participants.
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On current events:

It is now pretty obvious that, if anything, I did not exaggerate anything in my (no in-)famous “Will Afghanistan turn out to be US imperialism’s “Last Gleaming”?” article.  Now with so much more coming out, we find out that the reality of what took place was even worse, more shameful, more disgusting and more ridiculous than anything I had mentioned.

The pace of decay of both the Empire and the USA is very rapidly quickening and reminds me of a Jim Jones in Guyana kind of mass suicide, just slower, but no less deadly.

Here is the sad but undeniable truth: if your head is in the sand, your butt is in the air.

I will just add that a lot of the current butt-pain could have been avoided if US Americans were not so darn sure that they are the best at everything by definition, axiomatically.

For a while, delusion does work.  But sooner or later, reality will inevitable come back and bite your butt very, very hard.  For the alternatively gifted, I will say that often stuff which begin in a fun circle end up in a painful cluster (fill the blanks in your head please, not in the comments section!).

Frankly, I am not interested by internal US politics anyway, and neither am I interested in which of the five stages of grief many (most?) US Americans are going through right now.

Until at least most of them reach the “acceptance” phase, they are really best left alone, both for their and our sake.

I wish all those who celebrate the US Labor Day a very fun, joy filled and peaceful day!

Cheers

Andrei

This is what a dying empire looks like

August 30, 2021

This is what a dying empire looks like

By Aram Mirzaei for the Saker blog

These past weeks in Afghanistan have been what some would call a shit storm, in lack of better words. What is unfolding in front of our eyes is truly both a tragedy of great proportions and a spectacle of some sort I guess. After 20 years of occupation, Washington and its obedient dogs are not just retreating, they are fleeing in panic from Afghanistan. The US backed regime, just like all such puppet regimes, was fragile, corrupt and had no popular support whatsoever. This is why it collapsed after a few weeks since the start of the Taliban offensive. It was a collapse that shocked not just the Western imperialists and their propaganda tools, but even the Taliban themselves were surprised. The NATO trained and supplied Afghan Army either fled the battlefield or surrendered, often without even offering any kind of resistance.

To some of us observers, this didn’t come as a surprise at all. Those of us who have been following the war in Afghanistan for the past 2 decades are well aware of the problems that the so called Afghan armed forces have had. Rampant corruption, criminal incompetence, and drug abuse have plagued this army for as long as it has existed in its current form. It is a well-known fact that a large percentage of the Afghan armed forces were drug abusers, often getting high on heroin or opium while on duty. Furthermore, the corruption from top to bottom was unprecedented. Many police chiefs were outright rapists and pedophiles who would kidnap children to rape and kill, instead of fighting crime, and the level of turncoats who would sell arms and supplies to the Taliban was so high that most Afghan bases stood without any kind of heavy equipment or even fuel when faced against the Taliban onslaught. If you don’t believe me, then check this video: 

To say the least, morale among these soldiers and officers was at rock bottom. And why would this be a surprise? All the good fighting men had joined the Taliban or been killed in the past years. The only people left were drug abusers and opportunists. I quote a former US soldier in Afghanistan:

“By and large the Afghan National Army is recruited from the dregs of society. The good soldiers went off and joined the Taliban.

I don’t mean that lightly. I have fought the Taliban and trained and been on joint operations with ANA. The Taliban are tough, brave, well-disciplined soldiers, and frankly, I respect them. If I had been born in Afghanistan rather than America and raised with Afghan morals I likely would have joined their ranks.”

Billions of dollars were poured in by the occupying NATO powers, to prop up warlords and criminals across Afghanistan, not to create a stable society, but to buy their temporary silence and loyalty, and this is the result after twenty years. The Taliban just had to wait patiently for the occupiers to one day leave, and they even warned the NATO regimes of this inevitable reality when they said many years ago: “You have the watches, but we have the time”. Alas, the arrogant and self-worshipping West, drunk with their own imaginations of superiority based on the number of cool US warships and awesome Navy Seal gear, could not, and still cannot understand why they lost in Afghanistan.

The sheer arrogance and incompetence of those in charge over at Washington is astonishing to watch. US intelligence had at first calculated that the Kabul regime would survive months or even years, this was later revised into 30-90 days and finally, it fell in less than two weeks after the Taliban began attacking provincial capitals across the country. Kabul itself fell in less than a day! Washington’s “guy” in Kabul fled the country, reportedly taking with him millions or billions of dollars in cash to the UAE while the Taliban waltzed into the presidential palace- the same palace where Ashraf Ghani had held a speech only 48 hours earlier, vowing to “resists and push back the Taliban onslaught”.

Which takes us to the reality of today. Over the past two weeks, NATO countries and their friends have been evacuating their troops, citizens, and Afghan collaborationists in a chaotic and shameful manner reminiscent of the fall of Saigon in 1975. This is while White House fool Joe Biden and his clown Secretary of State Anthony Blinken claimed that this wouldn’t be another “Saigon moment”. Tragic scenes have since played out at Kabul airport, where people have been flocking in hopes of catching a plane to flee the country. Men who have been holding onto the side or landing gears of planes, only to fall off mid sky after take-off, stampedes and people throwing their babies off fences to US soldiers standing guard on the other side. Thousands, if not tens of thousands have been left behind as NATO forces have prioritized the evacuations of their dogs, cats, and beer kegs.

One can only help but wonder how such “sophisticated” countries with the best military forces in the galaxy can be so pathetically disorganized in their evacuations, especially since they knew they were leaving several months ago. As if the Afghan people’s misery wasn’t enough, Daesh has entered the scene now as well, and allegedly conducted a heinous terrorist attack outside the airport, killing well over 200 people in the mayhem, including 13 US soldiers. The scenes from Kabul airport on that day were the pinnacle of the misery and death that the Western imperialists have brought upon the Afghans. I say this because it is the US that has brought Daesh into Afghanistan and I believe there are several suspicious things to mention with regards to the terrorist attack of last week.

Firstly, why is it that every time that the US is withdrawing or looking to leave a conflict zone, a Daesh terrorist attack suddenly occurs against its forces. The same happened in Syria 2019, when a Daesh terrorist blew himself up in the town of Manbij, killing US troops, just as former president Donald Trump had announced his intention to withdraw US troops out of Syria. Why is Daesh, a supposed “enemy” of the US, trying its hardest to make the US continue its occupation of these countries?

Secondly, isn’t it interesting that both British and French intelligence allegedly had knowledge about an imminent terrorist attack, several hours before it took place and didn’t do anything to stop it? Isn’t it also interesting that the US who hasn’t conducted a single strike on Daesh in Afghanistan by the way, suddenly knew exactly who was behind the bombings and “took them out” with pinpoint accuracy only a day after the bombings? And thirdly, isn’t it also interesting how the Pentagon refused to even release the names and identities of the supposed “planner and facilitator” that were killed, with spokesman John Kirby holding a mock press conference and refusing to answer any question whatsoever from the multiple journalists in place?

Well, I won’t go into further speculation but I find this terrorist attack to have been plotted in one way or another by Washington itself, in order to save face in some way. Perhaps they hoped that the focus won’t be on the evacuation disaster but rather on the “strength” they showed in “confronting terrorism” even now when they are leaving.

Elsewhere, the US seems to be plotting for another civil war in Afghanistan as former Vice president Amrullah Saleh and Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the famous Mujahid during the Soviet-Afghan War are amassing forces in the still unconquered Panjshir province, to the east of Kabul. It is worrying that they are seemingly stupid enough, to think they actually stand a chance against the Taliban and are both pleading and hoping for Western support. Apparently, they didn’t learn a damn thing from Ashraf Ghani’s mistakes, or any other puppet that put their faith in the West’s “benevolence”. But no matter what Washington is plotting, they cannot escape the fact that this defeat has been humiliating for them and more humiliation is to come. Their days in Iraq and Syria are also numbered. The scenes at Kabul airport won’t just disappear so lightly as they tell the tale of a failure and a disaster that will have consequences for many years to come.

General Allen of the US occupation forces in Afghanistan once declared, drunk by his own arrogance, in the belief that they had succeeded in Afghanistan that “This is victory, this is what winning looks like”. I would like to revise that phrase into – this is what a dying empire looks like.

Kabul & Saigon: A Tale of Two US Failures

August 18, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Ali Hamouch

Each time the US decides to invade a country, it starts with a poorly thought-out mass mobilization and ends up dealing with disgraceful consequences.

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Kabul & Saigon: A Tale of Two US Failures

A new dawn is embracing Kabul today – a dawn that bears with it a load of uncertainty, bewilderment, and curiosity. What some have deemed as the fall of Kabul is seen as a rise by others, though what is certain is the massive failure of US foreign policy.

But, the real failure did not begin on the 15th of August 2021, but on the 30th of April 1975, the day the Americans lost control of Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam after 17 years of invasion, intervention, and genocides. 

Despite the constant reassurance of top US officials that the Kabul retreat would not resemble that of Saigon 46 years earlier, the opposite turned out to be true.

Indeed, both scenarios bear a lot of resemblance in time and context, offering a great history lesson for those willing to learn. 

The Big Bad Wolf 

Vietnam

Each era leading to a US invasion was shaped or contained by an internal US policy which dictated the direction of the narrative. It stresses the view of different cultures or ideologies as an “other,” always opposed to the American Dream and its (ill-defined) values. 

In the ‘50s, McCarthyism shaped the populace’s view of communism as anti-American: Named after Senator Joseph McCarthy, this strategy was the political equivalent of witch-hunting in the US. It relied on spreading terror in the hearts of those who were deemed to have communist leanings and ousting them, going as far as accusing economics professors of being communists and questioning them for the simple act of teaching Marxist economic theory. 

The FBI led much of the maligned campaign, earning the title of “the single most important component of the anti-communist crusade” by historian Ellen Schrecker. The term “crusade” will be further used to justify an unjust invasion albeit half a century later.

The employment of the “Red Scare” within the US prepared the soil for any invasion as long as it pertained to “fighting communism,” which is the reason why the Vietnam War, pre-civil rights movement, was not contested much. 

The Vietnam invasion occurred in 1958 at the height of the Cold War, where the US was determined to push back any attempt by the USSR to expand even on an ideological level. 

This approach was backed by the Truman Doctrine, named after the 33d US President Harry Truman, which stated that “The United States would provide political, military and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces.” In reality, this doctrine was a political frontline weapon to ensure that the US would be able to expand its military influence in any region of the world without receiving much backlash from within its apparatuses.

The war was waged against the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, commonly known as the Viet Cong, in an attempt to control the policymaking of the country.

The war went on to become the longest in the US history at the time; it was massively contested by Americans during the civil rights era, and was even challenged by the likes of Mohammad Ali who refused to enlist for the Vietnam War, voicing his rejection by saying “No Vietnamese ever called me nigger!” Simultaneously, the human and economic cost of the war kept growing at an alarming rate.

The image of the US as a liberator came to an end during the revelation of the My Lai Massacre in 1968 in which an army unit killed large numbers of unarmed civilians after raping them. 

In hindsight, the US wanted to spread “democracy” using universal values of respect and freedom as a pretext for amassing further geopolitical control of the world. All of this was planned in order to cement itself as the “Leader of the Free World.”

Afghanistan

Through what Noam Chomsky labeled as “Systematic Propaganda,” the US eventually had to change the labels of its reasons to go to war. “Anti-communism,” after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, became “The War on Terror.” Now, every group which espoused seemingly Islamic beliefs and did not see eye to eye with the US was deemed as “terrorist.”

But, what was peculiar about this approach and the new labeling of Taliban was the US’ support of Islamic movements from 1978 up until the end of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – they were seen as a powerful tool in the defeat of the USSR. Afghan Islamic fighters were a powerful ally in the US war against communism, which was eventually concluded by the collapse of the Union a few years after it retreated from Afghanistan. 

Bin Laden: Once labeled as a
Bin Laden: Once a “freedom fighter,” later labeled a “terrorist.”

So what happened to this alliance? Was the US in need of a new enemy to present itself as the gatekeeper of the new century?

The invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 took place after the occurrence of the 9/11 attacks. The shock of the Twin Towers falling signaled the end of the US’ impenetrable fort and the unipolarity of the world. In an attempt to preserve the last remnants of its power status, the US announced the “War on Terror” which would begin by invading Afghanistan and destroying the Taliban, who were accused of shielding Osama Bin Laden and other key members of Al-Qaeda.

The US decision was highly questionable, notably as most of the involved in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis and not Afghans, yet Saudi Arabia was never officially investigated or pointed at as a possible associate. The victims’ families are still demanding the release of FBI documents detailing the Saudi government’s involvement in the attacks.

Furthermore, the only nations to ever consider the Taliban as a legitimate party in power were Pakistan, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia – the latter two being close allies to the US. It now becomes clear that the invasion of Afghanistan was merely a thesis statement of sorts, a declaration of hegemonic persistence despite the severity of the attack. 

However, this time, the US needed wider support to perform its next step: It forcefully enlisted the assistance of the NATO as it provided a large portion of the funding. Subsequently, the UK, Japan, and a large part of the European Union became embroiled in a war they did not comprehend. 

In an infamous speech by then-President George W. Bush, he described his country’s upcoming response as a “crusade against terrorism,” voicing similar rhetoric as the one adopted during the Cold War: That of American exceptionalism and its divine right to shape the world in its image. Only this time, it did not want to shape anything, it simply wanted to preserve the shadow of its deflating empire.

