The American Left, the Jewish Question and the Repetition Compulsion

american left and the J question.jpg

 BY GILAD ATZMON

By Gilad Atzmon 

A few days ago, Ynet (the biggest Israeli media outlet) reported that the American progressive movement has come to acknowledge the problematic role of its Jewish elements. The Israeli outlet revealed that in the eyes of emerging progressive circles within the American left, Jews are perceived as “white oppressors” at the core of America’s social injustice. The Ynet report is based on a recent study made by Dafna Kaufman, an analyst at the Israeli Reut institute.

“The contemporary discourse of the American left divides society into (identitarian) squares: you are either with us or against us – and the Jews are left out.” Ynet sums up Kaufman’s argument. “Although the vast majority of American Jews support the Democratic Party, progressive circles no longer really allow Jews to be part of the struggle for social change, as long as they continue to be pro-Zionist and actively express their Jewishness.”  You may have already noticed that the Israeli outlet doesn’t refer solely to ‘Zionists’ as most Palestinian solidarity campaigners do out of fear of the ‘Jews in their movement.’  The Israeli news outlet refers to ‘Jews,’ ‘Jewishness’ and also to ‘Zionists’ as an integral organic spectrum of Jewish life, culture, identity and politics.   

Ynet stresses that the American Left has developed an intolerance towards Jewish politics and Jewish identitarianism. “The report further indicates that the radical progressive faction contributes to the growing exclusion of Jewish community organizations from the American left by denying Jews the right to complain about their discrimination or anti-Semitism.” Ynet quotes Kaufman’s report, “Jews are being identified as strong white oppressors, and so is the State of Israel.”

Ynet asks, ‘can I be white, Jewish, liberal and Democrat?’ Kaufman answers “Of course you can be, but some of your rights are pretty much revoked. You can be an ally in social struggles, but you can’t be at the center of the issue.” I guess that what Kaufman is telling us here is that you can be a ‘Jew’ and a ‘Lefty’ but your role as controlled opposition might have come to an end.

Ynet stresses that “it is important to remember that Jews have made progress in American society through the establishment, and this is a significant part of the influence of Jews on the United States, yet the progressive movement is very anti-establishment. Therefore, the conclusion is clearly that the Jews are the oppressive white. Of course, the real picture is more complex, but this binary division puts the Jews in certain boxes.”

The above Israeli discourse reminds me of an old Israeli joke:

An Israeli arrives at Heathrow. The immigration officer asks “occupation?”

“No” replies the Israeli, “just visiting.”

In the joke, the Israeli sees himself as an occupier, and also accepts being perceived as one, but most significantly, he is totally at ease with his role as an occupier. The British immigration officer is obviously blind to all of that, as he is engaged in routine questioning. He might even miss the joke. In the American reality as depicted by Ynet’s article, the progressives are awakening to the reality that has been openly inflicted on their movement by some powerful and loud lobbies, well-funded think tanks and pressure groups.  

The Jewish fear of anti-Semitism is exactly that moment of awakening, the tormenting thought that the immigration officer actually understands the joke and even allows himself to laugh loudly. This is exactly what the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan meant by  ‘the unconscious is the discourse of the other.’ It is the fear that the other sees you for what you are and even dares to share his/her thoughts about you with everyone else. Accordingly, if Jewish power is the power to silence criticism of Jewish power, then the fear of anti-Semitism is the tormenting thought that this power wanes off: the thought about people starting to call a spade a spade and even worse: leftists sticking to their principles of equality and justice. 

The other day, I asked a progressive member of my family to define history: “we learn about our past mistakes so we don’t repeat them in the future,” he cleverly said.  I corrected him slightly. ‘We learn about our past mistakes so we can understand our future mistakes within context.’  Delving into this complexity from a psychoanalytical perspective brings to light the notion of ‘Repetition Compulsion.’ Repetition Compulsion is often defined as a psychological phenomenon in which a human subject repeats an event or its circumstances over and over again. This entails putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. The concept of repetition compulsion was first introduced by Freud who pointed at a situation in which “the patient does not remember anything of what he has forgotten and repressed, he acts it out, without, of course, knowing that he is repeating it …”

Yet, the Freudian concept fails to accurately describe the emerging dangerous circumstances as described by the Ynet article. As we know, self-identified Jews are fully aware of and actively identify with Jewish past suffering.   But, for one reason or another, some people do not learn from their past mistakes. They keep repeating the same mistakes and expect different outcomes.

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Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

May 07, 2021

Source

Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Remarks at the meeting of the UN Security Council, “Maintenance of international peace and security: Upholding multilateralism and the United Nations-centred international system,” held via videoconference, Moscow, May 7, 2021

First of all, let me thank Mr Wang Yi, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, for organising today’s debates. Maintaining multilateralism and the UN-centred international system is as topical as ever and demands the UN Security Council’s constant attention.

Today the world finds itself in a critical stage of development. The coronavirus pandemic has posed a grave challenge to everyone without exception. Normal life has been completely upended. It is difficult to predict the long-term or deferred consequences of the crisis, although we can see some positive trends thanks to the massive deployment of coronavirus vaccines.

The pandemic broke out in a world that was already far from perfect. In recent years, we have seen growing international tensions, as well as escalating regional conflicts and cross-border challenges and threats. The entire architecture of global governance created after the Second World War is being tested.

It is clear that the prospects of the international community’s sustainable and predictable development are directly connected with our ability to find effective solutions to common problems and our readiness to exercise collective leadership in order for true multilateralism to prevail.

Russia, like the majority of countries, is convinced that such work must be carried out solely on the basis of universally recognised norms of international law. The United Nations must serve as the key platform for coordinating efforts: it is the backbone of the modern global order, where all independent states are represented. Today, its unique legitimacy and unique capabilities are especially needed.

The core tenets of international law enshrined in the UN Charter have withstood the test of time. Russia calls on all states to unconditionally follow the purposes and principles of the Charter as they chart their foreign policies, respecting the sovereign equality of states, not interfering in their internal affairs, settling disputes by political and diplomatic means, and renouncing the threat or use of force. This is especially important at the current stage in the difficult process of forming an international multipolar system. At a time when new centres of economic growth, financial and political influence are gaining strength, it is necessary to preserve the internationally recognised legal basis for building a stable balance of interests that meets the new realities.

Unfortunately, not all of our partners are driven by the imperative to work in good faith to promote comprehensive multilateral cooperation. Realising that it is impossible to impose their unilateral or bloc priorities on other states within the framework of the UN, the leading Western countries have tried to reverse the process of forming a polycentric world and slow down the course of history.

Toward this end, the concept of the rules-based order is advanced as a substitute for international law. It should be noted that international law already is a body of rules, but rules agreed at universal platforms and reflecting consensus or broad agreement. The West’s goal is to oppose the collective efforts of all members of the world community with other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else. We only see harm in such actions that bypass the UN and seek to usurp the only decision-making process that can claim global relevance.

The well-known idea to convene a Summit for Democracy proposed by the US Administration is in the same vein. The establishment of a new club based on interests, with a clearly ideological nature, has the potential to further inflame international tensions and deepen dividing lines in a world that needs a unifying agenda more than ever. Of course, the list of democracies to be invited to the summit will be determined by the United States.

Another initiative with the goal of global leadership that bypasses the UN is the French and German idea to create an Alliance for Multilateralism. What could be more natural then discussing the tasks of strengthening multilateralism at the UN? However, Berlin and Paris think differently and issue joint documents declaring that “the European Union is the cornerstone of the multilateral international system” and promote the conclusions of the Council of the European Union under the title “The central role of the European Union and European institutions in promoting multilateralism.” Presumptuous, you might say. The EU does not think so and declares its own exceptionalism despite all its invocations of equality and brotherhood.

By the way, as soon as we suggest discussing the current state of democracy not just within states but on the international stage with our Western colleagues, they lose interest in the conversation.

New ambitious initiatives to create narrow partnerships are emerging all the time within the Alliance for Multilateralism, on issues that are already being discussed at the UN or its specialised agencies, for example, on cyber security (with 65 member countries), respect for the international humanitarian law (43 member countries), the Information and Democracy Partnership (over 30 countries), etc.

This also reveals the West’s true attitude toward multilateralism and the UN, which they do not regard as a universal format for developing solutions acceptable to everyone, but in the context of their claims to superiority over everyone else, who must accept what is required of them.

Another example of the dictatorial methods introduced by the West is the practice of imposing unilateral sanctions without any international and legal grounds, with the sole purpose of punishing “undesirable regimes” or sidelining competitors. During the pandemic, such restrictions have limited the capacity of a whole range of developing countries to counter the spread of the infection. Despite UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s call to suspend such unilateral sanctions during the pandemic, we mostly see them becoming harsher.

We believe such efforts to impose totalitarianism in global affairs to be unacceptable, yet we see it more and more from our Western colleagues, above all the United States, the European Union and other allies, who reject all principles of democracy and multilateralism on the global stage. As if to say, either it’s our way, or there will be repercussions.

It is striking that Western leaders, while openly undermining international law, do not hesitate to argue that the main task of world politics should be to counter the attempts of Russia and China to “change the rules-based order.” Such statements were made the other day following the G7 ministerial meeting in London. In other words, there has already been a substitution of concepts: the West is no longer concerned with the norms of international law and now requires everyone to follow its rules and observe its order. What’s more, US representatives freely admit that the USA and Great Britain have had the biggest hand in shaping these rules.

I am not saying all of this to ratchet up the confrontational rhetoric or advance an accusatory agenda. I am simply stating facts. But if we all support multilateralism in word, let us honestly search for ways to ensure that there is fairness in deed, without attempts to prove one’s superiority or infringe on another’s rights. I hope that this approach to maintaining multilateralism and the UN-centred system will guide the activities of the UN Secretary-General and his team.

I am convinced that the time has come to do away with medieval and colonial habits and recognise the reality of today’s interconnected and interdependent world. Honest and mutually respectful cooperation based on equal partnership between all states, guided by pragmatism and devoid of any ideology or politicisation, is what is needed now. It is the only way to improve the atmosphere in the world and ensure predictability in the advancement of the human race. That is especially true of such global challenges as the threat of terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs, climate change, new infectious diseases, and protecting human rights, starting with the most important one – the right to life.

I agree with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who stressed recently that no country can overcome such global threats to the lives of our citizens alone, not even the United States.

The permanent members of the UN Security Council are called on to play a key role in fostering open and direct dialogue about the most pressing problems of our time. According to the UN Charter, they bear special responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. President of Russia Vladimir Putin proposed convening a summit with the leaders of the five permanent members. We hope to make this idea a reality once the epidemiological situation in the world stabilises.

In conclusion I would like to emphasise that the UN, as the main multilateral platform, must keep pace with changes on the global stage. The organisation must constantly adapt to ever-changing conditions, while continuing to fully respect the division of labour between the main UN Charter bodies and maintaining the support of all the member states. At every stage of change, our actions must be measured by the improvements made to the United Nations’ real-world effectiveness.

Russia stands ready to continue working constructively with all partners who share these approaches in order to bolster the authority and fully unlock the potential of the UN as the true centre of multilateralism.

Thank you for your attention.

Captain America – The Man with Two Brains

March 21, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

Notes

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

*

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epilogue – Captain America –The Man with Two Brains


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

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

and http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com

Biden: Surrounding Contradictions and Ineffectiveness بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

By Nasser Kandil

Many questions are raised about what the new US President Joe Biden’s ascent to the Presidency will bring in the shadow of the dark page represented by ex-President Trump’s time in office. Many rush to envision a rosy period represented by Biden due to the large thorns left behind by Trump, although the real picture is different. Biden’s rule as “Walking between the dots,” and “Ma bisheel al zeer min al beer” as a popular Arabic saying goes implying ineffectiveness, are invitations to lower expectations. The options awaiting Biden are complex and difficult, and the contradictions which surround the pressing dossiers he will be presented with will guarantee the every supposedly possible option to undertake will create a crisis of equal peril in parallel to the one he will resolve. This suggests that the utmost that Biden will be capable of is crisis management to keep big explosions at bay, while lacking the ability to achieve major breakthroughs.

The position the US finds itself in is similar to that the Occupation is in, namely both the inability to wage war and to forge settlements, for structural reasons in both situations. The Israeli Occupation, whose leaders and generals have gotten to the point of acknowledging the inability to wage war, appears unfit for something else.  When the Occupation emerged victorious from its wars, it fell under the illusion that making settlements was superfluous, and drew illusory high ceilings for settlements, which made them impossible. When the Occupation failed to realize its goals in the wars it waged or was defeated in, it considered any realistic settlement as a confirmation of its resounding defeat and its dissolution as an entity based on power. The powerful “Israel” does not make settlements because it feels no need for them, but rather feels the desire to impose on its opponents conditions of surrender. “Israel” the weak, weakens first in the view of its extremists, which then robs any ruling politician of the needed delegation to enter into the realm of settlements, and to the same extent robs that politician of the ability to wage more wars.

