MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

David Stockman on How the Deep State Really Works

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

It’s not even mentioned because, as I say, the Warfare State machinery essentially squelches any kind of debate, suffocates any kind of thought that at all deviates from the status quo.

The big issue in the world today is war and peace, and we’re facing a campaign in 2020 where it won’t even be mentioned.

https://internationalman.com/articles/david-stockman-on-how-the-deep-state-really-works/

by David Stockman

International Man: Last year, President Trump took the unusual step of bypassing his advisors to announce his intention to withdraw all US troops from Syria quickly. The decision rattled Washington and the mainstream media. It caused former Defense Secretary Mattis to resign. Almost a year later, the US has withdrawn only a token number of soldiers. It still has thousands of troops occupying the part of the country where oil fields are located. What is going on here?

David Stockman: Well, that’s the Deep State at work.

Donald Trump is all by his lonesome. He’s home alone in the Oval Office. Now, half of it, he can blame himself. If he hires someone, a known idiot like John Bolton, what does he expect is going to happen except that everything he wanted to do is going to be undermined.

Nevertheless, he can’t seem to find anybody who can articulate on a day-to-day basis a pathway to the more restrained America First posture that he had in mind.

He’s surrounded by people who constantly countermand his orders. You have James Jeffery, the US Ambassador and special envoy to Syria saying, “Well, Trump didn’t mean that when he said he wanted the troops out of Syria.”

We have the same thing with North Korea. Trump finally said, here we are, 66 years after the armistice and we still don’t have a peace treaty, and we’re still occupying the Korean peninsula, which is of no interest to our national security one way or the other.

You have to do what I would call “contrafactual history.” In other words, if you understand what could have happened the other way, then maybe you’re not going to be so impressed with all this threat inflation.

I go back to why the Korean War happened, because I think it’s important to this whole thing going on now, with Trump trying to make a deal with Kim Jong-un.

In the late ’40s, Washington officials said that Korea is outside our sphere of influence, the line between North and South hastily drawn at the Potsdam war conference in July 1945. Dean Acheson, the US secretary of state in the late 1940s, said it was a mere surveyor’s line; it’s of no strategic influence. What if common sense had prevailed, instead of the hot-headed advice that President Truman got?

What if Truman had said, “Okay, we’re vacating this damn peninsula”? Well, it would have become a quasi-province of China, just like all the rest of them.

They’d probably be making all kinds of stuff, sending it to Walmart today, and nobody would know the difference.

Instead, we had a war. If I remember right, 54,000 servicemen were killed. The whole peninsula was pummeled, carpet bombed, and literally destroyed. It was like a wasteland in the north. There are reasons why the Kim family has survived all these years, because they hate us for what happened. People remember. It was really scorched earth. I mean, it was in some sense genocide, even then.

So, all of that happened, and Eisenhower comes in and is astute enough to say that we don’t really have national security on the line. He negotiated an armistice, and yet the War Party kept tension on the DMZ for all those years because it had to be in the playbook of threats.

I remember well when I was fighting the big Reagan defense build-up, back when I was budget director. It was always, we need all these different new tanks and attack aircraft and resupply logistics capabilities, because we have to have the ability to fight two and a half wars.

Well, where was the half war? I knew where the other ones were. The half war was in Korea. Well, why did we have to have a half war in Korea? But nevertheless, that was part of the rationalization—justification—for this massive military force that really is a tool of empire and not a tool of homeland defense.

Today, we have Trump finally saying, let’s let the Koreans decide how to run the future of Korea—and back off this long-running, 65-year confrontation.

And yet as courageous in some ways as he has been, he’s constantly being undermined by his own people, who as soon as he’s not looking send real nasty messages to the North Koreans—that will only set Kim back on his heels—and therefore nothing gets done. Even though it could very easily be done…

International Man: What kind of role do you see foreign policy playing in the 2020 election?

David Stockman: It won’t be the normal sense of debating policy—where there’s usually the bipartisan duopoly, with nuanced shades of difference that they like to debate and pretend are meaningful.

That isn’t even going to happen this time. Foreign policy has been totally taken over by the Democratic paranoia about Russia and Putin and meddling in our elections.

Now it’s extended to the whole impeachment inquiry and Ukraine-gate. That’s what the whole debate is going to be about. The debate is going to be about a sideshow.

The underlying issues are why we are constantly steaming warships into the Black Sea. That’s like the Gulf of Mexico to Russia.

Why are we sending warships into the Baltic?

Why are we constantly doing big maneuvers in Poland and in the Baltic states, right on Russia’s doorsteps with these tens of thousands of forces going through these maneuvers and exercises? What the hell are we doing all this for?

Those are the issues. But they’re not even going to get debated.

One last point: Trump had raised the question, isn’t NATO obsolete? The Soviet Union is gone. The 50,000 tanks allegedly on the central front facing western Europe have been melted down for scrap. And yet, he can’t even do anything about NATO.

He’s had to double-talk his way into saying, “Well, the other countries are going to commit some more money they don’t have. They’re going to waste more money on defense.” That’s all that’s come of it.

