Hillary, Trump and War with Russia.

The Goddamdest Stupid Idea I Have Ever Heard, and I Have Lived in Washington

by Fred Reed

LewRockwell.com (August 13 2016)

Don’t look for a walk-over. The T14 Armata, Russia’s latest tank. You don’t want to fight this monster if you can think of a better idea, such as not fighting it. Russia once made large numbers of second-rate tanks. That worm has turned. This thing is way advanced and outguns the American M1A2, having a 125mm smoothbore firing APFSDS long rods to the Abrams 120mm. (As Hillary would know, that’s Armour-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot. You did know, didn’t you, Hill?) This isn’t the place for a disquisition on armour, but the above beast is a very advanced design with unmanned turret and, well, a T34 it isn’t {1, 2).

A good reason to vote for Trump, a very good reason whatever his other intentions, is that he does not want a war with Russia. Hillary and her elite ventriloquists threaten just that. Note the anti-Russian hysteria coming from her and her remoras.

Such a war would be yet another example of the utter control of America by rich insiders. No normal American has anything at all to gain by such a war. And no normal American has the slightest influence over whether such a war takes place, except by voting for Trump. The military has become entirely the plaything of unaccountable elites.

A martial principle of great wisdom says that military stupidity comes in three grades: Ordinarily stupid; really, really, really stupid; and fighting Russia. Think Charles XII at Poltava, Napoleon after Borodino, Adolf, and Kursk.

Letting dilettantes, grifters, con men, pasty Neocons, bottle-blonde ruins, and corporations decide on war is insane. We have pseudo-masculine dwarfs playing with things they do not understand. So far as I am aware, none of these fern-bar Clausewitz’s has worn boots, been in a war, seen a war, or faces any chance of being in a war started by themselves. They brought us Iraq, Afghanistan, and Isis, and can’t win wars against goatherds with AKs. They are going to fight … Russia?

A point that the tofu ferocities of New York might bear in mind is that wars seldom turn out as expected, usually with godawful results. We do not know what would happen in a war with Russia. Permit me a tedious catalogue to make this point. It is very worth making.

When Washington pushed the South into the Civil War, it expected a conflict that might be over in twenty-four hours, not four years with as least 650,000 dead. When Germany began World War One, it expected a swift lunge into Paris, not four years of hideously bloody static war followed by unconditional surrender. When the Japanese Army pushed for attacking Pearl, it did not foresee GIs marching in Tokyo and a couple of cities glowing at night. When Hitler invaded Poland, utter defeat, and occupation of Germany was not among his war aims. When the US invaded Vietnam, it did not expect to be outfought and outsmarted by a bush-world country. When Russia invaded Afghanistan it did not expect … nor when America invaded Afghanistan, nor when it attacked Iraq, nor …

Is there a pattern here?

The standard American approach to war is to underestimate the enemy, overestimate American capacities, and misunderstand the kind of war it enters. This is particularly true when the war is a manhood ritual for masculine inadequates – think Kristol, Podhoretz, Sanders, the whole Neocon milk bar, and that mendacious wreck, Hillary, who has the military grasp of a Shetland pony. If you don’t think weak egos and perpetual adolescence have a part in deciding policy, read up on Kaiser Wilhelm.

Now, if Washington accidentally or otherwise provoked a war with Russia in, say, the Baltics or the Ukraine, and actually used its own forces, where might this lead, given the Pentagon’s customary delusional optimism? A very serious possibility is a humiliating American defeat. The US has not faced a real enemy in a long time. In that time the armed forces have been feminized and social-justice warriorified, with countless officials having been appointed by Obama for reasons of race and sex. Training has been watered down to benefit girl soldiers, physical standards lowered, and the ranks of general officers filled with perfumed political princes. Russia is right there at the Baltic borders: location, location, location. Somebody said, “Amateurs think strategy, professionals think logistics”. Uh-huh. The Russians are not pansies and they are not primitive.

What would Washington do, what would New York make Washington do, having been handed its ass in a very public defeat? Huge egos would be in play, the credibility of the whole American empire. Could little Hillary Dillary Pumpkin Pie force Nato into a general war with Russia, or would the Neocons try to go it alone – with other people’s lives? (Russia also has borders with Eastern Europe, which connects to Western Europe. Do you suppose the Europeans would think of this?) Would Washington undertake, or try to undertake, the national mobilization that would be necessary to fight Russia in its backyard? Naval war? Nukes in desperation?

And, since Russia is not going to invade anybody unprovoked, Washington would have to attack. See above, the three forms of military stupidity.

The same danger exists incidentally with regard to a war with China in the South China Sea. The American Navy hasn’t fought a war in seventy years. It doesn’t know how well its armament works. The Chinese, who are not fools, have invested in weaponry specifically designed to defeat carrier battle groups. A carrier in smoking ruins would force Washington to start a wider war to save face, with unpredictable results. Can you name one American, other than the elites, who has anything to gain from a war with China?

What has any normal American, as distinct from the elites and various lobbies, gained from any of our wars post Nine-Eleven? Hillary and her Neocon pack have backed all of them.

It is easy to regard countries as suprahuman beings that think and take decisions and do things. Practically speaking, countries consist of a small number of people, usually men, who make decisions for reasons often selfish, pathologically aggressive, pecuniary, delusional, misinformed, or actually psychopathic in the psychiatric sense. For example, the invasion of Iraq, a disaster, was pushed by the petroleum lobbies to get the oil, the arms lobbies to get contracts, the Jewish lobbies to get bombs dropped on Israel’s enemies, the imperialists for empire, and the congenitally combative because that is how they think. Do you see anything in the foregoing that would matter to a normal American? These do not add up to a well-conceived policy. Considerations no better drive the desire to fight Russia or to force it to back down.

I note, pointlessly, that probably none of America’s recent martial catastrophes would have occurred if we still had constitutional government. How many congressmen do you think would vote for a declaration of war if they had to tell their voters that they had just launched, for no reason of importance to Americans, an attack on the homeland of a nuclear power?

There are lots of reasons not to vote for Clinton and the suppurating corruption she represents. Not letting her owners play with matches rates high among them.

