قراءة في المشهد السياسيّ الأميركيّ عشيّة الانتخابات… السيناريوات المرتقبة (2)

زياد حافظ

في الجزء السابق شرحنا عوامل الاضطراب السياسي التي تشهده الولايات المتحدة عشية الانتخابات المقبلة في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2020. وحالة الاضطراب تتفاقم حيث التشنّج الذي يسود الفريقين المتنافسين ينذر بعواقب وخيمة قد تدمّر بنية النظام وحتى أسس الكيان الأميركي. قد يعتبر البعض أن هذا الكلام مبالَغ به، ولكن هذا ما نقرأه في العديد من المواقع الإلكترونية ومن آراء يبديها مسؤولون سابقون وباحثون مرموقون. والخطورة تكمن في السيناريوهات المرتقبة لليوم التالي بعد الانتخابات.

أعرب الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في أكثر من مناسبة كما أعرب مسؤولون في الحزب الديمقراطي عن عدم تقبّله (تقبّلهم!) لنتائج الانتخابات إذا أدت إلى هزيمته أو هزيمتهم! قد يكون هذا الكلام نوعاً من التهويل لشدّ عصب المناصرين، لكن هناك سيناريوات حقيقية فد تفرض نفسها ليلة الانتخاب وتتراوح في الحد الأدنى بين عدم اعلان من هو الفائز بسبب التأخير في فرز أصوات الناخبين الذين اختاروا الاقتراع عبر البريد وبين حد أقصى يرفض النتائج ويطعن بها في المحاكم الاتحادية ما يكرّس الفراغ في رأس الهرم. هذا من باب الواقع الذي يحظى بشبه إجماع عند مختلف المراقبين والمحلّلين عند الطرفين المتنافسين. فما هي السيناريوات الممكنة في هذه الحال؟

السيناريو الأول هو وجود فراغ في رأس الهرم السياسي. لم يلحظ الدستور الأميركي لآلية لفض نوع كهذا من النزاع لأن الآباء المؤسسين لم يعتقدوا في يوم من الأيام أن الجمهورية الفتية قد تصل إلى هذا المأزق. الدستور الأميركي حدّد آلية لانتقال الحكم في حال حدوث فراغ مفاجئ في رأس السلطة. فنائب الرئيس يتولّى زمام الأمور حتى نهاية الولايات وتقام عندئذ انتخابات. في حال حدوث فراغ في الرئاسة ونيابة الرئاسة يلحظ الدستور أن رئيس مجلس الممثلين يتولّى زمام الأمور. في حال شغور أو غياب ذلك يتولى رئيس مجلس الشيوخ الموقت (رئيس الأكثرية) لأن دستورياً نائب رئيس الجمهورية هو رئيس مجلس الشيوخ الذي يفصل في التصويت في حال تعادل الأصوات في أي ملف أو قضية مطروحة. وفي حال غياب وأو شغور ذلك المنصب يتولى وزير الخارجية المسؤولية وفي حال غياب وزير الخارجية وهناك سلّم من التراتبية بين الوزراء في تولّي المسؤولية في حال الشغور. لكن جميع تلك الإجراءات تفترض أن الكونغرس بغرفتيه أي مجلس الشيوخ ومجلس الممثلين قائم. لكن في الحالة التي ستحصل فإن إمكانية تولّي رئيس مجلس الممثلين، في هذه الحال نانسي بيلوسي، قد لا تحصل لأن الطعن أو الطعون في نتائج الانتخابات قد لا تنحصر في الرئاسة بل أيضاً في مجلس الممثلين ومجلس الشيوخ. حال التشنج التي وصلت إليه الولايات المتحدة تجعل من هذا الاحتمال إمكانية حقيقية. أي بمعنى آخر هناك احتمال حقيقي ومرتقب بأن يحصل الفراغ بسبب عدم حسم أو قبول نتائج الانتخابات.

في السيناريو الثاني، ينحصر التنازع فقط حول منصب الرئاسة ويتولّى عندئذ رئيس مجلس الممثلين الرئاسة الموقتة حتى تحسم المحكمة الدستورية العليا نتائج الانتخاب. المحكمة العليا هي مكوّنة اليوم من خمسة محافظين وأربعة ليبراليين في ميولهم الفكرية. ليسوا منتسبين إلى أي حزب لكن من الواضح أن الميل المحافظ يسيطر عموماً على قرارات وأحكام المحكمة. لكن حكمت المحكمة مؤخراً في قضية مثيرة للجدل حول المتحوّلين جنسياً لصالح الموقف الليبرالي ما أدهش الجميع. الصوت المرجّح كان صوت رئيس المحكمة الذي يُعرف عنه أنه محافظ. وهناك تساؤلات حول ذلك “التصويت” الذي يؤكّد على “استقلالية” القرار بينما البعض يعتبر أن ذلك التصويت هو لمنع الاتهام بالانحياز السياسي في فصل قضية الطعن في الانتخابات الرئاسية. إذاً، في مطلق الأحوال يعود إلى المحكمة الدستورية مسؤولية الفصل. لكن ليس هناك من ضمانة أن المتنافسين سيقبلون بالحكم ونعود عند ذلك الحين إلى السيناريو الأول.

السيناريو الثالث، وهو الأكثر خطورة، هو عدم تقبّل أي من الفريقين النتائج مهما كانت المرجعيات. ماذا في تلك الحال؟ هذا يعني أزمة دستورية، فأزمة نظام، وفي آخر المطاف أزمة كيان. في هذا السياق نشير إلى تحذير بول كريغ روبرتس، مساعد وزير الخزانة السابق في عهد رونالد ريغان، وهو اقتصادي معروف له مؤلفات عدّة وصاحب مدوّنة واسعة الانتشار. تحذير روبرتس واضح: الولايات المتحدة لديها شهران قبل أن تنهار بسبب الفراغ الذي سيحصل بسبب عدم قبول نتائج الانتخابات. كاتب آخر مات اهرهت يذهب أبعد من ذلك ويشير إلى سيناريوات حرب في عدد من مراكز الأبحاث حول احتمالات انقلاب عسكري ضد الرئيس الأميركي في حال رفض خروجه من البيت الأبيض.

مركز “مشروع التماسك الانتقاليّ” مركز أبحاث مستحدث (2019) وتموّله وفقاً للباحثة ويتني واب مجموعة مكوّنة من كلنتون، جورج سوروس، وعدد من رؤساء الشركات الكبرى كفايس بوك وميكروسوفت وغوغل ولينكدين واي باي على سبيل المثال. واجهة ذلك المركز روزا بروكس محاضرة في جامعة جورج تاون والعقيد لورانس ويلكرسون المدير السابق لكولن بأول عندما كان وزيراً للخارجية. أما المساهمون في البحوث لذلك المركز فيه ثلّة من كبار المحافظين الجدد كوليام كريستول ودافيد فروم. أنشئ المركز لمواجهة التحدّيات التي فرضتها الثورة التكنولوجية في التواصل وتأثيرها على المجتمعات. لكن بالفعل أنشئ لغرض واحد وهو لخلق مناخات ثورية ملوّنة ولتهيئة الأجواء لانقلاب عسكري ضد ترامب. وقد تمّت “تجربة” ذلك المشروع عبر نشاط أحد العاملين بها في حملة لإقصاء برني سندرز من الفوز في التسمية الترشيح عن الحزب الديمقراطي. المسؤول عن تلك الحملة الناجحة وفقاً لويتني واب هو ريد هوفمان. كما أن المموّلين الآخرين كاريك شميدت رئيس شركة غوغل وبيار اوميدفار رئيس شركة أي باي من المقرّبين جدّا لبيل وهيلاري كلنتون وكانوا أيضاً وراء الإطاحة ببرني سندرز لمصلحة جوزيف بايدن. والآن يستعدّون للإطاحة بدونالد ترامب.

ما يعزّز فرص ذلك المشروع هو العلاقة الوطيدة بين القيادات العسكرية العليا في البنتاغون ومجمع المؤسسات التابعة للمجمع العسكري الصناعي الأمني والمالي والمعلوماتي. تفيد دراسة أجريت مؤخراً ونشرته محطّة “روسيا اليوم” أن في فترة 2008-2018 تمّ توظيف 380 ضابطاً رفيع المستوى في شركات مقاولة في الدفاع، من بينهم 68 لواء و32 أميرالاً ونائب أميرال. ويضيف الباحث مات اهرهت أن عدداً من القيادات العاملة في الجيش الأميركي معروف بتشدّدهم تجاه الحروب ويعارضون بشكل واضح الرئيس الأميركي لقراراته بالانسحاب من أفغانستان والعراق وسورية. هذا ما دفع الرئيس الأميركي للتصريح الأخير له بحق المؤسسة العسكرية أن القيادة العسكرية تكرهه بينما القاعدة أي الجنود يحبّونه. ويعتبر أن مصلحة القيادات العسكرية هي فوق مصلحة البلاد ويصرّون على التورّط في حروب لا منفعة منها للولايات المتحدة سوى إثراء الشركات المقاولة التي تجني أرباحاً طائلة.

بالتوازي مع تهيئة الأجواء لإجراء انقلاب عسكري في حال استمر الرئيس الأميركي في البيت الأبيض هناك أيضاً خطر آخر يهدّد التماسك الداخلي الأميركي. لقد حذر مدير المكتب الاتحادي للتحقيقات (اف بي أي) في جلسة استماع في الكونغرس من تنامي الميليشيات المسلّحة من البيض والسود وأن الاحتكاكات قد تحصل في أي لحظة. في السياق نفسه عرضت محطة أي تي في البريطانية تقريراً مصوّراً للميليشيات السود التي تنتشر في العديد من المدن الأميركية.

ويعتبر العديد من المراقبين الأميركيين أن تصاعد أعمال الشغب والعنف أعمال مبرمجة هدفها تهيئة مناخ لفرض الأحكام العرفية وتبرير تدخل القوّات المسلّحة لفرض أمر واقع سياسي جديد. هذا ما يحذّر منها أيضاً بول كريغ روبرتس وآخرون خاصة أن التقارير تتكاثر حول محاضرات يلقيها ضبّاط كبار حول ضرورة إمساك الوضع.

سردنا هذه المعلومات وليست كلّها في ذلك الموضوع وفحوى تقارير حول المناخ السائد في الولايات المتحدة للتأكيد أن الخريف سيكون ساخناً للغاية وقديمتد إلى الربيع. ليس بمقدور أحد أن يتكهّن عما ستسفر عليه الأمور وإن كان بعض المحلّلين لا يخفون تشاؤمهم حول تماسك الولايات المتحدة. ليس في الأفق من يستطيع أن يعيد توحيد الولايات المتحدة في ظل أزمة اقتصادية بنيوية وحالة اجتماعية متفسّخة يسودها التعصّب والعنصرية. كما أن الطبقة السياسية في معظمها مرتبطة بالاوليغارشية المالية والمجمع العسكري الصناعي والأمني والمالي وبالتالي التغيير من الداخل قد يصبح مستعصياً. وانهيار الدولة يعني انهيار المجتمع. فالدولة أقوى من المجتمع في الولايات المتحدة وبالتالي المصير سيكون مجهولاً. الولايات المتحدة تدخل اليوم في حقبة لا استقرار بنيوياً قد ينسف مكانتها في العالم إن لم ينسف وجودها في الداخل.

*كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي.

قراءة في المشهدالسياسي الأميركي عشية الانتخابات (1)

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with RTVI television, Moscow, September 17, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Question: I’ll start with the hottest topic, Belarus. President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko visited Bocharov Ruchei. Both sides have officially recognised that change within the Union State is underway. This begs the question: What is this about? A common currency, common army and common market? What will it be like?

Sergey Lavrov: It will be the way our countries decide. Work is underway. It relies on the 1999 Union Treaty. We understand that over 20 years have passed since then. That is why, a couple of years ago, upon the decision of the two presidents, the governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus began to work on identifying the agreed-upon steps that would make our integration fit current circumstances. Recently, at a meeting with Russian journalists, President Lukashenko said that the situation had, of course, changed and we must agree on ways to deepen integration from today’s perspective.

The presidential election has taken place in Belarus. The situation there is tense, because the opposition, backed by some of our Western colleagues, is trying to challenge the election outcome, but I’m convinced that the situation will soon get back to normal, and the work to promote integration processes will resume.

Everything that is written in the Union Treaty is now being analysed. Both sides have to come to a common opinion about whether a particular provision of the Union Treaty is still relevant, or needs to be revised. There are 31 roadmaps, and each one focuses on a specific section of the Union Treaty. So, there’s clearly a commitment to continue the reform, a fact that was confirmed by the presidents during a recent telephone conversation. This is further corroborated by the presidents’ meeting in Sochi.

I would not want that country’s neighbours, and our neighbours for that matter, including Lithuania, for example, to try to impose their will on the Belarusian people and, in fact, to manage the processes in which the opposition is unwittingly doing what’s expected of it. I have talked several times about Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s situation. Clearly, someone is putting words in her mouth. She is now in the capital of Lithuania, which, like our Polish colleagues, is strongly demanding a change of power in Belarus. You are aware that Lithuania declared Ms Tikhanovskaya the leader of the Republic of Belarus, and Alexander Lukashenko was declared an illegitimate president.

Ms Tikhanovskaya has made statements that give rise to many questions. She said she was concerned that Russia and Belarus have close relations. The other day, she called on the security and law-enforcement forces to side with the law. In her mind, this is a direct invitation to breach the oath of office and, by and large, to commit high treason. This is probably a criminal offense. So, those who provide her with a framework for her activities and tell her what to say and what issues to raise should, of course, realise that they may be held accountable for that.

Question: Commenting on the upcoming meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus in Sochi, Tikhanovskaya said: “Whatever they agree on, these agreements will be illegitimate, because the new state and the new leader will revise them.” How can one work under such circumstances?

Sergey Lavrov: She was also saying something like that when Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin went to Belarus to meet with President Lukashenko and Prime Minister Golovchenko. She was saying it then. Back then, the opposition was concerned about any more or less close ties between our countries. This is despite the fact that early on during the crisis they claimed that they in no way engaged in anti-Russia activities and wanted to be friends with the Russian people. However, everyone could have seen the policy paper posted on Tikhanovskaya’s website during the few hours it was there. The opposition leaders removed it after realising they had made a mistake sharing their goals and objectives with the public. These goals and objectives included withdrawal from the CSTO, the EAEU and other integration associations that include Russia, and drifting towards the EU and NATO, as well as the consistent banning of the Russian language and the Belarusianisation of all aspects of life.

