PHILIP M. GIRALDI: “RUSSIA-BAITING IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN”

Washington again becomes hysterical

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PHILIP GIRALDI • JULY 7, 2020

There is particular danger at the moment that powerful political alignments in the United States are pushing strongly to exacerbate the developing crisis with Russia. The New York Times, which broke the story that the Kremlin had been paying the Afghan Taliban bounties to kill American soldiers, has been particularly assiduous in promoting the tale of perfidious Moscow. Initial Times coverage, which claimed that the activity had been confirmed by both intelligence sources and money tracking, was supplemented by delusional nonsense from former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, who asks “Why does Trump put Russia first?” before calling for a “swift and significant U.S. response.” Rice, who is being mentioned as a possible Biden choice for Vice President, certainly knows about swift and significant as she was one of the architects of the destruction of Libya and the escalation of U.S. military and intelligence operations directed against a non-threatening Syria.

The Times is also titillating with the tale of a low level drug smuggling Pashto businessman who seemed to have a lot of cash in dollars lying around, ignoring the fact that Afghanistan is awash with dollars and has been for years. Many of the dollars come from drug deals, as Afghanistan is now the world’s number one producer of opium and its byproducts.

The cash must be Russian sourced, per the NYT, because a couple of low level Taliban types, who were likely tortured by the Afghan police, have said that it is so. The Times also cites anonymous sources which allege that there were money transfers from an account managed by the Kremlin’s GRU military intelligence to an account opened by the Taliban. Note the “alleged” and consider for a minute that it would be stupid for any intelligence agency to make bank-to-bank transfers, which could be identified and tracked by the clever lads at the U.S. Treasury and NSA. Also try to recall how not so long ago we heard fabricated tales about threatening WMDs to justify war. Perhaps the story would be more convincing if a chain of custody could be established that included checks drawn on the Moscow-Narodny Bank and there just might be a crafty neocon hidden somewhere in the U.S. intelligence community who is right now faking up that sort of evidence.

Other reliably Democratic Party leaning news outlets, to include CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post all jumped on the bounty story, adding details from their presumably inexhaustible supply of anonymous sources. As Scott Horton observedthe media was reporting a “fact” that there was a rumor.

Inevitably the Democratic Party leadership abandoned its Ghanaian kente cloth scarves, got up off their knees, and hopped immediately on to their favorite horse, which is to claim loudly and in unison that when in doubt Russia did it. Joe Biden in particular is “disgusted” by a “betrayal” of American troops due to Trump’s insistence on maintaining “an embarrassing campaign of deferring and debasing himself before Putin.”

The Dems were joined in their outrage by some Republican lawmakers who were equally incensed but are advocating delaying punishing Russia until all the facts are known. Meanwhile, the “circumstantial details” are being invented to make the original tale more credible, including crediting the Afghan operation to a secret Russian GRU Army intelligence unit that allegedly was also behind the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury England in 2018.

Reportedly the Pentagon is looking into the circumstances around the deaths of three American soldiers by roadside bomb on April 8, 2019 to determine a possible connection to the NYT report. There are also concerns relating to several deaths in training where Afghan Army recruits turned on their instructors. As the Taliban would hardly need an incentive to kill Americans and as only seventeen U.S. soldiers died in Afghanistan in 2019 as a result of hostile action, the year that the intelligence allegedly relates to, one might well describe any joint Taliban-Russian initiative as a bit of a failure since nearly all of those deaths have been attributed to kinetic activity initiated by U.S. forces.

The actual game that is in play is, of course, all about Donald Trump and the November election. It is being claimed that the president was briefed on the intelligence but did nothing. Trump denied being verbally briefed due to the fact that the information had not been verified. For once America’s Chief Executive spoke the truth, confirmed by the “intelligence community,” but that did not stop the media from implying that the disconnect had been caused by Trump himself. He reportedly does not read the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), where such a speculative piece might indeed appear on a back page, and is uninterested in intelligence assessments that contradict what he chooses to believe. The Democrats are suggesting that Trump is too stupid and even too disinterested to be president of the United States so they are seeking to replace him with a corrupt 78-year-old man who may be suffering from dementia.

The Democratic Party cannot let Russia go because they see it as their key to future success and also as an explanation for their dramatic failure in 2016 which in no way holds them responsible for their ineptness. One does not expect the House Intelligence Committee, currently headed by the wily Adam Schiff, to actually know anything about intelligence and how it is collected and analyzed, but the politicization of the product is certainly something that Schiff and his colleagues know full well how to manipulate. One only has to recall the Russiagate Mueller Commission investigation and Schiff’s later role in cooking the witnesses that were produced in the subsequent Trump impeachment hearings.

Schiff predictably opened up on Trump in the wake of the NYT report, saying “I find it inexplicable in light of these very public allegations that the president hasn’t come before the country and assured the American people that he will get to the bottom of whether Russia is putting bounties on American troops and that he will do everything in his power to make sure that we protect American troops.”

Schiff and company should know, but clearly do not, that at the ground floor level there is a lot of lying, cheating and stealing around intelligence collection. Most foreign agents do it for the money and quickly learn that embroidering the information that is being provided to their case officer might ultimately produce more cash. Every day the U.S. intelligence community produces thousands of intelligence reports from those presumed “sources with access,” which then have to be assessed by analysts. Much of the information reported is either completely false or cleverly fabricated to mix actual verified intelligence with speculation and out and out lies to make the package more attractive. The tale of the Russian payment of bribes to the Taliban for killing Americans is precisely the kind of information that stinks to high heaven because it doesn’t even make any political or tactical sense, except to Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and the New York Times. For what it’s worth, a number of former genuine intelligence officers including Paul Pillar, John KiriakouScott Ritter, and Ray McGovern have looked at the evidence so far presented and have walked away unimpressed. The National Security Agency (NSA) has also declined to confirm the story, meaning that there is no electronic trail to validate it.

Finally, there is more than a bit of the old hypocrisy at work in the damnation of the Russians even if they have actually been involved in an improbable operation with the Taliban. One recalls that in the 1970s and 1980s the United States supported the mujahideen rebels fighting against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. The assistance consisted of weapons, training, political support and intelligence used to locate, target and kill Soviet soldiers. Stinger missiles were provided to bring down helicopters carrying the Russian troops. The support was pretty much provided openly and was even boasted about, unlike what is currently being alleged about the Russian assistance. The Soviets were fighting to maintain a secular regime that was closely allied to Moscow while the mujahideen later morphed into al-Qaeda and the Islamist militant Taliban subsequently took over the country, meaning that the U.S. effort was delusional from the start.

So, what is a leaked almost certainly faux story about the Russian bounties on American soldiers intended to accomplish? It is probably intended to keep a “defensive” U.S. presence in Afghanistan, much desired by the neocons, a majority in Congress and the Military Industrial Complex (MIC), and it will further be played and replayed to emphasize the demonstrated incompetence of Donald Trump. The end result could be to secure the election of a pliable Establishment flunky Joe Biden as president of the United States. How that will turn out is unpredictable, but America’s experience of its presidents since 9/11 has not been very encouraging.

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

In Strongly-Worded Letter, Ocasio-Cortez, Other Democrats Lobby Congress against Israeli Annexation (FULL TEXT)

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New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
On Tuesday, several members of the US Congress signed and promoted a letter calling for the US to limit military aid to Israel if Tel Aviv goes ahead with the annexation of Palestinian land. 
The letter, addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, contained a strongly-worded call for a US intervention to block the annexation of Palestinian land as championed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 
“Unilateral annexation in the West Bank would alienate US lawmakers and citizens. We cannot support an undemocratic system in which Israel would permanently rule over a Palestinian people denied self-determination or equal rights,” the letter, which has not been officially released yet, but a copy of which was made available to the media, read in part.
Spearheaded by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and signed by Reps. Betty McCollum of Minnesota, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, along with Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the letter also warned, 
“Should the Israeli government move forward with the planned annexation with this administration’s acquiescence, we will work to ensure non-recognition as well as pursue conditions on the $3.8 billion in US military funding to Israel, including human rights conditions.”
The letter further threatened to withhold “funds for the off-shore procurement of Israeli weapons equal to or exceeding the amount the Israeli government spends annually to fund settlements, as well as the policies and practices that sustain and enable them”.
In response, the Washington D.C.-based pro-Israel lobby group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), moved quickly to promote the Israeli government annexation agenda, calling on members of Congress not to show any support for the letter.
The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported that AIPAC has also “opposed an earlier anti-annexation letter that won the support of more than 190 Democrats in the House of Representatives, but did so much less publicly.”
“That letter, which contained a more centrist and pro-Israeli argument against annexation, was eventually signed by many Democratic lawmakers considered allies of AIPAC and strong supporters of Israel,” Haaretz added.
Click here for the full text of the letter. (PDF)
(The Palestine Chronicle)

ترنّح اللوبي الصهيوني في أميركا

زياد حافظ

ما زالت بعض النخب العربية وفي لبنان تعتقد أنّ الولايات المتحدة قدر مفروض على العالم وأنّ الكيان الصهيوني له اليد العليا في الولايات المتحدة عبر نفوذ اللوبي الصهيوني الذي يطيح بكلّ من يقف ضدّ الكيان. وضحايا اللوبي الصهيوني في الفضاء السياسي الرسمي وفي الفضاء الجامعي والفضاء الإعلامي كان عددهم كبيراً يُضرب المثل بهم. حتى الآن.

لكن من يتتبّع بدّقة التحوّلات التي تحصل في المجتمع الأميركي وفي السياسة وفي الجامعة وفي الإعلام يرى بكلّ وضوح خطاً بيانياً يشير إلى ترهّل ذلك النفوذ منذ نهاية ولاية بوش الابن. فالمغامرة الأميركية غير المحسوبة (نعم) في احتلالها للعراق لا لسبب وجيه كالمصلحة الأميركية، أو الأمن القومي الأميركي، ولا الحرص على السلام العالمي، فهذه المغامرة المكلفة بشرياً، واقتصادياً، وقبل كلّ ذلك معنوياً وأخلاقياً كانت لمصلحة الكيان أولاً وأخيراً. فسياسة المحافظين الجدد كانت وما زالت سياسة صهيونية فقط لا غير تلبس لباس المصلحة الأميركية. لكن انكشافهم كان ملحوظاً وإنْ حالفهم في ولايتي باراك أوباما المتدخلّون الليبراليون. فبدأ المشهد يتغيّر تدريجياً حيث نرى عبارات كـ «الحلف الانجلو صهيوني» في مواقع الكترونية محافظة كموقع «اونز ريفيو» على سبيل المثال وليس الحصر.

نتائج الحرب على العراق من جهة وانتشار وسائل التواصل الإعلامي التي تجاوزت احتكار المعلومات بالإعلام المهيمن والذي يقوده اللوبي الصهيوني من جهة أخرى ساهما في فضح انتهاكات الكيان الصهيوني كما كشفا أيضاً ضعف الكيان وعجزه عن تحقيق مصالح الولايات المتحدة. فحرب تموز 2006 التي يحيي لبنان ذكراها الرابعة عشر قريباً كانت نقطة تحوّل في الوعي الأميركي حول «الأسطورة الصهيونية» والجيش الذي لا يُقهر. فالوعي الباطني الأميركي لا يحبّذ الخاسر وينظر إلى القوّة بعين الإعجاب وإنْ لم يقدر على التعبير عن ذلك بشكل صريح.

واللوبي الصهيوني مُني خلال السنوات الماضية بسلسلة من الهزائم في الفضاء السياسي والجامعي والإعلامي. فعلى الصعيد السياسي كانت رهانات اللوبي الصهيوني خاسرة خلال الانتخابات الرئاسية سنة 2008 و2012 و2016. فاللوبي الصهيوني لم يدعم باراك أوباما في انتخابات 2008 بل دعم منافسه جون ماكين، وفي انتخابات 2012 تدخّل نتنياهو بشكل سافر ومعه اللوبي في الانتخابات ودعم ميتش رومني ضدّ باراك أوباما، وفي انتخابات 2016 دعم بشكل سافر هيلاري كلنتون. واللوبي الصهيوني في أميركا لم يوقف الحملات ضدّ دونالد ترامب منذ بداية الولاية رغم العلاقة الحميمة بين ترامب ونتنياهو. وتجلّى ذلك في موقف الاعلام المهيمن والمناهض لترامب الذي يسيطر عليه اللوبي الصهيوني بدون منازع.

أما على صعيد الكونغرس الأميركي تلقّى اللوبي الصهيوني صفعات متتالية عامي 2018 و2020 في الانتخابات الأولية لتسمية مرشّحي الحزب الديمقراطي. ففي 2018 تمّت هزيمة جو كرولي النائب عن الدائرة رقم 14 في المدينة، ورئيس تجمّع الديمقراطيين في مدينة نيويورك والرقم الثالث في التراتبية الحزبية داخل الكونغرس بعد نانسي بيلوزي. فمدينة نيويورك هي المعقل الرئيسي للجالية اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة، والهزيمة أتت على يد شابة في التاسعة والعشرين من عمرها ومنحدرة من أصول بورتوريكية الكسندرا اوكازيو كورتيز. واشتهرت كورتيز، مع زميلتيها في مجلس النوّاب الأميركي رشيدة طليب والهان عمر، خلال ولايتهن الأولى بتأييد القضية الفلسطينية وطرح أجندة تقدّمية للإصلاح الاقتصادي والسياسي الأميركي ما أغضب قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي.

واعتبر اللوبي الصهيوني أنها صدفة لن تتكرّر وعمل سنة 2020على رصد أموال لصالح منافستها في الانتخابات الأولية في مدينة نيويورك. رغم ذلك استطاعت كورتيز التفوّق على منافستها ميشال كاروزو كابريرا، وهي مراسلة في محطة «ان بي سي» الأميركية، بنسبة 73 بالمائة من الأصوات.

لكن الصدمة الأكبر التي تلقّاها اللوبي الصهيوني هي خسارة أكثر المتشدّدين لصالح الكيان الصهيوني اليوت انجيل رئيس لجنة العلاقات الخارجية في مجلس النوّاب الأميركي وأيضاً في مدينة نيويورك المعقل الرئيسي للوبي الصهيوني. هزيمة انجيل كانت أيضاً بفارق كبير لصالح منافسه جمال بومان المنحدر من أصول أفريقية الذي فاز بنسبة 61 بالمائة. الفارق الكبير بين المرشح الصهيوني المهزوم في الدائرتين له دلائل عدّة.

الدلالة الأولى هي أنّ قيادة الحزب الديمقراطي لا تستطيع السيطرة على القاعدة وخاصة القاعدة الشبابية وفي الجاليات الأقلّية. فهناك انقطاع كبير بين القيادة والقاعدة الشبابية يبرز في العديد من الملفّات التي تهمّ القاعدة والتي تعارضها القيادة، والعكس صحيح.

الدلالة الثانية هي أنّ الانفصام داخل الحزب الديمقراطي قد يلقي بظلاله على الانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني حيث مرشّح اللوبي الصهيوني جوزيف بايدن الذي يحظى بتأييد الاعلام المهيمن لا يستهوي القاعدة الشبابية. ومن مؤشرات ذلك الحماس المنخفض هو أنّ في الانتخابات الفرعية التي جرت في الدائرة 25 في ولاية كاليفورنيا في شهر أيار 2020 استطاع المرشحّ الجمهوري مايك غارسيا أن يهزم منافسته من الحزب الديمقراطي كريستي سميث. والمعروف أنّ ولاية كاليفورنيا صوّتت بشكل مكثّف لصالح هيلاري كلنتون سنة 2016 بفارق 3 ملايين صوت! صحيح أنّ دائرة واحدة لا تعني أنّ كلّ الدوائر مثلها لكن ما حصل كان بمثابة إنذار للحزب الديمقراطي. فرغم الدعاية ضدّ الحزب الجمهوري وضدّ الرئيس ترامب شخصياً استطاع الحزب الجمهوري الفوز وسط هذه الأجواء المشحونة بالاحتقان الحزبي. لم يقدم الشباب الديمقراطي على التصويت كما كان مرتقباً وهذا ينذر بنتائج وخيمة للمرشح الرئاسي جوزيف بايدن في تشرين الثاني 2020.

الدلالة الثالثة أنّ المال والإعلام المهيمن اللذين يملكهما اللوبي الصهيوني لم يعد كافياً في مواجهة المعلومات المتدفّقة على المواطن الأميركي عبر التواصل الاجتماعي. فالسردية التي كانت سائدة لصالح الكيان لم تعد مقبولة. لذلك نرى تصاعد الدعوات عند عدد من أعضاء الكونغرس لقطع المساعدات للكيان الصهيوني في الحدّ الأقصى أو تخفيضها في الحدّ الأدنى بسبب انتهاك الكيان الصهيوني لحقوق الإنسان ونظام التمييز العنصري الذي يفرضه الكيان على الفلسطينيين. هذه ظاهرة جديدة لم تكن مألوفة ومسموحة. فالتمييز العنصري الصهيوني في فلسطين يصطدم مع الموجة العارمة المناهضة للعنصرية التي تجتاح المدن الأميركية ما يؤجّج التعبئة ضدّ الكيان ويفسّر الظاهرة الجديدة.

وهناك إشارة إضافية حول التحوّل في المزاج السياسي الأميركي. فإذا كان الكونغرس الأميركي أرضاً محتلّة من قبل اللوبي الصهيوني وفقاً لمقولة بات بيوكنان وما زال، فإنّ أصوات داخل الحزب الجمهوري الذي يسيطر عليه الانجيليون الجدد ترتفع مندّدة بمحاولة ضمّ الضفة الغربية إلى الكيان. فالعريضة التي وقّعها منذ بضعة أسابيع 116 نائب من الحزب الجمهوري من أصل 198 يؤّيدون فيها ضمّ الضفة الغربية بحجة أنها ضرورية لأمن الكيان إلاّ أن تخلّف 72 نائب عن التوقيع له دلالات كبيرة وذلك في موسم انتخابي في غاية الشحن والاستقطاب. صحيح أنّ أكثرية وقّعت على العريضة ولكنها ليست كاسحة كما أنّ المعارضين لها أقلّية ولكنها وازنة. هذا لم يكن موجودا أو ممكناً منذ بضعة أشهر. ويعتبر المحلّل المرموق فيليب جيرالدي أنّ نتائج الانتخابات الأولية في نيويورك قد لا تكون حاسمة إلاّ أنها تنذر بتغييرات كبيرة في المشهد السياسي. ما لم يكن ممكناً أن يتصوّره المرء منذ بضعة سنين أصبح واقعاً وإن لم يصل إلى درجة الهيمنة. لكن مسار الأمور هي اتجاه تراجع نفوذ اللوبي الصهيوني.

تصرّفات حكومة نتنياهو وسوء إدارة البيت الأبيض للملف الفلسطيني من قبل الرئيس بسبب نفوذ صهره جاريد كوشنر ووزير خارجيته مايك بومبيو أصبح مصدراً للقلق عند القيادات اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة. فدنيس روس يعتقد أنّ قرار الضمّ قد يهدّد ليس فقط الكيان عبر انتفاضة عارمة بل أيضاً مستقبل الجالية اليهودية في الولايات المتحدة بسبب التصرّف اللاإنساني لحكومة الكيان. ويشاطر في هذا الرأي العديد من القيادات اليهودية التي لا تريد الانشقاق عن الموقف العام لكنّها غير راضية عن مسار الأمور في الكيان وانعكاساته المحتملة على الجالية اليهودية. من ضمن هذه الشخصيات جاريد غرينبلاط المستشار السابق في الأبيض للرئيس ترامب والمسؤول مع صهر الرئيس كوشنر عن الملفّ الفلسطيني.

أما على صعيد الفضاء الجامعي فهناك شبه تسليم بأنّ الكيان الصهيوني خسر الحرب الدعائية. فنجاح حملة «بي دي أس» في العديد من الجامعات الأميركية الكبيرة ستكون له ارتدادات في الوعي السياسي للنخب عندما يصبح الطلاّب في مراكز القرار بعد بضعة سنين. كما أنّ قرار مجمع الكنائس الانجيلية البريسبيتارية بإنهاء استثمارات أوقافها في محفظات مالية توظّف في الكيان الصهيوني له أيضاً دلالات كبيرة وإنْ لم تكن تلك الكنيسة أكبر الكنائس الانجيلية في الولايات المتحدة. هذا لا يعني أنّ الحرب انتهت فاللوبي الصهيوني استطاع أن ينتزع تشريعات في المجالس المحلّية في 28 ولاية تعاقب من يلتزم بالمقاطعة وتمنع التعامل والمقاولة مع كلّ من لا يوقّع على وثيقة يلتزم بها في نبذ المقاطعة. القضية أصبحت في المحاكم الاتحادية ويعتبر العديد من الحقوقيين أنّ تلك التشريعات تخالف الدستور بشكل واضح خاصة في ما يتعلّق بحرّية التعبير والتعاقد.

وعلى الصعيد الإعلامي أيضاً نشهد في الإعلام الموازي للإعلام الشركاتي المهيمن تنامي المقالات والأبحاث التي تندّد بجرائم الكيان الصهيوني وتندّد أيضاً بالإعلام المهيمن الذي يسكت عن تلك التجاوزات بل يمعن أيضاً في تشويه المشهد في فلسطين. والاعلام الموازي يحظى بأقلام نيّرة وعالمة بينما الكتاب في الإعلام المهيمن في منتهى الرداءة الفكرية والأخلاقية. هناك عالمان مختلفان. ففي عالم الإعلام الموازي الذي يضمّ العديد من المواقع الإلكترونية المتخصصة بالشؤون الدولية والداخلية في الولايات المتحدة تتبلور ثقافة تميّز بين مصالح الولايات المتحدة ومصالح الكيان بينما ذلك التمايز مفقود في الإعلام المهيمن.

هذه الملاحظات لا تعني أنّ اللوبي الصهيوني انتهى. فما زال قويا ومؤثّرا في الكونغرس رغم الانتكاسات التي عرضناها. بات واضحاً أنّ حدود نفوذه لم تعد تتجاوز الكونغرس ومحيط واشنطن الكبرى وهذا دليل على التراجع مع الزمن وبسبب نضال الجهات المعادية لنفوذ الكيان الصهيوني في المجتمع الأميركي. فالانتكاسات تتكاثر لتتخطّى «الصدفة» او «الحالة الفريدة» وقد تبشّر بانقلاب كامل في الموقف. فمكان مستحيلاً منذ فترة قصيرة أصبح ممكنا. لعلّ النخب العربية واللبنانية تتعظ من تلك التحوّلات فتخفّف من المراهنة على الكيان والولايات المتحدة.

The Anti-American Universities Are a Much Greater Threat to Us than Putin and China

June 24, 2020

Paul Craig Roberts - Official Homepage

Paul Craig Roberts

This is an introduction to a letter written by a black American professor at the University of California, Berkeley.  He says that the University no longer serves scholarship and has become a servant to the Democratic Party and Black Lives Matter. He says that the university is akin to a suppressive regime that crushes real diversity and exiles free debate. At the end of his letter, he damns the University of California regents and the Berkely history department for eulogizing George Floyd, a depraved, drug-ridden thug “who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise. Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.”

Here is an honest and highly intelligent black American professor at a prestigeous State University who understands that the collapse of white confidence has destroyed scholarly integrity and respect for truth. He understands, unlike the dumbshit white regents of the university and the dumbshit propagandists in the history department who pretend to be objective historians, that this is a threat to him, to black Americans, to white Americans, to a multicultural society, to the United States, to Western civilization, and he is despondent that he cannot state his views except anonymously. 

