The Iran-China pact is a huge blow for Western imperialists who want war in Asia (2/2)

Friday, 02 April 2021 5:44 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 02 April 2021 5:44 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The Iran-China pact is a huge blow for Western imperialists who want war in Asia (2/2)
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.


By Ramin Mazaheri
and cross-posted with the Saker

In the first part of this article, titled Nixon ‘opened’ China, but only superpower China could ‘open’ Iran, I discussed the historic role reversal: it’s the position of the superpower China which now counts the most, and not the attitude of the United States.

The 25-year Iran-China pact is actually an undercounting as it is essentially — to quote China’s foreign minister — “permanent.” Western media foolishly sees Iran and China as different as apples and bowling balls, and thus they are only taking their first timid step towards understanding how Tehran and Beijing have already broken through the finish line tape.

It’s easy to examine the consternation of the BBC or The New York Times, but I thought it would be interesting to analyze the take of perhaps the top oil trade media, OilPrice, via their article The Iran-China Axis Is A Fast Growing Force In Oil Markets. Part one of this article addressed their take — more consternation, predictably — but it’s necessary to ask: why are even supposedly neutral, objective, rational and profit-oriented business media so bewildered and lost in their analyses of post-1979 Iran and post-1949 China?

The problem for them is that I may be able to grasp an argument based on economics and politics, but it’s hard for me to understand viewing historical developments solely via a lens of fear, paranoia and — above all — a zero-sum view of business, politics and human life. What OilPrice’s article ultimately relies on — like so many others of its ilk — is a hardened intolerance for other non-Western (some today may say “non-White”) cultures.

That type of a fundamentally-emotional and anti-intellectual mindset may motivate many pro-imperialists in Western high finance but they do not motivate Iran and China, two countries whose essentially socialist basis is light-years ahead of the tribalist “identity politics” foolishly held as the ultimate achievement of Western liberal democracy. 

This is not a knee-jerk “snowflake” argument — simply look at the starting point of OilPrice and I’m sure you’ll see it is not an unusual foundation for Western media analyses (regardless of the skin tone of the journalist) of Iran: The author immediately claimed in his very first paragraph that Iranians have a “radical view of non-believers,” which is such a radically right-wing view of Iran that it is barely worth an eye roll, much less serious consideration. All that needs to be said is that it’s possible that the author does not know any Christians or Jews, nor does the author have any sincere familiarity with these two fundaments of Islamic thought. Certainly, he has kept far away from Muslims because what he is describing is not anywhere close to the mainstream view held by Muslims in Iran or any other nation where Muslims practice. It’s also a scare tactic, certainly, but the author himself is seemingly scared out of his logic — this is not Iran’s or Islam’s fault, of course. 

But what kind of tolerance should be expected from this longtime oil man who, when he looks at the fabulous civilizations of Iran and China, sees only one thing: people who oppose the United States. For the author Iran and China are unmotivated by anything positive, human or redeeming, but instead solely by antipathy towards the United States. Yet whether one reads trade publications like OilPrice or broader Western business publications like The EconomistThe Financial Times or Les Echos, this arrogant, fearful and ultimately hostile ideology is blatantly repeated over and over.

Contrarily, Iranian and Chinese businessmen simply wonder why the West refuses to do mutually-beneficial, productive, long-term business? But good, fair business is not what capitalism is — capitalism’s surpluses primarily rely on the savings provided by imperialist plunder, and then the subsequent masking of this reality of stolen resources, stolen wages and thwarted lives and cultures with a tin mass media halo. This is not a radical view of “capitalism with Western characteristics,” but an increasingly accepted view even within the 21st century West.

And this is why it is not surprising that this article on Sino-Iranian bilateral relations takes a lengthy turn into fear mongering over a Chinese take-back of Taiwan. We must remember that this trade publication puts selling oil (at as high a price as possible) above all else — above fair politics, above tolerance of the cultures of other people, above fair business — therefore, OilPrice is always all-too happy to hysterically fearmonger if it can raise the price of oil a buck.

The article mentions the recent and shockingly historic first Joe Biden-era China-US bilateral summit, where China responded to unprecedented diplomatic insults with an unprecedented, lengthy and entirely correct defense of the modern triumvirate I referred to as the “Allies of Sovereignty” — Iran, China and Russia.

Referring to that momentous resetting is entirely correct, but what is not correct is how the author makes the totally spurious claim quite openly that China’s stockpiling of oil — an act which he acknowledged earlier was something that, “it just makes sense for it build inventories” — was actually in preparation for an invasion of Taiwan as early as 2025?

We need to remember when reading their “objective” analyses that this is just what Western business media does: war, for imperialist countries, is a major money-making industry and thus OilPrice and their money-grubbing brethren demonize, stoke fear and cheerlead for policies which are as violent, as expensive and as destructive as possible. Nothing personal — it’s just business media.

This is why readers should remember that the conclusions of such articles are always so predictable: “…the likelihood of some type of oil shortage is becoming increasingly likely,” i.e. the price of oil should be higher than what it is now — which is all that OilPrice really cares about — because geopolitically the world is “a tinder box, that only needs a spark”.

It really isn’t.

As a result of this mutually-beneficial deal China and Iran are way, way, way more stable for the next 25 years.

That’s a good thing, but Western business media is looking for profit and not for good things.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) elbow bumps with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after the signing of a historic partnership agreement in Tehran on March 27, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Zarif: Iran-China deal based on win-win approach in pursuit of shared interests

 West’s weaponization of Iran-China deal to foment war has no chance of succeeding

Iran didn’t give up “too much” because they place their demand for sovereign independence over the best possible business deal — thus they simply must accept paying a premium. The “Allies of Sovereignty” is only three nations, after all. We’ve been living in a pro-globalization world for three decades, and the lack of civic pride makes Iran’s determination even more costly, monetarily.

China has established the indispensable node for its Belt and Road Initiative, from a foreign policy/foreign economic policy perspective, and from a domestic perspective it has assured itself enough energy independence to keep growing as it chooses for the next quarter century.

Is a mutual defense pact between the two next? Frankly, Iran doesn’t need it.

There is zero chance of another Western-orchestrated invasion of Iran, following the victory of the Sacred Defense against Iraq and its Western (and Soviet) axis. Iran has very basic military needs because they aren’t trying to invade anyone, after all. They have achieved military parity in the only arena which matters — its own borders — and a US invasion of Iran would be Vietnam on steroids. There have already been enormous nationwide “no war with Iran” protests in the US — after the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in 2020. 

Frankly, China doesn’t need it. Even if they did retake Taiwan the US would blink even faster than they did with Syria. Anyway, the international community has clearly sided with China since 1971 — Taiwan is not a country, nor are they in the United Nations, nor can they even join any UN sub-organizations. Taiwan is a province of China, even if the US thinks it is like the Cuban exile parts of southern Florida — i.e., a permanent place for fascists who lost their civil war to congregate and plot to stall political modernity and peace. Fearmongering about bloody invasion is just a way to sell more guns and oil, and now also a way to distract from this Sino-Iranian victory. It’s absurd: since WWII the West has lost in North Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria but mighty China should be worried?

The pact is what it openly claims it is: a multi-decade diplomatic, military and economic pact of peaceful cooperation. So on its own, it promotes peace. And indirectly, the pact is a major step towards peace and security for the world — from Western aggression. Take on one and you inevitably take on the other, and taking on either would lead to disaster for the Western aggressors. The world can’t allow that, and the world can only embrace the peacemaking Iran-China deal.

China’s “opening” of Iran is historically significant in so many ways to count, including the peaceful stability it helps ensure for the world via drawing two ethnically and religiously different parts of Asia closer together: As I detailed in Part 1 of this article, it is so very excitingly “woke” and modern. In broader terms of human history, its greatest significance is: it’s a victory for socialist democracy and a huge, glaring failure for liberal democracy.

The JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear energy program would never have stopped this Iran-China alliance — Iran would never go fully into the Western camp for at least as long as the rest of the Muslim world is under the West’s thumb — but it could have at least partially counterbalanced it. Now the West is in an even worse bargaining position than before, but who wants the terrible preconditions the West demands for cooperation, and then who even expects the West to actually keep their word? They don’t do diplomacy – they do international piracy, still.

Iran waited a very long time to pick a camp, and yet they have still retained an amount of independence which almost no other nation its size can dream of today. However, as always, to write that China is being welcomed as saviors or without skepticism by Iranians would be a hilarious overstatement. What Iranians cherish most is their independence, and this is enshrined in its political and economic structures post-1979.

Iranian civil servants have chosen a wise path, and it can never be said that they did not genuinely offer the West a diplomatic path. Now their duty is to properly administer the bounty of this cooperation in a way which the Iranian people approve of. The Iranian media will be watching closely, as always.

China’s “opening” of Iran isn’t a threat to Iran, to China nor to any other non- or anti-imperialist nation. It’s only a threat to those who idealize an aristocratic past, or a soulless and ineffectual technocratic present, and to those who insist that Iran and China revert to being as unstable, despondent and unpeaceful as they were prior to their modern, socialist-inspired revolutions. 

To such offers Iran and China have permanently responded: “No deal.”

Lastly, this article repeatedly stressed the incredibly animating ideological components at play in this historic international decision. It’s a shame that so many analysts completely disregard modern mankind’s longstanding ideological debates about capitalist or socialist economic practice, the cultural effects of imperialism, and what should be truly classified as “progressive” or “reactionary” politics. There isn’t a new international order, but there is clearly a second international order now on offer — it should be openly compared and contrasted.

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


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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Nixon ‘opened’ China, but only superpower China could ‘open’ Iran (1/2)

Friday, 02 April 2021 2:52 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 02 April 2021 2:52 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Nixon ‘opened’ China, but only superpower, socialist China could ‘open’ Iran (1/2)
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

By Ramin Mazaheri  cross-posted with The Saker

One thing about Western business media is that whenever any imperialism-opposing nation has a major success their subsequent understatement speaks volumes, as evidenced by an article in the oil trade press, The Iran-China Axis Is A Fast Growing Force In Oil Markets, at the website OilPrice. For trade journalists they are quite behind the trends of their industry: Iran and China are now a permanent force in the oil world, but far beyond that realm as well.

