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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign policy’

Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2021

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/joe-bidens-demonic-phase/

James Howard Kunstler

Joe Biden’s party must be thinking — if you call it thinking — that being psychotic isn’t enough… it’s time to go demonic! How else to explain the supernatural doings of the folks in charge of things in our nation’s capital. The casual observer might suppose that these things are spinning out of control, but you also have to wonder how much Joe Biden & Company are spinning them that way. Are they looking to start a war, for instance?

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

What’s going on in Ukraine, anyway? The US and NATO have prompted Ukraine to move troops and tanks toward the ethnically-Russian breakaway Donbass region. Russia countered by massing 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Though supplied with Western armaments, Ukraine’s ragtag and incompetent army has no ability to control the Donbass, nor do either NATO and the US have any real will to interfere there with their own troops — the logistics are insane. Mr. Putin’s elegant solution: evacuate the three-plus million Russians stuck in Donbass into Russia — which needs labor — ceding the empty territory to foundering Ukraine — soon to be an ungovernable post-industrial frontier between East and West. For a rich rundown on these matters, read Dmitry Orlov’s mordant disquisition on the subject: Putin’s Ukrainian Judo.

The lesson there is that the US has absolutely nothing to gain from continuing to antagonize Russia, and that the mentally weak Joe Biden is merely projecting the picture of a weakened and confused USA by keeping it up. Of course, a closer read might be that these hijinks are meant to distract from the more serious and consequential breakdown in relations between the US and China, currently engineered by the blundering team of Sec’y of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who went to Alaska recently to tell the Chinese delegation that they were morally unworthy of conducting trade negotiations, thereby torpedoing the trade negotiations that they went to Alaska to conduct. Smooth move fellas.

Unlike Russia, with its eleven time zones, which actually does not want or need any more territory, China is surely making hegemonic moves all over the place, not just around Hong Kong and Taiwan but in Africa and South America, while it strives to build the world’s largest navy, exports gain-of-function viruses, replaces the US in space exploration, and excels at weaponizing computer science. China’s weaknesses are a lack of sufficient domestic oil supply and food, which its current moves aim to correct. It was on its way to turning the US into a raw materials and food-crop colony when Mr. Trump came along and tried to put a stop to that. And now Ol’ Joe has cancelled that remedial action — after being on the receiving end of Chinese financial largesse in four years out-of-office. Nothing to see there, folks, says Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, while in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop, with its trove of incriminating memoranda.

On the domestic front, Joe Biden’s government only seeks to turn American life inside-out and upside-down, with the move to make the politics-neutral District of Columbia into a state, strictly to furnish two more senators for the DNC, and to pack the Supreme Court strictly to advantage the same DNC. Those Bills are being rushed through the House committees but something tells me they will die in the Senate. One also must wonder what exactly the rush is all about. I’ll tell you: something is up in the shadows. Something is lurking out there that is going to bring down Ol’ Joe Biden as an illegitimate chief executive. Could be some new non-ignorable evidence of his China grifting activities, or new non-ignorable evidence about the dubious ballot-tally in last November’s election. Could be something else.

Contrary to just about everybody I communicate with, I remain convinced that former US Attorney for Connecticut, now Special Prosecutor John Durham is still putting real cases together, and I suspect that his cases exceed the narrow spotlight of the origin of the Steele dossier, and I expect that indictments will be announced soon in a way that will shock the nation. Just sayin’… though nobody else is….

Meanwhile, the Wokester branch of Joe Biden’s party makes hay with the ambiguous killings of two more criminal suspects-of-color: first, Daunte Wright of Minneapolis, busy ignoring the open warrant out for him in failing to answer a previous warrant for his role in the 2019 aggravated burglary (that is, with a firearm) of a woman. He was out on $100,000 bail, but it was revoked in July 2020 when he got caught in possession of another gun. In the commotion of his resisting arrest, he got shot, tragically for officer Kim Potter, who somehow mistook her handgun for a taser. She is now teed up on a manslaughter case, while the Wright family is teed up for an $XX-million personal injury lawsuit settlement courtesy of ambulance-chaser Ben Crump. The city of Minneapolis is teed up for a municipal auto-da-fé of lootin-burnin-and-riotin in the name of “justice” — and the Derek Chauvin trial has not even concluded.

Secondarily, out comes the chest-cam video of Chicago police officer Eric Stillman shooting thirteen-year-old junior gang-banger Adam Toledo, in possession of a handgun, in a 3 a.m. chase down a West Side alleyway. So, Officer Stillman is teed up for some sort of career-ending action and Chicago is teed up for another round of lootin-burnin-and-riotin — sure to spread to other cities all over the country as the Woke vengeance campaign moves into its Satanic phase.

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My Corner by Boyd Cathey

Posted by M. C. on April 5, 2021

Mercer argues rightly that the United States, considering the terrible and epochal culture war we are in, should be allied with such countries as Putin’s Russia and Viktor Orban’s Hungary—both nations which uphold the traditions and heritage of historic Christian civilization. 

http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/

by Boyd Cathey

American Foreign Policy Advances the Globalist Revolution

And My Prayers and Good Wishes for Easter

Friends,

On this site, on occasion, I have shared essays and columns by other writers, items by friends that I believe should be more widely read and pondered. These essays address important issues that are not always that well focused or discussed by the so-called “conservative media,” essays that seem to pinpoint with specificity issues and questions that affect us. In the past I have passed on essays and columns by Pat Buchanan, Paul Gottfried, “The Dissident Mama,” Jack Kerwick, Clyde Wilson, Philip Leigh, Paul Craig Roberts, Brion McClanahan, and others.

Many of my own columns and essays are printed at The Abbeville Institute and Dr. Wilson’s Reckonin.com; many others show up at LewRockwell.com, and in the past at Chronicles magazine and The New English Review. But there are other, excellent pieces featured on those sites and by those journals as well that deserve wider distribution.

One writer who is also a dear friend is Ilana Mercer. Ilana writes a regular column that is printed in various venues. A former citizen of South Africa, she has seen quite personally how the ravages of Marxist and Communist revolution can destroy a civilized country and its social structures. And she has recounted that experience—and warning to the West—in detail in her necessary volume, Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa. It’s a book that more Americans should know and pay heed to, for there are certain parallels with the insane post- or neo-Marxist “woke” anti-racist and anti-white revolution now occurring almost unopposed here in the United States. Indeed, what is now happening here makes the revolution in and transformation of South Africa seem mild in comparison. 

In a recent column, Mercer offers a broad survey which examines the tragically obtuse and wrongheaded policies of the United States around the globe: for decades, whether under Democratic or Republican presidents—it seems to make little difference—American policy has been to impose on other countries by whatever method was convenient or available an egalitarian leftist-liberal “democratism,” a uniform global model as part of a universal zeal to remake the world. Older traditions, inherited religious belief, valued customs, and forms of government and statecraft which do not hew the “democratic” line and do not celebrate “equality” (as our government apparatchiks define it successively to suit their globalism) become pariah states. And soon, with the influence of US government-supported and financed NGOs (non-government organizations), “opposition” groups pop up in those non-juring countries. With American funding and the enthusiastic participation of almost the entirety of the US media, including most so-called “conservative media” (e.g. Fox News, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, etc.), new paper “heroes of democracy” are created and showcased.

Thus, currently, we have an Alexei Navalny in Russia, heralded and praised for his opposition to that evil dictator (no doubt the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin), President Vladimir Putin. Yet, Navalny and his pitiful opposition to Putin and the vast majority of Russian citizens would not even be a passing blip on the international scene were it not for American funding and support. Like what our State Department and CIA have done in Ukraine, in Georgia in the Caucasus, and elsewhere, such insignificant figures become larger than life when the American foreign policy permanent institutional class gets involved with its unlimited largesse and media voices. And that history of devious involvement goes far back into the earlier years of the Cold War—in Vietnam, for example (with the American coup against President Diem) and in other countries where the native leadership did not suit the globalists who have essentially controlled our foreign policy and its real effects internally on recalcitrant nations since the end of World War II.