The history department has denounced the letter as an unpardonable statement of truth.

Here is his letter:  https://www.rt.com/op-ed/491889-anonymous-uc-berkeley-professor-blm/ 

Read it. Read it again, and again.  You will understand what The Saker means when he says the United States has entered the final stage of collapse. If you want a clear picture of your future, read The Camp of the Saints, if you can find a copy of this best seller that has been withdrawn from publication and suppressed.  

THE UNITED STATES IN CRISIS: THE POLITICS OF RACISM AND THE COMING STORM

Source

The United States In Crisis: The Politics Of Racism And The Coming Storm

Written by Cato exclusively for SouthFront

After reading The Saker’s post “The systematic collapse of the US society has begun”, and watching the accelerating social and political disintegration of the United States, I decided to take a look at the origins of this current phenomenon, differentiate between the two opposing factions that have been slowly metastasizing before our eyes over the past two decades and to gauge the likely outcomes of the inevitable conflict that is coming. The mainstream media would have us all believe that the violence and lawlessness that we are seeing on the streets of U.S. cities is due to a popular uprising against systemic, institutionalized racism that permeates every aspect of U.S. life.

The Democratic party and every pop culture figure, athlete, and entertainer that can be put in front of the camera has parroted this idea. Huge corporations have voiced support for “social justice” organizations like of Black Lives Matter. More importantly, they have “donated” hundreds of millions of dollars to such organizations. Seemingly, all of these forces spontaneously allied themselves in response to the police brutality that resulted in the death of yet another innocent, angelic black man on the streets of Minneapolis. This is what you call crafting a narrative.

On the other side of the social, cultural and political divide are those that do not accept the argument that the United States is systemically racist, and do not accept that physical violence, vandalism and theft is an appropriate answer to the perceived injustices put forward by the other side. This side not only rejects the notion that racism is a massive problem that is still the glue that holds together our social and political lives, but also rejects the identity politics that are increasingly peddled by the left. They also see law and order as essential to maintaining a just and functional society. Largely reactionary to the growing political power and social impact of the racism-is-everywhere crowd, they do not enjoy the economic, political and media power wielded by their opponents. They lack the bully pulpit and the war chest of the left. Although lacking the media coverage, this represents the majority of the population.

The Democratic Party’s Old Strategy: Identity Politics

The Democratic Party has always used identity politics to advance the aims of the party. They are masters at it and have engaged in it for over 150 years. A short history lesson would reveal that it was the Democratic Party that supported the institution of slavery in the United States, supported segregation and the Jim Crow laws that ensured that African Americans were second class citizens in a nation that had lost over a half a million lives in a war that resulted in slavery’s demise (at least in the United States).

The Klu Klux Klan was established by Democrats to aid it in enforcing the party’s racist policies, by terrorizing and brutalizing blacks and their white allies for decades. At the height of the party’s policies of racism and segregation, the KKK membership in the country stood at approximately 4 million. Let it not be forgotten that many U.S. Senators and Representatives were former high-ranking members of the KKK. They were all Democrats. Abraham Lincoln; however, who emancipated the slaves, was a Republican. Woodrow Wilson, the supposed “progressive” Democrat, re-segregated the U.S. Armed Forces during his administration. Franklin Roosevelt, another Democrat, interned Japanese Americans in concentration camps during the Second World War.

How does the Democratic Party hide this history of leveraging racism to advance their aims and to maintain their hold on power? By creating the great myth of the “strategic flip”. They have peddled the myth that the Republican party decided to steal their mantel of racism to win support in the southern states. So, we are to believe that the Democrat and Republican parties decided to do a mutual 180 degree turn on racism and segregation just before the height of the civil rights movement in the country?

If this were true, how come most of the politicians who fought against the civil rights movement in the south and resisted the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 were Democrats? The governors and mayors using fire hoses, police dogs and batons on black and white civil rights protesters were largely not Republicans. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a strategic political play by the Democrats. Realizing that the majority of the nation would no longer tolerate their racist policies of the past, the Democrats decided that they would not only go with the turning political tide, but would actually take credit for it. President Lyndon Banes Johnson famously stated that, “I’ll have these n*ggers voting Democrat for the next two hundred years.” It is forgotten that a higher percentage of Republicans (81.8%) voted in support of the bill than did Democrats (68.6%). Two of the Democrat senators that fought against the bill and voted “Nay” were Robert Byrd and Al Gore Sr. Yes, the same Robert Byrd who was a former KKK Grand Wizard and who was glowingly eulogized by the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Barack Obama upon his death in 2010. And yes, Vice President Al Gore’s father voted in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Academia and the left-aligned media have propagated the strategic flip lie for decades, and most U.S. citizens are too lazy or occupied to investigate their own nation’s history. Apparently, playing video games, watching Tik Tok videos and looting Nike shoes while “protesting” is more important that educated yourself about U.S. history.

The United States In Crisis: The Politics Of Racism And The Coming Storm

Is it any surprise that now that they have no policy initiative other than defeat Trump at all costs, that the Democratic party would align itself with the most radical voices decrying that racism is the underlying cause for all of the challenges we face as a nation? They are embracing the tried and true strategy of identity politics once again. Why? Because it works.

Out with the KKK, In with BLM and Antifa

Perhaps one of the most telling signs of the abandonment of anti-black racism in the U.S. is the current state of the old thugs of the Democrat party. The membership of the KKK in America is estimated today at approximately 3,000 members. The population of the nation stands at roughly 325 million people. It would be a gross understatement to say that the KKK holds any relevance at all today, yet its meteoric fall can be extrapolated to illustrate the equally dramatic fall in support for the racist ideas it espoused.

Now that the political left in the U.S. have put forward and fully invested in the same old racism ploy, what identity will now be labeled as the cause of all our ills? Who will be the new scapegoat, the new pariah, the new Juden? Apparently, now it is the “white” peoples turn, and any institution that can be perceived as aiding the white race in its hold on power of course, namely the police. Not just the handful of bad cops on any department. No half-measures this time. All cops are evil supporters of the white power structure we are told.

It is apparently irrelevant to the left that all of the major cities that have experienced high rates of violent crime (mostly committed by young black males against young black male victims) have all been controlled by Democrats for decades. Minneapolis for example has a Democrat mayor. The chief of police is black. The Attorney General of the state is a black man, Keith Ellison. Yes, the same guy that was once in the running to head the DNC and was caught up in a domestic abuse scandal. The same Keith Ellison who espoused the radical racist idea that African Americans should take over a few U.S. states by force and create a separate country only for blacks. He wrote many of his radical ideas in a student newspaper column while attending Minnesota Law School. Minneapolis is just one example. Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis all have political and police leadership that are either Democrats, African Americans, or both. But I thought that white people, especially conservative or Republican voting white people, were the problem?

The political left has decided that all those of the Caucasian race will now fill the void of the once vilified Negro. But who will be the force out on the streets terrorizing neighborhoods, ambushing police, assaulting people, destroying property, vandalizing government buildings and historical landmarks? The KKK just won’t do these days. Americans in an overwhelming majority rejected them and their racist beliefs long ago. Their membership is almost irrelevant as far as boots on the ground are concerned, not to mention they do not possess a war-chest of hundreds of millions of dollars. Who do the Democrats use to leverage their political aims with violence, coercion, and intimidation?

The answer to this question should be quite clear. All you have to do is follow the money and the positive media coverage. The media has been falling all over themselves to exalt the virtuous ranks on Antifa since this openly communist organization first started its “resistance” to Trump’s administration. They have even been compared to the brave American soldiers that stormed the beaches of Normandy to hep liberate Europe from Fascism. Millions of dollars have been funneled to Antifa groups via NGOs over the past three years. U.S. Antifa groups have even travelled to conflict zones in the Middle East to acquire military training with paramilitary groups that espouse socialist or communist ideologies. The symbolism of burning a black church to the ground in the 1960s has been replaced by that of a police station or a corporate retail store being burned to the ground in 2020.

A lot of Americans have rejected the positive spin afforded to Antifa and are aware of the Marxist ideology and violent tactics embraced by the movement. They may even know that Antifa’s origins as the street thugs of the Communist Party of Germany in the Weimar Republic are well documented by history. For this reason, Antifa alone cannot advance the aims of the Democratic party (and more importantly the Deep State) in its quest to regain control of every aspect of political and social life in the United States. Another, more palatable, yet no less radical organization needed to be brought to bear. Blacks Lives Matter fits this bill perfectly.

The mythology behind Black Lives Matter (BLM) is that it was created at the grass roots level, as the result of a spontaneous tide in public opinion that rose in opposition to the illegitimate, indefensible murder by white police or white citizens of unarmed African American children. The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri and the killing of Travon Martin by an armed citizen are two examples of such incidents that supposed lead to the establishment of BLM. It is always a tragedy for family and friends that lose loved ones, and this is true in the case of both of these young men; however, a massive amount of disinformation was pushed by the mainstream media that tried to portray the black “children” as totally innocent, angelic figures. This was demonstrably false in retrospect. Michael brown never put his hands up and implore “don’t shoot”. He in fact assaulted a police officer and tried to wrestle his firearm away from him when shot. Travon Martin was shot when he physically assaulted a citizen who happened to be armed. Michael Brown was a 6’4”, 292 lb., 18-year-old adult upon his death, while Travon Martin was one year away from legal adulthood at 17 and was just under 6ft. tall. Neither remotely resembled the cherubic photos presented at nauseum by the media.

Enter BLM. The “trained Marxist” founders of this “civil rights” organization (those are the admissions of co-founder Patrisse Cullors not my words) appeared on the scene in the wake of a small number of propagandized incidents of young black males being shot and killed by non-blacks. Almost immediately, leftist NGOs, celebrities and corporations donated millions of dollars to promote social justice as envisioned by BLM. A quick read of the BLM mission statement reads as if it was written by the DNC in regard to a host of other political and social justice issues. Maybe this is why BLM supports Democratic candidates in elections and donations to BLM are handled through ActBlue, which also handles donations to the DNC and its candidates. It would be interesting to see a financial audit of BLM in light of these obvious connections. A number of conservative and libertarian media outlets jumped at the ActBlue connection yet miss the deeper connection between BLM and the Democracy Alliance.

Politico (surprisingly) reported in November of 2016, that the Democracy Alliance (DA) had been involved in secretive meetings with BLM and a number of other similar minded activist groups. The Democracy Alliance aims to start another “Color Revolution”, but this time in the United States. A cabal of super wealthy leftists including George Soros, Tom Steyer, Paul Egerman, and Rob McKay amongst many others, the DA aims to support and encourage a leftist political and cultural revolution. The article goes on to state:

“The DA, as the club is known in Democratic circles, is recommending its donors step up check writing to a handful of endorsed groups that have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. And the club and some of its members also are considering ways to funnel support directly to scrappier local groups that have utilized confrontational tactics to inject their grievances into the political debate.

Movements that are challenging the status quo and that do so to some extent by using direct action or disruptive tactics are meant to make people uncomfortable, so I’m sure we have partners who would be made uncomfortable by it or think that that’s not a good tactic,” said DA President Gara LaMarche. “But we have a wide range of human beings and different temperaments and approaches in the DA, so it’s quite possible that there are people who are a little concerned, as well as people who are curious or are supportive. This is a chance for them to meet some of the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, and understand the movement better, and then we’ll take stock of that and see where it might lead.”

As BLM gains in power and influence it has become more like a political party or political power broker, and one that does not shy away from encouraging acts of violence and lawlessness, nor efforts to destroy anyone that voices any disagreement with their views. These views are almost always in line with the official DNC platform. As recently as June 19th, co-founder Patrisse Cullors also voiced the intention of the group to “get Trump out of office” during an interview on CNN. Anyone that challenges BLM is labeled a racist or white supremacist and is publicly shamed.

Corporations like Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group, and Comcast gave donations of $100 million each to social justice organizations like BLM just this month. I mean, we all know how underrepresented blacks are in the music industry.  Apparently, the U.S. music industry had decided that promoting gangster culture, violence, drug use, and objectification of women for decades in rap music hasn’t been quite destructive enough in perverting black culture in America. They needed to do more by donating millions to organizations that literally burn, pillage and loot in poor black communities as well.

To summarize, what we are hearing from the mainstream media, Hollywood celebrities, Antifa and BLM who both admittedly embrace and espouse Marxist political ideology, are the same views put forward by the Democratic Party. They are all doing their part to remove Donald Trump from office by any means necessary. To them, the end justifies the means. This is literally the ideology embraced by modern terrorism. Regrettably, the left in the U.S. seems to have only the unifying principles that aim to destroy or dismantle. The DNC is running on the platform “Remove Trump”. That is, it. They will use any allies that share this aim, even leveraging racial division, violence and lawlessness in their pursuit to remove a duly elected president and to regain a monopoly on power.

The Disorganized Opposition

I have to state that I have never been a fan or supporter of Donald Trump. No one should be surprised that he is a loudmouth, a narcissistic egomaniac, and a self-promoter. He always has been. I did not vote for him, although I do believe that his presidency has been immensely transformative. How? Because it has removed the veil of legitimacy from the entire U.S. political system, and the democratic processes that are supposed to secure our constitutional republic. The Deep State and all its political, corporate and media allies were forced to unmask themselves. All Americans should now realize that they have been lied to for decades by every major institution that they are supposed to trust. Let’s face it, we have little to no influence over the political process at all. Trump’s election was an outlier, not the norm.

I truly believe that the overwhelming majority of all Americans want nothing to do with the progressive left agenda, nor do they believe that the country is irredeemably racist. Most Americans of all races get along with one another just fine on a daily basis, and do not harbor any animosity against other racial groups based on a belief in the inferiority of any other race. Most also understand that there have been instances of police brutality over the past two decades, yet they also understand that such instances are uncommon, and the statistics do not support the assertions that blacks are disproportionately represented in these cases. Assertions to the contrary are simply not factual and are only used to advance an agenda of division.

Regrettably, the silent majority is being silent once again. So, who has decided to step up and voice a dissenting opinion to counterbalance the leftist narrative and the acts of wanton destruction? Although very disjointed and disorganized, many dissenting voices have appeared, and many have been silenced and destroyed by the leftist mob and their allies in big tech and the media. If you so much as question the validity of any aspect of the narrative, you are labeled a racist, a white supremacist, or an Uncle Tom (if you happen to be black). People are losing their ability to speak, as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube electronically gag them. They are losing their good reputations, and their peaceful lives by the woke mob that destroys them on social media. And they are increasingly also losing their jobs and livelihoods for the crime of dissenting from a delusory and untrue narrative. Who has stepped forward to stand up for these people?

Alternative or non-mainstream media is on the frontlines of speaking out against the false narrative and calling for law and order to be restored in so many of the cities that have been racked by riots, violence and looting. As far as mass media is concerned, only Fox News seems to have broken from the establishment media that is totally committed to peddling the narrative; however, it must be noted that only host Tucker Carlson is really putting himself out there and honestly and candidly speaking his mind. God only knows how long the establishment, including Fox News, will tolerate this. I can see Fox jettisoning Tucker as soon as the outcry from the left becomes too uncomfortable for them to bear.

Some members of the Republican party have voiced opposition to the looting, violence and vandalism that have taken place over the past few weeks, but when push came to shove, most acquiesced to the mob by not calling out as the false the very foundation of their narrative, that the country is permeated and built upon systemic, all-encompassing racism at every level. This fantasy can be easily disproven by any reasoning, logically thinking person. So why have they “taken the knee”? The answer is pretty obvious to any critically thinking person from any generation not completely brainwashed by an academia totally saturated with leftist ideology. The Republican party is largely just a foil for the Democrats to provide the illusion of choice. At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in high office are as corrupt as their political “opponents” in the Democrat party. The days of principled Republicans standing up for constitutional law, limited government, civil rights and desegregation are long gone. Those men and women are long dead and buried and any monuments to them are due to be defaced and removed in short order.

The more voices that question the narrative being pushed, the greater the censorship. It has gotten to the point that big tech’s excuses and explanations for canceling people on their platforms have become utterly meaningless. Their blatant hypocrisy and obvious leftist politics are now staring us all in the face. They are now, digitally burning books and movies, and chastising and shaming dissenters in the public square. This is not limited to those with conservative or right-wing views. All of these labels are quite meaningless anyway, as the left took over the terminology years ago. Any student of Noam Chomsky could tell you that first, totalitarians manipulate language to advance their goals and to label their enemies.

A Rising Tide of Discontent

I happen to believe that my friend The Saker holds out hope that the people of the United States will resist the lunacy and not succumb to the call to violence that would mean a civil war in this country. I am very much on the fence as to whether or not a second civil war is inevitable at this point. History reveals a very powerful country that became an empire, and in doing so, lost its way and its national identity. Corruption has permeated every political institution in this nation and has resulted in a welfare state dependent upon war, debt and theft. Only a tiny minority of oligarchs and their henchmen benefit at the expense of the majority. This is always the case with empires, which leads to their inevitable collapse. History presents us with no exceptions.

Only when this nation’s government returns to a path of non-intervention (both international and domestic in scope) will it be able to reclaim the better aspects of its heritage. Only when a government that abides by the Constitution as it was written, can it hope to ever aspire to be a government of the people, for the people and by the people. This can never be accomplished by giving government greater power (nationalism, socialism, communism), but only by taking power away from the government and distributing it to the people at a local level. The framers of the U.S. Constitution wrestled with this very understanding for over two years (1787-1789) in attempting to form a government.

The Saker surmises that the U.S. has two likely roads ahead, either balkanization or a general collapse akin to that of the Soviet Union. I happen to believe that balkanization is inevitable at this point, and that an eventual rebuilding and complete unification after a Soviet style collapse is highly unlikely. There are numerous historic and cultural ties that bound the Soviet Union together and continue to bind the various republics of the Russian Federation together. Almost a thousand years of shared experience make all the difference. The United States by contrast was born of shared classical liberal ideals. The American Revolutionary War was actually more akin to a civil war between the colonies and the British Empire and was a very close-run thing. The Continental Army was close to defeat a number of times. It spanned eight years, and only approximately 3% of the population actively fought for the cause of independence. It is true that ideals are powerful, but what happens when a sizeable portion of the people no longer embrace these ideals, but when they actually despise them? Such a state of being is untenable for very long.

To be continued in Part II…

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SITREP: Tucker Carlson Damns Republican Party, Calls for ‘New Leaders’ and Condemns Trump as a ‘Weak’ President, Lauds ‘Strong’ Obama

SITREP: Tucker Carlson Damns Republican Party, Calls for ‘New Leaders’ and Condemns Trump as a ‘Weak’ President, Lauds ‘Strong’ Obama

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

Fox ‘News’ host Tucker Carlson effectively abandoned the Republican Party on June 19th as “too weak,” and urged “it’s time to find new leaders.” If he were attempting to start a third-party run for the White House, this rant would be ideal, especially because, as of noon two days later, on June 21st, it had nearly 1.4 million views and nearly 20 thousand viewer-comments — overwhelmingly favorable. Here are its highlights:

Jun 19, 2020, 1,389,994 views and 20K comments, overwhelmingly favorable — [all as of noon on Jun 21]

A supporter of the Democratic Party is (1:30) someone who “wants more foreign wars and enjoys sucking up to banks … You vote for Republicans to protect you from this.” Confederate statues in Old Dixie were removed because of (2:00) “illiterate vandals.” Carlson (3:00) condemned the president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who had said “racism is America’s Achilles’ heel. It has been embedded into our culture for 400 years” as “accusing America of being ‘irredeemably racist’,” as if such an allegation shouldn’t even be published but instead banned. He condemned “so many on the right” for doing “exactly the same thing” (alleging that America is “irredeemably racist” or “racism is America’s Achilles’ heel. It has been embedded into our culture for 400 years”). They “did everything possible to accommodate the demands of … rioters. .. They didn’t blame the rioters, they blamed the cops.” “Ordinary Americans came under attack for the color of their skin, actual racism [against Whites]. … And yet no Republicans rose to defend them.” Carlson (5:25-) condemned Trump and said that Obama would have crushed the rioters, not like Trump and the Republicans who were (7:50-end) “too weak. … The crisis has revealed the truth. Now we know who they are. It could not be clearer. And now it’s time to find new leaders.”

Tucker Carlson has, perhaps, been running for the U.S. Presidency ever since at least the time when he started to become an advocate of the anti-regime-change-war candidate for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination, Tulsi Gabbard.

Here you see it from 5 March 2019.

Here you see it from 27 June 2019.

Here you see it from 1 August 2019.

Here you see it from 8 January 2020.

Here you see it from 10 March 2020.

Here is another Fox PR for Gabbard on 10 March 2020.

All of those were Republican Fox ‘News’ pumping the only anti-neoconservative (or anti-imperialist) Democratic Presidential candidate, and Tucker Carlson was the leader of that anti-neocon thrust, as if the Republican Party weren’t just as neocon (supportive of U.S. imperialism) as is the Democratic Party.

In all of the polling of Democratic primary voters, Gabbard never received an average level of support that was above 3%; so, she was one of the least appealing candidates to Democratic Party voters. If anything, her frequent appearances on Republican Party ‘news’-media reduced instead of increased her support from Democratic Party voters. Clearly, the Democratic Party is strongly neoconservative, not only from the donor class, but also from the voter class.

Carlson has therefore been running (if he is) in order to appeal to Republican and independent Whites who support police (even racist ones), consider racial integrationists to be mainly “illiterate vandals” instead of peaceful demonstrators, and feel that a “strong” President would put down any violent demonstrators by prohibiting the demonstrations and cracking the heads of anyone who would demonstrate against barbarically racist cops.

What this might suggest to be the case is that Carlson is planning to run third-party to appeal to the most disadvantaged Whites who compete against Blacks. As the February 2020 Brookings study “Examining the Black-white wealth gap” said, “At $171,000, the net worth of a typical [median] white family is nearly ten times greater than that of a [median] Black family ($17,150) in 2016.” However, since the numbers of people increase at the lower end of the wealth-distribution and decrease very sharply at the higher end of it, there are a great many poor Whites in the U.S., and Carlson is pitching to them. Poor Whites receive none of the extra consideration from the Government that all Blacks can on many federal and state “affirmative action” and other programs, and they therefore compete against black applicants at a disadvantage on the existing legal basis.

Regarding Carlson’s alleged opposition to U.S. imperialism, Trump himself spoke not much differently from today’s Carlson on that, but it has merely become a Republican talking-point against the neoconservative Barack Obama’s policies, just as Obama himself talked up a storm against George W. Bush’s neoconservative policies while running against Hillary Clinton in 2008. However, the American people have never really rejected neoconservatism. For example, Americans have no objection to the U.S. Government invading a country that never  so much as threatened to invade the U.S. During 1992-2003, Gallup kept polling Americans on the question “Would you favor or oppose invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops” and consistently there were 2-to-1 to 3-to-1 margins saying “Favor” instead of “Oppose” on that. Moreover, during Gallup’s 7 pollings on that question during December 2002 and January 2003, the detailed demographic breakdowns showed that every category of Americans except post-college graduates, Democrats, Liberals, and Blacks were in favor of invading. That’s because invading Iraq, and even being neoconservative, were considered ‘Republican’ policies then. Americans have no problem with the Government’s committing the international war-crime of “aggressive war.” None whatsoever.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

What kind of “popular revolution” is this?!