In reading OilPrice over the years I am not surprised: they have repeatedly reacted to the bilateral 25-year strategic agreement — which has just been fully signed — as though it was something which had not been in discussion for years; with total consternation as to why these two countries could want to ally with other; with an Iranophobia so enormous that their bias is rarely even barely concealed.

The outlook of their journalists is that of businessmen, and thus it’s the incredibly narrow and self-serving point of view of a specialist. It is unsurprising that — when compelled to formulate a political or moral viewpoint — OilPrice has a totally Cold War view of the world, which is typical in the West, and which explains why their headline calls it an “Iran-China Axis” instead of an “Alliance.” The use of such a term is typical Western media propaganda designed to conflate the right-wing Germans of the World War II era with modern Iran and China, even though the latter are totally different from the former in political ideology, economic structure and social morality.

It’s a nonsensical and historically-nihilist conflation, but when examining OilPrice’s take on the Iran-China deal, we are reminded that Western business media is quite content to sensationalize, to warmonger and to create sustained market panic in order to increase the grip of militarism in the Western psyche and to continue the inequitable Western domination of the oil trade. OilPrice, specifically, also wants the price of oil to always increase.

Thus the article is full of many stupidities worthy of the idiocies of George W. Bush, the paranoia of J. Edgar Hoover, the anti-socialist hysteria of the Dulles brothers and the hypocritical phoniness of Barack Obama. Things of the lowest order of political analysis and knowledge abound, such as: “The first is they are both absolute dictatorships,” “the rogue Islamic country,” China’s Belt and Road Initiative is “a shield for China’s true intentions” and a “Trojan horse” for “military expansion,” etc.

(Of course, few international projects as transparently pragmatic and non-ideological as China’s BRI — if you accept China’s offer of mutually-beneficial cooperation there is no additional demand to also legislate acceptance of their “universal” values.)

But we benefit from knowing the oil trade’s viewpoint because while there are so very many financial shenanigans in the Western economy, there is still a “real” economy, and oil is its lynchpin.

Oil is also the lynchpin of the US dollar’s global preeminence and overvaluation. Indeed, this article’s concluding paragraph is a reminder of those very fundamental — yet often forgotten — facts: “Finally, the introduction of a war premium to oil prices will cause a commensurate re-evaluation of oil equities in non-belligerent countries. The modern economy runs on petroleum products and derivatives, and will for many decades.”

 The Great Financial Crisis and subsequent Great Recession proved that the Western economy is indeed incredibly vulnerable to many types of phonily-inflated equities, economic fundamentals-untethered financial products, sham derivatives concocted by high finance and more besides. However, the author is correct when he writes that paragraph because the Petrodollar — the forced sale of oil in dollars — is the most important and longest-running financial sham. It replaced the gold standard, after all.

But China and Iran’s unprecedented petrodollar end run (and via a new joint China-Iranian bank) is just one part of why their bilateral agreement is such a huge deal. Not only does the pact upset the delicate balance of Western financial chicanery, but it permanently upsets longstanding Western geopolitical advantages, global geopolitical reality and especially the idea that the United States is the sole portal through which modern history can enter.

US has fallen so very far since 1971— now they are even behind China, and Iran just proved it

The bilateral deal’s importance can’t be understated for either side, and I have written about it for years. It’s as if — in the year 1545 — the Bolivian silver miners at Potosi struck a fair deal with the Spanish crown: Instead of getting enslaved, sham conversions and colonized Bolivia would still be an Incan cultural force today, with almost 500 additional years of illustrious history, learning and advancement. Thankfully, China is socialist — thus it is anti-imperialist and mindfully chooses cooperation over enslavement (either literally, through local puppets or through debt). Thankfully, Iran is not the shell-shocked Inca — they know who their enemies are, and also who works with enough goodwill to be welcomed.

For a more modern take, the deal is the equivalent of Richard Nixon’s “Opening of China” in 1971, except in a total role reversal: What is historically vital is no longer the position of the US, but the attitude of the superpower China.

Iran is often described as the last great “untapped market” — against all odds, expectations and supposed historical inevitabilities they chose the East as partners, not the West. That’s gigantic.

The deal will mark the “Opening of Iran” because it is not a mere “lifeline” to Iran – as it is often falsely described – but a guarantee of real prosperity, as it will be administered by Iran’s successful, revolutionary political structure. It is absolutely not more than just the achievement of stability, which Iran achieved entirely on its own starting in 1979, when the slogan was “Neither East nor West but the Islamic Republic.”

To quote from the OilPrice article:

“The New York Times is quoted as saying-

 ‘The partnership, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement obtained by The New York Times, would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.’

 And there you have it.”

And there you have it, indeed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are seen in this photo while signing the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” deal between the two countries in Tehran on March 27, 2021. (Via IRNA)

Oil-based cars and machines may be significantly phased out by greener technologies in 25 years or so, but Iran has made a superb bargain to sell as much oil as they can while they still can. The “heavy discount” is only about 4%, but I can see how – as a Western “oilfield veteran” – this OilPrice author expects everyone to scratch and claw for every penny he or she can grab. For Iranian bureaucrats, however, a longer-term economic view is required, as is less greed.

War —  and sanctions (what used to be called “blockades” in English) are indeed war — certainly does force civilians and civil servants into more moral and more intelligent behaviors: self-sacrifice, unity, collective action, planning, determination, study, reflection, etc. The West’s sanctions have been perhaps praised in Iran nearly as often as they have been derided because Iran has had no choice but to build up its domestic capabilities — economic, intellectual, moral and natural — which naturally demanded a long-term commitment of domestic effort, political policies and acceptance of the national consensus.

But if the economic impact of illegal Western sanctions encouraged Iran’s leaders to make a 25-year oil bargain at only a 4% loss, then I say: take the money and run. If Washington, London, Paris and Tel Aviv fully had their way Donald Trump would have succeeded in forcing Iran to get 0% value from China —instead Tehran settled for 96% value over 25 years. If Iran doesn’t get yuan for every barrel that’s fine —China has technologies and skills which Iran can learn from, assimilate into future domestic projects and then likely export.

But this is what nobody seems to get about the indubitably socialist-inspired modern Iranian economy: Iran doesn’t do Western capitalism, i.e. it doesn’t sell out. Chinese companies will work alongside Iranian industries, all of which are state-owned and state-controlled to a degree which is unthinkable in the neoliberal West. China is not “buying” Iranian corporations – this is not $400 billion in “mergers” and “take-overs” — they are buying Iranian products or bartering for them via techniques Iran can learn from and projects which Iran needs to see built.

And there you have it: Iran secured money and intellectual investment for 25-years, and there is no danger of this investment being hijacked by foreign capital from any nation, which is how foreign investment works in Western neoliberalism. If the Iranian government can redistribute money downwards so effectively over four decades of hot and cold war, then surely they can do better in times of economic prosperity —this is the argument many Iranians have made over and over and over, and the West is fearfully aware of this rationale.

$16 billion per year in cash/goods/skills, and throw in a little thing called diplomatic unity, over 25 years – remember to compare that with what the West just offered: In 2019 France proposed a one-time $15 billion credit line. It was shot down by Washington, and of course Europe complied because neither want Iran to be prosperous or stable.

An incredibly ‘woke’ cooperation between 2 different ethnicities, cultures, regions & religions

Iran has proven to the world that America no longer has the ability to control the main global gate, and that is indeed a real achievement, but this achievement was equally fueled by Western incompetence, cruelty, intolerance and greed. Iran and China have risen, thanks to their modern and revolutionary cultures and structures — of course — but just look at how far the West has fallen since 1971?

As for China it’s vital to remember that it was an oil embargo which pushed fascist Japan into war with the United States, but China now has a guaranteed source of oil stability. China, which imports 75% of its daily needs, is almost as oil-poor as Japan but now no matter what Western adventurism produces in the Straits of Hormuz Beijing can count on the certainty of enough oil supplies to get by.

Iranian oil is already serving as Beijing’s backup against Western imperialist immolation, as the OilPrice article relates in detail: “China is stockpiling oil at a pace unrivaled in the developed world.” Doing so is, “In a marked dichotomy with the U.S., China is building oil inventories by design.” China, in contrast to Western liberal democracy, actually has competent civil service motivated — not by “universal” values, perhaps — by actual values instead of personal greed.

And there you have it: good governance based on modern political ideas which value the individual citizen over the aristocrat’s dollars. That’s the reason why Iran and China rankle the West so much.

So how could the West possibly like the 25-year strategic pact – it’s a “permanent” sea change. It’s a “permanent” step up in class for both Iran and China, and via an incredibly unprecedented cooperation. “Our relations with Iran will not be affected by the current situation, but will be permanent and strategic,” said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the signing.

But it’s not based on mere dollars — it’s a “pact” in a very broad cultural and political sense, and that’s both a shocking rejection of the Western model and the exciting proposal of something new for global humanity.

China and the USSR never cooperated as closely as this. Impressive Cuba, all alone in the New World, just can’t bring the heft which Iran brings to the table. North Korea is so beset upon and so war-scarred that they reject diplomatic ties like what Iran just accepted. You’d have to go back to the Eastern Bloc’s cooperation with Moscow to find something similar.

But what makes this cooperation so incredibly and excitingly “woke” is that it’s between two totally different cultures, religions and ethnicities. It’s truly a meeting of minds, as equals. We could truly go on and on about this aspect, and we should. We should also repeatedly point out that Western liberal democracy demands homogeneity via total submission to their hive mind, whereas socialist democracy protects, accepts and elevates differences and minorities in a consensus-based democracy.

It’s a meeting of two longtime empires whose modern political structures now explicitly forbid empire-building. But that’s a point which stresses the past and looks backward.

This is a meeting of two countries bravely and excitingly looking forward to this new century, whether it’s the 15th (less than two weeks ago the Iranian calendar reached the year 1400), or the 48th (it’s year 4719 in China).