In the American case, Biden faces challenges of the caliber of reaching understandings with Moscow and Peking on the basis of partnership and not merely the diffusion of conflict. Based on the opinions of all the experts, an entrance into such assumed partnership constitutes an American acknowledgment of loss in stature which Biden knows he has to avoid for the duration of  his internal war with the Extreme Right which has become more powerful, and the title for  dangerous domestic polarization, and which asks for proof of hanging on to American distinctiveness and excellence. In parallel, what Biden needs in the Middle East is to appear as a defender of “Israel” and able to decrease tensions, when pursuing either course will cause damage to the other. He has to prove the efficacy of the Nuclear Agreement with Iran in comparison to Trump’s policies, without allowing Iran appearing to benefit. He also has to reunify his allies, starting with Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and the Gulf, which raises the question about what he will do with the Muslim Brotherhood and with Libya. If he gives precedence to the alliance with Egypt, France, and the Gulf over the alliance with Turkey, how will he prevent losing Turkey and the risk of her positioning more clearly with the Iranian-Russian alliance? In consequence, conceding a Russian Iranian Turkish cooperation ending in a compete American defeat in Syria and Iraq?

What will Biden do in the domestic arena, and could he take steps to decrease the level of anger and anxiety among the Black, Latino, and Muslim Minorities without increasing the level of anger among the White racist and organized extremists? Would he succeed in containing the Extreme Right through cooperation with the Republicans without making concessions at the expense of economic and social programs which impinge on the rich in favor of the poor and weak, whose proportion has much more than doubled with COVID? And could fracturing in the ranks of Democrats be avoided with concessions to Republicans?

The first matter which has to addressed by Biden is foreign, namely the consideration of how to deal with the Nuclear Agreement, which will be under domestic scrutiny, and the scrutiny of all of Washington’s allies and opponents and their evaluation – a dossier in which Biden has  little room for maneuver.  Any discussion of requests related to Iran’s missile program and regional crises, and even calls about a basis for return to the Nuclear Agreement or calls for going back on nuclear escalation steps Iran had undertaken are outside of Iranian consideration.

Biden faces two difficult choices. Lifting sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017, a clear  Iranian condition for mutual return to the same Nuclear Agreement without negotiations, will result in increased domestic polarization and a widening of the gap with opponents, and an  escalating Israeli and Gulf climate. Keeping sanctions under the slogan of anticipated negotiations which will not materialize, at the risk of transforming his Administration into another Trump Administration, which will close Peking and Moscow doors, and result in the staggering and fall of the Nuclear Agreement, and in an escalation in regional tensions.

بايدن المحاط بالتناقضات لن «يشيل الزير من البير»

ناصر قنديل

أسئلة كثيرة تحيط بما سيحمله تولي الرئيس الأميركي الجديد جو بايدن لمقاليد الرئاسة، في ظل الصفحة السوداء التي مثلها حكم الرئيس المنتهية ولايته دونالد ترامب، ويتسرّع الكثيرون في رؤية مرحلة وردية يمثلها بايدن بسبب حجم الأشواك التي تركها ترامب، لكن الصورة ليست كذلك. فحكم بايدن سيمرّ بين النقاط كما يُقال، ولن يكون بايدن قادراً أن «يشيل الزير من البير» كما يقول المثل الشائع، في توصيف الدعوة لتخفيض سقف التوقعات، فالخيارات التي تنتظر بايدن صعبة ومعقدة، والتناقضات التي ستحيط بالملفات الملحّة المطروحة أمامه تتكفّل بجعل كل من الخيارات الافتراضيّة سبباً لأزمات لا تقلّ خطورة عن التي سيعالجها، ويمكن القول بحساب هذه الفرضيات أن أقصى ما يستطيعه بايدن هو إدارة الأزمات بما يستبعد فرص الانفجارات الكبرى، لكن دون القدرة على صناعة الانفراجات.

وضع أميركا اليوم يشبه في الاستعصاء الذي يقع فيه وضع كيان الاحتلال بالعجز عن خوض الحروب والعجز عن صناعة التسويات، ولأسباب بنيوية في الوضعين. فكما أن كيان الاحتلال الذي بلغ باعتراف أركانه وقادته مرحلة العجز عن خوض الحروب يبدو غير صالح لغير ذلك، فهو عندما خرج منتصراً في حروبه توهّم أنه يُغنى عن صناعة التسويات ورسم لها سقوفاً وهميّة عالية، ما جعلها مستحيلة، وعندما هزم في حروبه أو فشل في تحقيق أهدافها، بات يعتبر كل تسوية واقعية تكريساً لهزيمة متمادية ستتكفل بانحلاله ككيان قائم على القوة، بحيث إن «اسرائيل» القوية لا تصنع التسوية لأنها لا تشعر بالحاجة إليها بل الرغبة بفرض شروط الاستسلام على خصومها، و»إسرائيل» الضعيفة تضعف أولاً أمام المتطرفين فيها، فيفقد أي سياسي حاكم التفويض اللازم للخوض في غمار التسويات، بمثل ما يفقد القدرة اللازمة على خوض المزيد من الحروب.

في الحالة الأميركيّة أمام بادين تحدّيات من عيار الوصول لتفاهم مع موسكو وبكين على قواعد شراكة لا مجرد ربط نزاع، ووفقاً لكل الخبراء يشكل الانخراط الأميركي في هذه الشراكة المفترضة تسليماً بتراجع المكانة الأميركية يعرف بايدن أن عليه تجنبه طالما أن معركته الداخلية مع اليمين المتطرّف الذي زاد قوة، وصار عنواناً لانقسام أهليّ خطير، تتم تحت عنوان إثبات التمسك بالتميّز الأميركي والتفوق الأميركي. وبالتوازي ما يحتاجه الرئيس الأميركي في الشرق الأوسط الجمع بين الظهور كمدافع عن «إسرائيل»، وقادر على تخفيض التوتر؛ والسير بواحد من الاتجاهين يصيب الآخر بالضرر، وعليه أن يثبت أهليّة التفاهم النووي مع إيران بالمقارنة مع سياسات ترامب، من دون أن يسمح بظهور إيران مستفيدة، وكذلك عليه أن يُعيد توحيد صفوف حلفائه، بدءاً من أوروبا وتركيا ومصر والخليج، فماذا يفعل بالإخوان المسلمين؟ وماذا يفعل بليبيا؟ وإذا قرر تغليب التحالف مع مصر وفرنسا والخليج على تركيا كيف يستطيع منع خسارتها وتموضعها بصورة أوضح ضمن الحلف الروسي الإيراني؟ وبالتالي التسليم بتعاون روسي إيراني تركي ينتهي بخسارة أميركية كاملة في سورية والعراق؟

ماذا سيفعل بايدن في الشق الداخلي، وهل يمكن السير بخطوات تخفض منسوب الغضب والقلق عند الأقليات السمراء واللاتينيّة والمسلمة من دون رفع منسوب غضب القوة البيضاء العنصرية المتطرفة والمنظمة، وهل يمكن احتواء الشارع المتطرّف من خلال التعاون مع الحزب الجمهوري من دون تقديم تنازلات على حساب البرنامج الاقتصادي الاجتماعي الذي يفرض المزيد من الأعباء على الطبقات الغنية لصالح المزيد من الضمانات للفقراء والضعفاء، الذي ارتفعت نسبتهم بأضعاف مع نتائج وباء كورونا؟ وهل يمكن تفادي تصدعات في صفوف الديمقراطيين مع كل تنازلات يتمّ تقديمها للجمهوريين؟

الاستحقاق الأول الذي ينتظر بايدن سيكون خارجياً، البتّ بكيفية التعامل مع الملف النووي الإيراني، وسينظر كل الداخل الأميركي لكيفية تعامله مع هذا الملف، كما سيقيم كل من حلفاء واشنطن وخصومها هذا التعامل ويبني عليه تقييماته، وفي هذا الملف حدود ضيقة للمناورة، فإيران ليست بوارد أي بحث بطلبات تتصل بملفها الصاروخي وأزمات المنطقة، ولا حتى بقواعد العودة للتفاهم النووي ودعوتها للتراجع عن خطواتها النووية التصعيدية، وأمام بايدن خياران صعبان، العودة عن العقوبات التي فرضت على إيران منذ 2017 كشرط إيراني واضح عنوانه عودة عملية متبادلة الى قواعد الاتفاق نفسه من دون تفاوض. وفي هذه الحالة سيجد بايدن نفسه أمام تصاعد الانقسام الداخلي واتساع الفجوة مع الخصوم، كما سيجد مناخاً «إسرائيلياً وخليجياً تصعيدياً، أو خيار المضي بالعقوبات تحت شعار انتظار التفاوض المفترض الذي لن يتمّ. وفي هذه الحالة سيفتتح ولايته بالتحول الى ترامب آخر، فتنغلق الأبواب أمامه في بكين وموسكو ويترنح الاتفاق النوويّ نحو السقوط، ويرتفع منسوب التصعيد في المنطقة.

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American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

January 24, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

American dystopia « Utopia or Dystopia

In an article in the NYT on America’s “Racial Democracy” (or racist democracy), (1) Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver noted “The philosopher Elizabeth Anderson argued that when political ideals diverge very widely from reality, the ideals themselves may prevent us from seeing the gap. When the official story differs greatly from the reality of practice, the official story becomes a kind of mask that prevents us from perceiving it.”

This means that if propaganda is not only incessant and pervasive but if its tenets are too far removed from factual truth, the victims of this propaganda lose their ability to separate fact from fiction and become unable to recognise the discrepancy between their beliefs and their actions, believing their actions correspond with the religiously-inspired tenets of their propaganda even when they patently and most obviously do not correspond. The theory is not intuitively obvious, but it is heavily supported by facts. Perhaps it is for this reason that Americans are guilty of what I call “the Utopia Syndrome”, comparing themselves not with the real world of their actions but with some utopian standard that exists only in their own imaginations, a world of fancy and illusion where they meet the standards but all others do not. In this light, it may be that much of what we attribute to American hypocrisy may in reality be due to a peculiarly American kind of mass insanity.

Dictionaries generally define ‘aberration’ as a deviation from the normal or typical, an event or characteristic that may be unpleasant or even criminal but that is seldom encountered. In 1975, a US Senate Committee was investigating the documented tales of the CIA engaging in widespread killings of world leaders obstructive to US hegemony. (2) (3) Their conclusion?

“The committee does not believe that the acts of assassination which it has examined represent the real American character. They do not reflect the ideals which have given the people of this country and the world hope for a better, fuller, fairer life. We regard the assassination plots as aberrations.”

So, as William Blum noted, (4) the assassinations by the CIA of more than 50 national leaders and 100 lesser targets spanning at least 50 years and continuing in uninterrupted form through twelve US Presidents, are mere “aberrations” that don’t reflect “the real American character”. Reading from the same script, the US military casually described all the circumstances and events at its worldwide network of US torture prisons over twelve decades as “aberrations”.

It is worth re-reading the above quote telling us the 150 or more murders “do not represent the real American character”, the quote forming a perfect introduction to the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome. The assassinations of all these foreign leaders are not denied; instead they are described as inconsistent with the American utopian ideal, and it is the ideal rather than the act against which America judges itself, the fictitious utopian ideal providing the real measure of American moral supremacy. This pathological reasoning is a stunning tribute to the efficacy of the propaganda methods of Lippman and Bernays, who almost single-handedly turned Americans into raving lunatic war-mongers during both World Wars. (5) It is from precisely this propaganda that Americans today can commit multiple horrendous atrocities, violate every measure of human rights, yet claim the high moral ground and see no inconsistency or conflict. The propagandised utopian ideal of creating peace and stability in the world will supersede America’s actions of creating only war and instability. The propagandised ideal of fostering and protecting democracy will overwhelm and mask the reality that the US has never anywhere installed a democracy, has never supported democracy, and has instead almost exclusively installed and supported brutal Right-Wing dictatorships. This patently illogical logic applies across the entire spectrum of US behavior.

Following the same line of reasoning, an American writer named Dana Williams wrote a reasonably good article detailing that America’s military interventions have always been waged only on behalf of big business and the elites, but then added: “America’s most priceless treasure is its democratic values and its growing sense of human rights”. What? A growing sense of human rights? Evidenced by what? This woman had just written of the increasingly devastating litany of American atrocities and destruction of so many governments and nations and in the next breath tells us of this same country’s priceless and growing treasure of democracy and human rights, apparently unaware of any conflict. Such is the power of propaganda and the ability of myths to insinuate themselves into the human heart and mind.

Michael Parenti, for whom I have considerable admiration, did essentially the same thing, writing, “… the American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.” (7) But where were all these openly-debating Americans when their government was progressively destroying Iraq for more than ten years? Where were they when Madeline Albright was killing 500,000 Iraqi infants? Where was the open public debate about the destruction of Jugoslavia or Libya? Where are they today when the US is destroying Venezuela? Due to the intensive propaganda and ideological programming, Americans are taught to venerate the process, but ignore the result. This is truly a kind of mass insanity, with all the credit due to Bernays, “the father of Public Relations in America”.

Further examples of this mass delusion are not difficult to find. US President Obama was asked why the US managed to rise for more than 200 years without apparent failure. His response was to say, “The true strength of our nation comes not from power of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the staying power of our ideals of democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.” (8) We can be forgiven for questioning the man’s sanity, that he could make such a blatantly nonsense statement. Even worse, how ignorant and gullible can Americans be, that they will cheer and wave their flags on hearing such rubbish? We have already examined the sources of wealth of this nation, and they most emphatically have never been related, not even in imagination, to ideals of democracy or liberty.