The point is we ought to be debating what the hell are we doing with NATO 25 years after the Soviet Union disappeared from the face of the earth?

Why isn’t Washington and the president leading the world with this disarmament conference so that we can begin to reduce this massive expenditure for weapons that nobody can afford?…

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https://www.rt.com/usa/465597-navy-carrier-ford-cant-launch/

The US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier was delivered with only two of its 11 elevators –vital to get munitions to its deck– operational. For the Navy, it’s the latest in a series of costly embarrassments.

 

 

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Syria Is Lost. Lebanon’s Gold Is Next – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/no_author/syria-is-lost-lebanons-gold-is-next/

By Steve Brown

The largest reserve gold traders on the planet are the six bullion banks. A bullion bank is a large multi-national bank authorized to serve as a conduit through which Central Banks – and the Fed primary dealers – loan their gold out into the market. All central banks lease gold, to maintain their balance sheet and to provide sovereign collateral when a currency swap or paper trade won’t work. It’s called the gold carry trade.

There are currently six clearing banks on the LBMA handling gold lease transactions: Barclays, Scotia, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JPM, and UBS all of which are primary Fed Dealer Banks, too. Central Banks need real money as collateral – physical gold holdings – to back paper (debt instruments) and as guarantor of foreign exchange sovereign liquidity, or when dealing with failed or semi-failed states.

The Bullion Banks not only guarantee and lease their own gold reserves, but require adjustments to physical gold holdings based on Geopolitical events particularly during times of war. For example, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and the Ukraine have all turned over their physical gold holdings to the IMF – which acts by proxy for the Fed and G7 Central Banks – for favorable lending terms or settlement of debt to the West, or their gold is seized by force of arms.

Nixon officially closed the US international sovereign gold trading window in 1971, alleged to be temporary, now ostensibly never to re-open. Officially Nixon’s gold closure still applies to US gold trading, but the “official” world is not the real world. Thus, the US engages in covert gold trading shrouded in secrecy, generally by proxy to the IMF and via gold carry trade gold swaps.  (Also see: IMF voting rights and reform and the Exchange Stabilization Fund)

The international gold window is not about a “gold standard” but about international trade in gold. That trade is to support currency swaps to manipulate currency markets; to enhance interest returns by leveraging other debt products providing a higher return; or to build or deplete foreign exchange reserves held by a sovereign or Central Bank. Thus, the international gold window still exists in the form of the gold carry trade.

But the international gold window is much more than a trade and collateral window, the international gold window is still an essential factor in Geo-politics. Conflicts and alliances require the gold carry trade to operate by covert, by proxy, or by overt means. The gold carry trade market also operates by acquiring the gold reserves of failed states such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, or Ukraine, at prices subsidized by the US taxpayer.

Or the cost of their lost treasure is borne by the unknowing, unaware local population partaking in a “colour revolution” or the “Arab Spring” for example, on behalf of Washington.

The banking crisis in Lebanon is one recent example, where geopolitics and finance – especially relating to gold – intersect. Lebanon has relatively high physical gold reserves relative to its economy and relative to other Middle Eastern states, and Lebanon has been a player in the carry trade for many years.

However, according to one confidential source and many reports, Lebanon has dialed-back its carry trade activities since 2015. By scaling back its carry trade activity, Lebanon has provoked the ire of western Central Banks, and made it more difficult for Lebanon to protect its currency.

The reason for Lebanon’s de-leveraging in the gold carry trade is unknown, but one can only speculate that along with US sanctions versus Lebanon, the international currency cartel has its eye on Lebanon’s gold reserves. By extension, The Neocon-Neoliberal ‘Blob’ believes that by harming Lebanon, the Blob can likewise curtail Hezbollah’s influence.

Israel too, currently subject to its own self-induced purgatory in leadership, desperately needs a visible geopolitical victory, and no doubt US and Israeli central bankers see Lebanon’s finance as low-hanging fruit, since Hezbollah cannot be militarily defeated. How do we know? …well, David Ignatius tells us so…

Germany

Germany demanded return of its gold reserves from New York (called repatriation).  In reality repatriation ends the lease conditions by which the Federal Reserve holds German gold. That Germany leased approximately 300 tonnes of gold to the US Exchange Stabilization Fund during the US financial collapse is well known, and the ESF undoubtedly disposed of that German gold by carry trade means, to support the US dollar and stock market. Effectively the US government may sell or lease any “commodity” as it sees fit, in its possession, whether strategic oil reserves or gold – even if that gold “belongs” to a foreign power…

Ukraine

Long a hotbed of corruption, shady dealings, and political intrigue, the Ukraine has leveraged its gold reserves via the carry trade and leasing system for many years now.  Falling prey to the IMF predatory system of capital is another Ukraine specialty, since Ukraine’s gold is its only real strategic asset, besides it location adjacent to Eastern Europe…

Argentina

Likewise, the IMF was the worst possible option for Argentina. Argentina was forced to sell 1/3rd of its physical gold reserves from 2009-2013, to prevent a replay of 2001 by placating US bond holders. Argentina’s gold reserves played a major role in keeping the country somewhat liquid, but now western powers want the rest of that gold – represented by bondholder lawsuits – since Argentina just defaulted again.