It’s an incredible cooperation, and one so very long in the making.

Part 2 of this article examines how Western media responds to Sino-Iranian unity with hysterics at the prospects of reduced income from the Western imperialism machine. The article is titled: The Iran-China pact is a huge blow for Western imperialists who want war in Asia

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


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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www.presstv.co.uk

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Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

Congress May Have to Act to Punish Saudi Arabia

By David M. Wight, Washington Post

While President Biden enjoyed widespread praise for releasing an intelligence report concluding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, he also received criticism for not sanctioning Mohammed. On March 1, Rep. Tom Malinowski [D-N.J.] introduced a bill denying the prince entry into the United States and conditioning any future US arms sales to Saudi Arabia upon the White House certifying that the kingdom was no longer intimidating its critics in the United States.

That fits with a recent trend: Both Biden and members of Congress have vocally supported curbing arms sales to Saudi Arabia, in part because of the killing of Khashoggi. Their willingness to follow through, however, will face the same challenges that confronted, and ultimately torpedoed, President Jimmy Carter’s resolve to reduce arms sales to the Saudis. In fact, several key developments in US-Saudi relations transformed Carter and members of Congress from advocates of arms-sales restrictions to promoters of expanding sales.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, the United States, Saudi Arabia’s primary arms provider, limited the size and scope of the weapons it sold to the Saudis so as to conserve its limited budget and restrain potential arms races in the Middle East.

During the 1970s, however, oil prices skyrocketed, and Saudi Arabia, at that point the largest oil exporter in the world, enjoyed a windfall. Suddenly, the kingdom had unparalleled influence over the global oil market and enormous revenue with which to buy imports, including weapons. Conversely, the United States experienced rapidly rising energy import costs and fuel shortages. These problems compounded when Saudi Arabia led an Arab oil embargo against the United States in retaliation for its massive arms resupply to “Israel” during the 1973 Arab-“Israeli” War.

The administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford worked strenuously to repair Washington’s tattered alliance with the Saudi monarchy and obtain its help in restraining oil prices, in large part by offering the sale of advanced US weapons. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger offered Saudi King Faisal the US government’s “cooperation in the military field … to strengthen our friendship on a long-term basis.” Faisal and his successors responded positively, ending the Arab oil embargo in 1974 and subduing demands within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for even higher oil prices. In exchange, US arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia soared from $300 million in 1972 to $7.1 billion in 1976.

Yet this provoked increasing opposition within the United States, including in Congress. An array of factors drove this opposition, including a desire to protect “Israel’s” military superiority, to curb costly arms races, to reduce the potential for war and to prevent powerful weapons technology from falling into hostile hands through theft or a coup. Accordingly, in 1974, Congress passed a law empowering itself to veto major arms sales approved by the president. In 1976, a bipartisan coalition used that new tool to compel Ford to reduce missile sales to Saudi Arabia.

That year, Carter, as a presidential candidate, declared that the rise in US arms sales to the Arab world constituted “a deviation from idealism … from a commitment to [‘Israel’]” and “a yielding to economic pressure … on the oil issue.” Once president, while seeking to preserve Saudi-US cooperation, Carter worked to steadily reduce weapons and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia. In 1977, during his first year in office, they dropped by more than two-thirds.

But Saudi leaders relentlessly pressed for more US weapons, saying they needed to defend themselves against Soviet-armed countries such as Iraq and what was then South Yemen. They especially desired to purchase advanced F-15 jet fighters. Saudi Crown Prince Fahd, for example, told the US ambassador that “the F-15 issue was a basic, crucial test of our relationship” and threatened to obtain comparable weapons from France, Britain or even the Soviet Union, countries that had ignored Carter’s entreaties for shared restraint in global arms transfers.

To preserve the Saudi-US relationship and obtain Saudi cooperation on oil and the Arab-“Israeli” ‘peace’ process, Carter shifted course and agreed to the F-15 sales in 1978. Activists and members of Congress mobilized to block the deal, however, including a young Sen. Joe Biden. Carter, along with Saudi-hired PR firms and corporations doing business in the kingdom, spent significant political and monetary capital in making the case to the American public and Congress that the sale served US interests. In a concession to Congress, Carter provided written assurance that the Saudis would not be given certain missile capabilities for their F-15s. Even then, Carter barely won — the House voted to block the sale, and the Senate fell short of a veto only by six votes after an acrimonious debate.

Two events the following year shook Saudi and US leaders. The 1979 Iranian revolution ousted the US-aligned Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and replaced him with the hostile Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Iran’s massive stockpile of US-made weapons now threatened Saudi Arabia. The Soviet Union subsequently invaded Afghanistan, further inflaming the fears of Saudi royals that the Soviets aimed to encircle and conquer them. These two events generated new urgent pleas from Saudi Arabia for additional US arms.

For Carter and many members of Congress, these events made the Saudi kingdom appear even more vital to US interests. In response, they approved $10.2 billion in arms and military construction sales to Saudi Arabia to reassure its leaders of Washington’s commitment to their security. This decision ended presidential efforts to meaningfully restrain Saudi arms purchases for four decades — until now-President Biden entered office.

In the first weeks of his presidency, Biden declared an end to US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, where the use of US weapons has inflamed anti-American sentiment and exacerbated a conflict that has killed more than 200,000 Yemenis. He likewise ordered a halt and review of last-minute arms agreements for Saudi Arabia authorized by predecessor Donald Trump. This has raised the hopes of some activists and politicians that Biden might continue to restrict arms to Saudi Arabia so long as its rulers endanger US interests and human rights. But the experience of the Carter administration cautions against assuming this is inevitable, as does Biden’s refusal to sanction Mohammed.

Some of today’s circumstances are quite different from those of the 1970s. Saudi Arabia’s influence over US oil supplies and prices is significantly less now than it was during the Carter years, lessening the pressure on Washington to satisfy arms requests. Conversely, however, the contemporary alliance between “Israel” and Saudi Arabia against Iran means pro-“Israel” lobbyists, a major force against arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the 1970s, now present, at most, a diminished hurdle.

But the basic bargain established by Nixon and Faisal, and ultimately retained by Carter, remains on the table: The United States sells arms to Saudi Arabia in exchange for Saudi cooperation on issues prioritized by Washington. Whether this arrangement persists depends on the calculations of leaders in both countries.

Saudi Arabia will continue to argue that the threat from Iran necessitates increased weapons imports and threaten to acquire arms elsewhere if US offers are not forthcoming. That would be costly for the Saudis, because their armed forces are heavily reliant on US weapons technology and training, and it would inevitably weaken the Saudi-US relationship. Yet Saudi leaders may reluctantly attempt such an undertaking if they determine Washington has abandoned the alliance or attached too many strings to it.

The Biden administration seeks to maintain the Saudi-US partnership but expects greater Saudi cooperation on human rights and US strategic concerns in exchange for more US weapons. How demanding Biden will be on these points remains to be seen. But just as for Carter, the more Biden believes vital US interests in the Middle East are threatened by Iran or another power, the more likely he is to abandon other objectives and turn to arms sales to secure the Saudi-US alliance.

Congress could prove to be a wild card: It will weigh the same issues as the White House, but historically it has shown more appetite for restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This raises the possibility that it could step in if the administration proves too acquiescent.

What Wall Street fears

January 30, 2021

What Wall Street fears

By The Ister for the Saker Blog

The origin of modern banking can be found in the early days of the gold trade. In the Middle Ages, goldsmiths accepted deposits of gold in return for paper notes, which could be exchanged for the deposits at a later date. Because these paper notes were more convenient for commercial use than physical metal, they were usually not redeemed for gold right away. The goldsmiths noticed their customers’ deposits could be used in the meantime to generate interest and began surreptitiously lending out the savings of their depositors. Over time fractional reserve banking developed from this tendency of lending out money in excess of the actual reserves being held.

Goldsmith became banker, and from this early monetary system, banking families emerged. Prior to the existence of modern financial institutions, these houses were the entities which could be relied upon for large amounts of credit. A reputable surname gave confidence to depositors that their gold was in good hands, and from the intergenerational accumulation of wealth grew large pools of loanable capital. As nobles required weapons and pay for their armies, the conflicts of medieval Europe were fueled by families such as the Medici, Fuggers, and Welsers. Today, it is the Federal Reserve which finances America’s enormous military and conquests abroad.

To truly understand banking, the concept of free markets must be cast aside. Just as oil is a strategic resource for the real economy capitalist, gold and silver are strategic resources for the financial capitalist. Physical bullion is the basis from which all other lines of credit extend; we know this because the same central banks which publicly proclaim gold to be a barbarous relic still feel the need to maintain enormous hordes in their vaults.

As in oil markets, pricing is not influenced primarily by a large number of producers and buyers but by concentrated cartel dynamics. So while we witness yet another energy battle between OPEC and Russia unfold, it should be understood that similar dynamics are at play in the upper echelons of the monetary world as bankers seek to fix prices and control physical bullion flows in a manner which is beneficial to their interests.

A key difference from oil is that while the pump leads to the refinery and the refinery to the end-user, bankers do not generally like to part with their gold. Accordingly, markets have been designed so that prices are determined not by physical delivery but by the trading of unbacked or fractionally backed “claims” on the underlying metal: certificates, ETFs, and futures. We can be certain that there is not enough physical bullion to cover all these paper metal claims, just like the medieval goldsmith did not hold his deposits in full.

These paper markets set the price, although bars rarely leave the vault

Where is the vault? While Fort Knox claims the largest holdings, the price is set by the London Bullion Market Association and CME Group which together account for around 70% and 20% of global trading volume respectively. The London Bullion Market began in 1850, when N. M. Rothschild and Sons and several other banking families created a cartel to oversee the operations of the global gold market, including the establishment of the “London good delivery” list which created trading standards for size, dimensions, shape and fineness of bullion; today trading on London markets requires a high purity and being between 350-450 ounces.

