Economic Cycles and Coronavirus

Economic Cycles and Coronavirus

June 13, 2020

by Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

‘’The years since the 1970s are unprecedented in terms of their volatility in the price of commodities, currencies, real estate, and stocks. There have been 4 waves of financial crises: a large number of banks in three, four or more countries collapsed at about the same time. Each wave was followed by a recession, and the economic slowdown which began in 2008 was the most severe and most global since the great depression of the 1930s … Bubbles always implode, since by definition they always involve non-sustainable increases in the indebtedness of a group of borrowers and/or non-sustainable increases in the price of stocks/shares … Debt can increase much more rapidly than income for an extended period …’’ But ‘’… when eventually the rate of their indebtedness slows the ‘day of reckoning’ occurs, when there isn’t enough cash to pay the interest on outstanding loans the bust is inevitable.’’ (1)

Interestingly enough 1971 was the year when Nixon took the world off the gold standard, which had been in effect since 1944. At a stroke this was probably the most destabilizing event since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. But the full effects didn’t filter through the system until the decades beginning in the 1960s. The problem was the fact that the US economy had undergone a metamorphosis from being a surplus trading nation to being a deficit nation. Earlier, in 1944 to be exact, it was agreed at the Bretton Woods conference that a new trading system needed to be constructed, this in order to overcome the problems of the inter-war trade wars which had led to mutual impoverishment. The new global trade architecture was to be based upon a hierarchy of hard currencies, the British pound, the French Franc, the Italian Lira et cetera all aligned at a fixed rate of exchange with the US dollar which was to be convertible with gold at $35 per ounce.

The system worked for a while but excess US expenditures – namely the imperial expeditions in Korea and Indo-China, as well as a bloated system of some 800 military bases stationed in areas all over the world, and add in the social expenditures of the LBJ administration in the US, all of which meant that abundant US$s were turning up all over the place, particularly in Europe and Japan. Holders of these surplus greenbacks sought conversion into either their own currencies or the universal equivalent – gold. This gave rise to a run on gold since the US was required to honour the arrangement of convertibility. In its turn this led to a serious depletion of US gold reserves which necessitated the US (and by implication involve the rest of the world) to unilaterally suspend the gold standard. Henceforth US trading partners would, whether they liked it or not, take dollars which they were assured were as good as gold (a ridiculous proposition). This was described by the French politician Valery Giscard D’Estaing as an ‘Exorbitant Privilege’ and of course he was perfectly correct. At this point the Triffin Dilemma/Paradox kicked in. But I have covered this elsewhere (See The Rise and Fall of Empires).

It should be understood that booms and busts have always been normal in a capitalist economy. Two eminent political economists have put forward their explanation of this phenomenon as follows.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) explained that capitalists would try to boost their profits in new and more productive technology to save labour costs. In a letter to his close compatriot and friend – Friedrich Engels – he wrote: ‘’All of you note that from reasons I no longer have to explain, that capitalist production moves through certain periodical cycles.’’ He particularly identified the rate of profit to be the independent variable in capitalist production; this variable gave rise to a number of other dependent variables such as employment and unemployment, investment decisions, stock market booms and slumps, and capitalist companies borrowing monies by issuing shares/stocks or borrowing directly from banks. They also began to issue bonds as did governments. Thus the role of finance capital was enormously enhanced.

Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) reckoned that when capitalism went into a crisis or slump, it made much of the old equipment or plant obsolete. Other capitalists then began to turn to the new technology to gain advantage, so capitalist slumps led to innovations. Schumpeter called this process ‘creative destruction’. So a cycle of new technology would start after a major slump. But this new technology would not be developed until the profits cycle moved into upswing. Then there would be a take-off of the new technology. The next downward wave would mean a setback to the new technology cycle and an even worse situation for capitalists depending on the old technology. Finally, in another new upswing for profits, the new technology would take over as the dominant force. In the next downswing the new technology would become mature and capitalists would look for new systems and the whole process would restart.

These cycles, however, would very much vary in duration from fairly short-term business restocking, to longer term business cycles, property cycles, profit cycles and into longer and more profound upheavals which may have matured over decades. The Kondratiev cycle being a prototype which has lasted for at least 60 years. Nikolai Kondratiev himself was a Soviet economist who was able to identify such cycles. Four such waves were identified from the late 1700s and four complete waves were identified by Kondratiev. Such waves were occasioned by the usual boom-bust cycle but essentially these cycles were pushed forward by the production and diffusion of new technologies and the operationalization of new modes of production. From water powered, steam powered, electrification, Fordist organized production, and digital communications and computerization of the entire economy. These were the ongoing means of production, although the class nature of the capitalist system did not change.

Unfortunately Kondratiev found himself on the wrong side of the Stalinist nomenklatura and was arrested for suggesting that the US would not necessarily collapse in the great recession of ’29. Heresy! He was arrested and did 8 years in one of those grim Soviet prisons, and finally taken out and was shot by firing squad in 1938. These were grim times.

In recent years, however there has been a new development feature which has been exacerbated during crisis situations involving that part of the economy indicated by the acronym FIRE (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) and its growing importance in the economy in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

Finance as it is referred to has always been part of the general economy. But it was always in a sense the junior partner to industry and subordinate as such. Its role was to support the productive sector in terms of credit and liquidity, but the relationship has now become almost inverted. Value producing Industry is now relegated to the second tier of the economy and finance now runs the show.

‘’To maintain the semblance of vitality Western capitalism has become increasingly dependent on expanding debt levels and on the expansion of fictitious capital … fictitious capital is made up of financial assets that are only symbols of value, not real values. For example company shares that are traded like goods and services do not in the same way embody value. They are tokens which represent part ownership of a company and the potential of a distribution of future profits in the form of dividends. The paper or electronic certificate itself is not a genuine value that can create more value. Rising share/stock prices are often presented as the evidence of a healthy economy, but the amount of money that a share/stock changes hands says nothing definitive about the value of the company’s assets or about its productive capacity. On the contrary, it is when real capital stagnates that the amount of fictitious capital tends to expand.’’(2)

Turning to financialisation proper and its genesis. This phenomenon was enabled through the holy trinity of privatisation-liberalisation-deregulation. This was a political/economic project which began to take root in the 1970s but came into full fruition in the 1980s led by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. At both the political and economic level radical theorists such as those ensconced at the Chicago University department of Economics became the crucial protagonists in a movement led by Milton Friedman and which was to become known as the Chicago School. Its impact was profound. This insofar as it signalled the end of one epoch and the beginning of another.

‘’The expansion of the financial sector is the most recognisable aspect of financialisation. However a more telling part for how the workings of the economy change is the adoption of financial activities by the non-financial corporate sector, by the wider industrial economy. The core feature of financialisation is the fusion of industry with financial activity. (My emphasis -FL) Troubled financial firms turn to financial activity in order to raise cash and/or shore up profitability.

These activities start with raising debt to fund business operations working at sub-par profitability. They extend into financial engineering where buying and selling shares or acquiring companies take precedence over productive investment and organic growth in the underlying businesses. Financial services companies are often helpful in conducting these activities. The drive-through comes from the non-financial businesses that are obliged to pursue financial activities when their original productive ones are less profitable and remunerative.’’ (3)

The hegemon of deregulated finance had thus assumed a seemingly unstoppable momentum from the late 20th century, through to the 80s and 90s until the early 21st century. It has been a process whereby financial markets, financial institutions, and financial elites gain greater influence over economic policy and economic outcomes. It has impacted on the economy producing deep-going changes, not necessarily for the better. But its principal raison d’etre has been to elevate the significance and practice of rent-seeking activities relative to the real value-producing sector. Economic rent is essentially parasitic involving the tapping into those income streams which are producing real value. These consist inter alia of – banks, credit agencies, investment companies, brokers and dealers of commodities and securities, security and commodity exchanges, insurance agents, buyers, sellers, lessors, lessees and so forth – has now reached such a level that it has become larger, more ubiquitous, and profitable than productive industry.

In contemporary terms financial institutions had been involved in the acquisition of economic rent. This consisted of little more than a parasitic claim on real value as was produced in the production process. To cite a simple example. Parking meters don’t produce any new value, they merely transfer existing value from the motorist to whoever is collecting the meter charges. Other examples are rent from land, patents and copyrights, monopolistic pricing and so forth. This situation was initially outlined by David Ricardo (1772-1823) who argued that ‘’The interest of the landlord is also opposed to the interest of every other class in society – namely, capitalists and workers. Ricardo’s animus toward the land-owning classes was in part based upon this theory of economic rent as outlined in his definitive work, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation first published in 1817. It was a theme that Keynes took up 2 centuries later with his recommendation of the early ‘euthanasia’ of the ‘rentier’ and the rentier class. The views of Ricardo and Keynes were unfortunately disregarded, and to this day, in the UK at least, the Monarchy, landed aristocracy and rentier class are still very much a power in the land. (The UK never had its bourgeois revolution, or rather it did in the civil war between Parliament and the King – 1642-49. Cromwell and Parliament won, and Charles 1 had his head chopped off in 1649, but there was a restoration whereby his son Charles 2 was brought back from France to claim the throne of England.)

But I digress.

The whole process of financialisation was to divert income from the real value-producing sector of the economy and transferring it through various rental manipulations to the financial sector. Needless to say this would purposely result in inequality and stagnant and/or falling wage levels.

Thus from 1970 onwards this part of the economy has grown from almost nothing to 8% of US Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This means that one dollar in every ten is associated with finance. In terms of corporate profits finance’s contribution now represents around 40% of all corporate profits in the US. This is a significant figure and, moreover, it does not include those overseas earnings of companies whose profits are repatriated to their countries of origin.

Finance operates at different levels in the economy: through changes in the structure and operation of financial markets, changes in the behaviour of nonfinancial corporations, and changes in economic policy

The increasing pervasiveness of finance in the contemporary world economy and its ever-expanding role in overall economic activities, and in addition to its ongoing growth in profitability, are the indicators of growth and spread of financialisation. Given the historical record, however, it seems highly probable that this financial ascendency will not be permanent and the whole house of cards will eventuate into a collapse into debt-deflation and a long period of economic depression.

The template for contemporary financial operations can be described from activities of Investment banks like Goldman Sachs as well as run-of-the-mill commercial banks. Of course, as stated, these venerated institutions do not create value as such; they are purely rent-extractive. Commercial banks can and do make loans out of thin air, debit this loan to the would-be mortgagee who then becomes a source of permanent income flow to the bank for the next 25 years. At a more rarefied level Goldman Sachs is reputed to make year-on-year ‘profits’ by doing – what exactly? Nothing particularly useful. But then Goldman Sachs is part of the cabal of central banks and Treasury departments around the world. It is not unusual to see the interchange of the movers and shakers of the financial world who oscillate between these institutions. Hank Paulson, Mario Draghi, Steve Mnuchin, Robert Rubin, and most recently from the IMF to the ECB, Madame Lagarde … on and on it goes.

This system now moves into ever more vertiginous levels of instability. But this was the logical consequence of deregulation. Regulation involves additional costs, but the last thing financial markets want is an increase in costs: ergo, deregulation. But this was to be wholly expected. As a result the history of regulation is that new types of institutions are developed that exist outside the scope of regulations, e.g., money-market funds were developed as a way to pay interest on demand deposits. The offshore market developed to avoid the costs that domestic banks incur in the form of reserve requirements and deposit insurance premiums; the offshore branches of US banks – i.e., the Eurodollar market – could pay higher interest rates than their domestic branches. The whole institutional structure – its rules, regulations and practises were deregulated, and finance was let off the leash. Thatcher, Reagan, the ‘Big Bang’ had set the scene and there was no going back: neoliberalism and globalization had become the norm. From this point on, however, there followed a litany of crises mostly in the developing world, but these disturbances were in due course to move into the developed world. Serial bubbles began to appear.

Ever mobile speculative capital was to move from one financial debacle to the next leaving a trail of wreckage and destruction in its wake. But, hey, that was someone else’s problem. The Savings and Loans crisis 1980’s and 90’s, Long Term Capital Management, 1998, dot.com bubble 2000/2001 and the property market bust in 2008 where the precursors of the current and even deeper blow-out.

But contrary to popular mythology – ‘this time it’s different’ – any boom and bust has an inflexion point where boom turns to bust. This is when buyers incomes, and borrowers inability to extend their loans could no longer support the rise in the price level. Euphoria turned to panic as borrowers who once clamoured to buy were now desperate to sell. 2008 had arrived. The same financial drama of boom and bust was to repeat itself. In the initial euphoria property prices went up but the market became oversold. At this point house prices and the prices of attendant derivatives – e.g. Mortgaged Backed Securities (MBS) – began to stall. The incomes and borrowing of would-be purchasers could no longer support the ever-rising property asset prices. The cycle had reached its inflexion point, now the whole thing went into reverse. Everyone was frantic to sell, prices collapsed. Some – a few – made money, quite a few lost monies. Investors were wondering what had happened to their gains which they had made during the up phase. Where had all that money gone? In fact the ‘gains’ were purely fictional as were the losses. Such gains/losses which had appeared then simply disappeared like a will ‘o’ the wisp. The gains and losses were never there in the first place given as an accounting identity they were balanced.

One would have thought that past experience would have chastened investors into a more conservative frame of mind. But no. Whenever there was a sniff of something for nothing the mob starts to move like Wildebeest on the plains of the Serengeti, an unstoppable stampede. Even such luminaries as Sir Isaac Newton perhaps one of the greatest scientific minds of his day who lost a cool £20000.00 on the South Sea Bubble lamented in 1720 that ‘’I could calculate the movement of heavenly bodies but not the madness of the people.’’ I suppose you could see this as being yet of another instance of human irrationalism – a recurring theme and instances in human nature, of which sadly there have been many.

And what has all of this to do with Coronavirus? Well everything actually. I take it that we all knew that the grotesquely overleveraged and dangerously poised world economy was heading for a ‘correction’ but that is rather an understated description. Massive downturn would be more accurate. This was already baked into the cake prior to the COVID-19s emergence and warnings were duly given and then routinely ignored. We are now left with a combination of a dangerous pandemic crisis combined with a huge financial and economic correction. The world was a combination of a unprecedently bloated paper money bubble and a rampant and virulent pandemic virus. Anticipated consequences can only be imagined.

NOTES

(1) Manias, Crashes and Panics – Kindelberger and Aliber – P.1/2 – 6th Edition 2011.

(2) Phillip Mullan – Creative Destruction – p.22

(3) Mullan – Ibid, – p.22/23

*A note on fictitious capital:

Fictitious capital is a by-product of capitalist accumulation. It is a concept used by Karl Marx in his critique of political economy. It is introduced in chapter 25 of the third volume of Capital. Fictitious capital contrasts with what Marx calls “real capital”, which is capital actually invested in physical means of production and workers, and “money capital”, which is actual funds being held. The market value of fictitious capital assets (such as stocks and securities) varies according to the expected return or yield of those assets in the future, which Marx felt was only indirectly related to the growth of real production. Effectively, fictitious capital represents “accumulated claims, legal titles, to future production’’ and more specifically claims to the income generated by that production.

The moral of the story is that it is not possible to print wealth or value. Money in its paper representation of the real thing, e.g., gold, is not wealth it is a claim on wealth.

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately

I was wrong on corona – by not pushing for a US Cultural Revolution immediately

May 26, 2020

by Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

Since the West’s Great Lockdown started I’ve been warning the West that they can’t do it – a capitalist-imperialist system cannot do an immediate 180 and copy China, Iran, Vietnam and others. I gave so many reasons why that was a catastrophically bad idea:

The “sports-journalisation” of their media, the unbloody flag of Y2K, counting on Germany as “reliable partners”, the perilous idea that social media users should constitute a vanguard party, a corona response shaped by middle-class mediocrity would have been acceptable if there was any middle class left in the West, only Black Nationalists picked up on my phrase “the Great Segregation”, a gratuitous use of the word “Michigander”, a polite suggestion that widespread American matriarchy may promote the hysterical acceptance of any idea that springs to mind, the fact that if the Western 1% would collude to start World War One isn’t it possible they would conspire to create a Great Lockdown, and a couple dozen others.

I certainly persuaded myself the Great lockdown should end, at least!

However, it turns out I’m a really bad revolutionary: Instead of gleefully putting my boot heel on the forehead of the corona-felled West and calling for immediate and violent revolution I kept giving them ideas which were aimed to help them avoid pushing their society into Great Depression II-levels of joblessness, starvation and stagflation.

In essence I was yelling, “Stagflation is not some word that I made up! You should really reconsider trying to be like China overnight because there is no Mandarin for ‘Great Recession’!”

Listen to me… giving fair warning to the capitalist-imperialist enemy. What a softie I am! What a phony!

If there’s one thing the last 20 years of Western history has taught me it’s this – blaming Islam is always an acceptable explanation for mistakes: I have taken to heart too much that a Muslim’s duty is only to warn others (this is why Islam has no missionaries).

Well, it’s time for forcible conversion! Unveil the American Cultural Revolution!

Corona will unveil the American Cultural Revolution

Look: I was wrong – it’s all over for the West now.

It was over before it even started because capitalism-imperialism is no way to run a cultural bloc, but I gave enough fair warning in May 17: The date the Great Lockdown must end or Everything Bubble 2 pops.

The US, the leader of the West, has 43 million unemployed, which is undercounting, around 42% of whom aren’t going to be rehired for years, who already had lousy jobs which were underemployment and not full employment, which provided lousy and stagnant wages, which is hardest on a youth class who can no longer be distracted by taking pictures of and dissecting the different flavours of their avocado toasts because the avocados are all being dumped into a ravine to keep prices down by a farmer who is only a few months from suicide.

Hertz, JC Penny, Pier 1 many other top retailers and countless restaurants already have something in common with the lilies in the field described in Matthew 6:28 – Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not. Who can toil for not just bread but the credit card interest charged for that bread when bankruptcies of Biblical proportions have only just begun?

Bankruptcies lead to job loss; job loss leads to hunger and foreclosure; hunger and foreclosure leads to asking for government handouts; Anglo-American liberal economics’ refusal to give government handouts leads to endemic poverty and suffering; endemic poverty and suffering is proof that your favourite sociopolitical system sucks.

Stop pretending that the capitalists of any school have solutions to this – “letting capitalism run its course” via non-interventions is not just immoral and heartless but unpatriotic treachery: you prefer to maintain the fiction that your favourite sociopolitical system doesn’t suck rather than feeding your neighbor?! I am no promoter of “culture with American characteristics”, but at least I tried to warn them to avoid starvation, murder and chaos.

The US is, without the slightest exaggeration, now encountered with a fatal paradox: The only way to save “capitalism with US characteristics” is to immediately take public action to save it, but the actions required to save “capitalism with US characteristics” would destroy the system of “capitalism with US characteristics” beyond recognition.

The leftist opportunity provided by corona lockdowns – you’ll HAVE TO talk politics now

What we have now is a situation where people have the time to complete the single-most necessary task which precedes revolutionary change: talking seriously to each other about politics, and demanding the other person either admit to hard choices or get out of the way.

Since 1980 the hyperfinancialisation of the US economy enabled credit-based materialism on an incredible scale, and this mad scramble of work-buy-sleep-repeat has come to a temporary end – this is a great boon. This forced break is the greatest gift coronavirus is giving the US – it’s like a Ramadan they never had.

Let’s assume there’s a second wave, and a Great Lockdown II, or at least many other hysterical shutterings of auto plants and schools after one new corona case is found, and a real stop-and-start quality to life for the next 12 months or so. This should require more “People’s QE”, but it definitely means that Americans will be forced to often stay at home and really talk – via Zoom or the telephone or in person while being masked – about how outdated and aristocratically-rigged the Western liberal system is and how it needs to be changed, to modernise, to progress for the better.

Basically, the short- and medium-term conditions are spectacularly ripe for Cultural Revolution across the West.

There is no V-shaped recovery – they actually did this stupid thing I warned them not to – and you can reliably count on there being favourable conditions for fomenting leftist dissent until at least 2023.