Netherlands

In 2014 the Dutch Central bank announced that 122 metric tonnes of gold had been repatriated from the United States. The DCB’s loss of confidence in the US likely relates to the collapse of the US financial system from 2008-2009.  It’s likely too that the Netherlands loaned some sovereign gold reserves to the Fed/ESF during that crisis, and has not seen its gold returned.

Venezuela

Half of Venezuela’s reserves are in gold. The structural and fundamental problem is that Venezuela cannot lease gold via the bullion banks because the physical gold was repatriated, and the gold still present in US /London vaults is sanctioned…

Summary

Trouble is, most of the third world and Non-Aligned Movement – with the exception of Iran, Lebanon, and Venezuela – have already turned over their gold to the West. So, there is little physical gold for Washington to cajole, appropriate, or steal from destabilized sovereign entities or failed states Washington creates…

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What if US had raised interest rates? | A Wild Duck

 

 

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What Should We Learn from 40 Years of U.S. Intervention in the Middle East? | The National Interest

Posted by M. C. on November 3, 2019

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/what-should-we-learn-40-years-us-intervention-middle-east-41542

The presence of America’s vaunted military cannot necessarily shape the political orientation and structure of societies.

…These criticisms fail to take stock of the lessons that emerge from forty years of U.S. military action in the greater Middle East region. The presence of America’s vaunted military cannot necessarily shape the political orientation and structure of societies. Iraq and Afghanistan are obvious examples. Unrivaled American military power also has failed to contour the decisions of other actors in the theater. The United States failed to sufficiently influence the behavior of sectarian actors in Lebanon during its expedition there. The United States has failed to change Iranian foreign policy even after decades of relative military encirclement. Even after inflicting arguably the most humiliating and decisive military victory in modern history, American soldiers watched from just beyond the border as Saddam defied Washington and violently cracked down on Kurdish and Shia uprisings.

The notion that the United States could use its control on the north to shape the postwar Syrian state and expel Iran has always been a theoretical concept with no clear path to implementation.  In fact, many of the forces that have been deemed Iranian-backed are composed of Syrian citizens. Where would they be expelled too? Most likely, Damascus and its allies will work to secure the rest of the country while waiting America out. The simple fact that has been determinative to much of the conflict is that countries like Iran and Russia have more vital interests in Syria than a faraway superpower.

Others argued that Trump’s “strategy of retreat” from Syria, as the New York Times’ David Sanger called it, will result in chaos and terrorism as the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq did. Mimicking Bush administration talking points, Sanger claimed that “deployed forces are key to stopping terrorists before they reach American shores.” Ilan Goldenberg, a former State Department official and Clinton acolyte, took this line of reasoning to its natural conclusion. He wrote that, “[u]ltimately, the answer in the Middle East is to stay, but in a smaller more sustainable and cheaper way. We may need to have a few thousand troops in some of the various trouble spots in the region such as northeastern Syria for years to come. Their job will not be to ‘win’ but simply to muddle through.” Retired Marine General John Allen, president of the Brookings Institution, argued that “U.S. global leadership and, where necessary, its forces” are needed in ISIS-influenced territory across Asia and Africa “until the idea of the caliphate has been defeated.”

ISIS was quickly defeated because its messianic state building delusion deprived it of strategic flexibility. In having to defend fixed positions, its forces could not focus on the kind of asymmetrical strategies that have been so effective for non-state actors in the region. What’s left of it has already made clear it will not make the same mistake. But indefinite American military occupation of broad swaths of the Middle East is not a simple antidote to anti-U.S. militant action or chaos. In fact, the connective tissue between many of non-state actors is aggressive opposition towards the influence or direct or indirect military presence of the United States or its key allies. A diverse array of non-state actors including Hezbollah, the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Iraq have strengthened or even been established under the noses of American soldiers and marines. In fact, the Sunni Arabs of northern Syria are already chafing under heavy-handed America-enabled Kurdish rule—even “ethnic cleansing”—and the long-term continuation of this trend will invite trouble.

One oft-cited criticism was that it was a betrayal of the very Kurdish group in question. “The West owes them a debt for the price they’ve paid,” argues an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. The Kurdish groups in northern Syria, the YPG, decried the original decision as a “blatant betrayal.” But the sponsor-client relationship is inherently bidirectional; they form due to convergences of interests. The Kurds fought ISIS because it posed an existential threat to their communities, not as an expression of loyalty to America. ISIS had once pushed the Syrian Kurds all the way to the Turkish border at many points, and in Iraq, they came close to sacking Erbil.

The overzealous alliance reinforcement ethos that permeates Washington and demands every strategic cooperation be treated as a treaty alliance (or an emotional commitment) demanding America’s unrestricted moral fidelity to the demands and ambitions of the client, is neither necessary for alliance management nor in keeping with U.S. interests…

Moreover, why shouldn’t public opinion be a factor in American military decisionmaking? Due to a series of reasons, such as its military prowess and providential location, America faces little in the way of existential threats and, therefore, can entertain a spectrum of options on how to address interests and security challenges. A de facto occupation of one-third of Syrian territory was never the only or the obvious course of action…

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‘I Like Oil, We’re Keeping the Oil’: Trump Confirms US Wants Syria’s Oil, Not to Patrol Its Borders – Sputnik International

Posted by M. C. on November 2, 2019

Shock Headline: Its all about the oil.