Links:

{1} http://fredoneverything.org/2674-2/

{2} http://fredoneverything.org/?s=Maserati+of+Tanks&x=0&y=0

_____

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well (2002), A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be (2006), Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle (2007), Au Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go: The Only Really True Book About VietNam (2012), and A Grand Adventure: Wisdom’s Price-Along with Bits and Pieces about Mexico (2012). Visit his blog: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/fred-reed/hillary-trump-war-russia/

Copyright (c) 2016 Fred Reed

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/fred-reed/hillary-trump-war-russia/

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Furious Sheep-a Guide to Voting in the US Presidential Election

by Dmitry Orlov

Club Orlov (August 02 2016)

In all my years of watching politics in the US, never have I seen a presidential election generate such overwhelmingly negative emotions. Everyone hates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or, increasingly, both of them. This is creating a severe psychological problem for many people: they want to tell their friends and the world that Clinton is mentally unstable and a crook, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Trump. Or they want to tell everyone what a vulgar, narcissistic, egotistical blowhard Trump is, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Clinton. Some are abandoning the two-party duopoly in favor of minor parties, ready to vote for Jill Stein the Green or Gary Johnson the Libertarian, but are conflicted because voting for Stein would take votes away from Clinton the crook and thus support Trump the blowhard, while voting for Johnson would take votes away from Trump the blowhard and th us support Clinton the crook. There is just no winning! Or is there?

There is a long list of arguments for voting against either of the major candidates, some of them seemingly valid. At the top of the list of the seemingly valid ones are that Clinton is corrupt and a warmonger, while Trump is inexperienced and socially divisive. But there is hardly a single valid reason to be found anywhere why someone would want to vote for either them. Some have argued that Trump is less likely to cause World War Three, because his instincts are those of a businessman, and he is primarily interested in making money, not war; but Clinton likes money just as much as Trump – just look at her gigantic private slush fund known as the Clinton Foundation! On the other hand, perhaps Trump will like the idea of peace only until the moment he is elected, at which point it will be explained to him that the US empire is an extortion racket, and that breaking legs (aka war) is how it comes up with the ink. And then he will like war just as much as Clinton does. None of this mak es it easy for a lover of liberty and peace to vote for either one of them in good conscience.

I heard Jill Stein say that people should be able to vote their conscience. Yes, let’s concede that voting against your conscience is probably bad for your soul, if not your pocketbook. But this makes it sound as if the voting booth were a confessional rather than what it is – an apparatus by which people can assert their very limited political power. But do you have any political power, or are American elections just a game of manipulation in which you lose no matter how you vote? A 2014 study, “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I Page conclusively showed how the preferences of average citizens matter not a whit, while those of moneyed elites and interest groups certainly do {1}. Thus, the question as to whether you are the winner or the loser in the game of US electoral politics is easily answered: if you are a multibillionaire and a captain of industry, then you might win; if you are an average citizen, then the chances of you winning are precisely zero.

Given that you are going to lose, how should you play? Should you behave like a Furious Sheep, obeying all the signals fed to you by the candidates, their organizations and the political commentators in the mass media? Should you do your part to hand the largest possible victory to those who are manipulating the political process to their advantage? Or should you withhold cooperation to the largest extent possible and try to unmask them and neutralize their efforts at political manipulation?

Sure, there are some cheap thrills to be had for the Furious Sheep – endorphins from jumping up and down while waving mass-produced signs and shouting slogans pre-approved by campaign committees. But if you are the sort of person who likes to have an independent thought now and again, what you are probably looking for are three things:

* avoid psychological damage from having to observe and participate in this absurd and degrading spectacle;

* experience the delicious thrill of watching this system fail and those behind it lose face; and

* regain some amount of faith in the possibility of a future for your children and grandchildren that might involve something actually resembling some sort of democracy rather than a humiliating, sordid, rigged game.

Before we can play, we have to understand what variety of game this is in technical terms. There are many different kinds of games: games of strength (tug-of-war), games of skill (fencing) and games of strategy (backgammon). This one is a game of strength, fought using large bags of money, but it can be turned into a game of strategy by the weaker side, not to win but to deny victory to the other side.

Most of us are brought up with the nice idea that games should be fair. In a fair game both sides have a chance at victory, and there is normally a winner and a loser, or, failing that, a tie. But fair games represent only a subset of games, while the rest – the vast majority – are unfair. Here, we are talking about a specific type of unfair game in which your side always loses. But does that mean that the other side must always win? Not at all! There are two possible outcomes: “you lose – they win” and “you lose – they lose”.

Now, if you, being neither a multibillionaire nor a captain of industry, are facing the prospect of spending the rest of your life on the losing side, which outcome should you wish for? Of course, you should want the other side to lose too! The reason: if those on the other side start losing, then they will abandon this game and resort to some other means of securing an unfair victory. In the case of the game of American electoral politics, this would pierce the veil of faux-democracy, generating a level of public outrage that might make the restoration of real democracy at least theoretically possible.

So, how do you change the outcome from “you lose – they win” to “you lose – they lose”?

The first question to answer is whether you should bother voting at all, and the answer is, Yes, you should vote. If you don’t vote, then you abandon the playing field to the Furious Sheep who, being most easily manipulated, will hand an easy victory to the other side. And so the remaining question is, How should you vote to make the other side lose? This should not be regarded as a matter of personal choice; no need to concern yourself with who is the “lesser evil”, or which candidate made which meaningless promises. You will not be casting a vote for someone; you will be casting a vote against the entire process. Think of yourself as a soldier who volunteered in defence of liberty: you will simply be carrying out your orders. The charge has been laid by someone else; your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to light the fuse and walk away. This should at once motivate you to go and vote and make the voting process easy and stress-free. You are going to show up, subvert the dominant paradigm, and go watch the fireworks.

Next, you have to understand the way the electoral game is played. It is played with money – very large sums of money – with votes being quite secondary. In mathematical terms, money is the independent variable and votes are the dependent variable, but the relationship between money and votes is nonlinear and time-variant. In the opening round, the moneyed interests throw huge sums of money at both of the major parties – not because elections have to be, by their nature, ridiculously expensive, but to erect an insurmountable barrier to entry for average citizens. But the final decision is made on a relatively thin margin of victory, in order to make the electoral process appear genuine rather than staged, and to generate excitement. After all, if the moneyed interests just threw all their money at their favourite candidate, making that candidate’s victory a foregone conclusion, that wouldn’t look sufficiently democratic. And so they use large sums to separate themselves from y ou the great unwashed, but much smaller sums to tip the scales.