Beyond the certainty of slow-drip economic disaster – corona is the pin which has popped the West’s Everything Bubble II economy – what’s so unique about this era is that we all have so much more time at home to stew about bad politics. So very many will be doing this without any stew, or only on barebones government-provided stew, but that is precisely what a Cultural Revolution is: stewing and arguing over what form our obviously-broken society must take from now on.

This is what happened in a China where revolutionary spirit was dwindling and mutating into a city-based elitism, as well as in an Iran which had declared non-allegiance to both the East and West despite having no modern Muslim political-cultural example to model themselves on.

Corona is doing what the Yellow Vests did – forcing open a space for honest political dialogue, finally

The simplest way to explain it is to put it in Western cultural terms: what France’s Yellow Vests are demanding is a French Cultural Revolution in order to expand democracy’s reach into the lower classes, something aristocratic Western liberal democracy has never achieved, nor even aimed to. – the parallel with 1960s China and 1980s Iran could not be more clear… if the West wasn’t so hell-bent on distorting those two eras, as well as distorting the Yellow Vests, too.

The Yellow Vests aren’t going to get revolution – such is the power of the modern aristocratic forces arrayed against them. Similarly, despite all the guns in private hands, the US is even less ripe for a modern revolution due to the 40 years of enforced political ignorance and political apathy that I described.

However, just as the Yellow Vests forced open a new space for honest political talk in France, the consequences of the Great Lockdown will create the space for honest political talk in the US.

The fall of the dollar, ‘Liberty or Boogaloo’, true cultural revolution – these things appear far-fetched to honestly expect (at least in late May 2020), but we can realistically expect that corona’s popping of Everything Bubble II will dramatically change the US political dialogue, like the Yellow Vests certainly did in France.

I have obviously reassessed my editorial line – no more warning, because the fight is over: the corona overreaction has knocked Western capitalism-imperialism to the canvas and it will remain floored for at least 2-3 years.

So if there was ever a time where an American could say openly, “You know, I’m not sure if those socialists ever had a single good idea, but I do know our system has definitely lost its way,” and not worry about being all alone in saying that – it is today and during the now-certain era of economic hardship.

“Our system has lost its way” is the ubiquitous, mantric phrase which always indicates the coming of revolution.

However, I’m certain that if Lenin was around in May 2020 he would do what he did between the twin revolutions of February and October 1917 – he would have forbidden the Bolshevik Party to take power because cultural conditions were not yet ripe. The capitalist-imperialist Americans (and French) are so very impressed with their own cultures that true revolution is not yet possible.

It’s fun and interesting to read a journalist write that revolutionary changes are on our doorstep already – I don’t think such journalists are personally familiar with revolution. We can’t even know just how bad it’s going to be until the West actually opens up, but after all this Great Lockdown we do know this: it’s going to be quite, quite bad for them.

Would Americans fiscally blow up America rather than go somewhat socialist for the benefit of their own 99%? This is more than just the topic for an upcoming column – it’s the question of the corona-crisis/Great Depression II era.

In whatever sense this means to you: corona is not going away. Its presence will be viscerally felt for the coming months and few years – now is the time, finally, when Americans will be receptive to the case made by true leftism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re giving up our civil liberties. Fine, but to which type of state? – April 20, 2020

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

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

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

2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution

APRIL 27, 2020

America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

America’s sole enemy during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was England. Ever since being defeated in that war, England (controlled by the British aristocracy) has tried various ways to regain its control over America. The British aristocracy’s latest attempt to regain control over America started in 1877, and continues today, as the two countries’ “Deep State” — comprising not only the lying CIA and the lying MI6, but the entire joint operation of the united aristocracies of Britain and the U.S. These two aristocracies actually constitute the Deep State, and control the top levels of both intelligence agencies, and of both Governments, and prevent democracy in both countries. The aristocracy rules each of them. The 1877 plan was for a unification of the two aristocracies, and for the then-rising new world power, American industry, and its Government, to become controlled by the wealthiest individuals in both countries. Franklin Delano Roosevelt had tried to break the back of that intended global-imperialist combine, but he tragically died before he achieved this goal.

America’s second war against a foreign power was the War of 1812 (1812-1815), in which the U.S.A., so soon after its own victorious Revolution to free itself from Britain, tried to go even further, and to remove Britain altogether from North America. There still remained, among Americans, some fear that England might try to retake the U.S.A. The historian, Don Hickey, wrote that “In North America, the United States was the only belligerent that could lose the war and still retain its independence. Since Great Britain’s independence was at stake in the Napoleonic Wars, one might argue that the United States was the only belligerent on either side of the Atlantic in the War of 1812 that had nothing to fear for its independence.” Because King George III was still hated by many Americans, the U.S. aimed to free from Britain’s control the British colonies that remained to the north of America’s border, present-day Canada. Most of the residents there, however, continued to think of themselves as subjects of the King, and so the U.S. effort failed. Furthermore, British soldiers, coming down from what now is Canada, actually did manage to to jeopardize America’s independence: they burned down Washington. It wasn’t the King’s subjects north of America’s border who did this; it was British troops. The King’s army did it. Americans did have real reason to fear King George III. America’s continuing independence was, indeed, at stake in that war. That wasn’t merely the perception of the Democratic-Republicans (Jefferson’s Party); there was reality to it.

During a 25 May 2018 phone-call between the Presidents of America and Canada, America’s ignoramus President — Donald Trump — justified tariffs against Canada partially by saying “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” However, King George III’s troops had actually done that, on 24 August 1814 (and destroyed the Capitol building on the same day); and not only did Canada not yet exist at that time, but the King’s troops had done this in retaliation for a successful American invasion into the King’s northern territory — which territory was subsequently to win its own partial independence (after the unsuccessful rebellions of 1837-1838, by the King’s subjects there). Though the U.S. won the War of 1812, in the sense of not losing its independence to England, it failed to free Canada. However, two years after America’s own Civil War (1860-1865), Canada finally won a messy partial independence in 1867.

The rebuilding of the British-destroyed U.S. White House was completed in 1817; that of the British-destroyed U.S. Capitol was completed in 1826.

The most celebrated battle in the War of 1812 was at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, on 13 September 1814, where America’s soldiers hoisted in victory the U.S. flag, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner”. That ode was celebrating what became considered by Americans to have been their country’s second victory against Britain’s imperial tyranny.

England’s next big attempt to conquer the U.S. was during the Civil War, when England was supporting the Southerners’ right to continue enslaving Blacks and to break away from the federal Union for that purpose (to perpetuate slavery). If the South had won, this would not only have considerably weakened the U.S.A., but it would have placed to America’s south a new nation which would be allied with America’s enemy, Britain, the Southern Confederacy.

By contrast against England’s support for slavery, and for the breakup of the United States, Russia was a leading global supporter of the U.S., and of its movement to abolish slavery. Under Tsar Alexander II, the Russian Government opposed not only slavery but also serfdom, and thus became immortalized amongst Russians as “The Great Liberator,” for his ending serfdom, which was, for Russia, what slavery was for America — a repudiated relic of a former monarchic absolutism (that Tsar’s predecessors). When the erudite Cynthia Chung headlined on 16 October 2019, “Russia and the United States: The Forgotten History of a Brotherhood” and wrote there about “Cassius Clay,” she wasn’t mistakenly referring to the famous American boxer Muhammad Ali (1942-2016), but instead, quite correctly, to the individual who is far less well-known today but in whose honor that renowned boxer had originally been named, Cassius Marcellus Clay. The namesake for that boxer was quite reasonably referred-to by Chung as having been “possibly the greatest US Ambassador to Russia (1861-1862 and 1863-1869).” This “Cassius Clay” was, indeed, one of America’s unsung historical heroes, not only because this Kentuckian “Cassius Clay” was an extremely courageous champion of outlawing slavery, but also because he became a great asset to his friend Abraham Lincoln’s war to achieve the goal of emancipating America’s slaves. As Wikipedia’s article “Cassius Marcellus Clay (politician)” says, when describing Clay’s role in the “Civil War and Minister to Russia”:

President Lincoln appointed Clay to the post of Minister to the Russian court at St. Petersburg on March 28, 1861. The Civil War started before he departed and, as there were no Federal troops in Washington at the time, Clay organized a group of 300 volunteers to protect the White House and US Naval Yard from a possible Confederate attack. These men became known as Cassius M. Clay’s Washington Guards. President Lincoln gave Clay a presentation Colt revolver in recognition. When Federal troops arrived, Clay and his family embarked for Russia.[10]

As Minister to Russia, Clay witnessed the Tsar’s emancipation edict. Recalled to the United States in 1862 to accept a commission from Lincoln as a major general with the Union Army, Clay publicly refused to accept it unless Lincoln would agree to emancipate slaves under Confederate control. Lincoln sent Clay to Kentucky to assess the mood for emancipation there and in the other border states. Following Clay’s return to Washington, DC, Lincoln issued the proclamation in late 1862, to take effect in January 1863.[11]

Clay resigned his commission in March 1863 and returned to Russia, where he served until 1869. [3] He was influential in the negotiations for the purchase of Alaska.[12

Thus, this friend of both “The Great Liberator” and “The Great Emancipator” helped them both. As Blake Stillwell well summarized in his 16 October 2015 article “How Russia guaranteed a Union victory in the Civil War”, Ambassador Clay knew and personally shared the deeply shared values between the heads-of-state in both the U.S. and Russia, and he thereby persuaded Tsar Alexander II to commit to join the U.S. in a war to conquer England if England would overtly and actively join the U.S. South’s war against the United States. Tsar Alexander II thus stationed Russian warships in New York City and San Francisco during the Civil War, so as to block England from actively supporting the Southern Confederacy, which England had been planning to do. Probably no single country was as helpful to the Union cause as was Russia, and this was not merely for purposes of power-politics, but very much for democratic and progressive principles, both Lincoln’s and that Tsar’s — their shared Enlightenment goals for the world’s future.

Imperialistic England’s imperialistic foe France was also pro-slavery, but not as big a threat to the U.S. as England was. The way that Michael O’Neill phrased this in his 10 May 2019 “France’s Involvement in the U.S. Civil War” was: “The French government certainly had sympathies for the Confederacy because both regimes were aristocratic, while the North had a more democratic social and economic system that wasn’t as rigidly hierarchical. France’s trade prospects were also hurt because of Northern blockades of Southern ports. France wanted to intervene in order to ensure the trade of cotton, wine, brandy and silk.” This was an instance where the English and French empires were on the same side — against democracy, and for slavery. Every aristocracy is driven by unlimited greed, and this greed drove the French and English aristocracies together, regarding America’s Civil War. Tsar Alexander II was an extremely rare progressive aristocrat — like U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt subsequently also was.

As Chung’s article also noted, the friendly relations between Russia and the United States had started at the time of the American Revolution, and Benjamin Franklin (who then was America’s Ambassador to France) was key to that.

In 1877, the future British diamond-magnate Cecil Rhodes came up with his lifelong plan, to unite the aristocracies of Britain and the U.S. so as to ultimately conquer the entire world. His plan was to be activated upon his death, which occurred in 1902, when the Rhodes Trust began and created the core of a spreading movement at the top levels of finance in both countries, including the Royal Institute of Foreign Affairs, a.k.a., Chatham House, in London, and then the Council on Foreign Relations in NYC (RIFA’s U.S. branch), both of which institutions became united with the European aristocracies in the Bilderberg group, which started in 1954, and which was initiated by the ‘former’ Nazi Prince Bernhard of Netherlands, and David Rockefeller of U.S.; and, then, finally, the Trilateral Commission, bringing Japan’s aristocrats into the Rhodesian fold, in 1973, under the aegis of David Rockefeller’s agent and chief anti-Russian strategist, Zbigniew Brzezinski. (Nelson Rockefeller’s chief anti-Russian strategist was Henry Kissinger.)

There are also other significant offshoots from the Rhodes Trust — it’s the trunk of the tree, and Cecil Rhodes seems to have been its seed.

Then, during World War I, the U.S. and Russia were, yet again, crucial allies, but this time England was with us, not against us, because Britain’s aristocracy were competing against Germany’s. The Marxist Revolution in Russia in 1917 terrified all of the world’s super-rich, much as they had been terrified by America’s enemy is England, not Russia. Historically, Russia has been perhaps America’s main Ally; England remains America’s top enemy, just as during the American Revolution.the failed revolutions in Europe during 1848, but this in Russia was a revolution for a dictatorship by workers against the middle class (“the bourgeoisie”) and not only against the aristocracy; and, so, it was no Enlightenment project, and it certainly wasn’t at all democratic. Furthermore, Germany during World War I was even more dictatorial than was England. Indeed: Kaiser Wilhelm II initiated the World War in order to maintain and continue the ancient tradition of the divine right of kings — hereditary monarchy (the most retrogressive of all forms of governmental rule, hereditary rule). And Germany was threatening America’s ships, whereas England was not.

At the Versaille Peace Conference after WW I, four influential leaders of the U.S. delegation were intensely pro-British: the extremely conservative pro-aristocracy Democrat and U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing, and his two nephews, the extremely conservative devoutly Christian pro-aristocracy Republicans John Foster Dulles, and his brother Allen Dulles, and the devoutly Christian partner of J.P. Morgan, Thomas Lamont. All four supported an obligation by Germany’s taxpayers to pay reparations to French taxpayers so large as to destitute the newly established democratic Weimar German Government. This destitution of Germans — approved by the U.S. delegation — helped to cause the extremist conservative right-wing-populist Nazi Party to come into power against the democratic Weimar Government. The Dulles brothers had many friends amongst the aristocracies of both England and Germany, and became two leaders of the war to conquer Russia, under U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. Whereas U.S. President Harry S. Truman had sought to “contain” the Soviet Union, the Dulles brothers sought instead to “conquer” it. Both of them had a visceral hatred of Russia — not only of communism. It was a hatred which was widely shared amongst the aristocracies of all empires, especially England, U.S., Germany, and Japan.

U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an exception to the almost universal hatred of Russia amongst U.S.-and-allied aristocracies: he recognized and acknowledged that though Joseph Stalin was a barbaric dictator, Stalin was a deeply committed anti-imperialist like FDR himself was, because Stalin led the Communist Party’s anti-imperialist wing, against Trotsky’s imperialist wing. Stalin advocated passionately for “communism in one country” — the doctrine that the Soviet Union must first clearly establish a thriving economy within the country and thereby serve as a model which would inspire the masses in capitalist nations to rise up against their oppressors; and that only after such a communist model of success becomes established can communism naturally spread to other countries. FDR was absolutely opposed to any sort of imperialism, and he had passionate private arguments against Winston Churchill about it, because Churchill said, “There can be no tampering with the Empire’s economic agreements,” in reply to FDR’s “I can’t believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy.” And, afterwards, FDR said privately to his son Elliott, contemptuously against Churchill, “A real old Tory, isn’t he? A real old Tory, of the old school.” FDR’s post-war vision was for a United Nations which would possess all nuclear and all other strategic weapons, and which would control all aspects of international law, and nothing of intranational law (except perhaps if the Security Council is unanimous, but only as being exceptions). Each of the major powers would be allowed to intervene intranationally into their bordering nations, but only so as to prevent any inimical major power from gaining a foothold next door — purely defensive, nothing else. This would have been very different from what the U.N. became. It’s something that the gullible Truman (who knew and understood none of that) was able to be deceived about by Churchill, and, even more so, by the then-General, Dwight Eisenhower, because both of them were committed imperialists and aimed to conquer Russia — and not only to end its communism. The crucial date was 26 July 1945, when Eisenhower convinced Truman to start the Cold War. Then, on 24 February 1990, U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush established the policy of the U.S. since then: that when the Soviet Union would end its communism in 1991, the U.S. and its allies would secretly continue the Cold War against Russia, until Russia becomes conquered so as to be part of the U.S. empire, no longer an independent nation. This is continuation of Cecil Rhodes’s plan: the U.S. doing the British aristocracy’s bidding to lead in conquering the entire world.

On 14 August 1941, at the time when FDR and Churchill formed the Atlantic Charter and were planning for a joint war against Hitler, they agreed to form the “UKUSA Agreement”, a “secret treaty” between those two countries, which became formalized on 17 May 1943 as the “BRUSA Agreement” and then on 5 March 1946 under President Truman became officially signed, and its contents finally became public on 25 June 2010. It was/is the basis of what is more commonly know as “the Five Eyes” of the Cecil-Rhodes-derived (though they don’t mention that) foreign-intelligence operations, uniting UK and U.S. intelligence as the core, but also including the intelligence-operations of the other Anglo-Saxon English-speaking colonies: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. India and other ‘inferior races’ of English-speaking countries (as Rhodes and Winston Churchill viewed them) weren’t included. For examples: the UK/USA joint effort to produce the death of Julian Assange (and seem likely to succeed soon in doing that) became part of this UK/USA working-together, as have also been the UK/USA sanctions against Russia regarding the trumped-up cases and sanctions against Russia concerning Sergei Magnitsky in 2012 and Sergei Skripal and the “Russiagate” charges against Donald Trump in 2018. This full flowering of the Rhodesian plan is also publicly known as “the Special Relationship” and as “the Anglosphere”.

It’s the U.S. and UK aristocracies, against their own nations — against their own people — but for the essential imperial operations by both U.S. and UK international corporations, which those billionaires control.

This is why all sanctions against Russia are based on lies. Certainly, it doesn’t happen by accident. At each step, in virtually each instance, the U.S. and UK aristocracies are working together on these libels — libels against the actual main foreign ally of the U.S. (UK’s aristocracy has always been the main enemy of the UK’s public, and also against Russia — and against the American people. This is entirely consistent with Rhodes’s plan, which was to use the U.S. in order to expand Britain’s Empire. That is the history of our times.)

This is the ultimate success of King George III’s plan, and it is a profound betrayal of the intentions of America’s Founders, who were passionate anti-imperialists. And so too was FDR. But right after WW II, the imperialists (run by America’s billionaires) took over.
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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.

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

April 02, 2020

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

By Ramin Mazaheri for The Saker Blog

It’s the film which captures what 2020’s zeitgeist should become, given that the rabidly anti-socialist West has chosen to economically self-implode Everything Bubble 2 into a possible Great Depression 2 over the coronavirus. It’s based on a great idea: what if Superman’s spaceship had not crashed in rural Kansas but in the rural USSR? His catchphrase would have surely changed to, “Truth, justice and the American socialist way!”

Ten million new unemployed in the span of 8 days… in the coming months Americans won’t be considered aliens to have similarly changed their motto.

Superman: Red Son (2020) is not about an evil Superman, just a socialist one. What movie viewer is going to root against Superman and for the kryptonite?

But rooting for a socialist? That’s not only radical art but a desperately-needed message during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Pepe Escobar, a must-read of the few must-reads, has reviewed the song of the corona zeitgeist – Midnight on Planet Lockdown: Dylan strikes again – because not only is he journalistically impeccable but his musical taste is incredibly hip. Lucky for us, Superman has just been reimagined to show not only that he, too, is still culturally relevant, but also that those about to clamor that we must save neoliberalism are Positively 4th Street.

It’s a fascinating new movie, and for the same reason I raved about following the ending of the often-proclaimed “best TV show of its era”, The AmericansIn my 2018 review, Religion saves ‘The Americans’ – the superb (semi) pro-socialist TV show, I got right to the point regarding the portrayal of two Soviet spies embedded in the US:

“What has gone unappreciated, and of course rarely commented-upon among the fake-leftist cultural gurus of the US, is that ‘The Americans’ was the first show to ever sympathetically portray committed socialists in US history. For leftists, it was truly ground-breaking and long-awaited television.

Watching the show I was happily astounded to see – time and time again – that the spies were portrayed as truly devoted, impassioned, intelligent socialists. Throughout the show’s 6 seasons there were socialist critiques of American culture; of capitalism, imperialism, militarism, racism, individualism, etc., and all delivered without a hint of irony or doubt. Never before have Americans been so capably presented with a socialist critique of their society on the TV in their own home.”