This domination of the world’s gold market was not achieved through peaceful means: look into the forces behind the conquest of Transvaal’s gold mines, for it bears a direct parallel to America’s invasions of oil-rich nations today. Another similarity with oil markets is that military interventions have a habit of “liberating” the target nation of their gold: just ask Muammar Gaddafi.

The price of such a strategic resource could not be determined by an open market, thus alongside good delivery standards the “gold fix” was established in 1919 and was held in the offices of New Court until 2004, when its operations were passed on to a cartel of bullion banks such JP Morgan and HSBC. Ever since, these banks have been investigated and convicted countless times of manipulating and spoofing the prices.

How do we know that there isn’t enough gold to cover physical deliveries? Back in the 1970s the dollar was under a lot of pressure and Western banks maintained secret gentlemen’s agreements not to request delivery of bullion. In 1971 Dutch central bank chief Jelle Zjilstra ignored these formalities and planned to convert $600 million of the Dutch dollar reserves to gold, prompting Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker to fly out to the Netherlands and warn him: “you’re rocking the boat.” Shortly after Zijlstra refused Volcker’s pressure and continued with the purchase, the US decoupled from the gold standard.

Abandonment of the gold standard risked a reduction in dollar demand, so Nixon enlisted Wall Street scion Gerry Parsky to negotiate with oil exporting Arab nations. After discussion, the Saudi state agreed to sell oil priced exclusively in dollars and to invest the proceeds of oil sales in America.

To those who say dismissively that the dollar is now backed by “nothing,” I say it is backed by oil and the threat of the US military.

Look at the somber fates of those that tried to ditch the dollar for gold or the Euro: Libya in a state of permanent civil war; starving Syrians picking through landfills in search of food only miles from occupied wheat fields.

So maintaining confidence in our reserve currency requires the undermining of confidence in gold, as its reemergence would unnecessarily democratize the international monetary order. Confidence is undermined first by price suppression, which is accomplished by the manipulation of precious metals futures markets. While it would be hugely wasteful for a private individual or consortium to manipulate such a market with their own money, that is where the unlimited fiat available at central bank trading desks come in: and we know central banks are secretly trading precious metals futures due to leaked documents from CME Group.

Leo Melamed, chairman of CME Group and the putative father of modern commodity futures markets noted in his book Escape to the Futures that CME’s Globex system was inspired by the original London gold fix:

Sandner, Kilcollin and I were in London with the chairman of the Rothschild Bank seeking his advice on how to bring the “gold fix” to Chicago. From the heated debate that followed one would have concluded that Kilcollin knew more about the subject than the legendary Rothschilds, the people who had founded the concept ages before.

What we can see from this is that strategic commodities such as gold and oil are far from a free market: recall my previous article The Empire is Losing the Energy War which described how the Saudi state functions as a price-suppression weapon against Russia’s oil exports. This global commodity suppression schema allows the importation of the planet’s finite resources at a fraction of the true cost in return for theoretically unlimited currency. Recall Fed governor Kevin Warsh’s comments in December of 2011 when gold hit an all time high that banks were:

“finding it tempting to pursue financial repression- suppressing market prices that they don’t like”

There are signs, however, that the thin pool of physical bullion which exists to maintain confidence in paper markets is drying up. In March of 2020, CME Group had to relax its own requirement of 100oz bars to allow 400oz London good delivery bars to be shipped from overseas and used for trade settlement. Some would say: if price suppression exists then why has the gold price gone up over the last few years?

The middle ground between setting the price to very low or very high levels, say, $100 or $10,000, is that the prices are set high enough to minimize outflows from vaults, while at the same time using futures to hammer down the prices at psychologically important levels and initiating margin calls on those who are long gold using leverage. Those who have watched gold for a long time can attest to the sudden and inexplicable drops which originate in the futures market and which occur every time the gold price appears *just* ready to break out.

It’s a very complicated charade for the bullion bank cartel. Allow the price per ounce to go too low and you risk running out of the gold necessary to facilitate markets. At the same time, if the price rises too high it attracts international attention and risks gold reemerging in monetary policy. Notice how as soon as the supply shortages became apparent in March 2020 the bankers were forced to reset gold from $1230 to over $2000 in order to stem the outflows of physical delivery.

Putin is intentionally exacerbating this drought of physical gold in Western banks by expanding the Russian central bank’s purchases of gold. For the past few years Russia has been the number one global purchaser of bullion, having spent over $40 billion to bring Moscow’s reserves to the highest level in history: a sum close to the annual military budget because it is a strategic asset.

Just last week, Russia’s gold reserves passed its dollar reserves for the first time reaching a sum of $583 billion, highlighted by the central bank as part of Putin’s de-dollarization agenda. Given that purchases have grown at roughly 15% per year we can predict that even if the price does not rise, the value of these holdings will be around $1 trillion in three years. Read the anxious commentary about these purchases in Bloomberg and Forbes, and remember the nervousness in the business press when Germany demanded its gold back in 2013, which would only exist if behind-the-scenes physical gold flows were disjointed and there was internal muttering in the financial world as to whether the demand could be fulfilled.

To any who doubt that this is an overt move, in the pre-WW2 monetary system the mass accumulation of gold was well understood among central bankers as an aggressive act intended to starve competitor states of their ability to create credit. For example, French and American hoarding resulted in hyperinflation for Germany and forced Britain’s pound sterling off the gold standard.

Russia’s acquisition of precious metal is a direct threat to the financial system. How funny that the system is so fraudulent that it is an act of aggression to simply demand in physical form what one has paid for in full on an open market; an act which the designers of the system cannot protest lest they reveal their own bankruptcy. Just as it did in the 1920s, the hoarding of gold in the East will eventually limit the West’s ability to extend credit, it is simply unfolding on a longer time frame.

So why is a tiny stock like GameStop causing billionaire Leon Cooperman to cry on CNBC, and why is the SEC threatening small-time investors?

Simply, the financial markets are being revealed as a highly illiquid house of cards. Retail investors from Reddit began trolling short-sellers by rapidly buying small stocks and causing hedge funds to blow up from expensive margin calls. The losses are now estimated at around $70 billion, and as these small-time investors funnel their unemployment and stimulus checks into their aggressive trades they have fought wealthy investors in a more effective way than Occupy Wall Street ever did. They have now turned their eyes to the small and illiquid silver market…

Look at the fate of the Hunt brothers fortune: they were oil billionaires who tried to exercise their legal right to take physical delivery of a large volume of silver futures contracts and had CME pull the rug out from under them before it could be achieved. CME Group defeated the Hunt brothers by instituting Silver Rule 7 which limited the dollar amount of physical silver that an individual investor could buy. But how will that stop the hordes of young low net worth traders who are now telling one another to purchase physical bullion and intentionally strain the rigged silver market?

This arcane financial system is doomed to fail because it is based on ever-higher and more unstable abstractions of underlying wealth: CDOs squared and cubed, dark pool derivatives markets totaling trillions of dollars, and so on: all of which depends on the financial sector sucking as much money as possible out of a shrinking global economy through securitization. Now that people are demanding the underlying assets themselves, change is beginning.

What an interesting timeline: where Russia and unemployed youths have come to the same conclusion for how to defeat the banks.


The Ister is a researcher of financial markets and geopolitics. Author of The Ister: Escape America

The Worst of Days for Trump & Trumpists

Image courtesy of Voice for America 
Patrick J. Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) | Twitter
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at http://www.creators.com.

By Patrick J. Buchanan
Source: Creators

January 8, 2021 

President Donald Trump, it turns out, was being quite literal when he told us Jan. 6 would be “wild.”

And so Wednesday was, but it was also disastrous for the party and the movement Trump has led for the last five years.

Wednesday, the defeats of Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia’s runoff elections were confirmed. This translates into the GOP losing the Senate for the next two years.

Chuck Schumer now replaces Mitch McConnell as majority leader.

And the new 50-50 split will put Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate on Jan. 20, in position to cast the deciding vote on every major issue where the two parties are evenly divided.

Wednesday, there also came the acceptance by both houses of Congress of Joe Biden’s 306-232 electoral vote victory over Trump. The last potential hurdle to Biden’s inauguration as 46th president of the United States has been removed.

But the worst of the day’s events for Trump came when a segment of a friendly crowd of 50,000 he just addressed concluded its march down the mall to the U.S. Capitol by smashing its way into the building and invading and occupying the Senate and House chambers.

Members of Congress were forced to flee and hide. A protester, an Air Force veteran, was shot to death by a Capitol cop. Vice President Mike Pence, who was chairing the joint session, was taken into protective custody by his Secret Service detail. Doors were broken open. Windows were smashed, and the building was trashed.

All this was seen on national television from mid afternoon through nightfall. The East and West fronts of the Capitol were occupied for hours by pro-Trump protesters, whom the president, his son Don Jr., and Rudy Giuliani had stirred up in the hours before the march down the mall.

What Americans watched was a mob occupation and desecration of the temple of the American Republic. And the event will be forever exploited to discredit not only Trump but the movement he led and the achievements of his presidency. He will be demonized as no one else in our history since Richard Nixon or Joe McCarthy.

Yet, just two months ago, Trump rolled up the highest vote total ever by an incumbent president, 74 million. And, according to four major polls, his approval remains where it has been for four years, between 40 and 50%.

What took place Wednesday was a disgrace and a debacle. But it was not, as some have wildly contended, comparable to 9/11 or to the British burning of the Capitol in 1814 during the War of 1812. That is malicious hyperbole, establishment propaganda.

On Sept. 11, 2001, more than 3,000 Americans died horribly when Manhattan’s World Trade Center twin towers came crashing down and the Pentagon was hit by a hijacked airliner. And there have been far more serious events in the lifetimes of many of us than this four-hour occupation of the Capitol.

In May 1970, after Nixon ordered an invasion of Cambodia to clean out Communist sanctuaries, National Guard troops, in panic, shot and killed four students at Kent State University in Ohio.

Hundreds of campuses exploded; hundreds of universities shut down for the semester. Scores of thousands of demonstrators poured into D.C. Buses, end-to-end, circled the White House. U.S. troops were moved into the basement of the Executive Office Building.

