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Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

For What Should We Fight Russia or China? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 7, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/04/patrick-j-buchanan/for-what-should-we-fight-russia-or-china/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Last Monday, in a single six-hour period, NATO launched 10 air intercepts to shadow six separate groups of Russian bombers and fighters over the Arctic, North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea.

Last week also brought reports that Moscow is increasing its troop presence in Crimea and along its borders with Ukraine.

Joe Biden responded. In his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden assured him of our “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

Though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and we have no treaty obligation to fight in its defense, this comes close to a war guarantee. Biden seems to be saying that if it comes to a shooting war between Moscow and Kiev, we will be there on the side of Kiev.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that if the U.S. sends troops to Ukraine, Russia will respond.

Again, is Biden saying that in the event of a military clash between Ukrainians and Russians in Crimea, Donetsk or Luhansk, the U.S. will intervene militarily on the side of Ukraine?

Such a pledge could put us at war with a nuclear-armed Russia in a region where we have never had vital interests, and without the approval of the only institution authorized to declare war — Congress.

Meanwhile, off Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, which Beijing occupies but Manila claims, China has amassed 220 maritime militia ships.

This huge Chinese flotilla arrived after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken put Beijing on notice that any attack on Philippine planes or ships challenging Beijing’s claim to rocks and reefs of the South China Sea that are in Manila’s exclusive economic zone will be backed by the U.S.

Our 70-year-old mutual security treaty with Manila covers these islets and reefs, said Blinken, though some are already occupied and fortified by China.

Apparently, if Manila uses force to assert its claims and expel the Chinese, then we will fight beside our Philippine allies. This amounts to a war guarantee of the kind that forced the British to declare war on Germany in 1939 over the invasion of Poland.

Two weeks ago, 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the largest incursion yet by Beijing over the waters between Taiwan and Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. As national security correspondent Bill Gertz writes in today’s Washington Times:

”China is stepping up provocative activities targeting regional American allies in Asia … with an escalating number of military flights around Taiwan and the massing of more than 200 fishing ships near a disputed Philippines reef.

“China also raised tensions with Japan, announcing last week that Tokyo must drop all claims to the disputed Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain that Japan has administered for decades but that Beijing recently claimed as its territory.

“The most serious provocation took place March 29. An exercise by the People’s Liberation Army air force that included 10 warplanes flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone is what analysts say appeared to be a simulated attack on the island. It came just three days after an earlier mass warplane incursion.”

While China appears clear about its aims and claims to virtually all of the islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea as well as Taiwan — it is less clear about its intentions as to when to validate those claims.

As for the U.S., does the present foggy ambiguity as to what we may or may not do as China goes about asserting its claims serve our vital interests in avoiding war with the greatest power on the largest continent on earth?

If red lines are to be laid down, they ought to be laid down by the one constitutional body with the authority to authorize or declare war — Congress. And questions need to be answered to avoid the kinds of miscalculations that led to horrific world wars in the 20th century.

Are the reefs and rocks the Philippines claim in the South China Sea, claims contradicted by China, covered by the U.S. mutual security treaty of 1951? Are we honor-bound to fight China on behalf of the Philippines, if Manila attempts to reclaim islets China occupies?

What is our obligation if China moves to take the Senkakus? Would the United States join Japan in military action to hold or retrieve them?

What, exactly, is our commitment to Taiwan if China attempts to blockade, invade or seize Taiwan’s offshore islands?

John F. Kennedy in the second debate with Richard Nixon in 1960 wrote off Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait as indefensible and not worth war with Mao’s China.

With its warnings and threats, China is forcing America to address questions we have been avoiding for about as long as we can.

China is saying that it is not bluffing: These islands are ours!

Time to show our cards.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Russia Warns NATO Against Sending Any Troops To Ukraine As “Frightening” Escalation Looms | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on April 3, 2021

NATO = US

Lavrov further issued an ominous warning: “Russian President Putin said (this) not long ago, but this statement is still relevant today, that those who would try to start a new war in Donbass – will destroy Ukraine.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/frightening-escalation-looms-russia-warns-nato-against-sending-any-troops-ukraine?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

The Kremlin’s latest statements out Friday amid the potential new Ukraine crisis which has seen a serious flare-up in fighting in the Donbass region, along with what appears to be far bigger-than-usual troop movements on Russia’s side of the border, has raised the stakes further. 

Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday according to Reuters.

It firmly warned against any potential looming NATO troop movements following Brussels voicing concern the day prior over the widespread reports and videos purporting to show a significant Russian build-up of forces along Ukraine’s eastern border. 

Archive image of NATO exercises in Europe, via Allied Joint Force Command Naples

Reuters reports Russia’s Friday statement and “warning” as follows:

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.