Source

THE SAKER • JUNE 16, 2020



Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase


I have to say that I am amazed that so many folks on the Left seem to think that the current riots in the US are a spontaneous rebellion against police violence, systemic racism, and history of persecution and exploitation of Blacks and Indians, etc. As for the violence, looting and riots – they are either excused as a result of some kind of righteous wrath or blamed on “infiltrators”. In my previous article I tried to show how the Democrats and the US media tried to instrumentalize these riots and to use them against Trump’s bid for reelection. I accompanied the article with a carefully staged photo-op of US Democrats “taking a knee” in solidarity (as if the leaders of the Democratic Party gave a hoot about Blacks or poor US Americans!).
What I did not mention was how the US (and even trans-national) corporate world backed these riots to the hilt. Here are just a few examples of this:
YouTube:

Amazon, Bank of America & Sephora:

And it is not only in the USA. Check out what Adidas in Germany has been up to:

and finally, my personal super-favorite:
Jamie Dimon and the JP Morgan Chase Bank:

All those of us who thought that the corporate world was all about money, that the corporate “culture” had all the signs of severe psychopathy and that billionaires did not give a damn about the poor and the oppressed, but now we know better: we thought of them as evil 1%ers, and it turns out that there are kind, highly principled people, who care about injustice and freedom and who truly feel bad, very very bad, for all the injustices done to Blacks!
Do you really buy this?
I sure don’t!
These are not small mom-and-pop stores where ethics and kindness still exist. These are the very corporations who benefited most from all the inequalities, injustice, violence and imperial wars of aggression and it would be truly pollyannish to think that these corporations and their CEOs suddenly grew a conscience (the exact same applies to the leadership of the Democratic Party, of course!).
So let’s go back to the basics: corporations are about money, that is a truism. Yes, sometimes corporations try to present a “human face”, but this is nothing more than a marketing trick destined to create consumer loyalty. Now I don’t believe for one second that the mega-corporations listed above expect to make much money from supporting the riots, at least not in a direct way. Nor do I believe that these corporations are trying to impersonate a conscience because they fear a Black consumer boycott (what was true in Tuskegee in the late 1950s is not true today, if only because of the completely different scale of the protests).
So if not money – what is at stake here?
Power.
Specifically, the US deep state – at a major faction within that deep state – is clearly desperate to get rid of Trump (and not for the right reasons, of which there are plenty).

Another victory of the “coalition of minorities” and another defeat for Trump
Another victory of the “coalition of minorities” and another defeat for Trump
There are plenty of signs that illustrate that Trump is even losing control of the Executive, including Secretary Esper contradicting Trump on what is a key issue – restoring law and order – or the US Ambassador to South Korea voicing support for BLM (I consider that these actions by top officials against their own Commander in Chief border on treason). Needless to say, the pro-Dems neo-libs at Slate immediately began dreaming about, and calling for, a military revolt against Trump.
Last but not least, we now have a “free zone” in Seattle, the notorious Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, “CHAZ” aka “CHOP” where, among other “curiosities”, Whites are told to give 10 bucks to a Black person. This means that until law and order are restored to what is now the CHAZ, the United States has lost its sovereignty over a part of one of its cities. That is a “black eye” for any US President who, after all, is the leader of the Executive branch of government and the Commander in Chief of a military supposed (in theory only, of course) to defend the United States against all enemies.
What do all of these developments have in common?
They are designed to show that Trump has lost control of the country and that all good and decent people now stand united against him.
There are several major problems with this plan.
For one thing, this is all completely illegal. What began as a typical race riot is now openly turning into sedition.
The second major problem of this plan is that it relies on what I call a “coalition of minorities” to achieve its goal, it is therefore ignoring the will of the majority of the people. This can backfire, especially if the chaos and violence continue to spread.

Will he take orders from Pelosi?
Will he take orders from Pelosi?
Next, there is the “Golem/Frankenstein” issue: it is much easier to launch a wildfire than to contain or suppress it. Nancy Pelosi might be dumb enough to think that she and her gang can control the likes of Raz Simone, but history shows that when the state abdicates its monopoly on violence, anarchy ensues.
By the way, it is important to note here that Trump, at least so far, has not taken the bait and has not used federal forces to reimpose law and order in Seattle, Atlanta or elsewhere.
He must realize that liberating the so-called CHAZ might result in a bloodbath (there appear to be plenty of weapons inside the CHAZ) and that the Democrats are dreaming about blaming him for a bloodbath. Trump’s strategy, at least so far, appears to let the lawlessness continue and blame the Democrats for it.
While Trump’s strategy makes sense, it also is inherently very dangerous because if the state cannot reimpose law and order, then all sorts of “volunteers” might decide to give it a shot (literally). Check out this headline “Bikers For Trump Organizing to Retake Seattle On July 4th“. Whether these bikers will actually try to take over the CHAZ or not, even the fact that they are preparing to do so shows, yet again, that the state has lost its monopoly on violence.
Finally, this strategy to oust Trump by means of lawlessness and anarchy could greatly contribute to the breakup of the United States, if not de jure, then at least de facto. How?
For one thing, the United States is a big country, not only in terms of geographical size, but also in socio-economic and even cultural terms. Some US states have a large Black population, others much less. But they all mostly watch the same news media. Which means that when there are race riots in, say, Los Angeles or Baltimore, the people who live in states like Montana or the Dakotas feel that it is their country which is threatened. Coincidentally (or not?), these mostly White states happen to have a large part of their population as, Hillary’s famous “deplorables”. Some liberals call these states “flyover states”. It also happens that civilians in these states own a large number of firearms and know how to use them.
The same applies to different locations within any one state. Take California for example, which many view as being very liberal, progressive. Well, that might be true for many cities in California, but as soon as you enter rural California, the prevailing culture changes rather dramatically. The same urban vs rural dichotomy also exists in many other states, including Florida.
The risk here is the following one: some parts of the United States can collapse and become zones of total lawlessness while others will “circle the wagons” and take whatever measures are needed to protect themselves and their way of life.
This does not mean that the US, as a country, will break-up into several successor states. That could only happen much further down the road, but it does mean that different areas of the country could start facing the crisis autonomously and even possibly in direct violation of US laws. When that happens, poverty and violence typically sharply rise. There are already reports of vigilantism in New Mexico(interestingly, in this case the authorities did send in the cops).
In his seminal article “Race and Crime in America” (an absolute MUST READfor any person wanting to understand what is taking place today!) Ron Unz makes a very interesting observation:
“The empirical fact is that presence or absence of large numbers of Hispanics or Asians in a given state seems to have virtually no impact upon white voting patterns. Meanwhile, there exists a strong relationship between the size of a state’s black population and the likelihood that local whites will favor the Republicans”.
In other words, the larger the Black minority, the more likely Whites will vote Republican. Of course, one can dismiss this by saying that these Whites are all racists, but that does not help either because it begs the question of why Whites do not become racists when living next to Hispanics and Asians, but do so when they live near Blacks. The explanation is in Ron’s article: “local urban crime rates in America seem to be almost entirely explained by the local racial distribution” (please see the charts in Ron’s article for the data supporting this conclusion).

This makes for a potentially very explosive mix, especially in a time when police officers now risk a reprimand, a demotion. being fired or even criminal charges for using “excessive force” against any Black suspect (yes, US cops often do use excessive force, but the solution here is not to paralyze the police forces, lest the civilians feel like they need to defend themselves.
As I have said it many times, I don’t believe that the term “race” has a scientific basis, nor do concepts such as “Black” or “White”. This does not mean that they don’t have a political meaning, especially in a country which is obsessed by race issues (yes, one can obsess about non-existing things). In the US most people self-identify with a color, thus to them this is something very real. For example, the figures used in Ron Unz’ article are based upon these concepts understood sociologically, not biologically, and this is the only reason why I use them too, though somewhat reluctantly, I will admit.
Conclusion: this is no popular revolution at all
It is undeniable that a major chuck of the US ruling classes have decided to support the BLM movement and the riots it instigates. Furthermore, these US ruling classes have instrumentalized these riots in a transparent attempt to prevent a Trump reelection in November. And just like the Republicans have been destroying the AngloZionist empire on the international scene, the Democrats have been destroying the United States from within. Far from being a real popular protest movement, the BLM movement is a tool in the hands of one faction of the US deep state against another faction. A lot of Trump nominees/appointees are now seeing the writing on the wall and are betraying their boss in order to switch sides and abandon what they see as a sinking ship.
My personal feeling is that Trump is too weak and too much of a coward to fight his political enemies (if he had any spine, it would have shown at the time when Trump betrayed Flynn only a month into his presidency). History, however, shows that a political vacuum cannot last very long. In Russia the chaos lasted from February to November 1917, at which point the Bolsheviks (who were a relatively small party) easily seized power and, following a bloody civil war, restored their version of law and order. I still don’t see a civil war taking place in the USA, but some kind of coup is, I think, a very real possibility. This is especially true considering that most Democrats will never accept a Trump reelection while most Republicans will never accept a Biden presidency. This is a case of “not my president” powerfully backfiring on its creators.
Those of us who live in the US better prepare for a very dangerous and difficult year!

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits

June 16, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Trump’s only hope: buying re-election with populist jobless benefits

The US economy is in such a dire state (if we may temporarily put down the newly-discovered problem of racism in the Western hemisphere (except for Cuba)) that US voters are going to be happy to sell themselves to the highest bidder come November. It’s not like anyone could get genuinely excited by Joe Biden, after all.

Trump has a huge advantage over Biden in that he can distribute money to voters today and until October – but does he realise that’s the only way to win re-election during this economic catastrophe?

The idea that the US economy has somehow stabilised – or even yet seen the worst – from the shock of three months (and counting) of corona overreaction is totally irrational. You can’t even put it into a single headline: Over 44 million unemployed people doesn’t include the absurd new stock market bubble, the “we’re done holding on” looming wave of bankruptcies in small businesses, the demand shock which is still omnipresent and solidifying with each passing day, the total lack of a corona exit strategy after the West rushed into the Great Lockdown out of a competitive idiocy that “whatever China’s system can do, we can do better”, and on and on and on.

It is thus little wonder that Americans have recently latched on to the far easier to grasp issues of colour-based racism and police brutality (which are also neutered of economics & class). But US cops murder Blacks all the time and that isn’t going away soon, sadly, and neither is the corona economic catastrophe.

So unlike other re-election campaigns this isn’t going to be just another referendum on the incumbent, as Democrats desperately wanted: amid such economic devastation the past will remain in the past until the issue of paying the bills at the end of this month gets sorted first. Fin du mois (end of the month) is the battle cry of the Yellow Vests, after all….

In late May I wrote August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin to stress how the US 1% made a huge tactical error amid the corona hysteria by granting $1,000 per week in unemployment benefits: that is better wages for half of America’s incredibly hard-working, zero-benefit receiving labor force. The 1% foolishly showed their hand: they are flush – absolutely flush with decades of productivity-produced profits, QE, compound interest, unearned rents, etc. – and now it’s crystal clear to all that they have been holding out. Anyone who says that the US “can’t afford” to extend unemployment past August 1 obviously has no idea what they are talking about economically – only 30% of the 2020 CARES package went to individuals, whereas 45% went to bosses big (corporate) and small (the Small Business Administration). More importantly: that 30% was the first “people’s QE” ever, so the percentage of “bailout money” gone to individuals since 2008 is roughly just a few percent.

This, and not racism, is the actual psychological basis for the recent US rebellions and prolonged anger: Americans are instructed to first “think race”, so that is what they ran to protest first, but they will eventually reach this higher level of economic understanding. The cultural reality is that the average American has been denied economic understanding; that their media is forbidden to discuss it – how could they ever immediately talk about I discussed in that article? They can’t – not without some violent rebellion first.

When the economic reality of America’s hoarded wealth does get discussed in an election context it portends a sea change in US politics, and not just labor battles.

The corona overreaction has created a situation where socialist “reverse patronage” is finally coming to America, and I say “good”: the power to hold a political seat should absolutely be based on how much you give back to the people – what else are Westerners paying so much taxes for? (In Western capitalism they are paying so much to keep the 1% in butter brickle, of course.)

Is Donald the man of the moment? After 3.5 years the answer has been: LOL, no

Maybe the problem all along has been this: Donald J. Trump actually does have principles, but they are bad ones?

We were right to pose the question: Considering his many bankruptcies, TV reality idiocies, sexual assault boasts, philandering and pandering racism (this list was not in any particular order nor exhaustive) I think we all were quite fair to assume that Trump was always only in it for Trump, and therefore he could maybe be a malleable instrument of the people’s will as the egomaniac would want to remain in the limelight via re-election.

Isn’t that why the Deep State went after him so quickly – because he dared to echo the common American’s call to reverse in free trade and foreign militarism? They were worried that the American people would finally have an idiot puppet to enforce their will, whereas the Deep State was used to having their own idiot puppets like Barack Obama, Dubya Bush and Ronald Reagan.

That assumed malleability gave two genuine reasons Trump truly was the “hope candidate” in the pathetic 2016 election: 1) Hillary Clinton was a proven warmonger and Deep State cheerleader, and 2) Trump was the first genuinely outsider politician since Andrew Jackson (I imagine it has been 3.5+ years since you were reminded of this comparison). It’s critical to always recall that Trump was emphatically rejected by the Republican Party until the very last moment, only six months before the November 2016 vote. Trump is not a “Republican”, and it’s only to keep a firm grip of party duopoly (and their need for a target for their American rage) that Democrats play along with this Republican-aiding fiction of Trump’s “mainstream-ness”.

I don’t think it’s appreciated enough that all bets are off: due to corona I am literally not accepting any more bets on the presidential election, because who knows what on earth is going to happen as a result of enforcing a multi-month pause to the capitalism-imperialism machine?! Could be World War III, could be a new era of peace and brotherhood.

But what appears certain is that working people (and that obviously includes the temporarily unemployed) deserve free lunches. Finally getting them some money back from a tax system which they have paid into is such a radical idea in neoliberal America that whoever proposes it will surely sweep into the White House. It’s amazing Biden hasn’t jumped all over this already – if only to make sure Trump does not – but then we remember that he is the senior senator from Delaware, one of the world’s biggest tax havens.

Can Trump put aside his conservative fiscal principles (if he we now believe that he has actual “principles” other than self-interest) to realise that extending unemployment is a sure-fire way to win votes?

To reformulate more accurately: Will we see a revival of the Trump who was willing to buck the Republican Party, a stance which got him elected in the first place?

In my second article on the corona crisis I seized upon this very idea – Trump as Huey Long: Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? Of course I did: as a socialist I cling to the very un-radical but very un-American belief that government leaders can actually design their policies with the lower classes in mind. Of course as someone who does not believe in Western liberal (aristocratic) democracy I am not a Trump supporter, I was and am merely a journalist commenting on the news and musing as to how history could maybe turn out.

The PR campaign for Trump writes itself: Vote for the man who kept you off the street after corona, and now let’s really drain the swamp.

The perhaps fatal flaw in my Long comparison is this: Trump has never been the outsider economic populist his anti-free trade stance indicated. Hopes that Trump is a real populist – which fake-leftist Democrats, the 1% and the MSM fear with such horror – have certainly not been redeemed. After 3.5 years we still have no proof that Trump is going to use his bloated executive powers (normal in the 21st century Western “liberal strongman” balance of power conception) to aid the lower classes.

I have read of Chinese analysts who say, “Well, maybe if Trump can get re-elected then he can finally shed the war hawks – forced on him via the Russophobia campaign – and get back to the art of the political deal.” That’s half-based on the same premise: that somewhere a populist, patriotic, non-warmongering Trump is hiding.

However, the other half of this analysis is based around the same “hope” of 2016: it’s better to have a wild and crazy hope like Trump than to continue with the depressing certainty of what a “mainstream” US president will surely wreak. Militarist “pivots to China” after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, bombing many Muslim countries and other such phoniness….

If Trump wants to win re-election – which seems impossible for an incumbent amid such Herbert Hoover-like devastation – Trump has to do a 180 and finally embrace his inner FDR… if there is one? It’s too bad a Hail Mary miracle pass is all you can hope for in the hopelessly reactionary American system.

But that’s really true of all Western liberal (aristocratic) democracy: if Marine Le Pen wins in 2022 we’ll likely be hoping for a very same political-deathbed conversion in 2026.

Corona is ruining Trump, yes, but he’s forgetting two key things: 1) it’s ruining absolutely everyone else, and 2) no citizen of the US has more power to act as a saviour than he does, as he is still the president.

If Trump can’t see that a simple (and equitable, and democratic) way to win re-election is by pacifying a rightly panicked populace with a continued good dole then… maybe he really is just an idiot? Or he’s just another American politician whose secret/subconscious economic ideology is the mainstream corporate fascism.

You can’t blame anyone anywhere for hoping against hope that’s not true.

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

– March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? –

March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30,

2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship – June 14, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship

Politicisation of Great Lockdown result of ‘TINA’ economic ignorance & censorship

June 14, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

In the United States questioning liberal economic ideology is not tolerated, so when the latest inevitable economic bust in capitalism occurs it is little wonder that their society talks about everything except economic ideology. They spend their time inventing and discussing non-economic solutions to economic catastrophes, which is precisely how their fundamental weaknesses and inequalities only get worse and worse.

Now we are talking about the murder of George Floyd, police brutality and White supremacy – these are old but still important issues, but they are also certainly issues which will not lead to systematically redistributing one cent towards governmentally-abandoned African-American areas.

The fall of the USSR and the triumphant parades led by banners bearing TINA – There Is No Alternative (to neoliberalism and neo-imperialism) – encouraged Americans to throw away their textbooks on the “dismal science” of economics. “Yeah,” they said, “Marx might have been interesting in his day, but it’s all over now – get with the times: it’s the economy, stupid! (whisper) But seriously – don’t openly question liberal economic ideology.”

For those of us following the data it has become quite clear: “Everything Bubble 2” is a great pica-saving handle to describe the 2020 Western economy, but it gives the wrong impression that what’s going on is just a repeat of 2008 (when Everything Bubble 1 popped) – it’s actually much worse. Nobody expected Everything Bubble 2 to be popped by something as economically-suicidal as a Great Lockdown, but we now have no choice but to add the effects of the two together, so… wow… we just cannot say that this is like 2008, or 2001, or 1929, or any other era.

But in the US you can’t say anything about ideological economic direction, of course. This leads us to two realisations about their society which are now obvious to all:

1) By abandoning economic ideological debate for three decades Americans can only politically snipe each other to death in 2020 because they simply cannot intelligently discuss economics, much to the glee of the 1%. 2) By censoring ideological debate the US is unable to devise new solutions to the latest capitalist bust, so in order to end this very atypical capitalist bust they are vainly reapplying previous solutions: hyper-partisanship, militarism and economic ideological totalitarianism.

Combine these two realisations and it’s clear that the American solution to their 2020 economic crisis is militarist in nature: Militarism against those who disagree with the Mainstream, militarism to guide the economic way out, and militarism towards the Covid-19 germ as well. As a result of the George Floyd murder we may even add a fourth militarism – though one which will surely end after the November presidential election – militarism against anti-Black racism.

Why would this “solution” of militarism be a surprise to anyone?

Removing economics from politics creates stupid politics, but also hyper-partisanship

Americans today have only one solution for domestic or international failure – declare war on the other guy, even if he is a fellow citizen.

This economic crisis is so bad for the already-weakened West that one would think the economic debate for its solutions would have never become partisan. (Considering that both mainstream parties agree on TINA – what was there to argue about economically, anyway?) Georgia, Florida and Texas have cities just as dense as Illinois, Michigan, California, New York and New Jersey, but it can’t be a coincidence that this latter camp of blue-states remain economically closed with a severity and duration seemingly unparalleled in the world.

It is as if working with the other side – even for the good of the nation – implies risking a deadly (moral) contagion? It’s as if doing a single thing Trump did, suggested or supported makes one an irredeemable “deplorable”? It’s as if losing an election this November is a bigger catastrophe in the minds of politically-involved Republican and Democrat citizens than the unprecedented capitalist catastrophe of having over 40 million unemployed people?

All I can say is: LOL you can’t possibly run a nation that way. I am as political as anybody, but if unemployment was 25% my primary motivation would not be getting credit at the polling booth!

So it’s an amazing proof of how undesirable the American cultural-political-economic model truly is when we observe how the re-opening of their economy has become such a politically-polarised issue.

That may or may not be old news to many, but here is something which is never discussed: This seeming “militarisation of political partisanship” is predicted on confining mainstream political discussion solely to exactly that – the alleged importance of political partisanship. Western culture’s proclamation of TINA, the chucking out of economic textbooks and censoring “time-wasting” economic debate has thus given two-party political affiliations an entirely outsized place in US culture.

And TINA was always going to be especially fatal for heterogenous Western societies: In a country like Iran, which is 90% Shia, or homogenous & self-segregated Japan it’s perhaps not necessarily economics which can hold the title of “champion of societal unification”, but in the very heterogeneous West economic class clearly provides the broadest basis for life-saving and nation-saving unity. (The West’s White supremacists will sputter that, “It didn’t used to be this way here!” Who cares? It is this way now for your children, and it was only ever not “this way” because of massive segregation.) National unification may be rejected by Trotskyists, but not everyone wants to see the nation founder in response to every serious crisis.

But by rejecting discussion of economic unity (a.k.a. class warfare against the 1%) the West could only logically choose to emphasise other factors in its place, i.e. political, cultural, ethnic, sexual, gender and religious factors, all of which (for their heterogeneous societies) are inherently less unifying and even quite controversial. In a crisis this disunity is not just readily apparent but leads to tangible disaster – certainly the West is currently burning in crisis.

The problem goes deeper than their facile blaming of only the political and media classes: there are many everyday American citizens who clearly want to increase the stranglehold of this economic crisis in order to oust Trump or just their local incumbent. In 2020, because they are not in power, it’s logical to agree that Democrats are acting the most desperately and power-hungrily. However, it’s not as if Republicans are promoting consensus, unity and high ideals – of course they are using the economic crisis to achieve the neoliberal tenet of slashing government ranks down to just cops and fire departments.

It is not an exaggeration to say that by removing economics from the discussion US political culture has become not “militant” – which has positive connotations of ideological purity – but “militarist”: Democrats and Republicans are going on the war path to stoke problems instead of focusing on societal unity amid this unprecedented crisis.

You couldn’t honestly talk about imperialism with an American in 2019, and it’s not like they want to hear about it now; nor can you honestly talk about capitalism with an American despite its current epic fail; in June 2020 they want to talk only about how their political party is superior, and how corona is the new Black Plague, and now they’ve added a new problem they’ve recently discovered: police brutality against Blacks.

The problem of this faux-militancy, which has such a gaping intellectual void (the lack of an economic component), is similarly and glaring obvious in the centuries-old militarisation of imperialist US culture: War on Indians, war for/against slavery, war on socialism, war on Soviet-led communism, war on poverty, war on drugs, war on Muslims – the US solution of “war on corona” is thus not at all unique for them.

The new – and probably temporary – “war on police brutality” is certainly necessary but cannot possibly reach the halls of power nor the ears of the US vanguard party of bankers.

The solution in US corporate fascism is always war, but conquering corona yields no booty

The real economic ideology of the US is – of course – corporate fascism, which is why their military-industrial complex had a ready solution to the 2001 Y2K/dot.com bust via declaring war on the Muslim world. Very profitable indeed, and it allowed their Pentagon-planned economy (the Pentagon is the world’s largest employer) to continue organising the very unequal US economic redistribution.