The invasion of Afghanistan came just three weeks before the implementation of the Patriot Act, which legitimizes the Orwellian surveillance state. This comes in parallel with convincing a majority of Americans about the need for relinquishing their personal data to fight terrorism. Suddenly, the safety of the US became equivalent to a complete absence of privacy and personal thoughts. Through this tactic, fending off Islamic extremism just became the most radical objective of the nation, subsequently turning it into the boogeyman of the century.

Now the US was not vying to spread its value but to simply, and bluntly, preserve its interests.

A Fall from Grace

And now to the outcome of each invasion – the fall of Saigon and the fall of Kabul – not only do they bear narrative similitudes, but also picturesque ones: People being lifted from embassy rooftops, associate workers being left behind, journalists promised a safe flight back home left stranded, and a local government backed by Washington left to collapse.

But which country does the aforementioned scenery ascribe to?

Both actually, which goes to showcase how the US has learned nothing from its mistakes in Vietnam. The US should have learned its lesson by now: Guns and funds do not fundamentally alter the social structure of a country. 

People lifted off the US embassy in Kabul (2021) and Saigon (1975).
People lifted off the US embassy in Kabul (2021) and Saigon (1975).

The Viet Cong were insurgents in the US-dominated part of Vietnam yet they persisted despite all of their enemies’ wealth and military power. The Taliban, mostly formed of Pashto groups, remained an integral part of Afghanistan’s social and political life despite attempts to uproot it and the formation of a US-backed government. 

Foreign invaders will always be seen as “others” in the same way the invader describes his victims as an “other.” The dynamic is violent, with each party trying to impose its presence through all means necessary. Yet, one of them inherently adheres to the social and cultural components of the country, and the other cannot begin to comprehend it. 

But, perhaps the worst outcome of these wars is that the mere talk about both countries becomes constantly entangled with the talk about the US invasion. In the collective mindset of the world, these nations are only defined through their years of war with the US troops and not through their culture, their aspirations, or heritage.

Both countries have been scarred, left to fend off for themselves; their resources depleted and their economy suffering.

On the other hand, the US’ retreat in both cases was a crystal clear humiliation, an inadvertent announcement of their foreign policy and military strategy failure. In Saigon, it erased the image of America as the defender of liberties, and in Kabul, it drew the picture of a nation in shambles that leaves its allies behind.

Regarding the US retreat from Afghanistan, Joe Biden said that they aimed “to deliver justice to Osama Bin Laden.” But, given that the US has assassinated him in 2011, what was the aim of remaining there for an additional 10 years?

Biden follows up with the following remark: “We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build,” which showcases a clear dissociation with the “democracy spreading” discourse used decades earlier.

The head of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party, Armin Laschet, called the retreat “the biggest debacle the NATO has suffered since its founding.” British paper Daily Mail asked on its front page “What the hell did they all die for?”, showing a casket of a British soldier who died in Afghanistan.

So, after 20 years of endless battles in Afghanistan, what did they die for?

If the Viet Cong ruled all of Vietnam and the Taliban took Kabul in a matter of days, what was the point of wasting all of these taxpayers’ money, civilian lives, and the lives of soldiers on both sides?

A recent poll showcased that the US is mostly disapproving of Biden’s withdrawal strategy from Afghanistan….Though in reality, is there a best way to retreat from a country you have invaded after losing the longest war in your nation’s history? 

US Mission in Afghanistan Was Never Nation Building, Says Biden

August 17, 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

By Al Mayadeen

Following the great amount of criticism he was subjected to, Biden makes a speech from the White House in which he said ending US military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.

United States President Joe Biden
Joe Biden addresses rumors

As the situation in Afghanistan escalates following the Taliban takeover, in addition to the harsh criticism he is being subjected to over the way his Administration handled the Afghan crisis, Joe Biden makes a speech from the White House.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified centralized democracy,” Biden said. He noted that the only vital US interest in Afghanistan today is “preventing terrorist attacks on American homeland.”

“We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals; get those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001,” he added.

The American President expressed his belief that what is currently happening in Afghanistan, “Could just as easily happened 5 years ago or 15 years in the future,” saying he had to make a choice to either follow through on former President Donald Trump’s agreement with the Taliban or to go back to fighting with them.

The Democrat said this situation unfolded faster than the administration anticipated, however asserting that he doesn’t “regret [his] decision to end America’s war fighting in Afghanistan.”

Biden stated that his administration made it clear to the Taliban that upon any attack on US personnel or disruption of their operation, “The US presence will be swift and the response will be swift and forceful.”

Additionally, Biden declared that his country gave the Afghan forces everything they needed and every chance to determine their own future; however, as he said, they had no will to fight for their future.

The US President followed up by saying if Afghanistan could not resist the Taliban now, “There is no change that one more year, five more years, or twenty more years of US military boots on the ground would have made any difference.”

“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war, and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” he added.

President “assured” that the United States would continue supporting the people of Afghanistan through their diplomacy, international influence, and humanitarian aid.

The 46th United States President clarified that he made several propositions to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani regarding a political settlement with the Taliban, advising him to take the diplomatic path. However, as Biden declared, those propositions and advice were “flatly refused” by President Ghani.

Biden accused Russia and China of having interest in a destabilized Afghanistan, saying, “China and Russia, would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely.”

US President Biden interrupted Monday his holiday at Camp David and returned to the White House following the fall of Kabul that took the world by surprise.

Previously, in his latest statement on the developments in Afghanistan, Biden said he has no regrets. “I do not regret my decision,” he asserted when asked if the Biden administration’s withdrawal plans have changed, taking the Taliban’s latest offenses and advances into account.

Earlier today, US Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby stated that the Afghan government had collapsed due to a lack of leadership.

In reference to the Doha Agreement signed in February of 2020, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price accused former President Donald Trump and his administration of striking a deal with the Taliban that was not in the US’s best interests.

President Joe Biden is facing harsh criticism from his opponents, who believe he mismanaged the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, prompting the US to rush to evacuate its embassy and citizens, blaming Biden for underestimating fears of the Afghan government collapsing quickly last month.  

Amos Yaldin, the former head of the IOF Military Intelligence Directorate, touched on the scenes of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. He said the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, especially as it was depicted, was insulting.

The Israeli media, commenting on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, said: “With the United States withdrawing its last nationals, it is, in reality, fleeing from Afghanistan, and it is not a withdrawal as the current administration is trying to portray it.”

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council urged an immediate end to hostilities and human rights violations in Afghanistan, as well as the formation of a new government through negotiations that is unified, inclusive, and represents all parties, as well as ensuring full and equal participation of women.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, urged the international community to work together to eliminate the terrorist danger in Afghanistan, particularly after the Taliban took control of Kabul.

During the 20-year US occupation of Afghanistan, the US has lost around 2500 soldiers and spent more than two trillion dollars.

Earlier, the Taliban announced capturing most of the provinces following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s departure from Afghanistan toward Tajikistan after resigning.

After capturing the Afghan Presidential palace and Ashraf Ghani’s resignation, a Taliban official says the movement will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Kabul.

The Kabul Assembly committee stated today that the Taliban Forces will be in charge of security and stability in the city.

واشنطن ومحنة كتابة التاريخ لا نهايته: عشرون فشلاً في عشرين عاماً

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is %D9%86%D8%A7%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D9%82%D9%86%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%84-780x470.jpg
 ناصر قنديل

لا يمكن ربط الموقف من قراءة الانهيار الأميركي والهزيمة المدوية والفشل الاستراتيجي الكبير للحملة الإمبراطورية العسكرية التي بدأت قبل عشرين عاماً باحتلال أفغانستان، بالموقف من حصيلة المشهد الأفغاني، الذي تحتاج مقاربته للمراقبة والحذر والتنبه للتسرع، فكل إسقاط لأي فشل أفغاني على معادلة الهزيمة الأميركية وتصويرها نصراً أميركياً تعبير عن قصور فكري وسياسي، وكل محاولة لتصوير الهزيمة الأميركية تسليماً ضمنياً بنجاح النموذج الأفغاني علامة عمى ألوان وضعف في الرؤية، فالهزيمة الأميركية شيء ونجاح حركة طالبان باستيعاب الحقائق والوقائع التي تشكل بيئة ضرورية للنجاح داخلياً وإقليمياً شيء آخر، وكثيرة هي المرات التي يقدم لنا فيها التاريخ هزيمة لمشروع لا تنتهي بنصر لمشروع مقابل، لأنّ المشروع الذي كانت أمامه فرصة النصر لم يكن جاهزاً على الصعيد الذاتي لتوفير شروط النضج اللازم للمضي نحو نصره الكامل.

معيار النجاح والفشل الأميركي مختلف جذرياً عن معايير النجاح والفشل الأفغاني، تماماً كما الحكم على الهزيمة «الإسرائيلية» في غزة التي توجت انسحاباً منذ 2005، والحكم على تجربة حركة حماس وحدود نجاحها بإدارة قطاع غزة، أمران منفصلان، ولا يحتاج الأمر نجاح حماس لإثبات الهزيمة «الإسرائيلية»، ولا يمكن تصوير كل إخفاق أو عجز لحماس نسفاً لمعادلة الهزيمة «الإسرائيلية» أو تصويرها دلالة على أن «إسرائيل» انسحبت ضمن خطة شكل آخر من الانتصار يترجمه هذا العجز والإخفاق، فهذا يسمى تلاعباً بالتاريخ وعبثاً بثوابت صناعة الأحداث وقراءة السياسة بعيون العلم والوقائع، لا حسابات الرغبات والمخاوف، تماماً كما يحاول البعض من الآن الاستدلال على ضعف عناصر النضوج الذاتي لتجربة طالبان لتصوير الهزيمة الأميركية نصراً.

معيار النجاح والفشل للاحتلال، أي احتلال بالإجابة عن سؤال حول الأهداف التي جاء لتحقيقها، والاستثمار الذي وظفه من مال وأرواح وسنوات، ومقارنة كلّ ذلك بالحصيلة التي انتهى إليها، وكل انسحاب للاحتلال من دون خليفة محلية تتابع الأهداف، وتحفظ مهابة النصر، وتباهي بعلاقتها بالمحتل، وتكرس في السياسة والاقتصاد والأمن الأهداف التي جاء من أجلها، هو انسحاب قهري فرضه الفشل، وكلما كان الانسحاب فوضوياً، ومصحوباً بالتخلي عن المتعاملين والعملاء، ترافقه صورة انكسار المهابة، والتحدث عن المجهول، وغياب الثقة بالغد، كانت الهزيمة مدوية، مهما حاول الكتبة والكسبة تزيين الهزيمة.

أفغانستان كانت فاتحة الحملة التي بدأت قبل عشرين عاماً، وهي اليوم باتت بوضوح لا التباس فيه، الفشل الاستراتيجي الكبير، لكنها ليست الفشل الوحيد في عشرين عاماً، فيمكن أن نحصي على الأقل عشرين فشلاً توّجتها الهزيمة المدوية التي حملها المشهد المروع في مطار كابول، ففي العراق فشل الأميركيون في تحقيق أهداف الاحتلال الأول ثم فشلوا في تحقيق الاحتلال الثاني بذريعة قتال «داعش» وهم كتبوا العشرات من الوثائق التي تعترف بهذه الحصيلة، وفي سورية فشل الأميركيون في تحقيق هدف الحرب التي نجحوا في جمع أكثر من مئة دولة لخوضها بأشكال مختلفة، ويتنافس المسؤولون السابقون عن ملف سورية بتوصيف وجوه هذا الفشل، وفي إيران فشل الأميركيون في سياسة الضغوط القصوى لفرض تنازلات إيرانية في الملف النووي أو ملف الصواريخ أو الملفات الإقليمية، وفي الربيع العربي فشل الأميركيون في استيلاد أنظمة حكم تحقق مشروع الهمينة وتحميه، والمثال الليبي شاهد حي، وفي اليمن فشل الأميركيون في هزيمة حركة «أنصار الله»، وقد صار أمن الخليج وأمن الطاقة بيدها، وفي الرهان على نهاية روسيا بعد تفكيك الاتحاد السوفياتي فشل الأميركيون وهم يعترفون اليوم بصعود روسيا كشريك كامل في الملفات الدولية وكقوة عسكرية متفوقة، وفي السعي الاستباقي لنهوض الصين الاقتصادي يعترف الأميركيون بالفشل وبكون الصين اليوم تتقدم بسرعة نحو بناء حقائق المعادلات الاقتصادية الجديدة في العالم، وفي النموذج الديمقراطي تلطخ المثال الأميركي بعار الهجوم على الكونغرس وتضعضع ركائز الصورة التي رسموها عن ديمقراطيتهم، أما عن حقوق الإنسان فيكفي مشهد مطار كابول مثالاً لمقدار الالتزام الأميركي بالمعايير التي يدعون الأخيرين إليها وهم يعرضون حياة آلاف للخطر ويتركونهم لمصيرهم، وذنبهم الوحيد أنهم وثقوا بالمثال الأميركي والوعود الأميركية، وفي مواجهة كورونا فشل الأميركيون بتقديم المثال على التصدي للتفشي الجرثومي ولا زالوا رغم كونهم في الصف الثاني لأحجام الدول من حيث السكان يتصدرون رأس الصفحة الأولى من حيث عدد الإصابات والوفيات.