Mercer argues rightly that the United States, considering the terrible and epochal culture war we are in, should be allied with such countries as Putin’s Russia and Viktor Orban’s Hungary—both nations which uphold the traditions and heritage of historic Christian civilization. Yet, our country has ranged itself directly and aggressively on the side of the globalist barbarians who seek to pervert and destroy that civilization. Indeed, arguably it is the USA which is the very locus and heart of that assault…it makes no difference if a Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump gets elected…it makes little difference that there are 75 million “deplorables” out in the nation who at least intuitively recognize that America is and has been on the wrong course for decades. The managerial state and its interlocking and impenetrable bureaucracy can withstand all that—as we have painfully seen through its resilience and unbowed resistance to even the very minor changes advocated by Trump during his tenure.

That mammoth “deep state” apparatus has emerged now, more powerful and authoritative than before, and more intent on finishing the job of inverting and, practically, destroying what remains of Western Christian civilization.

Just recently I discovered a rather recent Spanish film (with English subtitles), “Mientras Dure la Guerra” (Blu-Ray DVD, 2019) (“While the War Lasts”), which chronicles the opening months of the Spanish Civil War, from July until October 1936. Of course, hardly any major film these days is going to treat the Spanish Nationalist anti-Leftist side in that conflict with genuine fairness; but this movie, with limitations, comes about as close as anything these days. Viewing the issues and beginning salvos of the contest through the eyes of the aged philosopher Miguel de Unamuno (Rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca), it manages to express, if obliquely, the reasons why millions of Spaniards at that time welcomed the rising against the Socialist republic and its Soviet enablers. Through the voice of Unamuno we hear of the terrorism of the Marxists and anarchists inflicted on the Church, and the persecution, the rioting, and the subservience of the Socialist government under Manuel Azana.

Of course, there are the perfunctory condemnations of fascism and paeans to democracy, and Unamuno’s final disaccord (he had welcomed the coup initially). Yet, enough gets through. In one significant moment you see General Franco, when asked by his brother Nicolas what would be the overarching theme of the insurrection, he underlines a passage in a declaration by Unamuno—“the defense of Western Christian civilization.”

Today America is dying for lack of men of stature to raise once again that standard. The progressivist contagion controls most of our institutions domestically, and for decades has controlled our foreign policy.  As Pat Buchanan asked rhetorically several years ago when comparing Vladimir Putin’s defense of historic Christian civilization and its inheritance with what our nation does around the world: “On what side is God now on?”

It’s a question that Americans should ask, seriously and thoughtfully, as we observe the Easter Triduum, three days which for us all mean that we too can be Resurrected with the Risen Christ if we have faith, do our duty and have Hope.

My Easter good wishes and prayers for each of you.

*****

Now, here is Ilana Mercer’s column:

See the rest here

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Halfway to Secession: Unity on Foreign Policy, Disunity on Domestic Policy | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2021

As F.H. Buckley suggests in his book American Secession, under a plan like this, issues like abortion and gun control are simply farmed out to states and localities, where residents could fight it out among themselves. Residents could also move to regions of the country that more reflect their particular political positions. Meanwhile,  the US security state, living above the fray of the internal conflicts over social policy, would continue to hold untrammeled power over the machinery behind wielding international power. 

But this would be no mild change. It means no more federal welfare state. The states and municipalities can have their own. It means no more federal regulatory state. Again, this can be done at the level of states, counties, and metropolitan areas. 

https://mises.org/wire/halfway-secession-unity-foreign-policy-disunity-domestic-policy

Ryan McMaken

In recent years, especially as media pundits and politicians talk up the idea of “divided” the American population is along ideological lines, talk of secession has become more frequent and more urgent. For several years now, a quarter of Americans polled have claimed to support the idea of secession. In 2018, a Zogby poll concluded 39 percent of those polled agree that residents of a state should “have the final say” as to whether or not that state remains part of the United States.  

Do the Needs of Geopolitics Preclude Secession? 

If the idea of secession continues to be repeated among a growing number of Americans—as appears likely—expect more serious opposition to the idea on foreign policy grounds. The claim will be that secession must be rejected because this would make the United States likely to fall prey to foreign powers—especially China and Russia—and independence may even lead the new states to make war on each other. 

These critics are getting ahead of themselves. For now, calls for secession are unlikely to get the point of full separation that would end the status quo in terms of how the US regime interacts with the outside world. For example, in the case of Hawaii—where secessionists would have to contend with a federal government willing to fight tooth and nail to keep control over the military bases there—pro-secession advocates will quickly realize the gargantuan task of fighting the national security state for full-blown secession. 

At this time, it seems few are interested in a fight like that. 

After all, as much as “red state America” and “blue state America” may be in conflict over policy and the extent of US power domestically, the fact is disagreements over foreign policy are quite muted. Consequently, this means a formal separation of the US into two or more fully sovereign and separate states would strike many Americans—at the moment—as unnecessary. 

This means we’re still at the stage of the first step: radically decentralizing domestic policy first.  For now, this sidesteps the problem of how secession might affect foreign policy. But it does mean a radical change nonetheless. 

Unity on Foreign Policy, Disunity on Domestic Policy

Certainly, when it comes to self-determination and the protection of human rights through local control, the ideal solution lies in radical decentralization. This would mean a sizable number of fully independent entities in place of the old immense, unified American regime.

However, practical considerations do not always lend themselves to this solution in the short term. Like the abolitionists of old, decentralists and localists can look to the ideal while nonetheless accepting partial victories.

Unfortunately, the current state of public opinion suggests work must still be done to translate that openness to secession shown in Zogby polls into a palpable drive for secession among a critical mass of the population. For now—barring an economic cataclysm of late-Soviet-Union magnitude—an in-between state of domestic disunity and foreign policy unity is more likely.

The culture war raging over BLM, Obamacare, covid lockdowns, gun control, and abortion are overwhelmingly based on disagreements over domestic policies. Yes, the Trump coalition certainly has been unenthusiastic about new wars and “regime change” schemes. But virtually no one among Trump’s core constituents raised any opposition when Trump pushed for huge increases to the Pentagon’s budget. Indeed, Trump and his supporters appeared to favor more aggressive policy against China. At the same time, the center left and the Democrats—as became clear under Obama—have no interest in scaling back US militarism. 

Thus, even when national political unity becomes too costly for the Washington elites to maintain—perhaps because of a continued cycle of riots and state-level opposition to federal regulatory power—it will still be possible to placate many dissenters with decentralization of domesticpolicy only. Meanwhile, the government in Washington would (regrettably) remain firmly in control of foreign policy and military affairs. 

As F.H. Buckley suggests in his book American Secession, under a plan like this, issues like abortion and gun control are simply farmed out to states and localities, where residents could fight it out among themselves. Residents could also move to regions of the country that more reflect their particular political positions. Meanwhile,  the US security state, living above the fray of the internal conflicts over social policy, would continue to hold untrammeled power over the machinery behind wielding international power. 

But this would be no mild change. It means no more federal welfare state. The states and municipalities can have their own. It means no more federal regulatory state. Again, this can be done at the level of states, counties, and metropolitan areas. 

It means no more federal law enforcement apparatus. As in Europe, states can work together as independent entities to address crime problems. 

It means a radical devolution to the state and local levels of most policies affecting the every day lives of Americans. 

A Well-Known Political Model

Historically,  there would be nothing unprecedented about this. It is easy to find countless examples of of unruly regions and ethnicities granted “self-rule” in exchange for ceding foreign policy powers to the central government. States have made it abundantly clear on countless occasions that they’re willing to tolerate local autonomy for various populations so long as the state retains the preponderance of control over military and diplomatic affairs.  This was the case throughout much of the nineteenth century within the British Empire. It has been the case for countless difficult-to-unite populations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.  This reality is reflected in the existence of self-governing client states and “autonomous regions.”