When calculating how to tip the scales, the political experts employed by the moneyed interests rely on information on party affiliation, polling data and historical voting patterns. To change the outcome from a “lose-win” to a “lose-lose”, you need to invalidate all three of these:

* The proper choice of party affiliation is “none”, which, for some bizarre reason, is commonly labelled as “independent”, (and watch out for American Independent Party, which is a minor right-wing party in California that has successfully trolled people into joining it by mistake). Be that as it may; let the Furious Sheep call themselves the “dependent” ones. In any case, the two major parties are dying, and the number of non-party members is now almost the same as the number of Democrats and Republicans put together.

* When responding to a poll, the category you should always opt for is “undecided”, up to and including the moment when you walk into the voting booth. When questioned about your stands on various issues, you need to remember that the interest in your opinion is disingenuous: your stand on issues matters not a whit (see study above) except as part of an effort to herd you, a Furious Sheep, into a particular political paddock. Therefore, when talking to pollsters, be vaguely on both sides of every issue while stressing that it plays no role in your decision-making. Should you be asked what does matter to you, concentrate on such issues as the candidates’ body language, fashion sense and demeanor. Doing so will effectively short-circuit any attempt to manipulate you using your purely fictional ability to influence public policy. You cannot be for or against a candidate being forthright and well-spoken; nor is there a litmus test for comportment or fashion sense. Politicia ns are supposed to be able to herd Furious Sheep by making promises they have no intention of keeping. But what if the voters (wise to the fact that their opinions no longer matter) suddenly start demanding better posture, more graceful hand gestures, a more melodious tone of voice and a sprightlier step? Calamity! What was supposed to be a fake but tidy ideological battleground with fictional but clearly delineated front lines suddenly turns into a macabre beauty pageant held on a uniform field of liquefied mud.

* The final step is to invalidate historical voting patterns. Here, the perfectly obvious solution is to vote randomly. Random voting will produce not random but chaotic results, invalidating the notion that the electoral process is about party platforms, policies, issues or popular mandates. More importantly, it will invalidate the process by which votes are purchased, in effect getting money out of politics. You just have to remember to bring a penny into the voting booth with you. Here is a flowchart that explains how you should decide who to vote for once you are standing in the voting booth holding a penny:

If you want to be an activist, bring a pocketful of pennies and hand them out to people while standing in line at the polling place. You won’t need to convince that many people to produce the intended effect. Remember, in order to maintain the appearance of a democratic process, the artificial, financially induced margin of victory is kept quite thin, and even a small amount of added randomness is enough to wipe it out. Point out the word “liberty” prominently embossed on each penny. Briefly explain what a Furious Sheep is, and how the exercise of liberty is the exact opposite of being a Furious Sheep. Then explain to them how the pennies are to be used: the first flip of the penny determines whether you are voting for the left or the right; the second – whether you are voting for the major or the minor candidate. Be sure to mention that this is a sure-fire way to get money out of politics. Try the line “This penny can’t be bought”. Don’t argue or debate; rattle off your “elevator speech”, hand over the penny and move on. The last detail everyone needs to remember is how to respond to exit polls, in order to deprive the other side of any understanding of what has just happened. When asked how you voted, say: “I voted by secret ballot”.

Then you can go home, turn on the idiot box and watch a fun spectacle featuring the gnashing of teeth, the rending of garments and the scattering of ashes upon talking heads. You won’t get to see the behind-the-scenes rancour and the recriminations among the moneyed elites, but you can imagine just how furious they will be, having had their billions of dollars defeated by a few handfuls of pennies.

You might think that random voting, with each candidate getting an equal share of the votes, would be perfectly predictable, making it possible to secure a victory by hacking a few voting machines. But this would never be the case in the real world, because not everyone will vote randomly. You might then think that it would still be possible to manipulate the non-random voters into voting a certain way. But how can anyone predict who will vote randomly and who won’t? And if every vote is, in essence, purchased, how would someone go about buying random votes, or figuring out which candidate such a purchase would favor? In this situation, buying votes would only serve to further confuse the outcome. Thus, the effect of added randomness on the outcome will not be random; it will be chaotic.

And that, my fellow Americans, is how you can change a “you lose – they win” outcome to a more just and equitable “you lose – they lose” in this particular game of strategy.

Link {1}: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

http://cluborlov.blogspot.jp/2016/08/furious-sheep.html

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Trump in the Dumps

The ECONOMIST.

