From New World Order to Global Disorder

by Wayne Madsen via Strategic Culture Foundation

Zero Hedge (February 10 2017)

The Donald Trump administration and the Brexit severance of ties between the United Kingdom and the European Union have, in a matter of a little over a half year, changed the world from a post-Cold War “new world order” based on American supremacy to a global “disorder” of altered alliances on a multipolar geo-political chessboard. In many respects, the new global disorder has also placed in jeopardy various post-World War Two contrivances, including Nato, the Organization of American States (“OAS”), and the Australia-New Zealand-United States (“ANZUS”) alliance.

Every international relations textbook and playbook can be thrown away with the advent of the new global disorder. Trump has kicked off his foreign policy by introducing an incoherent foreign policy. On one hand, Trump claims he wants to partner with Russia on the war against “radical Islamic terrorism”. Yet, Trump has also indicated, through his UN ambassador Nicky Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis, that he is committed to Nato and wants Russia to withdraw from Crimea. It is well known that the annual National Football League’s Super Bowl coordinates its patriotic military-oriented events with the Pentagon. In recent past years, US troops serving in places like Afghanistan and Iraq were featured during and after the game on the host stadium’s jumbotron television screens.

The 2017 Super Bowl in Houston was different. This year the live shot of US troops with the 3rd Brigade Armoured Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, was from a military base in Zagan, Poland. The Pentagon’s psychological operations specialists wanted to convey the message that under Trump, the new US front lines were no longer in Afghanistan and Iraq in a war against Muslim radical insurgents but in Poland with Russia as the new “enemy”. The optics simply do not match Trump’s statements about seeking closer ties with Russia.

Trump has indicated he hopes to increase the US “defence” budget to accommodate a 90,000 troop increase in Army ranks; a 350-ship Navy, including new aircraft carriers at $12 billion per vessel; an increase in Marine Corps battalions from 23 to 36; and 100 additional advanced fighter planes for the Air Force. That is equivalent to an increase in the military budget from $500 billion to $1 trillion over a ten-year period.

Essentially, Trump’s national security team desires a military that can fight both Russia and China and that can be able to match every Russian and Chinese warplane, tank, and naval vessel in a battle space.

Trump and his national security team of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Mattis, and other war hawks are also laying the ground for a military confrontation with Iran. Team Trump has helped ratchet up tensions with Iran by authorizing the sale to Saudi Arabia of $300 million worth of precision-guided missiles and billions of dollars of advanced F-16 fighters to Saudi Arabia’s vassal state of Bahrain. These packages were suspended by the Obama administration because of Saudi war crimes in Yemen and Bahrain’s bloody suppression of its Shi’a majority. Trump is green lighting continued Saudi genocidal aggression in Yemen’s civil war. The Saudis and Bahrainis are now being positioned by Trump to gain a military advantage over Iran. Trump’s executive order banning Iraqis with valid US visas, refugee documents, and, originally, permanent US resident “green cards”, irritated the Iraqi government, an ally of Iran, to the point that it vowed to limit Iraqi visas for US contractors and journalists. That will only embolden Islamic State and Al Qaeda irregulars fighting US military forces in the country. Anything that threatens the Baghdad government is welcome news to the Saudi regime.

Trump, in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, emphasized close US-Turkish relations. In July 2016, after an attempted coup against Erdogan, Trump, in an interview with The New York Times, praised Erdogan’s handling of the insurrection. Since the coup attempt, Erdogan has ordered the arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of journalists, military and police officers, professors, civil servants, politicians, and businessmen for allegedly supporting the so-called Fethullah Terrorist Organization (“FETO”), a pejorative term for those affiliated with Turkish exile leader and former Erdogan ally Fethullah Gulen.

Gulen is currently exiled in Pennsylvania and has been under the protection of the Central Intelligence Agency. However, Flynn and others part of the Trump security apparatus favor extraditing Gulen, a political refugee, to Turkey to face trial and certain imprisonment, torture, and possibly, execution.

Trump’s dalliance with Erdogan will also jeopardize the safety of the Kurdish forces in Syria, which have been allied with the United States against the Islamic State, and the Kurdish Regional Government in Erbil in Iraq. Turkey considers the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds to be supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (“PKK”) and if Trump sides with Erdogan against Kurdistan it will represent another double-cross by Washington of that beleaguered unrecognized nation. US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger abandoned the Kurds in the 1970s when he sacrificed their interests to the Iraqi military regime.

Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon is believed to have gotten involved in an internal “civil war” within the Vatican and which saw a virtual takeover of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (“SMOM”) in Rome by Pope Francis. Bannon opposes what he considers the Pope’s “socialist ways”. The Vatican may be a micro-state without a grand army, but a fracture in Vatican-Washington relations can only have a negative impact on the EU, Nato, and other traditional alliances.

Trump’s rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP”) trade deal has thrown the Asia-Pacific region into “controlled chaos”. Mattis’s first foreign trip as Secretary of Defence was to reassure South Korea and Japan of America’s military commitment. But the abandonment of the TPP by its largest cheerleader, the United States, has provided impetus to China’s alternative trading bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (“RCEP”). America’s long time ally Australia, a supporter of the TPP, is now anxious to join the RCEP. Trump’s bellicose phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee swap, has Australia incensed with Trump. While they are friendly adversaries with Australia over sports and national pride, New Zealand came to Australia’s defence in its spat with Trump. The bottom line is that the ANZUS alliance is now severely damaged but, in any event, it had long outlived its usefulness.

Other testy phone exchanges between Trump and German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande also shook Euro-Atlantic bonds with Washington. Trump thundered to Hollande that the French and other Nato countries should pay the US back for Nato expenditures. European Council president Donald Tusk called Trump a “threat” to the European Union.

After a meeting at the White House with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Trump shocked the Israeli government when he told Israel that it should stop announcing new settlements in the West Bank. While Trump’s rhetoric suggests that he is the most pro-Israeli president to ever occupy the White House, his mercurial attitude toward Israel has some Middle East observers wondering whether Trump’s promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is merely window-dressing for a different US policy in the region.

The venerable, but relatively staid and useless OAS, headquartered in Washington, is not likely to survive Trump’s promise to build a wall on the US-Mexican border or his sabre-rattling toward Cuba, which has returned to the OAS and the Inter-American political system. Latin America and the Caribbean have more worthwhile alternatives to the OAS, including the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, Southern Common Market (“MERCOSUR”), and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (“CELAC”), all of which are free of US membership and influence.