In another case illustrative of the pervasive nature of this illness, in 2014 an American football team cancelled the employment contract of one of their star players for having made a vicious assault on his wife. In a casino hotel, the elevator camera recorded the man punching his wife in the head so hard that he drove her head-first into the steel wall, rendering her unconscious on the floor. (9) (10) A moment later, the CCTV camera in the hallway recorded him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator and dumping her on the floor like a rag doll. When the videos were released and went viral, the man made a statement to the media in which he said, “That is not the kind of person I am.” But of course it is the kind of person he is; this was the third time the police had to intervene when he had done something similar. But, as with most Americans and with the nation itself, he doesn’t compare himself to the reality of his actions but rather to the utopian ideals he pretends to hold in his mind. So even though he repeatedly punches his wife unconscious, that’s not the kind of person he is. This story is a perfect illustration of America today.

On another occasion, James Fallows, an American author and correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, wrote in one of his diatribes comparing China with the US: “… though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” (11) I have no particular wish to throw stones at Fallows, but this man is painting targets on his forehead with such a clearly ridiculous statement. All of the current domestic and international evidence – all of it – supports an unqualified assertion that the US freely ignores and violates every manner of law, both its own and those of other nations, whenever they become inconvenient or hinder unilateral action, yet we have Fallows with his delightfully patronising arrogance pontificating about America striving for perfection in following the rule of law, while suggesting that China does not do so. His claim is not different in quality than Bush and Obama flatly stating “we do not torture” after we have seen all the evidence and the torture prisons are all still open. Black is white. Nothing else to see here. Let’s move on. And move on Fallows does, secure in his fairyland mythology of American moral superiority, oblivious to the enormous contradictions snapping at his heels.

Fallows, in his suspended consciousness, conforms perfectly to this utopian syndrome, comparing the actions of his country to a high standard which exists only in his imagination and to which the US has never adhered. He does the same with his foolish criticisms of China, imagining the existence of some idolised standard which he then claims China fails to meet.

It is of extreme importance for readers to realise and fully understand that expressions like ‘rule of law’, ‘freedom’, and ‘democratic values’ are merely hypothetical idealistic constructs. They are myths and, like all myths, they are “designed to serve an emotive rather than cognitive function, not to provide fact based on reason but as propaganda to arouse emotions in support of an idea”. (12) Their purpose, and their clever effect, is not to provide information but to make one’s heart swell with pride at one’s own moral superiority. Think again of Fallows’ “though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” As Americans, we instantly feel that surge of pride in our breasts that we are so law-abiding while others by insinuation are not. Even further, we feel yet more pride that we so openly admit our (occasional and trivial) failures but, being good incarnate, we face and overcome these failings and continue striving in the best Olympic spirit. How can our god not love us?

The US government does precisely the same with its annual reports on human rights, which not only meet the definition of the utopian fallacy but contain the added merit of being mostly grand lies about countries that happen to be out of favor, and equally grand omissions about current politically-useful allies.

In this mental condition, Americans consider themselves superior to all others and believe they are advancing some greater good when all they are doing is forcibly imposing their warped anti-social values and political hegemony onto unwilling nations and peoples. Through their generations of propaganda, programming and brainwashing, most Americans live in an indispersible fog of mass delusion and self-deception in which black is white but which they inexplicably fail to fathom. From their ignorance and simple-mindedness created by their excessive utopian programming, Americans see their country’s prosecution of wars, the cannibalisation of nations and the single-minded devotion to the profit of a few elites, as the promotion of democracy and freedom, and are apparently incapable of the minor clarity of thought necessary to see that their murderous and greedy actions have absolutely nothing to do with either freedom or democracy.

When challenged, they usually offer a logic so groundless and illogical as to almost defy challenge. In their minds, all the nations their government has attacked are by utopian definition “evil regimes”. From the invasion of Mexico onward, in all the nations in South and Central America, in Africa and the Middle East, in Asia and Africa, the US was selflessly battling despotic tyranny. Of course, these nations were innocent, but to produce a list of all the countries the US has invaded and colonised with a military dictatorship, will almost inevitably evoke this response: “You make a list of all the evil regimes that “free America” has fought against, and use that list as evidence of how evil free America is.” If only that were true.

The combined political, religious and capitalistic propaganda tenets have resolved into what John Galbraith in The Affluent Society termed “conventional wisdom” (13) (14) which, through generations of that same propaganda, made these tenets “more or less identical with sound scholarship”, and their status being “virtually impregnable”, as he put it. The tenets of course have not actually been adhered to by any US government or indeed by the elites and their corporations, which means in Galbraith’s terms that the tenets are “highly acceptable in the abstract” rather than in reality. And this is the source of our dystopia of utopia in America today. We have the bizarre situation where this conventional wisdom – propaganda, in fact – makes a vigorous advocacy of these beliefs a substitute for behavior according to these beliefs.

So we have Americans preaching democracy while their government installs brutal dictatorships everywhere, and they see no disconnect. We have Americans preaching human rights while kidnapping people in other countries and “rendering” them to be mostly tortured to death, and see no disconnect. We have Americans fervently preaching and defending free-market capitalism while that same animal relieved about 30% of them of their homes and jobs, yet they see no disconnect.

This massive delusion is constantly reinforced by public repetition where each knows that many others share these beliefs. It all functions as a kind of religious morality play, the repetitive propaganda not only providing reassurance but serving as additional and pervasive evangelising of these foolish beliefs. Galbraith stated that “In some measure, the articulation of the conventional wisdom is a religious rite. It is an act of affirmation like reading aloud from the Scriptures or going to church.” He went on to say that this evangelising as a religious rite is not negligible because “its purpose is not to convey knowledge but to beatify learning and the learned”. In other words, statements like “we strive for a rule of law” are empty and nonsense pronouncements providing religious reinforcement of the mythical utopian tenets of American propaganda, then used as evidence of a superior morality tantamount to God’s will. Only in America do we find rampant self-adoration for preaching a gospel that we totally ignore in our real lives, in fact a monstrous hypocrisy re-branded as religion.

This is precisely what John Kozy was telling us (15) when he wrote that subjects in American schools were taught as if they were comprised of revealed religious truths, and in which the fundamentals of American patriotism, religious and political ideology, consumerism and free market capitalism were not different than studying the Bible in that they could not be questioned because they were by nature unquestionable, and therefore critical evaluation was proscribed. And again, “those who ask inconvenient questions are silenced in shame; books that present inconvenient truths are removed from libraries”. In the US as in no other country in the world, is it so necessary to adhere to the accepted narrative, nor so likely to provide acceptance and even applause for regurgitating that same narrative. And in no other nation does there exist the vast discrepancy between beliefs and actions or between theory and practice. The American political gospel tells us that we protect and install democracies everywhere. In real life this has never occurred even one time, but that doesn’t alter our faith in our political religion and nobody excommunicates us for our sins.

According to Galbraith again, “conventional wisdom accommodates itself not to the world that it is meant to interpret but to the audience’s view of the world”, the same view that has been artificially created by the professional propagandists. As much as Americans may criticise other nations for disapproval of deviations in behavior, especially political behavior, the same disapproval mechanism operates much more forcefully in American society. Only in America can we fully experience the awesome power of the ability of propaganda to make 300 million people so deaf, dumb and blind that they will fervently and solemnly declare that black is white. This process is so effective that not long after the flood of revelations of the extensive US network of torture prisons, including witness reports, photos and video of the pathologically depraved treatment of the prisoners, President Bush could go on national TV and tell America, “We do not torture” – and have most Americans believe him. Likewise with Obama with his torture prisons still in full operation, who told the nation, “I can stand here before you tonight and assure you that we do not torture”, leaving 300 million pathetically-brainwashed Americans firmly grounded in the moral superiority of a nation that does no wrong.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, commenting on American deaths in Iraq, said President Bush “believes in the value and dignity of every human life, that every life is precious and he grieves for each one that is lost”. (16) (17) As proof, one day President Bush was speaking to a meeting of the terrorist organisation known as Freedom House, and told the members, “We’re a country of deep compassion. We care. One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up, we cry. We don’t care what the child’s religion may be, or where that child may live, we cry. It upsets us. The enemy knows that, and they’re willing to kill to shake our confidence. That’s what they’re trying to do”. (18) But then there is a White House videotape of a conversation between former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then President George Bush, discussing their Christian obligation to spread democracy everywhere, at least in part for the purpose of protecting the lives of these innocent children. (19) (20) Powell opened the conversation with, “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” To which Bush responded, “Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Stay strong! Kill them! We are going to wipe them out!”

After overthrowing about 50 national governments and installing brutal military remote-control dictatorships in each of them, and trying to do the same in another 20 countries while grossly interfering in their media, elections and internal affairs, Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, told the world, “America has never sought to occupy any nation in the world. We are a good people”. (21) (22)

After interfering in about 100 countries, inflicting immense bloodshed and misery on countless millions of innocent civilians, US President Ronald Reagan boasted, “We have never interfered in the internal government of a country and have no intention of doing so, never had any thought of that kind.” (23) And it was the great John F. Kennedy himself who told us, “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war”. (24) As William Blum pointed out, this must mean that in America’s hundreds of wars with more than 70 nations spanning more than 200 years, all those countries invaded the US first, and America was just defending itself.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in an interview probably conducted in the office of his psychiatrist, claimed “the men and women of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century”. (25) This was the same interview in which he encouraged all NYT readers to “give war a chance”.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, needing a way to punish Saddam Hussein for not wanting to become a US colony, personally arranged the targeted destruction of Iraq’s drinking water purification facilities and enacted worldwide sanctions to prevent Iraq from obtaining replacement supplies or repairs. According to the United Nations, Albright’s actions directly resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi infants from contaminated drinking water, with the full knowledge of the US government. Then in a TV interview on the program 60 Minutes where she was confronted with evidence of these acts by Leslie Stahl, Albright famously proclaimed, “Yes, it was worth it.” (26) (27) And after personally arranging the 80-day non-stop bombing of Yugoslavia, the greatest continuous bombing campaign ever instituted by anybody anywhere, she said, “The United States is good. We try to do our best everywhere”. (28)

A US government official stated that “The American Empire is probably the most beneficial and moral the world has ever seen; not only in terms of technological development, but also through nurturing democracy and prosperity in the world. No other global empire has ever taken actions so massively against its interests solely for moral purposes.” Yet examination will uncover no example where the US has ever nurtured democracy, nor prosperity either, and I challenge anyone to detail even a single incident in the history of the world where the US has ever acted, massively or otherwise, against its interests solely for moral purposes. Various US military officials have claimed that “Our country is a force for good without precedent”, and that “The US military is a force for global good that … has no equal”. US President Woodrow Wilson boasted a century ago, that “America is the savior of the world”, while destroying and colonising that same world. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for War and Misery, wrote, “And the truth is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the US is good for a vast portion of the world’s population”. (29) Evidenced by what? By the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia syndrome. Nothing else.

American Christianity is a major part of this national insanity. George Bush informed the world that God told him to invade Iraq and, during the invasion, said “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job”. And when the war was over, after having killed a million or more innocent Iraqi civilians, Bush said, “When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious. … In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion. … When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man”. We are apparently to conclude that no one has had greater love for his fellow man than George Bush had for the million civilians he killed in Iraq and that Madeleine Albright was just exhibiting her great love for mankind by killing half a million infants. And of course, Obama can’t be left out of this parade. After countless thousands of deaths in the illegal destruction of Libya and the countless civilian deaths incurred by his drones in Pakistan, he fulfilled his propaganda obligation by telling us, “I believe that Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him. That is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis”. (30) The people in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Pakistan might have a different interpretation of Obama’s relationship with his god.

Another result of this utopian syndrome is what we term “the pot calling the kettle black”, in other words, attributing to others the sins that “our side” commits and being apparently oblivious to the gross illogic and falsehoods in our position. The only reason the US accuses Huawei of being a potential spy is because Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, and so many other American IT firms have been spying for the CIA and NSA for decades. The US media accuse anyone writing articles sympathetic to China, Russia or Iran of being paid shills, only because American correspondents have been paid CIA shills since the 1950s.

Another example that recently crossed my path was an article in the Financial Times by Jamil Anderlini who was at the time the FT’s station chief in Beijing. In an article titled ‘Patriotic education distorts China world view’, (31) Anderlini claimed that China’s “selective teaching of history influences its self-image”, imagining a great “disconnection between how the world views China and how China – from ordinary citizens to top leaders – sees itself.” He stated the world sees China as a frightening monster that bullies all other nations, his ignorance rendering him blissfully unaware that this sentiment is not true for China but for the US that he defends.

He wrote that China’s “selective teaching” of history and emphasis on “patriotic education” cultivates a “nationalistic, anti-western victim mentality among young Chinese”, again apparently ignorant of the typical Western (US) patriotic education cultivating US patriotism. This mentality is typical for all Western media correspondents who are selected primarily for the extent of their conversion by US propaganda. This is perhaps a good place to note that prior to joining the Financial Times, Anderlini was employed as a male underwear model which employment no doubt contributed to his deep understanding of Chinese culture while solidifying his credentials as the FT’s Beijing station chief.


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ + http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com.