Today, there is absurd media talk of removing the president through impeachment or invocation of the 25th Amendment.

If the House votes impeachment, is the Senate going to hold a trial in 12 days to put Pence in the Oval Office? As for removing Trump through the 25th Amendment, this would require a declaration by Vice President Pence and half of the Cabinet that Trump is unfit to finish out a term that ends in two weeks. Not going to happen.

But undeniably, the events of Wednesday are going to split the Republican Party. And what does the future of that party now look like?

After Trump leaves the presidency, he will not be coming back. The opposition to him inside the GOP would prevent his nomination or would defect to prevent his reelection were he nominated again.

Yet, the size and strength of Trump’s movement is such that no Republican candidate he declares persona non grata could win the nomination and the presidency.

Trump’s supporters are today being smeared and castigated by the same media who lionized the BLM and antifa “peaceful protesters” who spent their summer rioting, looting, burning and pillaging Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Kenosha, Louisville and scores of other cities.

The Trumpists have been demonized before. They are used to this. And whatever their sins, disloyalty and ingratitude to the man they put in the presidency is not one of them.

Wednesday was a bad day for America, but it was not the Reichstag fire.

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’?

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 8:10 AM  [ Last Update: Wednesday, 11 November 2020 8:18 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump (File photo)

By Ramin Mazaheri

A 2nd term is his if he really wants it, but how deep is Trump’s ‘Trumpism’?
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The United States repeatedly has the worst elections of all the Western core democracies.

That’s not “Iranian meddling” but Harvard and their 2019 Electoral Integrity Index. They ranked US elections just 57th in the world.

One wonders how much further they will fall in this year’s ranking?

If we honestly ask if American elections have integrity I think everyone has the same answer, and it’s as serious as a heart-attack:

You don’t want to go there. American elections cannot withstand serious scrutiny.

So if President Donald Trump actually wants a second term, it’s likely there for the taking. He’ll have to ride out weeks of personal stress even worse than the televised Watergate hearings in 1973, but he won’t come out like Richard Nixon just for insisting that American elections finally get looked at honestly. 

I don’t think that Trump has engaged in vote fraud, but I must report that half of the US still believes that Democrats did. Mail-in balloting has unnecessarily stressed an already corruption-filled system, per Harvard. In a democracy it does not matter if perceptions of voter fraud run on partisan lines – if such perceptions are widespread they simply must be resolved satisfactorily.

Nobody has tested the integrity of US elections in recent memory. Not in even in 2000, when they rushed to install George W. Bush 37 days after the election. We later found that an unforgivable 14% of African-American votes had been questionably rejected in they key state of Florida.

Americans shouldn’t forget things like that, and many don’t. Many just permanently stay away from elections and encourage others to do the same.

Democrats want to pin all the blame for the current election mistrust on Trump, but such a view acts as if the world began in 2016.

This is an election system which could not stand serious scrutiny, and now it is cracking at the end of this year of unprecedented pressures.

Half the country is begging Trump: stress it further.

His supporters are asking Trump to be a martyr and refuse to concede

This is an absolutely history-making moment in time, and this hard-news journalist never resorts to such hyperbole: This is the moment when Donald Trump can choose between going down in history likely portrayed as a buffoon, or he can take on the establishment “Swamp” by forcing it to investigate allegations of structural corruption by elites.

It’s a stunning idea, and unthinkable to half the country here, who is being swamped with the insistence that Joe Biden is the president-elect even though the votes counting is still ongoing, even though he leads by a mere average of 21,000 votes over four states, and in an election which has been tainted by corruption accusations for months.

What they are applying as pressure is the cynical power of “inevitability”. Maybe Trump really did get fewer votes, so why put the nation through stress?

That common view should be rejected in favor of the martyrs who came before, such as the disenfranchised Black Floridians of 2000. And how long can honest reckonings be put off without destroying faith in the system? Destroyed faith in society has a price, and America has a problem with honest talk, but this is truly la chance for redemption.

That’s why Joe Biden’s early declaration was so reckless, self-interested and – in the worst sense of the word – Trumpian. Biden’s promised redemption is already false – he did not have faith in allowing the US system to play out.

It seems like a difficult task, but I contend that Trump has everything going for him – he has the one thing nobody really has, which is time. All Trump has to do is let the process play out: if he lost fairly, he will garner much credit for standing up for the common voter; if he wins the presidency, he’s a hero who reversed the tide.

Trump’s Achilles’ heel is that he cannot do this with dignity, but when every other election this century has been disputed, one person’s foolish behavior isn’t the main issue for American society anymore. 

There really is no rush: a new president doesn’t take over until January 20. But imperialists abhor a vacuum. They don’t know who is in charge and, thus who to follow, and thus who to plot to destroy. Imperialist cultures are exceptional and distorted like this in ways smaller countries can’t imagine.

This, “We’re the slave-master,” pride is also why a small country can take their time and get an election right, but the US is rushing to judgement no matter how many it disenfranchises. They know they have to constantly project total strength: every day they do not is another day the colonized will question the slave-master’s true power and abilities.

What is this 21st century “Trumpism” really? We are about to finally find out.

‘Trumpism’ isn’t the name of a proper political party – will one be found or is it over already?

Certainly, like the Yellow Vests in France, it was immediately and falsely slammed as xenophobic. That’s now a pathetic, false and boring argument: Trump won a greater percentage of minority votes than any Republican in 60 years. So we don’t really know what it is, due to this propaganda.

The reality is that their opposition to 1%-benefiting globalization, their demand for patriotic sovereignty and their opposition to 1%-benefiting “universal values” are the reasons for the corporate-mainstream vilification of both.

If Trump gives up the adjective of “Trumpian” Republican will no longer be necessary because the world’s oldest duopoly sucks the revolutionary spirit out of every third-party movement. I doubt you have heard of the “Bull Moose Party”, even though Teddy Roosevelt is on Mount Rushmore?

If Trump really stands his ground right “Trumpian” could shed its perceptions of xenophobia and be associated with a spirit of rigor and democratic egalitarianism. It would be a coup against the 1%’s efforts, and to win that Trump has to get absolutely crucified in the next three months.

We’ve never known just how serious about politics Trump is, no?

He used to be a reality-show star, but he has certainly put in a lot of work for four years. Key senators have said that Trump is within his rights to demand recounts and transparency. Now we will find out how fighting he is willing to do – he still has a ton of power.

Trump been vilified for four years, and revolutionaries are made, not born. Surely he is aware of the problems which those without power cannot possibly stand up to? He who is more aware is necessarily more responsible.

But how deep is Trump’s Trumpism?

It’s very easy to cynically say that Trump will only ever be a tool of the pro-Zionist camp, or that he is only in this to make money, or that all he seeks is fame or even infamy. Maybe all this is quite true, and he’s gone further than he ever imagined or even wanted to?

It doesn’t matter to me: The better point to make is that Trumpism is very real to its supporters. Like the Yellow Vests they actually do have genuine virtues. They see corruption and they want it out, but all they have is one vote each – they are not the president. 

Right now is the time if Trump shows he has learned how to be a public servant after four years, or if perhaps many are right to conclude that “democracy with American characteristics” is incapable of producing humble, selfless public servants, and only corrupt, self-interested ones. 

If Americans cannot have a transparent election they cannot possibly achieve even moderate progress: This is country which has opposed revolutionary tactics for 200+ years – everyone here is committed to reformism of the American system. If Trump does not make a stand here – if he bows to the forces of cynical inevitability – Trumpism remains half a personality cult, half a brand name and certainly half-finished at best. Trumpism will have made a point, but not a real impact.

The average American should not be punished – they have a right to free and transparent elections, and the whole world knows that they don’t get them. 2020 is yet another recent example. It seems unfortunate that it is up to Donald Trump to help him and her, but it is too early to judge: he may yet get added onto Mount Rushmore, as he hopes.

What is certain one week after their initial vote is that the US has had a vote, and a winner (two of them) – there is only one logical conclusion: concession/inauguration.

Until that happens it will be a steadily-increasing drip of chaotic news. That is not a bad thing for the world, nor one to be feared by Americans, but it is intensely feared by their 1%.

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


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

Source

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement on US-Chinese relations

July 26, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: Can you comment on the recent statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the US-Chinese relations?

Maria Zakharova: We noted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on US-Chinese relations made on July 23 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.

We were surprised by the defiant tone of Mr Pompeo’s statements, which predictably contained crude references to China, its social and political system and its leaders. Unfortunately, these things are common in US foreign policy diplomacy these days.

The tension in relations with Beijing being provoked by Washington, in addition to harming the United States and China, is also seriously complicating international affairs. These two countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and play an important role in global affairs. Together with the other Security Council members, they bear a special responsibility for maintaining global stability.

We regard Pompeo’s statement on the possibility of dragging Moscow into the US anti-Chinese campaign as yet another naive attempt to complicate the Russian-Chinese partnership, and drive a wedge into the friendly ties between Russia and China. We intend to further strengthen our cooperation with China because we regard this cooperation as the most important factor in stabilising the situation around the world.

US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND PROSPECTS OF KIEV ADVANCE IN EASTERN UKRAINE

South Front

Written and produced by SF Team: J.Hawk, Daniel Deiss, Edwin Watson

For the past several years, the war between Ukraine and the breakaway and still-unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic has settled into a tense routine of attritional trench warfare, punctuated by sniping, clashes between patrols, small-scale raids, offensive minelaying, and ambushes using anti-tank guided missiles. There have been few operations by units larger than company. The front line has remained almost entirely unchanged. At the same time, both sides have been preparing for the possible next round of high-intensity warfare. What would happen if the fighting were to break out again?