9/11 what?

https://sputniknews.com/world/201911021077207222–i-like-oil-were-keeping-the-oil-trump-confirms-us-wants-syrias-oil-not-to-patrol-its-borders/

Last week, after the US president made repeated statements about the importance of “securing” Syria’s oil, the Russian military released satellite intelligence on an illegal Pentagon and CIA-sponsored oil smuggling scheme which the defence ministry described as nothing short of “international state banditry” on Washington’s part.

US President Donald Trump has reiterated the US’s lack of interest in patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border, saying the US’s main interest was in controlling the country’s oil.

“The ceasefire has held very nicely. We’ve kept the oil. We’ve stayed back and kept the oil. Other people can patrol the border of Syria, frankly, and Turkey, let them – they’ve been fighting for a thousand years, let them do the border, we don’t want to do that. We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil. I like oil. We’re keeping the oil,” Trump said, speaking to reporters on the White House lawn on Friday.

Trump said the US was working effectively with both its Kurdish and Turkish partners, and recalled the recent operation to take out former Daesh* leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whom he called “maybe the number one terrorist for the last fifty years”. The president added that al-Baghdadi’s second-in-command had also been killed, and said that the US already has “number three in our sights”.

Russia and Turkey began join patrols in northern Syria on Friday, in line with an agreement between Presidents Putin and Erdogan last month facilitating the withdrawal of Kurdish militants to 30 km from the Turkish-Syrian border area in exchange for a halt to the Turkish military operation…

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Imperial Capital But America-First Nation – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 29, 2019

Three are anti-interventionist and anti-war, which may help explain why Democrats are taking a second look at Hillary Clinton.

Mr. B is optimistic. If Trump loses in 2020 the war machine will go full steam ahead.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/10/patrick-j-buchanan/imperial-capital-but-america-first-nation/

By

“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these “endless wars.”

Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly.

Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. soldiers will stay in Syria to guard oil wells that we and the Kurds captured in the war with ISIS. Another 150 U.S. troops will remain in al-Tanf to guard Syria’s border with Iraq, at the request of Jordan and Israel.

And 2,000 more U.S. troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom from Iran, which raises a question: Are we coming or going?…

But in this imperial capital, the voice of the interventionist yet prevails. The media, the foreign policy elite, the think tanks, the ethnic lobbies, the Pentagon, the State Department, Capitol Hill, are almost all interventionist, opposed to Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Rand Paul may echo Middle America, but Lindsey Graham speaks for the Republican establishment.

Yet the evidence seems compelling that anti-interventionism is where the country is at, and the Congress knows it.

For though the denunciations of Trump’s pullout from Syria have not ceased, one detects no campaign on Capitol Hill to authorize sending U.S. troops back to Syria, in whatever numbers are needed, to enable the Kurds to keep control of their occupied quadrant of that country.

Love of the Kurds, so audible on the Hill, does not go that far…

In 1940-41, the anti-interventionists of “America First” succeeded in keeping us out of the world war (after Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland in September of 1939 and Britain and France went to war). Pearl Harbor united the nation, but not until Dec. 7, 1941, two years later — when America First folded its tents and enlisted.

Today, because both sides of our foreign policy quarrel have powerful constituencies, we have paralysis anew, reflected in policy.

We have enough troops in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul and the big cities, but not enough to win the war.

In Iraq, which we invaded in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein and install a democracy, we brought to power the Shia and their Iranian sponsors. Now we battle Iran for political influence in Baghdad.

Across the Middle East, we have enough troops, planes and ships to prevent our expulsion, but not enough to win the wars from Syria to Yemen to Afghanistan…

To the question, “Are we going deeper into the Middle East or coming out?” the answer is almost surely the latter.

Among the candidates who could be president in 2021 — Trump, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders — none is an interventionist of the Lindsey Graham school. Three are anti-interventionist and anti-war, which may help explain why Democrats are taking a second look at Hillary Clinton.

According to polls, Iran is first among the nations that Americans regard as an enemy. Still, there is no stomach for war with Iran. When Trump declined to order a strike on Iran — after an air and cruise missile attack shut down half of Saudi oil production — Americans, by their silent acquiescence, seemed to support our staying out.

Yet if there is no stomach in Middle America for war with Iran and a manifest desire to pull the troops out and come home, there is ferocious establishment resistance to any withdrawal of U.S. forces. This has bedeviled Trump through the three years of his presidency.

Again, it seems a stalemate is in the cards — until there is some new explosion in the Mideast, after which the final withdrawal for America will begin, as it did for the exhausted British and French empires after World War II.

That we are leaving the Middle East seems certain. Only the departure date is as yet undetermined.

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America First Committee

 

 

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“We Want To Keep The Oil” | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2019

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/we-want-keep-oil

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“Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand,
workin’ in the dark against your fellow man.
But as sure as God made black and white
what’s down in the dark will be brought to the light.”