This, after all, was the original structure of the United States: it was to be a group of autonomous states united for purposes of foreign policy—and to a much lesser extent, trade.

Under a regime of autonomous US states, the American state—as viewed by other global powers looking in—would not look fundamentally different. The nukes would still be where they always were. The navy won’t disappear.

Eventually, of course, this sub-optimal hybrid situation would be abandoned in favor of full autonomy for all successor states.  Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Tony Blinken: the good, the bad, and potentially ugly – Responsible Statecraft

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2020

Blinken maintains that the failure of U.S. policy in Syria was that our government did not employ enough force. He stands by the false argument that Biden’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a “vote for tough diplomacy.” He was reportedly in favo of the Libyan intervention, which Biden opposed, and he was initially a defender and advocate for U.S. support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen. In short, Blinken has agreed with some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes that Biden and Obama made, and he has tended to be more of an interventionist than both of them.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/11/23/tony-blinken-the-good-the-bad-and-potentially-ugly/

Written by
Daniel Larison

President-elect Biden has reportedly chosen his longtime foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken as his nominee for Secretary of State. Blinken had previously served as Biden’s national security advisor when Biden was vice president, and he was also deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration. It was always a given that Blinken would be receiving one of the top jobs on Biden’s national security team, and the president-elect is expected to announce his choice for repairing the State Department on Tuesday.

Blinken is a respected, credentialed member of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy establishment, and his record is accordingly mixed. While advocates of restraint will find a few cautiously hopeful notes in his appointment, there are other things that should give us pause.

Like Biden, Blinken has been and remains a strong supporter of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 2015 nonproliferation agreement that restricted Iran’s nuclear program that was by most accounts successful until President Trump withdrew from the pact two years ago. Blinken has said that a Biden administration would reenter the deal as the basis for pursuing a follow-on agreement with Iran. He also supports extending the New START treaty with Russia that would cap and reduce our respective nuclear stockpiles, so his appointment is a positive signal that the Biden administration will keep the remaining arms control treaty alive for the next five years. 

Blinken is respected internationally, and he will be in a good position to repair many of the relationships that were fractured by Mike Pompeo’s reckless swaggering. It will be refreshing to have a secretary of state who values the work of the department he will be leading instead of working overtime to wreck it and demoralize its diplomats as Pompeo has done. Insofar as repairing and rejuvenating the State Department will be one of the main tasks for the next secretary, Blinken is eminently qualified to do it.

When it comes to questions of military intervention, Blinken’s record is much less reassuring. According to journalists Robert Wright and Connor Echols, who have created a system for grading Biden’s possible appointees against a standard of progressive realism, Blinken’s support for military restraint has been quite poor. 

Blinken maintains that the failure of U.S. policy in Syria was that our government did not employ enough force. He stands by the false argument that Biden’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a “vote for tough diplomacy.” He was reportedly in favo of the Libyan intervention, which Biden opposed, and he was initially a defender and advocate for U.S. support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen. In short, Blinken has agreed with some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes that Biden and Obama made, and he has tended to be more of an interventionist than both of them.

The war on Yemen is an important example of how Blinken started off with a terrible position, but seems to have learned from that mistake. In 2015, Blinken was defending the Obama administration’s disastrous decision to back the intervention in Yemen. Like many other former Obama officials, Blinken has changed his view of the policy that Obama started. More recently, he was one of many leading former Obama administration officials to sign a letter in 2018 in support of the effort to end U.S. involvement in the war. Biden has pledged to end U.S. support for the Saudi coalition, and together with Blinken’s changed position, it suggests that there is good reason to expect that this will happen early in the new year. Yemen will be the most important early test to determine whether Biden and Blinken can make a clean break with the errors of both the Obama and Trump administrations.

While there are encouraging signs that a Biden administration will undo some of the outgoing administration’s more harmful policies, Biden and Blinken remain wedded to an overly ambitious and costly strategy of primacy, however. When Blinken co-wrote an article with Robert Kagan in early 2019, he dismissed alternative foreign policy visions that called for the United States to scale back its role in the world. They blow off arguments for restraint on the grounds that it would repeat the errors of the 1930s.

On the issue of Syria, Blinken and Kagan asserted that the United States “made the opposite error of doing too little.” That is a disturbingly hard-line interventionist view to hold so many years after the war in Syria began. They called for the “judicious use of force,” but it seems impossible to square that with a belief that Washington should have intervened more forcefully in the Syrian nightmare. If a similar crisis occurs in the coming years, it seems likely that Blinken will be among those urging Biden to use force.

There is no question that having Blinken as secretary of state will be a huge improvement over the current occupant of that office. After four years of demoralization and terrible leadership, the department can begin to recover from the damage that has been done to it. It’s also clear that Blinken was a better choice than some of the others that Biden could have picked. Advocates of restraint may find Blinken to be receptive to some of our arguments on certain issues, but we should also be prepared to hold him accountable if he endorses more misguided interventions in conflicts where the U.S. has no vital interests.   

Written by
Daniel Larison

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Here’s What Donald Trump Should Do Before Inauguration Day | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2020

https://mises.org/wire/heres-what-donald-trump-should-do-inauguration-day

Ryan McMaken

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.

States won’t have to formally certify their electoral college votes until December. But, assuming Joe Biden’s supporters do manage to push through the necessary 270 electoral votes, Donald Trump still has until January 20 to change military policy, pardon allies, unseat the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and throw a wrench in the deep state apparatus that has so long antagonized him.

But time is running out. What Trump does now could nonetheless strike a blow for the cause of restrained foreign policy, while reining in the intelligence state and placing barriers in front of Washington technocrats seeking to reassert their power in Washington.

But what exactly should Trump be doing?

Fortunately, Lew Rockwell has recently compiled a list of the essentials, noting that Trump should of course continue his legal challenges to the ballot counters in various states. But there are also concrete policy changes he can make right now, and speaking to Trump, Rockwell concludes: “In the time until [January 20], you should act decisively against the deep state and the enemies of the American people.”

Step 1: Fire the Worst and Most Antagonistic Bureaucrats.

Speaking directly to Trump, Rockwell begins by noting, “You should fire Anthony Fauci and Christopher Wray.”

Fauci, of course, has long been one of the most enthusiastic advocates of economically crippling countless American families, throwing breadwinners out of work, and keeping them locked in their homes until “we get to the part of the curve where it goes down to essentially no new cases, no deaths for a period of time.

FBI director Christopher Wray would be the next to go. Rockwell writes:

Christopher Wray has acted to undermine your administration. He pedals the fake charge that the Russians made you president in 2016, and he withheld from you the Hunter Biden “laptop from hell,” even though he had this since December. But you shouldn’t stop with him. As you well know, there is a cabal of FBI, CIA, and NSA agents who have acted to undermine you even before you took office. You should get rid of them. In fact, why do we need an FBI or a CIA at all? They are agencies of world disruption, and you would do the world a great deal of good by abolishing them.

Step 2: Pardon Generously.

One of the best and most libertarian powers a president has is the ability to grant pardons. This is an essential check on the power of the federal bureaucracy and the federal courts. Trump should employ this power broadly:

The Left will stop at nothing to harm you and your friends if Biden gets in. You should immediately pardon yourself, your family, Michael Flynn, Roger Stone, and all the others who have stood up against the Left. I strongly suspect that “Judge” Sullivan, a pliant tool of the Left, is planning to sentence Flynn to a long prison term as soon as you are forced out of office. He needs to be pardoned to preclude that from happening. 

Step 3: Fire the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. 