August 5th, 2016

SO CLOSE to the stage that Donald Trump could almost have touched it, a notice on the school wall in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, carried this message: “Welcome to Cumberland Valley where sportsmanship is an expectation. So please …let the spectators be positive.” No chance of that. Even before the Republican nominee appeared, late on August 1st, on a pit-stop between Ohio and New York, the 3,000-odd people packing the gymnasium were spewing hate.
“What should we do with Hillary Clinton?” hollered a local politician, as if this crowd, of young people wearing “Trump that bitch” T-shirts and older ones who apparently did not mind the slogan, needed warming up. “Kill her!” someone shouted. “Lock her up!” the chant began.
This is Mr Trump’s achievement. The billionaire demagogue has not merely responded to the grievances of working-class whites—such as the folk in Mechanicsburg, mourning their lost steel mills and the pay rises and other benefits that once accrued to being hardworking and white in America. He has also sought to stoke their anger. Vengeance against “rapist” Mexicans, Muslim fifth-columnists, job-killing outsourcers and his “criminal” Democratic opponent, Mr Trump tells his supporters, is the solution to their gripes. Anyone who says otherwise, he added in his bleak convention speech last month, is conning them. “No longer can we rely on those elites in media and politics, who will say anything to keep a rigged system in place.”
And yet, appearing onstage in Mechanicsburg, to the accompaniment of mock-heroic synthesiser chords, as if he were a game-show host, Mr Trump looked tired and unenthused. He did not thump the air and trumpet polling data as he likes to; how could he? After a disastrous fortnight for the Republican nominee, in which the chaos and thuggery he has brought to American politics appear to have united much of non-Trumpian America in disgust, the polls look bad for him.
In Pennsylvania, which he probably must win to gain the White House, he is trailing Mrs Clinton by an average of five points, as he is nationally. “I guess the polls have it sort of even,” is how he put this. He also claimed the polls understate his appeal: “It’s a little embarrassing, people don’t want to say they want to vote for me, but then they get into the booth and they say, ‘Is anyone looking? Boom, I’m taking Trump’!” But there is little evidence for these shy Trumpkins—or that Mr Trump believed his shtick. The speech that followed was even more rambling than usual, and peppered with personal gripes; the boasts were fewer, and his haranguing of the media (“some of the most dishonest people”) went on for longer.
At times, Mr Trump sounded deranged. Some of the negotiators he says he will commission to improve America’s trade terms “are horrible, horrible human beings”, he said. “Some of them don’t sleep at night, some of them turn and toss and sweat, they’re turning and tossing and sweating and it’s disgusting, and these are the people we want to negotiate for us, right?” Whose experience, actually, was he describing? With three months to the election, it is early days, and the contest looks close; yet Mr Trump’s campaign is a mess. In Mechanicsburg it was tempting to think he really had seen the writing on the wall.
His troubles are in part the flipside of his vote-getting strategy. As an exercise in riling angry whites, his convention speech was masterful; Mr Trump’s lead over Mrs Clinton with high-school-educated whites swelled to almost 40 points in one poll. He could win this group more crushingly than any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984. The problem is that, back then, no-college whites represented 62% of the electorate; now they represent around 34%. And Mr Trump’s raving depiction of America as a “divided crime scene” does not ring true to most other Americans.
By expanding his angry fan base, Mr Trump enjoyed a small post-convention boost, as newly-crowned nominees usually do. This gave him a small lead over Mrs Clinton in some polls. Yet, among the weeds, his ratings among non-whites and college-educated whites plunged. A poll by Gallup suggests that, for the first time ever recorded, the Republican convention repelled more voters than it attracted. Mr Trump now trails Mrs Clinton with college-educated whites, a group that has voted Republican since polling began, by a five-point margin. If Mr Trump cannot close that gap, he will probably lose.
You might think this would have given a pragmatic tycoon, pursuing success with the focused greed of a truffle-hog, a moment’s pause. Yet the incontinence Mr Trump has displayed since the convention has been astounding. In particular, consider the fight he has picked with a pair of Pakistani-Americans, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose 27-year-old son, Humayun, was killed fighting for America in Iraq.
Speaking at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia on July 28th, with his wife standing demurely beside him, Mr Khan noted that, had the ban Mr Trump swears to impose on foreign Muslims been in place at the time, his son might never have moved to America as a child. “Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States constitution?” said Mr Khan. “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
A “sane, competent” person (a standard Michael Bloomberg, in another memorable moment in Philadelphia, suggested his fellow-New Yorker does not meet) might have responded by praising the Khans and changing the subject. Mr Trump bit back, suggesting Mrs Khan had not delivered the speech because of her religion (“Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say”). He also protested that, as a hardworking builder, he too had “sacrificed”. Unfortunately for Mr Trump, Mrs Khan, in subsequent television interviews and a piece in the Washington Post, turned out to be almost as articulate as her husband; she had chosen not to speak, she said, because, as she had stood beneath a giant portrait of her dead child, her pain was too great.
The row dominated America’s airwaves for almost a week, setting Mr Trump against veterans’ groups, the families of other dead servicemen and a parade of wretched-looking Republican leaders. The efforts of Mr Trump’s campaign team to quash it were hapless. Its spokeswoman claimed Mr Khan had died because of stringent rules of engagement introduced under Mr Obama; he was killed, in 2004, serving George Bush.
Meanwhile, out of puerile spite, Mr Trump launched an assault on his disapproving party leadership, by refusing to endorse Senator John McCain, his predecessor in 2008, and Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in their forthcoming primary fights. He also implied, in an interview, that he would take revenge on his main rivals in the primaries, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, by backing their opponents. No wonder, despite an improvement in Mr Trump’s fund-raising performance (in July he and his party raised $82m), there were reports of confusion in his campaign team. Its chief, Paul Manafort, was also linked to allegations that Mr Trump has an unhealthily high regard for Vladimir Putin; Mr Manafort previously worked for the pro-Putin former government of Ukraine. (In Mechanicsburg Mr Trump repeated his suggestion that Russia should keep annexed Crimea: “You want to have World War III to get it back?”)
Rarely in recent times have America’s fact-based media, on the left and right, its politicians, its armed forces and citizens’ groups seemed so united, in a face-off between decency and rancour, as they do now. The baying of some of Mr Trump’s supporters reinforces the impression: at a rally in Nevada the mother of an air-force officer was jeered after asking his running-mate, Mike Pence, to speak up for the Khans. So, too, for the small but growing majority of Americans who like his record, did an intervention by Barack Obama on August 2nd. Calling Mr Trump “unfit to serve” as president, he urged Republicans to disown him. “There has to come a point”, he said, “at which you say somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding, to occupy the most powerful position in the world.”
The same day, Richard Hanna, a Republican congressman from New York, said he would vote for Mrs Clinton. “I think Trump is a national embarrassment,” he said. Hours later, a billionaire Republican donor, Meg Whitman, said she would vote for and donate heavily to Mrs Clinton and urge her network to do likewise. On August 3rd even mild Mr Pence broke ranks, declaring that he would support Mr Ryan.
There is little to suggest the trickle will become a flood. The partisan division is too deep and the contest still too tight. Mr Trump looks able to rally his embittered, defiant supporters for a huge turnout; none of those in Mechanicsburg, it was depressing to note, admitted to giving a stuff about Mr Trump’s remarks to the Khans. To defeat him, Mrs Clinton would have to rally her supporters similarly. And it is unclear, not least given the low esteem in which many hold her, whether she will be able to do that. But this is a bad moment for Mr Trump, so a good one for America.

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The Central Issue in the US Presidential Campaign.

by Eric Zuesse

The Saker (July 27 2016)

The central issue in the US Presidential campaign can’t even be discussed in US news media, because America’s media have been almost uniformly complicit all along in hiding from the American public the crucial factual information that’s necessary in order for the public to vote in an intelligent and truthfully informed way about it. No news medium wants to report its own having been complicit in anything; so, the cover-up here just continues; it has a life of its own, even though it’s a life that brings the world closer and closer to a situation which would kill billions of people, as things get increasingly out-of-control the longer this cover-up continues. The cycle of virtually uniform lying thus persists, despite the growing danger it produces. This article will need to be lengthy, because the American public have been almost consistently lied-to about so many very important things – things associated with the nation’s central issue – an issue even bigger than terrorism, and than global warming, and than rising economic inequality and corruption, but which is still virtually ignored. This article is thus intended to be ‘Drano’ for a political system that has become clogged by lies just jammed down into it, now backing up and pouring out onto America’s political floor. The overflowing sludge has got to be cleaned up, and discarded. Or else – and very suddenly – it will kill us all.