There was no new war to be had in 2008 – Obama could only double down on the existing wars (after accepting his Nobel Peace Prize) and double down on the status quo economic ideology as well: QE dropped helicopter money at the problem and hoped the problem was resolved. It was resolved very satisfactorily indeed, but only for the 1% and their asset classes.

In 2020 Everything Bubble 2 was popped by the Great Lockdown and a new war was declared: against corona. As if Red men with tomahawks had amassed just outside the picket-topped fort, Americans threw themselves wholeheartedly into this battle for self-survival. Now, as the stock market has been boosted with taxpayer QE money back to pre-crisis levels, Americans are (kind of) throwing themselves into a battle against police brutality as well.

Declaring war is what American culture does, period.

What does war do? It rallies around the flag – for countries who were not inspired by 1917 it is truly the “champion of societal unification” – but there is no booty to be had this time: no new frontiers to provide cheap land; no new resources to allow Western manufactures to be made more cheaply; no oil; not even any way to use US taxpayer money to pay mercenaries in order to boost the stock prices of Pentagon-linked corporations.

Americans need to realise that “keep-capitalism-alive-through-jingoism” is a primary pillar of imperialism, and that true patriotism is never allowed in neoliberal capitalism – thus their hyper-partisanship today. War also provides a useful distraction from endemic economic inequality, which is why this “endless war” ruse has been going on across the anti-socialist West ever since WWI.

The West has thrown themselves into the war on the corona germ, but their lower classes are screaming that this war is economic suicide. Once the war on corona is over – even if the West extends past the “surge” this fall or even into 2021 – economic ideology will finally have to be discussed.

But the West doesn’t ever have to do that intelligently – they were the economic ideological winners, right?

*********************************

Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis.

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience? – March 22, 2020

Corona meds in every pot & a People’s QE: the Trumpian populism they hoped for? – March 23, 2020

A day’s diary from a US CEO during the Corona crisis (satire) March 23, 2020

MSNBC: Chicago price gouging up 9,000% & the sports-journalization of US media – March 25, 2020

Tough times need vanguard parties – are ‘social media users’ the West’s? – March 26, 2020

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone – March 30, 2020

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution – March 31, 2020

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions – April 1, 2020

(A Soviet?) Superman: Red Son – the new socialist film to watch on lockdown – April 2, 2020

Corona rewrites capitalist bust-chronology & proves: It’s the nation-state, stupid – April 3, 2020

Condensing the data leaves no doubt: Fear corona-economy more than the virus – April 5, 2020

‘We’re Going Wrong’: The West’s middling, middle-class corona response – April 10, 2020

Why does the UK have an ‘army’ of volunteers but the US has a shortage? – April 12, 2020

No buybacks allowed or dared? Then wave goodbye to Western stock market gains – April 13, 2020

Pity post-corona Millennials… if they don’t openly push socialism – April 14, 2020

No, the dollar will only strengthen post-corona, as usual: it’s a crisis, after all – April 16, 2020

Same 2008 QE playbook, but the Eurozone will kick off Western chaos not the US – April 18, 2020

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20,

2020

Coronavirus – Macron’s savior. A ‘united Europe’ – France’s murderer – April 22, 2020

Iran’s ‘resistance economy’: the post-corona wish of the West’s silent majority (1/2) – April 23, 2020

The same 12-year itch: Will banks loan down QE money this time? – April 26,

2020

The end of globalisation won’t be televised, despite the hopes of the Western 99% (2/2) – April 27, 2020

What would it take for proponents to say: ‘The Great Lockdown was wrong’? – April 28, 2020

ZeroHedge, a response to Mr. Littlejohn & the future of dollar dominance – April 30, 2020

Given Western history, is it the ‘Great Segregation’ and not the ‘Great Lockdown’? – May 2, 2020

The Western 1% colluded to start WWI – is the Great Lockdown also a conspiracy? – May 4, 2020

May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops – May 6, 2020

Reading Piketty: Does corona delay the Greens’ fake-leftist, sure-to-fail victory? – May 8, 2020

Picturing the media campaign needed to get the US back to work – May 11, 2020

Scarce jobs + revenue desperation = sure Western stagflation post-corona – May 13, 2020

France’s nurses march – are they now deplorable Michiganders to fake-leftists? – May 15, 2020

Why haven’t we called it ‘QE 5’ yet? And why we must call it ‘QE 2.1’ instead – May 16, 2020

‘Take your stinking paws off me, you damned, dirty public servant!’ That’s Orwell? – May 17, 2021

The Great Lockdown: The political apex of US single Moms & Western matriarchy? May 21, 2021

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately – May 25, 2021

August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin – May 28, 2021

Corona proving the loser of the Cold War was both the USSR & the USA – May 30, 2021

Rebellions across the US: Why worry? Just ask Dr. Fauci to tell us what to do – June 2, 2021

Protesting, corona-conscience, a good dole: the US is doing things it can’t & it’s chaos – June 3, 2021

Why do Westerners assume all African-Americans are leftists? – June 5, 2020

The US as Sal’s Pizzeria: When to ‘Do The Right Thing’ is looting – June 6, 2020

The problem with the various ‘Fiat is all the problem!’ (FIATP) crowds – June 9, 2020


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of the books Ill Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the NEW Socialisms Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism.

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

AMERICA FAILS PANDEMIC STRESS TEST

05.06.2020 

South Front

America Fails Pandemic Stress Test

Written by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront

It is well established in scholarly literature on international conflict that whenever a country behaves in an erratic, aggressive manner, it is nearly always a reflection of deep-seated internal social, political, and economic problems which the country’s leadership is unable or unwilling to address. United States is an example of what happens when that country is a superpower facing not only international decline, but also internal decay. Zbigniew Brzezinski infamously described the Soviet Union as “Upper Volta with rockets”. That was never a fair comparison, since USSR lacked the massive pockets of poverty, social exclusion, and downright police repression that the United States boasts. Likewise the Soviet health care system could have coped with a pandemic better than the US one or even the current Russian Federation one. Today’s America, however, is that country Brzezinski spoke about. Expanding its global influence through direct, proxy, and hybrid wars became the most attractive policy tool intended to restore the health of the US economy which, since the end of the Cold War, was kept alive mainly by extremely permissive monetary policies of the US Federal Reserve which in the end inflated several stock market bubbles. Even today the Federal Reserve’s main concern is keeping the Dow Jones rally going, because a collapse on the markets would permanently cripple the US economy.

This is Philly around 5:30 today. There is just no defense for this behavior. At all.


11.1K people are talking about this

However, at risk of mixing metaphors, an economy built on equity bubbles is a house of card that will collapse at the slightest shock. COVID-19 proved to be that shock, a “Black Swan” event that has been predicted for many years  that would precipitate a radical transformation of domestic political systems and of the balance of power in the international system. The pandemic became a test of not just public health systems, but of the strength of each country’s economy, the cohesion of its society, and the ability of its government to govern. Even though we are still in the early stages of the crisis, we can already see that some states are passing the test (so far) with flying colors, while others are being wracked by internal turmoil. To quote Warren Buffett, when the tide recedes you see who has been swimming naked. The United States has been revealed to be quite wardrobe-challenged in this instance.

America Fails Pandemic Stress Test

The callous slow-motion torture and murder of George Floyd in the Democratic Party stronghold of Minneapolis by four police officers with long histories of brutality against ethnic minorities was the spark that ignited the powder keg of US race relations. It certainly did not help that the United States created forty million new unemployed and failed to provide them with adequate financial support, due to the infamously miserly US social safety net. And just as COVID-19 is disproportionately lethal to US ethnic minorities who suffer from a higher level of underlying medical conditions due to poverty, malnutrition, and stress, so did the job losses disproportionately affect African Americans. The average black worker does not “work from home” on his laptop computer. Rather, the average black worker is employed in food service, hospitality, and retail, all of which have been crushed by the pandemic and, especially, the lockdown measures. It is no wonder that the conservatives wanted to “re-open” the economy as quickly as possible. Chasing millions of African Americans back to their menial jobs, even when it involved them facing greater risk of infection and death, would at least deprive them of the free time they have available to protest.


Just about an hour ago, police officers shove man in Niagara Square to the ground (WARNING: Graphic). Video from: @MikeDesmondWBFO


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The Fuel

The speed with which the protests spread across the country, affecting every state and most large cities, is a reflection of the universality of the problem that the events in Minneapolis revealed. In the face of slow-motion economic collapse and the destruction of the American middle class, the US political system at both state and federal levels has subtly but effectively sought to shift the economic pain to the minorities, in order to preserve the standard of living of the white middle class on whose support the legitimacy of the US political and economic system still rests. The armed white militias that protested at several state legislatures only a month earlier are an expression of that fear. The “don’t tread on me” Gadsden Flags quite clearly express who is to be tread upon, and who is not. They are a warning that should US elites attempt to economically marginalize the white middle class, they may expect a forceful response. The weak police response to law-breaking perpetrated by armed white militias was not lost on most commentators, either. But these politics of “economic triage” where the pain is shifted to the communities of color also implies the need for heavy-handed police repression which US police forces are all too happy to deliver. US law enforcement should not be seen as a collection of politically-neutral guardians of law and order. Rather, it skews heavily toward the right, even the far-right, and it is no surprise that Donald Trump enjoys the overwhelming support of American police unions and organizations. While these trends were evident for the last decade at least, since the 2008 crisis to which the US government never found an adequate response, the pandemic accelerated it to the point of the tensions and grievances finally boiling over.

The Firehose

Whenever a fire breaks out, it is ultimately either put out or burns itself out due to lack of fuel. It is doubtful this is going to burn itself out on its own, given that the US law enforcement is now providing more provocation with its heavy-handed tactics on daily basis, and moreover neither the pandemic nor the economic crisis are going anywhere any time soon. Since the United States is now in the throes of domestic unrest not seen since the days of Vietnam War, it raises the question of what is to be done about it? Which leaders, which policies, might definitively address the grievances of the masses?

We can safely say Donald Trump will not be the one, because to the extent he is wielding a fire hose, it seems to be mostly spraying gasoline on the fire. Literally every action, every statement, every tweet, has served to polarize and exacerbate the problems. It may be Trump is doing this deliberately, hoping to replicate Richard Nixon’s “silent majority” strategy, an idea that is supported by Trump himself tweeting these words. Yes, the riots polarize, but the hope is that, when the smoke clears, Trump’s half is the bigger of the two and, like Nixon, he secures his re-election. Richard Nixon won his re-election by a landslide, even though after the fact almost nobody admitted ever voting for him. However, few things motivate voting for conservatives in the US more than the sight of black rioters and looters.

Of course, the problem Trump faces here is that Joe Biden has impeccable “law and order” credentials, complete with the ability to “dog whistle” to white conservatives. Biden, after all, is the politician who said in the 1970s he did not want his children to “grow up in a racial jungle”, and his support of anti-crime legislation which led to the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the last few decades suggests he is willing to put his money where his mouth is. Thanks to his role as Obama’s vice president, he also has certain sway among the African American community that has served him well in the primaries and obscured his previous racist record. But in the end Biden is no Obama, whose combination of personality and politics was just enough to keep America from blowing up. Biden does not have the same combination, and moreover he is presiding over an economic catastrophe that will not be as easy to rectify by throwing money at banks the way the 2008 crisis was.

The one politician who correctly identifies both problems and solutions and who also commands considerable popular support, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has been effectively sidelined by the Democratic Party which is utterly uninterested in adopting policies of economic and social justice. It means that, in the longer term, America will move toward greater police repression which will be far more easily accepted by the white public when it is done during a Biden presidency. Given that neither Biden’s nor Obama’s public appearances were effective at demobilizing the protests, it means the United States is facing the prospect of its own Yellow Vest-style uprising, namely a continuous low-level anti-government uprising that will ebb and flow but never entirely disappear.

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توازن العالم في عين العاصفة أميركا بين الوجود واللا وجود

محمد صادق الحسيني

ماذا يجري في دهاليز السياسة الأميركية، على خلفية مقتل المواطن الأميركي ذي البشرة السوداء جورج فلويد خنقاً..!؟

ماذا يحضّر لمستقبل أميركا خلف الستار على عتبة استحقاق الانتخابات الرئاسية..!؟

هل يحضّر أمرٌ ما لن تظهره الشاشات الآن بسبب غبار معارك الشوارع بين الـ «انتيفا» والقوى الخفية ذات اليد العسكرية الطولى التي تخرج من بين عسكر أميركا..!؟

هل يخرج ترامب بطلاً قومياً من هذه المعارك ليعود العسكر فارضين شروطهم عليه ليتخلى عن شعاراته الانتخابية في العام 2016 أم يُطاح به ليتسلّم العسكر الحكم مباشرة وتتحوّل أميركا الى جمهورية موز، ومن ثم تبدأ رحلة تفكّك الفيدرالية والانقسام والحرب الأهلية وزوال القوة العظمى الأميركية على وقع تغريدات وخطوات «أبو ترامب البغدادي» العنصرية والمتوحشة، فيكون ترامب غورباتشوف أميركا في قرن أفولها وانقراضها..!؟

هذه الأسباب وغيرها في القراءة التالية:

اياً تكن أسباب تفجر المظاهرات الاحتجاجية، منذ ما يقارب الأسبوع، في الولايات المتحدة، وبغضّ النظر عن السبب المأساوي المباشر لذلك، أيّ مقتل الشاب الأسود جورج فلويد، وبنظرة موضوعية لا بدّ من التأكيد على ما يلي:

أولا ـ هناك قوى عميقة (ليست الدولة العميقة بالضرورة)، تحكم الولايات المتحدة، لها مصلحة في تصعيد المظاهرات وتسعير الصدامات والعمل على تحويل المواجهات الى مواجهات مسلحة.

ثانيا ـ لا يعني هذا الكلام تعارضاً مع الحقوق المشروعة، والمكفولة في الدستور الأميركي، لهؤلاء الأميركيين بالتظاهر والتعبير السلمي عن مطالبهم العادلة، لا بل الدستورية. ونعني بالدستورية هنا حق المواطن الأميركي من اصول افريقية في المساواة الكاملة والشاملة مع المواطنين البيض في البلاد.

ثالثا ـ وعليه فإن مطالب المتظاهرين الحاليّة، اي المطالبة بالعدالة، لا ترتقي الى مستوى حقوقهم الدستورية. تلك الحقوق (المساواة العملية بين الابيض والاسود) التي تجب المطالبة بتغيير أسس النظام الحاكم من أجل تحقيقها على ارض الواقع. وهذا يعني ضرورة إنهاء التقاسم الحزبي، بين الجمهوريين والديمقراطيين، للحكم في أميركا من دون إجراء اي تغييرات تذكر في مجال حقوق الانسان. اذ لا مساواة في ظل الطائفية السياسية السائدة في الولايات المتحدة والتي تشكل الضمانة الموضوعية لسيطرة العرق الأبيض على كل مفاصل الدولة وتفاصيلها.

رابعا ـ لكن مأزق القوى أو الطبقات المسحوقة في الولايات المتحدة، المواطنون من أصول افريقية وجنوب أميركية، يتمثل في عدم وجود تنظيم سياسي او حزب سياسي، يمثلهم ويقود نضالهم. وهذا يعود لما ذكرناه آنفاً، من الدكتاتورية السياسية، التي يفرضها الحزبان الجمهوري والديمقراطي، والتي هي أقرب ما تكون الى ديكتاتورية الطوائف التي نعرفها في بعض دول العالم الثالث وفي المملكة المتحدة (حكم البروتستانت ضد كاثوليك أيرلندا).

خامسا ـ خاصة انّ ما يتصدّر الاخبار والمعلومات المتداولة، حول القوى التي تحرك هذه الاحتجاجات، هو الحديث عن منظمة انتيفاAntifa ، والتي أعلنها الرئيس ترامب منظمة إرهابية، ما يثير الانطباع بأنها منظمة ثورية تحمل برنامجاً سياسياً يهدف الى إحداث تغيير جذري في الولايات المتحدة. بينما الحقيقة هي غير ذلك تماماً.

سادساـ لذا فإنّ توضيح ماهية هذا المسمّى ضروري جداً، من اجل فهم خلفياته وآفاقه وقدراته، وحتى إرادته في التغيير. فهذا المسمّى ليس حزباً سياسياً ولا منظمة سياسية عسكرية، كالجيش الجمهوري الأيرلندي مثلاً، بل انها مجموعة من التنظيمات الشبابية والطلابية الصغيرة المبعثرة على كل اتجاه سياسي، من أقصى اليسار الى أقصى اليمين، والتي لا تملك لا عقيدة موحدةً ولا برنامجاً سياسياً موحداً ولا خطط عمليات موحدة.

سايعا ـ وهي تنظيمات منتشرة في اوروبا وأميركا بشكل خاص، ومنذ بداية عشرينيات القرن العشرين، إثر استيلاء بيتينو موسوليني وحزبه الفاشي على الحكم في إيطاليا سنة 1922، وما تلا ذلك من محاولات لصعود القوى اليمينية المتطرفة في اوروبا الى الحكم، كمثل أدولف هتلر الذي حاول تدبير انقلاب عسكري للاستيلاء على الحكم في المانيا، وكذلك تحرك الجنرال فرانكو لقيادة القوى الفاشية في اسبانيا والجنرال سالازار في البرتغال…

كل ذلك دفع الى نشأة هذه الحركة، التي رفعت شعارات معاداة الفاشية والتطرف والنازية، وكانت لها فروع ونشاطات في فلسطين، الواقعة تحت الانتداب البريطاني آنذاك. ولكن ما كان يجمعها بالتنظيمات الموجودة في اوروبا هو شعار «التضامن مع إسرائيل» والتي لم تكن موجودة في تلك الحقبة.

ثامنا ـ إذن فما يطلق عليه اسم «أنتيفا» حالياً ما هو الا مظلة لمجموعات، تسمّي نفسها يسارية، تموّلها وتحركها، في حقيقة الأمر حالياً، القوى الخفية التي تحكم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. وهي لا تزال ترفع شعار التضامن مع «إسرائيل» وتعتبرها «البقرة المقدّسة»، التي تجب رعايتها وتسمينها.

تاسعا ـ أما عن علاقة ذلك بما يدور حالياً من احتجاجات في الولايات المتحدة فتتمثل في أن القوى الخفية، التي تحكم هناك، وبرغم عدم ظهور أي دور واضح لها، الا انها تعمل على استغلال هذه التحركات الجماهيرية العادلة لمصلحة ممثله (القوى الخفية) الجالس في البيت الابيض، وذلك من خلال حملة التصعيد التي ينفذها ترامب والهادفة الى عسكرة المواجهات بهدف:

أ) إظهار نفسه كرئيس قوي، قادر على ضبط النظام والوقوف في وجه «المنظمات اليسارية» التي تعمل ضدّ مصالح الولايات المتحدة، حسب رأيه، وذلك في محاولة لإعادة تحشيد انصاره، من العنصريين البيض، بعد الأضرار التي لحقت بصورته بسبب فشله في ادارة ازمة كورونا داخلياً وفشله في ادارة التوتر مع الصين خارجياً، مما جعل جمهوره من المزارعين يتعرضون لأضرار وخسائر كبيرة، اثر قيام الصين بإلغاء العديد من صفقات المنتجات الزراعية التي كانت ستستوردها من الولايات المتحدة.

ب) تأجيج الصدام الداخلي، بشكل يوصله الى الصدام المسلح، وذلك بهدف تأجيل الانتخابات الرئاسية القادمة، اذا ما اتضح لترامب والقوى الخفية التي تدعمه انه لن يفوز في هذه الانتخابات.

وهذا يعني أن خطابه العنصري وتصرفاته الرعناء مدروسةً بعناية ومخطط لها بدقة وتهدف الى خلق الظروف المناسبة لإعادة انتخاب ترامب، وتحويله الى اداةٍ في ايدي تلك القوى الخفية، من أجل استغلاله لتنفيذ مشاريعهم العدوانية العسكرية، سواءً ضد الصين وروسيا او ضد إيران ومحور المقاومة. خاصة أنّ هذه القوى هي من المتطرفين الإنجيليين، المحافظين الجدد، الذين تربطهم مصالح عقائدية ومالية كبيرة مع الدوائر اليهودية التي تدعم نتن ياهو في الولايات المتحدة، والتي لا تتوانى عن إشعال الحروب، خدمة لمصالح تجمع الصناعات العسكرية الأميركية.

عاشرا ـ وفِي اطار التصعيد الكلامي والعملي، من قبل ترامب، والمُشار إليه أعلاه، فإنّ مرافقة رئيس هيئة الاركان العامة للجيوش الأميركية، الجنرال مارك اليكساندر ميللي للرئيس الأميركي، في زيارته البائسة لكنيسة يوحنا بولص الثاني، في واشنطن، وإن لم يظهر الجنرال ميللي في الصور إلا انّ آلاف الأميركيين قد شاهدوه هناك بالعين المجردة. وبالتالي فإنّ وجود الجنرال ميللي مع ترامب قد أجّجَ موجة الغضب العارمة، التي اجتاحت الاوساط الأميركية، رفضاً واستنكاراً لاستغلال ترامب للدين والمشاعر الدينية الإنسانية للمواطنين الأميركيين، لما لذلك من معانٍ، لا يمكن التستر عليها.

ومن بين أهمّ معاني حضور هذا الجنرال، الرفيع المنصب، ما يلي:

ـ تهديد رئاسي مباشر للمواطنين، الذين تمّ اجلاؤهم بالقوة من محيط الكنيسة، باستخدام القوة العسكرية للجيش الأميركي لقمعهم بإحباط تحركاتهم ومنعهم من ممارسة حقهم الدستوري في التعبير عن الرأي، ما يعتبر تعدياً على الدستور وحقوق الانسان يستوجب محاسبة مرتكب هذه الجريمة ومن تواطأ معه في ارتكابها (الجنرال ميللي) وتقديمهم للمحاكمة، حسب ما تنص عليه القوانين الأميركية.

ـ تحريض الرئيس ترامب، من قبل القوى الخفية الحاكمة في واشنطن، على اتخاذ المزيد من خطوات التصعيد ضد المتظاهرين، وذلك عبر الإيحاء له وللرأي العام الأميركي، بان الجيش يساند ترامب، في ما يتخذه من اجراءات قادت البلاد الى حالة غير مسبوقة من الانقسام والحقت أضراراً كبيرة بمصالح الولايات المتحدة وسمعتها الدولية وأظهرتها كدولة دكتاتورية تمارس أقسى درجات العنف ضد مواطنيها من دون أي مبرر لذلك.

وهو الأمر الذي يظهر نفاق الإدارة الأميركية الصارخ، اذ انها تتهم كل دول العالم تقريباً، بعدم احترام حقوق التعبير عن الرأي وتطالبها باحترام تلك الحقوق. ولكن شرطة ترامب «التي تحترم حقوق الإنسان»، قد داست رقبة المواطن الأميركي حتى قتلته خنقاً، مع ما يرافق ذلك من ألم وتعذيب لا يمكن تخيّل شدته. وهذه جريمة إضافية يجب ان يحاكم الرئيس الأميركي على ارتكابها، ليس فقط بصفته رأس الدولة، وانما بصفته مقصّراً في اتخاذ الإجراءات الإدارية والقانونية اللازمة، التي كان يجب ان تحول دون وقوع جريمةً مروعة كهذه.