فشل الأميركيون في استعادة صورة القوة لحلف الأطلسي الذي يشكل مشهد أفغانستان لطخة على جبينه ستبقى حاضرة، وفشلوا في تفعيل قمة السبعة الذين استنهضتهم لمنافسة الصين، بعدما تقدمت الصين نحو إيران وسورية غير آبهة لمشاريعهم التي بقيت حبراً على ورق، وفشل الأميركيون في ما وصفوه بالحفاظ على التفوق العسكري لكيان الاحتلال بعدما تحطمت هذه الصورة في معركة سيف القدس، وفشلوا في تسويق حل سياسي للقضية الفلسطينية، فأسقط الفلسطينيون صفقة القرن بعدما أسقط «الإسرائيليون» حل الدولتين، وفشلوا في إنعاش حلف الاعتدال العربي الذي كان سيد القرار في المنطقة في تسعينيات القرن الماضي وانتقلت دفة القرار من أيديه الخالية من أي إنجاز إلى محور المقاومة الذي تحول سريعاً إلى الجهة المقابلة لكيان الاحتلال في التوازن العسكري والسياسي المحيط بالقضية الفلسطينية الحاكم للمنطقة وتطوراتها، وفشلوا في جعل الإرهاب التكفيري جيشاً بديلاً يعوض هزائمهم ويقاتل بالنيابة عنهم ويخوض حروبهم، بعدما وجه له محور المقاومة ضربات قاصمة، وفشل الأميركيون في إطلاق مشروع العثمانية الجديدة بقيادة تركيا كعنوان مواز لمثال الاتحاد الأوروبي في إدارة مشروع الهيمنة على آسيا ومحاصرة روسيا والصين وإيران، وفشل الأميركيون في الحفاظ على الحلف الذي جمعوه في حرب أفغانستان ثم في حرب سورية ثم فشلوا في مصالحة حلفائهم الذين تفرقت ريحهم وصار كل منهم يغني على ليلاه، لكنهم يحصدون اليوم ثمار الفشل الكبير في البلد الصغير لبنان، الذي كسر مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد الذي بشرت به وزيرة خارجيتهم كونداليسا رايس، عندما وقفت لهم المقاومة بالمرصاد عام 2006، وتراكمت منذ ذلك التاريخ عمليات النهوض في ضفة والفشل في ضفة، ودائماً كان الفشل في الضفة الأميركية، هذا غيض من فيض، فهل يكفي عشرون فشلاً في عشرين عاماً للحديث عن دولة فاشلة، وأفول المشروع الأميركي لحكم العالم الذي انطلق مع سقوط جدار برلين وتفكك الاتحاد السوفياتي، والتبشير بنهاية التاريخ ، والتاريخ يكتب من جديد بحبر جديد، ويستعيد مشاهد قديمة من سايغون إلى كابول، ولم يتنه، فهل هي بداية نهاية تاريخ ما لدولة ما فقط؟

مقالات ذات صلة

Israeli Media: US Withdrawal from Afghanistan a Sign of Weakness

AUGUST 15, 2021

Source: Israeli Media

By Al Mayadeen

Yossi Kuperwasser, an Israeli intelligence and security expert, points out that the fast fall of the Afghan government is proof of US obstacles in comprehending the Islamic world.

Taliban fighters ride in an Afghan National Directorate of Security car in Kandahar.
Taliban fighters ride in an Afghan National Directorate of Security car in Kandahar.

A researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a Brigadier-General in the Israeli reserve army, Yossi Kuperwasser, said that the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and the US-funded army against Taliban (amounting to 300,000 soldiers with advanced equipment!), is a reason to make us concerned.

He complained that US strategy in executing liberalist policies without taking into consideration the cultural and political frameworks showed was a miscalculation from the start. It’s worth noting that this is just another example of the difficulties the West, particularly US intelligence, faces in dealing with the Islamic world.

On a global scale, Kuperwasser believes that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan will be seen as a display of weakness. The departure will be seen as a sign of US weakness which stems from a refusal to sacrifice human lives or pay up in the ongoing fight against radical Islam.

Finally, the Israeli researcher stated that this action will boost radical Islamist morale like Iran, al-Qaeda, and ISIS; it will push them to fight the US and its allies, including “Israel.”

The US withdrawal from the Middle East will affect Iraq and Syria

Nir Dvori, a military analyst for Israeli television channel 12, stated that the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan will affect “Israel” and that it is an event that the whole Middle East is watching.

All US allies, according to Dovri, are watching this event and wondering when the US will turn its back on them. 

He went on to add that the US withdrawing from the Middle East is part of the ongoing strategy that has been in place for some time, and that this strategy has now reached its peak. According to him, it may affect Iraq, the US in Syria, and, of course, Iran.

Furthermore, he stated that what is happening today is ceaseless terrorism, that the situation is worsening, that Iraq and Syria are unstable, and that all of this would harm “Israel.”

“We must be very aware that this won’t happen in our region”

Amos Gilad, a researcher and head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy remarked, regarding the US withdrawal and Taliban control over Afghanistan, that strengthening connections with Arab regimes that stand up to these “dark forces” is essential.

He also stressed the importance of relations with Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states, adding that these relationships are significant achievements – at least in terms of intelligence cooperation. He suggested that “Israel” must continue to expand its relationships, despite widespread criticism, as the alternative would be “disastrous.”

Gilad went on to add that “US intelligence made a lot of errors along the decision-making process.” It should be noted that any beginner analyst may forecast that Afghanistan would fall into the hands of the Taliban, but that such a rapid fall was not taken into consideration by the US government.

“We must be very aware that this won’t happen in our region,” Gilad warned.

In the same context, on Sunday, an Afghan presidency source said President Ashraf Ghani agreed to resign in light of the deteriorating situation in the country; he had left Kabul for Tajikistan.

Was the Tanker Attack an Israeli False Flag?

AUGUST 10, 202121

An incident that could lead to a much bigger war

PHILIP GIRALDI 

Source: The Unz Review

In the United States we now live under a government that largely operates in secret, headed by an executive that ignores the constitutional separation of powers and backed by a legislature that is more interested in social engineering than in benefitting the American people. The US, together with its best friend and faux ally Israel, has become the ultimate rogue nation, asserting its right to attack anyone at any time who refuses to recognize Washington’s leadership. America is a country in decline, its influence having been eroded by a string of foreign policy and military disasters starting with Vietnam and more recently including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and the Ukraine. As a result, respect for the United States has plummeted most particularly over the past twenty years since the War on Terror was declared and the country has become a debtor nation as it prints money to sustain a pointless policy of global hegemony which no one else either desires or respects.

It has been argued in some circles that the hopelessly ignorant Donald Trump and the dementia plagued Joe Biden have done one positive thing, and that has been to keep us out of an actual shooting war with anyone able to retaliate in kind, which means in practice Russia and possibly China. Even if that were so, one might question a clumsy foreign policy devoid of any genuine national interest that is a train wreck waiting to happen. It has no off switch and has pushed America’s two principal rivals into becoming willy-nilly de facto enemies, something which neither Moscow nor Beijing wished to see develop.

Contrary to the claims that Trump and Biden are war-shy, both men have in fact committed war crimes by carrying out attacks on targets in both Syria and Iraq, to include the assassination of senior Iranian general Qasim Soleimani in January 2020. Though it was claimed at the time that the attacks were retaliatory, evidence supporting that view was either non-existent or deliberately fabricated.

Part of the problem for Washington is that the US had inextricably tied itself to worthless so-called allies in the Middle East, most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia. The real danger is not that Joe Biden or Kamala Harris will do something really stupid but rather that Riyadh or Jerusalem will get involved in something over their heads and demand, as “allies,” that they be bailed out by Uncle Sam. Biden will be unable to resist, particularly if it is the Israel Lobby that is doing the pushing.

Perhaps one of the more interesting news plus analysis articles along those lines that I have read in a while appeared last week in the Business Insider, written by one Mitchell Plitnick, who is described as president of ReThinking Foreign Policy. The article bears the headline “Russia and Israel may be on a collision course in Syria” and it argues that Russia’s commitment to Syria and Israel’s interest in actively deterring Iran and its proxies are irreconcilable, with the US ending up in an extremely difficult position which could easily lead to its involvement in what could become a new shooting war. The White House would have to tread very carefully as it would likely want to avoid sending the wrong signals either to Moscow or Jerusalem, but that realization may be beyond the thinking of the warhawks on the National Security Council.

To place the Plitnick article in its current context of rumors of wars, one might cite yet another piece in Business Insider about the July 30th explosive drone attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman in the northern Indian Ocean, which killed two crewmen, a Briton and a Romanian. The bombing was immediately attributed to Iran by both Israel and Washington, though the only proof presented was that the fragments of the drone appeared to demonstrate that it was Iranian made, which means little as the device is available to and used by various players throughout the Middle East and in central Asia.

The tanker in question was the MT Mercer Street, sailing under a Liberian flag but Japanese-owned and managed by Zodiac Maritime, an international ship management company headquartered in London and owned by Israeli shipping magnate Eyal Ofer. It was empty, sailing to pick up a cargo, and had a mixed international crew. Inevitably, initial media reporting depended on analysis by the US and Israel, which saw the attack as a warning or retaliatory strike executed or ordered by the newly elected government currently assuming control in Tehran.

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who could not possibly have known who carried out the attack, was not shy about expressing his “authoritative” viewpoint, asserting that “We are confident that Iran conducted this attack. We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) also all too quickly pointed to Iran, stating that “The use of Iranian designed and produced one way attack ‘kamikaze’ UAVs is a growing trend in the region. They are actively used by Iran and their proxies against coalition forces in the region, to include targets in Saudi Arabia and Iraq.”

Tehran denied that it had carried out the attack but the Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was not accepting that and threatened to attack Iran, saying predictably that “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now… Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.” Gantz also confirmed that “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes…”

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also made the same demand, saying Israel could “…act alone. They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over. We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.” If the level of verbal vituperation coming out of Israel is anything to go by, an attack on Iran would appear to be imminent.

After the attack on the MT Mercer Street, there soon followed the panicked account the panicked account of an alleged hijacking of a second tanker by personnel initially reported to be wearing “Iranian military uniforms.” The “…hijacking incident in international waters in the Gulf of Oman” ended peacefully however. The US State Department subsequently reported that “We can confirm that personnel have left the Panama-flagged Asphalt Princess… We believe that these personnel were Iranian, but we’re not in a position to confirm this at this time.”

So, the United States government does not actually know who did what to whom but is evidently willing to indict Iran and look the other way if Israel should choose to start a war. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan is right to compare the drone attack on the Mercer Street to the alleged Gulf of Tonkin Incident in 1964, which was deliberately distorted by the Lyndon B. Johnson Administration and used to justify rapid escalation of US involvement in the Vietnam War. Buchanan observes that it is by no means clear that Iran was behind the Mercer Street attack and there are a number of good reasons to doubt it, including Iranian hopes to have sanctions against its economy lifted which will require best behavior. Also, Iran would have known that it would be blamed for such an incident in any event, so why should it risk going to war with Israel and the US, a war that it knows it cannot win?

Buchanan observes that whoever attacked the tanker wants war and also to derail any negotiations to de-sanction Iran, but he stops short of suggesting who that might be. The answer is of course Israel, engaging in a false flag operation employing an Iranian produced drone. And I would add to Buchanan’s comments that there is in any event a terrible stink of hypocrisy over the threat of war to avenge the tanker incident. Israel has attacked Iranian ships in the past and has been regularly bombing Syria in often successful attempts to kill Iranians who are, by the way, in the country at the invitation of its legitimate government. Zionist Joe Biden has yet to condemn those war crimes, nor has the suddenly aroused Tony Blinken. And Joe, who surely knows that neither Syria nor Iran threatens the United States, also continues to keep American troops in Syria, occupying a large part of the country, which directly confront the Kremlin’s forces. Israel wants a war that will inevitably involve the United States and maybe also Russia to some degree as collateral damage. Will it get that or will Biden have the courage to say “No!”

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

Has the US begun its “great retreat”?

AUGUST 06, 2021

THE SAKER • AUGUST 5, 2021

I have to begin this column by admitting that “Biden” (note: when in quotation marks, I refer to the “collective Biden”, not the clearly senile man) surprised me: it appears that my personal rule-of-thumb about US Presidents (each one is even worse than his predecessor) might not necessarily apply in “Biden’s” case. That is not to say that “Biden” won’t end up proving my rule of thumb as still applicable, just that what I am seeing right now is not what I feared or expected.

Initially, I felt my the rule still held. The total US faceplant in Alaska when Blinken apparently mistook the Chinese for woke-neutered serfs and quickly found out how mistaken he was.

But then there was the meeting with Putin which surprised many, including myself. Initially, most Russian observers joined one of two groups about the prospects for this summit:

  1. This summit will never happen, there is nothing to discuss, Biden is senile, his Admin is filled wall to wall with harcore russophobes and, besides, the (US) Americans are “not agreement capable” (недоговороспособные) anyway, so what is the point?
  2. If the summit takes place, it will be a comprehensive failure. At best a shouting match or exchange of insults.

Neither of these happened. Truth be told, we still do not really know what happened. All we have are some vague declarations of intent and worded pious intentions. And even those were minimalistic! In fact, after the summit most Russian observers, again, broke into two main camps:

  1. “Biden” threw in the towel and gave up. Russian won this round. Hurray!
  2. “Biden” only changed tactics, and now the new US posture might well become even more aggressive and hostile. Russia is about to see a major surge in anti-Russian provocations. Alarm!

I think that both of these grossly oversimplify a probably much more complex and nuanced reality. In other words, “Biden” surprised many, if not most, Russians. That is very interesting by itself (neither Bush, nor Obama nor Trump ever surprised the Russians – who knew the score about all of them – in any meaningful way).

My strictly personal guess is that there is some very serious infighting currently taking place inside the US ruling class. Furthermore, that serious infighting is not about core principles or even strategy – it is a dispute over tactics only.