It took 25 years after the fall of the USSR for such a show to be permitted into the US mainstream. Nothing could be worth such a long wait – we need socialist solutions right now, and especially in 2020 – but with The Americans for the first time Americans could at least visualise what true socialists looked like. Prior to that it was mainly stereotypes like Ivan Drago(n) from Rocky IV, a cold and inhuman Frankenstein, cheating with steroids yet still losing, rejecting socialism in the end, and losing to scrappy boy-next-door and Reagan-era icon Sylvester Stallone.

I wonder if in 25 years there will finally be a sympathetic portrayal of Iranian Islamic Socialism on US televisions? LOL… I’d be happy if it arrives in 50 years.

Don’t worry – no spoilers

I thought about doing a part two which would contain an in-depth analysis and spoilers – something like ‘The Death of Stalin’ & ‘sweet’ Hitler? Comparing postwar European cinema – but these crazy times push my natural proclivity towards producing hard news.

The basic plot is: Superman crashes in a land of anti-fascism, anti-racism, anti-tribalism, anti-sexism and which actually fought daily for genuine equality. Of course, for acknowledging this publicly Superman earns the enmity of the corporate fascist United States, which is headed by President Lex Luthor, Superman’s longtime evil-genius rival. Pity poor Americans who will be flummoxed: Are they supposed to root for President Luthor or this unAmerican Superman who is talking about the necessity of socialism with Stalin?

Wonder Woman plays a role that obviously is designed to promote homosexual tolerance (I never knew she was a lesbian?) as well as enraged #MeToo feminism because – after all – this is an American movie, and these are their dominant (fake-leftist, tribalist) political obsessions. I find the former quite boring – I atypically re-interpreted her character as being representative of polytheism. Socialism, after all, did deliver a fatal, banishing blow to polytheism/folk religion in places like China (Confucianism is not folk religion), and the writers of this movie appear to perceive that; socialism did not deliver any such fatal blow to monotheism in Russia, much less in the Muslim World. Wonder Woman’s official title is “Princess Diana of Themyscira”. Of course, Diana/Artemis, the huntress and the god of the moon, is one of the 12 major gods of the Greco-Roman pantheon, and is even more prominent in the neopagan (“the old ways are the best ways, but I’m not a reactionary!”) pantheon. Interpreting this character – and her destiny in the film – as a symbol of polytheistic thought and its socio-historical destiny makes for a much more global, historical, political (to Islamic socialists, at least) and philosophical film analysis.

(This would be the most interesting part of an expanded review, at least to me, because the West is totally oblivious on this score. The modern West is full of closet neopagans (and I’m not including those who believe in a non-monotheistic Holy Trinity) – people who have rejected Christianity and whose “spirituality” is full of pagan-origin, illogical notions and self-entered sensations. Anybody notice that the uber-evil Jeffrey Epstein constructed an elaborate Greek polytheistic temple on his island hideaway? I would have commented on it – why are no MSM columnists talking about “polytheistic fascists” yet we can still read them talk about “Islamo-fascists?” – but I was on vacation back then. And also: Muslims are instructed in the Koran not to insult polytheists as that could push them away from the one God, and isn’t that compassionate and logical?

But polytheism is still actually a real thing – not to fight against physically but to debate intellectually. To quote Ali Shariati, the Iranian Islamic Revolution’s top thinker, “… throughout history, religion has always fought against religion and never in the sense that we understand today, religion against non-religion.” Indeed – historically atheists have been tiny in number, almost always politically powerless and rarely willing to be martyred for their faith in no God. This is why Socialist Superman versus Polytheistic Diana represents an intellectual confrontation as vital as the one between Socialist Superman and corporate fascist Luthor. Watch the movie and you can see for yourself if Wonder Woman/Diana fights with or against Socialist Superman.)

Batman also makes an appearance: he serves as another enemy to Socialist Superman precisely because he is an obvious symbol of always anti-socialist, Make America Great Again-style jingoism. He is the “Dark Knight”, after all. Many may incorrectly interpret Luthor as a Trump-style character, but they should ask themselves: since when did Hollywood become pro-Trump? Also, Luthor (and this is no spoiler) is dating the MSM reporter Lois Lane!

It should be clear that there’s a lot going on in intellectually in this exceptional movie. Socialism, corporate fascism, Trumpian neo-fascism, #MeToo feminism, never-say-die polytheism – this movie takes on many issues which will burn in 2020 and beyond. No spoilers, but which will prevail: A classic “Hollywood ending” or an anti-American Socialist Superman?

Red Son is widely available yet CNN is the only major media to have reviewed it, per Rotten Tomatoes. Obviously, the Western MSM would like this to die a quiet death because they hate any leftist movie. I discuss this phenomenon, and rank the greatest leftist movies, in this article: ‘The Death of Yazdgerd’: The greatest political movie ever explains Iran’s revolution. I would definitely put Superman: Red Son in that conversation, but better than the Shakespeare-in-real-time ‘Death of Yazdgerd’?! You can watch it here on YouTube for free and with subtitles – see for yourself.

CNN wrote a pretty weak review, raising only one intellectual observation to discuss: “What ‘Red Son’ does, in an effective and perhaps unexpectedly timely way, is consider the extent the flag to which one pledges allegiance defines and shapes the man.”

This is the typical “cultural relativism”/Politically Correct lens, the only tool in a Western fake-leftist’s toolkit: Superman is a committed socialist only because he has crashed in the USSR; because everybody is a rabid jingoist/nationalist, and this excuses centuries of Western chauvinism. Clearly, the critic did not accept Superman’s constant, lucid attacks on American capitalism-imperialism, nor his numerous sincere pleas that the West accept socialism (on their own timeframe) to avoid more war and suffering. It is as if the critic does not realise this fundamental truth: many Soviets were committed anti-socialists – merely growing up under a certain flag does not automatically mean one thinks and feels a certain way.

But not in the West: all values are equal (relative), which nihilistically makes them all nonsense. This also permits the secret upholding of every lazy, divisive stereotype: all Soviets were surely fanatical socialists, all Muslims are radical theocrats and all Americans believe in truth and justice. The idea of “us versus them” is an American creed which did not begin during the recent “War on Terror”, nor even with their “War on communism”, but truly begins – though this is never admitted – upon their first footfall in American and their “War on Indians”.

Of course, CNN cannot broach the idea that Superman genuinely believed in the ideals of socialism any more than they can admit that Fidel, Khamenei, much of the Red Army, Xi, and probably half of Xi’s relatives genuinely believe in the ideals of socialism. Such belief is impossible in the moral-relativity West and its many nihilistic corollaries: all open leftists are liars, deluded, childish and/or phonies just waiting to be unmasked. All the billions of leftists in human history can do is roll their eyes… but also to openly reject Western political and moral nihilism.

The movie is “must-see TV” because 2020 seems certain to witness the latest inevitable bust (see my next article) in Western capitalism-imperialism. The wilful explosion of Everything Bubble 2 – which was re-inflated by a QE and ZIRP which did not benefit the “real economy” but the elite asset classes of the 1% – as an allegedly-necessary solution to the coronavirus will put socialist ideas back in the rightful place: in the daily conversation. 2008 saw the Occupy Movement and the idea of the “99%” – why would a 2020 (inevitable) capitalist bust not see an even greater interest and demand for anti-capitalist ideas?

Certainly Superman’s constant espousing of socialist ideals will raise many “deviant” political ideas in the heads of young children, LOL, but cartoons are for all age types now.

Watch Superman: Red Son with your kids and then try to explain that Superman was actually a fraud and a liar and that his pro-socialist speeches, defenses and motivations are as nonsensical in 2020 as they were in 1917, 1941 and 1979. What is certain is that ardent defenders of capitalism-imperialism will watch this movie and scream exactly that at the TV: something like, “Listen to the nonsense they have Superman spouting. It’s unAmerican I tells ya!” Socialists, however, will take Socialist Superman as a man of his honourable words.

Silly socialists, not coming up with this idea back in 1938, when Superman first debuted! Of course, nearly 30 million Soviets were about to be martyred to stop an idea which had swept the Western zeitgeist for decades – the idea of an “Aryan superman”. So we can understand why Soviets were laser-focused on art which emphasised equality and not exceptionalism.

These are crazy times, but are they so crazy that you can’t root for Superman if he’s a socialist and not a defender of “capitalism-imperialism with American characteristics”? Are you even following the times?

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Corona contrarianism? How about some corona common sense? Here is my list of articles published regarding the corona crisis, and I hope you will find them useful in your leftist struggle!

Capitalist-imperialist West stays home over corona – they grew a conscience?

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

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

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

If Germany rejects Corona bonds they must quit the Eurozone

Landlord class: Waive or donate rent-profits now or fear the Cultural Revolution

Corona repeating 9/11 & Y2K hysterias? Both saw huge economic overreactions


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 ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’.

A Lesson Coronavirus Is About to Teach the World

By Jonathan Cook

Global Research, March 19, 2020

If a disease can teach wisdom beyond our understanding of how precarious and precious life is, the coronavirus has offered two lessons.

The first is that in a globalised world our lives are so intertwined that the idea of viewing ourselves as islands – whether as individuals, communities, nations, or a uniquely privileged species – should be understood as evidence of false consciousness. In truth, we were always bound together, part of a miraculous web of life on our planet and, beyond it, stardust in an unfathomably large and complex universe. 

It is only an arrogance cultivated in us by those narcissists who have risen to power through their own destructive egotism that blinded us to the necessary mix of humility and awe we ought to feel as we watch a drop of rain on a leaf, or a baby struggle to crawl, or the night sky revealed in all its myriad glories away from city lights.

And now, as we start to enter periods of quarantine and self-isolation – as nations, communities and individuals – all that should be so much clearer. It has taken a virus to show us that only together are we at our strongest, most alive and most human.

In being stripped of what we need most by the threat of contagion, we are reminded of how much we have taken community for granted, abused it, hollowed it out. We are afraid because the services we need in times of collective difficulty and trauma have been turned into commodities that require payment, or treated as privileges to which access is now means-tested, rationed or is simply gone. That insecurity is at the root of the current urge to hoard.

When death stalks us it is not bankers we turn to, or corporate executives, or hedge fund managers. Nonetheless, those are the people our societies have best rewarded. They are the people who, if salaries are a measure of value, are the most prized.

But they are not the people we need, as individuals, as societies, as nations. Rather, it will be doctors, nurses, public health workers, care-givers and social workers who will be battling to save lives by risking their own.

During this health crisis we may indeed notice who and what is most important. But will we remember the sacrifice, their value after the virus is no longer headline news? Or will we go back to business as usual – until the next crisis – rewarding the arms manufacturers, the billionaire owners of the media, the fossil fuel company bosses, and the financial-services parasites feeding off other people’s money? 

‘Take it on the chin’ 

The second lesson follows from the first. Despite everything we have been told for four decades or more, western capitalist societies are far from the most efficient ways of organising ourselves. That will be laid bare as the coronavirus crisis deepens.

We are still very much immersed in the ideological universe of Thatcherism and Reaganism, when we were told quite literally: “There is no such thing as society.” How will that political mantra stand the test of the coming weeks and months? How much can we survive as individuals, even in quarantine, rather than as part of communities that care for all of us?Western leaders who champion neoliberalism, as they are required to do nowadays, have two choices to cope with coronavirus – and both will require a great deal of misdirection if we are not to see through their hypocrisy and deceptions.

Our leaders can let us “take it on the chin”, as the British prime minister Boris Johnson has phrased it. In practice, that will mean allowing what is effectively a cull of many of the poor and elderly – one that will relieve governments of the financial burden of underfunded pension schemes and welfare payments.

Such leaders will claim they are powerless to intervene or to ameliorate the crisis. Confronted with the contradictions inherent in their worldview, they will suddenly become fatalists, abandoning their belief in the efficacy and righteousness of the free market. They will say the virus was too contagious to contain, too robust for health services to cope, too lethal to save lives. They will evade all blame for the decades of health cuts and privatisations that made those services inefficient, inadequate, cumbersome and inflexible.

Or, by contrast, politicians will use their spin doctors and allies in the corporate media to obscure the fact that they are quietly and temporarily becoming socialists to deal with the emergency. They will change the welfare rules so that all those in the gig economy they created – employed on zero-hours contracts – do not spread the virus because they cannot afford to self-quarantine or take days’ off sick.

Or most likely our leaders will pursue both options.

Permanent crisis 

If acknowledged at all, the conclusion to be draw from the crisis – that we all matter equally, that we need to look after one another, that we sink or swim together – will be treated as no more than an isolated, fleeting lesson specific to this crisis. Our leaders will refuse to draw more general lessons – ones that might highlight their own culpability – about how sane, humane societies should function all the time. 

In fact, there is nothing unique about the coronavirus crisis. It is simply a heightened version of the less visible crisis we are now permanently mired in. As Britain sinks under floods each winter, as Australia burns each summer, as the southern states of the US are wrecked by hurricanes and its great plains become dustbowls, as the climate emergency becomes ever more tangible, we will learn this truth slowly and painfully. 

Those deeply invested in the current system – and those so brainwashed they cannot see its flaws – will defend it to the bitter end. They will learn nothing from the virus. They will point to authoritarian states and warn that things could be far worse. 

They will point a finger at Iran’s high death toll as confirmation that our profit-driven societies are better, while ignoring the terrible damage we have inflicted on Iran’s health services after years of sabotaging its economy through ferocious sanctions. We left Iran all the more vulnerable to coronavirus  because we wanted to engineer “regime change” – to interfere under the pretence of “humanitarian” concern – as we have sought to do in other countries whose resources we wished to control, from Iraq to Syria and Libya.

Iran will be held responsible for a crisis we willed, that our politicians intended (even if the speed and means came as a surprise), to overthrow its leaders. Iran’s failures will be cited as proof of our superior way of life, as we wail self-righteously about the outrage of a “Russian interference” whose contours we can barely articulate. 

Valuing the common good 

Those who defend our system, even as its internal logic collapses in the face of coronavirus and a climate emergency, will tell us how lucky we are to live in free societies where some – Amazon executives, home delivery services, pharmacies, toilet-paper manufacturers – can still make a quick buck from our panic and fear. As long as someone is exploiting us, as long as someone is growing fat and rich, we will be told the system works – and works better than anything else imaginable. 

But in fact, late-stage capitalist societies like the US and the UK will struggle to claim even the limited successes against coronavirus of authoritarian governments. Is Trump in the US or Johnson in the UK – exemplars of “the market knows best” capitalism – likely to do better than China at containing and dealing with the virus?

This lesson is not about authoritarian versus “free” societies. This is about societies that treasure the common wealth, that value the common good, above private greed and profit, above protecting the privileges of a wealth-elite.

In 2008, after decades of giving the banks what they wanted – free rein to make money by trading in hot air – the western economies all but imploded as an inflated bubble of empty liquidity burst. The banks and financial services were saved only by public bail-outs – tax payers’ money. We were given no choice: the banks, we were told, were “too big to fail”.We bought the banks with our common wealth. But because private wealth is our era’s guiding star, the public were not allowed to own the banks they bought. And once the banks had been bailed out by us – a perverse socialism for the rich – the banks went right back to making private money, enriching a tiny elite until the next crash.

Nowhere to fly to 

The naive may think this was a one-off. But the failings of capitalism are inherent and structural, as the virus is already demonstrating and the climate emergency will drive home with alarming ferocity in the coming years.

The shut-down of borders means the airlines are quickly going bust. They didn’t put money away for a rainy day, of course. They didn’t save, they weren’t prudent. They are in a cut-throat world where they need to compete with rivals, to drive them out of business and make as much money as they can for shareholders.

Now there is nowhere for the airlines to fly to – and they will have no visible means to make money for months on end. Like the banks, they are too big to fail – and like the banks they are demanding public money be spent to tide them over until they can once again rapaciously make profits for their shareholders. There will be many other corporations queuing up behind the airlines. 




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Sooner or later the public will be strong-armed once again to bail out these profit-driven corporations whose only efficiency is the central part they play in fuelling global warming and eradicating life on the planet. The airlines will be resuscitated until the inevitable next crisis arrives – one in which they are key players.

A boot stamping on a face

Capitalism is an efficient system for a tiny elite to make money at a terrible cost, and an increasingly untenable one, to wider society – and only until that system shows itself to be no longer efficient. Then wider society has to pick up the tab, and assist the wealth-elite so the cycle can be begun all over again. Like a boot stamping on a human face – forever, as George Orwell warned long ago.

But it is not just that capitalism is economically self-destructive; it is morally vacant too. Again, we should study the exemplars of neoliberal orthodoxy: the UK and the US.

In Britain, the National Health Service – once the envy of the world – is in terminal decline after decades of privatising and outsourcing its services. Now the same Conservative party that began the cannibalising of the NHS is pleading with businesses such as car makers to address a severe shortage of ventilators, which will soon be needed to assist coronavirus patients.

Once, in an emergency, western governments would have been able to direct resources, both public and private, to save lives. Factories could have been repurposed for the common good. Today, the government behaves as if all it can do is incentivise business, pinning hopes on the profit motive and selfishness driving these firms to enter the ventilator market, or to provide beds, in ways beneficial to public health.

The flaws in this approach should be glaring if we examine how a car manufacturer might respond to the request to adapt its factories to make ventilators.

If it is not persuaded that it can make easy money or if it thinks there are quicker or bigger profits to be made by continuing to make cars at a time when the public is frightened to use public transport, patients will die. If it holds back, waiting to see if there will be enough demand for ventilators to justify adapting its factories, patients will die. If it delays in the hope that ventilator shortages will drive up subsidies from a government fearful of the public backlash, patients will die. And if it makes ventilators on the cheap, to boost profits, without ensuring medical personnel oversee quality control, patients will die.

Survival rates will depend not on the common good, on our rallying to help those in need, on planning for the best outcome, but on the vagaries of the market. And not only on the market, but on faulty, human perceptions of what constitute market forces.

Survival of the fittest 

If this were not bad enough, Trump – in all his inflated vanity – is showing how that profit-motive can be extended from the business world he knows so intimately to the cynical political one he has been gradually mastering. According to reports, behind the scenes he has been chasing after a silver bullet. He is speaking to international pharmaceutical companies to find one close to developing a vaccine so the United States can buy exclusive rights to it.

Reports suggest that he wants to offer the vaccine exclusively to the US public, in what would amount to the ultimate vote-winner in a re-election year. This would be the nadir of the dog-eat-dog philosophy – the survival of the fittest, the market decides worldview – we have been encouraged to worship over the past four decades. It is how people behave when they are denied a wider society to which they are responsible and which is responsible for them.




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But even should Trump eventually deign to let other countries enjoy the benefits of his privatised vaccine, this will not be about helping mankind, about the greater good. It will be about Trump the businessman-president turning a tidy profit for the US on the back of other’s desperation and suffering, as well as marketing himself a political hero on the global stage.

Or, more likely, it will be yet another chance for the US to demonstrate its “humanitarian” credentials, rewarding “good” countries by giving them access to the vaccine, while denying “bad” countries like Russia the right to protect their citizens.

Obscenely stunted worldviewIt will be a perfect illustration on the global stage – and in bold technicolour – of how the American way of marketing health works. This is what happens when health is treated not as a public good but as a commodity to be bought, as a privilege to incentivise the workforce, as a measure of who is successful and who is unsuccessful.

The US, by far the richest country on the planet, has a dysfunctional health care system not because it cannot afford a good one, but because its political worldview is so obscenely stunted by the worship of wealth that it refuses to acknowledge the communal good, to respect the common wealth of a healthy society.

The US health system is by far the most expensive in the world, but also the most inefficient. The vast bulk of “health spending” does not contribute to healing the sick but enriches a health industry of pharmaceutical corporations and health insurance companies.