~ Johnny Cash/traditional, ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’

The Grayzone has an excellent new article out titled “US troops are staying in Syria to ‘keep the oil’ — and have already killed hundreds over it” detailing the many ways the Trump administration has openly admitted that it is keeping US troops in Syria to control the nation’s oil fields so that the Syrian government can’t use it to fund reconstruction efforts.

“We’ve secured the oil, and therefore a small number of US troops will remain in the area where they have the oil,” Trump said in a recent press conference.

“And we’re going to be protecting it. And we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future.”

“We want to keep the oil,” Trump said in a cabinet meeting a few days earlier.

“Maybe we’ll have one of our big oil companies to go in and do it properly.”

“A purpose of those [US] forces, working with the SDF, is to deny access to those oil fields by ISIS and others who may benefit from revenues that could be earned,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

As Grayzone’s Ben Norton accurately explains, “and others” necessarily means the Syrian government; preventing Assad from accessing Syrian oil is standing US military policy.

And that of course is the real reason US armed forces constantly remain in Syria despite all the empty babble about ending wars and bringing home the troops: it’s about control over a nation in a key geostrategic location which refuses to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized empire. Controlling its material wealth is an ideal way to do this.

Whenever I write about oil as a primary motive for US imperialism, I always get a bunch of right-wingers objecting that that makes no sense because the US has plenty of oil, and that it’s really about freedom and democracy or communism or Zionism or pedovore cults or Illuminati or whatever. What they miss, in their squirming attempts to avoid cognitive dissonance, is that it’s not about having and consuming oil, it’s about controlling oil. Control what governments can and cannot access crucial resources, and you can control which governments thrive and which ones don’t.

As Trump said, “We’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future.” In no other international power dynamic would this be considered a rational thing for anyone to say. The idea of another nation invading Texas and seizing control of its oil fields and then Xi Jinping or whomever saying “We’re controlling their oil and we’ll be deciding what we’re going to do with it in the future” is unthinkable, but a US president can just come right out and say this about a weaker nation and it won’t even be front-page news.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump is the most honest US president of all time. By that I don’t mean that he’s an honest person; he of course lies constantly. I simply mean that while his predecessors have always made sure to dress their imperialist military campaigns up as benevolent humanitarian intercessions, Trump just stands there out in the open like “Yeah we grabbed their oil and it’s ours now, blow me.” There was once a time when claiming a war was really about oil got you branded a conspiracy theorist. Now the US president just outright says it.

And this is really the only reason establishment power structures dislike Trump. They don’t feel directly threatened by him, they just dislike the way he’s always saying the quiet part out loud. Status quo power has a vested interest in keeping a smiling mask on things and preventing people from thinking too hard about what’s really going on in the world, and Trump keeps ripping off that mask by telling everyone what he’s doing in plain English.

Revolution (the real kind, the kind that actually changes things) is ultimately a fight against psychological compartmentalization on a mass scale. Compartmentalization is a tool people use to avoid the psychological discomfort (aka cognitive dissonance) that would otherwise be experienced by trying to hold on to two conflicting positions at one time, like, for example, seeing yourself as a good person and simultaneously giving your government your tacit permission to murder strangers on the other side of the world in your name.

Establishment power works to prevent people from looking directly at the ugly aspects of the empire, like the horrific nature of what war is and how much their country spreads it, or the fact that so many have so little while a few others have so very much, or the reason their government doesn’t seem to operate the way they were taught in school. The empire has a vested interest in keeping these things in the dark, while the clear-eyed rebel is always trying to drag them kicking and screaming into the light. This is why truth-tellers and whistleblowers are always made public enemy number one by our rulers.

The true rebel fights to enlighten things, the empire fights to endarken them. This is the struggle from the largest power structures in our world, right down to our own inner lives as individual human beings. This is why I talk so much about the importance of inner work; it’s all one struggle, from the evil secrets hidden behind thick walls of government opacity all the way down to the parts of ourselves we try not to look at. Your efforts to become a more consciously integral and less compartmentalized human being are just as important as your efforts to expose the puppet strings to the audience.

As November 2020 draws nearer the screams to shut up and stop pointing at the truth are going to get louder and louder for political dissidents in America, even louder than the “shut up and fall in line” admonishments that Bernie-or-Busters received constantly in 2016. This will only be the voice of the empire yelling “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” It will only be those who are still plugged into the imperial narrative matrix transforming into a bunch of Agent Smiths and telling you to stop saying things which cause them cognitive dissonance.

But, for someone who has signed the truth-at-all-costs contract within themselves, this simply won’t be an option. Our desire to bring what’s dark into the light will overcome any pressure to keep things endarkened, whether it be in ourselves, in our relationships, in our society, in our government, or in our world. Followed through with in a deep and integral way, it changes the way we think, it changes the way we experience our own consciousness, it alters our behavior, it ruins our experience of news media and Hollywood blockbusters, it ends our marriages, it breaks up longstanding friendships and forges new ones, and it makes the deceptions of the powerful utterly intolerable. Truth come what may means truth come what may, and it’s a lifetime commitment.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

*  *  *

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Interventionism and Isolationism – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2019

No more sanctions, embargoes, trade wars, travel restrictions, immigration controls, or other government measures that prevent Americans from interacting with foreigners or that punish them for doing so.