This central issue is whether or not to continue to move forward with the American government’s plan, ever since the Soviet Union and its military alliance the Warsaw Pact ended in 1991, to extend Nato – the anti-Russia military club – right up to Russia’s borders, surround Russia with Nato nuclear missiles a mere five minutes flight-time to Moscow, and simultaneously build a Ballistic Missile Defence or Anti Ballistic Missile (“BMD” or “ABM”) system to nullify Russia’s retaliatory missiles against an unannounced blitz US-Nato invasion to take over, if not totally eliminate, Russia and its resistance to US power. This operation is an ugly reality, but it is an American-led reality, and the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election will bring it into its final stage, either by ending it, or by culminating it – two drastically different outcomes, but one side or the other will prevail in this political contest, and the present article links to the doc umentation that America’s voters will need to be aware of that shows not only that they’ve been lied-to, but how and why they’ve been lied-to. The documentation is all-important, especially because the facts that are being documented have been hidden so successfully for so long. This is not a world that Americans want to know, but it is a world that especially the few Americans who are in control, don’t want the American public to know. That’s a toxic combination (public ignorance, which the people in control want to continue), but it is tragically real (as the documentation here will make clear).

US President Barack Obama has stated, on many occasions, that the US is the only “indispensable” country, and that any country which refuses to capitulate to American global supremacy is an enemy. This applies especially to Russia and to China – two formerly communist nations. Thus, the ‘Cold War’ is being resumed, and US arms-makers are booming again, even though the ideological excuse (the “red scare”, communism) is now gone.

For example, Obama told graduating cadets at West Point, on 28 May 2014:

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come … Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums … It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. The question we face, the question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead – not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.

He was telling West Point graduates there, that economic competition can become a cause for America to go to war, and that America’s global supremacy is their job to enforce.

Obama placed this into a moralizing framework, as he always so skllfully does (for propaganda-purposes; he’s terrifically gifted at that), by saying to those cadets:

America’s willingness to apply force around the world is the ultimate safeguard against chaos, and America’s failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations not only violates our conscience, but invites escalating aggression in the future … In the 21st century American isolationism is not an option. We don’t have a choice to ignore what happens beyond our borders … As the Syrian civil war spills across borders, the capacity of battle-hardened extremist groups to come after us only increases. Regional aggression that goes unchecked – whether in southern Ukraine or the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world – will ultimately impact our allies and could draw in our military. We can’t ignore what happens beyond our boundaries. And beyond these narrow rationales, I believe we have a real stake, an abiding self-interest, in making sure our children and our grandchildren grow up in a world where schoolgirls are not kidnapped and where i ndividuals are not slaughtered because of tribe or faith or political belief. I believe that a world of greater freedom and tolerance is not only a moral imperative, it also helps to keep us safe.

He was equating there the imposition of American control, as being “a world of greater freedom and tolerance”, which “helps to keep us safe”. Was it that, and did it do that, in Iraq? What about in Libya? What did it do for Ukraine? Is it really doing that in Syria? What about all of the refugees that are pouring out of all of those countries, which are being ‘saved’ by Obama’s policy, which has been America’s policy for decades, and which is not challenged, and which is bipartisan in every regard except for the style of lying rhetoric that’s being used to ‘justify’ it?

Obama’s predecessor in office, George W Bush, was working on the same plan, when he invaded Iraq in 2003. His allegations that he was certain that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his nuclear-weapons program, and saying against “Saddam’s WMD program” that “a report came out of the Atomic – the IAEA that they were six months away from developing a weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need”, all of it were just bald lies from him, because all of it was false, and he knew that it was false. He knew that there was no such ‘IAEA’ ‘report’. And the press didn’t even challenge him on it, but instead just parroted the President’s lies as if they should automatically be taken as truths. (And the press also hid the IAEA’s immediate announcement that there was no such report.) It’s happening again, but the stakes this time are even more dangerous.

We’re going into a Presidential election, in which one candidate, Hillary Clinton, clearly wants to continue the policy that has been in place since 1990 (and which her husband played a major role in), and in which the other candidate, Donald Trump, wants to stop it – he says we should end it. So, he is accused of being a ‘Soviet agent’. The same aristocracy that own the ‘news’ media and that control both of the political Parties, is being threatened by Trump’s repudiation of their program. They use moralisms – rightist ones for Republicans, and leftist ones for Democrats – to condemn him, but the real reason they are determined to defeat him is to continue their war which (on its US side) never really was against communism; it was always a war for global conquest, global control; that’s how America’s controllers have been controlling this country since at least 1990. They want to continue it, though it’s heading all of us toward disaster.

In support of this aggressive agenda – a metastatically cancerous Nato – Obama in 2014 perpetrated a very bloody Ukrainian coup (propagandized as ‘democracy demonstrations’), carried out by US-paid rabid racist-anti-Russian fascists, nazis actually (and from a tradition in Ukraine that descended from the pro-Hitler, anti-Stalin, side of Ukraine during World War Two – the side that did Ukraine’s pogroms, et cetera) and which had been allied with the Axis powers during World War Two – but that now were in the pay of the US government.

Some of the top members of Congress who have responsibility over foreign affairs refuse even to become acquainted with the evidence disproving the US government’s lies on this. Elizabeth Murray was shocked to find in government officials, this intentional refusal to see evidence. She had served as Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East in the National Intelligence Council before retiring after a 27-year career in the US government. (She should be the head of the CIA.) On 24 July 2016, in an article titled “Representative Rick Larsen Bases Russia Policy on Myth”, she described her efforts to inform congressman Larsen about the reality of the US operation in Ukraine. Wikipedia says:

Richard Ray ‘Rick’ Larsen is the United States Representative for Washington’s 2nd congressional district and a member of the Democratic Party … Larsen is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee … He formerly worked as director of public affairs for the Washington State Dental Association and as a lobbyist for the dental profession … the Second District was represented by future US Senator Henry M ‘Scoop’ Jackson between 1941 and 1953.