That particular prediction is made more difficult by the very fact of the long lull in high-intensity fighting during which both sides have undergone a certain degree of transformation which remains relatively unknown to the other party. Both sides have seen certain material improvements, though apparently nothing dramatic. Ukraine’s armored vehicle fleet still relies on the same, but now even more worn out vehicles it went to war with in 2014. The planned re-equipment with the Oplot MBT never took place, and even the upgraded T-64BU Bulat was found to be flawed. Therefore the elderly T-64BV remains the main tank of Ukraine’s forces. Light armored vehicle fleet has seen some improvement thanks to domestic production and deliveries from former Warsaw Pact member states. If there is one area where Ukraine’s military may have made a major step forward, it is the artillery, using the large store of inactive weapons for Soviet-era reserve forces. However, artillery munition production continues to be a problem. While the number of Ukraine’s brigades has grown, the military experiences major problems with recruitment and retention, meaning that many of these brigades have the strength of a reinforced combined arms battalion.

On Novorossia’s side the situation is hardly different. DPR and LPR units continue to use the same types of equipment they used during the campaigns of five years ago. The numeric strength does not appear to have changed much, either, and here too recruitment and retention remains a problem.

The other factor making predictions difficult is the level of morale of these two forces that have been bogged down in an apparently endless war that is beyond their power to finish. The combination of trench warfare boredom and terror means it is debilitating to the units’ morale and proficiency if they are forced to remain in the trenches for too long. While the most offensive-capable forces are kept out of the trenches as mobile reserves, they too can only maintain their state of alert for so long before losing their edge.

Paradoxically, this state of affairs give an advantage to the side that intends to go on the offensive, because the preparations for the attack and associated training would imbue the troops with the hope that, after the next big push, the war will finally be over. At the same time, both sides know such an offensive would be an exceedingly risky proposition, because if it fails, it will grind down the attacking side’s most effective units and render the army vulnerable to a counteroffensive to which it would not be able to respond.

Therefore the likelihood of renewed fighting also heavily depends on who actually makes the decision. While local leaders may be cautious enough, foreign ones in distant capitals may have different considerations in mind.

A big unknown hanging over the future of the Donbass is the position of Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee and the potential winner of the November elections. Biden has already played a highly destructive role in the politics of Ukraine and the US-Russia relations. It is Biden that blackmailed Poroshenko into firing the Chief Prosecutor Shokin due to his interest in the corrupt dealings of the Burisma energy company which infamously had Joe’s son Hunter on its board of directors. It is also Biden who held a lengthy, 30-45 minute telephone conversation with Poroshenko on the day MH17 was shot down and promptly came out blaming Russia for it, even as the wreckage was still smoking where it fell. Biden identified himself as a Russia foe much earlier, during the 2012 vice-presidential debates where he positioned himself as being “hard on Putin”, which in retrospect proved to be an early indicator of where the second-term Obama administration foreign policy would go. It also goes without saying Biden is an ardent promoter of the “RussiaGate” effort to paint Donald Trump as a Russian agent/stooge/fellow traveler/useful idiot.

At the same time, Biden’s line against China has hardened as well, which may have implications for US-Russia relations during the probable Biden presidency. As late as May 2019, Biden would describe People’s Republic of China as “they are not bad folks”, adding that “they are not competition to us”, comments that may yet come to haunt him on the campaign trail. However, once the COVID-19 broke out of control in the United States, Biden sought to out-do Trump in his accusations the high US death toll was due to China misleading the United States on the nature of the virus and not allowing US public health officials access to Wuhan and China’s epidemiology labs. Even before that, Hunter Biden resigned from boards of directors of China-based firms. While that might have been motivated by his, and his dad’s, desire to keep a low profile due to the scrutiny Hunter’s business dealings have attracted during Donald Trump’s impeachment proceedings, it may also have been preparation for Joe Biden’s anti-China pivot.

The emergence of PRC as Biden’s perceived number one international adversary may mean a desire to improve relations with Russia in the way that Trump, compromised from the start by RussiaGate and without a history of own anti-Russia rhetoric to fall back on, could never deliver. Biden, however, is in the same position as Nixon was in the late 1960s. His earlier anti-Russian rhetoric and actions now make him nearly immune from the same sort of accusations which, even though false, nevertheless effectively stuck to Trump. Nixon’s own enthusiastic participation in McCarthyite witch hunts made it possible for him to do what his Democratic Party predecessor Lyndon Johnson could not: end Vietnam War, engage in arms control treaties with USSR and “go to China” in order to exploit the growing divide between the two main Communist powers. Biden has the political capital necessary to repeat the process: end the war in Afghanistan (something he had proposed already as vice president), enter into arms control treaties with China and…go to Moscow, which is currently seen in Washington in the same way that Beijing was in the 1970s, namely the secondary challenger which needs to be peeled away from the primary one. Moreover, just as in the early 1970s, United States of the 2020s is wracked by a massive internal crisis requiring international retrenchment in order to focus on internal reforms.

But that optimistic scenario remains less likely than the prospect of renewed escalation. Nixon-era United States was not suffering from the hubris of American Exceptionalism. On the contrary, it was a country full of self-doubt and under no illusion concerning the limits of its power. It entered into arms control treaties because it did not feel it could win them. Disasters abroad and at home notwithstanding, the US elite still has not been shaken out of its complacency, and it does appear to sincerely believe it can win a strategic and conventional arms race against both China and Russia. We have not seen any indications so far that Biden intends any moderation in the area of foreign policy or returning to a policy of cooperation with Russia. One should expect that, in the event of Biden victory, Ukraine will launch an offensive against the Donbass shortly after the inauguration, in other words, in February or March of 2020. This offensive would accomplish two objectives for Biden. One, it would establish his hawkish, “patriotic” bona fides, make him look “presidential” in the eyes of the mainstream media and the national security establishment. Secondly, it would allow the US to exert even more pressure on Germany and other EU member states concerning North Stream and other areas of cooperation with Russia.

In order to achieve these goals, particularly the second one, the offensive would not need to overrun the Donbass, in fact, that would not be the aim at all. Rather, the goal would be to force Russian forces to intervene directly in support of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics to justify depicting Russia as the aggressor in the matter. And even if the republics’ militaries can cope with the UAF assault on their own, the sheer level of violence will still make enough headlines to satisfy Biden’s requirements. Whether Zelensky wants that kind of escalation for his country is almost irrelevant. Both he and Biden know very well what the balance of power in that relationship is. Ukraine is a failing state seriously dependent on foreign financial assistance in the form of continual IMF loans, debt rescheduling, favorable trade deals, etc. Biden knew how to use these levers to achieve an important change in Ukraine’s politics that benefited him personally, he will not hesitate to use them again.

Moreover, even if Biden were driven by the Nixonian motives described above, it’s doubtful the foreign policy Deep State would allow him to do that. Biden’s own conversations with Poroshenko no doubt contain great many embarrassing moments whose release would instantly embroil him in a massive scandal. The fact that Donald Trump was impeached solely due to the desire of national security apparatchiks to continue their pet war in Ukraine is indicative of their power to make foreign policy quite independently of their supposed civilian bosses.

The situation is further complicated by the widening rift between the Western neo-liberal world and conservative societies of eastern European countries. This includes a large part of the Ukrainian population which is committed to traditional values. The rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Ukraine contributes to a further antagonism of this part of the society towards the forcefully imposed Western ideology and its local agents. Another point of tensions is the existing contradictions between the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) and the artificially assembled pseudo-church organizations in Ukraine. The Moscow Patriarchy is returning to its former position among the Ukrainian faithful. In the event of a further dissatisfaction of the society by the declared pseudo-Western way of development, positions of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchy will strengthen even more.

While a Ukrainian offensive is relatively unlikely in 2020, its probability increases considerably in 2021, particularly in the event of a Biden victory. The conflict in Ukraine has lasted this long mainly because Ukraine’s current sponsors in the West are not interested in ending it, irrespective of what the will of the Ukrainian people might be. The situation will get even worse should the US presidency be taken over by someone with a well-established hostility toward Russia who believes his aims would be better served by another bloody campaign on the Donbass.

The next US administration will employ every option that it has in order to prevent the return of Russian influence in the country. Besides furthering the conflict in eastern Ukraine, it will expand efforts against it in the ideological sphere as well, likely including direct provocations.

Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension

Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz ...
Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension
Pepe ESCOBAR
Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

Pepe Escobar June 18, 2020©

Nixon 68 is back with a vengeance, with President Trump placing himself as the guarantor/enforcer of Law & Order.

That slogan guaranteed Nixon’s election, and was coined by Kevin Phillips, then an expert in “ethnic voting patterns”.

Philips makes for a very interesting case. In 1999, he became the author of a seminal book: The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America, where he tracks how a “small Tudor kingdom” ended up establishing global hegemony.

The division of the English-speaking community into two great powers – “one aristocratic, ‘chosen’ and imperial; and one democratic, ‘chosen’ and manifest destiny-driven”, as Philips correctly establishes – was accomplished by, what else, a war triptych: the English Civil War, the American revolution and the U.S. Civil War.

Now, we may be at the threshold of a fourth war – with unpredictable and unforeseen consequences.

As it stands, what we have is a do-or-die clash of models: MAGA against an exclusivist Fed/Wall Street/Silicon Valley-controlled system.

MAGA – which is a rehash of the American dream – simply cannot happen when society is viciously polarized; vast sectors of the middle class are being completely erased; and mass immigration is coming from the Global South.

In contrast, the Fed as a Wall Street hedge fund meets Silicon Valley model, a supremely elitist 0.001% concoction, has ample margins to thrive.

The model is based on even more rigid corporate monopoly; the preeminence of capital markets, where a Wall Street boom is guaranteed by government debt-buybacks of its own debt; and life itself regulated by algorithms and Big Data.

This is the Brave New World dreamed by the techno-financial Masters of the Universe.

Trump’s MAGA woes have been compounded by a shoddy geopolitical move in tandem with Law and Order: his re-election campaign will be under the sign of “China, China, China.” When in trouble, blame a foreign enemy.

That comes from serially failed opportunist Steve Bannon and his Chinese billionaire sidekick Guo Wengui, or Miles Guo. Here they are in Statue of Liberty mode announcing their no holds barred infowar campaign to demonize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to Kingdom Come and “free the Chinese people”.