من الآن حتى عشية الانتخابات الأميركية المرتقبة في تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل، ستظلّ عيون العالم شاخصة الى واشنطن عاصمة الدولة الأعظم في العالم سابقاً والقوى الخفية التي تحاول الانتقام لهزيمة أميركا على أبواب بلاد الشام وبلاد الرافدين وأسوار صنعاء وتخوم إيران الثورة والاسلام ورجال الله في فلسطين ولبنان من معالوت الى إيلات ومن الجولان الى الجليل الى غزة وكل شبر من الضفة الغربية التي ساهم أهلها الصابرون والمحتسبون إلى جانب بحر أهلهم العرب والمسلمين في تهشيم وتقزيم جسم الإمبريالية الأميركية وتحويلها الى نمر من ورق..!

حتى ذلك اليوم نقول:

‏من كان يعبد أميركا وجبروتها فإنّ أميركا في حالة احتضار

‏ومن كان مخزّناً دولارات عليه أن يستبدلها بالتومان ‏أو الروبل أو اليوان…

‏هو الله الحيّ الذي لا يموت.

‏ويبقى وجه ربك ذو الجلال والإكرام.

‏بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

How Biden Continues to Protect His Billionaire Donors

How Biden Continues to Protect His Billionaire Donors

May 19, 2020

by Eric Zuesse  for The Saker Blog

On 2 March 2020, Forbes headlined “BILLIONAIRE BACKERS” and listed the number of them who had financed each of the Democratic Presidential campaigns:

  • Biden 66
  • Buttigieg 61
  • Klobucar 33
  • Steyer 13
  • Warren 6
  • Gabbard 3
  • Bloomberg 1
  • Sanders 0

Joe Biden’s entire career in public life has been devoted to his top donors. He once even justified it by saying, “You go out and bundle $250,000 for me, all legal, and then you call me after I am elected, and say ‘I would like to come and talk about something.’ You didn’t buy me, but it’s human nature, you helped me. I’m going to say, ‘Sure, come on in’,” which means that if you have “helped” him, then he represents you in a way that he doesn’t represent the voters who merely voted for him on the basis of the ads for him that those billionaires had financed. (And if you had voted against him, then would such a person represent you at all?) As a major donor, you can visit with him in private, whenever you want, instead of never be able to visit with him, at all. This is what’s called “crony capitalism,” and he built his career on it, and he thinks that this is okay.

On May 3rd, the Miami Herald bannered “Biden, Warren: There’s no oversight of coronavirus relief — because that’s what Trump wants”, and Biden signed onto an Elizabeth Warren Op-Ed there that evaded the chief corruption in the bailout legislation which was unanimously passed in Congress and was signed by Trump. Almost all of the corruption in that enormously lobbied bill is in the bailouts for corporations; virtually none of it is in the bailouts for workers or for state and local governments; and, yet, neither Biden nor Warren were presenting, in this Op-Ed, the case against bailing out ANY corporations. And the reason is obvious: Joe Biden had needed to cheat in order to win the Democratic nomination, and he couldn’t have succeeded to get the money from 66 billionaires and to win the nomination if he hadn’t done this — he needed that money, in order to be able to pull it off and fool enough voters. And, those billionaires’ wealth is mainly in investments, corporate stocks and bonds, which are receiving the biggest portion of those bailouts. In other words: most of the leveraged-up $6 trillion total that’s in just the first piece of legislation comes from the “$454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts”. That’s actually the biggest portion of the bailouts for billionaires.

What Biden and Warren are proposing, instead, is that there should have been better monitoring of how that money will be spent or ‘invested’. The actual issue is that all bailouts that go to investors instead of to the public — workers and consumers — are wrong: a top-down, trickle-down, give-away to the richest, so as to guarantee their wealth until the crisis has passed. Workers and consumers will absorb almost all of the losses. Whereas 70% of the wealth of the richest 0.1% is investments, and 55% of the top 1% also is, only around 7% of the bottom 99% is. The wealth of the bottom 99% is overwhelmingly labor-based — and labor gets punished by the controlling investors. And, so, whereas the wealth of the richest 1% is receiving significant protection by this Government in that bailout, the wealth of the rest of the population isn’t. Workers and consumers are largely on their own. The risks are transferred away from the super-rich, onto the public. The super-rich had hired enormous armies of lobbyists in order, basically, to write this legislation.

Biden isn’t necessarily worse than Trump, but the deception of the public is massive by both of the political Parties.

Until the South Carolina primary, on February 29th, in which the vast majority of the voters were Blacks, Bernie Sanders was believed (on the basis of the prior primaries and the national polls) to be the almost inevitable nominee of the Party, but on 16 April 2019, the New York Times bannered “‘Stop Sanders’ Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum” and reported that the Party’s billionaires were terrified by the possibility that Sanders might actually win the nomination; and on February 23rd, Politico’s headline right after the Nevada primary was “Sanders sends Democratic establishment into panic mode”. Sanders didn’t need the billionaires, but Biden certainly did, just as he always has. And they own him, just as they always have. The Democratic Party is controlled by and for its billionaires, just as much as the Republican Party is.

If the leadership give you two cups of poison and say that in order to participate in politics as a voter, you must drink one of them, and that this drinking by you constitutes “democracy,” then which cup will you take, and what will you do with it? What will you do with that poisoned chalice? What will you do with it?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

The Financial Hysteria of America and the Bankruptcy of Western Liberalism

The Financial Hysteria of America and the Bankruptcy of Western ...

Martin Sieff May 13, 2020

Western Liberalism is not only bankrupt: It bankrupts. Nowhere is this clearer than in the hysterical panic with which Republicans and Democrats alike in the United States are printing limitless sums of theoretical money to pump demand into a structurally wildly distorted and dying economic system in utterly futile efforts to fend off a looming super-Depression and world economic crisis.

Yet as becomes more clear every day, far from maintaining the current global structure, created by U.S. bankers and diplomats and dictated to the rest of the world back in 1944, all these efforts are just accelerating the disintegration of the Old Order.

There is a supreme irony to this, for the most important creator of the Old World Economic and Financial Order – the one that is now disintegrating as we watch – was none other than the patron saint of liberalism – a man who has become a non-person in the United States in the past 40 year “Age of Reagan” (as I explain in my 2015 book “Cycles of Change“) – legendary 32nd President of the United States President Franklin Roosevelt.

It is fascinating to watch Democratic Party leaders today as they desperately try to conjure up the great appeal and success of the only man ever to win four U.S. presidential held up Roosevelt’s leadership through World War II as a model of leadership for today.

That should be entirely true, But neither current (and sinking fast) putative party nominee Joe Biden nor his always-collapses-at-the-crucial-moment Senator Bernie Sanders haven’t a clue what they are talking about.

Two factors were central to Franklin Roosevelt’s extraordinary success as a war leader – and Sanders and Biden are both pathetically blind to both of them:

The first was Roosevelt’s unhesitating and consistent support for his allies, especially the unprecedented flow of Lend Lease aid in food, trucks and other equipment to the Soviet Union which was carrying the main burden of the combat war against Nazi Germany almost single-handedly.

The second was the remarkable fiscal prudence and caution Roosevelt showed throughout his presidency, especially in his creation of the landmark Social Security program.

Roosevelt was vastly more cautious and even cynical in developing this program to give financial support for the first time in history to aging Americans.

Although the landmark congressional legislation was passed in 1935 and became law on August 14 of that year as part of the so-called “Second New Deal,” financial contributions out of the pay checks of all legally working Americans only started to be withdrawn in 1937. Even then, it was still another three years before the first U.S. citizen ever to receive a check from Social Security picked it up: That was 76-year-old Ida Fuller of Vermont on January 17, 1940. Her first check came to the generous sum of $41.30.

From 1935, when the legislation was passed to vast popular acclaim, it was another six years at the height of the Great Depression, when more Americans were starving and dying of poverty and related hardships than ever before or since in the nation’s history before a single individual actually got any benefit from it.

The actuarial calculations on which Roosevelt designed Social Security were even more cynical and ruthless.

Social Security was to be paid to retirees after the age of 65. But at the time, the median age of Americans was 61. Only a tiny privileged minority survived to the age of 65 or beyond.

Roosevelt practiced exceptional caution to keep the U.S. economy and currency stable during the New Deal and the Great Depression. Contrary to popular (Republican) myth, he was adamantly opposed to bankrupting the country either in his own time or in that of his grandchildren. “It is almost dishonest to build up an accumulated deficit for the Congress of the United States to meet in 1980,” he famously said. “We can’t do that. We can’t sell the United States short in 1980 any more than in 1935.”

Roosevelt’s exceptional caution contrasts with the wild spending both Republicans and Democrats from Bernie Sanders to Donald Trump have been practicing, driving their country into final bankruptcy during the current coronavirus crisis.

Comments financial analyst and former London merchant banker Martin Hutchinson in his May 4 “Bear’s Lair” column, “the CBO (Congressional Budget Office)’s estimate of budget deficits of 18% of GDP in 2020 and 10% of GDP in 2021 are truly frightening. …they bring the likely bankruptcy of the U.S. government much closer than seemed likely previously, probably to around 2030.”

Indeed, given the terrifying vulnerability of the U.S. financial system to the collapse of the $2 trillion junk bond market used to financial the collapsing fracking energy sector, projecting a meltdown U.S. financial crisis a balmy ten years ahead seems wildly optimistic.

In fact, the road from Franklin Roosevelt’s cautious callousness in designing Social Security so that it would not pay a penny to those who needed it for another five years (until, indeed, the Great Depression was already over!) to the “spend endlessly, spend now” crazed panic of both Republicans and Democrats is a very clear one:

It is the road of palliative Western liberalism, open borders and global Free Trade: It is a road that inevitably leads to ever huger debt burdens, ever-declining standards of living and inevitable ruin.

By contrast, the extremely fiscally cautious, highly conservative financial policies that Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to follow get no respect from the spendthrift, zero interest rate maniacs on Wall Street. Yet it is Russia that is currently in a far stronger position to ride out the global financial as well as pandemic crises than the United States.

In statecraft and economics as in architecture, the most important issue is not how high you build but how well you build and how deep you build – How good your foundations are.

The storm of pandemic is already heralding the storm of financial crisis. That crisis can indeed be solved, but only by abandoning the old shibboleths, the old false gods that, as Dostoyevsky predicted at the very beginning of our modern industrialized, interconnected Age, would inevitably bring us to our ruin, unless reined in and reversed in time.

Toothless Congress Fails to Limit Presidential War Powers

Toothless Congress Fails to Limit Presidential War Powers ...

Philip Giraldi

May 14, 2020

Some weeks ago, the world woke up to the fact that World War III had just started without anyone being invaded or shots fired. It began when American President Donald J. Trump declared himself to be a “war president” in the fight against the coronavirus, an assertion that now has been followed by a claim that the disease is actually “…really the worst attack we’ve ever had. This is worse than Pearl Harbor. This is worse than the World Trade Center. There’s never been an attack like this,” Pearl Harbor was, of course, the Japanese sneak attack that brought the U.S. into World War II. Invoking the spirit of the war fought by America’s Greatest Generation in the Second World War, Trump has called upon “The people of our country should think of themselves as warriors.”

Fortunately for the U.S. military industrial complex, fighting COVID 19 has apparently not diminished the White House’s zeal to take on other, perhaps better armed and more serious traditional opponents. But of perhaps more interest is the different kind of conflict that has been initiated by the White House in attacking the United States Congress, which has been demonstrating the temerity to deny to the Chief Executive the inherent right to start a war against whomever he feels deserves a bit of “Made in U.S.A.” shock and awe.

This war fought in Capitol Hill in Washington is perhaps more significant than what is going on with coronavirus as its outcome will decide whether post 9/11 executive authority includes a president being able to attack another country that does not directly threaten the United States. Current legislation based on the War Powers Act of 1973 permits a president to respond to an imminent threat without the consent of congress, but the action thus initiated has to be terminated within 60 days. Any conflict lasting longer than that requires a declaration of war by Congress, as is stated in the Constitution of the United States of America.

Trump’s dissent relates to two attempts by Congress to specifically rein in U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian aggression against Yemen and also to preempt a possible attempt to attack Iran. On the Yemen resolution (S.J. Res 7), approved last March, the Senate voted 54-46 in favor followed by the House passing the same resolution by a vote of 248 to 177. The Iran resolution (S.J. Res 68), which had bipartisan support through a 55-45 vote in the Senate in February and a 227-186 vote in the House in March, finally reached the president’s desk last Wednesday. Both resolutions were immediately vetoed by the president.

The two resolutions would have limited Trump’s ability to continue an armed conflict or go to war without the specific authorization of Congress. In characteristic fashion, Trump called the latest iteration on Iran “very insulting,” and also criticized its Republican supporters Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, accusing them of helping the Democrats in the lead up to November’s election. In an official statement explaining his veto, Trump stated that “The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect. We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response.”

To be sure, President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contrived to attack Libya even though it in no way threatened the U.S. To do so, the mission was initially framed as humanitarian in nature and NATO was subsequently involved in it so it could be framed as a collective action against a country that posed a potential security threat to the Mediterranean region. President George H. W. Bush and his son George W. likewise were careful to get United Nations authorization for the use of force in the two wars against Iraq and the latter also relied on 2002’s blanket Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) which permitted military action against the perpetrators of 9/11. The AUMF was later expanded to de facto include all “terrorist” groups. Most of those justifications were, of course, nonsense, frequently little more than contrivances based on fabricated intelligence to permit wars of aggression.

Donald Trump’s viewpoint on the authority of the president is somewhat less fastidious, though he has also cited the AUMF. He is currently involved in a litigation going to the Supreme Court over his claim of “temporary absolute immunity” regarding an admittedly politically motivated suit by the Manhattan district attorney to obtain his tax records. He has similarly embraced the idea that he, as commander in chief of the armed forces, can use them as a resource to conduct his foreign policy, an idea possibly put into his head by his belligerent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Conceding that he has that power would grant him de facto authority to intervene anywhere in the world any time based on any pretext. It also ignores the original War Powers Act and Article I Section 8 of the Constitution which gives the sole authority for declaring war to Congress.

Given his propensity to seek military solutions and his belief that he has the absolute authority to do so, Trump has not hesitated to attack Syria several times in spite of there being no imminent treat and his act of war/war crime assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January nearly ignited an armed conflict with Iran. Indeed, though Trump has been engaged in “maximum pressure” economic warfare against Iran for the past two years, he and his administration frequently claim that it is only being done to modify Iranian bad behavior.

As there is no chance that Congress will overturn Trump’s veto in an election year in which the Republicans will be counting heads and circling their wagons, we the American people are stuck with a president who believes that he has the authority to use military force as he sees fit. And “as he sees fit” is the danger as “restraint” is not exactly Donald Trump’s middle name. And one has to also recognize that there is another political reality at play. When things are going badly domestically, as with the coronavirus, a war can serve as a great distraction and a demonstration of strong leadership. Let us hope that no one puts that idea into Donald Trump’s head.

مفتاح البيت الأبيض بيد كورونا

زهر يوسف

من المبكر الحديث عن الرئيس السادس والأربعين للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، ومَن سيكون، أجمهورياً أم ديمقراطياً، دونالد ترامب أم جو بايدن؟ غير أنّ جملة معطيات حدثت وما زالت في أميركا ومنها فيروس كورونا، جعلت ترامب في وضع غير مرتاح، عكس منافسه الديمقراطي بايدن المبتسِم حتى اللحظة.

خرج السيناتور المستقلّ بيرني ساندرز من السباق الرئاسيّ الأميركي، وسلّم الراية لبايدن نائب الرئيس الأميركي السابق، انسحاب حدا بالبعض إلى القول إن مفاتيح البيت الأبيض باقية في قبضة ترامب “ملك التسويق” لولاية جديدة من أربع سنوات، إلا أن مؤشرات عديدة وقعت بدّدت ما ذهب إليه ذلك البعض، فيروس كوفيد – 19 “كورونا” يتصدّر قائمة التحديات المستجدة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية. فآلية التعاطي الترامبي ومعه إدارته في ملف كورونا تحديداً وما يتفرّع عنه من قضايا وإشكاليات تعصف بالمجتمع الأميركي.

كلها أمور وضعت ترامب في مكان لا يرغب به بتاتاً، لا سيما بالنظر إلى استطلاعات الرأي التي أجريت حتى تاريخه وتكشف عن تقدّم لافت لمنافسه الديمقراطي جو بايدن.

وسائل الإعلام الأميركية التي وصفها ترامب بـ”المزيفة” في أكثر من محفل، تراقب عن كثب ماراتون السباق إلى البيت الأبيض، فمثلا صحيفة نيويورك تايمز – من دون أن تتبنى – استعانت بمصادر قالت إن استمزاج رأي داخل حملة ترامب يقّر أن الأخير خسر التأييد الذي كسبه في وقت مبكر من أزمة كورونا، هذا الاعتراف من داخل البيت الترامبي تزامن مع استطلاعات رأي أجريت في أكثر من ولاية أميركية، موالية كانت لمجلس الشيوخ “الجمهوري” أم مناصرة لمجلس النواب “الديمقراطي” وكشفت بوضوح تفوق بايدن على ترامب، المُطَالَب من قبل مشرّعين جمهوريين أولاً.. للحدّ من ظهوره الإعلامي وتصريحاته المشبعة بالأخطاء حيث يبدو ترامب كـ”مهرج سيرك” مبتدئ ينشد النجومية، ما يفقده أصوات ناخبين قد يجدون في بايدن طوق نجاة؛ وثانياً التحرك بقوة وحزم لمواجهة حالة الركود الاقتصادي التي بدأت في الظهور. الأرق الاقتصادي الذي ينتاب ترامب هذه الأيام ربما هو ما يجعل ترامب لا ينظر أبعد من ذلك، وإلا كيف يمكن تفسير دعوته الأخيرة لسكان الولايات الخمسين إلى “تحرير” الولايات في إشارة واضحة لكسر حالة الطوارئ المعلنة!! بخاصة أن المتابع لتصريحات ترامب منذ ظهور فيروس كورونا بالأمس القريب واللامبالاة التي قابله بها حتى اليوم، حيث تتصدّر أميركا دول العالم في أعداد المصابين والوفيات، المتابع يدرك جيداً أن ترامب ما انبرى يسأل عن فائدة إغلاق البلاد وما خلّفه ذلك من ارتفاع معدلات البطالة. وهذا يكشف أهمية الاقتصاد لترامب، وهو ما دفعه لاستئناف القطاعات الاقتصادية نشاطها، الأمر الذي أثار مخاوف كبيرة وهواجس مقلقة داخل أوساط القطاع الطبي الأميركي إذ في عهد ترامب صاحب شعار “إعادة أميركا عظيمة مجدداً” يتهاوى الأميركيون موتى بأعداد مرعبة كل يوم، كمدينة نيويورك مثلاً التي تدفن ضحايا كورونا في مقابر جماعية.

لذا السؤال كيف نبني موقفاً حاسماً لجهة مَن سيربح الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية، الإجابة ستكون أعقد من مسألة أن نصدر توقعات في هذا السياق، بايدن تحدّى ترامب وتوعده بإلحاق أقسى هزيمة، فهل يفعلها بايدن؟ خاصة أن مؤشرات تقول: قد ينجح ترامب!! أم أن كورونا قد يضع الجميع أمام واقع إرجاء الانتخابات من أساسها والمقررة في نوفمبر تشرين الثاني المقبل.

من يحي يرَ

*صحافية سورية

Joe Biden Is the 2020 Candidate of Fear

Joe Biden Is the 2020 Candidate of Fear - Russia News Now

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April 21, 2020

At a time when change is most needed, he’s asking voters to turn back, give up, and accept our country’s senility.

Daniel MCCARTHY

The Democratic Party is decadent, its future stillborn as its past seizes ownership of its backward-looking present. In 2020, the party is set to nominate for president a man who wasn’t good enough for the nomination in 1988 or 2008. Has he acquired a new vision or new vigor? No, but his party has run out of options.

Joe Biden is the candidate of old age and fear. Nostalgia for the Obama administration has been his prime selling point in the Democratic primaries, and it certainly helped him to win the support of African-American voters. But Biden is Barack Obama’s antithesis. In 2008 Obama truly was the candidate of “hope and change,” in the sense that he did represent a new page in American politics—he was a one-term senator, not mired in the ways of Washington like his rivals Hillary Clinton and John McCain (or Joe Biden, for that matter, who also ran for president that year); he was to be the first African-American president, providing hope that racial division could be overcome and inspiring young people of color to the highest aspirations; and his policy agenda seemed to be a break with the low expectations of what could be achieved at home and the excessively high expectations of what force could achieve abroad. However poorly the hopes panned out, and what little change succeeded, there was no doubting what Obama symbolized when he was first elected.

And Joe Biden? He’s a symbol that people as old as the Baby Boomers—or, in fact, a few years older—can still dominate national politics, especially in the Democratic Party. Though the 77-year-old Biden is a year younger than Bernie Sanders, he was the old man of the Democratic race in two senses that count for more than his birthday. First, Biden, not Sanders, was the candidate of experience, the one who made his pitch based most of all on his biography, not his plans and policy dreams; Sanders was the candidate of the dream, despite his own decades-long tenure in public life. Second, Sanders was the candidate that young voters preferred; Biden needed not only African-Americans but older Americans in order to become the party’s presumptive nominee. The problem for Democrats here is not necessarily what happens in November 2020, but rather how cohesive the party will be even if Biden can win. Does a Democratic Party led by a 78-year-old President Biden and an 80-year-old Speaker Pelosi have any future in a post-Boomer America?

Democrats have long taken for granted the advantage they expect to gain from America’s generational ethnic transformation: as whites become a smaller majority, and in more and more places are reduced to an electoral plurality, the minority voting blocs that have proved loyal to the Democrats should provide them with permanent power. Yet this is no longer a safe bet if the Democratic Party splinters ideologically, and the ability of leaders like Biden and Pelosi to appeal to the young leftists of all races who supported Bernie Sanders is very much open to doubt. To win elections with one set of voters, while a completely different set of voters holds the future of your party, is apt to be a Pyrrhic, and most temporary, victory.

The dead hand of the past lies heavy on the whole country, not just the Democratic Party. Since 1992, Americans have consistently elected Washington outsiders to the White House. Bill Clinton had no national experience when he won that year. George W. Bush had none when he was elected in 2000. Barack Obama had been in the Senate only four years when he won in 2008. And Donald Trump had no prior experience of holding office of any kind when he became president. Although considerable continuities emerged throughout the administrations of George H.W. Bush (a true Washington insider), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama—all supported the project of a “liberal world order,” in which the United States was embroiled in foreign conflicts, while globalization was their imperative in economics—voters at each election demanded something new and different from the previous status quo. Clinton was certainly not elected because voters wanted more of what Bush I gave them; Bush II was not elected over Clinton’s vice president, Al Gore, because voters wanted to extend the Clinton era; and Obama was elected in explicit repudiation of Bush II. Donald Trump, of course, was the leader the country turned to in order to repudiate all of the above: Trump was as bold in his criticism of George W. Bush for the Iraq war, and of earlier Republicans for NAFTA, as he was in his attacks on Barack Obama’s record.