We are not against the Belarusian language, but when they take a cue from Ukraine, and when the state language is used to ban a language spoken by the overwhelming majority of the population, this already constitutes a hostile act and, in the case of Ukraine, an act that violates its constitution. If a similar proposal is introduced into the Belarusian legal field, it will violate the Constitution of Belarus, not to mention numerous conventions on the rights of ethnic and language minorities, and much more.

I would like those who are rabidly turning the Belarusian opposition against Russia to realise their share of responsibility, and the opposition themselves, including Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and others – to find the courage to resist such rude and blatant manipulation.

Question: If we are talking about manipulation, we certainly understand that it has many faces and reflects on the international attitude towards Russia. Internationally, what are the risks for us of supporting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko? Don’t you think 26 years is enough? Maybe he has really served for too long?

Sergey Lavrov: The President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, did say it might have been “too long.” I believe he has proposed a very productive idea – constitutional reform. He talked about this even before the election, and has reiterated the proposal more than once since then. President of Russia Vladimir Putin supports this attitude. As the Belarusian leader said, after constitutional reform, he will be ready to announce early parliamentary and presidential elections. This proposal provides a framework where a national dialogue will be entirely possible. But it is important that representatives of all groups of Belarusian society to be involved in a constitutional reform process. This would ensure that any reform is completely legitimate and understandable for all citizens. Now a few specific proposals are needed concerning when, where and in what form this process can begin. I hope that this will be done, because President Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly reaffirmed carrying out this initiative.

Question: Since we started talking about the international attitude towards Russia, let’s go over to our other partner – the United States. The elections in the US will take place very soon. We are actively discussing this in Russia. When asked whether Russia was getting ready for the elections in the US at the Paris forum last year, you replied: “Don’t worry, we’ll resolve this problem.” Now that the US elections are around the corner, I would like to ask you whether you’ve resolved it.

Sergey Lavrov: Speaking seriously, of course we, like any other normal country that is concerned about its interests and international security, are closely following the progress of the election campaign in the US. There are many surprising things in it. Naturally, we see how important the Russian issue is in this electoral process. The Democrats are doing all they can to prove that Russia will exploit its hacker potential and play up to Donald Trump. We are already being accused of promoting the idea that the Democrats will abuse the mail-in voting option thereby prejudicing the unbiased nature of voting. I would like to note at this point that mail-in voting has become a target of consistent attacks on behalf of President Trump himself. Russia has nothing to do with this at all.

A week-long mail-in voting is an interesting subject in comparing election systems in different countries. We have introduced three-day voting for governors and legislative assembly deputies in some regions. You can see the strong criticism it is subjected to, inside Russia as well. When the early voting in the US lasts for weeks, if not months, it is considered a model of democracy. I don’t see any criticism in this respect. In principle, we have long proposed analysing election systems in the OSCE with a view to comparing best practices and reviewing obviously obsolete arrangements. There have been instances in the US when, due to its cumbersome and discriminatory election system, a nominee who received the majority of votes could lose because in a national presidential election the voting is done through the Electoral College process rather than directly by the people. There have been quite a few cases like that. I once told former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in reply to her grievances about our electoral system: “But look at your problem. Maybe you should try to correct this discriminatory voting system?” She replied that it is discriminatory but they are used to it and this is their problem, so I shouldn’t bother.

When the United States accuses us of interference in some area of its public, political or government life, we suggest discussing it to establish who is actually doing what. Since they don’t present any facts, we simply recite their Congressional acts. In 2014, they adopted an act on supporting Ukraine, which directly instructed the Department of State to spend $20 million a year on support for Russian NGOs. We asked whether this didn’t amount to interference. We were told by the US National Security Council that in reality they support democracy because we are wreaking chaos and pursuing authoritative and dictatorial trends abroad when we interfere in domestic affairs whereas they bring democracy and prosperity. This idea is deeply rooted in American mentality. The American elite has always considered its country and nation exceptional and has not been shy to admit it.

I won’t comment on the US election. This is US law and the US election system. Any comments I make will be again interpreted as an attempt to interfere in their domestic affairs. I will only say one thing that President Vladimir Putin has expressed many times, notably, that we will respect any outcome of these elections and the will of the American people.

We realise that there will be no major changes in our relations either with the Democrats or with the Republicans, as representatives of both parties loudly declare. However, there is hope that common sense will prevail and no matter who becomes President, the new US Government and administration will realise the need to cooperate with us in resolving very serious global problems on which the international situation depends.

Question: You mentioned an example where voters can choose one president and the Electoral College process, another. I even have that cover of Time magazine with Hillary Clinton and congratulations, released during the election. It is a fairly well-known story, when they ran this edition and then had to cancel it.

Sergey Lavrov: Even the President of France sent a telegramme, but then they immediately recalled it.

And these people are now claiming that Alexander Lukashenko is an illegitimate president.

Question: You mentioned NGOs. These people believe that NGOs in the Russian Federation support democratic institutions, although it is no secret to anyone who has at least a basic understanding of foreign and domestic policy that those NGOs act exclusively as institutions that destabilise the situation in the country.

Sergey Lavrov: Not all of them.

Question: Can you tell us more about this?

Sergey Lavrov: We have adopted a series of laws – on public associations, on non-profit organisations, on measures to protect people from human rights violations. There is a set of laws that regulate the activities of non-government organisations on our territory, both Russian and foreign ones.

Concepts have been introduced like “foreign agent,” a practice we borrowed from “the world’s most successful democracy” – the United States. They argue that we borrowed a practice from 1938 when the United States introduced the foreign agent concept to prevent Nazi ideology from infiltrating from Germany. But whatever the reason they had to create the concept – “foreign agent” – the Americans are still effectively using it, including in relation to our organisations and citizens, to Chinese citizens, to the media.

In our law, foreign agent status, whatever they say about it, does not prevent an organisation from operating on the territory of the Russian Federation. It just needs to disclose its funding sources and be transparent about the resources it receives. And even that, only if it is engaged in political activities. Initially, we introduced a requirement for these organisations that receive funding from abroad and are involved in political projects to initiate the disclosure process. But most of them didn’t want to comply with the law, so it was modified. Now this is done by the Russian Ministry of Justice.

Question: Do you think that NGOs are still soft power?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course. In Russia we have about 220,000 NGOs, out of which 180 have the status of a foreign agent. It’s a drop in the ocean. These are probably the organisations, funded from abroad, that are more active than others in promoting in our public space ideas that far from always correspond to Russian legislation.

There is also the notion of undesirable organisations. They are banned from working in the Russian Federation. But there are only about 30 of them, no more.

Question: Speaking about our soft power, what is our concept? What do we offer the world? What do you think the world should love us for? What is Russia’s soft power policy all about?

Sergey Lavrov: We want everything that has been created by nations and civilisations to be respected. We believe nobody should impose any orders on anyone, so that nothing like what has now happened in Hollywood takes place on a global scale. We think nobody should encroach on the right of each nation to have its historical traditions and moral roots. And we see attempts to encroach upon them.

If soft power is supposed to promote one’s own culture, language and traditions, in exchange for knowledge about the life of other nations and civilisations, then this is the approach that the Russian Federation supports in every way.

The Americans define the term “soft power” as an attempt to influence the hearts and minds of others politically. Their goal is not to promote their culture and language, but to change the mood of the political class with a view to subsequent regime change. They are doing this on a daily basis and don’t even conceal it. They say everywhere that their mission is to bring peace and democracy to all other countries.

Question: Almost any TV series out there shows the US president sitting in the Oval Office saying he’s the leader of the free world.

Sergey Lavrov: Not just TV series. Barack Obama has repeatedly stated that America is an exceptional nation and should be seen as an example by the rest of the world. My colleague Mike Pompeo recently said in the Czech Republic that they shouldn’t let the Russians into the nuclear power industry and should take the Russians off the list of companies that bid for these projects. It was about the same in Hungary. He then went to Africa and was quite vocal when he told the African countries not to do business with the Russians or the Chinese, because they are trading with the African countries for selfish reasons, whereas the US is establishing economic cooperation with them so they can prosper. This is a quote. It is articulated in a very straightforward manner, much the same way they run their propaganda on television in an unsophisticated broken language that the man in the street can relate to. So, brainwashing is what America’s soft power is known for.

Question: Not a single former Soviet republic has so far benefited from American soft power.

Sergey Lavrov: Not only former Soviet republics. Take a look at any other region where the Americans have effected a regime change.

QuestionLibya, Syria. We stood for Syria.

Sergey Lavrov: Iraq, Libya. They tried in Syria, but failed. I hope things will be different there. There’s not a single country where the Americans changed the regime and declared victory for democracy, like George W. Bush did on the deck of an aircraft carrier in Iraq in May 2003, which is prosperous now. He said democracy had won in Iraq. It would be interesting to know what the former US President thinks about the situation in Iraq today. But no one will, probably, go back to this, because the days when presidents honestly admitted their mistakes are gone.

QuestionHere I am listening to you and wondering how many people care about this? Why is it that no one understands this? Is this politics that is too far away from ordinary people who are nevertheless behind it? Take Georgia or Ukraine. People are worse off now than before, and despite this, this policy continues.

Will the Minsk agreements ever be implemented? Will the situation in southeastern Ukraine ever be settled?

Returning to what we talked about. How independent is Ukraine in its foreign policy?

Sergey Lavrov: I don’t think that under the current Ukrainian government, just like under the previous president, we will see any progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, if only because President Zelensky himself is saying so publicly, as does Deputy Prime Minister Reznikov who is in charge of the Ukrainian settlement in the Contact Group. Foreign Minister of Ukraine Kuleba is also saying this. They say there’s a need for the Minsk agreements and they cannot be broken, because these agreements (and accusing Russia of non-compliance) are the foundation of the EU and the US policy in seeking to maintain the sanctions on Russia. Nevertheless, such a distorted interpretation of the essence of the Minsk agreements, or rather an attempt to blame everything on Russia, although Russia is never mentioned there, has stuck in the minds of our European colleagues, including France and Germany, who, being co-sponsors of the Minsk agreements along with us, the Ukrainians and Donbass, cannot but realise that the Ukrainians are simply distorting their responsibilities, trying to distance themselves from them and impose a different interpretation of the Minsk agreements. But even in this scenario, the above individuals and former Ukrainian President Kravchuk, who now heads the Ukrainian delegation to the Contact Group as part of the Minsk process, claim that the Minsk agreements in their present form are impracticable and must be revised, turned upside down. Also, Donbass must submit to the Ukrainian government and army before even thinking about conducting reforms in this part of Ukraine.

This fully contradicts the sequence of events outlined in the Minsk agreements whereby restoring Ukrainian armed forces’ control on the border with Russia is possible only after an amnesty, agreeing on the special status of these territories, making this status part of the Ukrainian Constitution and holding elections there. Now they propose giving back the part of Donbass that “rebelled” against the anti-constitutional coup to those who declared these people terrorists and launched an “anti-terrorist operation” against them, which they later renamed a Joint Forces Operation (but this does not change the idea behind it), and whom they still consider terrorists. Although everyone remembers perfectly well that in 2014 no one from Donbass or other parts of Ukraine that rejected the anti-constitutional coup attacked the putschists and the areas that immediately fell under the control of the politicians behind the coup. On the contrary, Alexander Turchinov, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and others like them attacked these areas. The guilt of the people living there was solely in them saying, “You committed a crime against the state, we do not want to follow your rules, let us figure out our own future and see what you will do next.” There’s not a single example that would corroborate the fact that they engaged in terrorism. It was the Ukrainian state that engaged in terrorism on their territory, in particular, when they killed [Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic] Alexander Zakharchenko and a number of field commanders in Donbass. So, I am not optimistic about this.

Question: So, we are looking at a dead end?

Sergey Lavrov: You know, we still have an undeniable argument which is the text of the Minsk Agreements approved by the UN Security Council.

QuestionBut they tried to revise it?

Sergey Lavrov: No, they are just making statements to that effect. When they gather for a Contact Group meeting in Minsk, they do their best to look constructive. The most recent meeting ran into the Ukrainian delegation’s attempts to pretend that nothing had happened. They recently passed a law on local elections which will be held in a couple of months. It says that elections in what are now called the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics will be held only after the Ukrainian army takes control of the entire border and those who “committed criminal offenses” are arrested and brought to justice even though the Minsk agreements provide for amnesty without exemptions.

Question: When I’m asked about Crimea I recall the referendum. I was there at a closed meeting in Davos that was attended by fairly well respected analysts from the US. They claimed with absolute confidence that Crimea was being occupied. I reminded them about the referendum. I was under the impression that these people either didn’t want to see or didn’t know how people lived there, that they have made their choice. Returning to the previous question, I think that nobody is interested in the opinion of the people.

Sergey Lavrov: No, honest politicians still exist. Many politicians, including European ones, were in Crimea during the referendum. They were there not under the umbrella of some international organisation but on their own because the OSCE and other international agencies were controlled by our Western colleagues. Even if we had addressed them, the procedure for coordinating the monitoring would have never ended.

Question: Just as in Belarus. As I see it, they were also invited but nobody came.

Sergey Lavrov: The OSCE refused to send representatives there. Now that the OSCE is offering its services as a mediator, I completely understand Mr Lukashenko who says the OSCE lost its chance. It could have sent observers and gained a first-hand impression of what was happening there, and how the election was held. They arrogantly disregarded the invitation. We know that the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is practically wholly controlled by NATO. We have repeatedly proposed that our nominees work there but they have not been approved. This contradicts the principles of the OSCE. We will continue to seek a fairer approach to the admission of members to the organisation, but I don’t have much hope for this. Former OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger made an effort with this for the past three years but not everything depended on him – there is a large bloc of EU and NATO countries that enjoy a mathematical majority and try to dictate their own rules. But this is a separate issue.

Returning to Crimea, I have read a lot about this; let me give you two examples. One concerns my relations with former US Secretary of State John Kerry. In April 2014, we met in Geneva: me, John Kerry, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and then Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine Andrey Deshchitsa. We compiled a one page document that was approved unanimously. It read that we, the representatives of Russia, the US and the EU welcomed the commitments of the Ukrainian authorities to carry out decentralisation of the country with the participation of all the regions of Ukraine. This took place after the Crimean referendum. Later, the Americans, the EU and of course Ukraine “forgot” about this document. John Kerry told me at this meeting that everyone understood that Crimea was Russian, that the people wanted to return, but that we held the referendum so quickly that it didn’t fit into the accepted standards of such events. He asked me to talk to President Vladimir Putin, organise one more referendum, announce it in advance and invite international observers. He said he would support their visit there, that the result would be the same but that we would be keeping up appearances. I asked him why put on such shows if they understand that this was the expression of the will of the people.