(Jackson later became famous as “the Senator from Boeing”, the first of the Democratic Party neoconservatives.)

Murray wrote (and the links here are added by me):

I mentioned to Representative Larsen that I had just returned from Russia with a US delegation, and that all the people in Russia I had spoken with – including teachers, students, journalists, medical doctors, entrepreneurs and war veterans – had no desire for a nuclear war with the United States, but instead expressed the wish for peaceful, normalized relations … During our time in Yalta, I had organized a ‘swim for peace’ with Americans and Russian war vets swimming together in the Black Sea, which had caused quite a stir in local Russian language media. I explained to Representative Larsen my understanding of why the Russian public is suspicious about US moves in the region (based on what I heard from people there), and why they would expect the United States to be the first to make a unilateral confidence-building measure in the direction of nuclear disarmament. Russians were savvy to the Nuland ‘Yats’ youtube recording (in which Victoria Nuland is distinctl y heard telling US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt that ‘Yats is the guy’ just prior to the regime change in which Arseniy Yatsenyuk became prime minister, and which directly implicated the US in the Ukrainian coup), felt threatened by the recent Nato/Operation Anakonda maneuvres that took place during our delegation’s visit, and were extremely concerned about other provocative US moves in the region, including economic sanctions on Russia and Crimea, the latter enacted after a majority of Crimeans voted to rejoin Russia in response to what they saw as outside interference in the affairs of Ukraine.

Larsen immediately responded with rebuttals, stating flat-out he didn’t believe there was a US role in the Ukrainian events – that what I’d just told him was ‘not what I’ve been hearing’ – and he went on to talk about how the Baltic states felt threatened by Russia, et cetera. He didn’t know what ‘Operation Anakonda’ was and seemed unaware that the largest-ever Nato military maneuvres since World War Two had just taken place on Russia’s borders. I offered to send his office additional information about that and the Ukrainian events – an offer he ignored.

The path we’re on can end only in one of two ways: Either the US ‘news’ media will get real and start reporting the crucial realities (such as that the aggression in Ukraine wasn’t Putin’s ‘seizure’ of Crimea but the immediately prior coup – and its necessary ethnic cleansing afterwards – by Obama’s hirees, which started being organized by him no later than 1 March 2013, and which culminated nearly a year later), these being the crucial realities that contradict the official lies and thus might (if we’re extremely lucky) compel the US government to reverse its present course; or else, there will be a surprise blitz attack by US-Nato against Russia, or else by Russia against US-Nato. The closer we get to the end of this matter, the more difficult the former option becomes, and the more inevitable the latter option – a blitz attack (by either side) – becomes. That’s the reality.

Obama’s ‘mono-polar world’ is a fiction, and the sooner that he and his Big Lie can be exposed (by the Western press, to the Western publics), the safer everyone will be. Discomforts on the parts of those who have promulgated and propagandized that lie will be vastly less than the disastrous alternative, which would destroy the world for everyone.

_____

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs Republican Economic Records, 1910~2010 (2012), and of Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity (2012).

Links:

The original version of this article, at the URL below, contains links to further information not included here.

http://thesaker.is/the-central-issue-in-the-u-s-presidential-campaign/

Posted in Uncategorized

A Real and Imminent Threat

… that Next World War will be Initiated by First Strike EMP Weapon

by Jeremiah Johnson, nom de plume of retired Green Beret, US Army Special Forces (Airborne) via SHTFPlan.com {1}

Zero Hedge (July 27 2016)

There has been a tremendous amount of technological interchange between North Korea, the Russians, and the Chinese. North Korea has also been working for years in the refinement (development) of its nuclear arsenal, especially in partnership with Pakistan and Iran. In a press conference at the Pentagon on October 24 2014 reporters were briefed by General Curtis Scaparrotti, the US Military Commander in Korea. This is what the general had to say:

I believe they [the North Koreans] have the capability to have miniaturized the [nuclear] device at this point, and they have the technology to potentially, actually deliver what they say they have.

On March 9 2016, Kim Jong-Un for the first time stated that North Korea had accomplished the miniaturization of nuclear warheads that are compatible with ICBM’s. Admiral William Gortney, Commander of US NORTHCOM was in front of a Senate Committee on March 10 2016 briefing them on the potential North Korean nuclear threat. The Admiral stated it was “prudent to assume Pyongyang had the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead” and deliver it via ICBM that could actually strike the continental US

Finally (and the most compelling proponent of the danger posed by North Korea), Dr Peter V Pry, the foremost expert on Electromagnetic Pulse (“EMP”) threats by established and rogue nations has long upheld that Iran and North Korea hold an EMP first strike as central to their current military doctrines. Pry has spent countless hours briefing Senate Investigating Committees on the dangers of an EMP strike by these two nations.

This year the North Koreans have ramped up their missile tests exponentially, building off of their R&D for the past five years. Kwangmyongsong-3, Unit 2 satellite was placed into orbit December 12 2012. Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite was successfully launched February 7 2016. In April 2016 they tested an ICBM engine. May 2015 saw their claim of a successful Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (“SLBM”) test, their first. Then this year, March 23 2016, (as reported by CNN’s Don Melvin, Jim Sciutto, and Wil Ripley on April 24), their success became a reality. Here is an excerpt from that report by CNN:

After previous launch attempts by Pyongyang failed, this one seems to have gone much better, one US official noted.

“North Korea’s sub launch capability has gone from a joke to something very serious”, this official said. “The US is watching this very closely”.

Asked whether the test was successful, another US official told CNN, “essentially yes”.

The missile travelled thirty kilometres as opposed to the 300 kilometres intended by North Korea, but this is the point: North Korea successfully launched the missile from the submarine. As can be seen, a US official categorized the test as being successful, as well as another one noting the seriousness of North Korea’s newfound capability. They have recently been launching short and medium-range missiles in tests, and these tests have been conducted regularly over the past six months and almost nonstop.

On July 22, Jane’s Defence Weekly {2} reported that North Korea has constructed a fortified structure (docks) that can potentially shelter ballistic missile-carrying submarines. Although the report was just made, it was satellite photo imagery that indicated these submarine pens had neared project completion and they were being covered with earth. The satellite photos indicated that the two enclosures measure 490 feet in length by 32 feet in width, with there being about fifty feet in between the two of them. The project had actually been started back in October of 2013.