It is a new global disorder but in this chaos, a return to a multipolar world and the end of “sole US superpower” status may be a blessing in the long run. In the short run, however, the chaos will confuse every foreign ministry and international organization bureaucracy on every continent.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/02/10/from-new-world-order-hazy-global-disorder.html

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-10/new-world-order-hazy-global-disorder

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This British Governmet is cruel-and the Opposition is Useless.

Jonathan Freedland

The GUARDIAN

February 11th, 2017.

What kind of government breaks a promise to give shelter to 3,000 of the most desperate people on Earth, children fleeing war and devastation? What kind of government sneaks out an announcement that the 3,000 places it had reserved for child refugees will be shrunk to 350 and, after that, the doors to this peaceful and prosperous country will be slammed shut?
The question is not rhetorical. The first answer is: a government that knows it has the press on its side. Theresa May reckoned she could get away with reneging on her pledge to Alf Dubs – himself a child refugee in 1939 – because the papers have switched sides on the issue, taking much of the public with them.

There was a time, traceable to that photograph of the small, lifeless body of Alan Kurdi washed up on a Mediterranean shore, when these children could expect the sympathy of Britain’s popular press. In April 2016, even the Daily Mail endorsed the Dubs scheme to give 3,000 a haven in Britain.
But then little Alan was erased in the public mind, replaced by images of children who were both alive and bigger, refugees arriving from Calais who the Sun and others believed looked older than 18. The “moral and humanitarian duty” the Mail had spoken of so eloquently was swiftly shrugged off. Refugee kids? They’re all scam artists.
Dubs is surely familiar with this kind of thinking. These days, we look back on the Kindertransport – which saved nearly 10,000 Jewish children who, like Dubs, were fleeing the Nazis – as an act of noble British compassion. Compared to today’s miserly numbers, that pride is justified. But it’s worth remembering that the reason children rather than adult Jews were rescued was not only because fewer bureaucratic hurdles were placed in their way. According to historian Anthony Grenville of the Association of Jewish Refugees, it was also because “small children were easier to get past hostile public opinion”.
The government, he told me, “wanted to avoid Daily Mail photographers taking pictures of adults coming down the gangway at Harwich”. (In that same spirit, the Gestapo would closely inspect each Kindertransport train, making sure only children were on board.)
Perhaps it’s the hardening of the British heart following those Calais pictures that explains why May felt confident she could break her promise to 3,000 despairing kids. But there is another reason too. For hers is a government that knows it faces no coherent opposition.
Note the attention paid to the archbishop of Canterbury – along with a few rebel Conservatives – for speaking out on the Dubs scheme, just as the Speaker, John Bercow, made waves by vowing, successfully, to block Donald Trump from addressing parliament. They are stepping into a vacuum where the official opposition should be.
The most obvious demonstration – and explanation – of how badly Labour is broken came with this week’s Commons vote on article 50, triggering Britain’s exit from the European Union. Labour was in pieces on the issue; even the whips defied the whip. Labour proposed a series of amendments, every last one of which was defeated. And once they had been, Jeremy Corbyn – a man so loyal to his conscience that he rebelled against a Labour government 428 times – led his MPs into the division lobby to vote in lockstep with a Tory government. As one Twitter wit observed, Labour’s position amounted to: “Give us everything we want, and if you don’t, we’ll give you everything you want.”

Ah, but what else could Labour do? Surely the party was in an impossible position, torn between MPs representing urban, pro-remain seats and those whose constituents were strongly for leave. If the latter group had voted against article 50, wouldn’t they have been damned for ignoring the referendum and frustrating the will of the people, turning their seats into easy prey for Ukip?
No. There was a way out. Labour could have declared from the start that of course it accepted the 23 June verdict to leave the EU. That’s what the people voted for. But that’s all they voted for. They did not vote to leave the single market. Indeed, leave’s loudest voices were adamant that a vote for them did not mean a vote to leave the market. Nigel Farage regularly extolled the virtues of Norway: out of the EU, but in the single market.
Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech last month gave Labour a huge opening. Once she had committed to taking Britain out of the market, they could have promptly said she had exceeded the referendum mandate. There was a ready-made slogan: “Nobody voted for this.” Framed like that, Labour would have had every right to block the triggering of article 50.
Sure, Brexiteers would have hit back, saying only leaving the single market would allow Britain to reduce free movement. But there would have been plenty of available responses, ranging from “you didn’t say that at the time” to “why assume our talks with the EU will fail before they’ve even started?”. Such a stance might have been hard for Labour to maintain in government, but in case you haven’t noticed, that is not Labour’s current problem.

Instead, all Labour needed was a position that would have kept members and MPs on board and that would have allowed it to present a united front. Then it could have made tactical alliances with the Lib Dems and the SNP, forming a coherent bloc that might have attracted anywhere between 15 and 20 Tory remainers. “They were there for the taking,” says one Labour veteran. This is a government with a wafer-thin majority: as one former Tory cabinet minister told me: “It ought to be doomed to an early death.”
But Labour never got close to making a scratch. I’m told there was not even an attempt at coordination with the pro-remain parties in the Commons: how could there be, when Labour was all over the place? Corbyn and his leftwing comrades were so frightened of accusations they were thwarting the people’s will that they ended up as Theresa’s little helpers – aiding and abetting a hard Brexit that could bring ruin.
In a tweet both tragic and comic, Corbyn reflected on this disaster with a declaration that the “real fight starts now” – as if the parliamentary decision to trigger article 50 were a pantomime, and what really matters is waving placards and all the shouting into a megaphone in Hyde Park that now follows. That’s his comfort zone, and he should be allowed to retreat to it. But it leaves the rest of us in a zone of discomfort and distress, watching as a government cruel enough to shut out the world’s most helpless children leads our country off a cliff, unchecked by an opposition that isn’t worthy of the name.

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Russia Must be Destroyed

John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier

by John Wight

CounterPunch (January 13 2017)

Delanda est Cathargo (in English “Carthage must be destroyed”) are words that come down to us from ancient history. They were spoken by the famed Roman soldier, statesman and orator Cato the Elder, and have never been more relevant than now, today.