That’s not “isolationism.” That’s the opposite of isolationism because although the U.S. government is prevented from interacting with the world through death and destruction, the American people are free to interact with the rest of the world with tourism and trade.

https://www.fff.org/2019/10/25/interventionism-and-isolationism/

by

When President Trump decided to relocate a few troops on Syria’s northern border and announced that he would withdraw all the other U.S. troops from Syria, interventionists went ballistic. They said that Trump was leading America to “isolationism.”

That’s pretty funny, given (1) there is still no assurance that the Pentagon and the CIA are going to permit Trump to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria; (2) Trump is sending troops that he withdraws from Syria into Iraq and Saudi Arabia; (3) Trump continues to maintain troops in Afghanistan despite having had three years to have taken them out; (4) Trump continues to partner with the Saudis in their brutal war in Yemen; (5) Trump imposes sanctions and embargoes against any regime that bucks his will, including Turkey, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, China, and others; (6) the Pentagon and the CIA continue to maintain foreign imperial bases and secret prison camps all over the world; (7) Trump has kept the United State in NATO and other entangling alliances; and (8) foreign aid continues flowing into foreign regimes, dictatorial ones.

If that’s “isolationism,” I’d hate to see what interventionism looks like!

When we talk about foreign policy, there are two different systems from which to choose — the system of the statists, both Republican and Democrat, and the system that we libertarians favor.

The statist system

The statists have brought us a system in which the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA wield the unlimited power to intervene anywhere in the world they choose. Such interventions can take the form of coups, assassinations, invasions, wars of aggression, occupations, sanctions, embargoes, and partnerships with dictatorial regimes.

Under this system, there are no external limitations on the power to intervene and meddle in the affairs of other countries. No one even enforces the requirement in the Constitution that the president secure a congressional declaration of war before he, the Pentagon, and the CIA wage war.

That is the system under which we Americans live today, thanks to the statists, both Republicans and Democrats.

But it is more than that. The statist system is also one in which the American people in the private sector are prohibited from freely interacting with the people of the world. That’s what the sanctions, embargoes, trade wars, trade restrictions, travel controls, border restrictions, and Berlin fences and walls are all about.

Thus, the system under which we live today unleashes the power of the federal government to intervene in foreign affairs while, at the same time, isolates the American private sector from the rest of the world.

Ironically, one justification for isolating the private sector is to protect it from the threats that the  Pentagon’s and CIA’s interventionism produces abroad. Thus, if the Pentagon and the CIA invade a country and kill thousands of people in the process, U.S. officials say that it’s necessary to keep Americans safe from the threat of retaliation. That’s how the secret surveillance schemes and travel restrictions come into play, for both foreigners and Americans.

The libertarian system

There is another system, however — a better one — one that we libertarians favor. It is the opposite of the system under which we live, with respect to both the government sector and the private sector.

Our system calls for no more governmental interventionism in the affairs of other nations. No more coups, foreign military bases, CIA prison camps, invasions, occupations, assassinations, alliances with dictatorial regimes, wars of aggression, sanctions, embargoes, entangling alliances, foreign aid, and the like.

At the same time, our system calls for a dismantling of the national-security establishment — i.e., the Pentagon, the military-industrial-congressional complex, the CIA, and the NSA. Our system calls for the restoration of a limited-government republic, which was America’s founding governmental system.

Ironically, that’s what interventionists call “isolationism.” They say that such a system “isolates” America from the rest of the world because it prevents the military and the CIA from “interacting” with the rest of the world with invasions, coups, warships, troops, bombs, missiles, and the like.

The interventionists forget the other half of the libertarian paradigm — the American private sector, the sector that they strive to isolate under their system. With our system, we do the opposite. We unleash the private sector to freely interact with the people of the world.

No more sanctions, embargoes, trade wars, travel restrictions, immigration controls, or other government measures that prevent Americans from interacting with foreigners or that punish them for doing so.

That’s not “isolationism.” That’s the opposite of isolationism because although the U.S. government is prevented from interacting with the world through death and destruction, the American people are free to interact with the rest of the world with tourism and trade.

The best American diplomats are American tourists and businesspeople. Foreigners love them because they bring friendship and commerce. The worst American diplomats are federal bureaucrats, especially those in the Pentagon and the CIA. Foreigners hate them because they bring arrogance, death, and destruction to foreign lands.

The American people have a choice. If you want more death, destruction, and isolationism of the private sector, just keep supporting the system that Republicans and Democrats have foisted upon our nation. If you want peace, prosperity, normality, and harmony with the people of the world, join up with us libertarians.

 

 

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Lindsey Graham: ‘Steal Syria’s Oil to Pay for US Occupation!’

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2019

In case you the last 18 years were about freedom and humanitarianism…it is all about the oil.