The second example concerns the recent statements by the EU and the European Parliament to the effect that “the occupation” of Crimea is a crude violation of the world arrangement established after the victory in World War II. But if this criterion is used to determine where Crimea belongs, when the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic joined the UN after WWII in 1945, Crimea did not belong to it. Crimea was part of the USSR. Later, Nikita Khrushchev took an illegal action, which contradicted Soviet law, and this led to them having it. But we all understood that this was a domestic political game as regards a Soviet republic that was the home to Khrushchev and many of his associates.

Question: You have been Foreign Minister for 16 years now. This century’s major foreign policy challenges fell on your term in office. We faced sanctions, and we adapted to them and coped with them. Germany said it obtained Alexey Navalny’s test results. France and Sweden have confirmed the presence of Novichok in them. Reportedly, we are now in for more sanctions. Do you think the Navalny case can trigger new sanctions against Russia?

Sergey Lavrov: I agree with our political analysts who are convinced that if it were not for Navalny, they would have come up with something else in order to impose more sanctions.

With regard to this situation, I think our Western partners have simply gone beyond decency and reason. In essence, they are now demanding that we “confess.” They are asking us: Don’t you believe what the German specialists from the Bundeswehr are saying? How is that possible? Their findings have been confirmed by the French and the Swedes. You don’t believe them, either?

It’s a puzzling situation given that our Prosecutor General’s Office filed an inquiry about legal assistance on August 27 and hasn’t received an answer yet. Nobody knows where the inquiry has been for more than a week now. We were told it was at the German Foreign Ministry. The German Foreign Ministry did not forward the request to the Ministry of Justice, which was our Prosecutor General Office’s  ultimate addressee. Then, they said that it had been transferred to the Berlin Prosecutor’s Office, but they would not tell us anything without the consent of the family. They are urging us to launch a criminal investigation.

We have our own laws, and we cannot take someone’s word for it to open a criminal case. Certain procedures must be followed. A pre-investigation probe initiated immediately after this incident to consider the circumstances of the case is part of this procedure.

Some of our Western colleagues wrote that, as the German doctors discovered, it was “a sheer miracle” that Mr Navalny survived. Allegedly, it was the notorious Novichok, but he survived thanks to “lucky circumstances.” What kind of lucky circumstances are we talking about? First, the pilot immediately landed the plane; second, an ambulance was already waiting on the airfield; and third, the doctors immediately started to provide help. This absolutely impeccable behaviour of the pilots, doctors and ambulance crew is presented as “lucky circumstances.” That is, they even deny the possibility that we are acting as we should. This sits deep in the minds of those who make up such stories.

Returning to the pre-investigation probe, everyone is fixated on a criminal case. If we had opened a criminal case right away (we do not have legal grounds to do so yet, and that is why the Prosecutor General’s Office requested legal assistance from Germany on August 27), what would have been done when it happened? They would have interviewed the pilot, the passengers and the doctors. They would have found out what the doctors discovered when Navalny was taken to the Omsk hospital, and what medications were used. They would have interviewed the people who communicated with him. All of that was done. They interviewed the five individuals who accompanied him and participated in the events preceding Navalny boarding the plane; they interviewed the passengers who were waiting for a flight to Moscow in Tomsk and sat at the same bar; they found out what they ordered and what he drank. The sixth person, a woman who accompanied him, has fled, as you know. They say she was the one who gave the bottle to the German lab. All this has been done. Even if all of that was referred to as a “criminal case,” we couldn’t have done more.

Our Western partners are looking down on us as if we have no right to question what they are saying or their professionalism. If this is the case, it means that they dare to question the professionalism of our doctors and investigators. Unfortunately, this position is reminiscent of other times. Arrogance and a sense of infallibility have already been observed in Europe, and that led to very regrettable consequences.

Question: How would you describe this policy of confrontation? When did it start (I mean during your term of office)? It’s simply so stable at the moment that there seems no chance that something might change in the future.

Sergey Lavrov: President of Russia Vladimir Putin has repeatedly spoken on this topic. I think that the onset of this policy, this era of constant pressure on Russia began with the end of a period that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, a time when the West believed it had Russia there in its pocket – it ended, full stop. Unfortunately, the West does not seem to be able to wrap its head around this, to accept that there is no alternative to Russia’s independent actions, both domestically and on the international arena. This is why, unfortunately, this agony continues by inertia.

Having bad ties with any country have never given us any pleasure. We do not like making such statements in which we sharply criticise the position of the West. We always try to find compromises, but there are situations where it is hard not to come face to face with one another directly or to avoid frank assessments of what our Western friends are up to.

I have read what our respected political scientists write who are well known in the West. And I can say this idea is starting to surface ever stronger and more often – it is time we stop measuring our actions with the yardsticks that the West offers us and to stop trying to please the West at all costs. These are very serious people and they are making a serious point. The fact that the West is prodding us to this way of thinking, willingly or unwillingly, is obvious to me. Most likely, this is being done involuntarily. But it is a big mistake to think that Russia will play by Western rules in any case – as big a mistake as like approaching China with the same yardstick.

Question: Then I really have to ask you. We are going through digitalisation. I think when you started your diplomatic career, you could not even have imagined that some post on Twitter could affect the political situation in a country. Yet – I can see your smile – we are living in a completely different world. Film stars can become presidents; Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook can become drivers of political campaigns – that happened more than once – and those campaigns can be successful. We are going through digitalisation, and because of this, many unexpected people appear in international politics – unexpected for you, at least. How do you think Russia’s foreign policy will change in this context? Are we ready for social media to be impacting our internal affairs? Is the Chinese scenario possible in Russia, with most Western social media blocked to avoid their influence on the internal affairs in that country?

Sergey Lavrov: Social media are already exerting great influence on our affairs. This is the reality in the entire post-Soviet space and developing countries. The West, primarily the United States, is vigorously using social media to promote their preferred agenda in just about any state. This necessitates a new approach to ensuring the national security. We have been doing this for a long time already.

As for regulating social media, everyone does it. You know that the digital giants in the United States have been repeatedly caught introducing censorship, primarily against us, China or other countries they dislike, shutting off information that comes from these places.

The internet is regulated by companies based in the United States, everyone knows that. In fact, this situation has long made the overwhelming majority of countries want to do something about it, considering the global nature of the internet and social media, to make sure that the management processes are approved at a global level, become transparent and understandable. The International Telecommunication Union, a specialised UN agency, has been out there for years. Russia and a group of other co-sponsoring countries are promoting the need to regulate the internet in such a way that everyone understands how it works and what principles govern it, in this International Union. Now we can see how Mark Zuckerberg and other heads of large IT companies are invited to the Congress and lectured there and asked to explain what they are going to do. We can see this. But a situation where it will be understandable for everyone else and, most importantly, where everyone is happy with it, still seems far away.

For many years, we have been promoting at the UN General Assembly an initiative to agree on the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the sphere of international information security. This initiative has already led to set up several working groups, which have completed their mandate with reports. The last such report was reviewed last year and another resolution was adopted. This time, it was not a narrow group of government experts, but a group that includes all UN member states. It was planning to meet, but things slowed down due to the coronavirus. The rules for responsible conduct in cyberspace are pending review by this group. These rules were approved by the SCO, meaning they already reflect a fairly large part of the world’s population.

Our other initiative is not about the use of cyberspace for undermining someone’s security; it is about fighting crimes (pedophilia, pornography, theft) in cyberspace. This topic is being considered by another UNGA committee. We are preparing a draft convention that will oblige all states to suppress criminal activities in cyberspace.

QuestionDo you think that the Foreign Ministry is active on this front? Would you like to be more proactive in the digital dialogue? After all, we are still bound by ethics, and have yet to understand whether we can cross the line or not. Elon Musk feels free to make any statements no matter how ironic and makes headlines around the world, even though anything he says has a direct bearing on his market cap. This is a shift in the ethics of behaviour. Do you think that this is normal? Is this how it should be? Or maybe people still need to behave professionally?

Sergey Lavrov: A diplomat can always use irony and a healthy dose of cynicism. In this sense, there is no contradiction here. However, this does not mean that while making ironic remarks on the surrounding developments or comments every once in a while (witty or not so witty), you do not have to work on resolving legal matters related to internet governance. This is what we are doing.

The Foreign Ministry has been at the source of these processes. We have been closely coordinating our efforts on this front with the Security Council Office, and the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media and other organisations. Russian delegations taking part in talks include representatives from various agencies. Apart from multilateral platforms such as the International Telecommunication Union, the UN General Assembly and the OSCE, we are working on this subject in bilateral relations with our key partners.

We are most interested in working with our Western partners, since we have an understanding on these issues with countries that share similar views. The Americans and Europeans evade these talks under various pretexts. There seemed to be an opening in 2012 and 2013, but after the government coup in Ukraine, they used it as a pretext to freeze this process. Today, there are some signs that the United States and France are beginning to revive these contacts, but our partners have been insufficiently active. What we want is professional dialogue so that they can raise all their concerns and accusations and back them with specific facts. We stand ready to answer all the concerns our partners may have, and will not fail to voice the concerns we have. We have many of them.

During the recent visit by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Russia, I handed him a list containing dozens of incidents we have identified: attacks against our resources, with 70 percent of them targeting state resources of the Russian Federation, and originating on German territory. He promised to provide an answer, but more than a month after our meeting we have not seen it so far.

Question: Let me ask you about another important initiative by the Foreign Ministry. You decided to amend regulations enabling people to be repatriated from abroad for   free, and you proposed subjecting the repatriation guarantee to the reimbursement of its cost to the budget. Could you tell us, please, is this so expensive for the state to foot this bill?

Sergey Lavrov: Of course, these a substantial expenses. The resolution that provided for offering free assistance was adopted back in 2010, and was intended for citizens who find themselves in situations when their life is at risk. Imagine a Russian ambassador. Most of the people ask for help because they have lost money, their passport and so on. There are very few cases when an ambassador can actually say that a person is in a life-threatening situation and his or her life is in danger. How can an ambassador take a decision of this kind? As long as I remember, these cases can be counted on the fingers of my two hands since 2010, when an ambassador had to take responsibility and there were grounds for offering this assistance. We wanted to ensure that people can get help not only when facing an imminent danger (a dozen cases in ten years do not cost all that much). There were many more cases when our nationals found themselves in a difficult situation after losing money or passports. We decided to follow the practices used abroad. Specifically, this means that we provide fee-based assistance. In most cases, people travelling abroad can afford to reimburse the cost of a return ticket.

This practice is designed to prevent fraud, which remains an issue. We had cases when people bought one-way tickets knowing that they will have to be repatriated.

Question: And with no return ticket, they go to the embassy?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, after that they come to the embassy. For this reason, I believe that the system we developed is much more convenient and comprehensive for dealing with the situations Russians get into when travelling abroad, and when we have to step in to help them through our foreign missions.

Question: Mr Lavrov, thank you for your time. As a Georgian, I really have to ask this. Isn’t it time to simplify the visa regime with Georgia? A second generation of Georgians has now grown up that has never seen Russia. What do you think?

Sergey Lavrov: Georgians can travel to Russia – they just need to apply for a visa. The list of grounds for obtaining a visa has been expanded. There are practically no restrictions on visiting Russia, after obtaining a visa in the Interests Section for the Russian Federation in Tbilisi or another Russian overseas agency.

As for visa-free travel, as you know, we were ready for this a year ago. We were actually a few steps away from being ready to announce it when that incident happened with the Russian Federal Assembly delegation to the International Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, where they were invited in the first place, seated in their chairs, and then violence was almost used against them.

I am confident that our relations with Georgia will recover and improve. We can see new Georgian politicians who are interested in this. For now, there are just small parties in the ruling elites. But I believe our traditional historical closeness, and the mutual affinity between our peoples will ultimately triumph. Provocateurs who are trying to prevent Georgia from resuming normal relations with Russia will be put to shame.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way as Ukraine. In Ukraine, the IMF plays a huge role. And the IMF recently decided that each tranche allocated to Ukraine would be short-term.

Question: Microcredits.

Sergey Lavrov: Microcredits and a short leash that can always be pulled a little.

They are trying to use Georgia the same way. We have no interest in seeing this situation continue. We did not start it and have never acted against the Georgian people. Everyone remembers the 2008 events, how American instructors arrived there and trained the Georgian army. The Americans were well aware of Mikheil Saakashvili’s lack of restraint. He trampled on all agreements and issued a criminal order.

We are talking about taking their word for it. There were many cases when we took their word for it, but then it all boiled down to zilch. In 2003, Colin Powell, a test tube – that was an academic version. An attack on Iraq followed. Many years later, Tony Blair admitted that there had been no nuclear weapons in Iraq. There were many such stories. In 1999, the aggression against Yugoslavia was triggered by the OSCE representative in the Balkans, US diplomat William Walker, who visited the village of Racak, where they found thirty corpses, and declared it genocide of the Albanian population. A special investigation by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found they were military dressed in civilian clothes. But Mr Walker loudly declared it was genocide. Washington immediately seized on the idea, and so did London and other capitals. NATO launched an aggression against Yugoslavia.

After the end of the five-day military operation to enforce peace, the European Union ordered a special report from a group of invited experts, including Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini. She was later involved in the Minsk process, and then she was asked to lead a group of experts who investigated the outbreak of the military conflict in August 2008. The conclusion was unambiguous. All this happened on the orders of Mikheil Saakashvili, and as for his excuses that someone had provoked him, or someone had been waiting for him on the other side of the tunnel, this was just raving.

Georgians are a wise nation. They love life, perhaps the same way and the same facets that the peoples in the Russian Federation do. We will overcome the current abnormal situation and restore normal relations between our states and people.


In addition, if you follow the Minister, follow up on this interview with Sputnik

Exclusive: Sergei Lavrov Talks About West’s Historical Revisionism, US Election and Navalny Case

قراءة في المشهدالسياسي الأميركي عشية الانتخابات (1)

زياد حافظ

يعتبر العديد من المراقبين الأميركيين والدوليين والعرب أنّ الانتخابات الأميركية التي ستجري في مطلع شهر تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2020 نقطة تحوّل تاريخية في مسار الأمور سواء كانت على الصعيد الداخلي الأميركي أو على الصعيد الدولي. فعلى الصعيد الداخلي يأمل البعض أن هزيمة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب أمر حتمي سيعيد الأمور “إلى نصابها” دون التحديد ما هو مقصود بذلك. في المقابل هناك من يعتقد أنّ الرئيس الأميركي ما زال قويّاً ويتمتع بقاعدة صلبة ستمكّنه من الاستمرار في البيت الأبيض لمدة أربع سنوات إضافية. لكن بعيداً عن التكهّنات والتوقّعات من الطرفين المتخاصمين على الساحة الداخلية الأميركية هناك عدّة ملاحظات يمكن إبدائها حول التطوّرات المقبلة.