The Rome of our time is Washington, Russia is Carthage, and today’s Cato the Elder is US Senator John McCain, whose quest for conflict with Russia is unbounded. Indeed, for Mr McCain the belief that Russia must be destroyed has been elevated to the status of a self evident and received truth.

Origins of the “Dodgy Dossier”

It was McCain who passed the “dodgy dossier” on Trump to the FBI, after receiving it from former UK ambassador to Russia, Sir Andrew Wood. Contained within the dossier is information purporting to reveal how Trump has been compromised by Russian intelligence over various sexual encounters with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. Compounding the scandal, adding to the lurid nature of it, are reports of the existence of a second Russian dossier on the president-elect.

The dossier’s originator has been revealed as former British MI6 intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who now runs a private intelligence company and has, according to reports, gone into hiding in the UK, supposedly fearing assassination by Russian agents.

The fact that Mr Steele hasn’t set foot in Russia for a number of years and reportedly, on behalf of Trump’s enemies within the Republican Party establishment, paid for the information contained in the 35-page dossier, recently released with the caveat that its contents cannot be verified, should have been more than enough to have it instantly dismissed as, well, fake news?

In his most recent article on the dossier for the UK’s Independent website, Patrick Cockburn writes, “I read the text of the dossier on Donald Trump’s alleged dirty dealings with a scepticism that soon turned into complete disbelief”, prior to observing how, “In its determination to damage Trump, the US press corps has been happy to suspend disbelief in this dubious document”.

Convenient Timing of the Dossier’s Appearance

More significant than the fact this dossier was not immediately dismissed is the timing of its emergence and subsequent publication by the US news site, Buzz Feed. It comes on the very cusp of president-elect Donald Trump’s official inauguration as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, and the very point at which his cabinet appointees were being grilled over their views of Russia, the threat Russia allegedly poses to the US and the West, during their official Senate confirmation hearings.

A Political Coup against Trump is Underway

By now most people are aware, or at least should be, of Washington long and ignoble history when it comes to fomenting, planning, supporting, and funding political and military coups around the world – in Central and Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere the CIA and other US agencies have brought down countless leaders and governments that have refused to toe the line when it comes to serving US interests.

In unprecedented fashion, what we have in this instance are those same deep state actors, working in conjunction with the US liberal establishment, currently engaged in a coup designed to destroy the Trump presidency – if not before it begins then certainly soon after, with the prospect of impeachment proceedings against him already being mooted in Washington circles.

During his recent press conference, Trump felt minded to declaim against Washington’s bloated intelligence community, accusing it of releasing the dossier to the media, an allegation US intelligence chiefs have denied. The result is an unprecedented open war between the country’s next president and his soon-to-be intelligence services that has pitched the country into a political crisis that grows deeper by the day.

Russia’s Demonization

On the question of why the US deep state and Washington’s liberal establishment is so intent on maintaining Russia in the role of deadly enemy, the answer is very simple – money.

Huge and powerful economic and ideological interests are tied up in the new cold war of the past few years. We’re talking the country’s previously mentioned gargantuan defence and intelligence budgets, continuing US support and financing of Nato, along with reason for the continued existence and funding of the vast network of political think tanks in Washington and throughout the West, all of which are committed to sustaining a status quo of US hegemony and unipolarity.

Russia’s emergence as a strategic counterweight to the West in recent years has and continues to challenge this hitherto uncontested hegemony emanating from Washington, providing lucrative opportunities for organizations, groups, and individuals with a vested interest in the resulting new cold war. For those of a sceptical persuasion in this regard, I refer you to the chilling warning issued by former US President Dwight D Eisenhower prior to leaving office in 1960 to make way for his replacement, John F Kennedy.

Don’t Fuck with the Military Industrial Complex

In his televised farewell address to the American people in 1961, Eisenhower said,

we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defence establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

He continued,

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

Finally, Eisenhower warned the American people how

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Though neoconservatives may no longer be in the driving seat in Washington, neoconservative ideas undoubtedly are. And prime among them is the idea that not only must Russia be destroyed but also anyone who would dare stand in the way of this narrative, up to and including President-elect Donald J Trump.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/russia-must-be-destroyed-john-mccain-and-the-case-of-the-dodgy-dossier/

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The Trump Speech that No One Heard

Message body

by Mike Whitney

CounterPunch (January 19 2017)

The US foreign policy establishment is gradually shifting its focus from the Middle East to the Far East, but the unexpected election of Donald Trump has thrown a wrench in the elitist plan to pivot to Asia. Trump wants to fundamentally change Washington’s approach to policy, that is, he wants to abandon the destabilizing wars and regime change operations that have characterized US policy in the past and work collaboratively with countries like Russia that have a mutual interest in establishing regional security and fighting terrorism.

This has not been warmly received in Washington, in fact, Trump’s recommendations have triggered a firestorm among elites who now believe that he is a serious threat to their interests. Recent attacks in the media and preemptive provocations with Russia, suggest that an effort to remove the new president from office is already underway. We expect that these attacks will only intensify in the weeks ahead. Here’s an excerpt from the speech Trump delivered in Cincinnati on December 1 that is the source of the controversy:

We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past … We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments … Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States] … We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism … In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.

None of the major media published Trump’s comments, and for good reason. The statement is a straightforward repudiation of the last seventy years of US foreign policy during which time the United States has either overthrown or attempted to overthrow 57 foreign governments according to author William Blum. Removing governments that refuse to follow Washington’s diktats has been a mainstay of US foreign policy for the better part of the last century. Regime change is what we do. And while GOP administrations have relied more on direct military power (Re: Afghanistan, Iraq) as opposed to the more covert operations (proxy-wars – Syria, Ukraine, Libya) preferred by the Democrats, both parties fully support the violent and illegal ousting of foreign leaders provided Washington’s geopolitical objectives are achieved.