Although it is rarely acknowledged in discussions of law or policy, members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are no more protected from being fired than are members of the president’s cabinet. That is, Trump doesn’t need permission from Congress to fire the entire board.

For years, the Fed has pursued a radical policy of money supply inflation by relentlessly expanding its portfolio. The purpose of all this has been to both prop up favored industries and pursue higher inflation targets. Rockwell quotes Ron Paul, who notes:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently announced that the Fed is abandoning “inflation targeting” where the Fed aims to maintain a price inflation rate of up to two percent. Instead, the Fed will allow inflation to remain above two percent to balance out periods of lower inflation. Powell’s announcement is not a radical shift in policy. It is an acknowledgment that the Fed is unlikely to reverse course and stop increasing the money supply anytime soon.

Following the 2008 market meltdown, the Fed embarked on an unprecedented money-creation binge. The result was historically low interest rates and an explosion of debt. Today total household debt and business debt are each over 16 trillion dollars. Of course, the biggest debtor is the federal government. The explosion of debt puts pressure on the Fed to keep increasing the money supply in order to maintain low interest rates. An increase in rates to anything close to what they would be in a free market could make it impossible for consumers, businesses, and (especially) the federal government to manage their debt. This would create a major economic crisis.

The Fed has also dramatically expanded its balance sheet since 2008 via multiple rounds of “quantitative easing.” According to Bloomberg, the Fed is now the world’s largest investor and holds about one-third of all bonds backed by US home mortgages.

Congress has expanded the Fed’s portfolio by giving the central bank authority to make trillions of dollars of payments to business as well as to state and local governments in order to help the economy recover from the unnecessary and destructive lockdowns….

These policies will prove to be disastrous for American families and the economy overall. And the members of the Fed board are all poised to enjoy a free pass.

By firing the entire board, Trump would of course not prevent similar bureaucrats from taking over the same reins. But there’s also no reason to help the Fed project a false image of “public service” and stability. Firing the entire board would force its members into the spotlight, where they would have to publicly justify their cushy jobs, while perhaps letting the mask slip on the Fed’s long-standing ruse surrounding its alleged “apolitical” policymaking.

Step 4: Bring the Troops Home.

Rockwell writes:

There is another vital thing you can do. In your first term, you often complained about NATO and our involvement in foreign quarrels that don’t concern us. You would render the American people an inestimable service if you withdrew America from NATO and brought all American troops home. The American empire is vast. As Laurence Vance has pointed out,

According to the latest edition of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Base Structure Report: “The DoD manages a worldwide real property portfolio that spans all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories with outlying areas, and 45 foreign countries.” The majority of these foreign sites are located in Germany (194 sites). The DOD owns, leases, or controls 47,288 buildings occupying 481,651 acres on foreign soil. The DOD has acknowledged the existence of about 800 U.S. military bases in 80 countries, but we know from the work of Nick Turse and the late Chalmers Johnson that that number is closer to 1,000.

Why not do what you can to end this empire and return America to our traditional policy of nonintervention?

For decades, the national garrison state has coasted on the fact US troops have been stationed all across the globe. The status quo thus becomes one state of global intervention, while withdrawing the troops is portrayed as some sort of radical departure from established policy. Trump could reverse this situation by withdrawing enormous numbers of troops from global deployments right now. The Pentagon would of course drag its feet. But the Pentagon likes to claim it can deploy troops across the globe on a moment’s notice. Why is it that the process is impossible in reverse? An aggressive drive toward demobilization would create a new status quo and put the onus on the Pentagon and its allies, who would then have to justify countless new deployments across Asia, Europe, and Africa. As the Obama administration’s failed attempt at a large-scale Syria invasion showed us, the public’s appetite for new deployments may not be as large as the interventionists hope. But the debate must be forced onto the public stage by bringing the troops home now. 

Step 5: The President Must Reject Calls for “Unity”

You should also reject the false appeals for unity of Biden and his allies. America is not unified. The heartland of America stands opposed to the coastal elites, illegal immigrants, and disaffected minority groups who seek to exploit the rest of us. We need more disunity, not unity.

Coming from politicians, calls for unity are almost never anything other than a ploy designed to consolidate power for the regime. The Biden administration’s latest remonstrances for unity are no different. Moreover, as the election has shown, the United States is indeed not unified at all. Voting returns suggest perhaps half the country views the incoming administration with a mixture of fear and suspicion. Slapping a thin patina of “unity” on top of a deeply divided electorate won’t solve the nation’s problems. 

Indeed, if Trump is on the way out, his final months should be characterized by a rejection of “unity” in which the outgoing administration paves the way for the new administration to seamlessly begin implementing an entirely new round of freedom-destroying policies. If anything, now is the time to maximize disunity in Washington with radical steps that Trump has been too cautious to attempt before.  Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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JOHN KIRIAKAOU: What Would Biden’s Foreign Policy Look Like? Just Look at His Supporters – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2020

Negroponte made a point in the interview of saying that he had disagreed with Biden on important (unspecified) issues over the years, but that Biden was “an experienced politician,” “a middle of the road kind of person,” and “a wise gentleman.” He said, for example, that he supported warrantless wiretapping of American citizens after the 9/11 attacks.

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/06/john-kiriakaou-what-would-bidens-foreign-policy-look-like-just-look-at-his-supporters/

By John Kiriakou
Special to Consortium News

Many of us are counting down the days until we can throw President Donald Trump out of office, out of Washington, out of our lives, and out of the daily news cycle.  With the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, there’s even more immediacy to replacing Trump.  But what would we get with a “President” Joe Biden? What would a Biden foreign policy look like?

Earlier this month, a group of Republican former senators and congressmen endorsed Biden for president, saying that he was better equipped that Trump to run the country.  At around the same time, a large group of intelligence and foreign policy professionals, most of whom had worked for Republican presidents, also endorsed the former vice president.  That sounds pretty impressive.  But let’s look at what it really means.  It means that they believe Biden will continue an interventionist, neoliberal, pro-war foreign policy.

John Negroponte 

John Negroponte, on right, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell displays anthrax vial at UN Security Council, Feb. 5, 2003. Former CIA Director George Tenet on left. (Wikimedia Commons)

Former Ambassador John Negroponte is one of those intelligence professionals who endorsed Biden. Negroponte is the Darth Vader of American foreign policy of the past half-century. 

Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras during the Iran-Contra affair, through which covert funds from the CIA made their way to the contra rebels; ambassador to Mexico as the drug cartels consolidated their power against a corrupt government there; ambassador to the United Nations as the U.S. sought to go to war with a knowingly false narrative of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction; ambassador to Iraq during the U.S. occupation of that country; and director of national intelligence during President George W. Bush’s torture program. 

Nobody has ever accused Negroponte of being a progressive in any sense of the word.  He loves war and has proven happy to jump into it with both feet.  And he happily and publicly endorsed Biden.

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Negroponte recently told the Daily Beast what was behind his endorsement.  The interview says as much about Biden as it does about Negroponte.  At the outset, Negroponte said, “All roads lead to Trump, and I’m just not sure the country can withstand another four years with a man who has shown such disregard for the office.”  I agree. Just about every Democrat does.  Donald Trump is a bad guy.  But it’s not as simple as that.

Warrantless Wiretapping

Negroponte made a point in the interview of saying that he had disagreed with Biden on important (unspecified) issues over the years, but that Biden was “an experienced politician,” “a middle of the road kind of person,” and “a wise gentleman.”  He said, for example, that he supported warrantless wiretapping of American citizens after the 9/11 attacks. 

Presidential candidate Joe Biden in Henderson, Nevada, February 2020. (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

The statement was incomplete, however. Biden also supported warrantless wiretapping, voting for the Patriot Act while a senator in 2001, voting repeatedly for its subsequent reauthorizations and then opposing weakening the measure while he was vice president in the Obama administration.