“Our rhetoric [over Donbass] is absolutely constructive,” Peskov said in response to journalists’ questions. “We do not indulge in wishful thinking. Regrettably, the realities along the engagement line are rather frightening. Provocations by the Ukrainian armed forces do take place. They are not casual. There have been many of them.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the Russian troop movements across the border, calling the situation “muscle-flexing” likely to lead to “provocations” for which Ukraine’s army is “ready”…

Muscle-flexing in the form of military exercises on the border with #Ukraine is an attempt to put pressure in the negotiations on ceasefire and peace as our value. We are always ready for provocations. 🇺🇦 army is not only strength and power, but also wisdom and balance. — Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) April 1, 2021

It was exactly a week ago that fighting in Donetsk grabbed international headlines once again when four Ukrainian national troops were killed, which Kiev promptly blamed on Russia-backed separatists. However, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed it wasn’t the result of a direct exchange of fire, but due to inspecting a minefield.

Ukraine’s parliament followed by announcing a sharp “escalation” in the east – a contested region which has seen 14,000 deaths going back to 2014, and the country’s military leadership put the armed forces on high alert.

Another video suggesting Russian #military buildup next to borders of #Ukraine. This was filmed in #Voronezh region, south #Russia, on 31 March:

pic.twitter.com/67ch728T5O — Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) April 1, 2021

This also as Russian troops and armor were spotted headed into the Crimea and Ukraine’s east border region, however, Moscow brushed off the concerns while saying it’s routine to transfer forces within one’s own borders and sovereign territory.

MORE RUSSIAN VEHICLES EN ROUTE TO UKRAINEpic.twitter.com/ivdr910y2v — The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) April 2, 2021

Days later on Wednesday the US European Command (EUCOM) issued a notification of a raised ‘threat level’ in Europe. The designation is currently officially raised to one of “potential imminent crisis” due to concerns over Eastern Ukraine. 

Meanwhile intense shelling on the ground in Donetsk has continued this week, with all signs pointing to further escalation and intensity in fighting…

#Ukraine: Russian-backed separatist of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have announced military conscription for citizens born 1994 – 2003. This comes at a time of drastically increased fighting on the frontlines in the Donbas. Not looking good. pic.twitter.com/pwn03I0Cc6 — Jake Hanrahan (@Jake_Hanrahan) April 2, 2021

And on Thursday an unnamed EU diplomat was cited in Reuters as speculating the perceived build-up in Russian forces is ultimately about Russia’s posturing to gain leverage with the new Biden administration – which so far hasn’t had much of a big geopolitical challenge.

“Partly, it is the usual tactics, turning up and down the conflict to create instability, to show that Russia is a key player,” the EU diplomat said. “We cannot exclude that Biden’s presidency is part of the Russian calculus, that it’s time for Moscow to show a bit of muscle.”

Wow. Military build up ongoing in full force on #Russia#Ukraine border.

Video of Ukrainian tanks reportedly rolling today into the Luhansk & Donetsk region: pic.twitter.com/Nkh4yZMb3M — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 1, 2021

Day 3: #Russia Military build up continues near Ukraine border.

Video of military vehicles, tanks today reportedly from city of Karsnodar: pic.twitter.com/ItgkKyI1jo — Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) April 2, 2021

But Russia has pointed out that in no way is it in its interest to see a ‘hot conflict’ in Donbass:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that most of Ukraine’s military appeared to understand the danger of a “hot conflict” in Donbass.

“I very much hope that they will not be ‘incited’ by politicians, who in turn will be ‘incited’ by the West, led by the United States,” said Lavrov.

Lavrov further issued an ominous warning: “Russian President Putin said (this) not long ago, but this statement is still relevant today, that those who would try to start a new war in Donbass – will destroy Ukraine.”

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U.S. and NATO demand more interceptor-missile destroyers to operate from Arctic to Antarctic – Anti-bellum

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2021

https://antibellum679354512.wordpress.com/2021/03/31/u-s-and-nato-demand-more-interceptor-missile-destroyers-to-operate-from-arctic-to-antarctic/

Rick Rozoff

The U.S. Navy announced that on March 29 the guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt departed Naval Station Rota in Spain to start a Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe patrol in the Mediterranean Sea (and beyond). While operating in the Mediterranean it will be assigned to the U.S. Sixth Fleet whose area of responsibility the sea is, and will almost certainly enter the Black Sea for exercises after the usual protocol. It’s confirmed that it will participate in exercises in the Baltic Sea and off the coasts of Scotland and Iceland.

This is the warship’s second such deployment.The Naval Station Rota is a colossal base, accommodating U.S. and NATO ships with fuel and logistics requirements as they transit into and out of the Mediterranean. It also contains a 670-acre airfield that is used by U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force aircraft.