Notes

(1) https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/is-the-united-states-a-racial-democracy/

(2) https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/intelligence/2017-06-02/white-house-cia-pike-committee-1975

(3) https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKassassinationsC.htm

(4) https://williamblum.org/essays/read/us-government-assassination-plots

(5) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/blog-post_49.html

(6) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259127294_Americans_and_Iraq_twelve_years_apart_Comparing_support_for_the_US_wars_in_Iraq

(7) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/Superpatriotism.html

(8) https://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/

(9) https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/ray-rice-elevator-assault-video

(10) https://pressofatlanticcity.com/news/crime/ravens-ray-rice-indicted-in-aggravated-assault-on-fiancee-at-atlantic-city-casino/article_1f5f5e80-b5e9-11e3-b57b-0019bb2963f4.html

(11) https://www.theatlantic.com/author/james-fallows/

(12) I have lost the source of this quotation

(13) https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/wisdom/conventional-wisdom-what-it-means-and-when-to-use-it/

(14) https://www.amazon.com/Affluent-Society-John-Kenneth-Galbraith/dp/0395925002

(15) https://www.globalresearch.ca/learning-without-questioning-in-america-the-sunday-school-syndrome/5364233

(16) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/55

(17) https://www.counterpunch.org/2008/03/04/how-could-hillary-have-known/

(18) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/32

(19) https://www.lewrockwell.com/2008/06/tom-engelhardt/kill-kill-kill/

(20) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41967.htm

(21) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/20/the-talibans-wishlist

(22) https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/07/08/the-brown-mans-burden/

(23) http://whale.to/b/reagan_h.html

Ronald Reagan, 1982. See: Nicaragua [2011 Jan] RONALD REAGAN: ILLUMINATI TOOL [1995] The Crimes of Mena By Sally Denton and Roger Morris.

(24) https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-university-19630610

(25) https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/10/frie-o13.html

(26) https://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/the-evil-of-madeleine-albright/

(27) https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/03/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

(28) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/American_benevolence

(29) https://carnegieendowment.org/1998/06/01/benevolent-empire-pub-275

(30) https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/articles/2008/08/17/obama_mccain_air_views_on_faith/

(31) https://www.ft.com/content/66430e4e-4cb0-11e2-986e-00144feab49a

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight

Source

Saturday, 07 November 2020 9:22 PM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 07 November 2020 9:22 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)
“Trumpism”, a cartoon by The Economist

By Ramin Mazaheri and crossposted with PressTV

4 years of anti-Trumpism shaping MSM vote coverage, but expect long fight
* 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.

With Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential votes, you will probably not hear pro-Trump views in the mainstream media for four years, but 70 million Trump votes show they do exist.

Last night I dreamt that I asked Trump what it was like to be the world’s most insulted man over the last four years?

This piqued his interest and he granted me a walk-and-talk interview. While I waited for him to be free I ate pizza – the food of variety and routine entertainment. When he became available we walked to a car, marveling that the secret service was going to let us travel without them. Trump would drive, which in dream logic means I think he is in charge.

I had more good journalistic questions for Trump, but I couldn’t remember any others when I woke up.

If the United States corporate media could insult Trump for four years then we should assume there is the same bias and animosity in their coverage of the current election crisis.

As a journalist I must account for this and realize they routinely give only one side of the story. In short: it’s clear they still want Trump out by any means necessary, which is why their mainstream journalists have done all they could to give the impression that it’s all over but the counting.

It’s not.

Trump’s demeanor in my dream was one of annoyance changing into focused determination – one cannot permanently put down someone with an ego as massive as Trump’s. Similarly, you cannot insult Trumpers because they truly believe their Americanness makes them totally impermeable to serious denigration. This arrogance is the psychological foundation of imperialism – that Western culture can never embarrass itself enough to jeopardize the idea of their natural superiority over others. Anti-Trumpers have this arrogance in the same magnitude, but express it slightly differently.

One cannot understand American political culture if one does not at least occasionally tune into right-wing AM talk radio. This is the only place to find the Christian conservatives who compose one-third of the country (polls show 50% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents call themselves “moderately” or “highly religious”). Due to fanatical Western secularism these people are essentially shut out of mainstream political discourse, but their massive numbers have allowed them to carve out this niche on an antiquated medium.

Every decent journalist should already know this. The US has very few of those (whereas the Iranian press is vibrant and demanding).

This explains why we hear so much talk in the American press about the pernicious influence of “online disinformation” such as the highly-publicized “Stop the Steal” page on Facebook. The out-of-touch US journalist class is totally tech-focused and thus mistakenly believes the primary threat to their narrative dominance is online.

If they would simply turn on the good old radio it would be shocking clear: “Stop the Steal” is the tip of the iceberg and not the work of Iranian or Russian trolls: there is a huge sector of US society which does not believe this election is fair and transparent enough, and they are focused, politically-involved and have the same analytical skills God gave all humans.

You can take down Facebook pages, but the massive audience which right-wing AM radio has enjoyed for decades will still be there. The US MSM has always ignored this medium, mistakenly hoping it would just go away, and thus Iranian and Russian trolls are the culprit.

You couldn’t hear pro-Trump views in the MSM for four years, but 70 million Trump votes shows they actually do exist.

This massive audience is incredibly upset, and on November 4, 2020 they became self-assured that they are not an historical anomaly. Trumpers are currently more emboldened and politically justified than ever and… you expect them to take a knee on their undoubtedly unusual presidential vote? Because the mainstream media says so?

The victory of the “Trumpian Republican” over a media-overhyped “Blue Wave” is totally confirmed, though their figurehead may not survive. That makes them skeptical and upset in massive numbers, but this voice is blocked. This is why if you only tune into mainstream media everything is exactly as it has been for four years: Trump must leave office, and they marshal a ton of experts who prove it.

But turn to the one media source where Trumpers actually feel comfortable talking with other Trumpers and you will find they are also marshalling a ton of experts who are howling with indignation not at the mistreatment of their figurehead but at the way mail-in ballots and questionable 2020 political decisions have called the integrity of US vote structures into question.

Trump is a figurehead, but the elections verify that Trumpism is a real movement. It is based on the idea that America is not the world’s greatest country but the greatest country in the history of mankind. However, the Washington Swamp has corrupted it. Their essential stance is that the November 3rd vote is fine – it’s the people who ran that vote who cannot be trusted and whose work must now be verified.

Trumpers do not want major structural changes – Democrats are more inclined to installing semi-progressive changes – they want different people in office, and (like every other country) people who are more openly reflective of their worldview. Corruption is the primary wellspring of Trumpism, not White supremacism.

Trump gained with every ethnic cohort and gender except White males, after all. Any journalist who keeps talking about White supremacism – as the primary ethos of Trumpism, not as a longstanding and genuine structural problem which includes Democrats as well – is totally wasting your time. Incredibly, there are many of these, and they are the best-paid ones.

Here’s the problem: unless the vote is not just totally counted but also calmly litigated and vetted – precisely because there has been a drastic changing to the 2020 vote forced by the pandemic, the executive orders of state governors and overreaching local officials – half the voting population is going to have major resentment and continued grounds for belief in the corruption of American officials (again, because they believe the structures sent by the archangels Jefferson, Washington and (ugh) Hamilton cannot possibly be at fault).

So Trump and Trumpers – who were not even browbeaten by four years of anti-Trump bias – will not be browbeaten into calling off the vote clarification efforts.

This notion is being trumpeted all over their media, but you have to know where to find them in a very stratified and biased US media. As a journalist I must objectively report (disclaimer: I did not support either candidate) that they sound serious as hell.

Not serious as hell as in right-wing militias shooting up Main Street – that was an absurd distraction with the backing of zero historical precedent – but serious in that they can marshal their own lawyers, analysts, professors, local officials, state officials, poll watchers and regular Joes who all can intellectually defend the idea that they are not going to accept the presidential vote without assurances that it was totally fair. In my journalistic view: they meet the American standard of “reasonable doubt” to merit judicial checking.

And what’s wrong with that? What’s Christian Conservative about demanding modern vote justice via checks and balances? What’s wrong is that it threatens the 1%’s desires.

Remember 2000? Jay Leno’s nightly mocking and the quick trashing of lower class votes?

In 2000 the mood in America was one of total impatience – this is because the imperialist US abhors a vacuum. Somebody must be in charge, if only so they know whom to slavishly follow.

By mid-December Al Gore foolishly quit – denying modern political justice to thousands of Black Floridians –  for what he thought was the good of the nation; to end the perceived nightmare of a very short-term power vacuum. That’s not going to happen this time around.

The US mainstream media is doing all they can to make it happen, but Trumpers have their own media which is mainstream enough to them, and they sure don’t sound like this will be over soon. At least – not to this journalist. Expect the impatience to kick in soon, which is hysterical (the word of 2020), because the inauguration isn’t until late January.

Trump cares mainly about himself, not the nation, which is another reason it’s different this time around.

The 2000 election had two key effects: alienating many Americans from politics while highly polarizing the ones who remained involved. Yet another reason it’s different this time around – less patriotism and more zero-sum game polarization.

In my dream Trump was driving because he truly is in charge – it’s widely acknowledged here that the Trump family will hold the most sway in the Republican Party win or lose. Donald Trump Jr. looks like the heir apparent: he definitely has the media savvy, is all over Fox News (which I assume few “objective” US journalists ever tune into either) and, crucially, his father’s combativeness towards the US establishment. Trumpian Republicans are a force to be reckoned with and will change the country’s politics – however, I contended here that the duopoly’s quicksand will swallow them up and dilute them.

For Iran there is no need to overreact – America has been anti-Iranian Revolution since forever. Trumpians are not original in their pro-Zionism. Who knows what Trumpism will really morph into – maybe their reluctance towards more endless wars will enlighten US foreign policy?

The Donald is still in the driver’s seat, but in my dream it’s notable that we didn’t drive anywhere. Bad omen for him from this news gypsy.


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

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Relentless March

August 30, 2020

Relentless March

by Katerina for the Saker Blog

I left Russia at the tender age of 24, left not because I wanted to leave my country, just simply happened to marry a foreigner who was there at the time and for several years now been living and working in three very different countries, including Scotland and England. Now I am living in yet another English-speaking country that is equally unique and different. I like to think that my experience of these four different cultures, outlooks, attitudes, not to mention systems, had most definitely expanded my horizons. I also want to think that such experience had allowed me to make certain assessments and analysis which hopefully could be translated into informed opinions.

I have been coming to this site for over two years now since it is rather “pro Russian” and therefore my interest was obvious. I have been reading Saker’s and his contributors posts with great interest, although reading some comments was at times bewildering. There are of course some very intelligent analytical comments and commentators on Saker’s blog, after all that is one of the reasons why we want to come here – for the knowledge we might not yet have, for the insight, for an intelligent analyses by someone who took the trouble and for someone’s else point of view that perhaps can make us think – that’s how I see this blog, and I am sure so does Saker. What compelled me to write this piece, a belief that most people coming to this blog are also looking for that same thing, otherwise why bother. On the other hand some of their expressed comments are not opinions but attitudes. Let me explain the difference. Opinion is something that is based on knowledge and at least some research, an attitude is something that expresses a person’s individual take on some particular issue, which has been shaped by picking up some information possibly from MSM, or from social media or wherever without really ANALYZING it but accepting it because it fits with that person’s mentality. See the difference?

I also see in some comments an understandable ignorance of things Russian and I cannot blame them for that, at least they are interested enough to be on this site, which is commendable. Except some obvious troll like creatures, who try to have some facade but most people here I think are a fairly intelligent lot and can see thru that.

In this my small contribution I would like to try and help with a bit more understanding of Russian side of things, which I suppose is rather difficult for people in the West to really understand, as we have lots of pervasive Western media that does not give one a true picture of Russia. Also, I would endeavor to provide some analysis or at least some explanation on the seemingly ingrained animosity of the West towards Russia and it’s possible origins.

So, let’s start.

“Things Russian”. Here I can try to give you some information that you will not get in your Western MSM, for sure. Having Russian as your first language is a great advantage when you can watch, read and listen to what is happening in Russia at present, what is the general mood that comes across, what worries and concerns them, what they think. One can get a pretty clear picture of all of that through their news channels, daily talk shows, expert’s opinions, people’s comments, etc on practically a daily basis. My knowledge on the subject, I can assure you, is up to date.

First, here are some myths that I want to blow apart for some people – Russia and Russians are NOT that greatly enamored with the West that they are so desperately wanting to be “accepted” and “approved” by this West. FAR FROM IT!

Lots of them, having seen the West’s insane, reckless and criminal behavior such as what it has done to Ukraine, hysterics regarding Crimea going back to Mother Russia, MH17 hideous crime, made-up Scripal garbage, expulsion of Russian Diplomats, criminal seizing of Russian diplomatic property, endless sanctions and relentless demonization of Russia and it’s President – feel it’s enough to start a war! No, whatever warm feelings they might have had in the past towards the West after break- up of USSR and hopes of being friendly at last – all these feelings have been killed and long gone. Now, just as it was back in history, they want to keep the distance. Some of the Western poison seeps thru occasionally but that does not get much traction. The so called “opposition” in Russia mostly survives on Soros’s grants and in Russia they even have a name for them -“sorosyata”, which roughly translates as a Soros’s little piglets. These who join them in their various protests are usually mindless youth looking for a bit of excitement. Too much of that excitement can land them with a heavy fine or expulsion from whatever learning establishment they attend. That cools a lot of hot heads. So, whatever one reads in western media regarding strong Russian “opposition” to Putin’s “dictatorship”, bear in mind he has as much fear of this opposition as an elephant of a flea on it’s back. Besides, if he was such a dictator this lot would not be allowed even to exist as an “opposition”, but they even have their own media channels – I reckon the government sees that as the best way to keep an eye on them.