* * *

None of the other successful presidential contenders of the last 30 years has presented himself as a champion of an earlier status quo or a force for restoring Washington to its old ways. Even George W. Bush campaigned on a newfangled “compassionate conservatism,” not a return to Reaganism (or to the 1994 spirit of Newt Gingrich). While it’s possible that in 2020 Americans really will want to reverse the tides of time—after the misery of the COVID-19 experience and in reaction against the changes in government that Trump has instituted—the Obama legacy was not so potent in 2016 as to elect Hillary Clinton, and in four years under Joe Biden it is not going to get any fresher. Whatever opportunities this may present to Republicans and Sanders-style Democrats after 2020, for the country it will mean being stuck with an agenda and governing vision that had proved its limitations by 2016. The same conditions that led to the rise of Donald Trump’s populism and Bernie Sanders’s socialist movement that year will be established again under Biden, and after Biden those forces might take on much stronger forms than they did after Obama.

The Trump and Sanders phenomena have happened for a reason, after all. They happened because “hope and change” failed to deliver on its promises, and with Hillary Clinton there was no hope of anything other than stagnation. Trump and Sanders, in very different ways, represented new hopes and a defiance of stagnation. Biden, by contrast, offers no future at all. That includes a future in which he’s re-elected, age 81, in 2024. Who can imagine such a thing?

The near certainty that Joe Biden could only serve a single term if elected as president makes his choice of vice president a fateful one. That person will be the presumptive frontrunner for the 2024 Democratic nomination, and voters will take that into account when they cast their ballots this November. Should Biden win, he will be a lame duck from Day 1. Quite apart from whatever drawbacks his running mate will have in her own right (if Biden follows through on his pledge to pick a woman), the idea of electing a placeholder president for four years is not likely to sit very well with the American people. It would be an extraordinary abdication of leadership. And it’s not as if anyone would look to leadership in Congress to fill the gap. Nor, given the limitations of the office, would a vice president looking ahead to 2024 have the power to supply needed leadership before then. Quite the contrary: the vice president would be a target for everyone’s criticisms, Republicans and rival Democrats alike.

This is hardly a scenario for a return to stability and “competence” in government, as Donald Trump’s critics say they want. It’s equivalent instead to not having a president at all for four years—which may sound like a libertarian’s fantasy, except that the administrative state would continue to pursue an aggressively progressive agenda during the interim. That too can only contribute to populist resurgence.

For all the debilities that come with being the candidate of old age, there are advantages, too. Biden is not running as the paladin of the emerging Democratic Party, a party whose socialism and identity politics have been consistent losers at the ballot box—including, for the most part, in the 2018 midterms, and including in the Democratic presidential race this year. Biden is a survivor from an older, more broadly popular Democratic Party, one that still had powerful support in white working-class communities, such as those in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin that will be as decisive in 2020 as they were in 2016. For many voters of the Baby Boom generation, Biden is the third coming of the president they grew up idolizing, John F. Kennedy. JFK was the president they wished they could be, a glamorous symbol of America before Vietnam and Watergate. (Never mind that JFK actually deepend the country’s involvement in Vietnam.) Bill Clinton, who like JFK claimed an Irish ancestry—though one which in Bill’s case has never been proved—was the first Boomer elected president, and at 43 was just a year older than JFK had been when he was elected. Like JFK, Clinton had celebrity charm; and if he was a womanizer, too, that just went with the type.

Now Biden represents the same Boomer vision in maturity, even if he’s a few years too old to be a Boomer himself. Like Clinton, he also makes an unverifiable claim to Irish ancestry. Like Kennedy, he identifies as Roman Catholic. (And yes, like Kennedy and Clinton, he has been accused of mistreating women, and worse.) Biden is a callback to the Boomer memory of America—the look and feel of the country in the late 20th century, when white ethnics (Irish, Italians, Poles, and others) who had been at the margins earlier in the century now helped to define the mainstream, even occupying the highest office in the land. To elect Biden at 77 is, perhaps to some of these voters, a way of showing that they still matter in a country whose future will look very different. Much is made by Trump’s critics of the racial dimension to his support; but ethnic and generational identification with Biden should not be overlooked. Indeed, as a candidate who hopes to unite white ethnics and blacks, Biden is a throwback to the Democratic Party of an earlier age, too.

As the candidate of fear, Biden aims at a quite different segment of the electorate. Fear is what motivates upper middle class, highly educated voters. This professional class, filling as it does the ranks of journalism and the academy, presents itself as anything but fearful—according to its propaganda, fear is really hate, and hate is something that only deplorables experience, at least as a political emotion. Liberals will admit to being personally afraid, or worried for their communities, as a result of the horrors they believe Donald Trump has unleashed on the land. But only a populist demagogue, or maybe sometimes a socialist one, tries to capitalize on fear. Good liberal politicians are always about hope and change. Obama only made the slogan explicit. (In fact, “hope” was a byword of Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign as well, which drew attention to the name his birthplace: Hope, Arkansas.)

Yet liberalism is the politics of fear in the most profound sense: it is an ideology that attempts to neutralize fear through the all-provident power of the state, guided by enlightened leadership. The fear that men and women traditionally feel on account of religion—fear of God’s wrath or fear of a universe without any order—is allayed by liberalism’s programmatic commitment to science and to rationalism more generally. Everything will have a rational explanation, yet that rational explanation will somehow be moral, too. What is important is that fear can be forgotten, without the need for any unearthly power to supply salvation. Instead, a supreme earthly power will remove all earthly worries: fear of want, fear of violent death, even fear of disease. The state is not the only institution that will meet these needs: for many liberals, the free market or science outside of government plays the greater role in provision. But the state at a minimum supplies the rules that make possible the efficient operation of the rest of liberal society.

And the state rests on a psychological foundation best explained by Thomas Hobbes. No doubt Joe Biden has given little thought to the 17th-century philosopher from Malmesbury, England. Most liberals do not think of themselves as Hobbesians, and a great many denounce Hobbes as an authoritarian or worse. But he understood that a politics suitable for a modern society has to prioritize fear, and its negation, over other emotions and their gratification. Other passions disturb the peace; but fear, particularly the fear of a violent death, can compel men to be reasonable. Fear of this kind is nigh universally felt, and its effects are quite predictable: people will support a power—an institution—that can protect them from violence.

By itself, that’s not a formula for liberalism. And what liberal society does with Hobbes’s political psychology is different from what he himself advised should be done in works like Leviathan. Liberals accept a great deal of competition and pluralism of many kinds, but what makes the competition and diversity possible is its harmlessness. The passions are allowed free rein, but only as long as they are weaker than the fear of violent death that holds society together.

* * *

To say that populism has a passion that is stronger than the fear of violent death would be going too far. But populism does involve a very strong passion for dignity, a desire for greater recognition of one’s status or plight—one’s humanity, in a felt and not just formally acknowledged sense. This passion is what most deeply offends the upper-middle-class opponents of populism in general and Trump in particular. They sense that this passion is the beginning of a different kind of politics, and has the potential to supplant the foundations of the old liberal system if it’s not checked. Populism has an understanding of human psychology and human nature different from those of liberalism, and such different foundations lead to different forms of politics and theories of the state.

Joe Biden’s voters have passions of their own, and they are no doubt usually sincere in saying that they are moved by a desire for justice or decency or fairness or any number of other objects of feeling. But all of those passions have been trimmed to fit the context of fear—the context of a political system in which fear has been negated but remains central, for should some other emotion displace it at the center of political psychology, the logic of the rest of the system would fail. The logic of competition for status or dignity looks very different from the logic of escaping from fear. The Trump phenomenon and populism threaten to upset this balance. This is why revolutionary or fascistic implications are attached to Trump’s politics by his detractors. Trump and his supporters are very far from being fascists, but their opponents believe that their emotional core, and their scale of passions, is inevitably incipiently fascistic.

Biden is the candidate for an America less concerned with dignity and more prepared to enjoy the fruits of a political psychology based on neutralizing fear. Under President Biden, the welfare state, science, and even the free market will continue to keep the fear of death at bay, and that will make room for mild pleasures: pornography and video games and varied cuisine and recreational activities of all sorts. Joe Biden’s louche son Hunter—known for his hearty indulgence in drugs and his sexual adventures with strippers—is a perfect specimen of humanity under this system. If he gets more stimulation than others, everyone else should get enough. And if they don’t, they mustn’t complain, they should ask for a program.

For all that liberals complain about Donald Trump’s affairs, or his great wealth, what exercises their ire the most is his spirit, which isn’t satisfied with creature comfort. His supporters are also motivated by something other than what liberalism can easily satisfy. (And this holds true whether we are talking about the nationalists or the Christian conservatives among his base.) Fear should have no competitor as the sovereign passion in a good, rational liberal order, but in Trump the glimmer of competition can be seen. In Joe Biden, however, there is no such danger: he sprinkles oil over turbulent waters, promising as he does only “competence” and more moderate politics. Yet here too, Biden’s supporters are too quick to address an immediate concern without looking to more serious long-term difficulties—for what Trump, and in a different way Bernie Sanders, indicates is that the liberal order has become too dessicated of humanity and feeling, too mechanical, too perfect. And so it courts a backlash, of which populism is not so much a manifestation, but an antibody.

American voters have tried to add new humanity to the nation’s politics in every presidential election since the end of the Cold War. They believed Bill Clinton when he said, “I feel your pain.” They gave a “compassionate” conservative a chance, and afterwards they demanded more “hope and change.” When that effort, too, succumbed to the inertia and decadence of Washington, voters turned to Donald Trump, the most decisive break from politics past. Now Joe Biden asks them to turn back, give up, and accept our country’s senility.

theamericanconservative.comThe views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Intimations of Barbarism

April 18, 2020 

Source

Lawrence Davidson (@PointAnalyses) | Twitter

by Lawrence Davidson

Most definitions of barbaric behavior would include such descriptors as “savage,” “crude,” “cruel,” and the like. We have actually seen plenty of this sort of behavior on the part of American government leaders, both state and federal, over the life of the country. Thus, I don’t want to suggest that the recent episodes of barbarism are something new. However, the past fifty or so years has also seen the growth of human and civil rights as they apply to race, gender and issues of sexual preference. Thus, you would think U.S. politicians had learned the value of ethical behavior. And, while some few have, as a generalization this expectation is just too naive. There is very little uncontested “progress” when it comes to the ethical behavior of governments; often it is one step forward and two steps back.  

Part I—As If To Prove The Point

Thus, no one should have been overly shocked at the display of barbaric callousness offered up by the Republican legislators in Wisconsin in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is how this story goes.

There are now over 3,000 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus in Wisconsin and over 140 people have died. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services tells its citizens that “the number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to grow, resulting in more individuals needing medical care and accelerating the possibility of exceeding Wisconsin’s health care resources.” Thus, the department concludes that the state’s citizens are “safer at home.” 

Against this background, on Friday, April 3, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, issued an executive order delaying until June 9th the state’s Democratic primary and other ballot issue voting originally scheduled for April 7th. Evers listed a number of health-related reasons for the decision: (1) voting in-person at a polling station made state-mandated social distancing difficult; (2) most polling station volunteers are over 60 and thus in a high-risk category; (3) many of the polling stations had already been shut down due to a lack of staff, who were fearful of the Covid-19 virus; (4) This would make those still open all the more crowded. Wisconsin’s governor was not alone in his judgement. Sixteen other states have also instituted primary and associated election delays. It would seem that from a statewide health standpoint Evers’s decision, which admittedly came close to the election date, was a no-brainer.

Alas, that is not how the state’s Republican legislators saw it. They “sued to end Evers’s order,” and the Republican-dominated Wisconsin Supreme Court, which heard the appeal, agreed and directed that the primary proceed as scheduled. Just to sow a bit more partisan salt into the wound, the Republican majority in control of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there would be no extension on the deadline for absentee ballots. 

Ben Wkler, the head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, released a statement that the actions of the Republicans would both “disenfranchise” those Democrats who chose not to risk gathering at the polling stations, or “consign an unknown number of Wisconsinites” who chose to come out to vote “to their deaths.” But then, one might ask, from the perspective of strong Trump supporters—and that is what we mostly have among Wisconsin Republicans—just how much is the health of voting Democrats worth? 

There is another, and perhaps more telling factor to consider here, and that was an electoral contest for the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the ballot at the same time as the Democratic Party primary. It seems that the Wisconsin Republicans believed that having the election in the midst of the pandemic would suppress Democratic voter turnout, particularly in the Milwaukee urban area, and that would help the Republican candidate win. As it turned out, it did not. The liberal Democratic candidate won.

Part II—The Republican Rationale

Of course, voter suppression was not how the Republican leaders, Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald, justified their maneuvers. In the statement they released, they explained their behavior as follows, “In elections during uncertain times, it’s important that no one questions the process.” For all intents and purposes, they were implying that the governor was using the Covid-19 virus as a cover for “undermining the electoral process.” 

This rationalization is so lame that it is very difficult to believe that Vos and Fitzgerald really believe it. Think of it this way: (1) Why is it that our present time is “uncertain”? The answer is that we are in the midst of a pandemic. (2) What is the “process” the Republicans claim, given out uncertain times, is so important that “no one should question” it? It is bringing voters to a limited number of polling stations, on the legally designated day, so that they can vote in person. (3) But we know, as a matter of demonstrated fact, that carrying out “the process” without question is going to make our “time” more uncertain, by spreading the Covid-19 virus, and not less. Thus, either the Wisconsin Republican legislators are too stupid to think logically or, they think their constituents are that stupid. Or, they are a bunch of second-rate Machiavellian schemers. 

Part III—Machiavellian Schemers

Machiavelli’s famous book. The Prince, published posthumously in 1532, is a detailed guide to underhanded tactics that can be used to win and keep political power. Though Machiavelli does not use the term, many interpreters of the work see it as an endorsement of what in the Renaissance era would be known as “criminal virtue,” virtue here meaning the pragmatic application of “skills and resources.” In this case, skills and resources are of criminal and immoral nature. 

It is easy to apply this concept to the behavior of the Wisconsin Republican legislators. Their actions can be interpreted as an attempt to secure political power by suppressing Democratic voter turnout even at the cost of threatening the health, and maybe in a few cases the lives, of some of these voters. Machiavelli would have seen this nasty bit of “criminal virtue” as just that sort of cunning his immoral Prince would be expected to use. That is, cunning that resorts to savage, crude and cruel means—just the kind of tactics that define the behavior of barbarians. 

America’s rigged democracy: The oligarch takeover of America’s political system

America’s rigged democracy: The oligarch takeover of America’s political system

April 15, 2020

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker blog

The coronavirus and related financial crisis ravaging America have revealed the country to be the dysfunctional, borderline failed state that it is. America’s dysfunction is broad in scope but almost entirely traceable to one common origin: the oligarch takeover of the economymediahealthcare and political system. I have already reported on the first three of these , and here I will dissect what’s so fundamentally wrong with the political system.

Here are the links to above referenced reports:

Extreme concentration of ownership in the United States

The Oligarch Takeover of US Media

The Oligarch Takeover of US Pharma and Healthcare

Prior to having its attention diverted by the virus, the rest of the world looked on in disbelief as the circus-like US presidential primaries traipsed from state to state. Looking at the cast, one must wonder if this is really the best America has to offer. There was practically nothing of substance separating the candidates, with the sole exception of much-needed healthcare reform, a step advanced by a couple of candidates who were promptly branded by both parties as “socialists.” Meanwhile, emerging from the pack was none other than Joe Biden, a corporate stooge if there ever was one, whose history of corruption has been swept under the rug but whose dementia is becoming increasingly hard to conceal.

Nonplussed? You should be, because this is not democracy. It essentially amounts to a scripted talent show aimed at creating the impression that the American people have a democratic choice. The endless campaigning – often in disarmingly charming milieus such as rural Iowa diners – and numerous “debates” underscore the illusion of choice. But it is in fact the lack of real choice that necessitates such ostentatious pageantry.

In reality, the Democratic and Republican parties share almost identical positions on all major political questions. Neither challenges America’s hegemonic foreign policy and the war machine that imposes it; neither takes meaningful action to rein in the unrestrained oligarch crony capitalism or address the rigged financial markets; and both completely reject reforming the out-of-control healthcare system (with the exception of the few “socialists,” who are also smeared as “Russian assets”). The latest example of how in lockstep both parties march is the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, in essence just another corporate bailout. But such close alignment on the issues of true importance should come as no surprise: this “duopoly” is in fact owned lock, stock and barrel by the financial oligarchs.

In lieu of discussing the issues of true substance, the overseers of this duopoly have imposed over the public discourse an agenda that creates the appearance of an acrimonious political divide but conveniently skirts addressing the inner workings of the system. Heading up this faux agenda are climate change and the culture war, both of which encompass a myriad of sub-issues that serve to distract Americans from the insidious corporate takeover. Much as a mime pretends to be trapped in a phone booth, the two parties feign contention over these issues in what amounts to carefully staged political theater.

That America is not a real democracy but an oligarchy masquerading as one becomes even more clear when one lifts the hood on the election system, which I do in this report by providing comprehensive evidence that the system has been rigged in such a way as to institutionalize the two-party monopoly and reinforce the financial elite’s grip over it.

The three lynchpins of this ironclad grip are (1) the corrupting power of money, which has been institutionalized through campaign finance laws that have been manipulated by the Supreme Court; (2) the ballot access laws, which refer to the pre-screening rules that determine which parties and candidates can be officially registered to stand for election; and (3) the enormous bias of the oligarch-owned, propaganda-spewing media.

I will not address the media bias in this report – it should be self-evident to anyone who has followed American politics in recent years. It is sufficient to recall the blatantly partisan media attacks against Donald Trump over the last four years, which were based on statements ripped from context and exaggerated, interviews with sham experts, distorted facts, and entirely fabricated stories, not least of which was the giant hoax and nauseatingly fact-free Russiagate narrative. More recently, we have seen how the same media hyenas gave similar treatment to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders but a free pass to the establishment’s Joe Biden. It is important to realize how the ownership of American media has been totally concentrated in the hands of the oligarchy, which I documented in the above-referenced report, The Oligarch Takeover of US Media. Such an extreme concentration of media ownership makes it easy to control the narrative and wage a totalitarian information war on opponents, both domestic and foreign.

In in this report, I will concentrate on the two other major distortions: campaign finance and ballot access, after which I will briefly list the other factors that have combined to totally discredit what used to be a democratic process.

  1. “Money is Speech” – When money talks people listen

The republic was not exactly set up as a true democracy to start with. In the beginning, voting was restricted to property-owning white men. Only late in the 19th century and after one of the bloodiest civil wars in world history, did all men get the right of vote (in theory, but not fully to this day, as we shall see). Women got the right only in 1920. Contrary to the claims of actor Morgan Freeman in a 2017 propaganda video, American history “for 241 years of democracy” has certainly not been “a shining example to the world.” (Note 1).

Early efforts to push back against the robber barons who corrupted the political system with their wealth started with the Tillman Act of 1907, which – although ultimately unsuccessful – aimed to prohibit corporations and interstate banks from making direct financial contributions to federal candidates. Campaign finance restrictions that at least had the appearance of being effective were not enacted until 1971, when, in the wake of the Watergate scandal, Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). However, the oligarchs soon mounted a counterattack to have key provisions of the law nullified on supposed constitutional grounds. This reached the Supreme Court, an institution whose pliability in the face of corporate interests belies its fastidiously independent veneer. In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Court did uphold limits on individual contributions but, crucially, removed the caps on how much a campaign could spend and also the cap on so-called “independent expenditures,” which is money spent by ostensibly third-party corporations formally in favor of a particular candidate or against an opponent. The fig leaf is that these independent expenditures are made to look as if they are not in any way coordinated with the candidate or the candidate’s committee or party, although in reality of course they always are.

In Buckley v. Valeo, the Court invented the absurd theory that money equals speech, and therefore a limitation on how much money could be used for these independent expenditures was supposedly an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment protections of free speech. (More about this absurdity below).

In 2010, a new concentrated attack on campaign finance restrictions emerged when the oligarchy’s pocket courts further proceeded to remove the remaining obstacles for the super-rich to buy American elections. In Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court struck down, again on extremely dubious free speech grounds, the rules that had prohibited corporations from funding election campaigns under the flimsy condition that the money be officially structured as uncoordinated independent expenditures. Only two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (the Deep State court par excellence) ruled that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited, either in size or source.

The super-rich have always dominated the funding of political campaigns – either directly with their money, or through the media they own, or by their shadowy non-profits – but these rulings finally obliterated a century of campaign finance laws and opened the spigots for unlimited political corruption by oligarch special interests, thus removing essentially all barriers to controlling every aspect of the electoral system. These decisions also led to the rise of the notorious Super PACs, the giant slush funds that can raise unlimited amounts of corporate funding – money that is often used on either abusive mudslinging ads aimed at opponents or for whitewashing the preferred candidates. But, of course, there is absolutely no coordination with the candidates themselves. (Trust us).

For more details on US campaign finance laws, please see the Appendix to this report.

Congress is the 5% serving the 0.1%

The number one precondition for American electoral success is either being rich yourself or being financed by the super-rich and their corporations. Usually both prerequisites need to be in place, especially for the higher offices. In no other country in the world does money play such an outsized role in politics.

Practically all US presidents have been millionaires in present day value and most of them multimillionaires. (Note 2). Interestingly, though, while Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were not millionaires when taking office, they miraculously became so after leaving the White House. This came through windfall profits from book deals and speeches to Wall Street bankers. The same happened with Hillary Clinton. (Note 3). Obama even rather quite shamelessly booked those millions while still in office. This stream of easy money is tantamount to payment for services rendered for being a loyal servant to the Deep State (the same Deep State that installed him in the first place). It also shows future inhabitants of top positions that obedience is quite lucrative. (Note 4.)

If we look at the current members of Congress – the 100 senators and 450 members of the House – 200 are millionaires and that does not even include the value of their primary residences. Including that asset would put the figure at close to 500, or a whopping 90%. (Note 5). And that is even before considering the assets formally held by spouses, in trusts or offshore. The net worth of the average congressman is at least five times the US median. (Note 6). Interestingly, most appear to mysteriously get richer while actually serving in Congress. Moreover, the wealth increase tends to be disproportionate to what could be accumulated based on their salaries. In brief, Congress is the 5% serving the 0.1%.

During the 2015-16 election cycle, presidential candidates spent $1.5 billion, congressional candidates $1.6 billion, political parties $1.6 billion, and political action committees (PACs) raised and spent $4 billion. The “independent expenditures” of Super PACs amounted to $1.6 billion. (Note 7).

Clearly, had President Trump not been a billionaire he would never have had a shot at the presidency. This time around, Mike Bloomberg, the world’s tenth richest man and the consummate corporate insider, made a stunningly explicit bid to buy the Democratic nomination, spending over half a billion dollars on campaign ads in only a couple of months. Even before facing a single voter, Bloomberg, a preposterous choice to lead the Democrats, was given credibility as a serious candidate and was able to avail himself of a large platform from which to spread his message. That Bloomberg, with his billions and his establishment-approved policies, still managed to fail so spectacularly was a news item in and of itself, causing a lot of head-scratching among the pundits. He is the exception that proves the rule. (Note 8).

C:\Users\Йон\Documents\Billionaires supporting.jpeg

Practically all of the top Democrat candidates – except Bernie Sanders – were heavily funded by billionaires, as shown in the infographic below.