الملاحظة الأولى هي أنّ انتخابات 2020 هي استكمال لانتخابات 2016 التي لم تنته آنذاك بسبب رفض الحزب الديمقراطي ومعه النسيج الليبرالي والنيوليبرالي للنخب الحاكمة والدولة العميقة المتمثّلة بالمجمّع العسكري الصناعي الأمني المالي والإعلامي لنتائج تلك الانتخابات. فالسنوات الأربع التي مضت لم تشهد إلا محاولات (فاشلة) لخلع أو إسقاط الرئيس الأميركي عبر تلفيق اتهامات بالتواطؤ مع روسيا التي “تدخّلت” في الانتخابات عبر قرصنة البريد الخاص بالمنافسة الديمقراطية هيلاري كلنتون. لم تقبل القيادة الديمقراطية بأنّ المنافِسة كلينتون خاضت معركة سيئة ظهر فيها التعالي والاحتقار لشريحة واسعة من الشعب الأميركي (وصفتهم بالمنبوذين!) بل حاولت تبرير الهزيمة على التدخّل الروسي. ما تبع ذلك من تحقيقات واسعة النطاق أفضت إلى أنه لم يكن هناك أيّ دليل على التدخل. كما أنّ محاولات أخرى للإطاحة عبر محاكمة الرئيس بتهمة سوء استعمال السلطات لم تفض إلى شيء. المهم أنّ حالة الانقسام الحاد سادت في المشهد السياسي الداخلي بل تفاقم إلى حدود قد تصل إلى حرب أهلية داخلية.

الملاحظة الثانية هي أنّ الانتخابات ستجري في مناخ مضطرب للغاية حيث جائحة كورونا أفضت إلى بطالة فاقت 40 مليون وتدهور في الواقع الاقتصادي والاجتماعي ينذر بمآسي الكساد الكبير الذي ساد في الثلاثينات من القرن الماضي، وإلى موجة احتجاجات عنصرية وصلت في العديد من الحالات إلى اعتداءات على الأملاك العامة والخاصة وذلك وسط دعوات لإسقاط دوائر الشرطة وعدم تمويلها ودعوات الدفاع عن النفس من قبل المجموعات التي اعتبرت نفسها مستهدفة من خصومها أياً كانوا!

الملاحظة الثالثة هي أنّ تسييس جائحة كورونا من قبل ترامب وخصومه على حدّ سواء جعلت مواجهة الجائحة من الأمور الصعبة. ففي المراحل الأولى كان موقف الإدارة من الجائحة مائعاً حيث خطورتها لم تكن لتحظى بانتباهها بينما في مرحلة ثانية كان التشدّد في اتخاذ الإجراءات الصارمة لكن في المرحلة الثالثة (الحالية) هناك المزيج من التشدّد والتخفيف في الإجراءات. بات واضحاً أنه ليست هناك قناعة بأنّ الجائحة هي خطر فعلي بسبب تناقض التقارير الطبية والعلمية حولها. هذا حديث آخر لكن في آخر المطاف أصبح جزءاً من الخطاب اليومي والفاصل بين مؤيّد لسياسة الإدارة في مواجهة الجائحة ومعارض لها ليس على قاعدة علمية بل على قاعدة سياسية محض. وهذا الخلاف يساهم في تأجيج الاستقطاب والشحن الداخلي حيث المعركة أصبحت معركة تكسير عظم ليس إلاّ.

الملاحظة الرابعة هي انّ تجمّع الشركات الكبرى والإعلام والحزب الديمقراطي ساهم في تأجيج الخطاب المناهض للعنصرية ضدّ السود ولكن بالتصويب على إدارة ترامب. فالشركات الكبرى كشركة “نايك” للملبوسات الرياضية وشركة “أمازون” على سبيل المثال والمؤسسات التي تحمل شعارات الانفتاح كمؤسسة جورج سوروس دعمت مالياً حركة “بي أل أم” (بلاك لايفز ماتر، أي حياة السود مهمة) ولذلك لتحويل الانتباه عن الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لجائحة كورونا. كما أنّ تشجيع الاحتجاجات ضدّ العنصرية أدّت إلى تصاعد أعمال الشغب ضدّ الأملاك العامة والخاصة وذلك بمباركة الحزب الديمقراطي والمرشّح الرئاسي جوزيف بايدن. لكن ذلك ترافق مع نقض رموز الثورة الأميركية بحجة أنهم كانوا من ملاّكي الرقيق. هذا شكّل صدمة في صفوف بين البيض الأميركيين حيث أصبحوا يعتبرون أنفسهم مستهدفين من قبل عنصرية معاكسة. كما أنّ الحزب الديمقراطي بتبنّيه إعادة النظر في مؤسسات الشرطة جعله يقترن بحزب الفوضى. وتنامي حركات اليسار المتطرّف كحركة “أنتيفا” ساهم في تأجيج الخوف من الفوضى. هذا أدّى إلى تصاعد التأييد للرئيس الأميركي في استطلاعات الرأي العام حيث التعادل الو التفوّق البسيط يسقط التفاؤل المفرط الذي كان سائداً لصالح جوزيف بايدن.

الملاحظة الخامسة هي تراجع الصحّة العقلية للمرشح بايدن حيث حرص الحزب الديمقراطي على تقليل الظهور العلني له والاكتفاء بإلقاء الخطابات المكتوبة وعدم الارتجال. كما أنّ زعيمة الأكثرية الديمقراطية في مجلس الممثلين نانسي بيلوسي دعت إلى إلغاء المناظرات المرتقبة بين الرئيس الأميركي ومنافسه خشية من تحطيم صورة المرشّح أمام الشعب الأميركي. من جهة أخرى، فإنّ اختيار كامالا هاريس كمرشحة لمنصب نائب رئيس لم يساعد الحزب الديمقراطي على زيادة التأييد له في الانتخابات المقبلة بسبب عدم شعبيتها خارج ولاية كاليفورنيا التي تصوّت تلقائياً للمرشح الديمقراطي وخاصة في المدن الكبرى. وبالتالي لن تقدم أيّاً من الولايات المتأرجحة، بينما لو تمّ اختيار حاكمة ولاية ميشيغان غريتشن ويتمر أو الشيخة عن ولاية مينيسوتا امي كلوبشار، لتحسّنت ظروف بايدن بالفوز بالولايتين المتأرجحتين.

هذه الملاحظات تعكس مدى الاضطراب في المشهد الداخلي الأميركي. وما يؤكّد على ذلك التحوّل الذي يجري يوماً بعد يوم في استطلاعات الرأي العام حيث التفوّق الكبير الذي كان يحظى به بايدن في مطلع الصيف تراجع إلى مستوى التعادل وحتى في بعض الأحيان إلى الموقع السلبي. السيولة الفائقة في استطلاعات الرأي العام تعني أنه من الصعب التكهّن من سيفوز بالانتخابات الرئاسية في تشرين الثاني. وما يزيد الطين بلّة هو الانفصام بين القاعدة الشابة للحزب الديمقراطي والقيادة التي شاخت وذلك في للعديد من الملفّات الداخلية والخارجية ما يجعل إقبال الشباب الديمقراطي على الاقتراع مسألة غير محسومة. من جهة أخرى أعرب برني ساندر عن قلقه لمسار الحملة الانتخابية للمرشح بايدن ما يعزّز القلق حول فرص الفوز في تشرين الثاني المقبل.

كاتب وباحث اقتصادي سياسي والأمين العام السابق للمؤتمر القومي العربي

Democrats Go All-Out for Israel

Joe is a Zionist and Kamala panders to Jewish donors

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PHILIP GIRALDI • SEPTEMBER 15, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris D-Calif. speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Those of us who have longed for an end to America’s military engagement in the Middle East have hoped for a candidate who was not tied hand and foot to Israel, which is the root cause of the badly-broken and essentially pointless U.S. foreign policy in the region. But the real tragedy is that in spite of Israel’s near-constant interference in government process at all levels in the United States, no candidate will mention it except in the most laudatory fashion. It will be praised as America’s best friend and closest ally, but the price the U.S. has paid for all that balderdash while it has simultaneously been turning itself into the slave of the Jewish state will never surface.

The Democratic Party leadership is owned by Israel through its big Jewish donors whose billions come with only one string attached, i.e. that the Jewish state must be protected, empowered and enriched no matter what damage it does to actual U.S. interests. Number one Israeli-American billionaire donor Haim Saban has said that he has only one interest, and that is Israel. How such a man can have major influence over American foreign policy and the internal workings of one of its two major parties might be considered the death of real democracy. At the Israel America Council’s National Conference Nancy Pelosi explicitly put Israel’s interests before America’s: “I have said to people when they ask me if this Capitol crumbled to the ground, the one thing that would remain is our commitment to our aid…and I don’t even call it aid…our cooperation with Israel. That’s fundamental to who we are.”

Jews are not surprisingly considerably over-represented in the Democratic Party Establishment. The influence of powerful Jewish Democrats recently insured that there would be no criticism of Israel, nor mention of Palestine, in the party platform for November’s election. So extreme is the virulence of some Jews against the Palestinians that a liberal Zionist Rabbi Mark Winer speaking at a Joe Biden rally in Florida recently denounced “progressives” as infected with the “anti-Semitism virus” over their support for Palestinian rights and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. No one even sought to challenge him. Another progressive Zionist Rabbi Jill Jacobs tweeted about how liberals have to embrace Israel to avoid offending Jews. She wrote: While Israel is likely the most divisive issue in the progressive world, setting a litmus test that one cannot consider oneself pro-Israel, or support two states, would divide the vast majority of Jews from the left. Not what we need when fighting white nationalism.

So-called white nationalists therefore appear to be the preferred enemies of progressive Jews, requiring one to close ranks even – or perhaps especially – when Palestinians are being brutalized. Joe Biden does not venture into that extreme-think zone, but he has made his loyalties clear. He has said that “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist. I am a Zionist.” More recently he has denounced Trump as “bad for Israel.” And to demonstrate his bona fides, he kicked Democratic Party Palestinian-activist Linda Sarsour under the bus when she appeared on a DNC convention panel discussing how to appeal to Muslim voters. Biden’s campaign office issued a statement saying that he “…has been a strong supporter of Israel and a vehement opponent of anti-Semitism his entire life, and he obviously condemns her views and opposes BDS, as does the Democratic platform. She has no role in the Biden campaign whatsoever.”

With that lead in, it is difficult to imagine how Biden would suddenly recognize the humanity of the long-suffering Palestinians, to include those who are, like he claims to be, Catholic. Biden is close to AIPAC and has spoken at their annual convention a number of times. He is opposed to putting any pressure on the Jewish state at any time and for any reason, which presumably includes not even protecting U.S. interests or the lives and property of American citizens.

Biden also worked for President Barack Obama and was a colleague in office of Hillary Clinton. Both did the usual pander to Israel and neither was particularly well disposed to the Palestinians, though Obama talked the talk of a man of peace so effectively that he was awarded a Nobel Prize. Bear in mind that Obama personally disliked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but he increased the money from the U.S. Treasury going directly to Israel to $3.8 billion per annum and guaranteed it for ten years, an unprecedented move. The fact is that money was and is illegal under American law due to the 1976 Symington Amendment, which banned any aid to any country with a nuclear program that was not declared and subject to inspection under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Obama, who claims to be a “constitutional lawyer,” surely was aware of that but rewarded Israel anyway.

One can expect nothing from Kamala Harris. Her husband is Jewish and she has made her career in California by sleeping with power brokers and pandering to Israel. She, like Biden, has been a fixture at the AIPAC annual conference. She has already made her mark with the party’s pro-Israel crowd by having a conference call with 1800 Jewish Democratic donors, during which she repeatedly assured them a Biden-Harris Administration will never resort to cutting current levels of aid over any “political decisions that Israel makes,” adding personally “…and I couldn’t agree more.” She promised to demonstrate what she described as “unwavering support” for Israel. She also reminded the donors that Joe Biden had been behind the “largest military aid package” to any country ever when President Obama signed off on the $38 billion package in 2016.

Optimists point to the fact that the Democrats have now elected a number of congressmen who are willing to criticize Israel and they also cite opinion polls that suggest that a majority of registered Democrats want fair treatment for the Palestinians without any major bias in favor of the Jewish state. In spite of a news blackout on stories critical of Israel, there is broad understanding of the fact that the Israelis are serial human rights abusers. But those observations matter little in a situation in which the top of the party, to include those who manage elections and allocate money to promising prospective candidates, identify as strongly and often passionately friends of Israel. That is not an accident and one can assume that major effort has gone into maintaining that level of control.

How exactly this fissure in the Democratic Party will play out after November is anyone’s guess and, of course, if Trump wins there will be an autopsy to find out who to blame. Israel certainly won’t be looked at because no one is allowed to talk about it anyway, but some progressives at least will demand a review of a foreign policy platform that was heavy on intervention and global democracy promotion and light on getting along with adversaries, making it largely indistinguishable from that of the Republicans.

Israel for its part has played its cards carefully. It knows that either Biden or Trump will do whatever it wants, but it has deferred its planned annexation of much of the Palestinian West Bank, which will now take place after the election. It did that knowing that otherwise some liberals in the Democratic Party might try to turn Israel into an issue and split the Jewish community while also alienating Jewish donorsand some Jewish voters if the annexation had taken place. After November 3rd, no matter who wins Israel will benefit and will have a free hand to do anything it wishes to the Palestinians. Or perhaps one should say the “remaining Palestinians” until they are all gone.

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.

Outcome of a disputed US vote: a ‘Hot Fall’ or an ‘Icy Crusade’?

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By Ramin Mazaheri

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This screengrab shows rightwing and left-wing protesters scuffling during protests in Portland, Oregon, on July 1, 2018. (Image via Guardian)
Outcome of a disputed US vote: a ‘Hot Fall’ or an ‘Icy Crusade’?

Friday, 11 September 2020 6:45 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 11 September 2020 7:21 PM ]

In the 21st century a disputed vote in the US presidential election is almost a 50-50 proposition: if November’s popular and electoral college votes do not correspond, yet again that would mark the third such occurrence in the last six presidential elections.

A disputed vote has produced dramatic changes: the disputed election of Republican Rutherford (also known as “Rutherfraud”) B. Hayes in 1876 forced a political bargain which saw Democrats win the withdrawal of Northern post-Civil War troops, thus ending the Reconstruction Era and the integration of African-Americans after a scant 11 years of efforts. Perhaps the most notable point here is just how long the Republican/Democrat duopoly has dominated the United States – the Democratic Party is the oldest voter-based political party in the world, and the entrenched privileges they and Republicans have colluded to cement preclude the rising of any third-party outsiders.