No, there are no censorship, dictatorship or any other “ship” in Russia that does not allow people, however deluded, to express themselves, but in a civilized fashion. Cities are spotlessly clean, excellent infrastructure, every restaurant you could wish for, great bars and nightclubs, same make of cars on the roads as in any European city, friendly people and no homeless on the streets. Those football fans that arrived in Russia from all over the world for the World Cup couple of years ago, had to “pick their jaws off the pavement”. They could not believe what they were seeing as it was so totally different to what they were expecting from the images shaped for them by western media.

This is modern Russia.

In the last 25 years lots of Russians have traveled around Europe, UK, States, etc – something they could not do so easily before – they had a look, and what most of them discovered is that the grass definitely wasn’t greener on the other side. They were interested to have a look and quite content to get back home.

There were some who fled Russia during the terrible 90s when what was going on in Russia at the time was hell on wheels, as it was being robbed and pillaged by the West, whose wet dream at last came true, unfortunately for them only for a brief moment. Quite a number of Russians who left Russia at the time are now returning back home. The West now has got it’s own version of hell on wheels, so let’s call it KARMA.

What Russians also find distasteful are bad manners on the part of the West, showing up in rather unpleasant and uncalled for displays of arrogant lecturing and attempts to show some inexplicable “superiority” with regard to Russia. I have experienced this myself when in England, but NEVER in Scotland, I will hasten to add. Scotland and Scots for me were always “home from home”.

I was buying a train ticket at the Waterloo station in London and the ticket seller, an Englishman in his 40s, seeing my name, muttered under his breath “bloody Russian”. I was looking at him and wondering what made him say that. Here was someone who probably hardly finished secondary school, selling a ticket to someone who is a highly qualified professional, with two degrees, one of which is Masters, attained from one of the best Scottish Universities (writing a dissertation in second language is not easy, believe me!) and yet, he felt somehow “superior” to this Russian and that compelled him to mutter these words. And I suddenly realized that it was CONDITIONED in him, he didn’t even pause to think, it came out because he couldn’t help it. Attitude!

This negative conditioning in the West towards things Russian obviously had roots at some stage and later, reflecting on it I could see how it might have come about. We will leave religion aside for the moment, although it does play some part. The main culprit in my opinion, is the colonial mindset, combined with actual ignorance. To people in the West, meaning Western Europe and Britain, throughout centuries Russia has always been something dark and unknown and therefore to be feared and distanced from. There were few very sparse contacts but on the whole Russia and the West kept themselves to themselves. And until Peter the Great came along, that arrangement absolutely suited Russians as well. They regarded the West as heinous and un-Godly and much preferred to keep that distance. Tsar Peter has changed all of that in his drive to “open a window into Europe” as he put it.

What is not widely known about “superior” Europe of these days and that includes Britain, is that people there never bathed, fearing that it would kill them. When Tsar Peter arrived there with his entourage for their big Euro tour, they were absolutely shocked at the smell and stink of unwashed bodies, even in the palaces. Russians, before baths and showers were ever invented, for centuries had a wonderful tradition of having a “banya” once a week. Sort of like a nice steamy sauna but with an addition of hot water to actually wash yourself. Now, tell me, what nation is more civilized here?

The Russian Tsar, on the other hand was viewed in the West as some strange and fascinating curiosity. When the average person height in those days was shorter than it is now, Tsar Peter, being a young man, virile, handsome, did not wear wig, full of energy AND at 6’8” tall, of course, towered above everyone. At least now the West had a real chance to see a real Russian.

The tour was a great success. Tsar Peter brought back with him some craftsmen, some interesting new inventions, like the sextant and some experienced boat builders. His burning ambition was for Russia to have a Navy, although at that time it was totally landlocked from both Baltic and Black seas.

At some stage Peter also had to fight and defeat the Swedish King who at the time was trying to expand his kingdom into the rest of Europe. Peter had to get him off the land where he wanted to build his new capital, St Petersburg (he never liked Moskva) and that, of course, gave him an access to the Baltic Sea. In the process he also liberated these parts of Europe that the war-addicted Swedish King had managed to grab. Sweden still cannot forgive Russia for that. Afterwards the energetic Russian Tsar set out to build his new capital, laid foundations for his Navy and among many other things made his Boyars in court shave their beards and wear European attire, complete with powdered wigs. Those who refused to obey and shave Tsar himself did it for them and then fined them heavily. One does not trifle with Imperial orders! Eventually he got himself named an “anti-Christ” by the Russian Church, that passionately believed that Russia should not be “westernized”, that it had it’s own destiny and it’s own path. I tend to agree with them there. Meanwhile Europeans had discovered that they had nothing to fear from Russia and that bathing did not kill them after all and everything went rather swimmingly for a while between Russia and the West.

Until the start of the Industrial revolution.

The West suddenly realized that for such one needs lots of resources, which the West did not have but others did. Everyone went busily sailing around the world looking whom they can easily colonize and loot. Britain, one has to say, outdid every other European rival in those pursuits. Then, when the supply of countries to loot started to dwindle, the collective West turned it’s gaze upon… Russia. And this, in my opinion, was the moment when that animosity had taken root. Here was a country, with hardly any population to speak of, occupying huge territory and not just that, full of everything one can only dream about, every great resource imaginable, including gold and diamonds…

There was only one problem. Those “bloody Russians” in the way!

So, that was the start of it – fueled by greed, envy, resentment and hatred. The rest we all know. The “relentless marches” on Russia, mostly in gangs. Both Napoleon and Hitler had lots of willing European accomplices, all wanting a share of the spoils. Well, they all got what they deserved and here we are now, in 21st century and they are STILL at it! Lessons not learned. Only this time they got themselves a big bully that they can all hide behind but unfortunately for them this bully cannot fight. At least not a serious opponent. Some little helpless nations around the world, no problem, drop few bombs, show up with one of your “carrier groups” and it’s all honky dory. Here, it is facing RUSSIA, a nation that NEVER lost a war.

And now we have this NATO – another gang, controlled by this bully. The problem for them is that NONE of them can really fight, even as a gang and so, what we now have is a circus show, called exercises, each one with more ferocious name than the last. Russia is watching these clowns prancing on her borders and has left them in no doubt whatsoever that just one step over that border and there will be nothing left of them, INSTANTLY. They can also install their missile bases in Romania and Poland, or in any other little euro vassal, sorry, NATO ally, that wants to make itself a prime target – anything fired from those will be immediately shot down and the place from where it was fired will be just one large smouldering crater, several kilometers in diameter. No, Russia does not consider NATO a big threat. Just a nuisance. The game that is being played here is as follows: “we”, NATO allies have to scream very loud and very often about “Russian aggression” and “Russian treat”- failing that this NATO becomes irrelevant and the big MIC will not be able to suck up trillions of taxpayers money to line some very, very deep pockets. And while we are at it, we will force our “allies” to buy our military junk at exorbitant prices. So, here you have it.

I think people in the West hearing this Russophobic propaganda garbage 24/7 start believing it and start imagining that perhaps all of this is true, but remember what Goebbels, Hitler’s chief of propaganda advocated – keep repeating a lie often enough and they will eventually believe you.

Russia is not your enemy. All it wants from the West is to be left alone and also to be shown some respect. This arrogant, talking down to, insulting approach has no place in dealings with an old civilized and cultured nation like Russia, which is also extremely well-armed. That attitude actually reflects very badly on the West and on state of mental midgetry of their politicians, who do not seem to have any grasp that such approach will lead them nowhere. Most of course are puppets, just doing what Uncle Sam is telling them but here is a word of warning – following Uncle Sam might lead one to the cliff edge…

Another bit of info that you will not find in western MSM – RF (Russian Federation) Immigration Services are inundated with applications from people in the West, including USA, (and I am not talking about expats), who want to move to Russia. These people see it as some kind of Noah’s Ark, compared to what is coming to their countries. Living in Russia they feel they can be free to be a normal family with normal family values, not parent1 and parent2, but Mum and Dad and where their children can grow up in a normal environment, without being subjected to creepy gender selections.

In conclusion I will say this – in my experience most people are not that different from each other, after all we are ALL human and we all want the same in life – love, appreciation, family and a future for our children. It’s not that hard to get along if you want to. But what we also have in common is a common enemy that hates humanity and wants us culled (their expression) and what’s left, subjugated. So, rather than facing each other with hands in a fist, how about we direct our attention and all our energies to fighting THAT evil, the one that wants to destroy us all.

US Protests: Why the uneasy silence?

US Protests: Why the uneasy silence?

June 04, 2020

by Ken Leslie for The Saker Blog

Note: I appreciate that some will find the essay controversial or even uncomfortable reading. I hope though that it can destroy the paralysing trope of Soros bad – everybody else good.

I’d very much like to thank The Saker for deeming this essay good enough to publish. Like many others, I have been engrossed in the mayhem unfolding in the United States over the last week or so. I have felt a sense of relief and hope in what I see as the beginning of the end of the United States as a fundamentally fascist quasi-empire whose criminal record in terms of destruction of innocent lives and countries after 1945 is unparalleled (according to some estimates, 30 million people and 56 countries respectively—highly likely more). More important, I have been heartened by the sense that a new, different America might be possible.

This is not the place to elaborate on why and how the USA arrived at a point at which, many people sense, a restoration of its former power and status is impossible. Here, I want to address something that I have found quite strange, namely, the muted if not completely inimical reaction in many alternative (particularly pro-Russian) media to this momentous event. Here, I will briefly comment on some of the relevant points but will avoid dealing with political and tactical reasons for such a reaction.

1. Why destroy a great country over one dead black man—he was passing a fake cheque!

The country as it is needs to end and be replaced by something else—hopefully better. It was built on a massive genocide of the indigenous human and buffalo populations (despite what some revisionists claim). It was built on the sweat of the black, Chinese and other sources of slave or near-slave labour. It achieved its acme at a time when the rest of the world was laid low by the ravages of war. Since the end of WWII, it has leveraged the disgusting, anti-Christian and anti-human myth of exceptionality to loot, pillage, destroy, and bully innumerable countries and retard progress towards a more equitable and just society. This is not even contentious.

Drunk on anti-communism, Russophobia and a completely undeserved superiority complex, successive US governments have also used this pernicious myth (remember the CIA cut-out Obama?) to anaesthetise their population to the fact that the Potemkin village of American supremacy was starting to crumble as early as 1968. The anaesthetic started to wear off in the early 2000s and now we are finally witnessing the moment of full awakening. The ultimate irony of the situation lies in the fact that great American “patriots” strutting on Twitter are quiet about the fact that their own cherished City on the Hill was born from a bloody rebellion, rioting and destruction—of continental proportions.

This is the main reason for the current confusion—people as thoroughly zombified as an average adult American are utterly incapable of comprehending their predicament and reflecting critically in order to affect positive change. Sure, there will be token gestures of “taking a knee” with protesters, sops to the black community etc. None of this however can reverse the rapid descent into Hades of a country built on iniquity. The pain of the black American is real. Still inchoate despite a number of attempts to articulate it intellectually, it reflects a genuine sense of grievance and desperation. The experience of slavery to one side, it is the constant and uninterrupted campaign by the right-wing whites to behead the black leadership and strangle any genuine attempts by the black community to advance—politically, economically or culturally—that has found its expression in an emotive call to protest.

Sadly, some people think of the black Americans as the lowest of the low. According to this view, they are hardly human and their low caste status is justified because of their low IQ, inherent laziness, affinity for violence, promiscuity etc. Never once do these superior human beings stop to consider that the causality might be reversed—that it is precisely because of the inhuman treatment, cruel uprooting and universal contempt of generations of African Americans that have given rise to the criminality. If I were treated by the police and white people the way that many black Americans are treated, I would rob, loot and kill too. This is not to say that white people are irredeemably racist. As the protests demonstrate, younger generations will not stand for racism of any kind.

It is unthinkable for me to view anybody, let alone an African-American, as a sub-human precisely because my people were enslaved for 400 years and as recently as 1940s, my “race” was considered Untermenschen, not worthy of life or any human consideration. In addition, I do believe in the precepts of Jesus Christ. This makes it easy for me to empathise with black Americans despite the constant poisoning of the well by various COINTELPRO machinations. Until now, there has often been more white outrage on the internet over the abuse of animals than over the deaths of black people. The narratives such as “they shouldn’t have resisted arrest” are no longer allowable and rightly so. This is the end of that argument, no ifs, no buts. Unless we are able to recognise our own exceptionalism, we can never claim to be fully human (or Christian). If you were ever thought of as “lower”, you have no right to look down. And especially if you weren’t! You can’t serve God and Mammon both. I am no better than anybody else, just aware of my own darkness.

2. Raise the bridge, Soros at the gates!

Apart from racial insensitivity, that insidious poison of the mind, another reason for the muted reaction must be the fear conditioned by the alt-right that Soros, Illuminati, freemasons, satanic Bolsheviks, Antifa, Frankfurt School etc. are behind the riots. The reticence is understandable—the malevolent speculator Soros is indeed one of the major criminals of the modern era and it is possible that some of this activity is being sponsored by his organisation. However, this has no bearing on the proper understanding of the situation. Even if all of this were true, and it isn’t, so what? Does it mean that we are prepared indefinitely to endure the whims of a belligerent right-wing regime which has taken the world to the brink of a world war (see e.g. the demented pencil-necked Tom Cotton baying for Chinese and black blood)? If nothing else, the protests have taken away what little domestic and international credibility America had and have crippled its soft power beyond repair. Is this such a bad thing?