For candidates who don’t happen to already be fantastically wealthy, campaign financing from big donor corporations and the top 1% is decisive. This is why congressmen tend to spend about 40% of their time soliciting campaign contributions, as former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren revealed in his bestselling book, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government. (Note 9). Lofgren says outright that in “practice, the American political system allows only two political parties, which are wholly dependent on corporations and wealthy individuals to fund the most expensive campaigns in the world.” (Note 10).

The Democratic Party is a corporation by its own admission

Emblematic of the scam that US elections are was the Democratic Party’s admission to being a corporation.

In a trial against the DNC for the alleged rigging of the 2016 primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders, the DNC’s attorneys asserted that the party has every right to favor one candidate or another, notwithstanding party rules that state otherwise, because the party is a private corporation and is therefore free to change its rules as it sees fit. Unsurprisingly, the court accepted this claim. (Note 11).

In actually democratic countries, meanwhile, parties are obligated to adhere to fair and transparent statutory legal procedures in their operations. (Besides, even a corporation would have a fiduciary duty to follow the rules it has proclaimed).

  1. Ballot access restrictions

That money has corrupted the system should hardly come as a surprise, but what is less apparent at first glance is how political competition is obstructed by a massive bulwark of byzantine regulations – the ballot access laws – that are designed to protect the deeply ensconced two-party duopoly.

The dominance of the two parties has not come about as a result of voters’ sympathies as expressed in natural democratic competition, but rather through devious manipulation of laws for the aim of securing monopolies for the establishment parties. Each state has enacted its own laws for determining the procedures for parties and candidates to be officially registered to run for office. Rather than attempting to level the playing field, these laws guarantee automatic ballot access to the monopoly parties while barring the door to rivals who could potentially threaten the absolute power of the oligarchs that these parties represent.

While the Democratic and Republican parties get on the ballot automatically, challengers must attempt to file separately in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Ballot access laws are determined by each state separately, and different rules apply for presidential, congressional, state and local elections. Presidential candidates from non-monopoly parties have to petition for ballot access in each state. This means navigating absurdly cumbersome procedures in each state separately and, among other things, having to collect some 1.5 million signatures nationwide. Furthermore, the rules and timing are different in every state, making it very difficult to overcome each state’s barrage of obstacles while meeting all of the deadlines.

In those states where a third party is unable to overcome the filing hurdles, voters are denied the opportunity to vote against the oligarchy. And of course a vicious cycle takes hold: because it is practically impossible to get on the ballot in all states, third-party candidates who are not on the ballet everywhere are seen as lacking national appeal, making them less attractive to voters (and, of course, this reinforces the difficulty of getting on the ballot in the future). Voters are loath to “waste their votes” on candidates who are deemed not to have a winning chance, an impression solidified by the lack of media coverage for such candidates.

Most states also apply rules requiring that a party meet a certain vote threshold in a recent election in order to keep its ballot status for the next election. For example, in Alabama a party needs to garner 20% in a state-wide election to retain ballot access. Such thresholds are set so high that they form an automatic party liquidation guillotine: few third parties ever make it on to the ballet and almost none make it regularly. This means that no momentum is ever achieved and the process of reforming the party and relaunching attempts to make the ballot must be done every few years. For would-be third-party activists it’s a hopeless proposition.

Such arbitrary restrictions and onerous obstacles toward even standing for election is practically unheard of anywhere else. Such a system doesn’t exist anywhere in the free world and may be bewildering for those accustomed to thinking of America as a beacon of democracy. The restrictiveness of America’s “democracy” is more appropriately compared to any number of “third-world” countries in which either only one party is allowed (such as North Korea) or where opposition parties exist but are cast to the far periphery of the political system. America certainly falls squarely in this category, but its innovation is to scrupulously maintain the façade of democratic processes, which essentially amount to carefully staged sparring, mostly over irrelevant issues, for the sake of maintaining the illusion of political plurality.

The restrictive ballot access laws also greatly diminish democratic competition in state legislative elections. In 2012, about one-third of all state House and Senate candidates ran unopposed – quite similar to how it was back in the USSR. (Note 12).

Examples of how the oligarch-owned monopoly parties are favored

The ballot access laws vary enormously from state to state, both in terms of the nature and severity of the requirements. North Carolina, with a population of about 9.8 million, requires almost 90,000 signatures. (Note 13). Oklahoma requires a petition signed by voters equal to 5% of the vote cast in the previous election. An independent presidential candidate, or the presidential candidate of a non-qualified party, may get on the ballot with a petition representing 3% of the last presidential vote. To remain qualified for the next election, a party must garner at least 2% of the total vote in the gubernatorial election.

In Nebraska, the rigged rules fast-track parties that received at least 5% of the vote in a statewide race. Nevada has doubled down on the election rigging by demanding that a party achieve 10% in the preceding general election for Congress.

Another example of egregious hurdles is Maryland’s requirement that an independent candidate collect four times as many signatures as a major-party candidate. In Florida, an independent presidential candidate needs 110,000 signatures, while Texas requires independent candidates to collect signatures equaling 1% of the previous presidential vote.

Georgia gives automatic ballot access to a political party whose candidate received at least 20% of the votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election or whose candidate in the last presidential election received at least 20%.

Kentucky uses a three-tiered system for ballot access based on the results of the previous presidential election. Only parties whose candidate for president achieved at least 20% of the popular vote are considered “political parties,” whereas those getting between 2% and 20% get the status of “political organization,” and those with less than 2% of the vote are deemed a “political group.” These classifications then determine the hurdles that must be overcome to get onto the next ballot. Clearly, parties that can’t even be classified as parties struggle to make headway.

Pennsylvania extends the “political party” status to a party that manages at least 2% in the most recent election, but after a two-year grace period a party must meet the outrageous threshold of having voter enrollment of no less than 15% of the state’s total party enrollment.

Et cetera and so on and so forth. Some states have been more innovative than others in putting in place a system that suppresses democratic choice.

Follow the links below for a closer look at all of the restrictive ballot access rules:

Only billionaires can attempt to overcome the hurdles – and even then often in vain

Only a well-established national movement – or a billionaire – could put together an organization that could even theoretically overcome the filing hurdles in all 50 states. This system of obstruction of the democratic process has worked precisely as intended: with the sole exception of billionaire Ross Perot, there has not been a single viable candidate outside of the monopoly parties.

In the 2016 election, while the Democratic and Republican parties were automatically on the ballot in all 50 states, the only other party that managed to get ballot access in all states was the Libertarian Party. The Green Party, which is a viable and increasingly popular alternative in many other countries, was left off the ballot in six states. The Constitution Party made it on to the ballot in just 24 states.

The billionaire Ross Perot ran in 1992 as an independent and in 1996 representing the Reform Party, which was set up specifically for his campaign. However, because the party had difficulty navigating the restrictive ballot laws, he was forced to run as an independent in some states. In 1992, he received 18.9% of the popular vote, making him the most successful third-party presidential candidate in terms of the popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election.

You can collect all the signatures you want, but it won’t help

It was estimated that in the 2016 election an independent candidate would have needed to collect a staggering 880,000 valid signatures to meet the thresholds in all states combined. (Note 14). But because the monopoly parties regularly challenge the legitimacy of the signatures that are collected, opposition parties must collect double that amount to stay above the thresholds. This is because there is a very real and proven risk that as many as half of the signatures can be declared invalid on absurd technicalities that are concocted following legal harassment by the monopoly parties. For example, signing “Bill” instead of “William” or leaving out a middle initial are among the many pretenses for signatures being disqualified. (Note 15).

Not only must candidates collect a prohibitive amount of signatures, but whoever ventures to do so should also be ready for a protracted legal battle to defend against endless litigation instigated by an army of attorneys that the monopoly parties can summon in order to obstruct third parties and independents in their efforts to register. The establishment lawyers, aided by corrupt state officials, go to great lengths to challenge the accuracy of candidate filings and often reject the authenticity of signatures on whatever flimsy or fabricated grounds they can find. (Note 16).

A case in point is the outrageous treatment that independent candidate Ralph Nader was subjected to in his 2004 presidential bid. (Note 17). After Nader’s campaign had managed to gather and file the needed signatures in all 50 states, the Democratic Party and its stooges mounted a campaign to challenge all of Nader’s filings. They ended up filing 29 complaints in 19 states against Nader’s campaign with the aim to get Nader stricken from the ballot. And, sure enough, they succeeded in taking him off the ballot in Pennsylvania, Oregon, Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and several other states. Pennsylvania’s measures aimed at keeping independent candidates out included, in addition to the punitively high number of required signatures, a prohibition on people from out-of-state collecting signatures on behalf of a candidate and the requirement that every signature sheet be separately notarized. In Pennsylvania, a lawyer for the Democratic Party successfully invalidated – for ridiculous reasons – the authenticity of over 30,000 of Nader’s signatures. (Note 18). For Pennsylvania Democrats it was not enough, though, to simply take Nader off the ballot, they also proceeded to present him with a large bill for lawyers’ fees as a punishment for having had the audacity to encroach on the duopoly’s turf. Nader then became the first candidate in American history to be penalized, with a legal bill totaling $81,102, just for the crime of attempting to run for public office. (Note 19).

This later unfolded into a giant corruption scandal, which ultimately put members of both duopoly parties behind bars. It emerged that the Democratic Party had illegally enlisted an army of state officials to participate in the concentrated attack on Nader’s campaign. Not only were they working at taxpayers’ expense, but they even received about $2.3 million in government bonuses for their subversive activities. But, remarkably, even as it was proved that Nader’s petitions were challenged via illegal means, his $81,000 bill for the legal fees of his inquisitors stood. And no lessons were gleaned from the affair. Two years after Nader’s failed bid, Pennsylvania’s Green Party tried to run Carl Romanelli for US Senate against Democrat Bob Casey and Republican Rick Santorum. Romanelli managed to collect more than 100,000 signatures (more than the formally required 67,000), but he too ended up being challenged and knocked off the ballot. And, again, the Democratic Party’s legal fees were billed to Romanelli as the losing party. Since then in Pennsylvania numerous other independent candidates have been equally destroyed through various means.

With the path to the presidency littered with the bones of brutally snuffed out third-party bids, both Democrat-cum-Republican Donald Trump and Democrat-cum-Republican-then-independent-and-Democrat again Michael Bloomberg understood that working within one of the two parties – and using their massive financial resources – was a far more promising strategy than mounting a quixotic third-party bid. But the flip-flopping history of party affiliation of those billionaire tycoons clearly shows how the two parties are essentially interchangeable electioneering tools for the elite and that neither party is overly concerned with ideology or convictions.

The Constitution is not to blame

The morass of elections laws is often defended on the premise that it should be the prerogative of the individual states to set their own laws even for federal elections. However, Article I, Section 4 of the United States Constitution says that, while election laws are primarily set by state legislatures, Congress has the power to alter them as it sees fit. And indeed, Congress has done so by enacting uniform nationwide campaign spending laws – those very laws that were undermined by the Supreme Court’s nationwide rulings. In 1967, Congress also passed a law that mandated single-member districts across the country, which demonstrates that the Constitution and federal structure of the United States are not actually obstacles to conducting democratic reform of the ballot access laws, if only there were the will to democratize the country.

Richard Winger, in his article “How Ballot Access Laws Affect the U.S. Party System,” demonstrated that the Supreme Court has been a conniving partner in letting states tighten their ballot access laws with practically no limits. Although the Court has from time to time made a token gesture some excesses in the ballot restrictions, such instances have never managed to set a precedent for curbing undemocratic practice. Winger writes that the Court’s ballot access decisions, taken together, have actually had the effect of increasing the severity of the laws, rather than ameliorating them. (Note 20).

Winger’s article also gives a lucid account of the history of these restrictive rules and how the screws have been gradually tightened.

There is nothing good in the supposed stability that a two-party system brings

Winger writes: “In a normal two-party system, there are still significant third parties. In the United States, there were significant third parties before 1930, but there have not been any since then. The reason there are no longer any significant third parties is because the ballot access laws have become severe.” (Note 21).

Apologists for the US two-party system argue that governments are typically more stable in two-party systems, because viewpoints on the fringes of societal discourse are supposedly neutralized. Wikipedia, for example, hilariously writes: “First-past-the-post minimizes the influence of third parties and thus arguably keeps out extremists.” (Note 22).

However, a US-style managed two-party system protected by rigged laws and court rulings provides as much stability as the USSR one-party system did, all while destroying political competition and depriving the system of the flexibility and mechanisms to adapt to new realities. A two-party system lacks any safety valves to let steam out, meaning the problems just pile up until the pressure is such that the whole system implodes. This has now happened with the US economy, a circumstance for which the rigid two-party system deserves heavy blame. The economic catastrophe in the US is in plain sight for anyone to see, same with the US healthcare debacle, but it is the rotten political monopoly of the corporate elite that has so steadfastly prevented the real issues from being addressed.

What is interesting – and underscores the undemocratic nature of the system – is that surveys consistently show that independents easily outnumber both Democrats and Republicans and that voters overwhelmingly would want to have another choice. (Note 23). In fact, 43% of Americans identify as politically independent. (Note 24).

More problems have piled up to destroy US democracy

In addition to the three main issues discussed above, I will briefly list a number of additional problems that contribute to the huge democracy deficiency in the United States.

(4) The US does not have a proportional voting system, which would force the monopoly parties to be alert to the real needs of society and which would guarantee political representation for competing ideas. Instead, plurality voting is practiced, which means there is a system of single-member districts where the winner takes all even if it does not achieve a majority of votes (first past the pole). In some states, the system is modified with a runoff between the two candidates who got most votes in the first round. A truly democratic system would require a proportional distribution of seats based on party totals.

Some of the election systems are truly absurd. A good example is California’s so-called “top-two” primary system, in which all candidates from all parties must participate in a primary, while the top two vote-getters – even if from the same party – move on to the general election. That really shows that the sham two-party system is, in reality, a one-party system.

(5) The problem with the single-member voting districts has been exacerbated by the practice of gerrymandering, which refers to the system of manipulatively redrawing the boundaries of electoral constituencies. This is done to establish an unfair advantage for one of the monopoly parties or for certain favored candidates within a party. In either case, the effect is to diminish competition.

(6) Large parts of the electorate have been disenfranchised, that is, unconstitutionally deprived of their right to vote. Every state except Maine and Vermont prevents inmates from voting while in prison for a felony. Once released from prison, voter eligibility varies widely by state. A few states – mostly Southern states with large black populations – permanently deny the right to vote to all ex-convicts. That is nothing short of an extra-judiciary punishment, which is designed to prevent the poor and most oppressed sectors of US society from participating in the electoral process.

Over the last half century, the number of disenfranchised individuals has increased dramatically along with the rise in the inmate populations, from an estimated 1.17 million in 1976 to 6.1 million today. (Note 25). Nationally, 13% of the African-American population (an even higher percentage in some states) are now denied the right to vote because of felony convictions. (Note 26).

How capricious the system is can be seen from a case in Alabama, where a man was blocked from voting because he owed the state $4. (Note 27).

(7) Another absurd feature of the American election system is voter registration. In order to retain the right to vote, American voters must register in advance. In a true democracy, it is the obligation of the government to ensure that all citizens have easy and equal access to voting. It is the government’s duty to put in place a system for registering voters and not mandate that voters undergo cumbersome procedures. In democratic countries – like Russia – a voter is automatically enrolled based on residence. It is the obligation of the government to ensure that all citizens are entered in electoral rolls. Usually, this is done through the requirement that each individual provide his or her address to the authorities. But the US voter registration system is a totally arbitrary process that is frequently used to prevent – again – the poor and oppressed from voting. But sometimes the arbitrariness of this works the other way: voter registration laws are sometimes made so lax that non-citizen immigrants can unconstitutionally vote. This is the case, for example, in California, which does not require proof of citizenship for voter registration.

It gets more absurd from the point of view of a democracy when we consider that, when registering a voter, a party affiliation – Democrat, Republican or independent – must be indicated. The inability to conceal one’s political preferences means that there is no voting secrecy in the US. And this is public data for anybody to see, for example, a potential employer.

Altogether, there are 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) that indicate a party when registering voters. In aggregate, 40% of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 28% are independents. Nationally, the Democratic advantage in the party registration states approaches 12 million. (Note 28).

(8) After voter registration, there is the problem of voter identification at the poll station. For example, California has no law requiring that voters present photo identification, although sometimes it ends up being required anyway. But when voters do need to identify themselves they can provide any one of the following as proof: a California identification number, the last four digits of their social security number, a copy of a recent utility bill, a sample ballot booklet sent from the county election office, a student ID or a driver’s license. Of course, a passport can also be presented, but why bother when a utility bill is enough.

(9) Interference in politics and elections by law enforcement and intelligence agencies under the control of the US Deep State. Even with practically all aspects of the electoral system totally rigged in favor of the two monopoly parties, the establishment has lately been having problems with ensuring the desired election outcomes and therefore has resorted to openly employing their administrative resources in the State Department, law enforcement (DOJ, FBI) and intelligence agencies (CIA and the other 16 sisters) to interfere in elections. Most blatantly this has occurred in connection with the events subsumed under the Russiagate witch hunt. While cynically levying false accusations at Russia for meddling in the US elections, these agencies were actually engaged in this mendacious – not to mention treasonous – activity themselves. (Note 29).

(10) Finally, in winding up this discussion of the distortions in the American political system, I would be remiss if I did not mention a particularly lurid piece of American Kabuki theater – the public debates among the candidates. Whereas in more democratic countries debates are usually open to all candidates who meet a reasonable minimum threshold in America the show is reserved exclusively for duopoly candidates. The debates themselves are mostly platforms for empty clichés, prepared one-line zingers and vacuous rallying cries about the greatness of the country. The show is carefully managed in such a way as to keep meaningful issues from being addressed, thus preventing any challenge to the agenda of the establishment.

When televised presidential election debates started in 1976, the organizer was the nonpartisan League of Women Voters. However, the LWV withdrew in 1988 in protest of the major-party candidates attempts to dictate nearly every aspect of how the debates were conducted. (Note 30). In the statement announcing its withdrawal, the LWV prophetically stated that “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.” This allowed the duopoly to seize full control of the debates through a vehicle called the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which since its inception has been headed by former chairs of the national committees of the two major parties. In order to exclude third-party candidates, a rule was instituted that to qualify for a debate candidates must garner at least 15% in opinion polls and must be on the ballot in a certain number of states, which in itself is extremely hard, as we saw above.

Ross Perot is the only third-party candidate to have crashed the party of CPD-organized debates, having found his way onto the stage during his 1992 presidential run. The CPD itself was against Perot’s inclusion, but both major party candidates, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, were convinced that Perot would do more damage to the other one and therefore wanted him included. As it turned out, it was Bush who miscalculated with that gamble. (Note 31).

At a 2000 presidential debate, meanwhile, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader was not even allowed to sit in the audience – much less participate – even though he had a ticket to be a spectator.

Typically for America, the CPD presidential debates are also a great platform for corporate sponsors, who display their advertisement during the show. Tobacco giant Phillip Morris was a major sponsor in 1992 and 1996, while Anheuser-Busch sponsored presidential debates in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.

The way the Democratic Party has been rigging its primary debates – in an already familiar pattern – provides further insight into how the debate shenanigans work. In this recent primary season, the DNC actually changed the rules in order to exclude the undesired Tulsi Gabbard, who had committed the mortal sin of expressing views that questioned establishment orthodoxy. (Note 32). This came after the DNC earlier changed a different set of qualification rules so as to let Michael Bloomberg, who was not even on the ballot in the first primary states, buy his way onto the debate stage. (Note 33).Jon Hellevig

Some international comparison

The extreme disparity of the burdens placed on new parties versus the old established parties in the US has no parallel in any other democratic nation in the world. (Note 34). A research project conducted jointly by Harvard University and the University of Sydney ranked the United States worst in the West for fair elections. (Note 35).

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) – which is about the only international organization allowed to monitor US elections – has frequently criticized the US for its restrictive ballot access laws and other serious shortcomings. (Note 36).

Concluding remarks – RIP democracy

I have earlier written an essay on how I view the essence of democracy, which appeared as Book II “On Democratic Competition” in my philosophy book All is Art http://www.hellevig.net/allisart.pdf (Note 37). I regard true democracy as a function of societal competition, or more precisely, the competition for regulating power relations in society.

It thus follows that democratic competition must be fair and conducted on equal terms for all participants, that is, all citizens. Democratic competition is the cumulative result of complex interrelations in all spheres of social life, and it is largely the overall condition of a society that fosters or hinders such competition. The quality of a democracy – whether it is an authentic one or it is badly compromised – is a function of all these conditions in their infinite variances.

For it to be fair and conducted on equal terms, this competition must be free from monopolistic forces that prevent all members of society from participating on equal terms. As we saw from the analysis of what counts as the democratic system in the US, all of the major components affecting the democratic processes have been consolidated in the hands of the plutocracy. The oligarchs have essentially privatized the political system and are able to exert disproportionate and usually decisive influence on outcomes that should be open-ended. Having bought the state legislatures, the oligarchs have enacted self-serving ballot access laws. With their money, they totally control all election-related avenues for mass communication, including the televised debates. They own the media, which denies 99% of the population a platform for their opinions and effectively filters out all alternate views.

Freedom of speech should be seen not only as a right to voice one’s opinions in the local bar but as entailing equal access to the means of communication, i.e. the media. Of course, this is not the case, which means there is not a level playing field for democratic competition – and this means no real democracy. The oligarch takeover of the US media has meant that huge censorship and propaganda machines have replaced what should be open and free discourse. The absence of true competition in the media has meant that not just is there no real freedom of speech but that the media has issued to itself a license to lie with impunity while sanctimoniously proclaiming the existence of a free press.

Elections should be considered only as the culmination of democratic competition when all other necessary conditions in a society are in place. But where such conditions for a democratic choice are absent, it can actually be more harmful for democracy (the sovereign power of the people) to carry on voting at the polls in what amounts to sham elections. To do is to perpetuate the system and implicitly provide one’s consent to the falsehood. What the US political elite is trying to sell us is that democracy means nothing more than periodically conducting elections between nearly identical oligarch-owned parties. In other words, we are to believe that as long as the form remains the substance can be cast aside. But if measured by that standard, even the USSR was democratic – once in a while people were dutifully summoned to the polls to confirm the absolute power of the monopolist.

As I have defined democracy, it must be seen and analyzed as a social practice, a phenomenon brought about by people’s interactions in all their myriad forms. This understanding of democracy as a social practice has not been properly appreciated. Scholars have tended to define democracy through formal and legalistic criteria, such as the existence of certain institutions and certain formal supposed legal safeguards of those systems (a system of courts, periodic elections, etc.). But as long as scholars do not move beyond those concepts to analyze what the institutions actually stand for, they fail to detect – or fail to admit – the obvious deficiencies of democracy in countries in which these formal criteria are met but where the democratic processes have seriously eroded. This is particularly pertinent in countries – such as the US – where much effort has been expended to maintain the illusion of democracy. My aim has been to bring about the understanding needed tackle this question by looking at the constituent phenomena of the social practice of democracy.

Today, precious little real democracy remains in the countries that boast of being democratic. The concept of “democracy” has been totally detached from the actual reality and is being maintained as a ritual symbol. Now utterly devoid of content, the word is incanted as a charm to instill the feeling among American and European regime subjects that they belong to a good and virtuous society and that they are empowered to influence the course of that society.