Analysts describe a third of all US health spending – $765 billion a year – as “wasted”. But “waste” is a euphemism. In fact, it is money stuffed into the pockets of corporations calling themselves the health industry as they defraud the common wealth of US citizens. And the fraudulence is all the greater because despite this enormous expenditure more than one in 10 US citizens has no meaningful health cover.

As never before, coronavirus will bring into focus the depraved inefficiency of this system – the model of profit-driven health care, of market forces that look out for the short-term interests of business, not the long-term interests of us all.

There are alternatives. Right now, Americans are being offered a choice between a democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders, who champions health care as a right because it is a common good, and a Democratic party boss, Joe Biden, who champions the business lobbies he depends on for funding and his political success. One is being marginalised and vilified as a threat to the American way of life by a handful of corporations that own the US media, while the other is being propelled towards the Democratic nomination by those same corporations.

Coronavirus has an important, urgent lesson to teach us. The question is: are we ready yet to listen?

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This essay first appeared on the author’s blog site, Jonathan Cook’s blog.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Health.milThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Jonathan Cook, Global Research, 2020

الصين العظيمة والعالم الغربي الهش -العالم ستيغيّر على إيقاع زلزال كورونا

التعليق السياسي

خلال ثلاثة شهور كانت الصين وحدها أمام مرآة العالم الغربي بين متفرج محايد وشامت يهزأ ويسخر من مواجهتها المضنية لفيروس كورونا لكنها كانت ايضا فرصة إختبارية للإستعداد لمواجهة إحتمالات ظهور الفيروس وإنتشاره في بلاد الغرب والتهيؤ لمواجهته من حيث إنتهت الصين والإفادة من تجربتها وعدم الوقوع في المفاجأة الكارثية التي وقعت عليها مع أخذ الفوارق الهائبة التي تعمل لغير صالح الصين بالمقارنة مع الغرب على القل في ثلاثة اشياء هي حجم الإكتظاظ السكاني في الصين التي تضم مجموع سكان أميركا وأوروبا مرتين ونصف وحجم القدرة العلمية والتقنية التي يصنف الغرب فيها عالما أول وتصنف فيها الصين عالما ثانيا والإمكانات المالية بين بلدان تعنم بثروات هائلة لا تحتاجها للتنمية وبلد مضطر للإنفاق أكثر وأكثر لتلبية حاجات شعبه .

دقت الساعة وبدأ التحدي في الغرب فيما كانت الصين في قلب المواجهة وحيدة وحزينة لتصرف الغير معها وها نحن اليوم بعد شهر من بدء إنتشار الفيروس خارج الصين وأسبوعين في بلاد الغرب نشهد خروج الصين من المحنة بتجسيل رقم 9000 حالة إصابة نشطة فقط من اصل 90 الف إصابة إجمالية بينما في إيطاليا ثلاثة اضعاف الرقم الصيني من اصل ثلث رقم الإصابات الإجمالية وفي اسبانيا نفس العدد الصيني وفي أمريكا نصف العدد الصيني مقابل أقل من ربع عدد سكان الصين وفي نسبة المصابين لكل مليون نسمة تظهر الصين في الرقم 19 تتقدمها دول مثل فرنسا وسويسرا وألمانيا وفنلندا والدانمارك بين 100 و300 بالمليون وتتقدم الجميع إيطاليا بنسبة فوق ال500 بالمليون .

هشاشة الغرب ظهرت في نتائج ثقافة الإستهلاك التي إجتاحت أجياله الشابة والتي ولدت قيم الإستهتار والتسكع والتباهي والنقص في شعور المسؤولية الجماعي والتمرد على أشكال الضبط التنظيمي في مواجهة الكوارث الوطنية كما تبدت في غياب الإستعداد الطبي وضعف الإقتصاد على تحمل الصدمة وهذا بدا جامعا من أميركا إلى كل دول أوروبا

عظمة الصين ظهرت تاليا في مد يد المساعدة لكل بلاد العالم التي تحتاجها من إيطاليا أولا إلى سواها ونال لبنان بعضا منها وتصرفت الصين برفعة وعلو والأهم أنها منحت العالم الأمل بألقدرة على الخروج من هذه المحنة وقدمت لنا الوصفة المناسبة

العالم ستيغيّر على إيقاع زلزال كورونا

ناصر قنديل

أشياء كثيرة يكتشفها الناس على مساحة العالم مع هذا الزلزال الذي أصاب البشريّة مع تفشي فيروس كورونا، الذي لم يعُد أحد بمنأى عنه، ويتساوى بالضعف أمامه الكبير والصغير، القويّ والضعيف، الحاكم والمحكوم، الغنيّ والفقير، ويجتاح الدول المقتدرة والضعيفة، ولا تسري عليه معادلات التمييز العرقي والطبقي، بين الدول وداخلها. وأبرز فرص الاكتشاف هي حالة التأمل التي تفرضها الأوقات الطويلة التي ينتجها الحجز المنزلي الإلزامي الذي دخله الملايين من الناس، والأسئلة الوجوديّة الكبرى المنسيّة التي أعادت التجربة طرحها، وستكون للأجوبة التي راكمها الناس من عزلتهم، بصماتها على الفلسفة والفكر الإنسانيّ بكل تأكيد، بعد الخروج من المحنة، وصولاً للفن والثقافة والرواية والسياسة والاقتصاد، ويكفي تأمّل السكينة التي دخلتها الأرض ككوكب منهك بالتدخلات البشرية العنفية، ومن خلالها تراجع مستويات التلوّث في ظل الأزمة، وتدنّي حرارة الكوكب مجدداً لالتقاط الأنفاس بعد حروب استنزاف لا ترحم فرضها الشره والطمع وعادات الاستهلاك القاتلة، على الثروات البيئية والطبيعة والمياه والتربة والخضرة والثروات الحيوانية، ولن يكون سهلاً التغاضي عن رؤية نتائج هذه الهدنة الإلزاميّة التي فرضها كورونا لصالح الطبيعة، وتفادي مقارناتها العلميّة بما قبلها، قبل أن تستأنف البشرية دورة حياتها بعد الزلزال.

من الأشياء التي تغيّرت وستتغيّر حكماً، هي القراءات لمعادلة القوة والضعف في معايير الدول وتقييمها، حيث أظهر تفشي الفيروس تفلت المجتمعات الغربية من كل قيم مشتركة للتضامن وتحمّل المسؤولية وفساد النموذج الغربي الثقافي. كما أظهر معه تخلّف الإنفاق على هياكل الصحة والوقاية، واستسهال الاستثمار على المظاهر الفارغة للحياة على حساب الاهتمام بصحة البشر، التي تشكل القضية الأولى للعلم والرعاية الحكومية، وحيث البحث العلمي بدا متخلفاً هو الآخر ومنصرفاً لإبداع عادات استهلاكية جديدة وسلع جديدة أكثر منه استثماراً على القضايا الجدية للعلم وفي طليعتها الطب والدواء، بعيداً عن المتاجرة والطمع والجشع، بينما ظهر نموذج دولة مصنفة في العالم الثاني كالصين مبهراً في كل شيء، من التنظيم والثقافة والإدارة والقدرات العلمية، رغم أن الصين تنوء تحت عبء عدد سكانها الهائل، ورغم هول المفاجأة الكارثة التي وقعت على الصين ومنحت إنذاراً لسائر دول العالم، وها هي اليوم تسجل عدداً فعلياً للمصابين يعادل ربع العدد الفعلي للمصابين في إيطاليا ويعادل عدد المصابين في كل من ألمانيا وأميركا، ونصف عدد المصابين في إسبانيا وفرنسا، من دون أن يكون هناك تفسير سوى في نموذج الدولة والثقافة.

ظهر الاقتصاد العالمي الذي يفترض أنه بلغة الأرقام الدفترية، عملاقاً ضخم المقدرات، أشدّ هشاشة من الجسم البشري في مواجهة الأزمات. فخلال أيام من الأزمة فُقدت السلع الأساسية من الأسواق، وانهارت أسعار البورصات وضاعت مئات مليارات الدولارات من الثروات المستثمرة في سوق الأسهم. وتسهل المقارنة بين حال الاقتصاد الذي واجه المجاعة في الحرب العالمية الأولى، وحال اليوم، لرؤية تفوّق نظام المونة التقليديّ، والزراعة البيتيّة، والصناعات العائلية الصغيرة، واعتماد العملة الذهبيّة للتداول بالسلع، على نظام الاقتصاد الافتراضي الذي لا يشبهه شيء إلا الورق الذي يرمز إليه، والتطبيقات الإلكترونيّة التي تحمله، ليصير السؤال ببساطة مع أول أزمة، هل يمكن أن نأكل ورقاً أو تطبيقاً إلكترونياً، ويطرح على نطاق واسع النقاش حول ماهية النظام الاقتصادي الجديد الذي سيولد من رحم هذه الأزمة، وما يصعد إلى السطح مباشرة هو نقاش الدور التخريبيّ لوحش المصارف في اقتصادات العالم، بعدما تحوّلت من مصدر تمويل للتنمية، إلى عنوان للمضاربات الريعية التضخمية على الورق كبالون يكفي دبوس أو فيروس لتفجيره كفقاعة لا يبقى منها شيء، يضيع معها كل تعب العمر وشقاء السنين.

بين الفلسفة والدين أيضاً كثير من التداخل في النقاش، حيث سقط نموذج الفكر الديني الكليّ الغيبية، القائم على الاتكاليّة بدلاً من التوكل، وبالمقابل وقف عاجزاً نموذج الإنكار للأبعاد الروحيّة والدينيّة فيما يواجه الإنسان خطر الموت بفيروس مجهول سريع التسلل والفتك لم يستطع العلم فك شيفراته ورموزه، ويشعر الناس بدنوّ لحظة الفراق ببساطة وبسهولة، ليتقدّم نموذج الدعوة للجمع بين العلم والدين باعتباره العلم الحقيقي والدين الحقيقي، بما يعنيه ذلك من دعوة لتحمّل المسؤولية عن الصحة الفردية بالعناية والانتباه والوقاية، وعن صحة الغير، باعتبارهما مسؤولية إنسانية وأخلاقية ودينية، وربط التوكل بالعمل، وفقاً لمعادلة «اِعقلْها وتوكَّلْ».

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Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘World War III’: World War IV Has Already Begun

February 27, 2020

A. B. Abrams on Today’s Great Power for The Saker Blog


“A. B. Abrams is the author of the book ‘Power and Primacy: A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific.’ His second book covering the history of the United States’ conflict with North Korea is scheduled for publication in 2020.

He is proficient in Chinese, Korean and other East Asian languages, has published widely on defence and politics related subjects under various pseudonyms, and holds two related Masters degrees from the University of London.”


The world today finds itself in a period of renewed great power conflict, pitting the Western Bloc led by the United States against four ‘Great Power adversaries’ – as they are referred to by Western defence planners – namely China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This conflict has over the past 15 years escalated to encompass the military, economic and information spheres with global consequences – and appears to be coming to a head as signs of peaking tensions appear in multiple fields from military deployments and arms races to harsh economic wars and a harsher still information war.

While the term ‘World War III’ has been common since the 1940s, referring to the possibility of a global great power war on a greater scale than the first and second world wars, the Cold War between the Western and Soviet Blocs was at its height as total, as global and as heated as the prior conflicts. As weapons technology has evolved, the viability of a direct shooting war has diminished considerably – forcing major powers to seek alternative means to engineer their adversaries’ capitulation and assert their own dominance. This has been reflected in how the Cold War, and the current phase of global conflict some refer to as ‘Cold War 2’ have been distinct from the first two world wars despite the final objectives of the parties involved sharing many similarities. I would thus suggest redefining what a ‘world war’ is and acknowledging that this current phase of global conflict is every part as intense as the great power ‘hot wars’ waged in the first half of the 20th century.

Had the intercontinental range ballistic missile and the miniaturised nuclear warhead been invented twenty years earlier, the Allied Powers may have needed to rely more heavily on economic and information warfare to contain and eventually neutralise Nazi Germany. The Second World War would have been very different in nature to reflect the technologies of the time. When viewed from this paradigm, the Cold War can be seen as a ‘Third World War’ – a total conflict more vast, comprehensive and international than its predecessors stretched out over more than 40 years. The current conflict, or ‘World War IV,’ is ongoing. An assessment of prior ‘great power wars,’ and the unique nature of the current conflict, can provide some valuable insight into how warfare is evolving and the likely determinants of its victors.

As of 2020 it is clear that great power conflict has become almost as heated as it can short of an all-out hot war – with the Western Bloc applying maximum pressure on the information, military and economic fronts to undermine not only smaller adversaries such as Venezuela and Syria and medium sized ones such as North Korea and Iran, but also China and Russia. When exactly this phase of conflict began – sometime after the Cold War’s end – remains uncertain.

The interval between the third and fourth ‘world wars’ was considerably longer than that between the second and the third. This was due to a number of factors – primarily that there was no immediate and obvious adversary for the victorious Western Bloc to target once the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Post-Soviet Russia was a shade of a shadow of its former self. Under the administration of Boris Yeltsin the country’s economy contracted an astonishing 45% in just five years from 1992 (1) leading to millions of deaths and a plummet in living standards. Over 500,000 women and young girls of the former USSR were trafficked to the West and the Middle East – often as sex slaves (2), drug addiction increased by 900 percent, the suicide rate doubled, HIV became a nationwide epidemic (3) corruption was rampant, and the country’s defence sector saw its major weapons programs critical to maintaining parity with the West delayed or terminated due to deep budget cuts (4). The possibility of a further partition of the state, as attested to multiple times by high level officials, was very real along the lines of the Yugoslav model (5).

Beyond Russia, China’s Communist Party in the Cold War’s aftermath went to considerable lengths to avoid tensions with the Western world – including a very cautious exercise of their veto power at the United Nations which facilitated Western led military action against Iraq (6). The country was integrating itself into the Western centred global economy and continuing to emphasis the peaceful nature of its economic rise and understate its growing strength. Western scholarship at the time continued to report with near certainty that internal change, a shift towards a Western style political system and the collapse of party rule was inevitable. The subsequent infiltration and westernisation was expected to neuter China as a challenger to Western primacy – as it has other Western client states across the world. China’s ability to wage a conventional war against even Taiwan was in serious doubt at the time, and though its military made considerable strides with the support of a growing defence budget and massive transfers of Soviet technologies from cash strapped successor states, it was very far from a near peer power.

North Korea did come under considerable military pressure for failing to follow what was widely referred to as the ‘tide of history’ in the West at the time – collapse and westernisation of the former Communist world. Widely portrayed in the early 1990s as ‘another Iraq’ (7), Western media initially appeared to be going to considerable lengths to prepare the public for a military campaign to end the Korean War and impose a new government north of the 38th parallel (8). Significant military assets were shifted to Northeast Asia specifically to target the country during the 1990s, and the Bill Clinton administration came close to launching military action on multiple occasions – most notably in June 1994. Ultimately a combination of resolve, a formidable missile deterrent, a limited but ambiguous nuclear capability, and perhaps most importantly Western certainty that the state would inevitably collapse on its own under sustained economic and military pressure, deferred military options at least temporarily.

The fourth of the states that the United States today considers a ‘greater power adversary,’ Iran too was going to considerable lengths to avoid antagonism with the Western Bloc in the 1990s – and appeared more preoccupied with security threats on its northern border from Taliban controlled Afghanistan. With a fraction of the military power neighbouring Iraq had previously held, the presence of an ‘Iranian threat’ provided a key pretext for a Western military presence in the Persian Gulf after the Soviets, the United Arab Republic and now Iraq had all been quashed. With the new government in Russia put under pressure to terminate plans to transfer advanced armaments to Iran (9), the country’s airspace was until the mid 2000s frequently penetrated by American aircraft, often for hours at a time, likely without the knowledge of the Iranians themselves. This combined with a meagre economic outlook made Iran seem a negligible threat.

While the Cold War ended some time between 1985 and 1991 – bringing the ‘third world war’ to a close – the range of dates at which one could state that the ‘fourth world war’ began and the West again devoted itself to great power conflict is much wider. Some would put the date in the Summer of 2006 – when Israel suffered the first military defeat in its history at the hands of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Using North Korean tunnel and bunker networks, command structures, weapons and training (10), and bolstered by Iranian funding and equipment, the shock of the militia’s victory, though underplayed in Western media, reverberated among informed circles across the world.

Others would place the date two years later in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics, when Georgia with the full support of the West waged a brief war against Russia – and Moscow despite harsh warnings from Washington and European capitals refused to back down on its position. Post-Yeltsin Russia’s relations with the Western Bloc had appeared relatively friendly on the surface, with President George W. Bush observing in 2001 regarding President Vladimir Putin that he “was able to get a sense of his soul,” and predicting “the beginning of a very constructive relationship.” Nevertheless, signs of tension had begun to grow from Moscow’s opposition to the Iraq War at the UN Security Council to President Putin’s famous ‘Munich Speech’ in February 2007 – in which he sharply criticised American violations of international law and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.”

It could also be questioned whether, in light of what we know about Western support for separatist insurgents in Russia itself during the 1990s, the war against the country ever ended – or whether hostilities would only cease with a more total capitulation and partition and with the presence of Western soldiers on Russian soil as per the Yugoslav precedent. As President Putin stated in 2014 regarding continuing Western hostilities against Russia in the 1990s: “The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious. There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia” (11). Regarding Western efforts to destabilise Russia during the 1990s, CIA National Council on Intelligence Deputy Director Graham E. Fuller, a key architect in the creation of the Mujahedeen to fight Afghanistan and later the USSR, stated regarding the CIA’s strategy in the Caucasus in the immediate post-Cold War years: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power” (12). The U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare’s director, Yossef Bodansky, himself also detailed the extent of the CIA’s strategy to destabilize Central Asia by using “Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiralling violence and terrorism” – primarily by encouraging Western aligned Muslim states to continue to provide support for militant groups (13).

Much like the Cold War before it, and to a lesser extent the Second World War, great powers slid into a new phase of conflict rather that it being declared in a single spontaneous moment. Did the Cold War begin with the Berlin Blockade, the Western firebombing of Korea or when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – which accelerated the move into a nuclear arms race. Equally, multiple dates were given for the opening of the Second World War – the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war two years prior, the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbour and conquest of Southeast Asia which marked the first major expansion beyond Europe and North Africa in 1941, or some other date entirely. The slide into a new world war was if anything even slower than its predecessors.

The shift towards an increasingly intense great power conflict has been marked by a number of major incidents. In the European theatre one of the earliest was the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002 and subsequent deployment of missile defences and expansion of NATO’s military presence in the former Soviet sphere of influence, which was widely perceived in Russia as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrent and place the Western Bloc in a position to coerce Moscow militarily (14). This threatened to seriously upset the status quo of mutual vulnerability, and played a key role in sparking a major arms race under which Russia would develop multiple classes of hypersonic weapon. Their unveiling in 2018 would in turn lead the United States to prioritise funding to develop more capable interceptor missiles, a new generation of missile defences based on lasers, and hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles of its own (15).

Another leading catalyst of the move towards great power confrontation was the Barak Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative, under which the bulk of America’s military might and considerable assets from the rest of the Western world would be devoted to maintaining Western military primacy in the Western Pacific. This was paired with both economic and information warfare efforts, the latter which increasingly demonised China and North Korea across the region and beyond and actively sought to spread pro-Western and anti-government narratives among their populations through a wide range of sophisticated means (16). These programs were successors to those sponsored by Western intelligence agencies to ideologically disenchant the populations of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union with their own political systems and paint Western powers as benevolent and democratising saviours (17). Economic warfare also played a major role, with efforts centred around the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ trade deal – or ‘Economic NATO’ as several analysts referred to it – to isolate China from regional economies and ensure the region remained firmly in the Western sphere of influence (18). The military aspect of the Pivot to Asia would reawaken long dormant territorial disputes, and ultimately lead to high military tensions between the United States and China which in turn fuelled the beginning of an arms race. This arms race has more recently led to the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which paves the way for deployment of American long-range missiles across the Western Pacific – all with China and North Korea firmly in their crosshairs (19).