The hypocrisy of the current US’s position is delightful. After accusing and sanctioning Russia and China for a long list of non-existent crimes, it has exposed itself for what it is—a shaky plywood fortress built on a land cursed by its extinguished owners. Why not celebrate? If Soros is funding the “left”, do you know who is funding the “right”, namely the ultramontane Bannonites, the crazed Evangelicals and assorted right-wing Zionist cabals? What about Jabba the Hutt Adelson? Has Trump’s election fund of over $100 million dollars (five times larger than Obama’s) come solely from the contributions of patriotic Americans? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The idea that the alt-right regime is in any sense “good” is beyond naïve.

Does the fact that nefarious agents always co-opt any meaningful human activity mean that we must forego the fight against obvious injustice? What’s wrong with giving America a taste of the Bolshevik medicine? If the “patriots” are anything like the fat, bearded or steroid-soaked rednecks with AR-15s I see daily on the internet, more power to Soros (and I have been following his criminal activity since the mid-90s). It could be argued that the alt-right has turned Soros into the ultimate scarecrow that successfully distracts from their own evil. If the reason for silence has to do with Russia, again, what is the problem? Russia has gone through three West-inspired tragedies in less than 100 years. If it has not learned the lessons of history, our support for Trump will not help much.

Before I continue, let me emphasise that US Democrats are as far from a true “left” as it is possible to get. The Overton window of the American political discourse has shifted to the right so much that known warmongering murderers and racists such as Hillary Clinton (“black super thugs”) are considered to be of the left. As discussed on this site ad nauseam, the US political scene is a parasitical corporatist duopoly. I am not interested in the flavour of this travesty (patronisingly liberal or patriotic and God-fearing) because both are massive cons specifically promulgated to give the plebs a sense of hope. This is now unravelling and with it, the capacity of the dark empire to harm the world. Why are we not raising a glass? Does anybody here think that the narcissistic racketeer Trump who has sanctioned Russia and China to death, incited a war against Iran and Venezuela, and is now threatening to move nuclear weapons to Poland, A MAN OF PEACE? The time has come to shed such illusions and acknowledge that we were wrong. The most charitable explanation for his failure is that compelled to renege on his campaign promises by the advanced imperial decay, Trump has accelerated the destruction of the fabric of the US society (some say deliberately) and exposed its dark racist and imperialist underbelly. Which brings me to the next point.

4. We must all cheer for Team Murrica!

The fact that the majority of US citizens are completely in thrall of the grand lie, I take for granted. What is more puzzling and troubling is the sense that the desperate and dirty struggle of the US regime to save itself from the justifiable wrath of its own people is somehow our struggle. For over 70 years we have been conditioned to think of America as a unique and irreplaceable Shangri-La whose destiny touches us all. We have spent a large amount of time and best years of our youth in that America of the mind that includes many great things but is ultimately a chimera built on lies with a single intent—to perpetuate the empire without having to resort to the force of arms.

Those living in the USA will say—oh, but it’s not like that, this place is really great. To that I reply—it might have been once and briefly but the unresolved internal contradictions (hello Karl) have sucked out its elan vital, destroyed its cohesion and sense of purpose. Wake up! The world is tired of the bullying, killing and racketeering perpetrated by the trillionaire parasites infesting the Wall Street, the Silicon Valley and the military-industrial-intelligence complex—the three fasciae.

Whether their chosen puppet is Trump or Biden is less important, if at all. For the United States to have any future as a coherent entity, it must first renounce its evil imperialist present and revisit some of the more humane and peaceful modes of existence based on peaceful co-existence. The first people that spring to mind here are Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Wallace (so hated by the “patriots”) but also a number of black intellectuals who have pondered this difficult question. The first step though is the eradication of the deep systemic racism which still blights the landscape. I have no doubt that African Americans deserve better—and this does not mean money but genuine respect. And, what is equally important, in the coming together of the young people of different races, I see a germ of a more hopeful future. Which leads to…

5. Those soy-fed white SJWs have no idea how privileged they are!

A typical reaction to the unprecedented participation of white youth in the protests is met with a lazy alt-right trope: pampered middle-class millenials and Generation Xers are playing at class struggle blah blah. Yet, the response has been so overwhelming that it cannot be explained away by empty generalisations. The young generation in America and the West feels cheated. Decades of lies and empty promises have left most young people helpless and hopeless. They are drowning in student loan debt and mostly have no hope of owning a home or holding a steady job. The typical right-wing injunctions to “get on your bike” or “learn to code” are largely meaningless when you realise that few privileged hustlers who produce nothing useful hold around 70% of the country’s wealth.

Why should a young person work their entire life for slightly more than a pittance in order to increase the profits of a malignant corporation? Why enter the corporate rat race when one can be happy with very little provided the society is based on humane values? Why should they spend years learning a skill or getting a degree only to be immediately removed from the queue and replaced by the cheaper H1b import? I would argue that the young are much smarter than we old f***s give them credit for. They understand the fundamental injustice of the present system and refuse to perpetuate it. Rather than a sign of stupidity, it is a mature and largely rational estimate of the situation. They cannot be lulled into obedience by the slimy appeals to freedom, family and second amendment issued daily by warmongering lechers and paedophiles hiding behind God and homeland.

It is this sense of hopelessness that has awakened empathy for the suffering of others. Yes, some might be selfish and deluded but even in their awkward attempts to embrace their black brothers and sisters, they are saying a loud NO to the system that has betrayed them all. They reject the divisive rhetoric of the fake left (race before class) and fascist right (implicit segregation, racial inequality). Instead of criticising them, it might be a good idea for us to move aside and hope that they are capable of rectifying the errors of their ancestors.

Oh, and FBI has just stated that there has been no Antifa presence at the protests so far.

Ken Leslie is an independent researcher based in the UK with some experience in post WWII history and geopolitics

Why America’s revolution won’t be televised

Why America’s revolution won’t be televised

June 03, 2020

by Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

The so far purely emotional insurrection lacks political structure and a credible leader to articulate grievances

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised because this is not a revolution. At least not yet.

Burning and/or looting Target or Macy’s is a minor diversion. No one is aiming at the Pentagon (or even the shops at the Pentagon Mall). The FBI. The NY Federal Reserve. The Treasury Department. The CIA in Langley. Wall Street houses.

People raise their hands and shout slogans as they protest at the makeshift memorial in honour of George Floyd on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Photo: AFP / Chandan Khanna

The real looters – the ruling class – are comfortably surveying the show on their massive 4K Bravias, sipping single malt.

This is a class war much more than a race war and should be approached as such. Yet it was hijacked from the start to unfold as a mere color revolution.

US corporate media dropped their breathless Planet Lockdown coverage like a ton of – pre-arranged? – bricks to breathlessly cover en masse the new American “revolution.” Social distancing is not exactly conducive to a revolutionary spirit.

There’s no question the US is mired in a convoluted civil war in progress, as serious as what happened after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King in Memphis in April 1968.

Yet massive cognitive dissonance is the norm across the full “strategy of tension” spectrum. Powerful factions pull no punches to control the narrative. No one is able to fully identify all the shadowplay intricacies and inconsistencies.

Hardcore agendas mingle: an attempt at color revolution/regime change (blowback is a bitch) interacts with the Boogaloo Bois – arguably tactical allies of Black Lives Matter – while white supremacist “accelerationists” attempt to provoke a race war.

To quote the Temptations: it’s a ball of confusion.

Antifa is criminalized but the Boogaloo Bois get a pass (here is how Antifa’s main conceptualizer defends his ideas). Yet another tribal war, yet another – now domestic – color revolution under the sign of divide and rule, pitting Antifa anti-fascists vs. fascist white supremacists.

Meanwhile, the policy infrastructure necessary for enacting martial law has evolved as a bipartisan project.

Protesters jump on a street sign near a burning barricade near the White House during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

We are in the middle of the proverbial, total fog of war. Those defending the US Army crushing “insurrectionists” in the streets advocate at the same time a swift ending to the American empire.

Amidst so much sound and fury signifying perplexity and paralysis, we may be reaching a supreme moment of historical irony, where US homeland (in)security is being boomerang-hit not only by one of the key artifacts of its own Deep State making – a color revolution – but by combined elements of a perfect blowback trifecta:  Operation PhoenixOperation Jakarta; and Operation Gladio.

But the targets this time won’t be millions across the Global South. They will be American citizens.

Empire come home

Quite a few progressives contend this is a spontaneous mass uprising against police repression and system oppression – and that would necessarily lead to a revolution, like the February 1917 revolution in Russia sprouting out of the scarcity of bread in Petrograd.

So the protests against endemic police brutality would be a prelude to a Levitate the Pentagon remix – with the interregnum soon entailing a possible face-off with the US military in the streets.

But we got a problem. The insurrection, so far purely emotional, has yielded no political structure and no credible leader to articulate myriad, complex grievances. As it stands, it amounts to an inchoate insurrection, under the sign of impoverishment and perpetual debt.

Adding to the perplexity, Americans are now confronted with what it feels like to be in Vietnam, El Salvador, the Pakistani tribal areas or Sadr City in Baghdad.

Iraq came to Washington DC in full regalia, with Pentagon Blackhawks doing “show of force” passes over protestors, the tried and tested dispersal technique applied in countless counter-insurgency ops across the Global South.

And then, the Elvis moment: General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, patrolling the streets of DC. The Raytheon lobbyist now heading the Pentagon, Mark Esper, called it “dominating the battlespace.”

Well, after they got their butts kicked in Afghanistan and Iraq, and indirectly in Syria, full spectrum dominance must dominate somewhere. So why not back home?

Troops gather during a demonstration on June 1, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/AFP

Troops from the 82nd Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the 1st Infantry Division – who lost wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and, yes, Somalia – have been deployed to Andrews Airbase near Washington.

Super-hawk Tom Cotton even called, in a tweet, for the 82nd Airborne to do “whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters and looters.” These are certainly more amenable targets than the Russian, Chinese and Iranian militaries.

Milley’s performance reminds me of John McCain walking around in Baghdad in 2007, macho man-style, no helmet, to prove everything  was OK. Of course: he had a small army weaponized to the teeth watching his back.

And complementing the racism angle, it’s never enough to remember that both a white president and a black president signed off on drone attacks on wedding parties in the Pakistani tribal areas.

Esper spelled it out: an occupying army may soon be “dominating the battlespace” in the nation’s capital, and possibly elsewhere. What next? A Coalition Provisional Authority?

Compared to similar ops across the Global South, this will not only prevent regime change but also produce the desired effect for the ruling oligarchy: a neo-fascist turning of the screws. Proving once again that when you don’t have a Martin Luther King or a Malcolm X to fight the power, then power crushes you whatever you do.

Inverted Totalitarianism

The late, great political theorist Sheldon Wolin had already nailed it in a book first published in 2008: this is all about Inverted Totalitarianism.

Wolin showed how “the cruder forms of control – from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass – will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward.

“We are tolerated as citizens only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism,” he wrote.

Sinclair Lewis (who did not say that, “when fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving the cross”) actually wrote, in It Can’t Happen Here (1935), that American fascists would be those “who disowned the word ‘fascism’ and preached enslavement to capitalism under the style of constitutional and traditional native American liberty.”

So American fascism, when it happens, will walk and talk American.

George Floyd was the spark. In a Freudian twist, the return of the repressed came out swinging, laying bare multiple wounds: how the US political economy shattered the working classes; failed miserably on Covid-19; failed to provide affordable healthcare; profits a plutocracy; and thrives on a racialized labor market, a militarized police, multi-trillion-dollar imperial wars and serial bailouts of the too big to fail.

Instinctively at least, although in an inchoate manner, millions of Americans clearly see how, since Reaganism, the whole game is about an oligarchy/plutocracy weaponizing white supremacism for political power goals, with the extra bonus of a steady, massive, upwards transfer of wealth.

US President Donald Trump walks back to the White House escorted by the Secret Service after appearing outside of St John’s Episcopal church across Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, June 1, 2020. Photo: AFP/ Brendan Smialowski

Slightly before the first, peaceful Minneapolis protests, I argued that the realpolitik perspectives post-lockdown were grim, privileging both restored neoliberalism – already in effect – and hybrid neofascism.

President Trump’s by now iconic Bible photo op in front of St John’s church – including a citizen tear-gassing preview – took it to a whole new level. Trump wanted to send a carefully choreographed signal to his evangelical base. Mission accomplished.

But arguably the most important (invisible) signal was the fourth man in one of the photos.

Giorgio Agamben has already proved beyond reasonable doubt that the state of siege is now totally normalized in the West. Attorney General William Barr now is aiming to institutionalize it in the US: he’s the man with the leeway to go all out for a permanent state of emergency, a Patriot Act on steroids, complete with “show of force” Blackhawk support.

Munich conference reveals East-West divide

MUNICH, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 15: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi makes a speech during the 56th Munich Security Conference at Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, Germany on February 15, 2020. Abdulhamid Hosbas / Anadolu Agency

The Saker

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stresses urgent need for international coordination ‘to build a shared future’

Few postmodern political pantomimes have been more revealing than the hundreds of so-called “international decision-makers,” mostly Western, waxing lyrical, disgusted or nostalgic over “Westlessness” at the Munich Security Conference.