There are other reasons that Negroponte and a bevy of Republican former intelligence and foreign policy big-shots have moved to Biden. 

The former VP opposes a troop drawdown in Europe, saying that such a move would embolden the Russians, for example.  He supports a more engaged military policy against China in the South China Sea.  He supports an extension of President Barack Obama’s policy of maintaining military bases in more than 100 countries, including Forward Operating Bases across Africa.

Literally the last thing I would do is to urge anybody to vote for Donald Trump.  The president has been a disaster in every sense of the word and in both foreign and domestic policy.  The country can’t take four more years of a Trump presidency.  But Biden is no panacea. He’s a center-right placeholder.  Negroponte confirmed that.

If you think things will change in foreign policy under a President Biden, think again.  It’ll be the same old expansionist, militarist policy that we had under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  So go into the voting booth with your eyes open.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act—a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration’s torture program.

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What will be the foreign policy of the next US President?, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2020

The two programs for the Trump and Biden candidacies are not similar to those of previous candidates. It is no longer a question of adjusting the United States to the changing world, but of defining what they will be. The question is existential, so it is quite possible that things will degenerate and end in violence. For some, the country must be a nation at the service of its citizens, for others it must restore its imperial status.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article210762.html

by Thierry Meyssan

The U.S. 2020 presidential campaign pits two radically different visions of the United States: empire or nation?

On the one hand, Washington’s claim to dominate the world by “containment” – a strategy articulated by George Kennan in 1946 and followed by all presidents until 2016 – and on the other hand, the rejection of imperialism and the desire to facilitate the fortunes of Americans in general – a strategy articulated by President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) and taken up only by President Donald Trump (2017-20).

Each of these two camps wields rhetoric that masks its true practice. Democrats and Republicans pose as heralds of the “free world” in the face of “dictatorships”, as defenders of racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination, and as champions of the fight against “global warming”. The Jacksonians, for their part, take turns denouncing the corruption, perversity and ultimately hypocrisy of their predecessors while calling to fight for their nation and not for the empire.

The two camps have in common only the same cult of force; whether it is at the service of the empire (Democrats and Republicans) or the nation (Jacksonians).

The fact that the Jacksonians unexpectedly became a majority in the country and took control of the Republican Party adds to the confusion, but should not confuse trumpism with what the Republican ideology has been since World War II.

In reality, Democrats and Republicans tend to be well-to-do people or professionals in new technologies, while Jacksonians – like the “yellow vests” in France – are rather poor and professionally tied to the land from which they cannot escape.

For the 2020 campaign, Democrats and Republicans are united behind former Vice President Jo Biden. He and his supporters are extremely voluble about their intentions:
- “The Power of America’s Example”, by Joseph R. Biden Jr., Voltaire Network, 11 July 2019.
- “Why America Must Lead Again. Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump”, by Joseph R. Biden Jr., Foreign Affairs, March/April 2020.
And especially the statement by senior Republican national security officials to Democrat Biden :
- “A Statement by Former Republican National Security Officials”, Voltaire Network, 20 August 2020.
On the contrary, Donald Trump is evasive in writing:
- “Donald Trump Second Term Agenda”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 24 August 2020 (foreign policy is the small paragraph at the end of the text).

In my view, the main disputes are not stated, but are constantly implied.

JPEG - 81.6 kb
As a television host, Donald Trump dreamed of giving the country back to the people as President Andrew Jackson did.

The Jacksonian agenda

As soon as he took office, Donald Trump questioned the Rumsfeld/Cebrowsky strategy of annihilating the state structures of all the countries of the “Broader Middle East” without exception and announced his wish to bring home the troops lost in the “war without end”. This goal remains at the top of his priorities in 2020 (“Stop Endless Wars and Bring Our Troops Home”).

As a result, he excluded the Director of the CIA and the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee from regular meetings of the National Security Council. In so doing, he deprived the supporters of imperialism of their main tool of conquest.

See:
- “Presidential Memorandum: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 28 January 2017. And “Donald Trump winds up “the” organization of US imperialism”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Anoosha Boralessa, Voltaire Network, 31 January 2017.

There followed a battle for the presidency of this council with the indictment of General Michael T. Flynn, then his replacement by General H. R. McMaster, the exceptionalist John R. Bolton, and finally Robert C. O’Brien.

In May 2017, Donald Trump called on U.S. allies to immediately cease their support for jihadists charged with implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy. This was the Riyadh speech to the Sunni heads of state and then to NATO heads of state and government. President Trump had declared NATO obsolete before changing his mind. However, he obtained not the abandonment of Russia’s policy of containment, but the halving of the credits used for this purpose and the allocation of the funds thus preserved to the fight against jihadism. In doing so, it partially stopped making NATO an instrument of imperialism and turned it into a defensive alliance. It has therefore demanded that its members contribute to its budget. Support for jihadism, however, was pursued by the supporters of imperialism with private means, notably the KKR Fund.

See:
- “Presidential Memorandum: Plan to Defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 28 January 2017.
- “Donald Trump’s Speech to the Arab Islamic American Summit”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 21 May 2017.
- “Remarks by Donald Trump at NATO Unveiling of the Article 5 and Berlin Wall Memorials”, by Donald Trump, Voltaire Network, 25 May 2017.

Hence his watchwords: “Wipe Out Global Terrorists Who Threaten to Harm Americans” and “Get Allies to Pay their Fair Share.

Like the Democrats and Republicans, the Jacksonian Donald Trump is committed to restoring the capabilities of his armies (“Maintain and Expand America’s Unrivaled Military Strength”). Unlike his predecessors, he did not seek to transform the Pentagon’s delusional management by privatizing one department at a time, but rather developed a plan to recruit researchers to compete technologically once again with the Russian and Chinese armies.

See:
- “National Security Strategy of the United States of America”, December 2017. And “Donald Trump’s National Security Strategy”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 26 December 2017.

Only Donald Trump’s desire to regain primacy in missile matters is supported by Democrats and Republicans, although they do not agree on how to achieve it (“Build a Great Cybersecurity Defense System and Missile Defense System”) : the tenant of the White House wants the USA to equip itself alone with these weapons that it can eventually deploy on the territory of its allies, while its opponents want to involve the allies in order to maintain their hold on them. From the point of view of the Democrats and Republicans, the problem is obviously not withdrawing from the Cold War disarmament treaties to build a new arsenal, but the loss of means of diplomatic pressure on Russia.

A professional politician, Joe Biden hopes to restore the imperial status of the former First World Power.

The program of Democrats and non-party Republicans

Joe Biden proposes to focus on three objectives: (1) reinvigorate democracy (2) train the middle class to cope with globalization (3) regain global leadership.

- Reinvigorate democracy: in his words, this means basing public action on the “informed consent” of Americans. In doing so, he used Walter Lipmann’s 1922 terminology, according to which democracy presupposes “manufacturing consent”. This theory was discussed at length by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988. It obviously has nothing to do with the definition formulated by President Abraham Lincoln: “Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

Joe Biden believes he is achieving his goal by restoring the morality of public action through the practice of “political correctness”. For example, he condemns “the horrible practice [of President Trump] of separating families and placing the children of immigrants in private prisons,” without saying that President Trump was merely applying a democratic law to show its futility. Or he announces that he wants to reaffirm the condemnation of torture that President Trump justified, without saying that the latter, like President Obama, has already banned the practice while maintaining life imprisonment without trial in Guantánamo.

He announced his intention to convene a Summit for Democracy to fight against corruption, to defend the “Free World” against authoritarian regimes, and to advance human rights. In view of his definition of democracy, it is a question of uniting allied states by denouncing scapegoats for what is wrong (the “corrupt”) and promoting human rights in the Anglo-Saxon sense and especially not in the French sense. That is to say, to stop police violence and not to help citizens to participate in decision-making. This summit will launch an appeal to the private sector so that new technologies cannot be used by authoritarian states to monitor their citizens (but the USA and its NSA can always use them in the interest of the “Free World”).