We have to keep in mind an old truism about outcomes: John F. Kennedy once said that “victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan” and he was right. When any group seizes power and effectively controls its interests, all is well, and everybody is busy consuming the proverbial milk and honey. But when this group suffers a series of humiliating defeats, a typical cascade of events begins:

  • Finger pointing: everybody blames everybody else (but never himself/herself)
  • Hindsight wisdom: “if I had been in charge, this would not have happened!
  • Infighting over quickly shrinking spoils of war
  • A collapse of the centralized center of authority/decision-making centers
  • Generation of subgroups, fighting each other over their sub-interests

In other words, following many years of extremely weak presidential administrations (since Clinton, imho), it is hardly a surprise that infighting would take place (in both parties, by the way). In fact, an apparently chaotic set of uncoordinated, or even contradictory, policies is what one should expect. And that is exactly what we have been observing since 1993 and this dynamic has been getting worse and worse with each passing year).

Needless to say, the main outcome of such defeat-induced infighting is to weaken all the groups involved, regardless of their objectives and policies. Some might believe that this is a positive development, but I am not so sure at all (see below).

That being said, there are some observations which might be helpful when trying to at least (indirectly) identify who are the main groups fighting each other.

The hardcore, really nutty, russophobes are still here, especially in the US media which seems to be serving not so much “Biden” as much as some “crazies in the basement” kind of cabal. Next to the legacy ziomedia, there is an increasing number of US/NATO/UK military officials who are foaming at the mouth with threats, warnings, complaints and insults, all against Putin and Russia. This is important because:

  • The “Zone A” media has comprehensively and very effectively concealed the very real risks of war with Russia, China and Iran. And if this was mentioned, the presstitutes always stressed that the US has the “best military in the history of the galaxy” and that Uncle Sam will “kickass” anybody he chooses to. If the people of the USA were informed of the truth of the matter, they would freak out and demand that this path to war be immediately abandoned and replaced with a meaningful dialog.
  • US/NATO/UK authorities have talked themselves into a corner where they have only two outcomes left: they can do what the US always does, that is to “declare victory and leave”, or they can force Russia to protect her borders on land, air and sea and, thereby, face a major military humiliation delivered by Russia.

Truth be told, during the recent naval exercises UK and US officials made a lot of threats and promises to ignore Russian warnings, but in the end, they quietly packed and left. Smart choice, but it must have been painfully humiliating for them, which is very dangerous by itself.

How much of these statements/threats actually were done with “Biden’s” approval? I don’t know. But I am unaware of any reprimands, demotions or any other action taken against the crazies who are calling for a war against Russia, China or Iran. That does not mean that it did not happen, only that it was not publicized. My feeling is, however, that even if “Biden” did object to this kind of dangerous sabre rattling, “he” is too weak to do anything about it. It is quite possible that “Biden” is gradually losing control of his own administration.

I recently had a good laugh hearing NATO naval personnel saying that Russians made “imitation attacks” on NATO ships by overflying them several times. Apparently, these folks sincerely think that gravity bombs are the main/only threat from the Russian Aerospace Forces and coastal defenses which, in reality, can sink US/UK/NATO ships without ever approaching them or even getting in their radar range. Not to mention 6-7 extremely quiet and heavily armed advanced diesel-electric subs of the Black Sea Fleet. While I don’t doubt the “diversity” of these NATO naval crews, I am now having major doubts about even their basic competence.

There will be many more NATO exercises in the Black Sea in the future. Ditto for USN operations off the Chinese, Iranian or DPRK coasts. This (always explosive) combo of ignorance, arrogance and incompetence could result in a major war.

Another option is the terminally delusional UK government (supported by those Brits who still have phantom pains about their lost empire and, of course, by the largely irrelevant 3B+PU gang) might do something really stupid (say, like this) and trigger a war with the DPRK, Russia, China or Iran and then the US would have to move to defend/save a British Navy which is mostly a joke (at least by Russian or Chinese standards). The main problem here being that the USN is also in a terrible shape and cannot compete against Russian and Chinese standoff weapons (I mean that literally, there are currently no defenses against maneuvering hypersonic missiles! The only exception would be the Russian S-500). The latter two nations, by the way, have joined into an informal and unofficial military alliance for many years already; check out this article and video or this one for a recent update).

But opposite, de-escalatory developments are also taking place. First and foremost, “Biden” seemed to have “farmed out” the “Ukrainian dossier” to the Germans and washed Uncle Shmuel’s hands from it. If so, that was a very slick and smart move (which is something we have not witnessed from any administration in decades!). I highly recommend this translation of a most interesting article by arguably the best Ukraine specialist out there, Rostislav Ishchenko.

Ishchenko goes into a lot of interesting details and explains what “Biden” apparently just did. Frankly, the Germans richly deserve this full-spectrum mess and they will be dealing with the consequences of this disaster for a long time, possibly decades. In fact, the Germans are stuck: they want to be the Big European Leader? Let them. After all, the EU politicians, led by Germany, did all they could to create what is now often called “country 404” – a black hole in the heart of the European continent. Germany is the biggest economic power of the EU? Good, then let the Germans (and the rest of the EU) pay for the eventual reconstruction of the Ukraine (or of the successor-states resulting from the breakup of the country)! Russia simply cannot foot that bill, China most definitely won’t (especially after being cheated several times by the Ukies) and the USA has absolutely no reasons whatsoever to do so. I would even argue that chaos (social, economic, political, cultural. etc.) in Europe is probably seen by the US ruling class as highly desirable since it 1) weakens the EU as a competitor 2) justifies, however hypocritically and mistakenly, a “strong US presence” in Europe and 3) gives NATO a reason (however mistaken, misguided and even immoral) to exist

The US is protected from the fallout (immigrants, violence, extremism, etc.) of the Ukrainian disaster by distance, the Atlantic, a much stronger military (at least compared to anybody else in NATO). The US can print money in any way it wants and has no interests whatsoever in the (dying) Ukraine. If Ishchenko is right, and I agree with him, then there is somebody (possibly a group of somebodies) who is a lot smarter than anybody in the Trump Admin and who figured out that the Nazi-occuppied Ukraine should be an German/EU problem, not one for the US.

There is, of course, also the pessimistic analysis: the US is on the retreat everywhere, but only for the following reasons:

  • Regroup, reorganize, buy time to develop some kind of coherent strategy
  • Focus on each adversary separately and prioritize (divide et impera at least!)
  • Re-analyze, re-plan, re-design, re-develop, re-train, re-equip and re-test pretty much everything in the US armed forces (which have not been shaped by any rational force planning in decades)

Those who believe the strategic retreat theory (I am not personally discounting this version, but I do not see enough evidence – yet – to endorse it either) typically add that “the US only left Afghanistan to hand it over to the Taliban/al-Qaeda and unleash them against “soft underbelly of Russia”. Now, that is utter nonsense, if only because Russia does not have a common border with Afghanistan.

Yes, sure, what is currently taking place in Afghanistan greatly worries all the leaders of the region, including the leaders of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. But it just so happens that the Russians have been in intense consultations with all these regional powers. Not only that, but Russia already has forces deployed in the region (including the 201st base in Tajikistan) and she has been substantially reinforcing them with no protests from the Empire (at least so far). Finally, all of Central Asia, the Caucasus and even the Middle-East is well within reach of numerous types of Russian long-range standoff weapons. Apparently, the Taliban know that, because they went to great lengths to promise all their neighbors that the (now inevitable) regime-change in Kabul will not represent a threat for anybody. Can we trust them? Nope, of course not. But can we trust them to be smart enough to realize that while they are currently the biggest force in Afghanistan, they don’t even come close to having what it takes to fight a war against any of Afghanistan’s neighbors? Yes, I think we can. After many years of fighting, and the Taliban already in control of part of Kabul, the Taliban will finally achieve their goals and become the true, official, leaders of Afghanistan. Should they try to attack or destabilize any of their neighbors, the very first thing they would lose would be Kabul and any chance to be accepted as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Remember that, like the US, neither Russia nor Iran need to invade Afghanistan to strike at the Taliban, they can use proxies and they have the kind of weapon systems and launch platforms from which the Taliban cannot protect themselves. Last, but certainly not least, the Taliban know how the Russians and the Iranians fought in Syria, and they will not want to trigger anything similar in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Russia’s “soft underbelly” is a 19th century concept. In the 21st century only the least informed and least competent people would ever use such a concept. Furthermore, only somebody with zero knowledge of actual military capabilities of the Southern and Central Military Districts of Russia could mention such a silly and outdated notion with a straight face. Besides, while the Afghans can be superb guerillas (but not always, contrary to the popular myth!), they cannot conduct combined arms offensive operations, while Russia and Iran can. Again, I will never say never, especially with Takfiris in the loop, but I don’t see the Taliban attacking anybody, least of all Russian or Iranian allies in the region

Coming back to “Biden’s” great retreat: if “Biden” is smart enough to hang the Ukraine on Germany, “he” is probably too smart to predicate the US foreign policy towards Russia predicated around the “soft underbelly” thingie. As for all the “fire and brimstone” threats of war against Russia, they are not impressing anybody as the Russians, the Chinese and the Iranians know that a confident and powerful country does not need to threaten anybody, if only because the actual capabilities of these country are a very telling “threat” by themselves. But when a former superpower is weak, confused and frightened, it will make many roaring statements about how it can defeat the entire planet if needed (after all, the US military is “the best military in the history of the galaxy”! If you doubt that, just listen to Toby Keith!). In other words, while in the West threats are an instrument of foreign policy, in Russia, and in the rest of Asia, they are inevitably seen as a sign of weakness, doubts and even fear.

Then there seems to be a long list of weapons systems, procurement plans and “defense” monies which have been pulled back, including the (truly awful) LCS and F-35. While it is true that the US is gradually phasing out fantastically expensive weapons systems and platforms which were also more or less useless, this show the ability to at least admit that all that talk about super-dooper US superweapons was just that, talk, and that in reality the US MIC is incapable of producing the kind of superb high quality systems which it used to produce in large quantities in the past (Arleigh Burke, F-15, Jumbo 747, the Willys Jeep, F-16, A-10, Los Angeles SSN, KH satellites, etc.). This is why the F-15X is designed to “augment” the F-35 feet (by itself a very smart move!).

Such an admission, even if indirect and only logically implied, might show a level of maturity, or courage, by “Biden” which his predecessors did not have.

Could it be that the folks at the Pentagon, who do know the reality of the situation (see here for a very good Moon of Alabama article about this), figured out that Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump vastly over extended the Empire and now they need to regroup and “re-everything” to achieve a more sustainable “defense” posture?

Could it be that “Biden” will deliver what Trump promised, i.e. to end the useless (and unwinnable!) wars, stop caring too much about the agonizing EU, silently accept that Russia has no intentions (and no need!) whatsoever to attack anyone and focus on the biggest non-military threat out there: China. Maybe.

As far as I know, many (all?) simulations – by RAND and the US military – and command staff exercises have shown that the US would lose badly to both Russia or China. Could it be that “Biden” wants to put Russia and China on the backburner and “deal” with Iran first? The latest news on the US/Israel vs Iran front is not good, to say the least.

I still believe that following the murder of General Suleimani and the retaliatory Iranian missile strikes the US seems to have given up on the idea of a direct attack on Iran. After all, not only did Trump let the “most powerful military in the history of the galaxy” be humiliated and seriously scared – for good reason – by the extremely accurate Iranian missile strikes, but the entire world witnessed this humiliation. After that disaster, why would “Biden” decide to attack?

Could “Biden” be even dumber than Trump? I very much doubt it. Besides, both Trump and Biden were equally subservient to the Israel Lobby anyway, so I would never say never, especially since all Israel has to do to force the US to attack Iran, is to attack first, then present any Iranian response as a planned “genocide of 6 million Jews” (what else?), but this time in Israel and by the Iranians (who might even use gas, who knows?). At these words, both the GOP and the Dems will snap to attention and immediately rush to save America’s most precious and beloved “ally” (in reality, its colonial master and overlord, of course). About Israel, we can only sadly conclude that it really makes no difference whatsoever whether the Demolicans or the Republicrats (mostly RINOs anyway) happens to be in the White House.

So what are we left with?

Frankly, I am not sure.

I think that there is very strong, even if only indirect, evidence which there is some very serious in-fighting taking place in the “Biden” administration and there is also strong, but also indirect, evidence that the military posture of the United States is undergoing what might end up being a major overhaul of the US armed forces.

If true, and that is a big “if”, this is neither good news nor bad news.

But this might be big news.

Why?

Because, objectively, the current US retreat on most fronts might be the “soft landing” (transition from Empire to “normal” country) many Trump voters were hoping for. Or it might not. If it is not, this might be a chaos-induced retreat, indicating that the US state is crumbling and has to urgently “simplify” things to try to survive, thereby generating a lot of factional infighting (at least one Russian observer specialized in “US studies”, Dmitrii Drobnitskii, believes to be the case: see the original article here, and its machine translation here). Finally, the state of decay of the US state might already be so advanced that we can consider it as profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed. The first option (soft landing) is unlikely, yet highly desirable. The second option (chaos-induced retreat) is more likely, but much less desirable as it is only a single step back to then make several steps forward again. The last option (profoundly dysfunctional and basically collapsing/collapsed) is, alas, the most likely, and it is also, by far, the most perilous one.

For one thing, options #2 and #3 will make US actions very unpredictable and, therefore, potentially extremely dangerous. Unpredictable chaos can also quickly morph into a major war, or even several major ones, so the potential danger here is very real (even if totally unreported in Zone A). This, in turn, means that Russia, China, Iran, the DPRK, Venezuela or Cuba all have to keep their guard up and be ready for anything, even the unthinkable (which is often what total chaos generates).