Bannon’s preferred talking point is that if his infowar fails, there will be “kinetic war”. That is nonsense. Beijing’s priorities are elsewhere. Only a few neo-conned Dr. Strangeloves would envisage “kinetic war”- as in a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Chinese territory.

Alastair Crooke has masterfully shown how the geoeconomic game, as Trump sees it, is above all to preserve the power of the U.S. dollar: “His particular concern would be to see a Europe that was umbilically linked to the financial and technological heavyweight that is China. This, in itself, effectively would presage a different world financial governance.”

But then there’s The Leopard syndrome: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”. Enter Covid-19 as a particle accelerator, used by the Masters of the Universe to tweak “things” a bit so they not only stay as they are but the Master grip on the world tightens.

The problem is Covid-19 behaves as a set of – uncontrollable – free electrons. That means nobody, even the Masters of the Universe, is able to really weigh the full consequences of a runaway, compounded financial/social crisis.

Deconstructing Nixon-Trump

Russiagate, now totally debunked, has unfolded in effect as a running coup: a color non-revolution metastasizing into Ukrainegate and the impeachment fiasco. In this poorly scripted and evidence-free morality play with shades of Watergate, Trump was cast by the Democrats as Nixon.

Big mistake. Watergate had nothing to do with a Hollywood-celebrated couple of daring reporters. Watergate represented the industrial-military-security-media complex going after Nixon. Deep Throat and other sources came from inside the Deep State. And it was not by accident that they were steering the Washington Post – which, among other roles, plays the part of CIA mouthpiece to perfection.

Trump is a completely different matter. The Deep State keeps him under control. One just needs to look at the record: more funds for the Pentagon, $1 trillion in brand new nuclear weapons, perennial sanctions on Russia, non-stop threats to Russia’s western borders, (failed) efforts to derail Nord Stream 2. And this is only a partial list.

So, from a Deep State point of view, the geopolitical front – containment of Russia-China – is assured. Domestically, it’s much more complicated.

As much as Black Lives Matter does not threaten the system even remotely like the Black Panthers in the 60s, Trump believes his own Law & Order, like Nixon, will once again prevail. The key will be to attract the white women suburban vote. Republican pollsters are extremely optimistic and even talking about a “landslide”.

Yet the behavior of an extra crucial vector must be understood: what corporate America wants.

When we look at who’s supporting Black Lives Matter – and Antifa – we find, among others, Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, WalMart, Warner Brothers and YouTube.

This who’s who would suggest a completely isolated Trump. But then we have to look at what really matters; the class war dynamics in what is in fact a caste system, as Laurence Brahm argues.

Black Lives Matter, the organization and its ramifications, is essentially being instrumentalized by selected corporate interests to accelerate their own priority: to crush the U.S. working classes into a state of perpetual anomie, as a new automated economy rises.

That may always happen under Trump. But it will be faster without Trump.

What’s fascinating is how this current strategy of tension scenario is being developed as a classic CIA/NED playbook color revolution.

An undisputed, genuine grievance – over police brutality and systemic racism – has been completely manipulated, showered with lavish funds, infiltrated, and even weaponized against “the regime”.

Just to control Trump is not enough for the Deep State – due to the maximum instability and unreliability of his Demented Narcissus persona. Thus, in yet another priceless historical irony, “Assad must go” metastasized into “Trump must go”.

The cadaver in the basement

One must never lose track of the fundamental objectives of those who firmly control that assembly of bought and paid for patsies in Capitol Hill: to always privilege Divide and Rule – on class, race, identity politics.

After all, the majority of the population is considered expendable. It helps that the instrumentalized are playing their part to perfection, totally legitimized by mainstream media. No one will hear lavishly funded Black Lives Matter addressing the real heart of the matter: the reset of the predatory Restored Neoliberalism project, barely purged of its veneer of Hybrid Neofascism. The blueprint is the Great Reset to be launched by the World Economic Forum in January 2021.

It will be fascinating to watch how Trump deals with this “Summer of Love” remake of Maidan transposed to the Seattle commune. The hint from Team Trump circles is that he will do nothing: a coalition of white supremacists and motorcycle gangs might take care of the “problem” on the Fourth of July.

None of this sweetens the fact that Trump is at the heart of a crossfire hurricane: his disastrous response to Covid-19; the upcoming, devastating effects of the New Great Depression; and his intimations pointing to what could turn into martial law.

Still, the legendary Hollywood maxim – “no one knows anything” – rules. Even running with a semi-cadaver in a basement, the Democrats may win in November just by doing nothing. Yet Teflon Trump should never be underestimated. The Deep State may even realize he’s more useful than they think.

The Anti War Movement, SDS, The Weather Underground And The Jews.

May 13, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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In the 1960s, the United States had an authentic broad based peace movement that sprang from opposition to the War in Vietnam. Motives varied; fear of the draft, revulsion for the US strategy that was based on increasing enemy deaths, and general youthful rebellion probably all played a part. Yet by 1970, years before the end of the war, the anti war movement was in disarray. This paper addresses some of the reasons the movement was never able to capitalize on its support or to form a broad based Left anti war party. In fact, some remnants of the rancorous movement can be seen now in the US’ deeply divided politics.

Long term American involvement in Vietnam escalated after the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that gave President Johnson the power to wage war. As the war expanded in 1965, the fledgling anti war movement focused on ending US involvement in Vietnam. In his history of the anti war movement of which he was part, Bill Zimmerman writes that at first the movement adopted “two strategic goals: to give activists enough knowledge about Vietnam to be able to draw others into action, and to normalize opposition, since many Americans were hesitant to oppose their own country in a time of war.”

By 1967 the costs of the war were increasingly evident. As death tolls rose, the anti war movement grew and its stated goals evolved into a plan to build a mass movement and convert it into a political force. That year there were a number of large anti war demonstrations including 100,000 protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and 500,000 in New York.

As the war dragged on, it began to seem that although the US military could level a city, it was not equipped to win a limited war on foreign turf. Perhaps for this or other reasons in 1967 much of the anti war movement adopted a frankly anti American posture. According to Bill Zimmerman: “Our strategy, less coherent than in earlier stages, was to force an end to the war by creating instability, chaos and disruption at home.”

This shift can be seen in the changes in one of the largest anti war groups, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). SDS began in 1960 as a Leftist education and civil rights group that by 1965 had taken on a leadership role in the anti war movement. In 1968, SDS gained a large number of new members following North Vietnam’s Tet Offensive whose success came as a shock to many Americans who had been repeatedly informed that the communists’ resolve and resources were crumbling. Even the ordinarily prosaic newscaster Walter Cronkite remarked, “to say that we are mired in stalemate is the only reasonable, yet unsatisfactory conclusion.”

At its peak, in 1969, SDS had over 100,000 members and its actions made national news. Many of the members who had joined in 1968-9 were anti war, but not necessarily radical or Leftist, and tended to be from the south and the midwest. They were largely ignorant of and disinterested in the Left and its history. As Kirkpatrick Sale writes in his exhaustive history of the SDS: “They were non-Jewish, nonintellectual, nonurban, from a nonprofessional class, and often without any family tradition of political involvement, much less radicalism.”

With the influx of working class members, SDS, always a tumultuous organization, entered a period of destructive internal turmoil and battles for leadership that pitted the ‘old guard’ intellectual Leftists who fought to adopt radical policies against the ‘new guard’ who were more interested in demonstrations to end the war.

Steve Weissman, a veteran of the old guard, later regretted that the SDS had “underestimat[ed] … the importance of the anti war movement and lost the chance to create a permanent political force in America.” By failing to use the anti war movement for recruitment and education and peckishly insisting on increasingly far Left political positions, the SDS lost a chance to build an American left, one that included not only intellectuals and students but other strata of America as well.

The Yippies, formed at the end of 1967 by Abbie Hoffman and a few others, were a publicity hungry anti war group whose principal weapon was the public mockery of institutions. Famed Yippie actions included an “exorcism” and attempted levitation of the Pentagon and the guerrilla theater of Abbie Hoffman and other Yippies who dropped hundreds of dollar bills onto the New York Stock Exchange, effectively closing the floor as stockbrokers scrambled for the money. These well publicized comedic acts were deliberately intended to undermine the institutions they attacked.

Yippie activism captured perfectly the chaotic final years of the “movement,” as the New Left subsided into  factionalism and confusion over political objectives.

Their antics also contributed to the public’s widely held view that the  anti war movement was too countercultural, too radical.

In 1969 the deep divisions in SDS resulted in a convention that was so acrimonious that it “could hardly even agree upon a time to adjourn, much less an organization for revolution.”  SDS broke into two main factions, the Progressive Labor Party and the Weathermen, a self proclaimed radical group dedicated to fighting for the overthrow of American capitalism.

The Weathermen’s first declaration was that “the job of white Americans is to do anything they can in support of [revolutionary] struggles.”  Members of Weathermen contended that any efforts at organizing whites against their own perceived oppression were “attempts by whites to carve out even more privilege than they already derive from the imperialist nexus.” This sounds like the seeds of the contempt that the former anti war candidate, Hillary Clinton, showed unemployed coal miners and steel workers.

The white, mostly bourgeois, Weathermen found that the rest of the anti war movement failed to follow them. Despite their dwindling popularity, they somehow imagined that the urban communes they set up would become bases for organizing the would-be rank and file of the revolution, but predictably, they failed to rouse the proletariat.

Zimmerman, who came to view the Weathermen with contempt, believed that in order to make their movement grow they “had to make it easy for people to join us, not require them to carry foreign flags, risk arrest or adapt a militant posture toward a government many still considered their own.”

But the Weathermen were focused on demanding loyalty to itself.  New members were subjected to intense initiation rituals. Mass orgies entitled “smash monogamy” were scheduled with the intent of making the relationship with the group the only one that mattered.

With revolution rather than peace as its goal, the Weathermen turned to terrorism.  In 1969, the Weathermen issued a well-publicized call for a “fight the pigs” event in Chicago that the press dubbed “Days of Rage.” Two days prior to the protests, the group bombed the Haymarket Police statue. But the expected mobs of protestors failed to materialize.  A crowd of about 100 worked diligently to create chaos, but managed only to cause property damage and get arrested.