And yet this year we have Donald Trump, who is a genuine political outsider.

It’s vital to remember that Trump was rejected by the Republican establishment all the way up until the eve of the Republican National Convention in May 2016. While the mainstream media and Democrats immediately and incorrectly assumed Trump was as solid a Republican as Abraham Lincoln – mainly because everything must fit into their simple “us vs. them” straitjacket of a worldview – Trump supporters knew better.

The primary catalyst for Trump’s election was his promise to “drain the Swamp” (not literally, even though Washington D.C. was constructed on former swampland), and that promise was not limited to just “Crooked Hillary” but political creatures of both parties. Indeed, the common lament over the past four years among Trumpers is that he has not fulfilled his campaign promise to lead a China-like drive against corruption because “they won’t let him”, and “they” includes Republicans as well.

Trump still preserves this outsider status because he is still not a real politician – he lacks a coherent ideology and a grassroots base to implement it – and this is why he leads no actual third party threat. This is unlike someone whom Trump hopes to join on Mount Rushmore: Teddy Roosevelt, who in 1912 was able to form the last major third party in the US – the Progressive Party (this party is often referred to as the “Bull Moose Party” in modern America, obviously to hide the party’s leftist basis), which eventually reconciled with the Republicans after the “clearly insane” (per author Mark Twain) and rabidly imperialist Roosevelt sold out already rather right-wing US progressivism.Third party expected to get high returns in 2020 US presidential electionWhile abstention remains the most common form of ballot box resistance in the United States, more and more Americans are turning toward third parties.

What “Trumpism” has proven to be after four years is decidedly not a political party – Republicans co-opted him in order to both contain him and to preserve the American duopoly – but an entirely misguided hero worship, which was resorted to out of the desperation and instability caused by 40 years of neoliberal, unpatriotic and corrupt governance. “Trumpism” is thus not even really an ideology of hero worship but a gestalt cultural feeling, and a quite negative one.

A ‘Hot Fall’ – Trump and Trumpers go down with guns blazing

Many non-Trumpers understand this, and that’s why they echo the talk around the PressTV newsroom, which is that of a “Hot Fall” scenario: Trump loses both the popular and electoral college votes yet refuses to leave office. Trump, cognisant that the past four years has not increased affection for “the Swamp”, and also that his own popularity has endured despite the spectacular and unprecedented Deep State campaigns against him, thus encourages his supporters to rally in the streets in a long-awaited re-enactment of The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral or, in modern right-wing slang, “the Boogaloo”.

It’s a plausible scenario, indeed. The “only in America” scene of 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing in the streets with an AR-15 semi-automatic looked like a harbinger to many.

The likelihood of this “Hot Fall”, with Trump eventually leaving but only with the country even more divided than it has been so far in 2020, cannot be discounted. However I don’t predict that will happen.

Being a journalist who simply must query public opinion, I have asked many Americans for their thoughts on the election and about the question of a disputed vote this November. I have been rather swayed by the conservatives point of view, which is: Republicans are simply more reasonable than Democrats, and if they lose the election they will reasonably withdraw in order to preserve the country (as they are more patriotic as well).

I find that analysis – which I am merely relating from American Republicans – very astute. It doesn’t – and cannot – fully take into account the effects of a seriously disputed election, but I think it will hold true.

What I predict to be more likely is the reverse scenario, an “Icy Crusade” led by embittered Democrats: Whether the election is disputed or not, a Trump victory will produce massive anti-Trump demonstrations starting on November 4 and lasting until 2024.

Frankly, I am hopeful this occurs – Trump has pulled the sheet off the face of American fascism, finally, and four years has not produced enough political modernity. America, today’s imperial Rome, has so very much to learn and unlearn, after all. 

An ‘Icy Crusade’ – more of Americans telling others how they must live & feel

It should be remembered that – because half the electorate refuses to participate – Democratic voters are a rather fanatical minority of 25%. This is the same amount of the electorate which France’s Emmanuel Macron genuinely won in 2017, and his supporters are fanatically loyal as well – what else should we term continuing to support the weekly brutality against the Yellow Vests, which only ended with the coronavirus? Indeed, we cannot even compare the recent political repression in the US to that of France.

It must be remembered that partisan Democrats are as arrogant (imperialistic) and evangelistic as any Republican in the Pentagon and always have been: just ask a Southerner after the Civil War, or an American Indian, for that matter.

The modern Democrat does not explicitly evangelise for Protestantism and the racist paternalism of taking care of “our little brown brothers” (a historical term which was applied to the conquest of the Philippines, but which is obviously indicative of the fundamentally imperialistic mentality of even “good Americans”), but they certainly rabidly evangelise for other causes: political correctness, transgender bathrooms, against Trump, etc.

A Trump victory – disputed or not – will thus lead to more outpouring of this same evangelical, self-righteous, “Icy Crusade” which non-White Americans have been subjected to for two centuries. Crucially, the “Icy Crusade” will be just as fake-leftist as the other imperial crusades, with total intolerance of and enmity towards the “other” at its root.

I think this debilitating, annoying, politically feckless Democratic evangelism is the more likely post-election scenario because I think Trump will prevail over a second consecutive awful Democratic candidate.Do Black people get shot by police just to win elections for Democrats?That headline asks a surprising question, yet it’s one which was repeatedly expressed by African-Americans in Kenosha.

Certainly, Democrats’ own machinations have been precisely calibrated so that they could also dispute the election, but perhaps without AR-15s: I refer to the hysterical push for massive mail-in ballots, which are certain to arrive late, take long to count, have “hanging chads” and foment other disputes. The choice was always clear: either hold the election on time, like so many other elections worldwide in 2020, or postpone the election, like so many other elections worldwide in 2020.

In order to hedge their bet regarding whether Deep State machinations and mainstream media campaigns do not succeed in their goal of discrediting/denying the very real “Trumpism” cultural feeling, Democrats have seemingly guaranteed the election will not be resolved on November 3 and that cultural discord will ensue.

An “Icy Crusade” can be avoided in this scenario if Democrats show as much calm reasonableness as many US conservatives often evince and as much concern for the good of the nation. However, what they must also abandon is their often undeserved moral self-righteousness – that is something which goes back to the Civil War in the north and eastern parts of the United States, and this is very unlikely to be easily uprooted.

It should be remembered that America’s 1% appears to have ensured that no matter what happens the country will be divided in order to oust the outsider Trump: unchecked coronavirus hysteria which gutted the economy, the refusal to get a second stimulus bill passed to provide some economic stability, the refusal to provide physical security amid legitimate rebellions and illegitimate looting, undermining trust in the election process by hysterically blaming Russia, and this list can go on and on. Both sides have been divided, and any modern leftist analysis explains this by the fact that under modern Western neoliberalism the 1% divides and conquers at home as well as abroad.

Therefore, there is much grounds for PressTV employees to bandy about the possibilities of either a “Hot Fall” or an “Icy Crusade” scenario around a cup of tea. Certainly, such conversations end with mutual expressions of relief that Iran is not like that.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

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


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

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

هل يفعلها ترامب قبل 3 تشرين الثاني؟

د. عصام نعمان

تباهى دونالد ترامب في مؤتمرٍ صحافي بأنّ لدى الولايات المتحدة «أسلحة رائعة لا يعرف بها أحد (…) أسلحتنا النووية الآن في أفضل حالاتها. لدينا بعض الأنظمة المذهلة».

سبق للرئيس الأميركي أن كشف للصحافي المعروف بوب وودورد، مؤلف كتاب «غضب» الصادر مؤخراً، عن معلومات دفاعية بالغة السرية في واحدة من 17 مقابلة مسجلة أجراها معه. وودورد أوضح أنه تأكّد بشكل منفصل من مصادر لم يسمّها انّ الولايات المتحدة لديها سلاح سري جديد، لكنه لم يذكر ما إذا كان نووياً ام لا.

تصريحات ترامب أثارت جدلاً واسعاً في أوساط المحللين العسكريين في أنحاء العالم حول ما إذا كان السلاح السري الجديد نووياً، لكن خبراء أسلحة أميركيين يقولون إنهم غير متأكدين ما إذا كان الأمر الذي تحدث عنه ترامب صحيحاً أم أنه كان مجرد محاولة جوفاء للتباهي، وهو أمر معروف عن الرئيس الأميركي.

أياً ما كانت حقيقة «هذا السلاح السري الرائع» فإنّ سؤالاً ملحاحاً يجري تداوله في الأوساط السياسية الأميركية، خصوصاً لدى مسؤولي الحزب الديمقراطي الذي ينافس ترامب على الرئاسة بمرشحه جو بايدن. السؤال هو: هل يُقدِم ترامب على استعمال هذا السلاح ضد إيران قبل يوم الاقتراع في 3 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل؟

ثمة سببان للتخوّف من أن يفعلها ترامب:

الاول، استماتته للفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية وتصميمه على البقاء في البيت الأبيض مهما كان الثمن لدرجة أنه شدّد على أنصاره بضرورة التصويت له شخصياً وعدم اللجوء إلى التصويت بالبريد. لماذا؟ لأنه يعتقد بأنّ نتيجة فرز الأصوات الشخصية ستكون لصالحه ما يشجعه على اللجوء – كما يخشى معارضوه الديمقراطيون – الى إعلان فوزه مستبقاً إعلان نتيجة فرز الأصوات البريدية (التي يظنّ هو وغيره كثيرون أنها ستكون لصالح منافسه بايدن) مدّعياً أنها مزوّرة! هذا الاحتمال وارد جداً لدرجة انّ بعضاً من مسؤولي الحزب الديمقراطي تساءلوا عمّا يجب فعله لإخراجه من البيت الأبيض فيما دعا بعضهم الآخر الى تكليف الجيش مهمة إخراجه!

الثاني، لأنّ ترامب طراز من الرجال لا يتورّع عن اللجوء الى القتل للتخلّص من أعدائه ومنافسيه. ليس أدلّ على ذلك من «تعهّده» في الذكرى التاسعة عشرة لهجمات 11 سبتمبر/ أيلول 2001 « باستهداف كلّ من يهدّد حياة الأميركيين مثل قاسم سليماني «قائد «فيلق القدس» في الحرس الثوري الإيراني الذي اغتيل بغارة أميركية قرب مطار بغداد مطلع هذا العام.

اذا كان احتمال استعمال «السلاح السري الرائع» وارداً لدى ترامب، فهل انّ الهدف سيكون إيران؟ وإذا ما جرى استهداف إيران فعلاً، فهل من شأن ذلك توفير رافعة قوية لترامب في جولة الإنتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة؟

لعلّ أمرين أساسيين يجعلان هذا الاحتمال مستبعداً. ذلك انّ كبار مسؤولي «البنتاغون» (وزارة الدفاع) يعرفون بالتأكيد انّ إيران لن تكون لقمة سائغة، خصوصاً بعد التقدّم الهائل الذي أحرزته على الصعيدين العسكري والتكنولوجي في السنوات الخمس الأخيرة. كما يعرف هؤلاء المسؤولون ايضاً انّ للولايات المتحدة عدّة قواعد عسكرية في منطقة غرب آسيا والخليج، وبعضها قريب جداً من إيران، ما يجعلها رهينة لها ويمكّنها من ضربها والقضاء على آلاف الجنود الأميركيين. ذلك كله يجعل خيار ضرب إيران مكلفاً وغير مجزٍ.

ثم انه من المشكوك به جداً ان يتقبّل الرأي العام الأميركي فعلة ترامب الهوجاء هذه المتناقضة مع ما يحرص شاغل البيت الأبيض على الإيحاء به من انه لم يقع على أيّ جدوى من الحروب التي شنّتها الولايات المتحدة في المنطقة وتكلّفت عليها تريليونات الدولارات، وانه لهذا السبب يقوم بخفض عديد الجيش الأميركي في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية وغيرها من دول المنطقة.

هذان السببان وغيرهما قد لا يحولان دون أن يركب ترامب رأسه ويفعل فعلته. الأمر نفسه ينطبق على بنيامين نتنياهو المتخوّف، هو الآخر، من ان يفقد منصبه وسلطته تحت وطأة التظاهرات اليومية التي تحاصر منزله في القدس المحتلة وتتمدّد إلى مدن أخرى، كما بنتيجة محاكمته المنتظرة بتهم الفساد والرشوة والتزوير. لذا قد يرى هذا الرجل المذعور مصلحة له في تحريض ترامب على توجيه ضربة عسكرية خاطفة ومدمّرة لإيران يكون من شأنها – في ظنّه ــ تحصين منصبه في وجه المتظاهرين وأمام القضاة في محاكمته المنتظرة.

نتنياهو سيلتقي ترامب بعد يومين ليحتفلا سويةً مع ملك البحرين بتوقيع اتفاق لتطبيع العلاقات بين الكيانين. هل تراه ينجح رجل «إسرائيل» المذعور في إقناع رئيس أميركا الموتور بارتكاب الفعلة النكراء؟

نائب ووزير سابق

Evidence the U.S. Is a Dictatorship, Not a Democracy

Evidence the U.S. Is a Dictatorship, Not a Democracy

September 10, 2020

by Eric Zuesse for the Saker Blog

On September 2nd, Pew Research — one of America’s most respected polling organizations — issued findings from their survey of 11,001 U.S. adults between July 27 and Aug. 2, 2020, regarding three important questions that are indicative of whether or not Americans believe the U.S. Government to be a democracy, or instead a dictatorship. These are those three findings:

“Elected officials face serious consequences for misconduct.” 27% Yes. (73% No.)

“Government is open and transparent.” 30% Yes. (70% No.)

“Campaign contributions do not lead to greater political influence.” 26% Yes. (74% No.)

The last-listed of those three indicates that three-quarters of the American public believe exactly the same as the existing political-science empirical studies clearly have documented to be actually the case: that America is ruled by only its wealthiest and best-connected people — that it’s an aristocracy, a one-dollar-one vote nation, instead of a one-person-one-vote nation — it’s not a democracy at all. So: that is now established as a fact in political science; it’s not merely an opinion by three quarters of the U.S. public.

However, another relevant question produced an extreme disparity between the opinions of Republicans (America’s conservatives) versus Democrats (America’s liberals) regarding whether America is a democracy, and here is that fourth question and its answers:

“Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.” Republicans 76% Yes. Democrats 28% Yes.

Those are diametrically opposite opinions, by the adherents to the two political Parties.

So, on that one question, America’s conservatives do consider America to be a democracy, regarding at least the factor of whether or not all Americans have equal opportunity. This question is relevant to democracy because if everyone has equal opportunity, then there is equality on at least that single matter of equality — equality of opportunity — which cannot even possibly exist in a dictatorship, because a dictatorship has dictators, who, obviously (by definition), possess enormously more opportunity than do the rest of the population. So, whereas Republicans think that America is a democracy on at least that factor (equal opportunity), Democrats equally strongly believe that it’s not.