Right now, the fact that the US has initiated a “great retreat” is undeniable. But the true reasons behind it, and its implications, remain quite obscure, at least to me.

I will conclude by asking you, the readers, for your opinion: do you think that the US is currently in a “contraction phase”? If yes, do you believe that this is a short-term only phenomenon, or will this retreat continue and, if yes, how far?

Nord Stream 2 ‘Deal’ Is Not an American Concession, It’s Admission of Defeat

See the source image

July 23, 2021

Source

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

Enter the Americans. Washington has been seething over the strategic energy trade between Russia and Europe. The opposition escalated under the Trump administration (so much for Trump being an alleged Russian stooge!) when his ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, fired off threatening letters to German and other European companies arrogantly warning that they would be hit with sanctions if they dared proceed with Nord Stream 2. Pipe-laying work was indeed interrupted last year by U.S. sanctions. (So much for European sovereignty and alleged meddling in internal affairs by Russia!)

The ostensible American rationale was always absurd. Washington claimed that Russia would exploit its strategic role as gas supplier by extracting malicious concessions from Europe. It was also claimed that Russia would “weaponize” energy trade to enable alleged aggression towards Ukraine and other Eastern European states. The rationale reflects the twisted Machiavellian mentality of the Americans and their supporters in Europe – Poland and the Baltic states, as well as the Kiev regime in Ukraine. Such mentality is shot-through with irrational Russophobia.

The ridiculous paranoid claims against Russia are of course an inversion of reality. It is the Americans and their European surrogates who are weaponizing a mundane matter of commercial trade that in reality offers a win-win relationship. Part of the real objective is to distort market economics by demonizing Russia in order for the United States to export their own vastly more expensive and environmentally dirty liquefied natural gas to Europe. (So much for American free-market capitalism!)

Another vital objective for Washington is to thwart any normal relations developing between Russia and the rest of Europe. American hegemony and its hyper-militaristic economy depend on dividing and ruling other nations as so-called “allies” and “adversaries”. This has been a long-time necessity ever since the Second World War and during the subsequent Cold War decades, the latter constantly revived by Washington against Russia. (So much for American claims that Russia is a “revisionist power”!)

However, there is a fundamental objective problem for the Americans. The empirical decline of U.S. global power means that Washington can no longer bully other nations in the way it has been accustomed to doing for decades. The old Cold War caricatures of demonizing others have lost their allure and potency because the objective world we live in today simply does not make them plausible or credible. The Russian gas trade with the European Union is a consummate case in point. In short, Germany and the EU are not going to shoot themselves in the foot, economically speaking, simply on the orders of Uncle Sam.

President Joe Biden had enough common sense – unlike the egotistical Trump – to realize that American opposition to Nord Stream 2 was futile. Biden is more in tune with the Washington establishment than his maverick predecessor. Hence Biden began waiving sanctions imposed under Trump. Finally this week, the White House announced that it had come to an agreement with Germany to permit Nord Stream 2 to go ahead. The Financial Times called it a “truce” while the Wall Street Journal referred to a “deal” between Washington and Berlin. (Ironically, American non-interference is presented as a “deal”!)

The implication is that the United States was magnanimously giving a “concession” to Europe. The reality is the Americans were tacitly admitting they can’t stop the strategic convergence between Russia and the rest of Europe on a vital matter of energy supply.

In spinning the eventuality, Washington has continued to accuse Russia of “weaponizing” trade. It warns that if Russia is perceived to be abusing relations with Ukraine and Europe then the United States will slap more sanctions on Moscow. This amounts to the defeated bully hyperventilating.

Another geopolitical factor is China. The Biden administration has prioritized confrontation with China as the main long-term concern for repairing U.S. decline. Again, Biden is more in tune with the imperial planners in Washington than Trump was. They know that in order for the United States to have a chance of undermining China as a geopolitical rival the Europeans must be aligned with U.S. policy. Trump’s boorish browbeating of Europeans and Germany in particular over NATO budgets and other petty issues resulted in an unprecedented rift in the “transatlantic alliance” – the euphemism for American dominance over Europe. By appearing to concede to Germany over Nord Stream 2, Washington is really aiming to shore up its anti-China policy. This too is an admission of defeat whereby American power is unable to confront China alone. The bully needs European lackeys to align, and so is obliged to offer a “deal” over Russia’s energy trade.

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis

8/5/2021

Sayyed Nasrallah Warns “Israel” against Any Mistake, Balance In Favor of Resistance Axis 

Zeinab Essa

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on the last Friday of the Holy Ramadan month a speech marking Al-Quds international Day.

At the beginning of his televised speech, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that he is neither infected with Covid-19 nor suffering any of its symptoms. “I’m just suffering from bronchitis which happens to me regularly due to seasons’ change,” His Eminence clarified.

Regarding the marked event, he stressed that “The Palestinian people grants the Resistance its legitimacy, given that they did neither abandon their state nor Al-Quds.”

“What we are witnessing today in the Palestinian squares and in Sheikh al-Jarrah Neighborhood is a good proof to this,” the Resistance leader added, noting that “The most important and dangerous development that must be affirmed is Gaza’s participation on the front line as this opens great horizons to the resistance.”

He further underscored that “the ‘Israeli” entity is fully aware that the involvement of Gaza in the conflict resembles a very serious threat.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah urged the leaders of Palestinian resistance to “continue with this approach as it will change the rules of engagement [with the ‘Israeli’ enemy].”

Hailing the Palestinians’ steadfastness, he stated: “We are sure that the Palestinian people are suitable to preserve Al-Quds, its land, and rights.”

“The ‘Israelis’ thought that economic pressure and the atmosphere of desperation will affect the Palestinians, but they were shocked,” His Eminence went on to say.

Moving to the Iranian Front, Hezbollah Secretary General underlined that “All ‘Israeli’ bets regarding Iran have failed.”

“The Axis of Resistance’s solidness is very important to the region and it will reflect majorly on the Palestinian Cause and the struggle with the ‘Israeli’ enemy,” he added, noting that “Iran has greatly crossed the dangerous phase and the enemy’s bets to take Iran to war have ended. The bets of some regional countries on this have also ended.”

On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “Iran today is the strongest country within the Axis of Resistance and all American and ‘Israeli’ options to force Iran to give up its nuclear program have ended.”

His Eminence also recalled that “The biggest Iranian response to the Natanz attack was increasing the Uranium enrichment, which terrified ‘Israel’.”

According to the Resistance Leader, “Based on our experience with Iran in the past 40 years, Iran does not bargain at the expense of its allies; it does not negotiate on their behalf and it does not abandon them.”

Expressing Hezbollah’s support to every regional, international, or Arab dialogue, Sayyed Nasrallah stressed that “Dialogue strengthens the Axis of Resistance and weakens the enemy. We’re assured towards Iran’s [behavior].”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah commented on the talk about Saudi-Iranian talks by saying: “Many Arab states are in contacts with Syria, and Saudi Arabia can’t impose its conditions on Syria regarding its relations with Iran while it is itself negotiating Iran.”

“Those who should be concerned with the Iranian-Saudi talks are the Riyadh allies, not the allies of Iran,” His Eminence said.

Meanwhile, he mentioned that “Syria is on the path of recovery and the most dangerous challenge it’s facing is that of economy.”

“This challenge isn’t limited to Syria alone, but to several peoples in the region,” he stated, praising the fact that “The people of the region are determined to withstand and confront.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah reiterated that “Yemen is a qualitative accumulation to the Axis of Resistance under its young and honest leadership.”

“There is a breakdown of some axes and alliances that appeared in face of the Resistance Axis,” His Eminence viewed, pointing out that “The moral balance is in favor of the Resistance’s Axis.”

Commenting on the “Israeli” scene, he explained that “The ‘Israelis’ are concerned today due to the growing capabilities of the Axis of Resistance.”

“The ‘Israeli’ entity is in trouble and its wall is cracking; there is a leadership crisis and this is a sign of collapse and weakness,” Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say, noting that “All signs of weakness and decline began to appear clearly in the enemy’s entity, while we are witnessing the renewed activity of the Palestinian people.”

In this context, Hezbollah Secretary General predicted that “The course in the enemy’s entity is heading to a civil war and there is serious concern in the enemy’s society over this reality.”

He also recalled that “The Syrian defense missile that hit Dimona worried the ‘Israelis’,” noting that “The enemy’s army is not confident of its ability to confront fire from several fronts should war erupt.”

“The ‘Israelis’ are worried due to the operations taking place in the West Bank and due to Gaza’s involvement in the developments taking place in Al-Quds.,” Sayyed Nasrallah unveiled, pointing out that “The ‘Israeli’ ground forces are worried and weak and this is why they are holding several military drills.”

On this level, Sayyed Nasrallah sent the apartheid entity a sounding warning: “Hezbollah won’t tolerate any ‘Israeli’ mistake during the major ‘Israeli’ drill that begins Sunday. We will take calm and responsible precautions.”

“The enemy must know that we will be cautious, alert and prepared,” His Eminence added, warning that “Any wrong move towards Lebanon during the drill will be an adventure by the enemy. The enemy will be mistaken should it think that we will be afraid to confront any attempt to alter the rules of engagement or any security or military action.”

He also was clear enough to tell the “Israelis”: “We will not be lenient and we will not tolerate any mistake, violation or hostile move by the enemy across the entire Lebanese territory.”

Regarding the issue of maritime border demarcation, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that “We [Hezbollah] don’t interfere in the issue of maritime borders and this is left to the Lebanese state.”

He reminded that after 2000 liberation, “Hezbollah interfered in the issue of Shebaa Farms and Kafrshouba Hills after the Lebanese state confirmed that they are Lebanese.”

Commenting on those who interpret Hezbollah’s silence over the issue as “embarrassment towards the allies,” His Eminence said: “This is not true… We, as a resistance, have not and will not interfere in the issue of the border demarcation. Let the State shoulder its historic responsibility as to the demarcation of the border and the preservation of the Lebanese people’s rights and let it consider that it is relying on real strength.”

“We have found that it is in Lebanon’s interest and in the certain interest of the resistance that we stay away from this issue,” Hezbollah’s leader added, noting that “Lebanon is not weak at all” and that “the United States and ‘Israel’ can’t impose on the Lebanese what they want.”

Chris Hedges: The Unraveling of the American Empire

April 19th, 2021

By Chris Hedges

Source

US leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another, a trajectory mirroring the sad finales of other historical imperial powers.

Princeton, New Jersey (Scheerpost— America’s defeat in Afghanistan is one in a string of catastrophic military blunders that herald the death of the American empire. With the exception of the first Gulf War, fought largely by mechanized units in the open desert that did not – wisely – attempt to occupy Iraq, the United States political and military leadership has stumbled from one military debacle to another. Korea. Vietnam. Lebanon. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Libya. The trajectory of military fiascos mirrors the sad finales of the Chinese, Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian, French, British, Dutch, Portuguese and Soviet empires. While each of these empires decayed with their own peculiarities, they all exhibited patterns of dissolution that characterize the American experiment.

Imperial ineptitude is matched by domestic ineptitude. The collapse of good government at home, with legislative, executive and judicial systems all seized by corporate power, ensures that the incompetent and the corrupt, those dedicated not to the national interest but to swelling the profits of the oligarchic elite, lead the country into a cul-de-sac. Rulers and military leaders, driven by venal self-interest, are often buffoonish characters in a grand comic operetta. How else to think of Allen Dulles, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Donald Trump or the hapless Joe Biden? While their intellectual and moral vacuity is often darkly amusing, it is murderous and savage when directed towards their victims.

There is not a single case since 1941 when the coups, political assassinations, election fraud, black propaganda, blackmail, kidnapping, brutal counter-insurgency campaigns, U.S. sanctioned massacres, torture in global black sites, proxy wars or military interventions carried out by the United States resulted in the establishment of a democratic government. The two-decade-long wars in the Middle East, the greatest strategic blunder in American history, have only left in their wake one failed state after another. Yet, no one in the ruling class is held accountable.

War, when it is waged to serve utopian absurdities, such as implanting a client government in Baghdad that will flip the region, including Iran, into U.S. protectorates, or when, as in Afghanistan, there is no vision at all, descends into a quagmire. The massive allocation of money and resources to the U.S. military, which includes Biden’s request for $715 billion for the Defense Department in fiscal year 2022, a $11.3 billion, or 1.6 percent increase, over 2021, is not in the end about national defense. The bloated military budget is designed, as Seymour Melman explained in his book, “The Permanent War Economy,” primarily to keep the American economy from collapsing. All we really make anymore are weapons. Once this is understood, perpetual war makes sense, at least for those who profit from it.

The idea that America is a defender of democracy, liberty and human rights would come as a huge surprise to those who saw their democratically elected governments subverted and overthrown by the United States in Panama (1941), Syria (1949), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Chile (1973), Honduras (2009) and Egypt (2013). And this list does not include a host of other governments that, however despotic, as was the case in South Vietnam, Indonesia or Iraq, were viewed as inimical to American interests and destroyed, in each case making life for the inhabitants of these countries even more miserable.

I spent two decades on the outer reaches of empire as a foreign correspondent. The flowery rhetoric used to justify the subjugation of other nations so corporations can plunder natural resources and exploit cheap labor is solely for domestic consumption. The generals, intelligence operatives, diplomats, bankers and corporate executives that manage empire find this idealistic talk risible. They despise, with good reason, naïve liberals who call for “humanitarian intervention” and believe the ideals used to justify empire are real, that empire can be a force for good. These liberal interventionists, the useful idiots of imperialism, attempt to civilize a process that was created and designed to repress, intimidate, plunder and dominate.