Trump has charted a different course altogether which is why the media, the Intelligence Community, the political establishment and the deep state puppetmasters who operate behind the curtain, have abandoned all restraint and are doing whatever they can to delegitimize him, back him into a corner and potentially remove him from office. They cannot allow Trump to work with nations like Russia that pose a clear threat to Washington’s plan to be a dominant player in the fastest growing region of the world. This is why CIA Director John Brennan took the unprecedented step of appearing on Fox News Sunday. Brennan and the other heads of the Intelligence Community have taken a leading role in the desperate character assassination campaign that is intended to undermine public confidence in Trump in order to foil his attempts at resetting relations with Russia. The CIA’s involvement in the coups in Ukraine and Honduras, as well as the agency’s funding, arming and training of Sunni militants that have destroyed Libya and Syria, attest to the fact that Brennan does not see peace and reconciliation as compatible with US foreign policy objectives. Like his elitist paymasters, Brennan is committed to perpetual war, regime change, and mass annihilation. Trump offers some relief from this seventy year-long nightmare policy. Check out this quote from Vice President-elect, Mike Pence on Fox News Sunday:

I think the president elect has made it very clear that we have a terrible relationship with Russia right now. And that’s not all our own doing, but really is a failure of American diplomacy in successive administrations. And what the president elect has determined to do is to explore the possibility of better relations. We have a common enemy in ISIS, and the ability to work with Russia to confront, hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source represents an enormously important priority of this incoming administration. But what the American people like about Donald Trump is that he’s someone who can sit down, roll his sleeves up and make a deal. And what you’re hearing in his reflections whether it be with Russia, or China or other countries in the world, is that we’re going to reengage. We’re going to put America first, we’re going to reengage in a way that advances America’s interests in the world and that advances peace. {1}

The American people don’t want a war Russia, but US foreign policy elites do. Even now, after six years of carnage and destruction in Syria, elites at the Council on Foreign Relations are still resolved to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. {2} The same is true at the Brookings Institute where chief strategist Michael O’ Hanlon leads the charge for splitting up the battered country so Washington can control vital pipeline corridors, establish military bases in the east, and eliminate a potential threat to Israeli expansion. Here’s a clip from a recent piece by O’ Hanlon that appeared in The Wall Street Journal. The author admits that the US goal is to splinter to country into multiple parts transforming it into a failed state:

To achieve peace, Syria will need self-governance within a number of autonomous zones. One option is a confederal system by which the whole country is divided into such zones. A less desirable but minimally acceptable alternative could be several autonomous zones within an otherwise still-centralized state – similar to how Iraqi Kurdistan has functioned for a quarter-century …

Many Syrians will not like the idea of a confederal nation, or even of a central government controlling half the country with the other half divided into three or four autonomous zones … But the broad vision should be developed soon. {3}

“Autonomous zones” in a “confederal system” is a sobriquet for a broken, Balkanized failed state run by tribal elders, disparate warlords and bloodthirsty jihadists. O’ Hanlon’s vision for Syria is a savage dysfunctional dystopia run by homicidal fanatics who rule with an iron fist. Is it any wonder why the Syrian people have fought tooth and nail to fend off the terrorist onslaught?

The United States is entirely responsible for the death and decimation of Syria. It is absurd to think that either the Saudis, the Qataris or the Turks would have launched a war on a strategically-critical nation like Syria without a green light from Washington. The conflict is just the latest hotspot in Washington’s fifteen year-long war of terror. The ultimate goal is to remove all secular Arab leaders who may pose a threat to US imperial ambitions, open up the region to US-dominated extractive industries, and foment enough extremism to legitimize a permanent military presence.

Russia’s intervention into the Syrian conflict in September 2015, has cast doubt on Washington’s ability to prevail in the six year long war. The election of Donald Trump has further complicated matters by affecting a seismic shift in policy that could end the fighting and lead to improved relations between the US and Russia. Naturally, that is not in the interests of the vicious neocons or their liberal interventionist counterparts who see the proxy war in Syria as a pivotal part of their plan to clip Russia’s wings, discredit Putin in the eyes of the international community, and lay the groundwork for regime change in Moscow. Washington’s ultimate plan for Russia hews closely to that of Zbigniew Brzezinski who – in an titled “A Geostrategy for Eurasia” – had this to say:

Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia – composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic – would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbours. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization. {4}

In other words, Washington’s plan for Russia is no different than its plan for Syria. Both countries will be chopped up into smaller bite-size enclaves eliminating the possibility of a strong nationalist government rising up and resisting Washington’s relentless exploitation and repression. It’s divide and conquer writ large.

“A loosely confederated Russia” also fits perfectly with Washington’s top priority to spread military bases across Asia, control crucial energy supplies, force open and dominate financial markets, impose Washington’s neoliberal economic policies, and maintain a stranglehold on China’s growth. It’s the Great Game all over again, and Washington is “In it to win it”.

Here’s an excerpt from a speech Hillary Clinton gave in 2011 titled “America’s Pacific Century”. The speech underscores the importance that elites attach to the “rebalancing” plan contained in the term “pivot to Asia”. The strategy relies on the opening up of new markets to US corporations and Wall Street, controlling critical resources, and “forging a broad-based military presence” across the continent. Washington intends to be the main player in the world’s most prosperous region. Here’s Clinton:

The future of politics will be decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States will be right at the centre of the action … One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment – diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise – in the Asia-Pacific region …

Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests and a key priority for President Obama. Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology … American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia … The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama’s goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia … {5}

As we noted earlier, the pivot to Asia is Washington’s top priority. Clinton merely confirms what geopolitical strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski had laid out in his 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives. Here’s a short excerpt from the book:

For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia … (page 30) … Eurasia is the globe’s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions … About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for sixty per cent of the world’s GNP and about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources. (page 31)

For Washington to achieve its foreign policy objectives, it must eliminate or defeat all emerging threats to its dominance. In practical terms, that means the Russo-Sino plan to transform Europe and Asia into a giant free trade zone that extends from Lisbon to Vladivostok – must be sabotaged by any means possible. The State Department’s coup in Kiev as well as aggressive efforts to restrict the flow of Russian gas to the EU via Nord Stream and South Stream, have at least temporarily succeeded in undermining Moscow’s plan for accelerated economic integration. Had Hillary won the election, the US would have stepped up its provocations, its sanctions, its military buildup on Russia’s borders, its gas war, its attacks on Russia’s markets and currency, and its proxy wars in Syria and Ukraine. But now that Trump has been thrown into the mix, anything is possible. Even a fundamental change in the policy.

The question is whether the deep state powerbrokers – who have already launched a number of attacks on Trump in the media – will throw in the towel and allow Trump to develop his own independent foreign policy or take steps to have him removed from office.

Early indications suggest that a coup is already underway.