The indoctrinated classes speak of liberal democracy (by which they mean Western democracy), which they imagine to be a representative government put in power by free and pluralistic elections. The fantasy extends to a belief that the system is based on a separation of powers among a legislature, executive and judiciary. Of course, this is no longer the case: these branches operate in unison and the plutocracy presides over them all. Other incantations include the “rule of law”, “open society”, “Western values”, “human rights” and “market economy.” All of these are hollow shells of ideas that in our day and time mostly serve the purpose of virtue-signaling. The reality is that Western societies have turned into full-fledged repressive surveillance and propaganda states, in which any features of an open society were long ago eradicated. There is absolutely no market economy, but rather a totally monopolized crony capitalist system in which, as we are seeing now, corporate interests are bailed out at the first sign of trouble.

Scholars claim that liberal democracy supposedly is based on the principles of classical liberalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. But, their most pathetic theory is the so-called “democratic peace theory.” This fantasy posits that these “liberal democracies” are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other democracies. Several factors have been promoted as justifying the democratic peace theory, one more hilarious than the other:

  • Democratic leaders are forced to accept culpability for war losses to a voting public;
  • Publicly accountable statespeople are inclined to establish diplomatic institutions for resolving international tensions;
  • Democracies are not inclined to view countries with adjacent policy and governing doctrine as hostile;
  • Democracies tend to possess greater public wealth than other states, and therefore eschew war to preserve infrastructure and resources.

(List derived from Wikipedia).

Let’s imagine that to be true, then what explains that these Western countries have been ready and raring to incessantly wage wars of aggression against the rest of the world, the countries they define as not belonging to the club of democracies? Moreover, these Western “liberal democracies” do not go to war with each other, because they are all essentially occupied subjects of the United States.

In my book, I describe the conditions for an ideal, true democracy. But that does not mean that I think that such a democracy is possible; on the contrary, nothing of the sort can ever actually exist. Any open society will be attacked by oligarchs, who will try to subjugate it under their rule – and most often they succeed. This is true both domestically in their own countries and abroad. The US-based oligarchs and their helpers in Europe have over the last century assaulted every single nation on the planet. No country should ever leave itself vulnerable to such aggression. Each should devise a sovereign system of governance that is fair and based on real justice (social, economic, and moral) without playing the fool’s game of so-called Western “liberal democracy.” China has set a good example of this.

NOTES COME AFTER APPENDIX

APPENDIX

CAMPPAIGN FINANCE LAWS, SMOKE AND MIRRORS

The US is obsessed with campaign finance regulations, which are structured so that if anything is restricted by one rule, it is allowed by another. There’s a Russian adage that perfectly describes the essence of the US campaign finance laws: “If it is forbidden, but you very much want it, then go ahead.”

Below is a summary of the campaign finance laws governing federal elections.

Candidates are free to use their personal funds for campaign purposes without any limits, but accepting campaign contributions from others is restricted – unless you use any number of the gaping loopholes available to circumvent the restrictions. An individual person can contribute only $2,000 directly to a candidate, per election. But whereas donations to individual candidates are limited to that relatively small amount, the backdoor is wide open. Individuals can donate as much as $777,600 per year to party committees, while if a spouse is included, a family contribution can reach $1,555,200 per year. These limits are reported as they stand after having been generously increased tenfold in 2014 in a drive to allow ever larger sway over the elections for the super-rich. According to oligarch shills, this enormous money would not be fatal for democracy, because it is “only allowed to go to special accounts earmarked for specific purposes, such as party headquarters maintenance, recount preparations and presidential conventions” and that the “money cannot legally be used for other purposes.” (Note 38).

One of the backdoors designed for circumventing campaign finance restrictions is for a lobbyist to assist a congressman in amassing campaign finance by arranging fundraisers, assembling PACs, and seeking donations from other clients. Yet more effective than gathering hard money (direct contributions to a candidate) is to work with soft money campaign finance. Soft money is the real hardcore of campaign finance. Soft money exploits the loophole in federal campaign finance and spending laws that exempts contributions made for general party-building rather than – ostensibly – for a specific candidate. This is a form of political money laundering, because the state party committees send the soft money up to the national party headquarters, which then can spend the money at its discretion without restrictions. (Note 39).

In addition to contributions given directly to candidates (candidate committees) and parties, individuals can contribute to a variety of political action committees (PAC). The limit for individual contributions to these are $5,000. Connected PACs can be set up by corporations, non-profits, labor unions, trade groups, or health organizations. These PACs are allowed to accept contributions only from managers and shareholders or members in the case of unions and non-profit organizations. The sponsor of a Connected PAC may absorb all the administrative costs of operating the PAC and its fundraising activities. A slightly other form is the Non-Connected PAC, which must bear its own administrative costs. PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special). They can also give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC.

Another vehicle designed to circumvent the original campaign finance restrictions is something called a Leadership PAC. These are PACs set up by elected officials and parties that make “independent expenditures.” If the expenditure is supposedly not coordinated with the candidate, there is no limit to how much can be spent on that candidate’s campaign. Leadership PACs are non-connected PACs, meaning they can accept donations from individuals and other PACs – so there’s another backdoor wide open. A leadership PAC sponsored by an elected official cannot use funds to support that official’s own campaign, but no worries, it may fund travel, administrative expenses, consultants, polling, and “other non-campaign expenses,” as they call them.

Move one level up on the ladder of campaign finance schemes and you encounter the “independent expenditure committees,” commonly known as Super PACs. These are campaign finance vehicles that masquerade as third-party groups allowed to advocate for or against any candidate or issues, “as long as there is no coordination, consultation or request by any campaign or candidate.” That’s a fig leaf, if ever there was one. Everybody knows that coordinating is exactly what they do.

Tired of dabbling in a few thousand dollars, the heavy hitters have embraced these Super PACs. These represent the ultimate invention in free-for-all campaign finance, as they can raise unlimited amounts of funds, with the additional beauty that corporations, too, may invest as much as they want. While traditional PACs can donate directly to a candidate’s campaign fund, the Super PACs are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or parties and must ostensibly limit themselves to political spending independently of the campaigns. They are allowed to pay for ads supporting their favorite candidate and discrediting the opponents as long as they “act independently” and “do not coordinate” with the official campaign of the candidate they support. So according to the legal legend, Super PACs are independent from candidates, but obviously the reality is that their directors have close personal connections to the candidate and the campaign they support. (Note 40).

Super PACs are the ultimate dens of the political spin doctors, where nasty and abusive mudslinging ads attacking the opponents of the candidates that they are whitewashing are devised.

In addition to hard and soft money, the American campaign corruption menu includes dark money. Dark money refers to political spending by nonprofit organizations (referred to as 501(c) organizations). These are allowed to raise unlimited amounts from corporations and individuals, and to spend these unlimited amounts any way they wish. They call it dark money because that’s exactly what it is: the identity of the donors and of the campaigns, candidates and other possible recipients of the money, as well as the amounts raised and spent, are exempt from disclosure requirements. The flooding of elections with dark money was made possible by the US Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo. (More on this below).

Dark money syndicates are distinct from Super PACs. Both can raise and spend unlimited sums of money, but super PACs must disclose their donors, while dark money syndicates don’t have to do that and must not (ostensibly) have politics as their primary purpose. This is no problem for the US oligarchs, as they simply set up both types of entities to get the best of both worlds. This way corporations and individuals can donate as much as they want to the nonprofit, which isn’t required to publicly disclose funders. The nonprofit could then donate as much as it wanted to the Super-PAC, which lists the nonprofit’s donation but not the original contributors.” (Note 41).

Money is speech. Really?

The Super PACs were in essence generated by two highly questionable judicial decisions. In January 2010, the Supreme Court established in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that the government may not prohibit corporations from making independent expenditures for political purposes. Only two months later, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited in either size or source.

The super-rich have always been dominate in funding political campaigns – directly with their money, through the media they own and by their shadowy nonprofits – but these decisions finally obliterated a century of campaign finance laws and opened the spigots for unlimited political corruption by oligarch special interests in order to give them absolute dominance and free rein for total political propaganda.

The Supreme Court’s extraordinary maneuver to further rig the campaign finance laws in favor of the super-rich was based on two questionable legal theories that took root in the mid-1970s. One held that money is speech and the other that corporations are people. (Note 42). These fabricated legal principles were needed in order to create the framework for the politically motivated claim that a restriction on the amount of money that the super-rich can use for buying elections supposedly meant an infringement on First Amendment protected freedom of speech. Then, because free speech, like any other human right, can only belong to people, the court declared that corporations are people. In the case that established these doctrines, Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the majority opinion, defended this juridical fraud by arguing that that limits on using corporate funds for campaigns were supposedly a “classic example of censorship.”

The perverted “money is speech” doctrine first appeared in a 1976 decision, Buckley v. Valeo, which invalidated some campaign-finance reforms that had come out of the Watergate drama. (Note 43). The Supreme Court then concluded that most limits on campaign expenditures, and some limits on donations, are unconstitutional because money is in itself speech and the “quantity of expression”– the amounts of money – can’t be limited. (sic! – or should we say sick!) What the Supreme Court did is to declare that corporations should have a First Amendment right to spend limitless amounts to meddle in US elections.

Obviously, the legal construction of a corporation means that it has some features of a person, mainly the right to register the title for assets and enter into agreements – which is why they are called legal persons – but the extension of corporate personhood to protection of free speech is an extraordinary invention.

The US Supreme Court, the guarantor of oligarch rule

Obviously, these court decisions are totally politically motivated and aimed at securing the super-rich’s overwhelming control over the US government. The US Supreme Court is not an independent arbiter of justice but rather a club of servants for the elite few. The appointment of a Supreme Court judge is an entirely political process. A candidate is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Considering that the presidents and the senators all are totally dependent on oligarch finance, oligarch media and of all the structures of the oligarch Deep State, the Supreme Court justices unsurprisingly serve the same interests. Considering that the Constitution does not set any qualification criteria for Supreme Court judges, better independent judicial protection would be achieved if the judges were appointed by lottery among all serving US judges.

This political process of appointment of judges essentially nullifies the constitutional principle of separation of powers, which holds that the three branches of government – executive, legislative, judicial – are kept independent from each other. With the politicized court the constitutionally intended checks and balances between the branches of power have essentially been wiped out.

These campaign finance shenanigans are part of an endless stream of rulings that show that the Supreme Court is following a political agenda favoring the already rich rather than administering justice. As David Kairys wrote: “At its core, this line of cases is about dominance of the political and electoral system by wealthy people and corporations and about legitimizing a political and electoral system that is unrepresentative, money-driven, corrupt, outmoded, and dysfunctional. Wealthy people and corporate managers shouldn’t dominate politics or have more and better speech rights than the rest of us. That seems like an obvious truth. And yet the Supreme Court’s recent decisions move us away from it.” (Note 44). All Court decisions in these matters (and not only these) have been heavily biased towards enabling the richest one percent to buy outsized influence of the US government. (Note 45). It is obvious beyond any doubt that the money-is-speech theory is nothing but a rhetorical device used exclusively to solidify this trend and to provide First Amendment protection for all money that wealthy people and businesses want to spend on election interference. (Note 46).

The oligarch shill Roger Pilon, in a speech to the libertarian stink tank Cato Institute, said that “the Court has said that regulations of political contributions and expenditures will be upheld only if they achieve a compelling governmental interest by the least restrictive means.” (Note 47). See, compelling governmental interest is the question. With “governmental interest,” we must mean the interest of the government as a custodian of the people, that is, the people’s interest. Then the question really is what more compelling reason could there possibly be to restrict this falsely advertised “free speech” than guaranteeing an equal value to everyone’s vote. Government precisely has a compelling interest in fostering equal participation in the election processes and stopping the corrosion of democratic ideals that results when election costs spiral out of control and only the super-wealthy have influence.(Note 48).

The Supreme Court has been extremely choosy in implementing its newfound love for free speech

It is also clear that the Supreme Court has been extremely choosy in implementing its free speech policy. When it comes to forms of speech other than the dollars drowning the voices of the people, the government and the corrupted courts have had no qualms about passing laws and judicial resolutions that run roughshod over free speech. (Note 49).

More generally, the Court has not employed its free speech theories uniformly, but only when they suit their agenda. (Note 50). In the last few decades, the Supreme Court has limited speech rights for demonstrators, students, and whistleblowers. It has restricted speech at shopping malls and transit terminals. Taken as a whole the establishment’s pocket court’s First Amendment jurisprudence has enlarged the speech rights available to wealthy people and corporations and restricted the speech rights available to people of ordinary means and to dissenters. (Note 51).

The Court has in particular developed as so-called “secondary effects” doctrine, according to which the government is allowed to restrict speech if other purposes justify it. (Note 52). Thus, if the Court in reality believed its fabricated money-is-speech theory, then it would have good reason to conclude that this money-speech may legally be restricted in order to uphold the democratic principle of equal participation in elections, for which purpose it is necessary to restrict the ability of the super-rich to buy the elections wholesale. (Note 53).

It is also telling that when the Court struck down campaign finance limits by reference to this money-is-speech doctrine, it did not go all the way. What it did was to allow unlimited election campaign finance for corporations. That’s free speech, the Court opined. But at the same time, it upheld other restrictions on campaign finance. In particular, it reasoned that the restrictions on the amounts individuals could contribute to campaigns and other direct contributions (as opposed to the fictitious “independent expenditures”) were justified to avoid corruption. So, miraculously there was no problem with the same free speech principles in restricting the freedom of money-speech of the actual humans for whose protection the First Amendment was actually enacted. Essentially, corporations were given unlimited free speech protections that were denied to actual people. This just goes to show how politically expedient the court rulings are and how flimsy and inconsistent the arguments in support of them are. There is no justice, only rules that the powers that be put in place based on their judgments of how far they can go in a given situation.

NOTES:

1. Morgan Freeman Joins Propaganda War Effort https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/09/24/morgan-freeman-joins-propaganda-war-effort/

2. The Net Worth Of The American Presidents: Washington To Obama https://247wallst.com/banking-finance/2010/05/17/the-net-worth-of-the-american-presidents-washington-to-obama/5/

3. Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 71.

4. Bill Clinton says he left the White House $16 million in debt https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/04/the-clintons-erased-16-million-in-debt-and-accumulated-45-million.html

The Obamas reportedly just bought a $12 million home on Martha’s Vineyard. They’re worth 30 times more than when they entered the White House in 2008 — here’s how they spend their millions https://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-michelle-obama-net-worth-2018-7

Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 78.

5. Ranking the Net Worth of the 115th https://www.rollcall.com/wealth-of-congress/

6. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Net Worth Is Higher Than You Think https://www.financialsamurai.com/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-net-worth-is-higher-than-you-think/

7. Statistical summary of 24-month campaign activity of the 2015-2016 election cycle https://www.fec.gov/updates/statistical-summary-24-month-campaign-activity-2015-2016-election-cycle/

8. Ad spending barrels past $1 billion mark as Mike Bloomberg overwhelms airwaves https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/28/politics/2020-ad-spending-1-billion/index.html

9. Lofgren, Mike. The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government (2016), p. 67.

10. Ditto, p. 65.

11. DNC to Court: We Are a Private Corporation With No Obligation to Follow Our Rules https://ivn.us/posts/dnc-to-court-we-are-a-private-corporation-with-no-obligation-to-follow-our-rules

12. Santos, Rita. Gerrymandering and Voting Districts (At Issue) (2018).

13. Ditto.

14. The New Poll Tax: Ballot Access Laws Foil Independent Candidates https://www.opednews.com/articles/The-New-Poll-Tax-Ballot-A-by-Peter-Gemma-Election_Independent_Independent-Party_Independent-Voters-160901-723.html

15. Bennett, James T. Stifling Political Competition: How Government Has Rigged the System to Benefit Demopublicans and Exclude Third Parties (Studies in Public Choice) (2008).

The New Poll Tax: Ballot Access Laws Foil Independent Candidates https://www.constitutionparty.com/the-new-poll-tax-ballot-access-laws-foil-independent-candidates/

16. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

17. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

18. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

19. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

20. How Ballot Access Laws Affect the U.S. Party System https://journals.shareok.org/arp/article/view/550

21. Ditto.

22. Wikipedia: Single-member district

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-member_district

23. The Real Reason You Can’t Vote for an Independent Candidate https://time.com/4436805/lawrence-lessig-randy-barnett/

24. The Sneaky Silencing of Third-Party Politicians https://psmag.com/news/how-states-are-blocking-a-third-party-run#.8g9r7b4l6

25. 6 Million Lost Voters: State-Level Estimates of Felony Disenfranchisement, 2016 https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/6-million-lost-voters-state-level-estimates-felony-disenfranchisement-2016/

26. Fix Our Broken System

https://www.gp.org/fix_our_broken_system

27. Alabama blocked a man from voting because he owed $4 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/27/alabama-voting-rights-alfonzo-tucker?fbclid=IwAR2Mqjc_KvnNkKuoRLuSpoq5w4Tle7nyLfdX_W5OuTg4jhsr0qYPkDJhJoU

28. Registering by Party: Where the Democrats and Republicans Are Ahead https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_rhodes_cook/registering_by_party_where_the_democrats_and_republicans_are_ahead

29. Tulsi Gabbard: Presidential Candidates Must Also Condemn Election Interference by US Intelligence Agencies https://www.anti-empire.com/tulsi-gabbard-presidential-candidates-must-also-condemn-election-interference-by-us-intelligence-agencies/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines

30. Fix Our Broken System https://www.gp.org/fix_our_broken_system

31. How Third Parties Are Kept Out Of Presidential Debates https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-the-hell-how-third-p_b_11277474

32. DNC Scrambles to Change Debate Threshold After Gabbard Qualifies https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/05/dnc-scrambles-to-change-debate-threshold-after-gabbard-qualifies/?fbclid=IwAR0ozgCxmPsSlaNSomQUZQ4XHZ-lCVQ5ehqGPjORzsN3KI1VI7crjs9VDGM

33. Michael Bloomberg is the only candidate to give money to the DNC. They just changed their rules to let him onto the debate stage https://www.insider.com/dnc-debate-qualification-rules-bloomberg-donation-2020-2

34. Santos, Rita. Gerrymandering and Voting Districts (At Issue) (2018).

35. Land of the Free? Harvard Study Ranks America Worst in the West for Fair Electionhttps://www.globalresearch.ca/land-of-the-free-harvard-study-ranks-america-worst-in-the-west-for-fair-elections/5555383?fbclid=IwAR15nyqQ6XyqHSyM5dAujkU9HJI4BO8M41Xw11htkrOEwqcf7IP9JaPSApc

36. U.S. Elections Are Neither Free Nor Fair. States Need to Open Their Doors to More Observers https://theintercept.com/2018/11/05/u-s-elections-are-neither-free-nor-fair-states-need-to-open-their-doors-to-more-observers/

37. Hellevig, Jon. All is Art. On Social Practices and Interpretation of Feelings. On Democratic Competition. (2007).

38. GOP donors use Cromnibus changes to stuff party committees’ 2016 coffers; Dem donors MIA. https://www.opensecrets.org/

39. Soft Money Is Back — And Both Parties Are Cashing In https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/04/soft-money-is-backand-both-parties-are-cashing-in-215456

40. How Super PACS Shape U.S. Elections with Advertisements That Portray Candidates in Ways Publicly Identified Campaign Ads Often Avoid https://scholars.org/contribution/how-super-pacs-shape-us-elections-advertisements-portray-candidates-ways-publicly

41. Super-PACs and Dark Money: ProPublica’s Guide to the New World of Campaign Finance https://v2-www.propublica.org/article/super-pacs-propublicas-guide-to-the-new-world-of-campaign-finance

42. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

43. Ditto.

44. Ditto.

45. Overturning the “Money Is Speech” Doctrine https://democracyisforpeople.org/page.cfm?id=19

46. Ditto.

47. The First Amendment and Restrictions on Political Speech

https://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/first-amendment-restrictions-political-speech

48. Overturning the “Money Is Speech” Doctrine https://democracyisforpeople.org/page.cfm?id=19

49. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

50. Ditto.

51. Ditto.

52. Secondary Effects Doctrine https://uscivilliberties.org/themes/4457-secondary-effects-doctrine.html

53. Money Isn’t Speech and Corporations Aren’t People https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2010/01/the-misguided-theories-behind-citizens-united-v-fec.html

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate fake Socialist, now shows his true face

The Saker

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate fake Socialist, now shows his true face

April 14, 2020

RT just posted an article entitled “Sanders joins Biden livestream to give full-throated ENDORSEMENT” which begins like this:

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders made a surprising appearance on former Vice President joe Biden’s livestream to give the rival for the Democrat presidential nomination an enthusiastic endorsement against President Donald Trump.

Denouncing Trump as a “racist, sexist, homophobe” who “lies all the time,” Sanders announced he was now supporting Biden’s presidential bid. The self-described democratic socialist had suspended his campaign last week, saying he would stay on the ballot to influence party policy at the convention – but apparently changed his mind on Monday.

“I am asking all Americans — I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans — to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy which I endorse,” Sanders said.

Finally that SOB showed his true face, the face of an ultimate fake.  His appeal to identity politics (“racist, sexist, homophobe”) also shows were his REAL values are, and that sure ain’t Socialism!

In the past, Bernie already showed his true face when he endorsed Hillary or when he backed the Israeli murderous attack on Lebanon (which, glory be to God, resulted in the “Divine Victory” of Hezbollah and arguably one of the worst defeats in modern military history for the Zionist entity).

I don’t like Trump any more than Bernie does, but I also realize that Trump is probably the main reason why we did not have a major war involving the USA (yet?), whereas Hillary and Biden are the ultimate pseudo-liberal war-mongers.  I can understand somebody hating Trump and voting for a real pro-peace candidate, but being anti-Trump and pro-Biden makes exactly *zero* sense.

Yet both Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders did exactly that.

This proves their total hypocrisy which is now simply undeniable.

This entire debacle just shows that what the USA needs is not a different, putatively better, president, but what the US State Department calls “regime change”.

I am not a Socialist, but I do know Socialism (I took the time to actually *study* Marxism-Leninism) and I have always felt offended when US Americans referred to Bernie, or even Obama, as “Socialists”.  This is utterly ridiculous and has no connection to reality.  There are NO real Socialists (of whatever variety) amongst US politicians and only a terminally brainwashed population can mistake folks like Obama or Bernie for “Socialists”.  Heck, some US Americans even believe that government bailouts of major corporation are also evidence that the US government is “Socialist”!  The lack of political education of most US Americans is nothing short of amazing.

Now you know why Socialism (nevermind Marxism or Dialectical Materialism) is never taught in the USA, not even at a college level (and when it is, it is mostly fake; Michael Parenti would be a pretty good teacher, but he is one guy in a huge system, so nobody hears his voice).

Okay so now we know that the pseudo-liberal pseudo-Left has now fully endorsed Biden.  This just goes to prove that the entire Dem Party is, and has been for a very long time, a tool in the hands of the Deep State.

I would like note that Trump succeeded in getting elected against the wishes of the folks who ran the Republican Party.  This would be impossible in the Democratic Party, which just goes to prove that while both parties are corrupt to the bone, there is still some real diversity in the GOP.  But the Dem Party truly walks in lockstep, probably towards its own demise.

For the time being, let us all rejoice in the fall of Bernie, the shyster and scumbag who tried to pretend that he was a Socialist while, in reality, being a safety valve for the Dem Party, a warmongering Zionist and a tool of the US Deep State.  Bernie will go down in history as the ultimate fake.

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