“Westlessness” sounds like one of those constipated concepts issued from a post-party bad hangover at the Rive Gauche during the 1970s. In theory (but not French Theory) Westlessness in the age of Whatsapp should mean a deficit of multiparty action to address the most pressing threats to the “international order” – or (dis)order – as nationalism, derided as a narrow-minded populist wave, prevails.

Yet what Munich actually unveiled was some deep – Western – longing for those effervescent days of humanitarian imperialism, with nationalism in all its strands being cast as the villain impeding the relentless advance of profitable, neocolonial Forever Wars.

As much as the MSC organizers – a hefty Atlanticist bunch – tried to spin the discussions as emphasizing the need for multilateralism, a basket case of ills ranging from uncontrolled migration to “brain dead” NATO got billed as a direct consequence of “the rise of an illiberal and nationalist camp within the Western world.” As if this were a rampage perpetrated by an all-powerful Hydra featuring Bannon-Bolsonaro-Orban heads.

Far from those West-is-More heads in Munich is the courage to admit that assorted nationalist counter-coups also qualify as blowback for the relentless Western plunder of the Global South via wars – hot, cold, financial, corporate-exploitative.

For what it is worthhere’s the MSC reportOnly two sentences would be enough to give away the MSC game: “In the post-Cold War era, Western-led coalitions were free to intervene almost anywhere. Most of the time, there was support in the UN Security Council, and whenever a military intervention was launched, the West enjoyed almost uncontested freedom of military movement.”

There you go. Those were the days when NATO, with full impunity, could bomb Serbia, miserably lose a war on Afghanistan, turn Libya into a militia hell and plot myriad interventions across the Global South. And of course none of that had any connection whatsoever with the bombed and the invaded being forced into becoming refugees in Europe.

West is more

In Munich, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha got closer to the point when she said she found “Westlessness” quite insular as a theme. She made sure to stress that multilateralism is very much an Asian feature, expanding on the theme of ASEAN centrality.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, with his customary finesse, was sharper, noting how “the structure of the Cold War rivalry is being recreated” in Europe. Lavrov was a prodigy of euphemism when he noted how “escalating tensions, NATO’s military infrastructure advancing to the East, exercises of unprecedented scope near the Russian borders, the pumping of defense budgets beyond measure – all this generates unpredictability.”

Yet it was Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi who really got to the  heart of the matter. While stressing that “strengthening global governance and international coordination is urgent right now,” Wang said, “We need to get rid of the division of the East and the West and go beyond the difference between the South and the North, in a bid to build a community with a shared future for mankind.”

“Community with a shared future” may be standard Beijing terminology, but it does carry a profound meaning as it embodies the Chinese concept of multilateralism as meaning no single state has priority and all nations share the same rights.

Wang went farther: The West – with or without Westlessness– should get rid of its subconscious mentality of civilization supremacy; give up its bias against China; and “accept and welcome the development and revitalization of a nation from the East with a system different from that of the West.” Wang is a sophisticated enough diplomat to know this is not going to happen.

Wang also could not fail to raise the Westlessness crowd’s eyebrows to alarming heights when he stressed, once again, that the Russia-China strategic partnership will be deepened – alongside exploring “ways of peaceful coexistence” with the US and deeper cooperation with Europe.

What to expect from the so-called “system leader” in Munich was quite predictable. And it was delivered, true to script, by current Pentagon head Mark Esper, yet another Washington revolving door practitioner.

21st Century threat

All Pentagon talking points were on display. China is nothing but a rising threat to the world order – as in “order” dictated by Washington. China steals Western know-how; intimidates all its smaller and weaker neighbors; seeks an “advantage by any means and at any cost.”

As if any reminder to this well-informed audience was needed, China was once again placed at the top of the Pentagon’s “threats,” followed by Russia, “rogue states” Iran and North Korea, and “extremist groups.” No one asked whether al-Qaeda in Syria is part of the list.

The “Communist Party and its associated organs, including the People’s Liberation Army,” were accused of “increasingly operating in theaters outside China’s borders, including in Europe.” Everyone knows only one “indispensable nation” is self-authorized to operate “in theaters outside its borders” to bomb others into democracy.

No wonder Wang was forced to qualify all of the above as “lies”: “The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, and still less would they want to accept the success of a socialist country.”

So in the end Munich did disintegrate into the catfight that will dominate the rest of the century. With Europe de facto irrelevant and the EU subordinated to NATO’s designs, Westlessness is indeed just an empty, constipated concept: all reality is conditioned by the toxic dynamics of China ascension and US decline.

The irrepressible Maria Zakharova once again nailed it: “They spoke about that country [China] as a threat to entire humankind. They said that China’s policy is the threat of the 21st century. I have a feeling that we are witnessing, through the speeches delivered at the Munich conference in particular, the revival of new colonial approaches, as though the West no longer thinks it shameful to reincarnate the spirit of colonialism by means of dividing people, nations and countries.”

An absolute highlight of the MSC was when diplomat Fu Ying, the chairperson on foreign affairs for the National People’s Congress, reduced US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to dust with a simple question: “Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile” that it can be threatened by Huawei?

Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies.

Upside down or right side up? Comparing Chinese vs. Western civilizational hierarchies.

By: Jeff J. Brown for The Saker Blog

 

Crosslinked with:

https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/08/14/upside-down-or-right-side-up-comparing-chinese-vs-western-civilizational-hierarchies-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190814/

https://youtu.be/rYmvCRQBybk

https://soundcloud.com/44-days/upside-down-or-right-side-up-comparing-chinese-vs-western-civilizational-hierarchies

 

A screenshot of a cell phone

Description automatically generated

Pictured above: no wonder Chinese and Westerners don’t understand each other. They look at the world and their societies with diametrically opposed points of view. It’s like two peoples staring at each other through the opposite ends of a telescope. Everything is distorted. To paraphrase the great American poet Robert Frost, “And that my friends, makes all the difference”.

Note before starting: if you have not already done so, reading/listening to/watching my two recent posts comparing Chinese and Western governance will make this one much more meaningful (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/30/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-part-i-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190730/ and https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/08/07/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent%ef%bc%9fpart-ii-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190807/).

Westerners can live and work in China for years and not see the obvious. I should know, since I was one of them. We occidentals are so brainwashed from birth, at home, in school, by government, media and advertising of our moral superiority over all those “other” dark skinned kinda-sorta people, that it’s easy to not see the trees in the proverbial forest of life. This is how I was, when living here from 1990-1997. Even after living and working for 21 years outside the US, mostly in Africa, Middle East and China, I was still blinded by my racism of Western cultural and moral superiority, a liberaloid do-gooder, wrapped up in identity politics, thinking I was better than most of my less cosmopolitan countrymen – sad to say – and I wasn’t much better. It was not until we came back to China in 2010 that the scales of racism finally fell from my eyes. This painful and humbling, but ultimately liberating experience is tracked through the three books of The China Trilogy (see below).

Looking at the above comparative chart and going back to the times of the Ancient Greeks, the quintessential Marlboro Man has been the fixture of Western civilization. Me, myself and I, free and unfettered, independent and on one’s own, to decide one’s destiny. Being an adventurer and warrior/gunslinger also fits the bill. Greek tales like Jason and the Argonauts, Iliad and the Odyssey and the swashbuckling myths of the deities slaughtering monsters (today’s inferior Dreaded Others) all extol the virtues of Solo Man.

Family comes next and even that is often contested and dysfunctional in the West. Help out a family member? Maybe, maybe not. It seems like every Western family I’ve ever gotten to know well, starting with mine, is rife with communication and contact between members cut off. Individual peeves and grudges trump trying to keep the family intact.

Working our way down this civilizational hierarchy, support for the neighborhood, city, province and country can happen, but frequently on “my terms” and “not in my backyard”. How dare you encroach on my freedoms! This, while citizens can be easily brainwashed with God and the flag, to fight in endless wars for rape, resources and plunder, with the price over the long term eventually being societal collapse.

For millennia, at the bottom of the Western shit heap is the government and leaders. You can’t blame Euranglolanders for not trusting or respecting their governments, since they usually act like gangsters stealing from the 99%, while sending the latter to die likes dogs in wars of expansion, exploitation and extraction, all to enrich their elite 1% masters. Organized criminals posing as leaders and governments masking cartels is standard operating procedure. It’s happening while I write.

Yet, in spite of all the pitfalls, it’s easy to see why the Western hierarchy of Solo Man is so intoxicating and flattering. What could be more important than… ME! One’s horizon in life is simplified. Me, myself and I concentrate the need and take complexity and nuance out of the equation. Life become linear, point A to point B. I’ll do whatever the hell I want, Bubba. Get back Jojo, it’s my space. Get outta of my way, this is MY lane! A friend in need is fucked indeed. What’s in it for me? The world is my oyster. Of course, I should be able wear a gun around town to protect myself. I’ve got individual rights. Ayn Rand’s “rational self-interest”. Gordon Gekko’s greed is not just good, greed is God. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours in mine, so you’re screwed. Might and treachery make right. Finders keepers losers weepers. Laissez-faire, bay-bee. Dog eat dog, the big dominate the little, the rich steal from the poor. Being entertained and amused becomes paramount. Mass production and super-consumption are in. More, more, more. Making personal sacrifices is decidedly uncool, as is delayed gratification. It is easy to see why the Western paradigm of Marlboro Man dovetails so perfectly with capitalism, neoliberalism and colonialism.

Now, in China, flip the West’s social hierarchy upside down. Suddenly, you are no longer Mr. and Mrs. Me. Welcome to being at the very bottom of civilization’s needs. Look up and your life is no longer simple and linear, but complex and elliptical – a tapestry of interconnections and expectations. Just in the family alone, Mom’s, Dad’s and Grandparents’ needs trump yours. Older relatives too. What’s mine is also my family’s. If you slack off, then how is the family supposed to help take care of the neighborhood? We all want to live in a nice town/city, don’t we, and you’re the start. Daily life becomes very intricate, cyclical and circular, giving and taking. This is not my lane, but everyone else’s too. Since life is so interwoven and interdependent, solidarity in helping others becomes the ideal. Suddenly, social harmony and peaceful coexistence are everything. You mean I have to share? I have many responsibilities to my community and country? You mean I should help the government and our leaders to work effectively, and keep the nation intact and prosperous? You bet your stinky tofu, you do.

It’s easy to see that being a Chinese citizen is a much bigger daily responsibility and the expectations of the many over the wants of the individual are so much greater than in Western civilization. Euranglolanders often feel superior over Chinese families, when they see young children here being loud, boisterous and spoiled rotten. They are for a few years. It’s the one time in their lives when they get to enjoy some of that Solo Man Me, Myself and I, because by the time they get first grade in school, China’s civilizational hierarchy starts to kick in and the expectations of everyone around them begin to weigh on their societal shoulders. For five or six years, they get to run wild a little bit, now it’s time to knuckle down and take their place on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Since you are on the hook for family, the country’s leaders and government, attributes like frugality and delayed gratification become the ideal. No wonder the Chinese have the highest savings rate of any large economy in the world. Even though buying personal gizmos and luxuries has never been higher, and Baba Beijing is exhorting the masses to consume more, to counteract the US’s tariff trade war, China’s savings rate is still 46% (https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/china/gross-savings-rate). This compares to Americans’ 17% (https://www.ceicdata.com/en/indicator/united-states/gross-savings-rate).

All in the family. Since everybody collectively is more important than you, is it any wonder that China is a communist-socialist civilization and always has been?

It goes without saying that the two above portrayed hierarchies are meant to be painted black and white, to show the overarching contrast. Of course, there are generous, giving Westerners who believe in social solidarity and economic justice. As well, there are Chinese who are selfish, greedy and heartless. Yes, there are family feuds and estranged relatives. That’s not the point. The point is the diametrically opposed societal expectations and ideals that are held up for inspiration and guidance. In the West, it’s all about individualism and personal freedom. In China, it’s all about Mom, Dad, the mayor, governor, prime minister and president who come first.

And that, my friends, makes all the difference. The imperial West shattered China’s civilizational hierarchy for 110 years, when it flooded the country with opium, morphine and heroin, 1839-1949, and was able to rape and plunder the people with lustful abandon. Since communist liberation in 1949, China’s social hierarchy has been restored. Look at the comparative table at the beginning of this article one more time and ask yourself, Which country is going to succeed and prosper on the world stage, into the 22nd century?

I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.

Key words:

China, Racism, Culture, Ancient Greece, Marlboro Man, Individualism, Solidarity, Brainwash, Me Myself and I, 99%, 1%, Eurangloland, War, Ayn Rand, Gordon Gekko

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Bio: Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and for Badak Merah, Jeff authored China Is Communist, Dammit! – Dawn of the Red Dynasty(2017). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeSoundCloudStitcher RadioiTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey ClarkJames BradleyMoti NissaniGodfree RobertsHiroyuki HamadaThe Saker, and many others.

Jeff can be reached at China Risingjeff@brownlanglois.comFacebookTwitter, Wechat (Jeff_Brown-44_Days) and Whatsapp: +86-13823544196.

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Creative Commons: This article by Jeff J. Brown is available for re-publication free of charge under Creative Commons. It may be translated into any language and republished anywhere in the world. Editing is permitted of the article(s). You may edit my article(s) and bio to correct spelling, grammar, word usage and any misstatement of facts.

You may change any wording that may be culturally offensive or inappropriate to the reading audience. You may change the title of my article(s) and you may edit them to fit the desired space and word length preferred by your publication.