It is arguably in the Middle East, however, where the new phase of global conflict has seen its most direct clashes so far. The nine-year conflict in Syria, although far less destructive or brutal, provides ‘World War IV’ with something of an analogue to the Korean War in the Cold War. The conflict has united the Western Bloc and a wide range of allies, from Turkey and Israel to the Gulf States and even Japan (which funds the jihadist-linked White Helmets) (20), in an effort to overthrow an independent government with close and longstanding defence ties to Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. The conflict has seen North Korean, Russian, Hezbollah and Iranian special forces (21) among other assets deployed on the ground in support of Syrian counterinsurgency efforts, with all of these parties providing considerable material support (the Koreans have built and fully staffed at least three hospitals as part of large medical aid packages and continue to be a major supplier of arms and training) (22). China too, particularly concerned by the presence of jihadist militants of Chinese origin in Syria, has played some role in the conflict – the exact details of which remain uncertain with much reported but unconfirmed (23).

Syria’s insurgency involving a range of jihadist groups, at times united only by their intent to end the secular Syrian government, have received widespread support from the Western Bloc and their aforementioned allies. This has involved both material support, which according to State Secretary Hillary Clinton included turning a blind eye to Gulf countries’ considerable assistance to the Islamic State terror group (24), and active deployments of special forces from a wide range of countries, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Israel and the U.S. The U.S., European powers, Turkey and Israel have at times directly attacked Syrian units in the field – while Russian reports indicate that close Western coordination with jihadist groups has been used to facilitate a number of successful attacks on Russian positions (25). The conflict in Syria arguably represents a microcosm of the macrocosm which is a new world war – one which pits the Western Bloc and those which support the Western-led order, both directly and through local proxies, against three of its four ‘great power adversaries’ in the field.

‘World War IV’ is unlikely to come to an end for the foreseeable future, and its final outcome remains difficult to predict. Much like in the Cold War, the Western Bloc retains considerable advantages – today most notably in the field of information war which allows it to extensively shape perceptions of the vast majority of the world’s population. This has included the demonization of Western adversaries, the whitewashing of Western crimes both domestically and internationally, and portraying westernisation and increased Western influence as a solution to people’s frustrations from corruption to economic stagnation. This has been a key facilitator of the pro-Western protests engulfing states from Sudan and Algeria to Ukraine and Thailand. Economically too, only China among the Western Bloc’s major adversaries has posed a serious threat to Western primacy. Indeed, it remains highly questionable whether the other three could survive economically under Western pressure without Chinese trade and economic support.

Russia has made a considerable economic recovery since the 1990s, but remains a shadow of its former self in the Soviet era. The country’s leadership has succeeded in reforming the military, foreign ministry and intelligence services, but the economy, legal system and other parts of the state remain in serious need of improvement which, over 20 years after Yeltsin’s departure, cannot come soon enough. Even in the field of defence, the struggling economy has imposed serious limitations – and in fields such as aviation and armoured warfare the country is only beginning to slowly go beyond modernising Soviet era weapons designs and begin developing new 21st century systems (26). On the positive side, the country does remain a leader in many high end technologies mostly pertaining to the military and to space exploration, while Western economic sanctions have undermined the positions of Europhiles both among the elite and within the government and boosted many sectors of domestic production to substitute Western products (27).

In the majority of fields, the ‘Eastern Bloc’ have been pressed onto the defensive and forced to prevent losses rather than make actual gains. While preserving Venezuelan sovereignty, denying Crimea to NATO and preventing Syria’s fall have been major victories – they are successes in denying the West further expansion of its own sphere of influence rather than reversing prior Western gains or threatening key sources of Western power. Pursuing regime change in Venezuela and Ukraine and starting wars in the Donbasss and in Syria have cost the Western Bloc relatively little – the Ukrainians and client states in the Gulf and Turkey have paid the brunt of costs for the war efforts. Material equipment used by Western backed forces in both wars, ironically, has largely consisted of Warsaw Pact weaponry built to resist Western expansionism – which after the Cold War fell into NATO hands and is now being channelled to Western proxies. Libyan weaponry, too, was transferred to Western backed militants in Syria in considerable quantities after the country’s fall in 2011 – again minimising the costs to the Western Bloc of sponsoring the jihadist insurgency (28). The damage done and costs incurred by the Syrians, Hezbollah, Russia and others are thus far greater than those incurred by the Western powers to cause destruction and begin conflicts.

Syria has been devastated, suffering from issues from a return of polio to depleted uranium contamination from Western airstrikes and a new generation who have grown up in territories under jihadist control with little formal education. The war is a victory only in that the West failed to remove the government in Damascus from power – but Western gains from starting and fuelling the conflict have still far outweighed their losses. In the meantime, through a successful campaign centred around information warfare, the Western sphere of influence has only grown – with further expansion of NATO and the overthrow of governments in resource rich states friendly to Russia and China such as Libya, Sudan and Bolivia. Commandeering the government of poor but strategically located Ukraine was also a major gain, with states such as Algeria and Kazakhstan looking to be next in the Western Bloc’s crosshairs. Thus while Syria was saved, though only in part, much more was simultaneously lost. The damage done to Hong Kong by pro-Western militants, ‘thugs for democracy’ as the locals have taken to calling them, who have recently turned to bombing hospitals and burning down medical facilities (29), is similarly far greater than the costs to the Western powers of nurturing such an insurgency. Similar offensives to topple those which remain outside the Western sphere of influence from within continue to place pressure on Russian and Chinese aligned governments and on neutral states seen not to be sufficiently pro-Western.

While the Western Bloc appears to be in a position of considerable strength, largely by virtue of its dominance of information space, which has allowed it to remain on the offensive, a sudden turning point in which its power suddenly diminishes could be in sight. From teen drug abuse (30) to staggering debt levels (31) and the deterioration of party politics and popular media, to name but a few of many examples, the West appears at far greater risk today of collapse from within than it did during the Cold War. A notable sign of this is the resurgence of both far right and far left anti-establishment movements across much of the Western world. Despite massive benefits from privileged access to third world resource bases, from France’s extractions from Francophone West Africa (32) to the petrodollar system propping up American currency (33), Western economies with few exceptions are very far from healthy. A glimpse of this was given in 2007-2008, and little has been done to amend the key economic issues which facilitated the previous crisis in the twelve years since (34). The West’s ability to compete in the field of high end consumer technologies, particularly with rising and more efficient East Asian economies, increasingly appears limited. From semiconductors to electric cars to smartphones to 5G, the leaders are almost all East Asian economies which have continued to undermine Western economic primacy and expose the gross inefficiencies of Western economies. The result has been less favourable balances of payments in the Western world, a growing reliance on political clout to facilitate exports (35), and increasing political unrest as living standards are placed under growing pressure. The Yellow Vests and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all symptoms of this. With very real prospects of another economic crash in the coming decade, in the style of 2008 but likely much worse, Western economies are expected to bear the brunt of the damage. Their ability to survive remains in serious question. Effects of a crash on North Korea, Iran, Russia and even China will be far less severe. While the previous crash hit Russia particularly hard (36), an economic turnaround from 2014 and the insulation provided by Western sanctions leave it far less vulnerable to the fallout from a Western economic crisis.

Ultimately China appears to be setting itself up for an ‘Eastern Bloc’ victory – a coup de grace which could see Western gains over the past several decades reversed and the power of the West itself diminished to an extent unprecedented in centuries. While the United States reluctantly outsourced much of its high end consumer technologies to East Asian allies during the Cold War – namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – China is going for the jugular of the Western world’s economy with its ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, which will see some critical remaining fields of Western technological primacy shift to East Asian hands. The Coronavirus, bombings in Hong Kong, the trade war, and the wide range of tools in the Western arsenal for destabilisation can at best slightly delay this – but cannot prevent it. In a globalised capitalist economy the most efficient producers win – and East Asia and China in particular, with its Confucian values, stable and efficient political systems and world leading education (37), are thus almost certain to take over the high end of the world economy.

Much as the key to Western victory in the Cold War was successful information warfare efforts and isolation of the Soviet economy from the majority of the world economy, the key to determining the victor of ‘World War IV’ is likely lie in whether or not Beijing succeeds in its attempt to gain dominance of high end technologies critical to sustaining Western economies today. This is far from the only determinant of victory. Efforts to undermine the effective subsidies to Western economies from Central and West Africa, the Arab Gulf states and elsewhere in the third world, and to ensure continued military parity – to deter NATO from knocking over the table if they lose the game of economic warfare – are among the other fields of critical importance. Based on China’s prior successes, and those of other East Asian economies, the likelihood that it will meet its development goals is high – to the detriment of Western interests. The result will be an end to world order centred on Western might – the status quo for the past several hundred years – and emergence in its place of a multipolar order under which Russia, Asia (Central, East, South and Southeast) and Africa will see far greater prominence and prosperity.

(1) Menshikov, S., ‘Russian Capitalism Today,’ Monthly Review, vol. 51, no. 3, 1999 (pp. 82–86).

(2) Yulia V. Tverdova, ‘Human Trafficking in Russia and Other Post-Soviet States,’ Human Rights Review, December 11, 2016.

(3) Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, London, Penguin, 2008 (Chapter 11: ‘Russia Choses the Pinochet Option: Bonfire of a Young Democracy’).

(4) ‘The Death of the MiG 1.44 Program; How the Collapse of the Soviet Union Derailed Moscow’s Fifth Generation Fighter Development,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 16, 2018.  ‘Russia’s Sukhoi Unveils Images from Cancelled Next Generation Fighter Program,’ Military Watch Magazine, December 17, 2019.

(5) Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, President of Russia, Kremlin, December 4, 2014.

Bechev, Dimitar, Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2017 (Chapter 1).

(6) Kristof, Nicholas D., ‘WAR IN THE GULF: China; Beijing Backs Away From Full Support of the War,’ New York Times, February 1, 1991.

(7) ‘Thaw in the Koreas?,’ Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 48, no. 3, April 1992 (p. 16).

(8) ‘Time to End the Korean War,’ The Atlantic, February 1997.

(9) Axe, David, ‘Iran Desperately Wants This Fighter Plane,’ The National Interest, January 4, 2020.

(10) ‘Hezbollah a North Korea-Type Guerrilla Force,’ Intelligence Online, No. 529, August 25–September 7, 2006.  “North Koreans Assisted Hezbollah with Tunnel Construction,” Terrorism Focus, The Jamestown Foundation, vol. III, issue 30, August 1, 2006.

Dilegge, Dave and Bunker, Robert J., and Keshavarz, Alma, Iranian and Hezbollah Hybrid Warfare Activities: A Small Wars Journal Anthology, Amazon Media, 2016 (p. 261).

‘Bulsae-3 in South Lebanon: How Hezbollah Upgraded its Anti-Armour Capabilities with North Korean Assistance,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 3, 2019.

(11) Kremlin, President of Russia, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, December 4, 2014.

(12) Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, U.S. Congress, October 7 to 26, 2005.

(13) ‘American political scientist: Western Intelligence used Azerbaijan to export terrorism into Russia,’ Panorama, May 30, 2015.

(14) Kremlin, President of Russia, Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 17, 2016.

(15) Gregg, Aaron, ‘Military Industrial Complex Finds a Growth Market in Hypersonic Weapons,’ Washington Post, December 21, 2018.

(16) Mullen, Mike and Nunn, Sam and Mount, Adam, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, Independent Task Force Report No. 74, September 2016.

Cartalucci, Tony, ‘Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation,’ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, October 15, 2019.

Park, Kyung-Ae, ‘Regime Change in North Korea?: Economic Reform and Political Opportunity Structures,’ North Korean Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Spring 2009 (p. 23-45).

(17) ‘Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A.,’ New York Times, December 26, 1977.

(18) Wu, S., ‘Why the TPP is an “economic NATO,”’ Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.

(19) Ait, Abraham, ‘US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia,’ The Diplomat, October 25, 2018.

(20) al-Jablawi, Hosam, ‘The White Helmets Struggle Without US Funding,’ Atlantic Council, June 11, 2018.

(21) ‘North Korean Special Forces in Syria; A Look at Pyongyang’s Assistance to Damascus’ Counterinsurgency Operations,’ Military Watch Magazine, June 10, 2018.

(22) ‘DPRK Ambassador affirms his country’s readiness to support health sector in Syria,’ Syrian Arab News Agency, July 25, 2016.

(23) Pauley, Logan and Marks, Jesse, ‘Is China Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria?,’ The Diplomat, August 20, 2018.

Hemenway, Dan, ‘Chinese strategic engagement with Assad’s Syria,’ Atlantic Council, December 21, 2018.

(24) ‘We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis,’ The Independent, October 14, 2016.

(25) ‘Inquiry Into Death of Russian Lt. Gen. Asapov Shows Data Leaks to Daesh –      Source,’ Sputnik, September 26, 2017.

‘Drones used by Syrian terrorists “require advanced training” – Russian MoD in response to US,’ Sputnik, January 9, 2018.

(26) ‘Five Next Generation Russian Combat Jets We Will See in the 2020s: From MiG-41 Hypersonic Interceptors to PAK DA Stealth Bombers,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 1, 2019.

(27) Twigg, Judy, ‘Russia Is Winning the Sanctions Game,’ National Interest, March 14, 2019.

(28) Hersh, Seymour, ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 8, April 2014

Angelovski, Ivan and Patrucic, Miranda and Marzouk, Lawrence, ‘Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East,’ The Guardian, July 27, 2016.

Chivers, C. J. and Schmitt, Eric and Mazzetti, Mark, ‘In Turnaround, Syria Rebels Get Libya Weapons,’ New York Times, June 21, 2013.

McCarthy, Andrew C., ‘Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria,’ National Review, August 2, 2016.

(29)  ‘Militants Bomb Hospital, Torch Quarantine Center as Hong Kong Braces for Virus Outbreak,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 27, 2020.

(30) ‘Class A drug use “at record levels due to young people”,’ BBC News, September 20, 2019.

(31) Buchholz, Katharina, ‘Industrialized Nations Have Biggest Foreign Debt,’ Statista, February 7, 2019.

(32) ‘France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding

France,”’ Centre for Research of Globalization, January 14, 2015.

Bart Williams, Mallence, ‘The Utilization of Western NGOs for the Theft of Africa’s Vast Resources,’ TedxBerlin, January 26, 2015

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA).

(33) Wong, Andrea, ‘The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret,’ Bloomberg, May 31, 2016.

Spiro, David E., The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.

(34) ‘Banks have not learnt lessons of 2008 crisis, says Gordon Brown,’ Financial Times, October 31, 2017.

‘A decade after the financial meltdown, its underlying problems haven’t been fixed,’ The Guardian, August 6, 2017.

(35)  ‘Fearing U.S. Sanctions Over Su-35 Purchase: What is Behind Indonesia’s Interest in New F-16V Fighters,’ Military Watch Magazine, November 6, 2019.

Rogan, Tom, ‘The very political reason Qatar buys different fighter aircraft from Britain, France, and the US,’ Washington Examiner, February 25, 2020.

Krishnan, Rakesh, ‘Countering CAATSA: How India can avoid American arm twisting,’ Business Today, March 6, 2019.

(36) Gaddy, Clifford G. and Ickes, Barry W., ‘Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,’ Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2010 (pp. 281-311).

(37) Hobbs, Tawnell D., ‘U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers,’ The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2019.

Turner, Camiilla, ‘Chinese students are two years ahead of their white British peers by age 16, report finds,’ The Telegraph, July 30, 2019.

The neo-colonial corruption of Christian extremists and bankers in Lebanon (2/2)

Lebanese demonstrators gather during an anti-government protest in the northern town of Amioun near the port city of Tripoli on November 8, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Lebanese demonstrators gather during an anti-government protest in the northern town of Amioun near the port city of Tripoli on November 8, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

November 08, 2019

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog (cross-posted with Press-TV)

(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 ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’ and the upcoming ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’. He can be reached on Facebook.)

The West and Israel actively thwart democracy all over the Muslim world by fostering myriad forms of corruption – why should we believe it is any different for Lebanon?

Part 1 in this series, Hiding the West’s ongoing neo-colonialism in Lebanon via blaming Iran, analysed the desperate and absurd propaganda that Iran and Hezbollah are the primary targets of Lebanon’s recent anti-corruption protests: Every single Lebanese person I’ve ever asked has said that France is the power behind the scenes.

Shia have long been forced to be a junior, impoverished partner in the dysfunctional Lebanese system. Despite being the democratic majority, they are its biggest victims – isn’t it obviously nonsensical to put the blame on them?

So who has been reaping benefits from the racist, anti-democratic Lebanese structure?

Were Western media to be believed there has also only ever been one armed militia in Lebanon: Hezbollah. I guess the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) was Hezbollah fighting Hezbollah? The main reason that the West’s train only runs one way – on tracks of anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah propaganda – is because there is not enough paint in the world to whitewash the negative consequences of their decades of support for extreme-right militias, puppets and mafias in Lebanon.

The groups which the West dares not describe are akin to France’s National Front, but with heavy weapons. That’s not hyperbole: French National Front members fought in Lebanon during the Civil War.

The West loves to promote their fabricated “Sunni-Shia conflict”, but the bloodiest and bitterest feud in Lebanon has been between two Maronite Catholic Christian groups, now led by Michel Aoun and Samir Geagea. There are very few column inches devoted to these two groups, despite wreaking so much violence against their own Christian communities and fomenting so much disunity in Lebanon.

The corrupting influence of Israeli-backed Christian extremists and hereditary power

The problem is not their religion, of course, but political ideologies which are indisputably constructed around Western fascism.

They lead Lebanese corruption not because of their religion, of course, but because history proves that they have led the segment of Lebanese society which has been the most privileged by the meddling capitalist-imperialist forces of the 19th-21st centuries. This is not an article to denigrate Lebanese Christianity in the slightest, but to accurately recount Western imperialism and to debunk its current propaganda.

Both Aoun and Geagea spent decades serving the raw power of the Phalangist paramilitary movement, which was modelled and named after the Spanish fascist party. It existed to fight socialism and to enforce policies which segregated wealth and power based on religion. Like all fascist movements it claimed a racist scientific basis: it espouses that Maronite Christians are “Phoenicians” and thus genetically different Arabs.

Geagea is widely considered the biggest and most treacherous criminal in Lebanon – he was the only warlord who went to jail in the 1990s – and yet most outside of Lebanon do not know his name. He was a commander in the most vicious militia in Lebanon for decades because of this ruthless ideology, and also because they were armed, trained and fought with the Israeli Defense Forces. Fighting alongside Israelis against their fellow Lebanese – what can be more corrupt than this? In terms of death tolls these Israeli-backed Christian militias have been responsible for the worst crimes in wartime Lebanon, with rapes, torture and mass murder at places like Sabra, Chatilla and Karantina.

It would be wrong to take away from these facts that “Lebanese Christians are more brutal and corrupt than Lebanese Muslims” – the point is that these neo-fascist, Israeli-allied groups have proven themselves to be incompatible with modern democracy in Lebanon. It should be little wonder why the mainstream media doesn’t like to mention Geagea, who is now reportedly funded by the US and the Saudis.

These far-right Christian militias were opposed by the Lebanese army, which Christian powers always made purposely weak out of fear of the democratic Muslim majority. Furthermore, the Lebanese army has customarily been commanded by a Maronite, with Christians also historically comprising the officer posts.

Michel Aoun was a commander, but he was not an extreme sectarian like Geagea. Nor was Aoun interested in money – his nickname, “Napol-Aoun” reflects his lust for power and titles. However, Aoun’s son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, to whom Aoun controversially bequeathed the presidency of his party, is a reputed money shark who now reportedly manipulates the dottering Aoun.

The Hariris, the Aoun clan, Walid Jumblatt (whose family has perched atop a hereditary Druze hierarchy for centuries, creating their own corrupt patronage system) and Geagea (the former “monk-warrior” married into a hugely rich and powerful family) – it cannot be stressed enough that these familial, hereditary, inequality-rooted “clan powers” are an enormous component of the multi-generational corruption problems in Lebanon which protesters are loudly decrying.