There was also one other question on which a strong contrast existed between Republicans and Democrats, though not diametrically opposite views, and here is that fifth question, and its answers:

“The fundamental design and structure of American government need significant changes.” Republicans 50% Yes. Democrats 79% Yes.

How should these opinion-differences by Party (ideology) be interpreted?

Whereas Democrats overwhelmingly believe that America is a dictatorship, Republicans overwhelmingly believe that it is an equal-opportunity dictatorship; and half of Republicans believe (perhaps because they believe America provides equal opportunity) that (regardless of whether or not America is a dictatorship) “The fundamental design and structure of American government don’t need significant changes.” How can one make sense of that viewpoint? Perhaps Republicans believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they’re lazy and/or incompetent, and that the rich deserve to be rich because they’re hard-working and brilliant, and perhaps Democrats are more inclined to attribute the unequal outcomes (rich versus poor) to “the fundamental design and structure of the American government.” The views of Democrats on these matters are entirely consistent with the view that America is a dictatorship, but the views of Republicans are not.

Republicans overwhelmingly believe that America is an equal-opportunity society, and half of Republicans believe that the fundamental design and structure of the American government don’t need any significant changes. Both of those viewpoints are accepting America as it is, which means that they are blaming the poor — instead of blaming “the fundamental design and structure of American government” (such as that America is being ruled by the rich) — for the poverty of the poor. Consequently, at least half of Republicans (the ones who don’t believe that America needs structural changes) believe in the rightfulness of an aristocracy — they believe that the wealthiest should rule, the public should not. Those Republicans want to be ruled by the rich, instead of ruled by the majority of the public. They are, at the very least, ambivalent about (if not outright hostile toward) democracy.

One of the ways that Republicans might get around this problem in their viewpoint is by assuming that there is no Deep State, no unelected and totally unaccountable power behind the elected rulers, other than some amorphous governmental bureaucracy, career civil-service professionals, nothing which is outside and above that, such as the aristocracy of billionaires who select which politicians’ careers to fund, and which ones not to fund. According to this conservative viewpoint, all the deficiencies in the government come from the career bureaucracy, none come from the corruption that allows the richest to buy the winning politicians and the major newsmedia, and the think tanks, etcetera. In those people’s imaginings, the controlling power is inside the government, not outside, and above, it.

There is a good ten-minute Republican-Party propaganda video which displays that viewpoint, by mocking the hypocrisy of a leading congressional Democrat, regarding democracy. This video excludes any raising of the crucial question: “Whose interests (other than the politician’s own) is that politician actually serving?” By not asking that question, the ignoring of logical inconsistencies within one’s own political opinions is not only easy to do, but it is quite natural to do. Apparently, conservatives, far more than liberals, think this way: they don’t examine to find out whom the beneficiaries of the politician’s decisions are. It’s a way that accepts corruption. It doesn’t even wonder how corruption works. It doesn’t seek to understand.

That’s the problem with the conservative side. The problem with the liberal side is its hypocrisy, which that video is mocking. Maybe the reason for the hypocrisy of liberals is that they sort-of are opposed to corruption, whereas conservatives are entirely devoted to the free market, which allows corruption, since to do otherwise is to support policies against corruption, which policies would prohibit certain types of mutually voluntary agreements, and would specifically penalize agreements that are corrupt. Thus, Republicans oppose government regulations, whereas Democrats support government regulations.

By accepting corruption (as conservatives do, since they are devoted to the free market), a person accepts one-dollar-one-vote government, and rejects one-person-one-vote government — one accepts a dictatorship by wealth, and rejects a democracy by the people: by the nation’s residents. So: this difference in support for the aristocracy — the holders of the vast majority of the nation’s wealth — might explain the differences between Republicans and Democrats.

Here are previous studies that have been done on whether America is a democracy or instead a dictatorship. First is an international comparison that enables these recent findings by Pew to be viewed in an international comparative context:

On June 15th, a NATO-backed study was published, “Democracy Perception Index – 2020”. As I summarized it on July 3rd under the headline “Countries Ranked on ‘Democracy’ in 2020”:

Here are the findings, and the rankings:

% saying yes to ‘My country is democratic’

(ranks shown are out of the 53 countries that were surveyed):

78% Taiwan #1

77% Denmark #2

75% Switzerland #3

75% S. Korea #4

73% China #5

73% Austria #6

71% Vietnam #7

71% India #8

71% Norway #9

69% Argentina #10

69% Sweden #11

67% Germany #12

66% Netherlands #13

65% Philippines #14

65% Portugal #15

64% Canada #16

63% Singapore #17

61% Malaysia #18

61% Greece #19

60% Ireland #20

59% Israel #21

57% Indonesia #22

56% Spain #23

56% Australia #24

56% UK #25

56% Turkey #26

55% Belgium #27

55% Peru #28

54% South Africa #29

54% Romania #30

54% Italy #31

53% Saudi Arabia #32

53% Pakistan #33

52% France #34

52% Mexico #35

51% Brazil #36

49% Kenya #37

48% U.S. #38

46% Japan #39

46% Colombia #40

45% Thailand #41

45% Algeria #42

43% Nigeria #43

42% Chile #44

41% Egypt #45

40% Morocco #46

40% Ukraine #47

39% Russia #48

38% Poland #49

37% Hong Kong #50

36% Hungary #51

28% Iran #52

24% Venezuela #53

(NATO did not publicize those rankings, nor even the scores.)

Perhaps the two most reliable statistical scores which tend to indicate the extent to which a given country is a dictatorship is its imprisonment-rate: the percentage of its residents who are in prison. Right now, the U.S. has the world’s highest percentage of its residents who are imprisoned. This indicates either that it has the worst people or that it has the worst laws, or both, but it also provides overwhelming solid empirical evidence that “The fundamental design and structure of American government need significant changes.” Consequently, the 79% of Democrats, and the 50% of Republicans, who agree with that proposition are certainly correct, because the world-record-high imprisonment-rate proves it. It’s not consistent with the opinion that “The fundamental design and structure of American government don’t need significant changes.”

Furthermore: since America’s prisoners are overwhelmingly the nation’s least wealthy, and since America’s wealthiest are virtually (if not totally) impossible to imprison regardless of how many people they might have defrauded — or else even murdered by promoting and selling toxic and dangerous products, sometimes even more toxic than toxic collateralized mortgage obligations — these facts are further evidence that “The fundamental design and structure of American government need significant changes” is true, and that “Everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed” is false. So, a consistent picture is emerging, which is consistent with the political-science findings that the U.S. is, in fact, a dictatorship (by its wealthiest).

However, this does not necessarily mean that any single one of those indicators is reliable, on its own, as an indicator of whether or not the given nation is a dictatorship. Everything should be viewed within its broader context.

One question that deepens this context is whether or not there has been some stability in America’s being at the top of the imprisonment heap. The earliest web-archived version of comparative international imprisonment-rates was this one on 20 March 2009, and the nation which, at that time, was shown to have the highest imprisonment-rate was the United States. So, from at least that time to this time, America has had the world’s highest imprisonment-rate. If that’s not a dictatorship, then what is? But, of course, the political-science empirical studies already show that the U.S. is a dictatorship. So, can can there even be a debate about it?

This means that any ‘news’ report that refers to America as being a “democracy” is demonstrably and clearly false.

Yet another indicator that the U.S. is a dictatorship is that it now is spending approximately half of the entire world’s military expenditures. It’s not only the most police-state, it is the most militarized nation — not necessarily in terms of having the world’s highest numbers of soldiers, but definitely in terms of having the world’s highest military expenditures (especially on weapons). So: it’s an international dictatorship.

On 17 June 2014, I headlined “Why Does NATO Still Exist?” and was (so far as I have been able to find) the first person publicly to refer to the “U.S. Regime” (other than as being part of an adjective in the many online references to “U.S. regime change” operations). In that article, I used the phrase “U.S. regime”, for the first time, directly as a noun, in the phrase, “The U.S. regime can say …”. More than five years later, on 10 November 2019, I headlined “Why does no other writer refer to ‘the U.S. regime’?” Instead, ‘news’ reports still are referring to such fantasies as “American democracy” and “the U.S. and other democracies.” However, recent evidence indicates that a majority of the American public have figured this hoax out for themselves, no thanks to America’s (or the rest of the world’s) ‘news’ media. People are learning, perhaps from their own personal experiences. Anyway, that’s what it is: it is the U.S. regime (or “the American regime”). That is today’s reality.

—————

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.

Market Friday: The Pipeline and the Poison


Date: September 4, 2020

Author: Tom Luongo

Pipeline politics, like electoral politics, knows no limits.

With Nordstream 2’s completion on schedule to happen around the same time Donald Trump will ‘appear to be re-elected,‘ the amping up of anti-Russian rhetoric and political pressure was to be expected.

The poisoning of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s supposed chief critic, Alexei Navalny, is the latest sad attempt to stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline. Laying aside the reality that Navalny isn’t any real threat to Putin, the basic question you should be asking is if Putin truly wanted him dead why not just create a pretext for it and shoot him?

This is the first and only reason you need to prove that this story is a bad Ian Fleming short story concocted in the bowels of MI6.

Navalny gets arrested and released in Moscow as often as most people change their socks. So, if Putin the Gangsta’ wanted him dead, he’d be dead.

But Navalny as a political asset for the West as Putin’s gadfly was completely spent. The proof of this is Navalny’s inability to marshal any opposition to the recent referendum in Russia blessing the proposed changes to the constitution.

While the Democrats and the media try to keep the dream of Russian interference into our elections alive we are distracted from what the real operation is — to stop Trump’s re-election and delay until the coup is complete in the U.S. to bury all the evidence of Obamagate during a restoration.

That’s all Russiagate and Ukrainegate and Skripalgate and now Navalnygate are — comfort food lies to angry shitlibs who are still haven’t fully processed the 2016 election and Brexit, kept on a drip feed of social media dopamine hits in a state of perpetual Bargaining so that they never move on to Acceptance

And if The Davos Crowd can put the screws to Russia’s future gas supplies to Europe and stunt its growth with all of this nonsense, all the better. The motivations of the factions pro and con to the Nordstream 2 pipeline have grown so murky it’s almost too much to outline anymore.

There is no simple throughline to this story since it encompasses so many different angles and potential motivations of the players, many of whom have competing agendas.

Merkel wanted Nordstream 2 to make Germany the gas transit hub for the European Union. German businesses reached out to Russia to supply them this gas after the EU destroyed South Stream in 2014. It would give the Germans a lot more control over the Poles while placating the German industrialists who are the source of her power. Her motivation on this has been very clear.

She has also allowed Russia and Turkey to go forward with the second leg of the Turkstream pipeline which goes through Bulgaria, Serbia and into Hungary.

What’s new is that Merkel is finally getting push back from people within her own party over Nordstream 2 which adds to the pressure the Trump administration is putting on her.

Merkel’s modus operandi is always status quo. So, she will always try to placate both sides while still advancing her own plans. For the most part Trump sees right through her and never gives her any wiggle room.

That’s why Nordstream 2 is so important to him, but it is more symbolic than it is about the gas itself. I suspect it is more about the growing influence of the EU and the mission creep of NATO more than any antipathy he has to Putin and/or Russia.

And it wouldn’t surprise me at all for this Nordstream 2 pressure from him to be more about remaking the U.S.’s relations with the post-WWII institutional order — the U.N., NATO, etc. — than it is about a paltry 55 bcm annually of natural gas.

Europe’s future gas needs are so big, with the shuttering of all nuclear power and this putsch towards Green Energy, that, in the end, this isn’t about Germany’s reliance on Russia but rather about Russia profiting from its relationship to Germany.

This tweet says it all and the interview excerpt says a lot more.

The last point is very important because whenever there is about to be a chat between Trump and Putin the well has to be poisoned, as it were, to ensure nothing of substance can change.

And this, to me, makes the most sense as to why Merkel came out so forcefully about the Navalny poisoning, it serves to shut down internal opposition to the pipeline, which no German in his right mind would object to, while appearing to appease Trump and the U.S. by standing tall to Putin.

But this is all nonsense. Merkel will not shut down Nordstream 2 or block its completion over Alexei Navalny any more than I’m going to dress in black bloc and join Antifa.

And that brings me back to the 800 lb. faction in the room, the intelligence agencies who helped create this mess in the first place, which ties us right back to the election.

Who has motive, means and opportunity to create an international incident like this on the eve of the election?

The very people who were caught red-handed in a treasonous intelligence operation used to justify spying on a political opponent during the 2016 election campaign.

Who is desperately trying to push all changes to the current state of play until after the election on November 3rd?

Why is Judge Emmet Sullivan purposefully delaying resolution of the Michael Flynn trial until after the election?

Who is behind the riots in the U.S.?

Who is conducting war games on the election outcome, publishing them in their mouthpieces (here and here) and stating the election will be compromised to the point of having to be resolved in the courts reversing what the result will be on election night?

Who stands to lose the most if Trump is re-elected and a No-Deal Brexit goes through?

British Intelligence, the holdover members of the CIA and Barack Obama, that’s who.

Forget Hillary Clinton, she’s dirty but you shouldn’t care about her. Obama is the one who’s head is actually on the chopping block here, since it’s him the evidence is pointing to as to signing off on all of this.

It’s Obama that was chosen by The Davos Crowd to implement the destruction of Trump, not Hillary.

That’s why we’ve been treated to the greatest show on earth about how the U.S. is going to fail, how the U.S. dollar is going the way of the dodo and the European Union is inevitable.

The only problem with this is it’s completely not true.

This Friday we are seeing what it looks like when you push markets and the political narratives supporting them well past their ‘Best if Used By’ date. A violent snap back which sees stocks fall, safe havens like gold and bitcoin get whacked with the ugly stick and even bond yields rising.

We’re staring at a milder version of what we experienced in March, a sell-everything-not-nailed-down-and-get -to-dollars day. All across the markets we’re seeing a turn towards deflation as the mad scramble for dollars begins now that the odds of Donald Trump winning the election have risen sufficiently to cast doubt on the outcome in the minds of traders.

And the canary in the coal mine for this deflation has, for weeks now, been the inability of oil to rally into this high in stocks. If there has been one thing that I’ve learned in my years of watching markets it is that oil prices never flat line.

That is exactly what’s been going on for the past eight weeks.

So no we have a market correction, long delayed from June, lining up with the height of the election campaign. Everyone is exerting maximum political pressure on each other and it won’t get any better.