These are pretty serious reports, and as much as they are laughed at and disparaged, the North Koreans are in deadly earnest about doggedly attaining advances in their nuclear forces’ capabilities. In March of 2016, North Korea threatened that it would conduct a “preemptive and offensive nuclear strike”. The “balance” that has been made is simple, effected by simpletons, as such.

The North Koreans threaten to strike and bluster their nuclear capability. The United States responds with, “Oh, they can’t do that”, or “they don’t have the technology”, or some other such scoffing characterization.

The frightening thing about this tete-a-tete is that neither side’s leaders or elites will face any kind of danger or peril that would result from a nuclear conflagration, but the populations of both countries would suffer immeasurably. A general and an admiral have stated their belief in the miniaturization capabilities of North Korea regarding nuclear warheads. The foremost expert on the EMP has provided prima facie evidence before the Senate and numerous commissions attesting to those capabilities. Each day North Korea ramps up its tests and its threats. Russia and China publicly whisper their disapproval of such actions and words while taking no steps to actually stop them.

The next world war will be initiated by a first strike utilizing an EMP weapon.

There is no timetable. The threat is real, and it is imminent. It is a matter of time before it is carried out. Do you want something more tangible? Here it is. Now would be a good time to construct the necessary Faraday cages {3} for your sensitive electronic equipment you wish to have after a war commences. You’ll also need emergency food {4}, water, medicine, and a stockpile of materials to defend it {5}, hopefully in a remote location {6}.

Naysayers and politicians have one thing in common: denial of the reality of a situation. The difference is that the first group is usually unprepared when it happens and they are ignorant of the situation (in terms of information, and this partially due to denial). The politicians and leaders are the exact opposite: they deny the reality to obfuscate their complete knowledge of the reality, and they are completely prepared for what will unfold {7} … and those politicians and leaders are prepped and defended on your dime, in every way.

Links:

{1} http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/the-threat-is-real-and-imminent-the-next-world-war-will-be-initiated-by-a-first-strike-utilizing-an-emp-weapon_07262016

{2} http://www.janes.com/

{3} http://readynutrition.com/resources/diy-faraday-cage-ideas_09052012/

{4} http://preppersmarket.com/?affiliates=28

{5} http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/a-green-berets-guide-to-low-budget-home-defense-techniques-101-early-warning-systems-and-fortifications_03292015

{6} http://www.americanredoubtrealty.com/

{7} http://amzn.to/TwaloQ

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-27/real-imminent-threat-next-world-war-will-be-initiated-first-strike-emp-weapon

Posted in Uncategorized

The Coup in Turkey

… has Thrown a Wrench in Uncle Sam’s “Pivot” Plan

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (July 20 2016)

A failed coup in Turkey has changed the geopolitical landscape overnight realigning Ankara with Moscow while shattering Washington’s plan to redraw the map of the Middle East. Whether Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan staged the coup or not is of little importance in the bigger scheme of things. The fact is, the incident has consolidated his power domestically while derailing Washington’s plan to control critical resources and pipeline corridors from Qatar to Europe. The Obama administrations disregard for the national security interests of its allies, has pushed the Turkish president into Moscow’s camp, removing the crucial landbridge between Europe and Asia that Washington needs to maintain its global hegemony into the new century. Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia, surround and break up Russia, control China’s growth and maintain its iron grip on global power is now in a shambles. The events of the last few days have changed everything.

This is from the Daily Sahbah:

Turkey’s changing rhetoric toward Russia is also a direct consequence of Ankara’s unmet expectations regarding the Syria conflict. Turkey’s disappointment with the United States’ policy in Syria has increased with time, especially considering Washington’s continued support for the Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (“YPG”) in Syria. Ankara sees this group as an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (“PKK”) terrorist organization. {1}

Obama can only blame himself for the debacle that is now unfolding. Erdogan was completely clear about Turkey’s red lines, the most important of which is preventing the Kurdish militias from moving west of the Euphrates and creating a contiguous state along the Syrian side of Turkeys southern border. Here’s Erdogan commenting on developments a few months ago:

Right now, there is a serious project, plan being implemented in northern Syria. And on this project and plan lay the insidious aims of those who appear as ‘friends’. This is very clear, so I need to make clear statements.

Instead of addressing Erdogan’s security concerns, Obama brushed him aside in order to pursue the US goal of establishing bases and seizing territory in East Syria that will eventually be used as pipeline routes from Qatar to the EU. Naturally, Erdogan responded in kind, forming alliances with former enemies (Russia, Syria, Israel) in order to reset Turkish foreign policy and address the growing threat of an emerging Kurdish state on his southern flank. Keep in mind, Turkey believes that America’s new proxies in Syria – the Kurdish YPG – are linked to the PKK, which is listed as a terror organization by the US and EU. Had Obama committed US troops to the fight, (instead of using the YPG) Erdogan would not have reacted at all. But the fact that Obama was deliberately strengthening Turkey’s traditional rivals in their westward move, was more than Erdogan could bear.

Erdogan Apologizes

At the end of June, Erdogan apologized to President Vladimir Putin for the death of a Russian pilot who was killed when Turkey downed a bomber flying over Syrian territory last November. The shootdown prompted Putin to break off relations with Ankara ending all communication between the two countries. Then, in the last week of June, Erdogan sent a letter to Putin “expressing his deep sympathy and condolences to the relatives of the deceased Russian pilot”. He added that Russia was “a friend and a strategic partner” with whom the Turkish authorities would not want to spoil relations”. (The Turkish pilots who shot down the Russian Su-24 have since been arrested and charged as members of the Gulenist coup.)

The White House inexplicably never commented on this thawing of relations which posed obvious risks to US ambitions in the region.

Why?

Then, just two weeks ago, reports began to emerge that Erdogan was making an effort to normalize relations with Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The news wasn’t reported in most of the western media, but the Guardian ran an article titled “Syrian rebels stunned as Turkey signals normalisation of Damascus relations”. Here’s an excerpt:

More than five years into Syria’s civil war, Turkey, the country that has most helped the rebellion against the rule of Bashar al-Assad, has hinted it may move to normalise relations with Damascus.

The suggestion made by the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, on Wednesday, stunned the Syrian opposition leadership, which Ankara hosts, as well as regional leaders, who had allied with Turkey in their push to oust Assad over a long, unforgiving war.