Maronite control over the army has been diluted but not ended: a council of generals – six Christians and six Muslims – now reigns. It’s an improvement, and the commander cannot act unilaterally, but still reflects long-standing Christian domination and manipulation of the Lebanese state.

Maronite control over the army is obviously a neo-colonial concoction, but it’s also a recipe for total disunity and insecurity, something which Israel has been quite pleased about. Certainly, a representative, patriotic, real Lebanese army would be anti-Zionist, as the far-right Christian faction could only necessarily be a minority.

What Syria was able to do during their occupation was to end the power of these minority militias and provide military security. This weakening of the Franco-Israeli axis, along with the advent of Hezbollah, allowed Lebanon to finally stabilise itself in preparation for the next logical step it is now on the brink of for the first time ever: true, modern democracy.

However, Lebanon has to deal with the problems of sectarianism as well as the huge obstacle faced by all pro-democratic protesters worldwide today – bankers.

Geagea, the central bank and Western-allied corruption

After Aoun and Geagea returned from over a decade of exile and prison, respectively, in 2005 they instituted what we can fairly call “neo-Phalangism”: profiting from the corrupt patronage systems which they violently established during decades of Western-backed, Christian sectarianism.

As Geagea once said: Samir Geagea the fighter died in prison. Indeed – he is now a resented politician who seeks to preserve an unjust status quo. Geagea’s four ministers just resigned from the government, and yet it was a purely cosmetic move designed to distract from his own long-running corruption allegations — his party was rebuffed when they tried to take part in protests.

It shouldn’t be surprising that he immediately gave his support to the Lebanese Armed Forces – he is a pro-Maronite sectarian at heart, and his adversary Aoun has aged out. Geagea obviously supports calls for the army to “restore order” because re-militarising Lebanon would increase his power the most. It is not as if Geagea’s history shows that he wants true democracy for all Lebanese, and this fundamentally puts him at odds with Lebanon’s tolerant youth class and seemingly the majority of every other class.

Geagea’s other main ally shouldn’t be surprising, given his Western ties: the central bank.

Riad Salamé has headed Lebanon’s central bank for a stunning 26 years. The former Merrill Lynch employee and Maronite (giving Maronites long-running control over the army and the banks) has totally escaped criticism despite obviously atrocious economic results: On his watch Lebanon has become one of the most unequal societies in the world, pushed 25% of the country below the poverty line, and acquired one of the largest national debts in the world (mostly owned by Lebanese). Lebanese banks do their utmost to thwart Hezbollah, and to compound-grow the wealth of their 1%.

This lack of criticism for central bankers is entirely in keeping with every other Western-allied central banker: no matter what happens, they are never held accountable nor even criticised precisely because their neoliberal policies invariably succeed in increasing the wealth of the 1% and decreasing the wealth of the average person.

The role of the central banker in the West and their allies is – as modern Europe shows – more important than which party takes parliament or which politician wins the presidency. It is even more important in Lebanon where banking is the only robust economic sector. Foolishly, the Lebanese follows neoliberal dogma and makes their central bank independent from their government, unlike China, Iran and other modern nations.

On a personal level Salamé is the personification of the lavish-living fat cat, with billions in family wealth. He does not fear any criticism, much less legal reprisals – what he fears is that Washington and Tel Aviv’s orders to strangle Hezbollah will eventually provoke retaliation.

In 2017 Geagea made the Lebanese central bank’s true master perfectly clear, according to the Lebanese daily L’Orient-Le Jour: “

Lebanese banks conform totally to the directives of the Central Bank, which coordinates perfectly with the US Department of the Treasury.…

The crimes and failures of Geagea and Salamé are so rarely reported on during Western coverage of the corruption protests because they are the links between Washington, Israel, Paris and the incredibly corrupt 1% in Lebanon. The idea that Hezbollah could be the target of corruption protests more than that quartet beggars belief.

The West prefers to act as if Western-backed Lebanese sectarianism only extends to the legislative and executive branches, but for decades money and guns have remained under the control of the Christians so they could build corrupt patronage networks alongside the Western 1%. That the Hariris had to go to Saudi Arabia to make their money is significant. The Shia and Hezbollah have no money, of course, and no friends in Western central banks.

The problem, again, is not Christians or Christianity but the aristocratic (bourgeois) structures penned by Westerners, who also supported fascist and corrupt sectarian militias, and who are all-too willing to support such groups today if the status quo is threatened in an Israeli neighbour full of Palestinian refugees.

Lebanon’s Christian community must concede that it has been given anti-democratic, preferential treatment for a century, and that this has been a huge factor in creating endemic corruption and injustice. However, we must not forget the sky-high inequality of Lebanese society: many poor, not well-connected Christians are also longtime economic and social victims of this system which all Lebanese are saying they now want changed.

Pointing out the role of Christians in Lebanese corruption is not racism on my part because it is the accurate history of colonialism in Lebanon. Conversely, the total lack of accuracy in similar Western allegations towards Hezbollah and Iran is precisely why they are pathetic, racist, scapegoating distractions.

It should be clear that Lebanon cannot become a modern democracy when all their key institutions – and we must not forget to include the military and the central bank – remain so sectarian in nature.

What Lebanon needs is not more sectarianism or even technocratism – the “European solution”, which inherently rejects a role for public opinion in shaping public policy – but a meritocracy. Unfortunately, many are pushing Lebanon to continue following the Western model, which is based on ruthless power (capitalism), arrogance (imperialism), racism (sectarianism and Islamophobia) and hypocrisy (liberty for those with enough money to buy it).

Hong Kong, Kashmir, Palestine: Ruins of British empire on fire

By Hamid Dabashi

Source

The people of Hong Kong, Kashmir and Palestine have long histories of resistance to oppression.

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A demonstrator stands on a British flag during an anti-Israel rally in Karachi July 21, 2006 [File: Zahid Hussein/Reuters]

Continued mayhem in Palestine, increasing bloodshed in Kashmir, mass protest in Hong Kong – how do we connect these dots? Are they related?

Well, of course: The sun never set on the Union Jack! In the sunset of that empire – as is inevitable for all empires – chaos and turmoil were destined to follow.

“The world is reaping the chaos the British Empire sowed,” Amy Hawkins recently wrote in Foreign Policy, “locals are still paying for the mess the British left behind in Hong Kong and Kashmir.” The author left out Palestine, chief among places around the globe, where the British empire spread discord and enmity to ease its rule and prepare the ground for disaster after its exit.

Indeed, the anticolonial uprisings in the Indian subcontinent, China, the Arab world and elsewhere did not result in freedom or democracy for the nations ruled by the British Empire.

In Kashmir, the British left a bleeding wound amid the partition of colonial India.

In Palestine, they left a European settler colony and called it “Israel” to rule in their stead and torment Palestinians.

In Hong Kong, they left a major cosmopolis that is neither truly an independent entity, nor a part of mainland China.

They picked up their Union Jack and departed, leaving behind a ruinous legacy for decades and generations to bleed. Those consequences are not just historical and buried in the past. They are still unfolding.

When the sun finally set 

Ironically, today the United Kingdom is struggling to hold itself together, as the Brexit debacle tears it apart. One looks at the country and marvels at the poetic justice of wanton cruelty coming back to haunt the former empire.

The UK finds itself face to face with its imperial past, with the Irish and Scottish once again defying English nationalists and their schizophrenic belief in their own exceptionalism. How bizarre, how just, how amazing, how Homeric, is that fate!

We may, in fact, be witness to the final dissolution of the “United” Kingdom in our life-times. But there was a time when, from that very little island, they ruled the world from the Americas in the west to Asia and Australia in the east.

The terror of British imperialism – wreaking havoc on the world not just then but now as well – is the most historically obvious source that unites Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine as well as the many other emblematic sites of colonial and postcolonial calamities we see around us today. But what precisely is the cause of today’s unrests?

In Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine we have the rise of three nations, “baptised” by fire, as it were – three peoples, three collective memories, that have refused to settle for their colonial lot. The harsher they are brutalised, the mightier their collective will to resist power becomes.

Britain took possession of Hong Kong in 1842 after the First Opium War with China. It transformed it into a major trading and military outpost, and insisted on keeping it long after its empire collapsed. In 1997, Britain handed Hong Kong over to China, conceding to the idea of a “one country, two systems” formula that allows for a certain degree of economic autonomy for Hong Kong. But what both China and Britain had neglected to consider was the fact that a nation of almost eight million human beings throughout a long colonial and postcolonial history had accumulated a robust collective memory of its own, which was neither British nor mainland Chinese – it was distinct.

Kashmir came under British influence shortly after Hong Kong – in 1846, after the British East India Company defeated the Sikh Empire that ruled the region at that time. A century later, Kashmir was sucked into the bloody partition of India and Pakistan in the aftermath of the British departure from the subcontinent, with both post-colonial states having a mutually exclusive claim on its territory. Here, too, what India and Pakistan forget is the fact that almost 13 million Kashmiris have had a long history of countless troublesome colonial and postcolonial experiences, making Kashmir fundamentally different from either one of them.

The same is the case with Palestine, which fell under British rule in 1920 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. Before the British packed their colonial possessions and left almost three decades later, they installed a successor settler colony in the form of a Zionist garrison state. Decades of unrelenting struggle against the barbarities of the British and the Zionists have left Palestinians in possession of one of the most courageous and steadfast histories of resistance to colonial domination.

Memories of resistance

In revolting against China, India, and Israel, these three nations in Hong Kong, Kashmir, and Palestine have become three nuclei of resistance, of refusal to let go of their homelands.

They have narrated themselves into a history written by powers who have systematically tried to erase them and their collective memories. “Homeland” is not just a piece of land. It is a memorial presence of a history.

Those memories, corroborated by an entire history of resistance to imperial conquest and colonial occupation have now come back to haunt their tormentors.

China, India, and Israel have to resort to naked and brutish violence to deny the veracity of those defiant memories, now evident as facts on the ground. In doing so, these powers have picked up where the British empire left off.

They too seek to terrorise, divide and rule, but by now those they try to subdue have mastered resistance; their struggle has outlived one imperial oppressor, it can surely survive another.

In other words, no amount of imperial brutality, settler colonialism or historical revisionism can make the distinct identities, memories and histories of these people disappear.

Today people in Palestine, Kashmir, and Hong Kong see themselves as stateless nations ruled with brutish military occupation. In the postcolonial game of state formation, they have been denied their national sovereignty.

The more brutally they are repressed and denied their sovereignty, the more adamantly they will demand and exact it.

Neither China in Hong Kong, nor India in Kashmir, nor Israel in Palestine can have a day of peaceful domination until and unless the defiant nations they rule and abuse achieve and sustain their rightful place in the world.

The West and its Allies Support al Qaeda and ISIS Globally

By Mark Taliano

Source

 

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The Western War Of Terror, to which our governments remain committed, loots public treasuries to commit and sustain an overseas holocaust, wherein the West and its agencies support, command and control the very same terrorism that they proclaim to be fighting.

Dr. Gideon Polya notes in “An Iraqi Holocaust/ 2.7 Million Iraqi Dead From Violence Or War-imposed Deprivation” that the West’s supremely criminal war against Iraq alone

“led to 2.7 million Iraqi deaths from  violence (1.5 million) or from violently-imposed deprivation (1.2 million),” and that, “the West has now commenced its Seventh Iraq War since 1914 in over a century of Western violence in which Iraqi deaths from violence or violently-imposed deprivation have totaled  9 million. However Western Mainstream media have resolutely ignored the carnage, this tragically illustrating the adage ‘History ignored yields history repeated’.”

The West and its allies support al Qaeda and ISIS globally. They are the proxies, the “boots on the ground” that destroy sovereign, independent countries for their Western permanent-state masters. They are the essence of barbarism and evil, shrouded in torn veils of “plausible deniability” that deceive only those who willfully choose to be deceived.

Happily, the Axis of Resistance is becoming stronger. Each victory for those countries that oppose Western barbarism (including Yemen, Syria and Iraq) is a victory for nation-state sovereignty and territorial integrity, a victory for international law, a victory for dignity and civilization, a victory for truth, justice, peace, and a livable planet.

A multi-polar world order will impose restraints on the lunacy of the U.S-led New World Order, its global war, its predatory, anti-Life political economies, its poverty, and its growing holocaust.  Stripped of its war propaganda, the US-led monster is a global dictatorship that extracts disproportionate wealth from the world to a minute, transnational oligarch class.

Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China, Yemen are all on the front lines against the West’s cancerous foreign policies of normalized Supreme International war crimes, of criminal blockades, of widespread, genocidal mass-murder, and the on-going destruction of a livable planet.

The crimes and their consequences are pre-planned and monstrous. The West murdered almost 600,000 Iraqi children when it intentionally destroyed water plants in Iraq through economic blockades. They bombed water infrastructure in Libya and Syria, and they are using the same tactics in Yemen, as well.  Civilian deaths are intended, planned for, they are mass murder. The predicted diseases, the cholera, are also anticipated.  The UN itself has condemned the cholera epidemic in Yemen as a “man-made disaster.”

Journalist David Pear notes in “The US-Led Genocide and Destruction of Yemen”:

“Since 2015 the cholera epidemic has been spread by biological warfare against Yemen. US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots destroyed Yemen’s public water and sewage systems. The parts, chemicals and fuel to operate Yemen’s water purification and sewage plants are blockaded. Potable water, cholera vaccine, and even individual water purification tablets cannot get in ….

The sewage from non-working treatment plants overflows into streams that run onto agricultural land, thus contaminating vegetables before they go to market. Sewage flows into the cities, residential areas and the refugee camps. Flies swarm over the sewage and spread cholera everywhere. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and Doctors Without Borders; hospitals, clinics and disaster relief organizations, and human rights workers have been deliberately bombed.”

Yemen, like its counterparts in the Resistance, seeks its own sovereign political economy, free from externally-imposed “neoliberal” diktats, the privatizations, the international financing and impoverishing “Structural Adjustment Programs”.

Yemen seeks to use its resources for the social uplift of its peoples, as guaranteed by the UN Charter and International law. Yemen seeks justice and truth and peace, as it fights the West’s al Qaeda terrorists, as it withstands the bombs furnished by the West, delivered by Saudi planes, commanded and controlled by the West. And Yemen is winning the war.

Shortly after the Aramco attacks, falsely blamed on Iran, Houthi forces defeated a large Saudi force in the Najran province, capturing 1000’s of soldiers, and littering the battlefield with light armored vehicles (LAVs) – manufactured by General Dynamics Lands Systems in London, Ontario, Canada.

(Instead of making environmentally-friendly fast trains, successive Canadian governments chose instead to manufacture LAVs for their Saudi and al Qaeda allies.)

In Phase Two of the offensive, Yemeni Armed Forces reportedly overtook three Saudi military bases and now control more than 150 square kilometers of Saudi territory.

These victories, as with Syria’s on-going victories over international terrorism, are ushering in a new era of multipolarity, an era that promises to be more resistant to the West’s terrorism, more resistant to the shackles of globalizing “neoliberal” parasitism, and more resistant to Washington’s unipolar agenda of permanent war and poverty – a cancerous agenda , toxic to humanity and toxic to a livable planet.

Why are Western leaders gawd awful bad and China’s so darn competent? Part II. China Rising Radio Sinoland 190807

Why are Western leaders gawd awful bad and China’s so darn competent? Part II. China Rising Radio Sinoland 190807

August 08, 2019

By Jeff J. Brown for The Saker Blog

Crosslinked with:

https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/08/07/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent%ef%bc%9fpart-ii-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190807/

https://soundcloud.com/44-days/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-part-ii

Pictured here: my Sun Yat-Sen hat I wear, to which I have pinned the iconic Mao Zedong silhouette badge. Below his bust is his famous mantra, “Serve the People”, written in his very recognizable calligraphic style. Many people do not notice, but on the back is the millennial governance motto, “Preserve the Peace”. Walking around the streets and in buildings here, you can see Mao’s famous calligraphic chant all over the place. Nothing has changed about governance in China for 5,000 years.

In the first part of this essay, I showed why Western leaders are generally so bad (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/30/why-are-western-leaders-gawd-awful-bad-and-chinas-so-darn-competent-part-i-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190730/). The one sentence answer is they are almost always suborned to serve the interests of the 1% at the expense of the 99%.

There is a corollary explanation for this. European cultures and their spinoffs in the rest of Eurangloland, including Israel are founded on violence and theft. If you don’t believe this goes back to the Jewish Torah/Christian Old Testament, here is a quick review of Westerners’ predilection for killing, destroying, plundering first and asking questions later (http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html and http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=21).

I created a comparative Excel table using Wikipedia’s pages on Conflicts in Europe, United States and China(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_the_United_States and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Asia#Mainland_China_(People’s_Republic_of_China). Europe’s list has 760 entries, the US’s 250 and China’s 315. Europe’s long list really starts in 1,100BC and does not include all of the genocidal horrors in the Torah/Old Testament before that. The US’s only starts in 1775, which is wishful propaganda. As Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz clearly proves in her book, A Native Peoples’ History of the United States, genocidal wars to exterminate the many millions of First Nations’ peoples started Day One with the colonial landing at Jamestown in 1607. and the killing has never stopped. China’s goes back to 2,500BC, so is over twice as long as Europe’s and compared to the US, almost ten times longer.

To sum up, Europe’s list of conflicts dates back 3,100 years and lists 760, the US’s starts 230 years ago, with 250 conflicts and China’s starts over 4,500 years ago and has 315. Interestingly, one-third of all China’s conflicts happened during its century of humiliation, 1839-1949, when the West terrorized and plundered the country, while addicting one-fourth of the people to opium, morphine and heroin.

This, while the West’s numbers are probably grossly understated, since over the centuries, it has committed thousands of government overthrows, invasions and occupations to protect colonial businesses around the world.

The above statistics speak for themselves. Eurangloland, including Israel conducts its business and trade using violence and expropriation. China, no. This contrast is even more remarkable, when looking at landmass and populations. When the Roman Empire was at its greatest expansion, 200AD, China had six times as much land and nine times as many people, but clearly was experiencing much less conflict, not nine times as much.

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As the above chart shows, China has always had many more people than Europe, yet has lived with much less violence and plunder. This is because European cultures are founded on genocide, slavery and the violent plunder of other peoples’ natural resources. For 5,000 years, Chinese civilization has been based on agriculture, animal husbandry and mutually profitable cross border trade.

Proof of this is ample. The Chinese Asian land and African maritime Silk Roads predate Jesus Christ and they did not send out armies to rape and plunder their neighbors, like Alexander the Great, the Christian Crusades and onto modern colonialism and robber baron capitalism. The Chinese conducted state diplomacy, traded goods and technology.

If the Chinese had the same DNA for violence and theft that Westerners do, we’d all be speaking Mandarin today. The Chinese were sailing the high seas many centuries before the rest of the world and had Star Wars weapons compared to Europe and elsewhere, with advanced guns, powerful cannons, rocket propelled grenades, flame throwers, sea and land mines, not to mention chemical and biological bombs. They were so far ahead of the rest of the world in military and other technologies, that they could have easily crushed every city and people they came into contact with, like defenseless bugs. Yet, they fanned out across the planet and no one was ever attacked, unless the Chinese visitors were attacked first, which happened very rarely, given what they arrived with. They just wanted to do win-win business and exchange technology.

Westerners and Israelis can only think about other peoples in terms of war and exploitation. Since that is their world vision, they cannot assimilate the Chinese’s millennia of external non-violence and, Let’s do some business ethos. Cognitive dissonance overwhelms Euranglolanders when this is shown them and they sink into denial and self-serving mythology. They fall back on moral equivalence, Well, everybody else does it too. Not true, American Natives, Africans, and Asians (excepting the Christianized Genghis Khan family and Japan adopting the Western imperial playbook during its Meiji Restoration) have not blanketed the planet like killer locusts, devouring everything within their reach. Only Euranglolanders have done this and continue to do so.