Frustrated, the Weathermen became increasingly violent. They built bombs to detonate at the sites of their purported oppressors. In March, 1970, a bomb meant for a dance at a nearby military base went off prematurely, blowing up their Greenwich Village town house, killing three and injuring two. At the time two additional bombs with 44 sticks of dynamite were defused with information provided by an undercover agent. The group ultimately set off about 25 bombs in various locations, including a nail bomb that killed a policeman. Historian Harvey Klehr writes that “the only reason they were not guilty of mass murder is mere incompetence.”

In September 1970, the Weathermen robbed a National Guard armory in Massachusetts stealing weapons and ammunition before setting fire to the armory. They used these weapons in a bank robbery during which they shot a police officer in the back. Three others were killed in a separate bank robbery.

Although the Weathermen diverted much of the anti war movement’s leadership, demonstrations against the war  continued, albeit on a more sporadic and spontaneous basis. In 1969, following the news of the1968 My Lai Massacre of 347 civilians, a broad based nationwide one day moratorium drew 500,000.

Then in 1970, the  invasion and bombing of Cambodia brought about large, violent and disorganized campus protests that resulted in the National Guard shooting into crowds of protestors, causing the deaths of 4 students at Kent State University and 2 at Jackson State University. Then again in 1971, demonstrations flared up after news broke of the invasion of Laos.

In part, organized demonstrations subsided in the wake of the departure of their far left organizers, and in part the movement lost its impetus when President Nixon and his defense Secretary, Melvin Laird, began to implement ‘Vietnamization,’ that is, the policy of transferring military operations from American troops to the South Vietnamese. Nixon gradually reduced the number of Americans in Vietnam until direct military involvement ended in 1973.

But the Weathermen remained energized throughout this period. They convened a  ‘war council’ in 1970 that issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the US government.The council ended with a speech by John Jacobs who condemned the “pacifism” of white middle-class American youth (of which, of course, he was one). And declared that: “We’re against everything that’s ‘good and decent’ in honky America,…We will burn and loot and destroy.” The anti-White hatred reflected in Jacobs’ remarks was a central theme of the council. The Weathermen even debated whether killing White babies was a salutary revolutionary act.

The generally sympathetic documentary, “The Weather Underground” (the group’s name changed when their lawlessness forced them underground), portrays Weather members who put their lives on the line for peace and to oppose racism and who saw themselves as joining Black people and the Vietnamese in revolution. The Black Panthers, whose communal living facilities were dedicated to providing food and services to Black neighborhoods, shunned the Weathermen, calling the group’s  violence “stupid and unnecessary.”

Brian Flanagan, a rare working class member of the Weather Underground, and alone among the former members interviewed in the Documentary, compared the Weathermen to Islamist terrorists and to Timothy McVeigh, noting that all shared the conviction that their own knowledge of what was right for society entitled them to break laws, to kill, to engage in terrorism. “When you feel that you have right on your side,” he said, “you can do some pretty horrific things.” Others interviewed in the Documentary remain unapologetic, and do not seem to see that their actions failed to inspire political change or even to help bring an end to the war. Bill Ayers, one of the group’s “rich kid radicals” said in a 2001interview, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”

Many in this movement that had superseded the anti war movement and transformed it into a divisive, patronizing, violent, disruptive force were Jewish. Why? Mark Rudd  former leader of SDS at Columbia University and of the Weather Underground, addressed this question in a later essay. As he explains, although he was a third generation American, he grew up in an insular world where his “family carried the Jewish ghettos of Newark and Elizabeth with them to the suburbs.” He writes that his family was far from “assimilated, if that means replacing a Jewish identity with an American one.”

Rudd’s explanation for his political alienation is instructive.  “As a child I never fell for the seduction of patriotism. It seemed so arbitrary, who’s an American and who’s not. If my relatives hadn’t emigrated, who would I be? Since I was also at core an idealist and a utopian—another Jewish tradition?—I wanted to skip all that obviously stupid and dangerous stuff that gave rise to wars and racism.”

This is an astounding statement. He views being an American as the arbitrary result of immigration (although immigration was a purposeful event) and his Jewishness as an irreducible and positive trait. Then after speaking of the racism of his family (they moved out when Black families moved into their Newark neighborhood) he sees patriotism, a sentiment that presumably embraces all Americans including Blacks, as racist and treats his own membership in an insular racial group as “idealist and utopian.”

When Rudd entered Columbia he joined SDS where all of his mentors and friends, and indeed, most of the group, were Jewish. Rudd recalls many conversations with his Jewish comrades but never a conversation in which they  “discussed the fact that so many of us were Jewish. This glaring lack alone might serve as a clue to what we were up to: by being radicals we thought we could escape our Jewishness. Left-wing radicalism was internationalist, not narrow nationalist; it favored the oppressed and the workers, not the privileged and elites, which our families were striving toward.”

While Rudd may have wanted to escape his identity and become one with the ‘workers,’ it seems that the workers had no interest in his revolutionary politics. Gilad Atzmon points out in ‘Being In Time,’ that when ‘revolutionary’ Jews went to Spain to join the Civil War, they found themselves in an International Brigade that was 1/4 Jewish and Yiddish was the lingua franca. While they wanted, as Rudd did, to escape their identity and join the proletariat, they found themselves in a “Jewish ghetto, fighting Spanish patriots.” They might have identified with the working class, but they were not a part of that class.  Atzmon explains, “[t]he Red Jews who traveled to Spain ended up fighting in Jewish legions because ID politics and Left-orientation are largely a Jewish intellectual domain that is actually quite foreign to working people.”

Then, as if to illustrate his confusion, in Rudd’s next paragraph he switches to seeing the ‘revolution’ not as an escape from his identity but as an affirmation of it, stating: “Identifying with the oppressed seemed to me at Columbia and since a natural Jewish value. What outraged me and my comrades so much about Columbia, along with its hypocrisy, was that despite the large number of Jewish students the University had “the air of genteel civility. Or should I say gentile?”

Here is the part of the anti war movement that is in complete rebellion against all that is ‘goyim.’ And yet it is Archie Bunker who we hold out as a racist. But even the fictional ‘racist’ Archie didn’t leave his home when a Black family moved next door as Rudd’s family had. Atzmon notes that ‘All in the Family’ was itself subversive of working class values. Beginning in 1971 we watched Archie railing against his son-in-law who represented what we now call ‘political correctness.’  Our universal denigration of Archie became a part of our adoption of identity politics, that eschews bigotry yet divides society into groups based on inherited characteristics.

Rudd’s explanations for why so many in the radical anti war movement were Jewish seems to me to be incomplete. The movement never was ‘internationalist,’ as it failed to convince the working class to join nor did the movement help Rudd escape his Jewish identity, he consistently identified as Jewish and found much to criticize about goyim. There are a few other possible motives that might have contributed to the phenomenon he addresses.

First, the Jews were the vast majority of the intellectuals of the movement. By adopting radical politics that were frankly anti American the Jews (in the movement) were able to differentiate themselves and escape the company of the seemingly unwelcome ‘middle Americans’ (goyim). Instead they formed an elitist apparatus within the so-called radical left.

George Tyler writes in “Weather Underground:Driving down a Dead End Street,” “Many of the Weather Underground leaders are sons and daughters of wealthy families – prominent corporation executives, lawyers, etc. …The arrogance, elitism and impatience stemming from their class background was reflected in their politics.” Much as they claimed proletarian values, these SDS leaders were unable to compromise or work with their working class brethren. Their contempt for others is not unlike the latter day critique of the ‘basket of deplorables.’

In fact, some former members of SDS saw the Weathermen’s violence and attacks on the middle class as deliberately designed to destroy the anti war movement. Although perhaps not intentional, it was at a minimum predictable that the Weather Underground’s actions would be repellent to most.

Also, and perhaps relevant, the radical split off and effective weakening of the anti war movement occurred  after 1967, the year of the Six Day War after which a victorious Israel was viewed with pride by many diaspora Jews. The radical students seeking the oppressed to represent might well instead have chosen the Palestinians who had been uprooted by the Jewish state. Was some of their anger at America transferred from embarrassment at the land grab  by the Israelis and the creation of thousands more refugees? Or instead, did they sympathize with Israel and feel themselves even stronger when represented by a victorious state? In any case, these radicals who identified as Jewish were more interested in ‘fixing’ the United States than in ‘fixing’ Israel.

Whatever the motivation, it was the intellectual and largely Jewish members of SDS who formed the Weathermen whose violence kneecapped the anti war movement. While they saw those who did not join them as ‘complicit’ in ‘America’s crimes,’ they were at least as complicit in that they accomplished nothing except to hurt the anti war movement by association.

However upset the Weathermen claimed to have been by the millions of deaths in Vietnam, even today most show no regret for the deaths they caused. In listening to them it is clear that there never was an achievable goal in their calls for a total revolution without a map. Atzmon points out that, “[t]hey didn’t want to liberate America, they wanted to liberate themselves from themselves by being themselves. It didn’t work very well.”

In the years since, many of the Weathermen have emerged from hiding, and have as  Larry Grathwohl, writes in his memoir of his time as an undercover agent, “pulled off [one of] their most audacious feats: they negotiated a return to society, avoided legal consequences for their most serious crimes, and rose to influential positions in academia and politics – all without renouncing their anti-American ideology or apologizing for the acts of terrorism they committed against ordinary Americans.”

Sale concludes his history of the SDS narrative by pointing out SDS’ ‘salutary’ long term effects. “SDS taught the mechanics of political organizing and protest to an activist segment of the student population and restored the legitimacy of mass dissent to the national scene, leading eventually to such direct political consequences as liberalized laws (with respect, for example, to abortion, marijuana, homosexuality, community control, and the rights of blacks, women, and the young), the reorganization of the Democratic Party and the nomination of George McGovern, and the extension of suffrage to eighteen-year-olds.”

Perhaps it is the residue of the elitism of the SDS that has left the Democratic Party alienated from its former working class base.

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