USS Roosevelt

The Roosevelt and the other 66 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers Washington has in its almost 500-ship navy (with at least fifteen more under construction and planned) are part of the Aegis Combat System and have been or can be equipped with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) anti-ballistic missiles or interceptor missiles. (The Standard Missile-3 has been progressing into increasingly more sophisticated and longer-range variants: Block IA, Block IB, Block IIA, Block IIB.)

Although touted as a strictly defensive weapon, what in Pentagonese is called a kinetic hit-to-kill missile with no warhead (in theory), the SM-3 has already superseded the limit of shooting down short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles initially defined as its purpose and last year the U.S. Defense Department announced an SM-3 shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile in a simulated exercise. (As early as 2016 Russian officials expressed concern that the SM-3 Block IIA “was capable of intercepting missiles not only at the middle stage of their flight path, but earlier in the initial acceleration stage before the separation of their warheads.”) Also, in 2008 the USS Lake Erie, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser (equipped with SM-3s), shot down a disabled satellite in the exoatmosphere with a modified SM-3. The U.S. Navy has 22 of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers; with as many as 85 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, active and in the works, the Pentagon will have over a hundred ships equipped to launch SM-3s.

USS Roosevelt, assigned to NATO’s Integrated Air Missile Defense, now in the Mediterranean and most likely shortly in the Black Sea, can at least in theory, then, shoot down an ICBM and a satellite, presumably military as well as civilian.

It is currently one of four SM-3-capable U.S. destroyers continuously based at the Naval Station Rota: The USS Donald Cook, there the whole year, and three others that rotate. In February Donald Cook was in the Black Sea with its counterpart USS Porter to “conduct presence operations, demonstrate commitment to NATO allies and partners in the region, and engage in exercises that strengthen interoperability and collective readiness.”

The four Arleigh Burke-class destroyers equipped for the Aegis Combat System operating out of the Spanish base are part of NATO Missile Defence, which was adopted at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal in 2010 and was announced to have achieved interim capability at the summit in Chicago in 2012. When Donald Cook first arrived at Naval Station Rota in 2014 then-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated, “For the first time, a ship of the United States Navy equipped with the Aegis ballistic missile-defence system is permanently based in Europe.”

In February of last year General Tod Wolters, U.S. European Command commander and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that he wanted two extra Arleigh Burke-class destroyers deployed to Rota.

Each of the destroyers has 56 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Six of the ships deployed in the Mediterranean, or the Black Sea, could then fire 336 of the missiles. It has not been disclosed how many SM-3s they carry.

Given the above reports of the newer versions of the SM-3 being able to shoot down ICBMs as well as satellites, the inevitable question arises of how strictly defensive U.S. and NATO missile defense plans are. What is to prevent anti-ballistic missile SM-3s being used as a threat to the second-strike deterrence capability of another nation, particularly of Russia’s?

In addition, in 2009 the Barack Obama administration announced that it would abandon plans by the George W. Bush administration to deploy elements of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe in favor of what was deemed the European Phased Adaptive Approach or Aegis Ashore alternative. There are (or were) to have been four phases which already have been or will be implemented. They include stationing ground-based SM-3s in Romania – the U.S.-built ballistic missile interceptor site at the Deveselu Air Base was declared operational in 2016 – a radar site at Kürecik in Turkey, a command center at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany and plans for also stationing SM-3s at the Redzikowo military base in Poland.

The Roosevelt‘s presence in the Mediterranean is part of the joint U.S.-NATO, sea- and land-based missile system detailed above. While deployed there it will, according to the U.S. Navy, “conduct maritime security operations in support of national security interests in Europe and Africa”, as well as participating with NATO allies in Exercise Baltic Operations 2021, Exercise Formidable Shield 2021 and Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2021.

Formidable Shield exercises traditionally feature launching a ballistic missile from the Scottish Hebrides which is shot down by a U.S. ship using an SM-3.

Baltic Operations (Baltops), run by Strike Force NATO, is the largest multinational military exercise conducted in the Baltic Sea.

NATO’s Operation Mongoose exercises are held off Iceland with the participation of submarines, ships and aircraft which engage in anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare maneuvers.

The purview of American and NATO interceptor missile operations goes beyond even the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic, Norwegian, North and Barents Seas and the Atlantic Ocean. In the words of the U.S. Navy press release on the deployment of the Roosevelt, these “Forward-Deployed Naval Forces-Europe ships have the flexibility to operate throughout the waters of Europe and Africa, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Arctic Circle, demonstrating their mastery of the maritime domain.” No land separates the Cape of Good Hope from Antarctica. There’s no reason for the Pentagon and NATO to limit their ambitions to the southern tip of South Africa; why not openly acknowledge they intend to appropriate the entire hemisphere from North Pole to South Pole for their interceptor missile operations?