With follow-through downside action today after Thursday’s massacre markets all over have thrown technical reversals at the weekly level. Expect more follow through next week as a full-blown panic is likely to emerge here.

But, be especially on the lookout for a crash in oil prices as that will be used to construct a new version of a Trump/Putin bromance that goes something like this:

Now that oil prices have collapsed, Putin will put extra pressure on Trump to steal the election because Putin needs higher oil prices while Biden will go after Big Oil if he’s elected.

The reality is that the global economy was broken by these lock downs and the now indisputable over-reaction by governments to effect fundamental political change and oust Trump from power.

But they are also continuations of decades-long policies of pipeline politics dictating where capital is allowed to flow. In the grand scheme of things Trump and Putin are near-equals as enemies to the people behind these policies.

And that’s why whenever things look good for them, sacrifices must be made. This time it was Alexei Navalny.


By Tom Luongo
Source: Gold Goats ‘n Guns

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following an online meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 4, 2020

Source

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following an online meeting of the BRICS Foreign Ministers Council, Moscow, September 4, 2020

September 05, 2020

A full-format online meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers has ended. This is the second such meeting this year under Russia’s chairmanship.

The first was dedicated exclusively to mobilising efforts to effectively prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Today, we discussed a wide range of international issues and key items on the agenda of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly as well as our practical cooperation among the five member states.

We have adopted a detailed and appropriate final communiqué. You can read it, so I will not dwell on the key international matters that the communiqué covers in detail.

I would like to note that the communiqué reaffirms the BRICS’ commitment to the principles of multilateralism, reliance on international law and resolving conflicts exclusively through political and diplomatic means and according to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. Once again, we resolutely supported the central role of the UN in the search for collective answers to the challenges and threats facing humanity.

In this year of the 75th anniversary of Victory in World War II, we noted the importance of preserving the historical memory of this tragedy’s lessons in order to avoid repeating it in the future. We unanimously condemned any and all manifestations of Nazism, racism and xenophobia. The corresponding resolution that is adopted annually by the UN General Assembly is traditionally supported by all BRICS countries.

We agreed to strengthen and promote our strategic partnership in all key areas of BRICS activities, such as politics and security, the economy and finance, and cultural ties.

We are grateful to our friends for supporting Russia’s chairmanship of the Five under rather difficult circumstances, when direct international communication, face-to-face communication, has, in fact, been put on hold. Nevertheless, using modern technology, we have managed to carry out most of the planned activities. We have had over 50 activities and as many will take place before the end of the year. We have every reason to believe (our partners also mentioned this today) that all of the Russian chairmanship’s plans with regard to the BRICS activities will be fulfilled.

We have reached a number of practical agreements, including the one to promote investment and to support the effective participation of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in international trade. Our respective ministries have adopted a joint statement in support of the multilateral trade system and WTO reform. Another important document, the Memorandum of Cooperation in the Competition Policy, was renewed for another term. Our development banks have agreed on an action plan for innovation and blockchain working groups. Other ministries and departments continue to work energetically.

Most of these initiatives are being drafted with an eye to approving them during the next summit, which is scheduled to be held in Russia in the autumn. We will determine the dates later based on the epidemiological situation.

These are the main results. Once again, the communiqué that we have circulated will provide a great deal of interesting information.

Question: The year in which Russia was the BRICS chair has been fairly difficult. The pandemic has taken its toll on every area. What did you manage to accomplish this year in BRICS? What kind of meetings and statements can we expect before 2020 runs out?

Sergey Lavrov: I partially talked about these issues when I presented the main results of our meeting today. To reiterate, we consider it critically important to have reached an agreement on a number of issues.

This includes a package of documents devoted to trade and investment, encouraging small-, medium- and micro-businesses to participate in international trade, strengthening cooperation between banks (central banks and development banks in our respective countries), and the active work of the New Development Bank, which was created by the leaders of the BRICS countries and is operating successfully.) By the way, the Eurasian Regional Centre of the New Development Bank will open in Russia in October.

The agreements concerning the prevention of new challenges and threats are notable as well. A very powerful document on counter-terrorism has been agreed upon and will be submitted for approval by the heads of state. The activities to combat drug trafficking and drug crime have been resumed. Our joint cybersecurity efforts are on the rise. This is a critical area to which we pay special attention.

Notably, special attention was paid to Russia’s initiatives, which were presented a year ago, and that supplemen BRICS’ activities with two new formats. I’m referring to the Women’s Business Alliance (it has been effectively created and is about to go live) and the Energy Research Platform, which is designed to encourage the research community’s involvement in the practical activities on drawing up energy resource plans. Two major events have taken place as part of the Energy Research Platform. Their results will also be submitted for consideration by the heads of state.

Question: You have repeatedly mentioned the importance of international cooperation in combating the coronavirus. China and Russia are now working to develop their own COVID-19 vaccine. China has officially announced its plans to strengthen cooperation in vaccine research and development.

What is your take on the prospects for possible cooperation between China and Russia in vaccine development and production? To what extent will cooperation between the two countries help ensure access to vaccines for other countries in need of support, including the BRICS members?

Sergey Lavrov: Today, we confirmed that this area remains a BRICS priority. Russia and China’s partners (India, Brazil and South Africa) actively supported Moscow and Beijing’s efforts in this regard. All of them appreciated the statements made by our Chinese colleague and myself to the effect that we are interested in the broadest possible cooperation, including with the participation of our BRICS friends. Notably, the coronavirus has by no means initiated the motivation for BRICS cooperation in this area. Interaction began much earlier. The first document on this subject was adopted at the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, in 2015, when the heads of the BRICS states put forward an initiative to establish cooperation in combating infectious diseases. Then, at the 2018 South Africa Summit, our South African partners advanced an initiative to establish a vaccine development and research centre. So, this work has been ongoing for the past five years, even before the coronavirus infection posed very difficult problems for us.

Thanks to the visionary decisions adopted at the earlier summits, the BRICS countries were well prepared and are now able to mobilise their full potential in the face of the coronavirus infection.

Russia’s additional initiatives introduced this year have been reviewed and approved. One of them concerns the creation of an early warning system for epidemiological threats. The other proposes developing specific steps for the legal regulation of medical products which will certainly improve our ability to cope with the coronavirus now and prepare for the fact that we will most likely have to deal with similar challenges more than once in the future. So, BRICS is among the leaders in developing measures to prevent such epidemics and to deal with the aftereffects.

Question:  How will statements that we’ve heard in the past two days from Berlin on the issue of Alexei Navalny influence the strategic dialogue between Russia and Europe? Today, NATO urged Russia to fully open its file on Novichok to the   OPCW. Who is now interested in a crime scenario on Navalny’s poisoning?

Sergey Lavrov: Representatives of the Presidential Executive Office and the Foreign Ministry have already made statements on this issue. We have nothing to hide. Let me recall again that as soon as Navalny felt unwell on the plane it landed immediately. An ambulance was waiting for him in the airport and he was instantly taken to hospital, switched to an artificial lung ventilator and given other necessary measures. As I understand it, Navalny spent a bit more than a day and a half there. During this time, we were urged every hour to explain what happened and report any information immediately.

For over a week after he was taken to Germany, no one who raised a concern during his stay in Omsk has expressed interest in his case or loudly demanded information from the German doctors. We don’t have new information on this up to this day. It’s the same old story: we are publicly accused of something and our official requests for answers to specific questions from the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office, under legal assistance treaties, remain unanswered. German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has been accusing us for two days of this action (ostensibly, the poisoning) but cannot present anything specific. Today, we once again asked our colleagues in the EU and Germany whether Ms Merkel plans to instruct her staff to send the German Justice Ministry’s response to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office inquiry.

I already have to say out loud that we have information that this reply is being delayed due to the position of the German Foreign Ministry. We have instructed the Russian Ambassador to Germany to ask for a reason for the delay. Today we were at least promised that the reply would come soon. We will react when we receive it with specific facts. As I see it, the Germans believe their reply will contain these facts. Let me repeat that, regrettably, all this brings to mind what happened with the Skripals and other incidents where Russia was groundlessly accused and the results of the investigation (that took place in Britain in the latter case) remain classified. Nobody sees the Skripals themselves.

I would like to remind you that when, on the wave of this Russophobic hysteria over the Skripals, our British colleagues compelled most EU countries to expel our diplomats (to which Moscow certainly responded), we confidentially asked the EU members whether the Brits presented any facts in addition to what they publicly reported in the media. We received a negative answer. Facts were not presented but they asked to expel our diplomats and promised that specific information would be provided later. I am not being lazy and whenever I meet with my colleagues, I ask them about the Skripals case when they expelled Russian diplomats based on London’s parole of honour and followed its appeal. I ask them whether they were given the promised specific information in addition to what was publicly mentioned and they again said “no.” Nobody has given any information to anyone.

This is why we now approach such high-flown, dramatic statements by our Western colleagues with a large dose of scepticism. We’ll see what facts they present. I think this public conduct and such haughty, arrogant demands made in a tone that our Western partners allow themselves shows that there is little to present except artificially fueled pathetics.

Question: The Ukrainian foreign minister said that the foreign ministers of Germany and France seek to hold a Normandy format foreign minister meeting in September. According to him, you have no objections to this. Is that right?

Sergey Lavrov: The Foreign Ministry has already responded to this question. If someone wants to meet, let them meet. We have not discussed any such matter. We are now talking about preparing a meeting of foreign policy advisers to the Normandy format leaders. Nobody said anything specific about a meeting of foreign ministers, because, I think, they are well aware of our position. First, we need to act upon what the leaders of our countries agreed on in Paris in December 2019. There has been little progress so far. We only see more problems in connection with the constant worsening of the Ukrainian authorities’ position with regard to their commitment to implementing the Minsk agreements.

Question: Yesterday, it became known that the Democrats in the United States demanded immediate imposition of sanctions on Russia in connection with the upcoming US presidential election in November. They are referring to intelligence that says that Russia can allegedly intervene. What can you tell us about this?

Sergey Lavrov: We have been hearing accusations that Russia is interfering in US presidential elections for many years now. It has now become a kind of a game of who is interfering more: Russia, China or Iran? A US national intelligence official recently said that China is interfering more than Russia or Iran. So, grown-up people have been playing these games for a long time now, and this does not surprise us. Sometimes, though, we can’t help but be surprised. I’m referring to recent accusations against Russia to the effect that we are trying to abuse or use in the interest of a particular candidate the planned voting by mail in the United States. I was surprised by this accusation, because until then I thought that voting by mail was part of the differences between President Trump, who outright refuses to allow this type of vote to be held, and the Democrats, who want to use voting by mail as much as possible.

Truth be told, we are used to these attacks. In this case, as in the case of poisonings and other situations in different countries, we will respond to specific facts, if they are presented to us. We keep telling our partners – Americans and Europeans alike – if you have any concern about anything, especially cybersecurity, which has become a particularly common subject for accusations and reproaches against us, let’s sit down and review your facts. We are ready to do so. Unfortunately, our partners in the United States and the EU shun direct conversations based on professional analysis of available facts. We are ready for this, and we encourage our colleagues to do so. They should stop living in the past reminiscing about the colonial era and considering themselves smarter and mightier than others and start working on the basis of what they signed in 1945, namely, the UN Charter principles, including equality, balance of interests and joint and honest work. We are ready for this.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Do Black people get shot by police just to win elections for Democrats?

Do Black people get shot by police just to win elections for Democrats?

September 05, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri – crossposted with PressTV

That headline asks a surprising question, yet it’s one which was repeatedly expressed by African-Americans in Kenosha when I asked them for their evaluation regarding how all levels of government had responded to the profoundly shocking series of recent shootings there.

Boarded-up Kenosha looks like a community under siege, and they naturally wonder who is coming to help them. Kenoshans would assume that a visit by the occupant of the White House would be a positive thing and a sign that, yes, help is indeed coming.

So it was rather staggering how many Democratic leaders, their supporters and the mainstream media actually demanded that the President of the United States not visit somewhere inside the United States. I can’t imagine such a thing occurring almost anywhere else, yet for several days the national discussion was steered in this absurd and pointless direction.

The average American knew better: spinning the president’s visit as some sort of controversial, inflammatory and potentially dangerous act allowed for distraction from actual issues, such as constant brutality from the security apparatus, massive political apathy, disinvestment in Black areas, etc.

Crucially, “disinvestment” is the wrong word because it implies there was some historical era when the government or private banks actually invested in African-American communities. “Non-investment” is a far more accurate term.

However, Americans are infamous for their very short memories, combined with a penchant for rewriting history. This cultural trait may explain why their political classes could so easily keep pushing the impression that police brutality is something which was wholly created by Donald Trump.

What is interesting about today’s America is that one can finally hear voices in public which tell the truth about American racism, classism and imperialism, but these voices are overwhelmingly outnumbered by those afflicted by another cultural flaw: a constant desire to have an enemy to attack, to evangelize against and to feel superior to – the US used to have American Indians for that, but now many settle for Trump.

US police kill black man in Washington amid nationwide rage over cop violence US police kill a black man in the capital Washington DC in the latest of a sting of police killings of black men and women that have sparked nationwide anger.

If over the last several days Democrats and the mainstream media had spent 1% of the time they spent on Trump talking instead about police brutality, non-investment and justice for Jacob Blake, then progress on these issues might have actually inched forward. However, these issues – and poor, paralysed Jacob Blake – are clearly all subverted to the short-term cause of winning November’s election.

That is something incredibly galling to the Blake family, of course.

I asked them and other African-Americans in their neighbourhood about how Jacob Blake was being manipulated to score political points, and they pointed out that tragedy is not if your candidate doesn’t win this November – tragedy is being shot in the back seven times in front of your three sons. Tragedy is living under the cloud of that possibly happening to you, your sons, daughters, friends, etc.

And so, in covering the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake it was hard not to see the enormous gap between the average concerns of the average American in an average American town and their political & media classes.

It was very easy to see why alienation and cynicism towards politics among the US lower classes are so rampant: after an appalling police shooting, subsequent rebellions and the astounding scene of a teenager shooting protesters with a semi-automatic rifle, many in the US chattering classes stunningly insisted that the nation’s own president should not visit Kenosha and act like a public servant.

It was a totally self-interested stance, and not one which many in Kenosha supported – people in Kenosha want governmental action, not governmental inaction. They probably wish the Secretary General of the United Nations would visit, too.

In fact, whatever his unknowable motives, Trump was a rare civil servant who mostly fulfilled his duty to Kenoshans. Contrarily, the governor of Wisconsin took four days to visit Kenosha – I guess other areas of Wisconsin were burning down or making international news? Wisconsin’s governor is a Democrat, to relay a detail of absolutely no importance to the Blake family.