The liberal interventionists, because they wrap themselves in high ideals, are responsible for numerous military and foreign policy debacles. The call by liberal interventionists such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Susan Rice and Samantha Power to fund jihadists in Syria and depose Muammar Gaddafi in Libya rent these countries — as in Afghanistan and Iraq — into warring fiefdoms. The liberal interventionists are also the tip of the spear in the campaign to rachet up tensions with China and Russia.

Russia is blamed for interfering in the last two presidential elections on behalf of Donald Trump. Russia, whose economy is roughly the size of Italy’s, is also attacked for destabilizing the Ukraine, supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria, funding France’s National Front party and hacking into German computers. Biden has imposed sanctions on Russia – including limits on buying newly issued sovereign debt – in response to allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp. and worked to thwart his candidacy.

At the same time, the liberal interventionists are orchestrating a new cold war with China, justifying this cold war because the Chinese government is carrying out genocide against its Uyghur minority, repressing the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and stealing U.S. patents. As with Russia, sanctions have been imposed targeting the country’s ruling elite. The U.S. is also carrying out provocative military maneuvers along the Russian border and in the South China Sea.

The core belief of imperialists, whether they come in the form of a Barack Obama or a George W. Bush, is racism and ethnic chauvinism, the notion that Americans are permitted, because of superior attributes, to impose their “values” on lesser races and peoples by force. This racism, carried out in the name of Western civilization and its corollary white supremacy, unites the rabid imperialists and liberal interventionists in the Republican and Democratic parties. It is the fatal disease of empire, captured in Graham Greene’s novel “The Quiet American” and Michael Ondaatje’s “The English Patient.”

Afghanistan War
A young boy watches a US Marine scan the area during a patrol south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 3, 2010. Dusan Vranic | AP

The crimes of empire always spawn counter-violence that is then used to justify harsher forms of imperial repression. For example, the United States routinely kidnapped Islamic jihadists fighting in the Balkans between 1995 and 1998. They were sent to Egypt — many were Egyptian — where they were savagely tortured and usually executed. In 1998, the International Islamic Front for Jihad said it would carry out a strike against the United States after jihadists were kidnapped and transferred to black sites from Albania. They made good on their threat igniting massive truck bombs at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that left 224 dead. Of course, the “extraordinary renditions” by the CIA did not end and neither did the attacks by jihadists.

Our decades-long military fiascos, a feature of all late empires, are called “micro-militarism.” The Athenians engaged in micro-militarism during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) when they invaded Sicily, suffering the loss of 200 ships and thousands of soldiers. The defeat triggered successful revolts throughout the Athenian empire. The Roman empire, which at its height lasted for two centuries, created a military machine that, like the Pentagon, was a state within a state. Rome’s military rulers, led by Augustus, snuffed out the remnants of Rome’s anemic democracy and ushered in a period of despotism that saw the empire disintegrate under the weight of extravagant military expenditures and corruption. The British empire, after the suicidal military folly of World War I, was terminated in 1956 when it attacked Egypt in a dispute over the nationalization of the Suez Canal. Britain was forced to withdraw in humiliation, empowering Arab nationalist leaders such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and dooming British rule over its few remaining colonies. None of these empires recovered.

“While rising empires are often judicious, even rational in their application of armed force for conquest and control of overseas dominions, fading empires are inclined to ill-considered displays of power, dreaming of bold military masterstrokes that would somehow recoup lost prestige and power,” the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book “In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power”: “Often irrational even from an imperial point of view, these micromilitary operations can yield hemorrhaging expenditures or humiliating defeats that only accelerate the process already under way.”

The worse it gets at home the more the empire needs to fabricate enemies within and without. This is the real reason for the increase in tensions with Russia and China. The poverty of half the nation and concentration of wealth in the hands of a tiny oligarchic cabal, the wanton murder of unarmed civilians by militarized police, the rage at the ruling elites, expressed with nearly half the electorate voting for a con artist and demagogue and a mob of his supporters storming the capital, are the internal signs of disintegration. The inability of the for-profit national health services to cope with the pandemic, the passage of a Covid relief bill and the proposal of an infrastructure bill that would hand the bulk of some $5 trillion dollars to corporations while tossing crumbs — one-time checks of $1,400 to a citizenry in deep financial distress — will only fuel the decline.

Because of the loss of unionized jobs, the real decline of wages, de-industrialization, chronic underemployment and unemployment, and punishing austerity programs, the country is plagued by a plethora of diseases of despair including opioid addictions, alcoholism, suicides, gambling, depression, morbid obesity and mass shootings — since March 16 the United States has had at least 45 mass shootings, including eight people killed in an Indiana FedEx facility on Friday, three dead and three injured in a shooting in Wisconsin on Sunday, and another three dead in a shooting in Austin on Sunday. These are the consequences of a deeply troubled society.

The façade of empire is able to mask the rot within its foundations, often for decades, until, as we saw with the Soviet Union, the empire appears to suddenly disintegrate. The loss of the dollar as the global reserve currency will probably mark the final chapter of the American empire. In 2015, the dollar accounted for 90 percent of bilateral transactions between China and Russia, a percentage that has since fallen to about 50 percent. The use of sanctions as a weapon against China and Russia pushes these countries to replace the dollar with their own national currencies. Russia, as part of this move away from the dollar, has begun accumulating yuan reserves.

The loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency will instantly raise the cost of imports. It will result in unemployment of Depression-era levels. It will force the empire to dramatically contract. It will, as the economy worsens, fuel a hyper-nationalism that will most likely be expressed through a Christianized fascism. The mechanisms, already in place, for total social control, militarized police, a suspension of civil liberties, wholesale government surveillance, enhanced “terrorism” laws that railroad people into the world’s largest prison system and censorship overseen by the digital media monopolies will seamlessly cement into place a police state. Nations that descend into crises these severe seek to deflect the rage of a betrayed population on foreign scapegoats. China and Russia will be used to fill these roles.

The defeat in Afghanistan is a familiar and sad story, one all those blinded by imperial hubris endure. The tragedy, however, is not the collapse of the American empire, but that, lacking the ability to engage in self-critique and self-correction, as it dies it will lash out in a blind, inchoate fury at innocents at home and abroad.

أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية America in the Soviet Moment

** Please scroll down for the ADJUSTED English Machine translation **

أمريكا في اللحظة السوفيتية

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

فقلتُ لهُ على الفور:

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

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

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

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

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

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

ولذا، اختفى الاتّحادُ السّوفياتيّ من الوجود. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

الحربُ على سوريّةَ جرت على خلفيّةِ الطّلبِ نفسه:

فكّك بهدوءٍ أو نأتي لتفكيكِ سورية.

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

أنا لا أترنّح.


America in the Soviet Moment

فاضل الربيعي يكتب أمريكا دخلت اللحظة السوفيتية :: الأنباط

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Fadel Al-Rubaie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I said to him immediately:

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

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

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

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

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

The Soviet Union therefore disappeared from existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am not reeling.

U.S. Joins Past Empires in Afghan Graveyard

President Biden announced a removal of all U.S. troops by September 11, but he failed to include some important details.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies

Global Research, April 16, 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

***

An Afghan taxi-driver in Vancouver told one of us a decade ago that this day would come. “We defeated the Persian Empire in the eighteenth century, the British in the nineteenth, the Soviets in the twentieth. Now, with NATO, we’re fighting twenty-eight countries, but we’ll defeat them, too,” said the taxi-driver, surely not a member of the Taliban, but quietly proud of his country’s empire-killing credentials. 

Now, after nearly twenty years of a war that has been as bloody and futile as all those previous invasions and occupations, the last 3,500 U.S. troops and their NATO brothers-in-arms will be coming home from Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden tried to spin this as the United States leaving because it has achieved its objectives, bringing the terrorists responsible for 9/11 to justice and ensuring that Afghanistan would not be used as a base for a future attack on the United States. “We achieved those objectives,” Biden said. “Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is degraded. It’s time to end the forever war.”

What Biden did not admit is that the United States and its allies, with all their money and firepower, were unable to vanquish the Taliban, who currently control about half of Afghanistan and are positioned to control even more in the coming months without a ceasefire. Nor did Biden admit that, in two decades, the United States and its allies have been unable to build up a stable, democratic, popular government or a competent military in the country.

Like the U.S.S.R., the U.S. is leaving in defeat, having squandered the lives of countless Afghans, 2,488 U.S. troops and personnel, and trillions of dollars.

A U.S. withdrawal—especially one not based on conditions on the ground—is, nevertheless, a bold move for Biden. He is going against the advice of the U.S. intelligence community and top Pentagon officials, including the head of the U.S.-Afghan Forces and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Biden is also coming under attack from Republicans and Democrats in Congress. Senator Mitch McConnell artfully slammed Biden’s decision, accusing him of helping U.S. enemies “ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift-wrapping the country and handing it right back to them.” Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the withdrawal “undermines our commitment to the Afghan people, particularly Afghan women.”U.S. Joins “Rules-Based World” on Afghanistan

But while Biden is being pilloried by some for pulling out too soon, the truth is that he is violating a May 1 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal that was painstakingly negotiated under the Trump Administration.

Ironically, Biden acknowledged in his speech on Wednesday that the withdrawal agreement the United States signed with the Taliban in February 2020 was a solemn commitment, but then he said U.S. forces would begin their withdrawal on May 1 and complete it by September 11, which is not what was agreed to.

After it was clear that the United States was going to break the May 1 withdrawal agreement, Mohammad Naeem, the Taliban spokesperson in Qatar, issued a statement that the Taliban would now not take part in the ten days of U.N.-led peace talks scheduled to begin in Istanbul on April 24, nor would it take part in any further peace negotiations until the last foreign soldiers leave Afghanistan.

This is a reversion to the Taliban’s long-standing position that it would not negotiate with a government backed by foreign occupation forces.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad spent years of his life negotiating with the Taliban to arrive at the 2020 withdrawal agreement. Secretary Blinken took a potentially historic step back from U.S. unilateralism when he invited the United Nations to lead a new Afghan peace process. And Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov set the stage for a ceasefire and a peaceful transition of power by bringing the two Afghan warring parties together in Moscow in March, where they agreed to keep talking.

By reneging on the May 1 deadline, President Biden has squandered much of the hard-won goodwill and trust that was painstakingly built up through these diplomatic efforts. It was not impossible to meet the May 1 deadline. The Trump Administration was steadily withdrawing troops, Biden’s transition began in November, and he’s been President since late January.

It is also unclear whether the United States will continue the war by providing airpower for the Afghan military and carrying out covert operations. Throughout these two decades, the United States has dropped more than 80,000 bombs on Afghanistan and waged a secret war with special forces, CIA operatives, mercenaries, and paramilitary units. Ending U.S. airstrikes and covert operations is as vital to peace as withdrawing U.S. troops.

It’s true that a U.S. withdrawal may lead to setbacks in the gains made by Afghan women and girls. But those gains have been mainly in the capital city of Kabul. Two thirds of girls in Afghanistan still receive no primary education, and Afghan women will never achieve significant advances while their country remains at war.

The United States and NATO military presence has made an end to violence impossible for twenty years, as the Taliban have long made clear that they will keep fighting as long as their country is under foreign occupation. And as long as the U.S. continues to prop up a weak, corrupt government in Kabul, instability and political fragmentation is inevitable.

Ending the fighting and investing a small fraction of U.S. war spending in education and health care would do far more to improve the lives of Afghan women and girls.

The United Nations, even with the full support and cooperation of the United States, will have its work cut out to convince the Taliban to rejoin talks. If the U.N. fails to negotiate a lasting ceasefire before the occupation forces withdraw, the U.S. and its NATO allies will be leaving a country still at war with the Taliban, the Afghan government, and various warlords vying for power.

We must hope that, in the coming months, the U.N. will find a way to bring the warring parties in Afghanistan together and craft a ceasefire and a workable peace process based on power sharing. After so many decades of war and intense suffering, much of it perpetrated by the United States and its allies, the Afghan people desperately need—and deserve—an end to this war.

*

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This article was originally published on The Progressive.

Medea Benjamin is co-director of the peace group CODEPINK. Her latest book is Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of “Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.” He is a researcher for CODEPINK: Women for Peace, and a freelance writer.

The Decline Of The Modern Western World

By Kevin Smith

Source

The Decline Of The Modern Western World

This is largely written on reflection of the so-called called Covid-19 crisis and lockdowns and looming world conflict.

A Comedy Of Errors

Throughout lockdown and particularly so recently, I’ve found it difficult to switch off and enjoy the outdoor things I used to, like cycling.

Last year, I wrote quite a few articles about the continued shutdown and I tend to find writing about it drains my energy. The frustration with other people who can’t see what’s happening and the worry about where this is leading has been quite stressful. I suppose many of us are in a similar boat and some far worse off.

Rather than venture out as much as I used to, recently I’ve been taking my mind off things in the evening by listening to music and watching old comedy clips.

I recently got into the Beach Boys and was amazed at the composition and complexity of some of their music. The talent and inspiration behind such songs fascinates me.

Similarly, I’ve been exploring certain comedy acts further and branching into stuff I’ve never seen or knew existed. Comedy always relaxes and inspires me.

This Laurel and Hardy five-minute clip I think is amazing and I often watch it when I want a very short release from the stresses and strains of the day. It has an innocence and charm from a bygone era.

I like a lot of the older British humour too but just lately I’ve been drawn to a series of American shows which took place just a little before my time, during a period around 50 years ago. I stumbled across this the other day while searching for another comedy act.