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Terminate NATO – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2021

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

https://www.fff.org/2021/03/19/terminate-nato/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Washington Post has published a long piece calling for NATO to take on a new official enemy — China. The piece is written by Sara Bjerg Moller, an assistant professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. She argues that after 30 years since losing the Soviet Union as its official enemy and struggling to find a replacement to justify its continued existence, a perfect replacement would be China.

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just put NATO out of its misery and terminate it.

After all, let’s not forget NATO’s original mission: to defend Europe from the possibility of an invasion by the Soviet Union, which had been America’s and Britain’s World War II partner and ally but which had been converted to their official enemy at the end of the war.

But the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Europe was always nil. The Soviet Union had been decimated by World War II, especially as a result of the German invasion of the country. Even though the invasion was ultimately repelled and Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union’s industrial capacity had been destroyed, not to mention the millions of Russian citizens who had been killed. The last thing the Soviet Union wanted was another war, especially given that the United States possessed nuclear weapons and had shown a willingness to employ them against large cities.

The advocates of a national-security state in the United States, however, needed a new official enemy to replace Nazi Germany, especially to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental structure with omnipotent, non-reviewable powers. The Soviet Union and “godless communism” fit the bill perfectly. The American people were then inculcated with the notion that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world that was based in Moscow, Russia.

To convince Americans and western Europeans that the Soviet Union posed a grave threat to them, U.S. officials pointed to the postwar Soviet occupations of Eastern Europe and East Germany as examples of communist aggression. They apparently forgot that President Franklin Roosevelt had delivered such lands into the hands of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who FDR affectionately referred to as his “Uncle Joe,” at their wartime summit in Yalta. Was it really too surprising that Stalin accepted FDR’s gift, especially given that Eastern Europe and East Germany would serve as a buffer against another German invasion of the Soviet Union?

It was within this fervent anti-communist environment that NATO was formed. But in 1989, the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end, which, needless to say, put the U.S. national-security establishment and NATO into a panic. After all, the Cold War was the justification for both of these institutions. With no Cold War, they could both be dismantled.

Instead, the national-security establishment simply went into the Middle East and began poking hornets’ nest, which ultimately brought terrorist retaliation, which in turn brought the “war on terrorism,” another racket that has kept the national-security establishment in high cotton.

Meanwhile, unwilling to let Russia go as an official enemy, NATO began gobbling up former members of the Warsaw Pact, with the aim of placing U.S. troops and missiles ever closer to Russia’s borders and with the hope of provoking a reaction, which ultimately came about in Ukraine.

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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Terminate NATO – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2021

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

https://www.fff.org/2021/03/19/terminate-nato/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Washington Post has published a long piece calling for NATO to take on a new official enemy — China. The piece is written by Sara Bjerg Moller, an assistant professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. She argues that after 30 years since losing the Soviet Union as its official enemy and struggling to find a replacement to justify its continued existence, a perfect replacement would be China.

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just put NATO out of its misery and terminate it.

After all, let’s not forget NATO’s original mission: to defend Europe from the possibility of an invasion by the Soviet Union, which had been America’s and Britain’s World War II partner and ally but which had been converted to their official enemy at the end of the war.

But the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Europe was always nil. The Soviet Union had been decimated by World War II, especially as a result of the German invasion of the country. Even though the invasion was ultimately repelled and Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union’s industrial capacity had been destroyed, not to mention the millions of Russian citizens who had been killed. The last thing the Soviet Union wanted was another war, especially given that the United States possessed nuclear weapons and had shown a willingness to employ them against large cities.

The advocates of a national-security state in the United States, however, needed a new official enemy to replace Nazi Germany, especially to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental structure with omnipotent, non-reviewable powers. The Soviet Union and “godless communism” fit the bill perfectly. The American people were then inculcated with the notion that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world that was based in Moscow, Russia.

To convince Americans and western Europeans that the Soviet Union posed a grave threat to them, U.S. officials pointed to the postwar Soviet occupations of Eastern Europe and East Germany as examples of communist aggression. They apparently forgot that President Franklin Roosevelt had delivered such lands into the hands of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who FDR affectionately referred to as his “Uncle Joe,” at their wartime summit in Yalta. Was it really too surprising that Stalin accepted FDR’s gift, especially given that Eastern Europe and East Germany would serve as a buffer against another German invasion of the Soviet Union?

It was within this fervent anti-communist environment that NATO was formed. But in 1989, the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end, which, needless to say, put the U.S. national-security establishment and NATO into a panic. After all, the Cold War was the justification for both of these institutions. With no Cold War, they could both be dismantled.