Finally, Joe Biden concludes this chapter by highlighting his role in the Transatlantic Commission for Electoral Integrity alongside his friends, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who overthrew the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and Michael Chertoff, former US Secretary of Homeland Security, who put all US citizens under surveillance. Not forgetting John Negroponte who organized the Contras in Nicaragua and Daesh in Iraq.

- Educating the middle class to cope with globalization. Joe Biden believes that the politics that have been pursued since the dissolution of the USSR have led to the rapid disappearance of the middle class, and that training the remaining middle class in the use of new technologies will prevent the relocation of their jobs.

- Renewing U.S. leadership. In the name of democracy, this means stopping the rise of “populists, nationalists and demagogues. This formulation helps us understand that democracy, according to Joe Biden, is not only the fabrication of consent, but also the eradication of the popular will. If demagogues pervert democratic institutions, populists serve the popular will and nationalists serve the community.

Joe Biden then specifies that he will stop wars “forever”; a formulation that seems to support the same goal as the Jacksonians, but differs in terminology. It is in fact a question of validating the current adaptation of the system to the limits imposed by President Trump: why make US soldiers die abroad when one can pursue the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy with jihadists at a lower cost? All the more so since when he was only an opposition senator, Joe Biden gave his name to the plan to partition Iraq that the Pentagon was trying to impose.

A verse follows on the enlargement of NATO to include Latin American, African and Pacific allies. Far from being obsolete, the Alliance will once again become the heart of U.S. imperialism.

Finally, Joe Biden pleads for the renewal of the 5+1 agreement with Iran and disarmament treaties with Russia. The agreement with President Hassan Rohani aims to classically divide Muslim countries into Sunni and Shia, while the disarmament treaties aim to confirm that the Biden administration would not envisage a global confrontation, but the continued containment of its competitor.

The program of the Democratic Party candidate and non-party Republicans concludes with the assurance of joining the Paris Accord and taking leadership in the fight against global warming. Joe Biden specifies that he will not give gifts to China, which is relocating its most polluting industries along the Silk Road. On the other hand, he omits to say that his friend, Barack Obama, before entering politics, was the drafter of the statutes of the Chicago Carbon Emissions Trading Exchange. The fight against global warming is not so much an ecological issue as a matter for bankers.

Conclusion

It must be said that everything is opposed to a clarification. Four years of upheavals by President Trump have only succeeded in replacing the “endless wars” with a low-intensity private war. There are certainly far fewer deaths, but it is still war.

The elites who enjoy imperialism are not ready to give up their privileges.

So it is to be feared that the U.S. will be forced to go through an internal conflict, a civil war, and break up like the Soviet Union once did.

Translation
Roger Lagassé
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‘I Pity The Fool’: Mr. Max Boot on Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy ‘A-Team’ – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on August 28, 2020

If you think Bolton was bad…

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2020/08/27/i-pity-the-fool-mr-max-boot-on-joe-bidens-foreign-policy-a-team/

Dream with me.

Imagine an America where even marginal accountability reigned. A land of appropriate consequences for war-criminal cheerleaders. A country where going 0 for 4 on “freedom” wars – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria – got pundits and policymakers sent down to the minors. Heck, one might make some strategic moves in a town like that.

Alas, we live in the world as it is: whence one of the nation’s leading newspapers – the Bezos’-billionaire-owned Washington Post – would dare deign to hire such a fedora-topped neocon-retread-shell as Max Boot as columnist. Then, surely symptomatic of the upside-down society wrought by Trump-derangement syndrome, the Post recently had the gall to proudly publish that warmonger’s latest screed: “Trump relies on grifters and misfits. Biden is bringing the A Team.”

In his latest broadside, Boot offers his best Mr. T impression to celebrate Uncle Joe’s “A-Team” – and overall propensity to “surround himself with good people,” all of them supposedly “effective operatives.” He saves special praise for the “veterans of high-level government service” on Biden’s foreign policy team.

Here again, we should look to the language. I, for one, find the prospect of Washington “operatives” running war and peace less than reassuring. But before digging into the shortcomings inherent in each of the four figures he highlighted, here’s a brief reminder of why Max and his opinions should’ve “got the boot” long ago:

  • Let’s start with my own introduction to this king of the chickenhawks: his then celebrated 2002 book, The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power – in which Max played unapologetic neo-imperial visionary and recruiting sergeant for an American reboot of a European colonial constabulary. He even, un-ironically I might add, lifted the title from the English chronicler of empire, Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “White Man’s Burden.”
  • He once worked with an infamous Bush-doctrine, Iraq War, architect-outfit: the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) think tank.
  • Ever the faux-historian, Max drew all the wrong conclusions and lessons from the Vietnam War, in his more recent 2018 book, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam. Old David Petraeus – surprise, surprise – found this work “wonderful,” although, according to a real subject scholar, its endnotes “contain few, if any, materials from Vietnamese sources.” The Road Not Taken belongs squarely in the – popular with mil-civ-counterinsurgents crowd – school of we could’ve, would’ve, should’ve “won” in Vietnam (and, by extension, Iraq, Afghanistan, et. al.) “if only” [insert implausible alternative tactic excuse here].
  • Oh, and he’s supported every war for the past half century – including some he thinks should’ve but weren’t fought – and has hardly met a regime he wouldn’t like to change.

Now, for the core members of Biden’s ostensible A-team of always-an-Obama-bridesmaid deputies, and just a few reasons to doubt each’s competence, character, and Trump-corrective capacities:

  • The presumed A-Team leader, Obama’s Deputy Secretary of State and Deputy National Security Adviser, Tony Blinken:
    • Though, admittedly – like Biden – more right than most in that administration on the Afghan surge folly, he played nice and helped craft a compromise policy, which, he later bragged “helped competing Afghan political blocs avoid civil war, and achieve the first ever peaceful democratic transition in that country’s history.” How’s that turned out?
    • Blinken was a key architect and muddled messenger for Obama’s ever-shifting, never-plausible, and utterly ill-advised Syria regime-change-lite policy.
    • After leaving office, he teamed up with Michèle Flournoy (another unnamed Biden-top-prospect) at the consulting-firm (and Obama-alumni agency) WestExec Advisors – which helped Silicon Valley pitch defense contracts to the Pentagon. Blinken was also a partner at the private equity firm Pine Island Capital Partners. Tony’s a human revolving-door of interest-conflicts!
    • A resident Russiagater, “arm-Ukraine” enthusiast, and Israeli hard-right apologist on Biden’s campaign advisory team, he categorically declared that his boss “would not tie military assistance to Israel to things like annexation or other decisions by the Israeli government with which we might disagree.” Good to know that international legal constraints and common decency are already off the Biden-table in Palestine – no doubt, Bibi Netanyahu took notice.
  • Then there’s Obama’s ex-director of policy planning at the State Department, Jake Sullivan:
    • He was a senior policy adviser for hyper-hawk Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign. There was even chatter back then that he’d been a frontrunner for national security adviser upon her anointment.
    • Before becoming Vice President Biden’s national security guru in 2013, he was considered uber-close (pun-intended) to Secretary Clinton – at her aside on trips to 112 countries, and even reviewing chapters for her book Hard Choices in his spare time. A Vox profile dubbed Sullivan “the man behind hawkish Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy.” Think Libya; think Syria.
    • Out of office, and after Clinton’s defeat, he joined Macro Advisory Partners and represented Uber in its negotiations with labor unions. Incidentally, he’s wedded to Maggie Goodlander, a former senior policy advisor to that militarist-marriage of Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman. Perhaps that’s why Anne-Marie Slaughter, who ran the State Department’s policy planning office in Obama’s first term, called Jake “the consummate insider.”
  • Next on Boot’s list is career diplomat and – sure to excite old Max – George W. Bush’s former undersecretary of state for political affairs, Nicholas Burns:
    • During the Bush II years he – like its greatest Democratic Party cheerleader, Joe Biden – supported the 2003 Iraq invasion.
    • What’s more, NATO added seven new members and provocatively expanded towards Russia’s very borders in his tenure as alliance ambassador.
    • He left the foreign service in 2008, but graciously stayed on as special envoy to finalize the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal – that pact being proof-positive that nonproliferation has always been selectively applied by Washington..
    • Nick happens to be on the board, or affiliated with, an impressive range of hawkish Washington hot-spots, such as: The Atlantic Council, Aspen Institute, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Cohen Group – this last one a lobbying organization for arms manufacturers. He also gave paid speeches at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, State Street, Citibank, and Honeywell.
  • Lest it seem Boot only touted a Biden boy’s club, there’s also the former first female deputy CIA director – though Trump ironically one-upped her boss Barack by placing Gina Haspel at the Agency’s helm – Ms. Avril Haines:
    • Well, about the only thing you have to know about this A-Teamer is that she chose not to discipline any of the CIA agents implicated in the senate’s tell-all torture report, then was part of the team redacting their landmark indictment.
    • As for her supposed Trump-corrective chops: Haines supported Gina Haspel’s nomination as CIA director, even though she’d been directly implicated in CIA torture.
    • Plus, as a reminder of the duality of (wo)man, she is a fellow at Columbia University’s Human Rights Institute and consulted for the “Trump-favorite” data firm Palantir, which emerged from the CIA itself.