Links:

{1} https://www.facebook.com/FoxNewsSunday/videos/10153606923992168/

{2} https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/lessons-of-syria-assad-by-richard-n–haass-2016-12

{3} http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-trump-strategy-to-end-syrias-nightmare-1481847575

{4} https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/1997-09-01/geostrategy-eurasia

{5} https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/10/11/americas-pacific-century/

_____

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (2012). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

More articles by Mike Whitney: http://www.counterpunch.org/author/mike-whitney/

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http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/19/the-trump-speech-that-no-one-heard/

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Wherefore Goes Germany ? -An Alternative View from inside Germany.

By “Alex”

Club Orlov (January 10 2017)

About a year ago, in of a mood of despair and a sense of looming danger, I wrote an article, which Dmitry was kind enough to publish on his blog, titled “Exit Strategy for Traitors”. This article is an update. Nothing has changed fundamentally, but a lot has happened, and the situation has improved in just one single respect.

The daily influx of migrants heading for Germany through Turkey and the Balkans has dropped off significantly and the pressure on Germany has became manageable again, giving us some breathing space and making any sort of immediate civil war very unlikely. But we are still experiencing a steady deterioration in our security and our mood. The nation formerly known as Germany is dissolving before our eyes and being replaced with a half-assed dictatorship. The mixed bag of euphoria and shock of 2015 has turned into vicious trench warfare between the leftists, the ignorant and the rest.

Broken Borders

The borders of the EU remain wide open for any freeloader, criminal or terrorist who is halfway ambitious, and the numbers of the incoming are now at record levels for the sea route.

Frontex still picks up “refugees” by the thousands close to the African coast and brings them to Europe – the diametrical opposite of their original mission. People-smuggling is now happening on an industrial scale but is not paid for by the people being smuggled. Gone are the times of simple wooden floating coffins packed with dead migrants. Now well-equipped operatives make sure that the invaders reach their destination. I wonder if any so-called “tragedy” with drowned migrants ever really happened. Remember those professional-quality photos of capsizing boats? What a nice coincidence that was – a disaster at sea and a photo op all in one!

In Spain, invaders violently storm the fortified borders by the thousands, yet no one does what once was a commonsense tactic in defending a border: shoot into the air, then take aim and open fire.

Deportations – once the proper procedure for those who manage to get through illegally – simply fail to take place. A short while ago, with major mass media fanfare, fifty Afghans where about to be deported by airplane. Leftist groups protested viciously. Only 35 got deported, the rest crawled back into the woodwork. Some of those who had been flown to Afghanistan immediately announced their intention to storm their way back into Germany. As this “mass deportation” exercise was running its course, some 3,000 new invaders landed in Italy; about 350,000 for all of 2016. Is there still any need to explain these are no refugees and that this is a deliberate, organized operation? The EU could end it within hours, but the standing orders say otherwise, because those in charge want them in.

Security

There have been many more robberies, violent attacks, sexual assaults and murders to keep track of in 2016. A very small fraction of them is still being reported by the Refugee Crime Map. According to a recent official BKA report, the invaders are committing an average of 800 crimes a day. The counterintelligence operation, Hoax Map, did not last very long, quickly becoming overwhelmed by this reality.

No-go zones occupied by the invaders, where the authorities fear to tread, are spreading in Germany, but compared to France, Britain or Sweden the situation in most German cities is still far better. Nevertheless, over and over again people go to the police are told that their reports would not even be taken, or that women should just dye their hair dark or stay home at night. In other words, the authorities are unwilling and unable to help us. We are warned not to resort to vigilantism, but we are not informed of our right to self-defence. Days after the terror attack in Berlin the EU ratified a new law to disarm everyone in Europe even further – even gamekeepers and sport shooters. To which I say, those who respect laws that kill them do not deserve pity.

Then again, Germany is not quite Syria yet. Germany is small by territory, but it is no small country by population, and it is not yet overwhelmed by the sheer number of invaders. Because of that, Germans can continue live in denial even now – until any one of them becomes a victim. (And when you do, you better keep quiet about it, or your own people will call you a racist!) It is much less safe anywhere you might go, at any time of the day.

Some of my less able-bodied friends have no sense of danger while in public. I do, and so I never leave the house unarmed, if not for myself, then for the not so unlikely case that I would need to defend someone else. I consider them negligent, but then again, my situational awareness by now is certainly on a nearly professional level. Most people are simply not cut out for coping with this sort of situation.

What is nowadays considered a normal week would have been thought of as a national emergency in 1980. Anyone my age, in comparing our childhood to the current reality, should recoil in horror and disbelief. But social norms are malleable, and the younger generations cannot even see that there is something wrong with having unguarded, undefended borders, because they have been taught that borders are outdated and a nuisance. Why should they long for national sovereignty and unity if they have never experienced them? Instead, they are being taught to accept crime, terror and forced Islamization. Those who refuse to accept this state of affairs are persecuted for being racist, fascist xenophobes.

Lugenpresse – German “Fake News”

The press in Germany remains borderline useless, but unfortunately we are still dependent on it for the raw information. To be fair, reports of crimes by invaders and government failure to obey the law by prosecuting them appear far more frequently now.

Even though the raw data is more available, every interpretation or comment we hear aims to obscure the Islamic invasion, play down its effects and to belittle its catastrophic consequences for the country. No one dares call it what it is – an invasion – let alone demand that it be brought to an end using the simple means that have been known for millennia.

The anti-German sentiment routinely expressed in German media is simply staggering. Just like the contempt routinely expressed for Trump’s supporters by the mass media in the US, they make no effort to hide their hatred and contempt for the average German citizen. The anti-white, anti-male, anti-child, anti-western, pro-Islamist tone of the commentary is the same in Germany as in much of Europe and the US, pointing clearly to a centrally organized and well-funded propaganda operation designed to support the invasion and to neutralize anyone who might oppose it. Women in niqabs and burkas now get airtime on talk shows, appearing alongside leftist “experts” endlessly recycling the same bogus talking points: why Islam is “a religion of peace” and has nothing to do with anything (and not at all a totalitarian political ideology); why Merkel was right to let in the invaders (and did not commit a horrific blunder); and why anyone unwilling to go along with the leftist, pro-invader agenda is automatically a dangerous racist, fascist xenophobe.

This line of reasoning is not popular with most Germans, and some publications, such as Spiegel, are now in dire financial straits because of their blind obedience in following the pro-invader program. But state TV and radio are directly funded by illegal taxes, sucking about 8.1 billion Euro per year out of our pockets, and will keep cycling through the same failed talking points regardless of how much the audience vomits. But our choice is between “fake news” and no news at all.