Instead, the national-security establishment simply went into the Middle East and began poking hornets’ nest, which ultimately brought terrorist retaliation, which in turn brought the “war on terrorism,” another racket that has kept the national-security establishment in high cotton.

Meanwhile, unwilling to let Russia go as an official enemy, NATO began gobbling up former members of the Warsaw Pact, with the aim of placing U.S. troops and missiles ever closer to Russia’s borders and with the hope of provoking a reaction, which ultimately came about in Ukraine.

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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‘Undermining faith in NATO’ is now grounds for Twitter ban, because certain kinds of politics have become a religion — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on February 26, 2021

Twitter has long abandoned its “free speech wing of the free speech party” shtick to become a cudgel for Our Democracy to beat its critics with.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/516503-twitter-faith-nato-censorship/

Nebojsa Malic

Nebojsa Malic

is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator and on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

Heresy against NATO has apparently joined the ever-expanding list of sins that will get one erased from Twitter, as Big Tech mounts a crusade against infidels at home and abroad on behalf of values of Our Democracy.

Twitter announced bans on 373 accounts it connected to “state-linked information operations” on Tuesday. Some of them, the company said, “amplified narratives that were aligned with the Russian government” or “focused on undermining faith in the NATO alliance and its stability.”

Twitter is a US-based company, and the First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech as well as religion. Under that set of rules, anyone’s faith in NATO – or lack thereof – would be none of Twitter’s business. 

Then again, that set of rules isn’t exactly in effect anymore. Twitter has long abandoned its “free speech wing of the free speech party” shtick to become a cudgel for Our Democracy to beat its critics with. Or did you miss the part where they censored a sitting president of the United States over how he “might be perceived and interpreted” and meddled in the election by blocking a newspaper over a true story they falsely claimed was based on hacked materials?

Assuming for the sake of argument that these things were all part of “fortifying” the election – as TIME magazine put it – and defending Our Democracy from the evils of the constitutional republic, that might explain the repudiation of free speech and free press.

Which leaves religion, and still doesn’t answer why Twitter is now embarking on a jihad to protect NATO from heretics. 

Last I checked, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was not a god, but a military alliance. It hardly needs anyone’s “faith” – or Big Tech protection thereof. Not only is it armed to the teeth but commands its own legions of “disinformation”hunters and propaganda shops. Why, one of Twitter’s executives is literally an officer in a psychological warfare outfit of the UK military – a member of NATO, if anyone hasn’t been paying attention. 

I will not undermine faith in the NATO alliance I will not undermine faith in the NATO alliance I will not undermine faith in the NATO alliance I will not undermine faith in the NATO alliance I will not undermine faith in the NATO alliance I will not undermine faith in the N https://t.co/94FBinTPS0— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) February 24, 2021

Big Tech is also working hand in glove with an entire cottage industry of “disinformation researchers” such as Ben Nimmo – an alum of the Atlantic Council, a think-tank serving as a NATO cut-out – and Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory. 

DiResta ought to be notorious because her old firm, New Knowledge, was exposed for literally running a bunch of fake accounts posing as ‘Russian bots’ during a 2017 special US Senate election in Alabama. Because that helped a Democrat, NK was allowed to quietly rebrand and DiResta failed upward to land at Stanford. These are not the “Russians” you are looking for, move along, that sort of thing.

So it’s ironic that DiResta’s new outfit has provided more information about Twitter’s newest crusade, as well as where it might be headed. Based on information they were provided by Twitter, some of the accounts in one of the “Russian networks,” the SIO says, “appear to have been linked to the operations primarily via technical indicators rather than amplification or conversation between them.”

Notice the weasel phrasing such as “appear to be linked,” or “show signs of being affiliated” in Twitter’s original blog. It’s simply amazing how the same people who demand irrefutable evidence of, say, US election irregularities suddenly need no evidence whatsoever for their own assertions.

From a @Reuters report.Cancel culture doesn’t exist though pic.twitter.com/eCAdfGPkF7— Philip Cunliffe (@thephilippics) February 24, 2021

SIO also offers a glimpse into the future of this crusade, noting that while Twitter, Facebook and Medium “chip away” at accounts “pushing Russia-aligned narratives about Syria and NATO,” such activity persists on LiveJournal and Telegram.

No doubt these two platforms – one bought by a Russian company back in 2007, the other founded by a Russian national but currently operating out of Dubai – will find themselves in the crosshairs soon enough.

“Censorship is an intoxicating power that endlessly expands until it’s smashed,” as independent journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out.

Especially since enforcing “faith” means this isn’t about differences of opinion anymore. Forget about things such as free speech, or due process, or debate that’s the cornerstone of an actual democracy. Politics of a certain kind is now religion.  