“I am sure that we will return [our] ties with Syria to normal”, he said, straying far from an official script that has persistently called for immediate regime change. “We need it. We normalised our relations with Israel and Russia. I’m sure we will go back to normal relations with Syria as well.” {2}

You’d think that would set off alarms at the White House, after all, if Turkey wanted to normalize relations with Damascus, then clearly it had abandoned the war it had supported (through its proxy militants and jihadists) for more than five years signaling a fundamental shift in policy that could have broader implications for the US effort. But did the Obama team show any interest in the announcement or make any attempt to keep Erdogan in the fold?

Of course not. Washington gives orders and everyone else is expected to click their heels and stand at attention. Obama and Company don’t bother with the incidentals like the fear of the nascent Kurdish state that could pose a direct threat to Turkey’s national security. Why would they bother with something as trivial as that? They have an empire to run.

Then came the coup which, by the way, Erdogan may have been tipped off to by Russian intelligence agents who have a strong presence in Turkey. By informing Erdogan of the coup, Putin might have hoped that Erdogan would return the favor and block Nato’s plan to deploy permanent fleet to the Black Sea that will further encircle and threaten Russia. (And, yes, Putin knows that Erdogan is a ruthless autocrat and a backer of terrorist organizations, but he also knows he can’t be “too picky” when Nato is making every effort to surround and destroy Russia. Putin must take his friends as he finds them. Besides, some analysts have suggested that Putin will require Erdogan to abandon his support for jihadists in Syria as a condition of their new alliance.)

In any event, Putin and Erdogan have settled their differences and scheduled a meeting for the beginning of August. In other words, the first world leader Erdogan plans to meet after the coup, is his new friend, Vladimir Putin. Is Erdogan trying to make a statement? It certainly looks like it. Here’s the story from the Turkish Daily Hurriyet:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin may meet in a face-to-face meeting in August as part of mutual efforts to normalize bilateral ties following months of tension due to the downing of a Russian warplane by the Turkish Air Forces in November …

With the normalization of ties, Russia removed some sanctions on trade and restrictions on Russian tourists, though it will continue to impose visa regime to Turkish nationals. A deeper conversation between the two countries over a number of international issues like Syria and Crimea will follow soon between the two foreign ministers before the Putin-Erdogan meeting. {3}

Is it starting to sound like Turkey may have slipped out of Washington’s orbit and moved on to more reliable friends that will respect their interests?

Indeed. And this sudden rapprochement could have catastrophic implications for US Middle East policy. Consider, for example, that the US not only depends on Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase to conduct its air campaign in Syria, but also, that that same facility houses “roughly ninety US tactical nuclear weapons”. What if Erdogan suddenly decides that it’s no longer in Turkey’s interest to provide the US with access to the base or that he would rather allow Russian bombers and fighters to use the base? (According to some reports, this is already in the works.) More importantly, what happens to US plans to pivot to Asia if the crucial landbridge (Turkey) that connects Europe and Asia breaks with Washington and joins the coalition of Central Asian states that are building a new free trade zone beyond Uncle Sam’s suffocating grip?

One last thing: There was an important one-paragraph article in Moscow Reuters on Monday that didn’t appear in the western press so we’ll reprint it here:

MOSCOW (Reuters) ? Russia’s joint projects with Turkey, including the TurkStream undersea natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, are still on the agenda and have a future, RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich as saying on Monday. {4}

This is big. Erdogan is now reopening the door the Obama team tried so hard to shut. This is a major blow to Washington’s plan to control the vital resources flowing into Europe from Asia and to make sure they remain denominated in US dollars. If the agreement pans out, Putin will have access to the thriving EU market through the southern corridor which will strengthen ties between the two continents, expand the use of the ruble and euro for energy transactions, and create a free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok. And Uncle Sam will be watching from the sidelines.

All of a sudden, Washington’s “pivot” plan looks to be in serious trouble.

Links:

{1} http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=45602&cHash=4bcb88409119334372e4b5135a2bf162#.V4_7YNZQxyR

{2} https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/turkey-pm-greatest-goal-is-to-improve-relations-with-syria-and-Iraq

{3} http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/putin-erdogan-to-meet-soon-in-bid-to-start-new-era-in-turkey-russia-ties-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=101708&NewsCatID=353

{4} http://www.euronews.com/newswires/3222021-russia-dep-pm-says-joint-projects-with-turkey-still-on-agenda-ria/

The Coup in Turkey has Thrown a Wrench in Uncle Sam’s “Pivot” Plan

Posted in Uncategorized

War is Coming

… and the Global Financial Situation is a Lot Worse than You may Think

by Michael Snyder

The Economic Collapse (July 13 2016)

On the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016. The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the US keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life. But underneath the surface, it is a very different story. As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.

Let’s start with China. On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling. In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling. We aren’t hearing much about it in the US media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea …

“Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat”, reports Arirang.com. “US-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made”.

A US aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.

Last October, China said it was “not frightened” to fight a war with the US following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the twelve-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.

Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse. The installation of a missile defence system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war …

We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States. Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency. The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of eight-inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.

But I don’t expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016. Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the centre of attention.

Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table …

The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior US officials.

And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed “rumblings” about just such a resolution …

Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the UN Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.

For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations. If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November. So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.

And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called “Americans For Peace Now” that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature. The following comes from their official website …

Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this – he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.

Such a resolution would restore US leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.

Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace. Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbours. This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here: https://youtu.be/au8BcoDkFsw.

At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate. Even though US financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.

Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer. Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro’s governor has declared “a state of financial emergency”.

Next door, the Venezuelan economy has completely collapsed, and some people have become so desperate that they are actually hunting cats, dogs and pigeons for food.

Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their “lost decade”, and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.

In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany. But I am certainly not the only one warning about this. In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at “the most dangerous bank in Europe”…

Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.

Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that three percent (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.

But of course Deutsche Bank isn’t getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece. Here is more from Simon Black …

Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.

IMF calculations show that Italian banks’ capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.

And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.

Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven’t healed from the last crisis.

In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as “non-performing”.

Even though US stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year. If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you. During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past twelve months. You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here: https://youtu.be/Fd3AddxTz3w

I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is going to be the case at all.

The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a “perfect storm” are brewing. Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.

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For links to further information, see original article at URL below:

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