When the beautiful daughter of an EU politician was brutally raped and drowned by a migrant in Freiburg last year, Tagesschau, the flagship newscast of state TV channel ARD did not report it at all and was forced to justify this two days later. They then called it “only a case of regional interest”, making an even bigger mockery of themselves, because by then even The Washington Post took up the story. Similar things have happened on several similar occasions, and in each case the exposure the story received through social media made these events into running jokes. So, not reporting the news at all will not work any more, and it is time for Plan B: actual, real censorship of social media.

This plan is now in play, with the Merkel regime threatening to heavily fine social media platforms for … “fake news”, of course! The Ministry of the Interior is about to create a Disinformation Defence Centre (“DDC”), to battle “fake news”. If you think that it sounds like Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, or the MfS in the old East Germany, that’s because it is. To be located very close to Merkel’s office in Berlin, this centre is supposed to “react very fast” to “disinformation” on social media, especially with an eye toward the general election in 2017, because fake news could “influence” said election and avoid the predetermined outcome (by making the voice of the people heard).

How effective this will be remains to be seen. The East German secret police (“STASI”) can’t be reconstituted overnight, but with full cooperation from Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, who seem ready to succumb to political pressure, the DDC could turn out to be quite effective. It would then become the second most effective part of the German government, after the tax collectors.

Loss of Control

If you take a look at the state of the German national government and its executive from a historical perspective – say, that of the 1990s – it now seems to be in total disarray and an advanced state of decomposition. Take, for example, the terrorist, allegedly responsible for the truck-based terror attack in Berlin in December who was, of course a “refugee”. He was the second suspect, after the first one was found to be “innocent” – just an illegal migrant with nine false identities! He was released, never to be seen again, probably collecting benefits using identity number ten.

The “real” perpetrator was Anis Amri, a Tunisian. He came from a “safe country”, Italy, where he had been sentenced to four years in prison and was released 2015. He had been denied asylum in Italy and in Germany, but deportation had been suspended, because most conveniently he had “lost his papers”. He has had at least fourteen false identities and probably collected benefits under each. He was constantly being observed even as he tried to buy automatic weapons from an undercover agent, then tried to get other Salafists to become suicide bombers. Yet the police saw no reason to arrest and deport this drug dealing, violent criminal and wannabe terrorist.

Even after he killed twelve people in Berlin, he somehow managed to get away. A full day after his attack his mobile was “found” in the cabin of his truck. It then took another day to “find his papers”, in that same cabin of that same truck. One day after that the police “accidentally” announced their intention to make a raid in North Rhine-Westphalia, an easy six-hour drive from Berlin. The press arrived there first and waited for hours for something to happen, but nothing happened because the police screwed up the arrest warrant. So, astonishingly, they did not get him, and the chief of police announced that “he is gone”. During the first two days the police made available a “wanted” poster of the terrorist with his eyes pixelated to – wait for it! – to protect his privacy! Only after Twitter and Facebook took over and released proper photos did they they change theirs, but then used an outdated photo, and put a 100-thousand-Euro bounty on his head. After making some number of detours across several EU borders he was eventually shot dead in Italy by some properly incentivized Italians.

Many people in Germany cannot make up their minds whether to be happy with the death of a terrorist or to call the whole story a pathetic farce/false flag/blunder/fabrication. Or all of the above. It is becoming harder and harder to tell truth from fantasy and incompetence from willful sabotage. But if their orders were to display complete incompetence, the German authorities could not have possibly done a better job.

When once in a while the police do a good job, our traitors in office now consider this to be rogue behaviour. During this New Year’s Eve security measures in Cologne and other cities were extreme, in an effort to prevent the mass sexual assaults by migrants that had happened last year. Nevertheless, thousands of Migrants, mostly North Africans, drifted in from all over the country, and even from France and Switzerland, to “celebrate” again with the local women. Many of them where kettled early on by thousands of policemen, but even then the operational command was worried that the situation would again spin out of control. This was a clear case of “reconnaissance through hand-to-hand combat” conducted by the invaders.

The only acknowledgment of these events by German politicians was in the form of a harsh critique over the use of racial profiling against the North Africans. For every problem there is now a diversion, while solutions are not sought after at all. With the press docile and the social media about to be gagged, nobody will be able to ask any hard questions. If something is wrong, then it’s probably because of “Russian hacking”, and if somebody doesn’t like that, then it’s probably “racism”. That ought to be enough to keep everything afloat.

The Political Situation

How does German public opinion change in in light of all this? The normal political process has ceased to exist, replaced by complete political polarization. There is no longer any middle ground: either you pray to Holy Merkel, or you are an enemy of the state. Either you go along with every lie they tell you, or you are a Nazi. The government makes no effort to win the consent of the governed; instead, they rely purely on intimidation. Merkel is a de facto dictator, just because nobody challenges her in any way at all.

During the last party conference she faced allegations from party members that she was attempting to create a cult of personality, holding hands with migrants, yet they re-elected her as the party leader by 89.5% of the vote on that same day. Merkel does not even refer to us as citizens or Germans any more. She repeatedly referred to us as “those who have lived here for quite a while”. The obvious implication is that we do not have any rights or privileges superior to “those who have not lived here for quite a while” – that is, the invaders.

For reasons that should be perfectly obvious, this cannot possibly work. You cannot govern, even by force, by proclaiming your own citizenry to be the enemy. Hillary Clinton tried that, referring to half of her would-be constituents as “a basket of deplorables”. And where is she now? Same place Merkel is going. Total alienation of the Germans from their political class can have only one end result: total replacement of Germany’s political class.

Once voters become fully aware of the situation, they are lost to the old parties forever. That is the reason why resistance is building so slowly: most of the voters have to break with practically every political belief they have ever held, actively destroying their false sense of security, giving up on the backing they had once received from the state by being good, law-abiding citizens and by voting however their parents had voted because the government would always be on your side in the end. It is now very clearly on the side of their enemies – the terrorists, the rapists … the invaders.

But even those who no longer believe anything that the mass media dishes out shy away from talking about it in public out of both imaginary and justified fears for repercussions. Public denunciations are very common. Speak your mind just once, and you may never be promoted, or lose your career.