So really, here’s a crew of Hillary-hawks and Obama-bureaucrats without many truly fresh ideas among them. They don’t want to crash the system that birthed Trump and an age of endless wars – they are that system. The only really redeeming quality of the bunch: some helped craft the eminently reasonable Iran-nuclear deal. Count me less than enthused.

Unlike Might Max and his chickenhawk crew, time was that I fought and lived beside a real life special forces A-team (Operational Detachment-Alpha) in the villages of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Mr. Boot fetishizes folks he hardly knows; I know and respect them enough to reject the disrespect of romantic-caricature. The fellas my cavalry troop shared an outpost, raised a local militia, and seized towns with, were some brave bastards – they were also flawed and fallible. We failed together in style: tactical casualties of an impossible mission dreamed up by the likes of Max Boot, and – at the time – futilely prolonged by many members of Biden’s A-Team then on the Obama squad.

Boot was the big (bad) ideas guy, Biden’s posse – Tony Blinken, Avril Haines, Jake Sullivan, Nicholas Burns, and even Michèle Flournoy – these are “company men,” polite imperialists just smart enough to run the machine, and just dumb enough not to question its putrid products. Max reminds us – not incorrectly – that if “more people in [Trump’s] White House knew what they were doing, at least 172,000 Americans might not be dead.”

Yet, in a classic crime of omission, he lets Biden’s shadow squad off the hook for their own morbid-complicity: had they not supported and shepherded an Obama Afghan surge that even their boss sensed was hopeless, 1,729 U.S. troops – during Barack’s tenure – might not be dead. They included three of my own scouts, who – like our unit – were only unexpectedly routed to Afghanistan because Biden’s boss chose to surge in the “good war” there:

  • Gustavo A. Rios-Ordonez, 25, of Ohio – a Colombian national attempting to gain his US citizenship via military service, and father to two young daughters.
  • Nicholas C. D. Hensley, 28, of Alabama – a father of three on his third combat tour.
  • Chazray C. Clark, 24, of Michigan – who left behind a wife and stepson.

Those young men – and two dozen others wounded in action that year – were proud members of my ill-fated team. They deserved better than the Biden-bunch that Boot bragged are “seasoned professionals, ready to govern on Day One.” So too do some 8,600 of their brothers and sisters still stuck in Afghanistan, and many more sure to serve in whichever harebrained scheme Uncle Joe’s side of the duopoly dreams up.

It hardly needs saying, but most of The Donald’s defense deputies haven’t been stellar. Actually, most were establishment Republican or neocon retreads – or born-again war criminals like Eliot Abrams – themselves. Trump’s a monster and so are his misfit managers, blah blah blah. But let’s not pretend Biden’s band waiting in the wings shall be our salvation. Nor delude ourselves that Boot’s promise they’ll be “cleaning up after a Republican president,” will amount to any real cleanse of Washington’s militarist system.

Mr. Boot pings Trump from the right, but he also ought heed warning from the that classic lefty Cornel West – who advised we “tell the truth” about “Brother Biden.” An Uncle Joe administration with an “A-Team?” Give me a break.

I wouldn’t fill a kickball squad with this crew…

Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. Army officer, contributing editor at antiwar.com, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy (CIP), and director of the soon-to-launch Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, The American Conservative, Mother Jones, ScheerPost and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge. His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War (Heyday Books) is available for pre-order. Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet and see his website for speaking/media requests and past publications.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Pompeo’s Iran Failures Make War More Likely

Posted by M. C. on August 24, 2020

Unfortunately for America, he followed through with this policy in 2018. Though he promised that by pulling out of the deal the US would get a far better deal in its place, the truth is Trump’s Iran policy has produced nothing but negative results. The Iranians have not knuckled down under the weight of Pompeo’s pressure, and putting regime change specialists like Elliot Abrams in charge of Iran policy has just moved us closer to an unnecessary war.

Iran is not a threat to the United States, no matter what lies the neocons put forth.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/24/pompeo-s-iran-failures-make-war-more-likely/?mc_cid=2556336bb2

Written by Ron Paul

The US foreign policy establishment has for decades been dominated by neoconservative interventionists and falsely-named “humanitarian” interventionists. These people believe that because the United States is the one “exceptional nation,” no conflict anywhere in the world could possibly be solved without our butting our noses into it.

One of President Obama’s few foreign policy successes was to work with European countries on a deal that would see a reduction of sanctions on Iran in exchange for a series of Iranian moves demonstrating its abandonment of a nuclear weapon.

The American neocons as well as the hardliners in Saudi Arabia and Israel were furious at the compromise, but for a couple of years it showed real promise. Trade between Europe and Iran was increasing and there was no evidence that Iran was reneging on its obligations. Even American companies were looking to Iran for business opportunities. Whenever goods flow between nations, war becomes less likely.

President Trump has had problems with policy consistency throughout his first term in office. But, unfortunately, his few policy consistencies have been the most ill-advised ones. On the campaign trail Trump relentlessly attacked Obama’s Iran policy and promised to pull the US out of the JCPOA Iran agreement.

Unfortunately for America, he followed through with this policy in 2018. Though he promised that by pulling out of the deal the US would get a far better deal in its place, the truth is Trump’s Iran policy has produced nothing but negative results. The Iranians have not knuckled down under the weight of Pompeo’s pressure, and putting regime change specialists like Elliot Abrams in charge of Iran policy has just moved us closer to an unnecessary war.

Iran is not a threat to the United States, no matter what lies the neocons put forth.

These past two weeks the weakness in the US “maximum pressure” policy toward Iran has been exposed for the world to see. First, Pompeo spent the summer lobbying European nations to support a US motion in the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo against Iran. As Iran has been judged in compliance with the Iran deal, the arms embargo is scheduled to be lifted in October. Pompeo’s diplomatic skills did not produce the desired results: not a single party to the Iran nuclear deal voted with the US to extend the embargo.

Undeterred, the Trump Administration is now determined to trigger the “snap-back” sanctions on Iran, which means if Iran is judged to be in violation of the Iran nuclear agreement all the previous sanctions would snap back into place.

But there’s a problem with this: because the US has formally withdrawn from the Iran agreement it has no legal standing to trigger the “snap-back” of UN sanctions on Iran. If you take your marbles and go home, you don’t get to still dictate the rules of the game.