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2019/october/25/lindsey-graham-steal-syrias-oil-to-pay-for-us-occupation/

Written by Daniel McAdams

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been chewing down his fingernails ever since President Trump’s first suggestion that US troops should come home from the Middle East. Last December, when Trump made it clear that he wanted to end the US troop presence in Syria and let the people of the region take care of their own problems, Graham took to an accommodating media (across the supposed ideological spectrum) to slam, damn, and threaten the president for even entertaining such a thought.

“Withdrawal of this small American force in Syria would be a huge Obama-like mistake,” Tweeted Graham on December 19, 2018. It was a typical neocon act of duplicity: how could Obama be blamed for “withdrawal” when he’s the one who got us into Syria in the first place? Getting out would be the anti-Obama – but Graham never lets facts get in the way of his neocon hysteria.

Graham followed up with this threat in his typical theatrical style:

President Trump — I will help you any way I can … but because you’re a Republican, I’m not going to ignore what I believe…I’m going to give you an honest evaluation. I was willing to support a Democrat if he followed sound military advice. I’m willing to fight a Republican if you don’t.

Translation: if you even think about keeping your campaign promises to pull back from US troops in the Middle East I will do my best to take you down.

Lindsey Graham ran for president on exactly these themes against Trump in 2016: more war, more regime change, more US troops across the globe. He never broke one percent in the polls and by December 2015 he scurried off with his tail between his legs.

Americans resoundingly rejected Lindsey Graham’s foreign policy of war and conflict and embraced Trump’s foreign policy of “bring the troops home” and “get along with Russia.”

After the shrill reaction to last year’s withdrawal announcement (including a hissy fit by his then-Defense Secretary James Mattis), Trump moved to accommodate Graham and others in the neocon camp, putting his troop withdrawal order on hold while his subordinates “explained” that Trump didn’t really mean what he said.

Supporters saw yet another “flip-flop” and shook their heads at the weakness at the top.

At the beginning of this month, however, as US troops found themselves caught in a crossfire between the military forces of Turkey, Syria, Russia, and the Kurds, Trump sprung into action and ordered the relocation and ultimate removal of US forces from Syria. He likely saved the lives of more than a few US troops.

Once again though, Graham took to attacking Trump, confident that the President doesn’t really mean what he says – or that he can be convinced by a few threats to change his mind.

Graham inexplicably warned that removing US troops who are illegally occupying Syrian desert territory thousands of miles from home would put the US at risk! He again took to the fawning, pro-war mainstream media to elaborate:

I think he’s putting the nation at risk, and I think he’s putting his presidency at risk…And I hope he will adjust his policies like he did before. That would be actually be a sign of real leadership.

Shorter Graham: Trump’s a wimp. He’ll back down as he did before and we’ll pat him on the head and assure him that being weak is actually being strong.

Unfortunately Trump seems to have forgotten just how unpopular Lindsey Graham and the other neocons really are among not only his base of support, but across the board among Americans.

As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) puts it, Lindsey Graham has been “wrong on every foreign policy issue this century.”

So why listen to Graham?

While literally every single American not inside the Beltway or the MSM propaganda machine views Sen. Lindsey Graham as a complete idiot on foreign policy, he still seems for some reason to hold sway over President Trump. Not a week after this latest Trump attempt to make it clear that the US was not just moving some troops from Syria to Syria but getting out of Syria, President Trump just yesterday did another flip-flop and decided to actually ADD more military equipment  (and likely personnel) to Syria.

“We’ll take their oil,” was Trump’s message. And, sadly, in that he again let Graham take the lead in the neocon’s murderous danse macabre.

As Lindsey Graham said yesterday, we’ll send in more troops and then steal their oil to make them pay for us sending in more troops:

…By increasing the production of the oil fields, we will be helping our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allies who fought bravely to destroy ISIS Caliphate. We can use some of the revenues from future Syrian oil sales to pay our military commitment in Syria.

That’s just what the neocons were arguing in 2002 as they pushed the war on Iraq. And we all know how that worked out. Trump is a chump for listening to Graham.

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Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

Seymour Hersh blew the lid off this years ago. You still heart the media say Assad gassed his people.

Hersh says other thing too.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/10/24/expert-panel-finds-gaping-plot-holes-in-opcw-report-on-alleged-syrian-chemical-attack/

The Courage Foundation, an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW’s Douma investigation team, the panel’s members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are “unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018.”

I’ll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren’t intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

“I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017,” Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. “Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we’re leaving Syria.”

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria, with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he’d already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying “the Assad regime must be held accountable”, and that Russia “ultimately bears responsibility” for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.

On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret “intelligence” which the US government claimed gave them “very high confidence that Syria was responsible.” The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that “no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties.” This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn’t rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report “confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW’s work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime’s CW attacks on its own population.”

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that “observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft,” which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document’s authenticity by telling the press that its release had been “unauthorised”. Climate Audit’s Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW’s claims which you can read by clicking here. Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization’s other work.

Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, Professor of International Law Richard Falk, former British Army Major General John Holmes, Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So these are not scrubs. These are not “conspiracy theorists” or “Russian propagandists”. These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

“Based on the whistleblower’s extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018.  We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.”

“The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing.
~ Bustani

“A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts.

From the section on Chemical Analysis:

“The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called ‘smoking gun’ chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment’ (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported.”