For those who do decide to leave the old politics behind, it is a bit like going underground. It certainly feels a lot more serious than just entertaining an alternative opinion. We are not complete outlaws yet, but if the ANTIFA [the “anti-fascists”] beat you up or burn your car, do not expect any sympathy.

There are some fringe groups that are working to form an underground resistance. Apart from the more international national identity movement, which is quite active in Germany, most of them aim at a new constituent assembly. Of course, this can only come to pass once the current political landscape has been overturned. Social media is full of well-meaning but for the most part powerless people. It is a giant Revolutionaries Anonymous that helps its members cope.

For those of us preferring the difficult, democratic path to reform, there is still only the AfD [Alternative fur Deutschland]. The party gained massive support over the last year. By the end of 2016 they counted 25,000 members and 300,000 friends on Facebook, and garnering about sixteen percent of the votes nationwide. But compared to the behemoth CDU, with its 400,000 members, it is still very small. In perspective, however, their influence may become enormous.

But why should we rely on politics when our opponents are not really politicians at all but traitors – our mortal enemies, hellbent on destroying our country, ruining us financially, promoting Volkstod [national death], child marriage, acceptance of Sharia law and replacement of the population with criminals and work-shy trash imported from failed states? To me, their Cultural Marxism is now nothing but a mental illness. Those who practice it are sick and dangerous and do not deserve our consideration or even our condescension. We should work to expose them and their agenda as toxic to any society. To believe that a nation, or even the white race, should be made to cease to exist by violent means and be replaced by third-world semi-society, must not be given a pass as an acceptable political viewpoint. That is called suicide or genocide, and those who espouse it should be banned from public life.

That’s why I believe we must fight them asymmetrically, on every level, and not only through the democratic political system. Everyone can and should do that. Completely ignore their hysterical attacks, and counterattack their every advance viciously. Exclude them from our midst, defining them as insane. Ridicule them at every turn, and never vote for them again, ever. Do not hope against hope that the miracle that happened in the US with the election of Donald Trump would happen here before the damage becomes irreversible.

This is the style that Trump embodies, and it is exactly what we need right now. He is no great statesman, and perhaps never will be, but he can and does speak clearly and without any restraint, bypassing mass media filters and ignoring the ensuing hysteria whipped up by establishment mouthpieces. He can be a shining example for others and will be, in my view, the most important ally of the people of Europe over the coming years.

In conclusion, I feel vindicated in almost every aspect of my last report. The trends are all still all there, but whether their final outcome will be war, social collapse or revolution is a question that remains as open as it was a year ago. Germany has been changed forever, and unless we undo everything that Soros and Merkel have done to us and become a conservative and self-aware country again, our prognosis will become increasingly dire.

https://cluborlov.blogspot.jp/2017/01/wherefore-goes-germany.htmlby “Alex”

Posted in Uncategorized

Defeat is Victory

by Dmitry Orlov

Club Orlov (January 19 2016)

On the wall of George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from his novel 1984 there were three slogans:

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

It occurred to me that these apply just a little bit too well to the way the Washington, DC establishment operates.

War certainly is peace: just look at how peaceful Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine have become thanks to their peacemaking efforts. The only departures from absolute peacefulness which might be taking place there have to do with the fact that there are some people still alive there. This should resolve itself on its own, especially in the Ukraine, where the people now face the prospect of surviving a cold winter without heat or electricity.

Freedom is indeed slavery: to enjoy their “freedom”, Americans spend most of their lives working off debt, be it a mortgage, medical debt incurred due to an illness, or student loans. Alternatively, they can also enjoy it by rotting in jail. They also work longer hours with less time off and worse benefits than in any other developed country, and their wages haven’t increased in two generations.

And what keeps it all happening is the fact that ignorance is indeed strength; if it wasn’t for the Americans’ overwhelming, willful ignorance of both their own affairs and the world at large, they would have rebelled by now, and the whole house of cards would have come tumbling down.

But there is a fourth slogan they need to add to the wall of Washington’s Ministry of Truth. It is this:

DEFEAT IS VICTORY

The preposterous nature of the first three slogans can be finessed away in various ways. It’s awkward to claim that American involvements in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Syria or the Ukraine have produced “peace”, exactly, but various lying officials and assorted national teletubbies still find it possible to claim that they somehow averted worse (totally made-up) dangers like Iraqi/Syrian “weapons of mass destruction”. What they have produced is endless war financed by runaway debt which is leading to economic ruin. But ignorance helps a lot here.

Likewise, it is possible, though a bit awkward, to claim that slavery is freedom ? because, you see, once you have discharged your duties as a slave, you can go home and read whatever crazy nonsense you want on some blog or other. This is of course silly; you can stuff your head with whatever “knowledge” you like, but if you try acting on it you will quickly discover that you aren’t allowed to. “Back in line, slave!” You can also take the opposite tack and claim that freedom is for layabouts while we the productive people have to rush from one scheduled activity to another, and herd our children around in the same manner, avoiding “unstructured time” like a plague, and that this is not at all like slavery. Not at all. Not even close. Nobody tells me what to do! (Looks down at smartphone to see what’s next on today’s to-do list).

With ignorance, you don’t even have to make the case: ignorant people are some of the most knowledgeable people on earth ? according to them. I see that all the time in the hundreds of blog comments I delete; ones that start with “Surely you must know that [something I don’t know]” or “By now it should be clear to everyone that [something unclear]” are particularly amusing. On some days I find such ignorance almost overpowering, and so ignorance is indeed strength.

But it is very hard to claim that defeat is victory, and herein lies a great challenge for the Washington, DC establishment. When they are victorious, your leaders get to have their way with the world; when they are defeated, the world has its way with them. This is something that is hard to hide: your leaders say what it is they want to do; and then they either succeed at it or fail. When they fail, they still try to call it a success, but if you look at their original statements of purpose, and then the results, and the two don’t match at all, then it looks just a bit like a defeat-ish sort of thingy no matter how they writhe and squirm and twist. This is a good thing, because with all the propaganda the Ministry of Truth puts out, it is hard for the average person to ascertain the nature of the “facts on the ground”. But when it comes to victory versus defeat, you can usually take it straight from the horse’s rectum. Yes, the Ministry’s public re lations consultants can still claim that “we forced the enemy to give us a free deep-tissue massage of our glutei maximi”, but a precocious eighth-grader can still decode that to “We got our asses kicked”.

So, allow me to enumerate some American victories. Or should I say defeats? Your choice; the two are the same.