Joe Biden rushed out of his basement to Kenosha, but only after Trump did – Biden had initially said he would not visit Wisconsin. He blamed Trump for Kenosha’s ills, as if Americans are as deplorably historically ignorant as Biden appears to think. However, we should remember that Biden is one of the 60 million unemployed Americans – he, too, is desperately trying to win a job and pay back his creditors, and is not currently a civil servant.

Kenosha police have been woefully nontransparent and silent, seeking only to protect their little cop aristocracy, which undoubtedly inflamed tensions further.

So if any public servant was there to listen to the citizens of Kenosha, to provide a safety valve, to actually earn their taxpayer salary, it may have been Trump. But when Trump can make a fair claim to be the most conscientious civil servant on the job, how well-functioning can your country be?

There is a widespread perception in the U.S. that an American maintains his or her security only as long as the government remains uninvolved.

What is certain is that what I was told by African-Americans in Kenosha were things like, “Barack Obama did nothing for Black people,” and that they expect nothing to change whether Biden or Trump is elected. This dissatisfaction, frustration and political cynicism is a huge problem, but Democratic supporters would probably try to blame that on Trump too.

There is a widespread perception in the U.S. that an American maintains his or her security only as long as the government remains uninvolved.

African-American men and women should not get shot by police in order to score political points, but it’s easy to see why so many of them feel that they are repeatedly used in that way by a Democratic Party which tries to fool all Americans into believing that they had no part in devising political and socioeconomic policies which devastate entire neighborhoods of all colors.

The neighborhood of Jacob Blake, which held a healing block party after a family press conference calling for justice and peace, was obviously tight-knit. It is also obvious that this is partially imposed on them by the fact that so many African-American citizens expect no help from those who control their taxes, who decide on which areas should be safely protected, and who decide if issues of importance remain on the public agenda or if nonsense, bile and the blame game (which fools no one who is not hysterically partisan) predominate.

It must be noted: Trump’s visit to Kenosha did not produce more nighttime violence – just a minor protest of a few hundred people. Thus, the number of actual protesters was certainly dwarfed by those in the chattering classes who spread fear about Trump’s visit. In fact, Kenosha’s nightly calm returned immediately after the “only in America” shootings by 17-year old Kyle Rittenhouse, but that’s another story.

It’s clear that Democratic leaders endlessly fabricate phony issues in order to avoid genuine discussion on real issues. What’s worse, they then expect everyone to quietly forget that they were duped, as evidenced by the fact that the recent Democratic National Convention did not utter the word “impeachment” nor mention Russiagate, even though one would assume these would be held up as their two major achievements since 2016 given how much time they spent on them.

Justice for Jacob Blake, and the massive investment and political changes required to prevent more Jacob Blakes, are not phony issues. It’s clear that Democrats, and Republicans as well, are not interested in discussing them.


Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

Biden Orders to Remove References to Israeli Occupation in Campaign Program

Source

August 8, 2020

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) meets with US politician Joe Biden. (Photo: File)

US Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has ordered the removal of any reference to the Israeli occupation in his campaign program just days before it was released on July 15, Foreign Policy revealed on Thursday.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who withdrew his presidential campaign in favor of Biden, had agreed with Biden that he would include in the Democratic Party platform an assertion that Palestinians had a right to live free of foreign “occupation”, referring to

However, under pressure from pro-Israeli advocacy groups, Biden made a last-minute decision to remove any reference to the Israeli occupation, Foreign Policy reported three sources confirming.

Therefore, Biden aides asked the progressive leaders in the Democratic Party and urged them to drop their demand to declare Israel an occupying power, the magazine reported.

According to the magazine, Biden aides argued that the inclusion of the word “occupation” threatened to undermine unity within the Democratic Party.

“The question of whether to allow the text to refer to ‘occupation’ or use the phrase ‘end the occupation’ was taken to the vice president and he said ‘no’,” Jason Isaacson, chief policy and political affairs officer at the American Jewish Committee, told Foreign Policy.

“This is not an issue on which the party can bend because it would be contrary to the position of Joe Biden,” Isaacson added.

Foreign Policy noted that the retraction reflected Biden’s reluctance to reverse decades of staunch support for Israel.

It also stated that this retreat marked something of a victory for the party’s establishment, which has sought to preserve close relations with Israel, even as its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved increasingly close to the Republican Party and its standard-bearer, President Donald Trump.

“While many Democrats in Congress are increasingly in touch with the views of their constituencies, those at the helm, such as Biden, remain stubbornly committed to agendas that are championed by AIPAC and the rest of the old guard,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle wrote in a recent article.

“The good news from Washington is that, despite Trump’s current support for Israel, an incremental, but lasting structural change continues to take place among Democratic Party supporters everywhere and throughout the country,” Baroud added.

(MEMO, PC, Social Medi)

How Nazism Came to Dominate Both of America’s Political Parties

July 26, 2020

How Nazism Came to Dominate Both of America’s Political Parties

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

The following 11-minute youtube video is a good introduction to this article:

Ukraine Crisis — What You’re Not Being Told

On July 20th, Moss Robeson headlined at TheGrayZone, “Influential DC-based Ukrainian think tank hosts neo-Nazi activist convicted for racist violence”, and he reported the inescapably visible tip of America’s iceberg of pro-nazi policies regarding Ukraine. Ukraine is a country which during World War II was torn between supporters of Hitler versus supporters of Stalin, and which became non-aligned after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but which U.S. President Barack Obama conquered in a brutal February 2014 coup (called by some “the most blatant coup in history”), which coup turned Ukraine’s Government into the world’s most-far-rightwing, and even sometimes overtly pro-Hitler, anti-Russian, nationalistic White-Power regime. It’s far more anti-Russian than anti-Jewish, but it is both. Obama did this so as to bring into NATO the country that has the longest European border (1,625 miles) with Russia, and which would thus be the best place from which to launch nuclear missiles against major Russian cities including Moscow. Ukraine as the main launching-pad for an invasion of Russia had been only a wet dream for NATO planners until Obama came into the White House, but even as early as June of 2013 Obama was already quietly advertising for bids on what then was a school in Crimea, in order to modify it to serve as part of his planned new U.S. naval base there replacing Russia’s biggest naval base, which Russian naval base has been there, in Crimea, ever since 1783. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, enabled Crimea’s residents to block that part of Obama’s plan for Ukraine.

Adolf Hitler hated Slavs, including Russians, almost as much as he hated Jews; and, though Ukraine’s racist fascists — or ideological nazis — hate Russians even more than they hate Jews, America’s adoption of Ukraine’s nazis (racist fascists) and placing them into power, was a crucial turning-point in international affairs toward racist fascism. It is the authentic chief source of the hard-right turn, not only in the United States, but in many European countries. Until recently, nazism was far outside the mainstream, throughout the post-WW-II world. Clearly, now, that is no longer the case, and what Obama did to Ukraine is the main reason why (as will be explained here).

In post-coup Ukraine, children are being taught on the basis of the White-Power ideology, and, in the resisting regions — the regions that reject the coup — are mercilessly slaughtered (and the more graphic videos have been removed by youtube, and similarly for videos of adults being systematically murdered by Ukraine’s nazis). The post-coup Ukraine aims to get rid of its ethnic-Russian population.

Ukraine is the global beach-head for nazism, and even has two nazi Parties, one called “Right Sector,” and the other called “Freedom” (which got renamed that by the CIA from its original “Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine,” so as to be more acceptable to Americans and the EU). Both are even more anti-Russian than anti-Semitic.

The way America’s fake-‘progressive’, Democratic-Party billionaires-controlled, press, deals with the Democratic Party’s own “first Black President” Barack Obama (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his deceptive rhetoric) having done this — actually having stoked now racism throughout the world, targeted particularly against Russians — is to focus on the Democratic Party media’s distractionist theme of inter-ethnic, inter-religious, racist and other divisive American conflicts, as if this nazi problem’s overflowing now in Ukraine is not driven instead by geostrategic and imperialistic concerns in specifically U.S. policymaking, driven actually by America’s billionaires’ craving an all-encompassing global conquest, including conquest ultimately of Russia, which will be the last since it is the only other nuclear superpower. For example, the fake-‘progressive’ The Nation magazine, on 22 February 2019, headlined “Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine”, and focused on this far-right outpouring in Ukraine as being due to anti-Semitism, and to “pogroms against the Roma and LGBT,” as if Obama had cared about those groups. The chief obsession of Ukraine’s far-right has instead been anti-Russian, for at least a century, and that’s the actual fuel on which Obama was firing-up his coup in Ukraine: he was targeting against Russians, and not against Jews nor those other groups. By contrast, this article buried the anti-Russia issue, such as by saying, “A 2017 law mandated that secondary education be conducted strictly in Ukrainian, which infuriated Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece. Several regions passed legislation banning the use of Russian in public life. Quotas enforce Ukrainian usage on TV and radio.” The one and only real target in Obama’s Ukraine is only Russia. The deception that’s practiced by America’s Democratic Party billionaires upon America’s left is probably even more insidious than is the deception that’s practiced by America’s Republican Party billionaires upon America’s right (“God, Mother, Country”). Deception of any person is mental coercion against that person, and such dishonesty is an especially highly skilled art for ‘leftist’ billionaires, because right-wing followers are unashamedly against the poor and minorities and anyone who is weak in the particular society. So, for example, in the present case: the people who were being herded into Odessa’s Trade Unions Building and burnt alive for printing and distributing anti-coup literature, on 2 May 2014, weren’t “Jews” or “Roma,” or “LGBT,” but instead just Ukrainians who were favorable toward Russia. Ukraine’s chief bigotry, under the Obama-imposed regime, is anti-Russian, not anti-Jewish, and any honest news-medium acknowledges this fact, instead of trying to deceive to hide it.

In Twentieth-Century U.S. history, the Republican Party was generally more right-wing than the Democratic Party; and, consequently, Obama’s moving the Democratic Party in the pro-nazi direction was an outright gift to Republicans, whose leading politicians were just as enthusiastic about the regime-change in Ukraine as the Democratic Party’s leadership was — and still is.

The irony here is that America’s biggest assaults against Russia have now come not during the Cold War, when there was an authentic ideological difference (communism versus capitalism), but instead after Russia, in 1991, ended the Cold War on its side (while the U.S. secretly has continued it on the U.S. side, in a craving for global conquest).

The classic article about the radicalism of Obama’s turn to nazism regarding Ukraine was written by an American who lived through these events in Ukraine while they were happening, George Eliason, who headlined, on 16 March 2014, just the first part of his four-part article, “The Nazi’s even Hitler was Afraid of”, and he subsequently posted the complete article here, where it can be read without those needless interruptions. He lives in Ukraine’s breakaway Donbass region, which Obama’s forces were bombing, and which Trump’s continue (though less) bombing, even today. Eliason reported honestly (not like The Nation, etc.). What Obama did to Ukraine was very geostrategic, and the changes in Ukraine were driven by U.S. billionaires, even more than by Ukrainian ones. Interpreting Ukraine’s current nazism as being directed mainly against Jews like Hitler’s German version was is profoundly misrepresenting.

Obama — with the help of both of America’s billionaire-controlled political Parties, and all of America’s billionaire-controlled or “mainstream” ‘news’-media — succeeded in transforming U.S. public opinion toward Russia, from neutral prior to his Ukrainian coup, to strongly negative immediately after it:

Gallup Poll. Feb. 3-16, 2020. N=1,028 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.
“Next, I’d like your overall opinion of some foreign countries. … What is your overall opinion of Russia? Is it very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable?”
FavorableUnfavorableNo opinion
%%%
2/3-16/2028721
2/1-10/1924733
2/1-10/1825722
2/1-5/1728702
2/3-7/1630655
2/8-11/1524706
2/6-9/1434606
2/7-10/1344507
2/2-5/1250446
2/2-5/1151427
2/1-3/1047457

Furthermore, during Obama’s first term, 2009-2012, he employed great cunning in order to portray himself as being supportive of a “reset in Russian-American relations,” and this lie (that he was intending to improve instead of to worsen U.S.-Russian relations) was one of the reasons he won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, but actually, when he entered office in 2009, he was already starting to plan regime-change not only in Ukraine but also in Syria (if not also in Libya) — two countries whose leaders were on cordial terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Obama was able to string Vladimir Putin along until 2012 to hope that Obama’s ‘reset with Russia’ wasn’t merely a ploy. On 26 March 2012, Obama informed Dmitry Medvedev to tell Putin that “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [the incoming President Putin] to give me space. This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” However, it was all a lie. His intention was the opposite. The fact is that, already, Obama was actually planning, even as early as 2011, to overthrow the neutralist Government right next door to Russia, in Ukraine, and to replace it with a rabidly anti-Russian regime on Russia’s doorstep, which he was planning to bring into NATO even though only around 30% of Ukrainians wanted Ukraine to join NATO. But Putin had no way of knowing that Obama was planning this. And immediately after Obama’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine, around 60% of Ukrainians suddenly wanted Ukraine to join NATO. (That’s because the newly installed Obama regime propagandized hatred against Russia, which is NATO’s specialty.) People felt that if even such a ‘peacemaker’ as Obama wasn’t ‘able’ to establish constructive relations with Putin, then there had to be something very wrong with Putin.

Obama’s 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney featured prominently this trap for Romney, and he fell right into it. On 16 May 2016, I headlined “Who Is the More Vicious Liar: Trump, or Obama?” and I described there the exquisite deception that Obama had practiced against Romney and also against Putin — and against the American public — regarding U.S.-Russian relations, and Obama’s brilliant use and exploitation of the hopes by each one of those three entities in order to win the Presidency and defeat not only Romney but also Putin, and especially Obama’s own Democratic Party voters.

That deception has largely shaped today’s political world, throughout the world. Barack Obama was like the mythical snake in Genesis 3.

On June 30th, TheGrayZone bannered “US claim of ‘Russian Bounty’ plot in Afghanistan is dubious and dangerous” and their Max Blumenthal put it well: “The constant flow of Russiagate disinformation into the bloodstream of the Democratic Party and its base is moving that party constantly to the right, while pushing the US deeper into this Cold War.” It allows the Republican Party to move even farther toward the right. It moves the political center to the right. Obama was the key figure in this ominous development, which is politically poisoning the entire world. He was an international war-criminal in Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and more, and should be executed for it (as should both Bush and Trump). (That’s executed, after appropriate legal process, not assassinated, which is horrible and produces martyrs instead of lawfully condemned villains.) But his toxic legacy on global politics is even more dangerous than those smaller catastrophes he participated in causing (and for which he deserves to be executed). He was exceedingly ambitious and achieved a lot, of disaster and far worse.

—————

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.

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

Washington again becomes hysterical

Source

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)

Source

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

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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

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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?!

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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.

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