Soi-disant “champion of freedom in Russia” cheers on @Twitter for closing down accounts and hence suppressing free expression. https://t.co/z2Esugd3Ps— George Szamuely (@GeorgeSzamuely) February 24, 2021

In a move that should surprise no one, this religious war against heretics who dare doubt NATO and other “Russian” wrongthink was hailed by such luminaries of the US establishment as former ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. 

Lest you think he’s an outlier, the US embassy in Kiev applauded the Ukrainian government’s order to close down three opposition TV stations earlier this month. Democrat lawmakers are currently pushing for similar censorship at home. 

Just last week, the newly installed US President Joe Biden told European allies that “the transatlantic alliance is back,” pledging his renewed support for NATO. Biden has also said he would govern based on “values.” The thing to understand is that those values aren’t necessarily what the Constitution of the American Republic, now effectively replaced by what has been dubbed Our Democracy, says they are.

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France confronted with the jihadism of its Turkish ally, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on February 10, 2021

France realises a little late that the jihadists who have carried out attacks on its soil and others who are preparing new ones are supported by foreign states, military allies within NATO.

It revolves around four strong ideas, including the prohibition of the financing of religious associations by foreign States. Everyone is well aware that this is the head of Islamism, but no one dares to name these states: Turkey and Qatar, remote controlled by the United Kingdom and the United States.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article212155.html

by Thierry Meyssan

France realises a little late that the jihadists who have carried out attacks on its soil and others who are preparing new ones are supported by foreign states, military allies within NATO. The refusal to draw conclusions in terms of foreign policy makes the bill to combat Islamism of little use.

President Emmanuel Macron and the government of Jean Castex drafted a bill to combat the political instrumentation of the Muslim faith. This text is currently being discussed in Parliament.

It revolves around four strong ideas, including the prohibition of the financing of religious associations by foreign States. Everyone is well aware that this is the head of Islamism, but no one dares to name these states: Turkey and Qatar, remote controlled by the United Kingdom and the United States. Indeed, fighting against Islamism in France has many brutal consequences in foreign policy. No party dares to tackle this problem, rendering all the efforts made in this struggle ineffective.

France has already experienced this hesitation in the face of Islamism in the mid-1990s. At the time, the United Kingdom and the United States supported the jihadists in Algeria against French influence. London also offered political asylum to these “democrats” who were fighting against a military regime. The Minister of the Interior, Charles Pasqua, launched a showdown that led him to have the members of a commando of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) who had hijacked an Air France plane shot dead and to expel the CIA chief of post in Paris (who was also compromised in a case of economic espionage). The issue was thus settled for 20 years.JPEG - 62.1 kb

The Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI) inspired a press dossier, in the Journal du Dimanche of February 7, 2021, on how “Erdoğan is infiltrating France”. Note: the newspaper did not question Turkey, but the only President Erdoğan. Similarly, at least initially, it did not mention Qatar, the United Kingdom or the United States. Above all, it quoted the Millî Görüş which it accuses, without noting that it was the militia of Prime minister Necmettin Erbakan and that President Erdoğan was one of its leaders. Finally, it omitted to mention the alleged role of the Turkish secret services in the attacks of November 13, 2015 (the Bataclan).

It is this theme that we are going to develop by rectifying many prejudices.JPEG - 64.1 kbDidier Lemaire, professor of philosophy in the Paris region (in France, one teaches philosophy in the final year of secondary school), has been threatened by Islamists because he dares to debate political Islam. He was placed under police protection.

Islam: faith and politics

Mohammed was a prophet, warlord and prince at the same time. The Islam he founded was at the same time a particular rite of Christianity [1], his policy towards the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula and the law he promulgated. No one was able at his death to distinguish his spiritual heritage from his political and military action. On the contrary, his political successors (in Arabic: “Caliphs”) inherited his authority in religious matters, although they had no theological knowledge and sometimes even did not believe in God.

Today, Muslims living in Europe aspire to sort out this Islam, to keep only the spiritual part of it and to abandon dated aspects, especially the Sharia. On the contrary, President Erdoğan, who officially wishes to be declared Caliph of Muslims on October 29, 2023 (the centenary of the Turkish Republic), is doing everything possible to oppose this.

It is therefore a struggle between two civilisations. Not between European culture and that of Turkey, but contemporary civilisation against another, which disappeared a century ago.JPEG - 43.8 kbFormer Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan and his bodyguards. To the right of the photo is Recep Tayyp Erdoğan.