If you edit and publish my article(s) the only request is that the intended meaning in my article(s) not be changed or taken out of context. You may use the suggested graphics, which to the best of my knowledge are available free under Creative Commons, but I cannot guarantee that they may be used without the permission of their creator and/or owner. You may select your own choice of graphics, pictures and /and or videos (or none) that complement the intended meaning of my article. Please share and distribute this article widely. My contact email is jeff@brownlanglois.com.

Sanders speaks at US mosque in the wake of deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand

Sat Mar 23, 2019
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles on March 23, 2019.

US Senator Bernie Sanders attends a mosque in the state of California in the wake of deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist shooter.

“In this difficult moment, not only in American history where we see a rise in hate crimes, and not only in a world where we see a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, where demagogues are picking on minority communities all over this world, now is the time … for us to stand up to hatred of all kinds,” Sanders said during the event Saturday.

The 2020 presidential candidate visited the Islamic Center of Southern California, where religious leaders and people from other faiths had gathered to commemorate the 50 lives lost in the mass shooting earlier this month in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“To show the world that this nation in fact will be a leader in bringing our people together regardless of their religion, and to create an economy that works for all of us, an environment that works for all of us, and a world in which love will conquer hate,” said the Vermont senator.

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Bernie Sanders

@BernieSanders

In this difficult moment, where we see a rise in hate crimes and a growing tendency toward authoritarianism, now is the time for everybody to come together and to show the world that love will conquer hate.

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Fifty people died and dozens were injured in twin shootings on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.

Described as a terrorist attack by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, it was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in the country.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan. Muslims account for just over one percent of New Zealand’s population.

The attack revived calls for an end to Islamophobia in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Trump has been urged to assure Muslims that they are protected and that he will not tolerate violence against their community.

The US president’s condemnation of the massacre was mild and did not involve the word “Muslims.”

Ever since he appeared in office, the New York billionaire has been running and anti-Muslim agenda, including the so-called Muslim ban.

The Price Of Bin Salman’s Head

Will MBS in this instance become the West’s new Saddam?

Image result for MBS,trump

October 25, 2018

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

With the ever-changing and escalating aftermath of the Khashoggi disappearance episode, there remain many fixed marks that are interesting to identify.

But before we do, we must stop and briefly look at the official American, Turkish and Saudi stands on this issue.

The Americans are best seen to be playing yoyo with their Saudi “friends”. One moment they seem to be totally abandoning them and sending them spiraling down in a free-fall, and the next moment they lift them up, clutch them, and give them a sense of safety. Notwithstanding that on the 3rd of October, and just before the Khashoggi story hit the media frenzy, Trump reiterated that Saudi Arabia would not last two weeks without America’s support, and what followed was a series of fluctuations and backflips on the American side. At the time of promising severe measures against the Saudis, Trump said that this will not mean canceling the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And when Pompeo visited Al Saud to talk to the royals, leaving the Kingdom of Sand with an understanding that his boss Trump articulated by hinting at vindicating the royals and putting the blame on some rogue elements, America turned again supporting Turkish investigations and awaiting their outcome, but just before Erdogan’s speech of the 23rd of October, Trump reiterated that he was prepared to accept the Saudi Government denial of involvement.

And speaking of Turkish investigations, the highly awaited Erdogan speech ended in a pop and a fizzle, and was nothing short of a domestic propaganda speech that had no conclusions and did not provide any evidence as to the details of Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder. And “alleged” it remains until a body is found and identified by an independent reliable coroner.

The speech was not endorsed by America, and America was for a few hours or so once again looking sympathetic towards the Saudi royals, but less than 24 hours later, Trump was talking about the “worst cover-up in history”.

There is no need to flood this article with easy-to-find references to substantiate the above.

Back to Erdogan later.

These swings that are extremely bizarre and hypocritical even by American standards make one wonders what kind of relationship do Saudis and Americans have.

To understand the underlying nature of this relationship, having a look at the events of the last ten years or so are revealing enough without having to dig deeper into history.

To this effect, I am not talking about the strategic alliances, defense agreements, the importance of oil to both countries, the world and the Israeli role in all of this. I am not talking about the Saudi obsession with Iran either. What I am talking about is the personal human relationships between the Americans and Saudis as human beings and how they view each other as men; this is about the personal love-hate-respect-loath relationship between American policymakers and their Saudi counterparts.

This “relationship” is not a simple one. It is embroiled by deep cultural differences and belief systems. Having lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, I can understand the Saudi mindset more than many, but anyone who has had the same “privilege” that I had living there would concur, albeit not necessarily be prepared to sit down and write about it.

In case the reader is unfamiliar with the predominant Saudi mindset, speaking generally of course, allow me to pin point certain pertinent aspects of it:

1. Contrary to the word of the Holy Quran and which clearly states that God chose the Arabic language for the religion of Islam, Saudis believe otherwise. They believe that Islam was God’s gift to them.

2. Saudis also believe that God also gave Arabia another gift; petrol, and the biggest national reserve of them all … perhaps.

3. Al-Saud believe they have been afforded the God-given mandate to rule Arabia at the time when petrol became such an important commodity for the rest of the world.

4. Finally, the above “privileges” give Saudis, especially members of the Royal Family, an illusion of being above others. And this mindset views other nations from the perspective that Saudis are the rich masters of the world and that they have the power and ability to employ members of those other nations to “serve” them.

When I lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Saudis did not work. They had jobs, but they never really worked. Apart from the security apparatus whose job is mainly to protect the status quo of the Royal Family, the only other real working job that Saudis had was taxi driving. But that was what poor and uneducated Bedouins did.

All other jobs from garbage collectors to doctors to dockyard engineers were contracted to expats from different regions of the world. Professional jobs that needed communication and fluency in the Arabic language were given to Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians. Blue collar jobs were given to Yemenis and Arabs of the above nationalities without tertiary education. High ranking professional jobs that did not require fluency in Arabic were given to Americans and Europeans.

This mentality produced a generation or two or three of Saudis who are filthy rich, overweight, and engrossed with self-grandeur and superiority that was fed time and time again by their financial prowess.

But this is not restricted to Saudis only. Arabs of the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait all have that same superiority disease. Qatar that has a Qatari population of less than 200,000 has a population of over one and a half million expats to “serve them”. This is exactly how they see it; themselves being masters, and expats beings serving serfs.

In recent times, the Saudi and Gulf youth have increasingly been gaining tertiary education qualifications, receiving generous government scholarships and immediate employment following graduation. The Saudi Government protects its people by imposing quota rules on the percentage of Saudi employees in companies as well as the public sector of course. However, this fact has not been reflected in the work load they perform. These educated Saudis sit at the head of governmental positions and companies in tokenistic managerial supervisory roles over an entire staff of foreign professionals. They often try to assert their positions and feed their egos by yelling and barking irrelevant, and often laughable orders, at their employees and junior staff. And even if they are not in managerial roles, they will still be around the foreign professionals, leaving all the work for them to do and doing nothing themselves.

Saudi professionals I “worked with” were living examples for me to learn this mindset. They did not lift a finger, but when a report was submitted by either myself or other expats around me, a Saudi name had to appear as its senior author, and he received all the accolade.

Saudis genuinely believe that they can buy anything and anyone with money, including buying the stature of being a leading nation.

And if, hypothetically-speaking, the Saudis were to contract a Western company to build them a space ship and send a man to Mars, they will regard this as a Saudi achievement. Surprised? Well, just have a look at Dubai’s “achievement” in building Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on earth.

Once again, that Saudi mentality is not any better or worse than the general oil-rich Arabian one. They are all almost identical.

At a deep and subtle level however, the Saudis (and Gulfies in general) know well that in the eyes of the Empire and its cohorts, they are perceived as a bunch of “uncivilized camel riders” who happen to be horribly rich by sheer luck. They know that they are not really regarded as true allies of the West, but as its milking cow; and some Saudis and Gulfies are trying to change this image.

None tried harder than Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.

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Prince Bandar Bin Sultan was Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Washington from 1983 to 2005. He became the Saudi royal who best understood the Western mind and how the West regarded the Arab World, and especially Saudi Arabia. He had his own evil agenda he wanted to use to catapult himself into ascending to the throne as the first grandson of founding King Abdul-Aziz.

He was a close personal friend of the Bushes and many others in the previous and successive American administrations. And, if America ever had a Saudi Prince that American lawmakers could speak to and reciprocate understanding with, it was Bandar Bin Sultan.

He was banking on the fact that his father, Sultan, had been in line for the throne for decades and was Crown Prince ever since King Abdullah took the throne in 2005. But to Bandar’s disappointment, his father died in 2011, before King Abdullah who died in 2015.

As Bandar Bin Sultan was grooming himself to become king after his father, his knowledge of the Western mind and closeness to many key people in the United States led him to realize that he had to present himself as a competent and reliable partner in order to be respected.

Bandar wanted to demonstrate his personal character worth to his American allies by plotting the “War on Syria”. That war was his pet project and his license to achieve equality with his American friends. But Bandar fell on his sword when Syrian resistance proved to be much stronger than his ambitions, and not long after his failed desperate attempt to persuade America to attack Syria after he blamed the Syrian Army for a chemical attack that he staged in East Ghouta in September 2013, Bandar disappeared, vanishing into oblivion.

With the rapid and unprecedented changes in the line of Saudi throne succession that followed Prince Sultan’s death, and which eventually presented Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) as the new Saudi strong-man Crown Prince, the young prince had big shoes to fill. Haunted by the image, ambition and failures of Bandar, MBS had a bigger “obligation” to prove his worth to his American “allies”.

The war on Yemen was MBS’s own “love-child”. He wanted to kill two birds with one stone; overcoming the Houthis, and proving to America that he is reliable in curbing Iran’s regional influence. He was hoping he could prove that his army was able to fight and win a war against Iran itself. He thus gave his war a name akin to American military operations; “Operation Decisive Storm”. Sounds a bit like “Operation Desert Storm”, does it not? In doing this, he wanted to put himself on par with great military leaders and score a quick and decisive victory in Yemen. Three years later, he cannot even hold his own borders.

In more ways than one, in as much as the Saudis and Gulfies have the afore-mentioned superiority complex, ironically they also possess a huge inferiority complex. They try to prove their own worth by bragging their “friendship” with America, and when President Trump made his first formal visit as President to Saudi Arabia, he was greeted like no other visiting foreign dignitary anywhere in the past. Only Elizabeth Taylor could claim such a reception as Hollywood’s version of Cleopatra.

Trump’s visit was Saudi Arabia’s greatest moment of “pride”.

But even on much smaller matters, Saudis and Gulfies brag their Western employees and they have a special liking for white blue-eyed Westerners. With thousands of Americans and Westerners working in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, it would be rare, if not impossible, to find a black American/Westerner; especially if the post involves being in the public view. And this is because, if you are a Saudi employer and you need a Westerner to fill the position of a public relations officer, you would want a white, blue-eyed person on that desk and not a black person. After all, a black Westerner could be mistaken for a Sudanese, a Somalese or a member of any other “inferior” African nation; as perceived in the eyes of the Saudis/Gulfies.

Back to the Khashoggi debacle and the role of Erdogan. As mentioned above, in his Tuesday the 23rd of October speech, Erdogan did not supply the goods, and it was time for America to pull the rug from underneath his feet, reclaim control of the narrative, and draw the Saudi yoyo back up again to give the Saudis a bit of a breather; until further notice. America can neither afford to keep the fate of the Khashoggi story in Erdogan’s hands any more than it can afford to lose the Saudi milking cow. But the human relationships between Americans and Saudis are now perhaps at their worst, and mostly for the Saudis. The Saudis have again failed the validity and fortitude test and they know they have taken a back step that needs many years, perhaps decades to recover from. In the eyes of the Americans, their credibility as partners and viability as capable men has suffered a big time blow.

The biggest twist perhaps in the Khashoggi debacle is that the Saudis have always felt that they were entitled to the same level of impunity the West affords to itself. After all, this was how Al-Saud got away with persecuting dissent, imposing undemocratic laws, and exporting Wahhabi ideology and the terror acts that come with it. Needless to mention the biggest human tragedy of them all; inflicting war crimes in Yemen, killing tens of thousands and inflicting starvation and disease upon millions others.

But when America lifted the blanket of impunity on the Saudis over the Khashoggi story leaving them out on their own to face the consequences of their crimes for a change, the Saudis indeed did not survive for more than two weeks.

Just imagine how would the world popular opinion could be manipulated if leading Western media outlets suddenly “decide” to start reporting the Yemeni tragedy and the role of Saudi Arabia in creating it, and specifically the role of MBS in creating this tragedy. Will MBS in this instance become the West’s new Saddam?

MBS has been named, his Foreign Minister desperately tried to isolate him from the Khashoggi story, but it is up to America and its “fake news” media to decide whether or not MBS is implicated, and the more they implicate him, the deeper America can dig into his pocket. And as this article was getting ready to be submitted for publishing, MBS himself broke his silence proclaiming that the murder of Khashoggi was a heinous crime and that those responsible will be punished.

Either way, when the Saudis return to the negotiating table with their American “partners”, MBS will not only be facing a bill for American protection of Saudi Arabia per se, but also a bill for protecting his own personal aspirations to become king as well as protecting his own head. He must prepare himself to expect a hefty price of his own head. What will that price be is yet to be seen.

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