This concept of Chinese governance and international trade goes back millennia, with the Confucist-Daoist-Buddhist concept of ren, which means forbearance, relenting and retreating. You will never begin to understand how and why the Chinese live and work, until you wrap your head around ren (忍). Ren is also the Chinese foundation for governing the country and leading the people. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to read/listen/watch these articles (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/20/wests-hong-kong-color-revolution-still-making-a-mess-of-the-place-and-totally-backfiring-china-rising-radio-sinoland-190720/ and http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/10/all-the-chinese-people-want-is-respect-aretha-franklin-diplomacy-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171110/).

Great governments in China are the ones that have (and continue to) work for the 99%, first, second and third, maintaining social harmony, economic prosperity, securing the country’s borders and avoiding war at all cost. Avoiding war and running a lean administration meant being able to keep taxes low, in the form of grain sent to government storehouses for redistribution during droughts, so the masses had enough eat well and sell their surplus to buy household goods.

In China’s pre-liberation era, this system was feudal, meaning wealthy land owners and bourgeois gentry had to be reigned in, to not demand too much grain for land use. Thus, China’s leaders were also expected to protect the 99% from local exploitation. This of course did not always happen. There were many regional conflicts and if national or local government authority weakened or was corrupt, the landlords could plunder the peasants, as well as become warlords in their areas.

Warlords on the loose were often a harbinger of a Chinese government that had lost its Heavenly Mandate. Democracy in Chinese is very responsive to the 99%’s needs. If the leaders can’t keep the peace, harmony and maintain the territorial integrity of the nation, then the masses have the right to “grab bamboo spears”, attack government centers and demand a new administration. This happened countless times over thousands of years at the local, provincial, regional and national level.

Maybe now you can have a little appreciation for why Chinese civilization has always had “big government”, from the dynastic center down to the local villages. No leaders can hope to govern effectively for the benefit of the 99% otherwise. This is why Western elites love “small government” neoliberalism, since it gives them a license to kill and plunder at will. What is important to understand, when comparing Chinese governance to Eurangloland’s is what the expectations were and are to this day. In China, it’s taking care of the little guy. In the West, it’s serving the wealthy elites, for them to accumulate more and more money property, possessions and power.

When Admiral Zheng He sailed around the world generations before Columbus and the Europeans, his massive flotilla reportedly had an anthology of China’s great books, totaling 200,000 pages, including the art of good governance. This was to show and tell with all the different governments and peoples they met, going from port to port.

China’s magnum opus for good governance comes from the 6th century AD, during the Tang Dynasty. A young emperor at the time was Taizong. Having gained the throne after his father, and having already learned to be a successful general, he realized that running a country and keeping the 99% safe and prosperous was a huge undertaking. Thus, he decided to collect all the ancient books on good governance and peacekeeping, going back to the beginnings of Chinese literature in 2,600BC and from them, generate an anthology of the best passages. The sources included 14,000 books and 89,000 written scrolls. The result was the Qunshu Zhiyao (群书治要), which can be translated as the Compilation of Books and Writings on Important Governing Principles. It totals 500,000 words and covers sixty five categories of good governance and peacekeeping.

In the preface of this 1,400 year-old collection, one of Emperor Taizong’s compiling advisors wrote,

When used in the present, (it) allows us to examine and learn from our ancient history; when passed down to our descendants,(it) will help them learn valuable lessons in life.

Taizong himself was ecstatic about the work, saying,

The collection has helped me learn from the ancients. When confronted with issues, I am very certain of knowing what to do. This is all due to your efforts, my advisors.

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Above: stylistic rendition of Tang Emperor Taizong, showing his successful military past in the background and thereafter, his forward thinking good governance and peacekeeping in the foreground.

Of course, over five millennia of civilizational history, China has had its fair share of megalomaniacs, psychopaths, corrupted and incompetents in positions of power, both government and military. But, as the Qunshu Zhiyao instructs, the ideals of good governance and peacekeeping are all about social harmony, economic prosperity and avoiding war at all cost, so politicians and leaders of this stripe are the outliers, not the mainstream, as is the case in Eurangloland. Western elites work hard to put megalomaniacs, psychopaths, corrupt and incompetent people in positions of power, since these latter can be manipulated to serve the previous’ interests. Politicians who practice ren and strive for social harmony, economic prosperity and peacekeeping are Eurangloland’s worst enemies. To wit, China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, DPRK’s Kim Jong-Un and every other socialist/anti-imperialist leader across the globe.

To learn more about why Chinese leaders are often so competent – yesterday, today and tomorrow – you can download below and read a book of excerpts from the Qunshu Zhiyao, put out for free by the Malaysian publishing house, Chung Hua Cultural Education Centre. Just glancing over a few of its 1,400-year-old section titles tells you that the people’s expectations of a Chinese leader are not what the 99% usually gets in the West,

Be careful of military actions
Be frugal and diligent
Be respectful of the Dao
Be sincere and trustworthy
Benevolence and righteousness
Caring about people
Character building
Correcting our own mistakes
Emulate good deeds
Exercising caution from beginning to end
Formation of cliques
Guard against greed
Heeding troubling signs
Human sentiments
Magnanimity
Paramount impartiality
Propriety and Music
Refrain from anger
Talents and virtues
Teach and transform
The livelihood of the people
Uphold integrity

Mao Zedong’s famous mottos were,

Serve the People!
Preserve the Peace!

Mao did exactly that for one-fourth of the human race and was simply living up to the expectations that the Chinese 99% have had for their leaders, going back 5,000 years. It is still ongoing with Xi Jinping and every leader in between. Euranglolanders cannot count themselves so lucky in the quality of their leaders and integrity of their governance.

The Governing Principles of Ancient China book in downloadable PDF:

https://lanbro-my.sharepoint.com/:b:/g/personal/jeff_brownlanglois_com/Eea_ycuK2q9NnLld2nWL3NgBMsTU9pk3f_bes24n-qWqzg?e=vAcujt

In Countries Destroyed By The West, People Should Stop Admiring The U.S And Europe

By Andre Vltcheck
Source

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It may sound incredible, but it is true: in countries that have been damaged, even totally robbed and destroyed by the West, many people are still enamored with Europe and North America.

For years, I have been observing this ‘phenomena’, even in the most plundered, devastated war zones and slums. Often I was shocked, other times thoroughly desperate. I did not know how to respond, how to react, how to describe what I have been observing.

Then, a few days ago, in Syria, right next to the Idlib battlefield, close to the deadly positions of Al-Nusra Front, in a country where the West and its allies have murdered hundreds of thousands of people, one of my interpreters exclaimed in a ‘patriotic’ outburst: “Look how beautiful this land is! It is almost as beautiful as Europe!”

And at night, another guide of mine began nostalgically recalling his glorious days in Europe, when he could still go there; before the Syrian war began.

An interpreter did not know who Fidel Castro was (I had his portrait, lighting up cigar, as my phone screensaver), but both of them – my local companions at the battle ground – were fluent in Western slang and the worldview. They knew, however, near zero about China.They were patriotic and they fully supported their country, but at the same time they admired the West and Western journalists from the mainstream media – those very same propagandists who helped to bring their beautiful and unique Syria to the state in which it is now.

It all felt schizophrenic, but definitely not new.

I could not take it, anymore. I decided to write this story, despite the fact that it is an intellectual ‘minefield’. I decided to write it, because it is how it is. Because I have to tell it; someone has to. And above all, because it is absolutely essential to combat the crooked selfie image with which the West has been infecting almost all nations of the world, including all those that it has been plundering and raping.

Are we dealing with the so-called “Stockholm Syndrome” here? Most likely, yes. The victim falls in love with her or his tormentor.

For long centuries, the West has been colonizing, usurping, literally terrorizing the entire planet. Hundreds of millions have died as a result of colonialism, neo-colonialism, and imperialism. Wealth, cultural and educational institutions, hospitals, transportation, parks – all that Europe and North America possess to date and boast about, was constructed on mountains of bones, on genocide and unbridled plunder.

That cannot be disputed, can it?

Slavery, mass murder, genocidal expansions; the West robbed the world, and then consolidated its power, promoting its exceptionalism through relentless brainwashing (called ‘education’), propaganda (called ‘information’), and twisted entertainment for the masses that inhabit poor countries (called ‘culture’ and ‘the arts’).

Shockingly and absurdly, Europe and North America are still loved and admired by many, even (or especially) in such places where Western governments and companies plagued everything like locusts, leaving to the locals only burned land, poison and miserable slums.

How is it possible?

For years, I have been working in Africa, a continent which was entirely subjugated by the U.K., France, Germany, Belgium and other European expansionist nations. Africa from where millions of men, women and children were brought in chains to the “New World”, as slaves. Where millions died during the ‘hunt’, where millions died in ‘transit centers’, and then, on the open seas. That’s tens of millions of ruined lives. The complete plunder of the resources, the unimaginable humiliation of the people, broken cultures, genocides and holocaust against local individuals from what is now Namibia, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Great African heroes like Lumumba assassinated by the Western rulers.

And yet, many Africans see the West as some great ‘example’, as a ‘guiding light’, as a severe but respectable ‘daddy’, who uses the belt when it is necessary, but who also rewards justly those of his ‘children’ who ‘behave properly’.

It is repulsive, but undeniable.

The greatest African writers are now teaching at U.S. and U.K. universities. They have been ‘neutralized’ and ‘pacified’, many of them out rightly bought. In many countries, African judges wear comical white wigs, doing their best to look like their British counterparts. The children of corrupt elites are collecting diplomas from the U.K. and French universities, imitating upper-class European accents.

To behave, to look and sound like the colonizers, is something that brings respect.

The same on the Sub-Continent, of course.

The mannerism among the upper classes in India and Pakistan are those of the U.K. (and lately, of the U.S.). Elites there go out of their way to be more British than the Brits; more Californian than the inhabitants of the U.S. West Coast. Countless private Indian universities call themselves ‘American’ or ‘British’, with ‘Oxford’ or ‘Cambridge’ frequently ‘decorating’ their names.

‘To be accepted’ in Europe or North America is the highest honor, in almost all former colonies, therefore, in almost the entire world.

‘Well groomed’, well-educated and modern Asians, Latin Americans, Africans and the Middle Easterners are expected to ape Westerners; to dress like Westerners, eat (and drink) like the Westerners and to ‘defend the same values’ as them.

In fact, they are expected to be much more Western than the Westerners.

But ‘expected’ by whom? Yes, you guess correctly: very often by their own people!

Ask and many in the ‘South’ will tell you: everything that comes from the West is beautiful, progressive and dandy.

“Every bule is beautiful,” I was informed, recently, by a young indigenous professional lady in the totally environmentally plundered island of Borneo/Kalimantan. Bule is a vulgar, derogatory Indonesian word for the ‘whites’, and literally means ‘albino’. However, the lady was not joking, it was a compliment: she was brought up believing that every bule is actually superior and fine-looking.

In the indigenous Mexican state of Yucatan, right after the elections that brought to power the left-wing President Obrador, I overheard the conversation of a dozen or so upper-class housewives in a Western chain café. Their references were fully European and North American: From vacations in Italy and Spain, to the films they were watching, books they were reading. Europe was their ‘mother-continent’, while Miami, their only true comparison. Before Obrador came to power, indigenous people were increasingly living in misery, their roofs broken, jobs disappearing. But the elites were, as always, in a European state of mind. The real Mexico was not on their radar. It did not matter, or didn’t even exist.

Even some of the poor in the ‘conquered world’ who are actually ‘concerned’ about Western imperialism, see it as an abstract problem.They see it as a strictly political, military or economic issue. The fact that Western imperialism has ‘culturally’ immobilized entire nations and continents is hardly addressed.

Even in those proud countries that are determinedly struggling against Western imperialism – China, Russia, Iran, or Venezuela – the Western narrative of exceptionalism has already managed to cause tremendous damage.

In China, for instance, almost everything ‘Western’ had been, until recently, associated with modernity. Being ‘against the West’ was considered boring, gray and outdated, somehow connected to the ‘Communist propaganda’ of the past (the fact that the ‘Communist propaganda’ was often correct, mattered nothing). This attitude allowed the great infiltration of Chinese universities by Western academia, as well as the injection of Western nihilism into Chinese arts, culture, even way of life. Only recently, has this dangerous trend been reversed, but not after it had already caused great damage.

The admiration of everything Western destroyed the greatest progressive experiment of modern history – The Soviet Union and the so-called “Eastern Bloc”.

The power of negative Western propaganda packaged together with the promotion of extreme individualism, selfishness and consumerism, literally wiped out all internationalist zeal, humanism and higher principles, from the minds of tens of millions of young Czechs, Poles, East Germans, Bulgarians, and even Soviets.

The once proud Communist Eastern Bloc, after liberating dozens of countries from colonialism, after fighting for an egalitarian world, showing solidarity with all oppressed nations, was then gradually defeated by such shallow bullshit as blue jeans labels, the nonsensical lyrics of rock and pop songs (a favorite weapon of the West), greed, religions (another Western weapon), and slogans like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ (the Western world which has been denying freedom and democracy to almost all countries on our planet, cynically turned the truth upside down, and fooled East Europeans, by skillfully applying centuries long propaganda methods).

In the end, confused and increasingly cynical, what many East Europeans demanded was not ‘freedom’, but more money, more labels, and the ability to join the bloc of the countries that have been plundering the world.

So, what makes the West so successful, when it comes to brainwashing people all around the world? How is it possible after all that banditry, terror and ruthlessness, that most of the oppressed and conquered countries are still showing plenty of respect to the masters that reside in New York, London or Paris?

I believe that if we find the answers to this question, we will be able to save the world, and reverse this deadly trend.

First of all, after interacting with thousands of people in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania and Latin America, I am coming to the conclusion that the West (and Japan) is often admired for the ‘high standards of living’.

In such miserable and collapsed countries like Indonesia, I often hear nonsense like: “European countries are more ‘Muslim’ than we are. They treat people much better than we do.”

Middle and upper class Southeast Asian families are travelling to Netherlands or Germany, and then exclaim after returning home: “Look at their parks, hospitals, bicycle lanes, trams, museums… We have to learn from them! They do so much for improving our world.”

That’s precisely what Africans admire about Europe. That’s how many ‘educated’ Indians or Southeast Asians feel. That’s what Peruvians, Hondurans or Paraguayans love about their Miami.

Are they wrong? Isn’t there, after all, plenty that poor countries could learn from the West?

Yes; definitely they are wrong. Totally wrong!

Let’s see ‘why’?

The West ‘arranged’ the entire world in accordance with its own feudal system of the past centuries. It brought the system of shameless oppressive regime to the global level.

To admire this monstrous and regressive global system would be like admiring the arrangement of European societies some three hundred years ago. It would be essentially like saying: “Look, the aristocracy of France or England was actually quite fine, egalitarian, educated and healthy, and we should learn from how they lived, and copy their examples!”

Of course, the aristocracy, the royalty and the church of Europe has always lived well, even 300 years ago. They had good schools for their children, they had decent medical care, palaces, summer villas, sanatoriums with mineral waters, theatres, lavish parks, and tons of servants.

The only ‘tiny’ problem was that some 95% of the population had to work for the luxury they enjoyed, subsisting in total misery. Plus, of course, those tens of millions of un-people in the colonies were being exterminated like animals.

The same is happening now. The entire Europe (with the exception of the poor people there) has moved to the bracket of new aristocracy, at least comparatively. And the rest of the world is laboring, dying, being raped and plundered, in order to maintain this ‘wonderful-looking’ social-state project of the West. Even the U.S. and its relatively brutal turbo-capitalist model is still ‘socialist’ (for the U.S. citizens), compared to such countries as Indonesia, India, Peru or Nigeria.

Western standards of living cannot be replicated elsewhere. To believe that the West would allow Africans or Southeast Asians to build a social state is naïve, almost intellectually insulting. Singapore, South Korea and Japan are rare exceptions, where the West closed both eyes, for strictly strategic reasons.

In order for the West to prosper, maintaining a super high standard of living, with all the benefits for its citizens, billions of the ‘serfs’ all over the world have to suffer, sacrifice themselves, and work for close to nothing; the more of them that live in hell, the better.

Nature has to be plundered in places like Borneo and Papua, DR Congo and soon in Brazil.

People have to be ruled by pro-Western corrupt oligarchs, and by the military and religious leaders. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and now Brazil, are perfect countries for the West: they happily and willingly sacrifice their own people, guaranteeing Western prosperity.

You did not know? Nonsense! You did not want to know. All those people who matter are very happy with this arrangement: The Western rulers, citizens of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, as well as the rulers/elites in the poor countries. The only ones who are truly suffering are those billions of the poor, worldwide, but they matter nothing, and they are not told anything anyway, because the media is in the hands of the West and their lackeys, and so is ‘education’.

And as they are not told anything, they – the wretched of the Earth – are admiring the West, too. They eat Western junk food if they can save few dollars a month, they drink Nescafe instead of their traditional coffee, listen to the shittiest music, watch pirated Hollywood blockbuster movies, wear fake sneakers and jeans, and masturbate to Western porn (if they have internet). They also dutifully follow religions, which were injected and upheld by the West, into their countries.

The poorer the country, the greater appear to be the green hills and pastures of the Western paradise.

And so, it goes on and on.

In India, Indonesia, Uganda, Jordan, Fiji, Honduras, I hear the same crap, from semi-educated, or West-educated local citizens: “People in the West are actually very good people, but their governments are bad.” Are they sure about that? I wonder.

Frankly and honestly, I am tired of this status quo. And I don’t find this amusing at all: hearing admiring statements about European and other Western countries in the middle of the monstrous war zones, famine-stricken areas, brutal mines, on the banks of poisoned rivers and inside the slums.

I am an ‘old-fashioned’ revolutionary. Slaves have to rise and fight, if necessary die for freedom; not to admire their masters and tormentors.

The crimes of the colonialists have to be exposed. The insane arrangement of the world has to be defined and then smashed into pieces.

The cute trams, bicycle lanes, parks, museums, operas, cafes, universities and hospitals in Europe are built on rivers of blood and the bones of ‘The Others’. I said it three years ago on the floor of the Italian Parliament, and I will repeat it again and again, wherever I go.

There is no other topic that matters, right now, on our planet.

Everything is connected to this, including the fear and hate that the West feels and spreads about countries like Venezuela, Russia, China, Iran, South Africa, Syria or Cuba.

They hate us; they hate those who resist, who are standing tall. And they should and will get back the same in return, hopefully, if the truth is pronounced often enough!

Islamic Movement in Nigeria: Anti-imperialism Organization in Africa

Harun Elbinawi

Imperialism is a system in which a rich and powerful country controls the instrument of leadership and by extension the resources of other less powerful countries, or a desire for control over other countries.

Imperialism and neo-colonialism are two faces of the same coin. Due to intense pressure from Nationalists, greedy European colonialists were forced to leave Africa but they never left. They later engineered coups and counter-coups to impose their puppets to facilitate their continue looting of African resources.

Dear Friends, please check the mineral resources map of the African continent. Africa is among the richest continents in terms of resources but it is the poorest continent in the world. Why? The rich African resources are being looted by the greedy imperialist directly or via their lackeys who are head of government of African countries.

My country, Nigeria, is rich in mineral resources that included Crude Oil but today Nigeria is the extreme capital of the whole world. The funds that should have been used for developmental purposes were looted by corrupt leaders and deposited in Western financial institutions for safe keeping. Nigeria, a country of more than 180 million in population, can only provide 4,000MW of electricity. Funds earmarked for power were looted and there is no single person in jail for that.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is an Anti-imperialism organization. The IMN awakens Nigerians and Africans of the ills of imperialism and neo-colonialism and call on Africans to free the continent of this scourge. There were great African anti-imperialism leaders in the past. Great Heroes such as Patrick Lumumba, Thomas Sankara etc. all murdered by the greedy and arrogant imperialist.