The Roasts

These were a series of panels made up mainly of actors, comedians, singers, sportsmen (and women) and even politicians where on each show one celebrity would be ‘roasted’ by the others.

These were hilarious, mainly for the sledgehammer wit and insults. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan among many featured. I recommend you click onto Don RicklesFoster Brooks and Ruth Buzzi for what I think are the funniest.

The humour was often, non-politically correct, sometimes racial – and yes, over the top.

But the point I make is that the panels were diverse, and whether Jew, black or Italian, man, woman, drunk or sober, they all gave as good as they got. The humour was also self -depreciating and they were all great friends.

Unlike today’s virtual-signalling celebrities, they didn’t gloss over their differences or self-censor. In a sort of way, I would say it celebrated American culture and diverse heritages as it was clear once the insults ended, they all had a mutual respect for each other regardless.

Even Ronald Reagan, whom many today won’t be a great fan of, seemed to have an honest warmth about him and was comfortable within the diverse panel and evenmore diverseinsults. I suppose you could say there was equality as they all got equally insulted.

Above all, the material was highly intelligent and clever — in my view the best I’ve seen.

Contrast this with today’s comedy entertainment, which is obsessed with pandering to and patronising minority groups with PC. One joke vaguely out of line and you’re cancelled.

Anyway, I am confident that at least some of the above material will have you in stitches.

Moving towards a more serious note, all this got me thinking further of the uniform world we now inhabit compared to the intelligence, creativity and wit back then.

We just don’t hear and see such music and comedy these days. This, in my mind, is one sign something has gone wrong at many levels of society.

Anyway, I’ve written previously about the reasons for the decline but thought I would tie it together to get a fuller sense of where we are today and why. This is largely written on reflection of the so-called called Covid-19 crisis and lockdowns and looming world conflict.

The Symptoms

In the UK, I see a nation of people who’ve retreated into a shell. Many, particularly of the less well-off who’ve been more directly affected by lockdowns are confused, fearful and distracted.

Others seem oblivious to the wider suffering, sitting in large houses, yet are terrified of catching Covid-19, being the first to roll up their sleeve for the experimental ‘vaccine’.

I’ve experienced this strange, alarming mentality at first-hand, among my family and friends. There is a distinct lack of empathy for others, the perception that it’s all necessary for the greater good.

Many people are incapable of weighing up basic evidence and would rather leave decisions to the government and their ‘experts’. The destructive effects to the whole fabric of society, and a year into the madness, they don’t have the faintest clue about the dark deliberate motives involved.

Many people of all classes and backgrounds are consumed by group-think and by the belief they have to belong and conform to a group.

People, especially during lockdowns, are increasingly becoming divided and suspicious of each other. That suspicion is not directed towards the correct target, those who rule and make decisions for us.

Pointless virtual-signalling, the obsession with ‘diversity’, has created an uncomfortable and divisive climate, led by an out-of-touch celebrity culture. Nowadays you can’t out of interest even ask a person about their family heritage without fear of causing offence to the PC police.

All this in turn has created a pushback and misdirected hostility towards immigrants, foreigners and other groups.

Today, rather than be concerned about the destructive lockdowns or looming conflict in the Middle East or with Russia, people are more interested spending their free-time debating Meghan Markle or Piers Morgan’s tantrums.

Nuanced debate on serious matters and respect towards the views of others is largely absent. Cancel culture and ignorant Twitter mobs rule.

Individual creativity, free-thinking and intelligence are being sucked out of life. Conform culture, a pampered, fearful and dumbed-down populace prevails. Those are just some of the problems I see.

We now live in a society completely divorced from what’s really going on around us.

The future has never looked bleaker.

The Causes

These have been quietly ongoing for many decades, the current crisis exposing how far we’ve declined. Many of these overlap and interconnect somewhat but I identify these as my main observations.

Education

Poor education is a key cause, obvious to me even over a few decades. I wrote about this in detail here but in the past many children received a good grounding in the core subjects. Maths, English and science but also including history, geography and critical thinking. Decades ago, there was a tendency to require students to think and problem solve.

Now it’s more about dumbed- down qualifications and league tables.

Hence, during this crisis, many under 40s can’t or won’t interpret a graph or understand basic statistics or probabilities. They don’t have the creativity or structured thought to consider opposing arguments.

They can’t grasp basic scientific processes. They don’t have the ability to compare and contrast historical events and learn from them.

They have travelled all over the world but know not where they’ve been. And as I said above, they accept what they are told to think.

As a result, they lack curiosity and a thirst for knowledge and truth. There are some exceptions of course but this is largely the reason we are where we are.

Money, Status, Family, Technology

In the past, I feel more people were content with having financial security but enjoying a balanced life of work and family and outdoor pursuits. They let their kids go out without supervision.

Nowadays with social media, many adults are more concerned with their Twitter profiles. They are focused very much on their careers and way up the corporate ladder. This is understandable in a way as people wish to provide financial security for their families. However, there are too many distractive influences and pressures.

Nowadays people aren’t satisfied with one car or one laptop. They take on a debt whereas decades ago, people saved up. Unlike the past, holidays are regarded as a right rather than a treat.

Of course, where debt is available and manageable, that’s fine. But I think the balance has gone and explains our attitudes and sense of self-entitlement reflected in wider behaviour.

Even before the lockdown, many children in recent years have been pampered, not allowed out on their own and are addicted to their phones.

Most parents of my age will have noticed the difference between the freedom and self-expression we had compared to kids in today’s risk-adverse society.

The result of all this is that children are less resilient and physically and mentally prepared to become healthy, well-adjusted adults.

Media Propaganda

This has been covered extensively on this site over the years and requires little explanation.

Mainstream media nowadays is owned by a few press barons in the pockets of governments, intelligence services, big financial corporations and pharma. They are totally controlled.

The main things are the dominance mainstream has over the narrative from Covid-19 to Syria and the ability to sensationalise events, which ‘divides and rules’. And poor journalist standards and coverage.

In this background, with the other factors I mention, it’s easy to see why people accept what they are told and take reports from BBC correspondents as ‘expertise’.

Media coverage of Brexit, immigration and Meghan Markle are designed to divide and distract the public away from more pressing concerns the government of the day don’t want discussed.

In the past, there was a little more media independence, less trivia and investigative journalists with some courage and gravitas.

While I don’t think we ever had a decent press, I think half- intelligent people could at least discern the good journalism from the dross.

Now, it’s virtually all the same dross dressed up as liberal or conservative leaning and factual which a largely unsuspecting, dumbed-down public accept.

Crime And Perception

Corruption is everywhere but it just isn’t called corruption in the West. I wrote about it here.

One thing I’ve noted is that we’ve developed an inertia towards wrong-doing. We complain about fraudulent scam calls and illegal immigrants but don’t call out large-scale corruption and wars abroad pursued by elites. It’s almost as if we think they have mitigating circumstances because they have stressful jobs in running the country.

Without exception, after these events, we learn of the sheer criminality involved.

I often come across people who manage to recognise a fraud or an illegal regime change war which has killed millions.

The politicians claim it was a ‘mistake’ but they were right in the overall scheme. Yet, western publics can’t understand the seriousness or translate it into prison time.

And it goes on and on.

Hence why Covid-19 and lockdown narratives and the collateral damage have been entertained for far too long.

The reasons for this attitude towards crime are linked to other points here, education and media indoctrination. But perhaps among the public, a general lack of interest and empathy, them struggling with their own hectic lives.

Groupthink

Groupthink is everywhere, especially big workplaces. This illness has now reached the general population through the dissemination of bad science and lockdown measures.

It is destructive and could kill us.

Groupthink crept into my last workplace and has been there ever since. My previous article goes into detail on this.

Anyway, putting the deliberately engineered reset agenda aside, the experience I had in the workplace then is very similar to what’s happening at a national level. Loads of useful idiots trying to climb the greasy pole, unaware of the big picture.

As I said above, people cling to ideology and causes which in the grand scheme are irrelevant. They are being played, being distracted and becoming divided by government policy and media reporting. But they will realise when the life-changing disaster which is reset unfolds further.

Nannying, Political Correctness, Poor Problem-Solving.

As is clear from the above, we live in a nanny state, many people incapable of thinking and acting for themselves. But they are not finished with us yet.

Watch the clear skies in the next few months and see if Mary Poppins one day appears on the horizon and replaces Hancock and is appointed Minister of Health.

PC and nannying has taken over. I see this most prevalent in workplaces and in recent years has invaded all areas of our life, particularly in the last year.

I witnessed all this in my last job, an organisation which resolved financial disputes.

Our very diverse organisation introduced a restructure to improve efficiency. When that went tits-up, they rolled out endless ‘unconscious bias’ and diversity and inclusion training courses, presumably to distract from the disastrous restructure.

Because of the stresses and strains of the way the organisation was being destroyed, mental health issues among staff went through the roof.

The company’s mental health support network proclaimed that resilience among staff was the issue and prescribed ‘resilience’ training courses and advised anti-depressants if staff members’ symptoms persisted.

As in all walks of life, rather than problem-solving the root causes, they were fire-fighting the symptoms and blaming the staff becoming ill through their policies.

I had anxiety/stress issues at the time, but in the end told the organisation that they were causing this and that of hundreds of other staff.

I told them to shove their nannying tendencies and anti-depressant pills where the sun don’t shine.

They backed off and my anxiety disappeared overnight. A true story.

Does any of this sound familiar to what’s happening now?

What Can We Do?

There’s no magic wand. But for starters you can tell them to shove the vaccine.

But society generally may have to go through the process of being shocked into realisation of the disaster unravelling, clear to those of us who maintain a functioning brain.

We should be sympathetic to those who don’t but who will one day be forced to engage theirs.

Meanwhile us truth-seekers should all unite and not become distracted by issues which in the grand scheme don’t matter. On the lockdown sceptic and anti-war spectrum, there are differing viewpoints but we all want the same outcome.

In any event, we should all watch the clips above and marvel at the times when wit, intelligence and creativity prevailed.

If you are not sufficiently amused, I’ll provide a refund.

The U.S. system could very well collapse if reforms are not instituted immediately

By Abayomi Azikiwe

The U.S. has been experiencing various social developments in recent years. There were several factors which have led to the existing social crisis in the U.S. The failure of the capitalist system to provide adequate jobs, incomes and amenities to tens of millions of people while the ruling class is becoming wealthier,

inherently weakened national institutions. When the pandemic hit during 2020, the economic impact was catastrophic. Then rather than adequately addressing the problems, the Trump administration sought to ignore the increasing impoverishment and uncertainty, which fuelled anger and righteous discontent. 

The mass demonstrations and rebellions across the country beginning in May 2020, further exposed the contradictions between the foreign policy rhetoric of the U.S. as being a leader in international human rights, where in reality the police and vigilante killings of African American and Latin American peoples suggest just the opposite. It was amazing to witness the United Nations Human Rights Council holding hearings on racist violence in the U.S. This event was held at the aegis of the African Union (AU) utilizing a resolution submitted by Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik Shabazz) and adopted during his intervention at the July 1964 second summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the AU. It will be important for progressive elements within the international community to continue their condemnation of U.S. foreign policy related to race relations and Washington’s dealing with developing countries, particularly those holding anti-imperialist sentiments.

I think the established political structure in the U.S. is not able to cope up with these challenges and solve the social problems. The system needs a complete overhaul. The profit motive in economics cannot be maintained if the aim of the government is to seek stability. The longer the capitalist and imperialist system is in operation the world will know no peace.

The U.S. system could very well collapse if reforms are not instituted immediately. Even with substantial reforms, there are structural weaknesses and contradictions which will not go away if a new system is not brought into existence. However, even if the American system is in decline, it could continue to function for many years to come causing havoc domestically and internationally. For example, ancient Rome took several centuries to be completely stripped of its power. Even with the collapse becoming inevitable, it did not prevent the invasion of the Horn of Africa during the late 19th century and North Africa in the early 20th century. Fascism arose out of the desire of Mussolini to rebuild Rome as an imperialist state. It would take the defeat of Fascism in the 1940s to eliminate its strength as an imperialist power. A similar historical trajectory could occur in relationship to the U.S. if the people domestically and internationally are capable of eliminating imperialism as a continuing threat to humanity.

 *Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire. Azikiwe is a graduate of Wayne State University in Detroit. He has worked for several decades in solidarity with various liberation movements and progressive governments in Africa, the Caribbean and other geo-political regions. 

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Book review: “Disintegration” by Andrei Martyanov

Indicators of the Coming American Collapse

Book review: “Disintegration” by Andrei Martyanov

THE SAKER • MARCH 1, 2021

This is the third book by Andrei Martyanov that I am reviewing, the first one was “Book Review – Losing Military Supremacy: the Myopia of American Strategic Planning by Andrei Martyanov”, while the second one was “Book Review: Andrei Martyanov’s The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs”. I also interviewed Andrei about this second volume here. The book I am reviewing today, “Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse” can be pre-ordered from Clarity Press here and from Amazon here.

If the first two volumes mostly focused on issues of force planning and military power, this third volume addresses the wider context and shows example after example that the United States is not only failing at its attempts to remain a world hegemon, but the US is, in fact, in a process we could call “full-spectrum collapse” or, like Martyanov, simply “disintegration”. Specifically, the book looks into the manifestation of disintegration in the following spheres:

  1. Consumption
  2. Affluenza
  3. Geoeconomics
  4. Energy
  5. Making Things
  6. Western Elites
  7. Losing the Arms Race
  8. Empire Über Alles – Including Americans
  9. To Be or Not To Be
  10. Conclusion: Not Exceptional, Not Free, Not Prosperous – Not America?