Erdoğan: an Islamist thug who became president

President Erdoğan is not a politician like the others. He started his career as a thug who was punching in the streets of the capital. He entered politics in the 1970s by joining an Islamist militia, the Akıncılar, until he joined the militia created during the fall of Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan in 1997, the Millî Görüş. This organisation of nervis was financed by the Iraq of President Saddam Hussein and placed under the control of the Grand Master of the Sufi Order of the Naqchbandis, General Ezzat Ibrahim Al-Douri, future Iraqi Vice-President.JPEG - 23.3 kbIn Afghanistan, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar with at his feet Rachid Ghanoucchi Ghanoucchi (left in the photo) and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (right).

The Anglo-Tunisian Rachid Ghanoucchi, one of the great figures of the Muslim Brotherhood, said: “In the Arab world of my generation, when people talked about the Islamic movement, they talked about Erbakan. When they talked about Erbakan, it was the way they talked about Hassan al-Banna and Sayyed Qutb”. So, although the Islamist movement is organisationally divided between the Muslim Brotherhood on the one hand and the Naqchbandis on the other, they undoubtedly form a single ideology.

It is in the name of the Millî Görüş that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan played an effective role in the wars in Afghanistan alongside Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and in the wars in Chechnya alongside Shamil Basayev. Once he became president, he imposed himself as the leader of this movement during the NATO war in Syria. Today he is the leader of both the Muslim Brotherhood (established in the wider Middle East and Europe) and the Naqchbandis (established mainly in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russian Dagestan, South Asia and Chinese Xinjiang).

Islamist networks

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Ideological Imperialism Is Leading to a Bad End – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 6, 2021

During the Cold War, the United States regularly dumped over regimes we believed imperiled our cause — Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, the Congo in the 1960s. After the Cold War, the United States was a major mover in the “color revolutions” that changed regimes in Ukraine and Georgia.

According to Victoria Nuland, then of the State Department, now back again, $5 billion was pumped in to effect the overthrow of the democratically elected pro-Russian regime in Kiev and its replacement by a pro-American one.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/patrick-j-buchanan/ideological-imperialism-is-leading-to-a-bad-end/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

When it was learned in 2016 that Russia may have hacked the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and passed the fruits on to WikiLeaks to aid candidate Donald Trump, mighty was the outrage of the American establishment.

If Russia’s security services filched those emails, and a troll farm in Saint Petersburg sent tweets and texts to stir up rancor in our politics, it was said, this was an attack on American democracy and its most sacred of rituals — the elections by which we chose our leaders.

Yet, when it comes to interfering in the affairs of other nations, how sinless, how blameless, are we Americans?

During the Cold War, the United States regularly dumped over regimes we believed imperiled our cause — Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, the Congo in the 1960s. After the Cold War, the United States was a major mover in the “color revolutions” that changed regimes in Ukraine and Georgia.

According to Victoria Nuland, then of the State Department, now back again, $5 billion was pumped in to effect the overthrow of the democratically elected pro-Russian regime in Kiev and its replacement by a pro-American one.

This was the triggering event that caused Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea to secure his country’s Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol.

Consider the reaction in this capital to the arrest and imprisonment of dissident Alexei Navalny, following his return from Germany, where he had been treated for chemical poisoning, allegedly by Putin’s security services.

In an editorial, “Nothing But a Poisoner,” The Washington Post thundered:

“Western governments should be doing what they can to help this unprecedented challenge to Mr. Putin’s autocracy survive and grow…

“Mr. Putin has dedicated himself to exploiting the weaknesses in democratic systems. Now is the time to return the favor.”

Consider what the Post is calling for here:

The U.S. and NATO nations should openly side with protesters in Russia’s cities whose goal is the overthrow of Putin and of the internationally recognized government of Russia.

How, one wonders, would Americans react if Putin openly urged worldwide support for the “Stop the Steal” mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election?

Though Americans are divided over racial, cultural, social and moral issues, liberal interventionists still talk of our “universal values” that represent the future toward which all nations should aspire. Among these are the values of democracy as practiced in the United States.

These are the standards by which other nations are to be judged. And nations that do not conform to these standards are candidates for U.S. interference in their affairs. Ours is an ideological imperialism of a rare order.

Where did we Americans acquire the right to intervene in the internal affairs of nations — be they autocracies, monarchies or republics — that do not threaten or attack us?

When we have intervened in these nations militarily, disaster has most often been the result. It was partly because the regimes of Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen did not comport to our ideas of good governance that we went in militarily to change them. Result: millions of dead, wounded and displaced Arabs and Muslims all across the Middle East. A historic calamity.

When the Arab Spring arose, we embraced it. The democratic revolution was here! And what happened in the largest Arab nation that responded as we insisted, Egypt?

An ally of 30 years, President Hosni Mubarak, was ousted. The Muslim Brotherhood was voted into power. It was replaced a year later by a new general, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, a man more ruthless than Mubarak.