“Although the report stresses the ‘levels’ of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were —high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called ‘smoking-gun’ chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence. In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of ‘smoking gun’ chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report.”

“The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (‘At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent’). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non-observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific.”

From the section on Toxicology:

“The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ‘it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical‘ (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon).”

“More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern.

From the section on Ballistic Studies:

“One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ‘the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics’. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study.”

From the section titled “Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate”:

“Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public. The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation.”

I’ll leave it there for now.

__________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The New World is Emerging Before Us, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2019

https://www.voltairenet.org/article208020.html

by Thierry Meyssan

Thierry Meyssan underlines the extreme gravity, not of the US withdrawal from Syria, but of the collapse of the world’s current landmarks. According to him, we are entering a short transition period, during which the current masters of the game, the “financial capitalists” – and those he refers to here have nothing to do with either original capitalism or the original bank – will be rejected in favour of the rules of law laid down by Russia in 1899.

It’s a time that only happens once or twice a century. A new world order is emerging. All previous references disappear. Those who were doomed to grieve triumph, while those who ruled are thrown into hell. The official statements and interpretations made by journalists clearly no longer correspond to the events that follow one another. Commentators must change their discourse as quickly as possible, overturn it in its entirety or be caught up in the whirlwind of history.

In February 1943, the Soviet victory over the Nazi Reich marked the turnaround of the Second World War. The next steps were inevitable. It was not until the Anglo-American landing in Normandy (June 1944), the Yalta conference (February 1945), the suicide of Chancellor Hitler (February 1945) and finally the surrender of the Reich (8 May 1945) that this new world emerged. In one year (June 44-May 45), the Great Reich had been replaced by the Soviet-US duopoly. The United Kingdom and France, which were still the world’s two leading powers twelve years earlier, were to witness the decolonization of their empires.

It is a moment like this that we are experiencing today.

Each historical period has its own economic system and builds a political super-structure to protect it. At the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the USSR, President Bush Sr. demobilized one million US soldiers and entrusted the search for prosperity to the bosses of his multinationals. They formed an alliance with Deng Xiaoping, relocated US jobs to China, which became the world’s workshop. Far from offering prosperity to US citizens, they monopolized their profits, gradually causing the slow disappearance of the Western middle classes. In 2001, they financed the September 11 attacks to impose on the Pentagon the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of destroying state structures. President Bush Jr. then transformed the “Broader Middle East” into a theatre of “endless war”.

The liberation in one week of a quarter of Syrian territory is not only the victory of President Bashar al-Assad, “the man who had to leave eight years ago”, it marks the failure of the military strategy aimed at establishing the supremacy of financial capitalism. What seemed unimaginable has happened. The world order has changed. Further events are inevitable.

President Vladimir Putin’s very grand reception in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates testifies to the spectacular turnaround of the Gulf powers, which are now shifting to the Russian side.

The equally spectacular redistribution of cards in Lebanon sanctions the same political failure of financial capitalism. In a dollarized country where there have been no dollars left for a month, where banks are closing their counters and bank withdrawals are limited, anti-corruption demonstrations will not stop the overthrow of the old order.

The convulsions of the old order are spreading. Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno attributes the popular revolt against the measures imposed by financial capitalism to his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who lives in exile in Belgium, and to a symbol of resistance to this form of human exploitation, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, although they have no influence in his country.

The United Kingdom has already withdrawn its special forces from Syria and is attempting to leave the supranational state of Brussels (European Union). After thinking about preserving the Common Market (Theresa May’s project), it decided to break with the whole of European construction (Boris Johnson’s project). After the mistakes of Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron, France suddenly lost all credibility and influence. Donald Trump’s United States ceased to be the “indispensable nation”, the “policeman of the world” in the service of financial capitalism, to once again become a great economic power itself. They are withdrawing their nuclear arsenal from Turkey and are preparing to close the CentCom in Qatar. Russia is recognized by all as the “peacemaker” by assuring the triumph of the international law it had created by convening the “International Peace Conference” in The Hague in 1899, the principles of which have since been trampled underfoot by NATO members.

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The International Peace Conference of 1899. It took more than a century to understand its implications.

As the Second World War ended the League of Nations to create the United Nations, this new world is likely to give birth to a new international organization based on the principles of the 1899 Conference of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II and the French Nobel Peace Prize winner, Léon Bourgeois. This will require first dissolving NATO, which will try to survive by enlarging to the Pacific, and the European Union, a refuge state for financial capitalism.

We have to understand what is going on. We are entering a period of transition. Lenin said in 1916 that imperialism was the supreme stage of the form of capitalism that disappeared with the two World Wars and the stock market crisis of 1929. Today’s world is that of financial capitalism, which is devastating economies one by one for the sole benefit of a few super-rich people. Its supreme stage implied the division of the world into two parts: on the one hand, stable and globalised countries, and on the other hand, regions of the world without states, reduced to being mere reserves of raw materials. This model, contested by President Trump in the United States, the yellow vests in Western Europe or Syria in the Levant, is dying before our eyes.

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Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Penguin Books New Zealand

 

 

 

 

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