The recent brutal and genocidal attack of the Islamic Movement by the Buhari regime that resulted in the inhuman slaughter of more than one thousand innocent children, women and men in Zaria in December 2015 was a desperate quest to extinguish this anti-imperialism light in Africa. For more than 20 years now, whenever any government assume power in Nigeria, three entities [US, Saudi Arabia & the “Israeli” regime] send security reports against Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement. We have it on credible information that since 2004 the US regime via the CIA have IMN desk at the American embassy in Abuja. A desk dedicated to the Islamic Movement.

In order to perpetuate imperialism looting of African resources, the arrogant imperialist considered organizations such as the Islamic Movement as a threat to them and they always plan on how to either cripple or destroy such organizations. The main reason of the brutal and inhuman Zaria genocide. The Saudi regime was the front of the Zaria genocide but if the mask is removed the greedy imperialists are behind the mask.

On a Final note, Africans need to wake up and take this rich continent back from the greedy agents of imperialism and neo-colonialism that has impoverished Africans. African resources should be for Africans not for the greedy Western imperialists.

Source: elbinawi.wordpress.com

 elbinawi.wordpress.com

Nigeria: When the President become a Liar

“Investors are falling over themselves to come and do business in Nigeria” -President Buhari

1st October 2016 marked the 56th year anniversary of Nigerian independence from British colonialism and as its customary the Leader of the country addressed the country to commemorate such important occasion. This year President Buhari addressed the nation but his speech was full of questions instead of addressing Nigerian problems.

The above excerpt quotation was from the speech and all Nigerians knows that what the President said was not correct. Investors are not trooping into Nigeria at the moment, infact investors are leaving Nigeria due to the bad state of the economy. The Nigerian economy is in deep recession and the pilots of the economy are responsible but the same pilots are using Clerics in Northern Nigeria to deceive the masses that God is to be blame for their plight. If the economy is healthy and developing these people would have praise President Buhari but now that the economy is bad and in recession they are blaming God!

In his Independence Day speech President Buhari also said that his government had defeated the Boko Haram insurgency last December. Nigerians especially those in Northeast know that this is not true. Nigerians are still attack, kill and maimed in the Northeast to this day.

What actually happened in Nigeria last December was the inhuman Zaria massacre of IMN members that was ordered by President Buhari to serve a foreign imperialist agenda that has the Saudi Wahhabi regime as a front. More than one thousand Nigerians that included women, children and the aged were brutally murdered by the Nigerian army in less than 48 hours and their death bodies dumped in mass graves. The Saudi King immediately called President Buhari to congratulate him. President Buhari tried to defend the massacre at the earliest period but he is now trying to distance himself from it since the world had rejected their narration and condemned the inhuman massacre.

The Buhari administration is turning out to be the biggest catastrophe in the history of Nigeria. President Buhari ignorantly assumed that if he is loyal to Western imperialism then they will grant him all his wishes. He should have studied the life of former Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein and his relationship with Western imperialism. One day the same West will deliver Buhari and his murderous gang to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their role in the Zaria massacre.

The true Nigerian situation is that the economy is in a very bad state, people are dying of hunger, inflation is high, unemployment is high, suicidal rate have increase and the Nigerian currency is freely falling against the US dollars. Nigeria today needs a responsible leader who will face these challenges and addressed these problems and not a President who will be lying to them.

On a last note, I want to remind President Buhari that God is just and will surely punish all those who mass-murdered His servants and dumped their bodies in mass graves. To all Nigerians ” Happy Independence Day anniversary!”

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com
Elbinawi.WordPress.com

 

#IMN: Anti-imperialism Organization in Africa

#IMN: Anti-imperialism Organization in Africa

Imperialism is a system in which a rich and powerful country controls the instrument of leadership and by extension the resources of other less powerful countries, or a desire for control over other countries.

Imperialism and neo-colonialism are two faces of the same coin. Due to intense pressure from Nationalists, greedy European colonialists were forced to leave Africa but they never left. They later engineered coups and counter-coups to impose their puppets to facilitate their continue looting of African resources.

Dear Friends, please check the mineral resources map of the African continent. Africa is among the riches continent in terms of resources but Africans are the poorest continent in the world. The question is why? The rich African resources are being looted by the greedy imperialist directly or via their lackeys who are head of government of African countries.

My country, Nigeria, is rich in mineral resources that included Crude Oil but today Nigeria is the extreme capital of the whole world. The Funds that should have been used for developmental purposes were looted by corrupt leaders and deposited in Western financial institutions for safe keeping. Nigeria that is a country of more than 180 million in population can only provide 4,000MW of electricity. Funds earmarked for power were looted and there is no single person in jail for that.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is an Anti-imperialism organization. The Islamic Movement awaken Nigerians and Africans of the ills of imperialism and neo-colonialism and call on Africans to free the continent of this scourge. There were great African anti-imperialism leaders in the past. Great Heroes such as Patrick Lumumba, Thomas Sankara etc. all murdered by the greedy and arrogant imperialist.

The recent brutal and genocidal attack of the Islamic Movement by the Buhari regime that resulted in the inhuman slaughter of more than one thousand innocent children, women and men in Zaria in December 2015 was a desperate quest to extinguish this anti-imperialism light in Africa. For more than 20 years now, whenever any government assume power in Nigeria three entities (US, Saudi Arabia & the Israeli regime) send security reports against Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement. We have it on credible information that Since 2004 the US regime via the #CIA have IMN desk at the American embassy in Abuja. A desk dedicated to the Islamic Movement.

In order to perpetuate imperialism looting of African resources, the arrogant imperialist considered organizations such as the Islamic Movement as a threat to them and they always plan on how to either cripple or destroy such organizations. The main reason of the brutal and inhuman Zaria genocide. The Saudi regime was the front of the Zaria genocide but if the mask is removed the greedy imperialists are behind the mask.

On a Final note, Africans need to #WakeUp and take this rich continent back from the greedy agents of imperialism and neo-colonialism that has impoverished Africans. African resources should be for Africans not for the greedy Western imperialists. #FreeZakZaky

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com

Friday Reflection: Be Principled & Do Not Be a Reactionary

Friday Reflection: Be Principled & Do Not Be a Reactionary

“In Islam, everything is a prelude to making true human beings. If this creature is left to itself, it will ruin and destroy the whole world.”

#ImamKhomeini (ra)

When the savage Saudi regime sponsored and financed the brutal and inhuman slaughter of 1000+ innocent and defenseless civilians in Zaria in December 2015, they asked their paid Nigerian agents to be shouting “Shia Kafir (Shia are infidels)”. They were expecting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to reciprocate and be saying “Sunni Kafir” or even “Wahhabi Kafir” but that never happened. Members of the Islamic Movement continue to promote and propagate the true teachings of Islam. They continue to chin out the eternal and unmatchable words of Imam Ali (as) – words that are only surpassed by the Quran and sayings of the seal of all Prophets and Messenger of God (sa).

When the notorious Child-killer and mass grave digger Elrufai recruited Shia traitors and asked them to question the authenticity of the Shia-ness of members of the Islamic Movement, they were not dignified with an answer. The murderous terrorist Elrufai buried Shia children alive in Mando mass grave according to Amnesty international.

It is a yearly tradition for Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky to provide food items to his neighbors during the Ramadan Fast. After the Zaria genocide he instructed that the tradition should not only continue but should be expanded to include more people. After the Zaria genocide, the Buhari regime recruited some of the neighbors of Sheikh Zakzaky to spread lies and fake propaganda against him and the Islamic Movement. But despite all these, Sheikh Zakzaky insisted that they should be provided with food items during Ramadan.

The path of greatness is to be principled in life. Be guided with the set of Principles as coded in the Quran if you are a Muslim. And like wise the Bible for Christians. Never be a reactionary who is guided by the reactions to the actions of others. Imagine reacting to the actions of bloodthirsty Wahhabi barbarians like Buhari, Elrufai, Buratai and gang! One will end up burying children in mass graves at night.

Prophet Muhammad (sa) had a Jewish neighbor who frequently dumped all their refuse in the house of the Prophet. If people complained the Prophet will say do not talk. The Prophet used to personally evacuate the refuse dump. Then one day the Prophet did not see refuse dump. The next day no refuse dump. The Prophet went to his Neighbor’s house and asked. He was told his Jewish neighbor was sick. The Prophet prayed for quick recovery. This was how that his neighbor embraced Islam. This is the true Islam. Violent and bloodthirsty Wahhabism is not Islam. This is a deviation that has today produced all the murderous terrorists that are killing the innocent in the name of Islam.

Jumu’at Mubarak to Muslims and bless Weekend to All Friends!

#FreeZakZaky

#ElbinawiTweets

Adeyanju Deji – Hero of Freedom

Adeyanju Deji – Hero of Freedom

We fixed an appointment. We did not used the phones because all our phone lines were bugged by the oppressive and tyrannical Buhari regime. A regime of wicked mass murderers and notorious Child-killers.

I arrived Abuja for the appointment. I made contact with Prince Adeyanju Deji. He told me he is at the Venue of the Daily #FreeZakzaky Sit-down protest. I proceeded to the protest venue. I saw Adeyanju Deji given speech in Hausa Language about the illegal and unlawful detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his injured wife. We waited until the end of the day event then he came towards me. We finally met. We embraced with tears in both our eyes. It was the tears of brotherhood that was created since the creation of Adam and Eve. I said “Thank you, we are grateful of your support!”

Other members of the Free Sheikh Zakzaky campaign committee were also there. Sheikh AbdulRahman Yola, Dr Shuaibu Musa, Muhammad Ibrahim Gamawa etc were all there. They were happy to see me again since my return for 3 months stay in Iran.

We left the venue with Adeyanju Deji and he insisted he will take us out for Lunch before our meeting. He took us to a Restaurant with good Nigerian Dishes. We all ate. Then we moved to the business of the day.

President Buhari was then on medical tourism in London. Adeyanju Deji suggested that we take the Free Sheikh Zakzaky campaign to his door step in London. One thing President Buhari is scared of is international attention. This wicked mass murderer love to slaughter innocent and defenseless women and children in the Deep land of Zaria and dumped their dead bodies in mass graves at night.

We instantly planned the protest. Adeyanju Deji made contact with some Nigerians who are based in London for their support. They gave their full support. A Free Sheikh Zakzaky protest will be stage in front of the house President Buhari is staying in London from night till mourning for three days. The tyrant will not sleep for wickedly disobeying the judgement of a Nigerian court.

Adeyanju Deji and two members of the Islamic Movement will leave Nigeria for UK to coordinate the protest. He suggested that I should be one of the two. I told him that is not possible as my broken leg has not healed. I asked about Visa? He said the then British Ambassador to Nigeria is his close friend. He said we will contact the BBC to fully cover the protest.

We made a rough estimate that the program will cost 5,000 British Pounds. I promised to make contacts and raised the money within that short period of time. When we are about to depart Adeyanju Deji said the Evil tyrant Buhari will arrest us when he return to Nigeria. I told him that it will be a great honor to share the same prison with him.

And we parted. This was how I first met this Hero of Freedom. A Christian, A true follower of Jesus (as). The fact that he is presently in the dungeon of the wicked mass murderer tyrant Buhari underlined his justice-seeking credentials.

Today (03/01/2019) the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky will honor this Hero for justice. Adeyanju Deji has attended Free Sheikh Zakzaky protest that the Nigerian army shot at the peaceful protesters. He is fearless, a brave Lion.

#FreeDejiAdeyanju
#FreeDejiAdeyanjuNow

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com

A Government Spy in the Movement:

A Government Spy in the Movement:

From the Photo the Lady you are seeing with the Nigerian army chief Buratai was a Spy for the Nigerian regime in the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. Her name is Hajiya Rabi. She hails from Mararraban Jos, Kaduna state. She was one of the Spies planted in the Movement by government for a very long time. At some point, she was one of the closest Aides to the wife of Sheikh Zakzaky. However, she disappeared mysteriously from the Movement shortly before the #ZariaGenocide.

She was a sleeping mole planted by the regime inside the Movement. Those shameless rascals that blocked the road for the Nigerian army chief Buratai were also moles in the Movement. The Buhari regime needed an Alibi to attack the Movement, eliminate the leading lights of the Movement and destroy the Iconic Zaria Husseiniya. Their moles in the Movement gave them the Alibi by blocking the road. None of them was killed and no one charged with road blockade by the Buhari Regime. The brutal and inhuman Zaria genocide was pre-planned with set goals and objectives. It was executed using the foolish pretext of “road blockade”. This underlined the thuggish nature of those that executed the Zaria genocide. When did road blockade lead to the murder of more than one thousand innocent children, women and men?

The Spy, Hajiya Rabi, got millions of Naira from them and she joined politics and contested for a seat in the House of Representatives. She lost in the party primaries after spending huge money. Now she is mostly seen in the company of the Nigerian army chief Buratai and Kaduna state Governor Elrufai.

Last year some youths called one of the members of the #FreeZakZaky campaign committee that they want to see him for an important issue. They introduced themselves but he knew no one of them but because they said the issue is important he asked them to meet him in a neutral venue. When they came they told him that they had secured enough weapons to start eliminating the murderous criminals who executed the Zaria genocide. He asked them who gave them the weapons? They were silent. He asked them who ordered them? They were silent. He told them that government agents gave them those weapons and the same people will come and arrest them, then parade them as terrorists working to kill people for the Movement. He told them that we do not kill people and that they should return those weapons to the person that gave them.

There are many Hajiya Rabis in the Movement. Members of the Islamic Movement should be very careful of these spies and moles of the enemy. They plant them to achieve certain objectives. The murderous terrorists who executed the Zaria genocide had failed and they failed woefully without realizing any of their objectives but they are presently desperate. We should be careful.

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com

Nigerian Shia Traitors are not followers of Imam Khamenei

When the Palestinian Resistance visited Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei yesterday his advice to them was:

“If you #Resist, you will gain victory. As long as #Resistance exists, the decline and perishing process of the Zionist regime will continue.”

When people are face with gross oppression and injustice the only option for the #Free is to Resist the monstrous evil. Never kneel to wicked tyrants and bloodthirsty oppressors.

The Nigerian Shia traitors want us to kneel to wicked mass murderer tyrant Buhari and his murderous gang just because they have guns and bombs to slaughter the innocent.

These shameless traitors and paid mercenaries of The Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman fraudulently claimed that they are followers of the Great Leader #Khamenei. Sayyed Khamenei is a Revolutionary, a soldier on the Battlefield and a true #Husseini.

While these shameless Shia traitors had never organize any protest in Nigeria. They did not condemn the brutal and inhuman #ZariaGenocide. While Nigerian Christians cried and mourned the victims of the Zaria genocide, these shameless Shia traitors celebrated with bloodthirsty Wahhabi barbarians.

Yes, they celebrated and went to the kangaroo Judicial Commission of Inquiry that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria should be banned!

Dear Friends,

Are these commercial Shia followers of Imam Khamenei?

#FreeZakzaky

#ElbinawiTweets

How to Defeat BokoHaram Insurgency

If Nigeria and the West African sub-region want to totally defeat the #BokoHaram insurgency they should invite #Iran, #Russia and #Hezbollah.

These trio defeated the US-created #ISIS terrorism.

Do not invite the West and it Saudi puppets. They created these murderous Wahhabi terrorist groups. They will feign they are helping you but they are with the terrorists.

Russian and Iranian weapons are good and battlefield tasted. Iranian surveillance and armed Drones are among the best in the world. Russian jet fighters and Battle Tanks are among the best in the world. For the Guerilla tactics of BokoHaram you need the Battlefield experience of Hezbollah.

To defeat #BokoHaram insurgency Nigeria must purge the Nigerian army of officers who are moles of BokoHaram. They are wearing military uniforms but they are worst than BokoHaram terrorists.

From experience the Chadian army is better in the fight against BokoHaram than the Nigerian army because their infiltrators are few.

President Buhari who desperately wanted to please US President #Trump went to America and bought out dated jet fighters that Nigeria will receive in 2023! Why not go to Russia and get Mig 29 that Nigeria will receive in few months? More cheaper and reliable. The jet fighters President Buhari ordered are not even of the “F” class.

#ElbinawiTweets

BokoHaram Better Armed than Nigerian Army:

BokoHaram Better Armed than Nigerian Army:

“Many men don fall, we gat to go house. If Nigerian army is ready they should call us back to fight those idiots, we want to fight but we are not soldiers without adequate weapons.” – A Nigerian Soldier Fleeing the Battlefield (viral Video)

#BokoHaram insurgency is an imperialism concoction to slaughter the innocent, rape women and girls and destroy towns and cities to facilitate looting and plunder of resources. Wahhabism is the ideology used to recruit and mobilize brainwashed Sunni youths to execute this murderous imperialist agenda in the name of Islam. One of the reasons why the savage Saudi regime is closely allied to Western imperialism and global Zionism. #ISIS, #AlQaeda, Shabbab etc all part of the murderous Wahhabi terrorism.

For close to 10 years now of the BokoHaram insurgency the Nigerian government has failed to tell Nigerians who is funding and arming BokoHaram terrorists. They only parade half-staved brainwashed youths as BokoHaram terrorists. These youths can not even afford to feed themselves but they are carrying 50 – Calibre Heavy duty Machine Gun.

President Buhari came with the promise to end the murderous BokoHaram insurgency that has killed more than 50,000 innocent Nigerians, destroyed many towns and cities and displaced more than 3 millions into IDPs and refugees in neighboring countries. During GEJ presidency BokoHaram terrorists once fingered President Buhari as someone they trusted to act as their representative while negotiating with the government. They love him. They trusted him.

The present Nigerian army chief Buratai is notoriously corrupt. This man bought choice properties in Dubai, UAE, with looted BokoHaram funds. This man spearheaded the brutal and inhuman genocide of 1000+ innocent children, women and men in Zaria in December 2015 and wickedly dumped the dead bodies in mass graves at night to bury the evidences. Despite his incompetency and corrupt practices, President Buhari is keeping him because he is extremely loyal to the wicked mass murderer tyrant. The recent #AbujaShiaMassacre is one of his trade mark.

These paid Saudi agents in Nigeria who are notorious in freeing murderous BokoHaram terrorists are also notorious in shooting and bombing Shia civilians. No Nigerian leader gave BokoHaram so much money like President Buhari. Buhari gave BokoHaram terrorists more than 10 million dollars using the fraudulent pretext of ransom payment. Today BokoHaram terrorists are better armed than the Nigerian army. Exactly what this soldier said in this video. BokoHaram terrorists attack with Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) at Matele while the Nigerian army do not have RPG. But when the same Nigerian army attacked the residence of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in Zaria in December 2015 they came with RPGs and bombed innocent and defenseless women and children.

Dear Friends,
As I always say the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is not the enemy of the Nigerian army or police. Our enemies are the bloodthirsty Wahhabi barbarians who send the Nigerian army and police to murder innocent civilians. An army should protect and defend civilians. When an army is notorious in killing civilians, burning children alive and burying children in mass graves at night, what is the difference of this army and murderous terrorists?

There is massive corruption going on in the Nigerian army. Massive looting of funds meant to fund BokoHaram insurgency. Obsolete weapons were bought and given to soldiers while BokoHaram terrorists have better weapons. What we hear daily is the massacre of soldiers. Yes, brutal massacre of soldiers in the hands of BokoHaram terrorists! BokoHaram terrorists had destroyed 2 out of 3 battalions in Borno state. Yet President Buhari is still keeping the Nigerian army chief Buratai. There are political office holders and senior officers in the Nigerian army who do not want the insurgency to end because they are making millions of dollars at the expense of innocent Nigerian lives. Filthy blood money!

On a final note, the outburst of this frustrated soldier who risked his life to tell the world the truth should act as a #WakeUp call to Nigerians. President Buhari has failed, failed woefully in all indices of development and progress.

Harun Elbinawi
elbinawi@yahoo.com

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