Last week Pompeo attempted to trigger the “snap-back” and was laughed out of the room by the countries who have remained in the deal.

US policy toward Iran is an unwise consistency and the Trump Administration is hopelessly floundering on the bad advice of the neocons. They want nothing more than war on Iran. But the American people do not. It’s time to end this failed policy of confrontation with Iran.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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The Foreign Policy We Need | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2020

Trump has shown that conservatives aren’t necessarily eager to go to war, even if they remain entirely too trusting of Republican presidents who want to take them there—including the current occupant of the Oval Office under the wrong set of circumstances. That is a good first step, but it is far from sufficient. Conservative restrainers must stop being passive observers in a foreign policy debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined. It’s well past time for a conservative foreign policy of peace. 

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/time-for-all-conservatives-to-make-peace-with-the-antiwar-mission/

Restrainers on the right must stop being passive observers in a debate Trump and their libertarian allies have already joined.

Sen. Rand Paul (Gage Skidmore), President Trump (U.S. Coast Guard) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (Gage Skidmore)

Four years after the once unthinkable election of a Republican president who called the Iraq war a “mistake,” America still needs a genuinely conservative foreign policy of realism and restraint.

Hegemonists and hyper-interventionists are being challenged for the first time in two decades, perhaps as never before in the post-Cold War era. The folly of their never-ending, no-win wars is evident to voters, prime-time cable news hosts, diplomats, academics, even the veterans and active-duty soldiers who have fought in them. A new generation of conservative thought leaders is coming of age that turns the thinking that prevailed under George W. Bush on its head, yet the Right is still underrepresented in the fight against the hawkish dead consensus and the GOP’s governing class lags well behind.

There is a progressive critique of U.S. foreign policy that is gaining adherents, even if the Democratic Party nominated a conventional liberal hawk to challenge Donald Trump for president of the United States. Joe Biden represents the death rattle of the fading New Democrat politics of the 1990s, with its ever-present fear of being seen as less ready to go to war than the Republicans, a cry of electoral desperation and a reluctance to go into a competitive general election with an overtly socialist standard-bearer. Biden is himself responsive to trends within his party, including on matters of war and peace, even if he is too likely to appoint to critical national security positions the same set of officials who ruined Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Bernie Sanders’s team of relative realists is more likely to be the party’s future.

But there are millions of Americans for whom the progressivism of 2020 does not even claim to speak. Tulsi Gabbard’s fate—she won some delegates in American Samoa, and was kept off the debate stage as voting drew closer—shows that the modern Democratic Party prioritizes wokeness over war. Left-Right “transpartisan” coalitions can accomplish important things together, as the congressional resolution demanding an end to the war in Yemen shows. They have also become inherently unstable under Trump, who is an asset to making antiwar arguments to conservatives but anathema to liberals.

There has also been considerable resistance to the neoconservative hegemony that dominates Republican foreign policy thinking, making it possible once again to vote in good conscience for a GOP presidential candidate without the reservation that the installation of a center-right commander-in-chief will inevitably lead to a repeat of the Iraq war or worse. But much of this pushback, welcome as it is, comes from libertarians. The American political coalition that is more skeptical of statism, and has been since at least Ronald Reagan if not Barry Goldwater, needs to be reminded that war is as likely to end in failure or produce unintended consequences as any other government program. Too often, Republicans treat the Pentagon as an honorary member of the private sector and exempt its endeavors from the scrutiny they would apply to bureaucrats of any other stripe. But federal employees actually do a better job of delivering the mail than delivering democracy to the Middle East.

Libertarians have done yeoman’s work in turning the neocon foreign policy monologue of the 2000s into a real dialogue. Especially invaluable has been the contributions of two families, the Pauls and the Koch brothers. When the history of early 21st century conservatism is written, their names will be at least as important as the Kristols and Podhoretzs. But at the present time, libertarianism does not appear to be a governing philosophy that can win a national election and therefore seriously contest for control of U.S. foreign policy. The younger generation of conservatives who reject interventionism run amok should not be forced to choose between prudence in immigraton policy or foreign affairs, an endless repetition of a Reagan economic program better suited to the 1980s than 2021, or going abroad in search of monsters to destroy in pursuit of imaginary WMD and equally fictitious democratist fantasies, based on ideas that were terrible then and now, this time covered in a veneer of focus-grouped populism.

Yet the new national conservatism has produced exactly one reliable populist Republican politician who has shown a willingness to vote according to Trump’s foreign policy campaign promises when the going gets tough: Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The foreign policy of Sen. Josh Hawley remains a work in progress, though a potentially promising one; Sens. Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio remain as hawkish as ever, however Trumpian they have become on other issues. Rep. Walter Jones, who arrived at antiwar conservatism from a non-libertarian starting point, is dead. Rep. Jimmy Duncan is retired. This is a smaller group than the handful of libertarian Republicans standing athwart the neocon war machine yelling stop.

♦♦♦

Trump himself bears a great deal of responsibility for this unmet challenge. He has largely delivered the foreign policy of second-term George W. Bush, an improvement only over the first-term variety, though he seems a great deal less pleased about it. He has cycled through defense secretaries and national security advisors, but the endless wars have not yet come to an end. The most important former Trump official and ally who has moved in the right direction on foreign policy is Jeff Sessions; the president is actively campaigning against his return to the Senate. He has not started any new wars, but he has risked escalating some old ones—and, most dangerously, fanned the flames of tension with Iran.

That doesn’t mean Trump’s better instincts on foreign policy have been meaningless. Without them, the Qasem Soleimani killing earlier this year could have easily metastasized into a full-fledged Iraq-style war with Iran. He would not have sacked John Bolton, whom he should never have hired in the first place. He has kept the debate over the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria from fading into the background as falling bombs become ambient noise. He has eroded ISIS’s gains without massive new deployments to the Middle East and has stopped short of fighting every side of the Syrian civil war. Trump has also laid bare many of the leftist assumptions that undergird contemporary neoconservatism and sent prominent neocons, whose muggings by reality had apparently worn off, back to their ancestral homes in the Democratic Party.

What Trump hasn’t done is implement a new foreign policy that differs sufficiently from that which gave us the tragedies of Iraq and Libya or create a new talent pool of qualified federal officials who could help a future Republican president do so. With the possible exception of Gaetz, he has not even put the Republicans most aligned with his preferred foreign policy in the best position to succeed him. What does it profit us to move some troops around in northern Syria only to wind up at war in Iran, or to lose Jennifer Rubin as an intermittently conservative blogger at the Washington Post only to gain a President Nikki Haley?

Trump’s biggest positive contribution, like that of TAC founding editor Pat Buchanan before him, is to demonstrate that there is a real constituency for a different policy within the Republican electorate. To be sure, some of it had to do with their credibility with grassroots conservatives and GOP-aligned demographics. It was difficult to caricature Trump or Buchanan, like Jim Webb across the aisle, as uninterested in American national security or interests. They were not, hysteria about Russia or Iraq notwithstanding, “unpatriotic conservatives” in the eyes of rank-and-file Republicans. They were seen as unimpeachably pro-American.

As antiwar conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson explained it in another context, the American people do care if the president keeps them safe. “You can regularly say embarrassing things on television,” he said. “You can hire Omarosa to work at the White House. All of that will be forgiven if you protect your people. But if you don’t protect them—or, worse, if you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them—then you’re done. It’s over. People will not forgive weakness.” Trump in 2016, like Buchanan in 1996, passed that test in Republicans’ eyes in a way that a liberal George McGovern and most libertarians never could. Ergo Trump sits in the Oval Office while McGovern lost 49 states and the Libertarian Party has never won more than 3.3 percent of the national popular vote.

But it wasn’t just the messenger. The message was a fundamentally conservative one, even if not the stereotypical saber-rattling Republican argumentation. The United States is a great country, but not an embryonic United Nations.

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