These are tantalizing subject headings which I will not further describe because I really want to really encourage as many people as possible to read this book. Why?

Mainly because while Martyanov’s first two books were dealing primarily with military and geostrategic issues, this one goes much wider and looks at the wider socio-cultural reasons which create the context for such a dramatic lack of real military capabilities.

A month ago I wrote an article I called “Zone B Exists, Thus There Is Hope, I Promise You!” in which I tried to show that the pseudo “reality” in which most people in the West are artificially kept in by the most effective (and insidious) propaganda machine in history is not the “real reality” at all! Not only that, but that most of the planet has been living in “Zone B” for quite a while. In fact, this “Zone B” has already moved on, even if the legacy ziomedia never reports about this.

Well, you can think of Martyanov’s books like the perfect example of a “Zone B book”: not only does Martyanov debunk most of the myths of the US propaganda machine, he contrasts these delusions with examples from the real world.

You could buy only one or two of Martyanov’s books, and each of them stands on its own, but I really think of them as a trilogy which should be read and discussed by as many people in the West as possible. In fact, you could think of them as each a kind of “crash course on debunking delusions and returning to reality”. The overarching message of all three volumes is this: “People of the United States, your ruling elites are lying to you just like the chamber orchestra on the Titanic that was playing music while the supposedly “unsinkable” Titanic was sinking!”.

Interestingly, Martyanov adds that, of all nations, Russians understand these processes better than anybody else because they they too suffered the same fate during the “democratic nightmare of the 1990s” (I would add that descendents of White Russians like myself also remember the “democratic nightmare” under Kerenskii in 1917). Martyanov writes:

“The collapse of the Soviet Union and the economic catastrophe which followed taught Russians a lot, and also left an aftertaste of the humiliation of losing power – a process the United States is going through right now”

Truth be told, Martyanov is hardly the first person to have mentioned the uncanny similarities between the Soviet Union of the late 80s, or the Russia of the 90s, with the US of the last two decades (or more). For example, Martyanov mentions Dmitry Orlov whose many books have looked into what he calls the “stages of collapse” (financial, economic, political, social, cultural and, later, he added ecological) and have became a precious analytical tool for many researchers. Many decades earlier, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whom Martyanov intensely dislikes, also often mentioned that the West of the 80s reminded him of the Russia of the early 20th century. This is just to illustrate Martyanov’s point that,

“Speaking in layman’s terms, the Russians get it. They, unlike any other people in the world, can relate to what the United States is going through right now. Russians can read the signs extremely well, while the U.S. elite not only has no experience with it, but is completely insulated from understanding it. This is America’s tragedy unfolding before our very eyes. Not only is America’s crisis systemic, but its elites are uncultured, badly educated and mesmerized by decades of their own propaganda, which in the end, they accept as a reality”

I couldn’t agree more. I would also add that those Russians who write books and articles desperately trying to warn the people of the US of real catastrophe taking place do that not because they are hostile to the United States, but precisely because they are sympathetic to the people of the US. The flag-waving pseudo-patriots who accuse these Russians of being “anti-American” simply don’t understand the “evil Russians” they hate so much (mostly because modern Russia under Putin has been fantastically successful, in spite of sanctions, threats, subversion, etc., while the US is in agony – that is why these folks are willing to believe anything bad, no matter how self-evidently stupid, about Russia and/or Putin).

Yes, of course, Russians hate and despise the US ruling Nomenklatura, just as they despised their own, Soviet, Nomenklatura. But that in no way implies what many mistake for “anti-American” hostility.

In my almost 58 years of life I have been blessed with the chance to travel a lot and speak six or so languages, yet I have never come across what I would call “anti-Americanism”. Even in countries supposedly hostile to the US the actual focus of the anger and disgust of people are the actions of the AngloZionist Empire, the ugly parasite feeding off its US host. Take a country like, say, Brazil. Anti “yankee” feelings have always been strong there, yet Brazilian musicians are known to beautifully fuse US and Brazilian music (see this superb example). The same is true elsewhere: people hate US policies, but very rarely the people of the US. Right now, judging by the Runet and emails from friends, Russians mostly feel pity for the people of the US, not hate, and this is so because they “get it” as Martuyanov correctly states. Of course, there are stupid and/or bigoted people in all countries and I am sure that there are those who hate the United States as a country, but I am confident that this is a small minority. There is one interesting category left: those who become critical of the US society after having lived in the US; a famous example of that would be Sayyid Qutb

None of that is meant to whitewash all the violence and ugliness of the short but extremely violent US history. But violence and ugliness exist in the history of probably every country on the planet (there sure was plenty of violence and ugliness in the history of Russia!). True, the US was probably one of the most bloody and violent regimes in history, but that violence ought to be attributed to imperialism and capitalism and not to something unique to the US (the British Empire was possibly the most criminally violent in history). Even more important to the understanding of US history is that most of its violence had its roots not in national or racial causes, but in the many social or, better, class struggles which peppered the history of the US. Again, discussions of class issues have been comprehensively blotted out from all the school books in Zone A, depriving those who had the misfortune to be educated in the West from one of the most important tools of political and economic analysis.

The importance of the above cannot be overstated and this is why Martyanov comes back to the topic of the education of the western ruling classes over and over again. In the last pages of Disintegration Martyanov writes:

Thus, no viable ideas or solutions to the current unfolding economic, social and cultural catastrophe can originate within these elites, who see the world only through the Wall Street and New York Times lenses. Real intellect, courage and integrity are simply not there: they all have been traded for the perks and sinecures of what many correctly describe as the Washington D.C. blob, whose only purpose for existence is self-perpetuation.

I would only add that there is a karmic irony in the fact that it is precisely because these ruling classes have no other purpose in life than self-perpetuation (and consumption, I would add) that they are driving themselves, and the country which they exploit, into extinction.

Conclusion: these are “must read” books for all of Zone A! (and even Zone B!)

Finally, it is precisely because Martyanov’s books are like “messages from Zone B” that I urge every person living in the US or in the EU to read them. As I said, each of these books stands on its own, but together they reach a kind of intellectual critical mass which makes them truly “must read” books, especially for those who hate their ruling regime but love their country.

These books are all pretty short, very well written, they have decent (but not perfect) indexes and are an easy read. If you want to get a superb summation of what is really going on in the United States (as opposed to the frankly laughable AngloZionist propaganda or the inchoate and outright childish slogans of the flag-waving “Trump patriots”) – read these books. If you have brainwashed friends, give them any (or, better, all of) these books: they are like a “crash course in reality studies”. If you have family members who still believe all the nonsense about “American exceptionalism”, challenge them to read these books.

Folks living in Zone B would also immensely benefit from reading Martyanov’s books. Not because these books will tell them much they weren’t already at least vaguely aware of, but because these books are also a very truthful “state of the United States” kind of SITREP. In my experience, while most folks (at least the well-read ones) in Zone B do mostly understand that the Empire is dead (or very close to death) and while they also feel the US are undergoing a massive internal catastrophe, most of these folks in Zone B do not fully appreciate the magnitude and severity of these crises. For them too Martyanov’s books will be an eye opener. This is also why I hope that all three of Martyanov’s books will be quickly translated into Russian: they will become instant blockbusters and, what is even more important, they will be read in Russian academies and universities. French and Spanish are another two languages I hope that these books will be translated into.

But, most of all, I hope (against any common sense or logic) that these books will be read by truly patriotic US officers, force planners, analysts, political decision-makers, etc. Right now, there is a real threat of these folks stumbling into a shooting war with Russia which the US will never survive (nor would Russia or much of the rest of the world, of course). But even if by some miracle this potential war remains non-nuclear, the US will still be destroyed, at least as a functioning country, by Russian conventional capabilities. This is the single biggest danger and possible disaster authors like Myartyanov are so desperately trying to prevent: a major war caused by a clueless ruling Nomenklatura involving a country (the US) which has never fought a defensive war in its history and which has never experienced real warfare, especially not against a competent adversary. I can only add that in case of a conventional war, Russia now has the means to defend not only her airspace, but a conceptual “Russian border proximity zone” of roughly 800km-1000km (and this range is steadily increasing). The US cannot. Neither can the EU or NATO. And for all the silly MIC+Pentagon promises of super-duper missiles, this is not something which will change in the short to medium time frame.

The more people in the US realize this, the better the chances avoid a terrible catastrophe. Hence the timely importance of Andrei Martyanov’s books.

Is the American Dream Still Alive?

Is the American Dream Still Alive? — Strategic Culture

Is the American Dream Still Alive?

Strategic Infographics

February 28, 2021© Photo: SCF

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

(Click on the image to enlarge)

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

California Collapsing

Martin Sieff

February 24, 2021©

California now fulfills Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nightmare vision in his prophetic masterpiece “The Possessed” as to what unlimited liberalism must inevitably create – if not stopped in its tracks and rolled back.

Where California goes today, the rest of the United States and much of the Western world goes tomorrow. But what we are now seeing in America’s most populous state is the complete internal collapse of the entire liberal progressive civilization and the society that has most frantically tried to fulfill it

For well over a hundred years, California, the self-styled “Golden State” has trail-blazed  the future of America especially through the two famously American industries of aerospace and motion pictures. Telecommunications, computers and Artificial Intelligence are now led from Silicon Valley and the state has dominated the national politics of the United States too.

California rapidly grew into the wealthiest and largest population US state. It has produced two two-term presidents (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), one of the most important Chief Justices of the Supreme Court (Earl Warren) and the likely next president – current Vice President Kamala Harris if 78-year-old Joe Biden cannot complete his term.

From 1928 to 2004, 14 out of 19 winning presidential election tickets included someone from either California or Texas and Biden’s choice of Harris put California back at the heart of national electoral politics last year.

Politically, California remains rock solid liberal. It has not elected a single Republican to national or statewide office since reelecting incumbent Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. In 2016, then-Governor Jerry Brown notoriously notoriously handed out state accreditation and driving licenses to untold hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, secure in the knowledge that they would all vote Democrat and so it proved. Registered Democrats now hold a 46 percent to 24 percent advantage over registered Republicans statewide.

California also holds a cast-iron grip on the national Democratic leadership in Congress through House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her key allies such as Congressman Adam Schiff, whose farcical bungles in the two impeachments of President Donald Trump did not dent his immutable position as one of Pelosi’s most youthful favored sons (he is merely 60) at all.

Yet now, California is in terminal collapse and crisis. Governor Gavin Newsom, farcically promoted by the national Mainstream Media (MSM) as a heroic White Knight in Shining Armor in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring has been exposed even in his own state as a catastrophic bungler and hypocrite who has never had a clue what he was – or more usually was not – doing. As I write, California’s sick and tired citizens are close to providing the 1.5 million signatures necessary to pull Newsom into what would certainly be a chaotic recall election.

California was also ravaged last year by the worst wild fires in its history. The slavish media – told what to think by the mindless Los Angeles Times (once a great newspaper) and even more infantile San Francisco Chronicle – bent over backwards to avoid acknowledging the real causes but they have been exhaustively documented.

Witless romantic Green environmental policies scrapped the centuries old, wise practices of creating firebreaks in forests between clumps of trees that would limit fire outbreaks in hot weather. Far from “protecting the trees” and wildlife, as the kneejerk Greens demanded, the ending of windbreak spaces instead allowed forest fires to blaze on an unprecedented scale and at record speed.

At the same time, multiple millions of people sweated in even luxury suburbs through the rolling heat waves without any air conditioning relief because the state electric grid -another victim of ignorant Green prejudice falsely masquerading as “science” – repeatedly collapsed, unable to generate the necessary reliable requisite power levels at vital times.

Los Angeles, the state’s largest city and arguably the most populous now in the United States, has become a byword for violent crime and especially the stronghold of the enormous, ultraviolent and rapidly growing MS 13 organization, routinely mislabeled as a mere “gang” in media reports. MS 13 has up to 50,000 members worldwide of whom at least 10,000, officially, and probably twice as many according to the private assessments of many police officers are in LA.

The Trump administration had remarkable success – again unacknowledged in the liberal media – in deporting many thousands of MS 13 members. However, President Joe Biden has already ensured with his initial Executive Orders that the old open border policies of both Democratic presidents (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) and Republican ones (Ronald Reagan and both George Bush’s) is being restored so they can flood back in again.

San Francisco – America’s “anything goes” city – is in even worse shape. Its most famous, historically popular and beautiful stylish locations are now swamped with aggressive, unsanitary street people who openly urinate and defecate in the streets. Public services, long superb, are now appalling.

Even the mindless liberal suburban classes who have relentlessly voted for and imposed these catastrophic polices over the past 40 and more years are now fleeing California as property values crash and taxes become too crushing even for them.

If California continues to trail-blaze the future for the rest of the United States, that future is now clear: It is a high taxation society with a huge, impoverished, unemployed and unemployable destitute class where the middle class is annihilated, organized gangs and general chaotic street crime including muggings, rapes and murders metastasize in all major urban areas and gangs more numerous and heavily armed than the police operate openly with impunity.

It is a society where unlimited abortion on demand to and even beyond the point of birth is acclaimed as a “moral” imperative supposedly superior to all the Ten Commandments.

For California now fulfills Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nightmare vision in his prophetic masterpiece “The Possessed” or “The Devils ” as to what unlimited liberalism must inevitably create – if not stopped in its tracks and rolled back.

As goes California, so goes the rest of the United States: For a hundred years, since the infant silent movie industry entranced the entire world before and during World War I, that simple mantra has held true.

But if America’s future now has no future – what future can the rest of America look forward to?

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