This week, the generals in Myanmar (Burma) ousted the civilian leadership of the country and assumed full power. President Joe Biden reacted reflexively, calling it a “direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy.”

“In a democracy,” said Biden, “force should never seek to override the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election.”

Derek Mitchell of the National Democratic Institute, a subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy, explained: “Democracy is one of the pillars of the Biden Administration’s foreign policy agenda. They recognize they have to address this pretty seriously. The question is what to do.”

Actually, the larger question, the basic question is why the internal affairs of Burma, a nation 10,000 miles from the United States, are the business of the United States.

The post-Cold War world, where America stood in moral judgment of the democracy credentials of all other nations, and acted against those that did not sufficiently conform, is coming to an end.

And if we do not give up this ideological imperialism, that end, especially where Russia and China are concerned, could come sudden and soon.

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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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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Can America Do It All? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2020

Can we continue to defend South Korea and Japan from Kim Jong Un and his nuclear arsenal, confront and choke the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran and, at the same time, reconstruct George H. W. Bush’s “new world order”?

While doing all this, can we overcome the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 100 years ago, and deal with a national divide and racial crisis as bad as any since the 1960s, if not the Civil War?

We’re going to find out.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/patrick-j-buchanan/can-america-do-it-all/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In fiscal year 2020, which ended on Sept. 30, the U.S. government set some impressive new records.

The deficit came in at $3.1 trillion, twice the previous record of $1.4 trillion in 2009, which was set during the Great Recession, and three times the 2019 deficit of about $1 trillion.

Federal spending hit $6.5 trillion, one-third of U.S. gross domestic product, a share unrivaled except for the later years of World War II when federal spending exceeded 40% of GDP.

The U.S. national debt, $14 trillion when Donald Trump took office, now stands at $21 trillion, roughly the same size as U.S. GDP.

In fiscal year 2021, the deficit could be of the same magnitude as 2020.

Why so? First, the economy is not fully recovered from the 2020 depression. Unemployment is still near 8%. Nancy Pelosi has already proposed $2.2 trillion in new spending to battle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the first month of this fiscal year. And COVID-19 cases are spiking again.

With the national debt already equal to the GDP, and growing faster now, a question arises: Where does this end?

How many more multitrillion-dollar deficits can we sustain before the quality of U.S. debt is called into question by Japan, China and the other nations that traditionally buy and hold U.S. debt?

How long before the value of the U.S. dollar is questioned?

How long before our creditors start demanding higher interest rates to compensate for the rising risks they are taking in buying the bonds of so profligate a nation?

According to Stein’s Law, named after Herb Stein, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers who enunciated it, if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

Or was Herb Stein wrong, and we can borrow and spend forever?

Consider the built-in engines of spending that were causing trillion-dollar deficits even before the coronavirus hit?

With the huge baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, only half retired and still reaching 65 and 66 in the millions every year, the claims on Social Security and Medicare, the two largest programs in the U.S. budget, are certain to grow. So, too, are the claims on Medicaid, health care for the poor, the next largest item in the budget.

With unemployment at 8%, other social programs that date to the Great Society days of over half a century ago — welfare, housing, education, nutrition — and consume a large share of our budget, are unlikely to shrink.

Interest on the debt, as the U.S. national debt rises and becomes riskier, is also likely to be headed one way — straight up.

Which brings us to that other major budget item: national defense.

The Trump era has already produced a significant increase in defense spending, while defense commitments have seen no reduction.

We are obligated to defend some 30 NATO allies from the Atlantic to the Baltic and Black seas. In the Middle and Near East, we have troops stationed in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Afghanistan and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

With the new strategic “pivot to Asia,” U.S. troops and ships have moved into the Indo-Pacific region to contain China in what is being called Cold War II. Then there are the U.S. treaty commitments to defend Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand dating to the ’50s

Allies are our strength, we are told. They are also our dependents.

This morning came press reports that ISIS, whose caliphate in Syria and Iraq we annihilated, is turning up in Africa. A new front may be opening up in the global war on terror.

The question here is a simple one: Can we continue to do it all?

Our resources are not inexhaustible.

Already, U.S. GDP is receding as a share of global GDP, and the defense budget is receding as a share of U.S. GDP.

We are being obligated to do more and more, at home and abroad, while our share of the world’s wealth is less and less.

Can we continue to maintain strategic parity and contain the ambitions of the other great powers, Russia and China?

Can we continue to defend South Korea and Japan from Kim Jong Un and his nuclear arsenal, confront and choke the Ayatollah’s regime in Iran and, at the same time, reconstruct George H. W. Bush’s “new world order”?

While doing all this, can we overcome the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu of 100 years ago, and deal with a national divide and racial crisis as bad as any since the 1960s, if not the Civil War?

We’re going to find out.

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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