* Thanks to the trillion or so spent on the war effort, the 1.5 million Iraqi casualties, and the 5000 dead US soldiers, there is no longer any al Qaeda in Iraq now (just like there was under Saddam Hussein) and the country is free and democratic.

* Thanks to many years of continuous effort which cost well over half a trillion dollars and the lives of 3500 or so coalition soldiers, the Taleban in Afghanistan have been vanquished and the country is now at peace.

* The Syrian regime has been overthrown and Syria is now peaceful and democratic, and not at all a war-torn basket case that has produced over a million refugees, a large part of it ruled by Islamic militants that are too radical even for al Qaeda.

* Overall, the problem of Islamic extremism has been dealt with once for all, and George W Bush’s “Islamofascists” (remember that term?) are but a vague memory. ISIS or ISIL or the Islamic State are something else entirely, plus us bombing them sporadically at great expense has “degraded” them a tiny bit … maybe.

* Thanks to a perfectly legal and very necessary US-managed coup, Ukraine is on its way to being a stable and prosperous member of the EU and Nato, and the freedom-loving Ukrainians are no longer at all dependent on Russian gas, coal and nuclear fuel for being able to merely survive the winter of 2014-15, or on Russian goodwill to send in humanitarian relief convoys, house and feed the refugees from their civil war, or broker their peace agreements with each other.

* In accordance with our grand geopolitical strategy for eternal world domination, we successfully kicked Russia out of Crimea and are busy building a huge Nato military base there to make sure that Russia never becomes a great world power again but is forced to comply with our every whim.

* Thanks to our relentless diplomatic efforts, Russia is now completely isolated, which is why it can’t be constantly signing gigantic trade agreements with countries around the world or championing the cause of non-western nations who don’t like being pushed around by the west and have no desire to westernize.

* Our sanctions have really hurt Russia, and not at all the EU which didn’t lose a huge export market and is not at all at risk of losing access to Russia’s natural gas which it doesn’t need anyway. Nor did they provide any sort of a huge protectionist benefit to Russia’s domestic producers, or a big new export market to our economic rivals.

* Regime change in Moscow is a white ribbon’s throw away, and our expensively nurtured political pets inside Russia are more popular than ever and are feeling all sorts of love from the Russian people. After all, fewer than ninety percent of Russians respect and support Putin for the great things he has achieved for them, so our stooges like Khodorkovsky or Kasparov should have no problem getting at least one percent in the next presidential elections, sending them straight into the Kremlin.

* Thanks to our relentless political pressure, Putin is now a chastised man, ready to be reasonable and bend to our will, and not at all saying things like “This will never happen!” in an internationally televised annual address to his nation’s elected leaders. In any case, nobody listens to his speeches because our national media doesn’t need cover them because they are so long and boring.

… and, last but not least …

* America is the world’s indispensable nation, world’s (second) greatest economic power (but rising fast), and American leadership is respected throughout the world. When President Obama said so in a recent speech he gave in China, the audience did not at all laugh out loud right in his face, roll their eyes, make faces or move their heads side to side slowly while frowning.

How can you avoid recognizing the importance of such things, and the fact that they spell DEFEAT? Easy! Ignorance to the rescue! Ignorance is not just strength ? it is the most awesome force in the universe. Consider this: knowledge is always limited and specific, but ignorance is infinite and completely general; knowledge is hard to convey, and travels no faster than the speed of light, but ignorance is instantaneous at all points in the known and unknown universe, including alternate universes and dimensions of whose existence we are entirely ignorant. In short, there is a limit to how much you can know, but there is no limit at all to how much you don’t know but think you do!

Here is something that you probably think you know. The American empire is an “empire of chaos”. Yes, it sort of fails somehow to achieve peace, prosperity, democracy, stability, avert humanitarian crises, or stop lots of horrible crimes. But it does achieve chaos. What’s more, it achieves a wunnerful new type of chaos just invented, called “controlled chaos”. It’s much better than the old kind; sort of like “clean coal” ? which you can rub all over yourself, go ahead, try it! Yes, there are naysayers out there that say things like “You reap what you sow, and if you sow chaos, you shall reap chaos”. I guess they just don’t like chaos. To each his own. Whatever.

Want more? Consider this. If you live in the US, you probably celebrated Thanksgiving a little while ago, by gorging yourself on turkey and stuffing with cranberry sauce, and maybe some pumpkin pie. You think you know that this holiday is related to the Pilgrims, who first celebrated Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Massachusetts, but I am sure you don’t remember the exact year. But I am sure you think that these Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving by feasting with the natives. You might even tell your children this story, and think that you are teaching them a bit of history rather than expanding their field of ignorance.

Now, here are some points of fact. The Pilgrims weren’t Pilgrims at all, but colonists. They were re-branded as “Pilgrims” in the nineteenth century. Believe me, nobody ever went on a pilgrimage to Plymouth, Massachusetts! These colonists ended up there because, being incompetent sailors, they missed Boston Harbor by half a day’s sail, and ended up in Plymouth Harbor, which is as exposed, shoal and as useless today as it was then. They did not celebrate Thanksgiving; being weird religious zealots, they didn’t even celebrate Christmas. Despite fake “evidence” from “social media” of the period, they certainly didn’t feast with the locals, who by that time spoke pretty good English and traded with the world. The locals thought these colonists were a bizarre religious cult (which indeed they were), that they were lousy and smelly (they never washed and had no idea about saunas or sweat lodges) and had repulsive persona l habits (such as carrying their snot around with them wrapped in a rag). They were also quite hopeless at hunting or fishing, and survived by plundering the locals’ kitchen gardens, then starved. To top it off, the “national” holiday was first created by Abraham Lincoln during the height of the Civil War, which (this you must surely know!) was much, much later. And he didn’t call it “Thanksgiving”; he called it “Day of Atonement” for the horrible crimes Americans were committing against each other at the time.

But that’s before the Frozen Turkey Marketing Association had a go at adjusting that story. It was a plan as simple as it is brilliant: they overdose you on Tryptophan, then, next day, while you are still groggy, they send you out into an over-hyped shopping frenzy and, sure enough, you will be rack up some high-interest debt, which it will take you well into the next year to pay off. Plow some of that interest back into turkeys and holiday hype, and you have a national industry ? one that drives people into debt buying imported products they don’t need (remember, if doesn’t say “Made in China” then it’s probably fake) until everybody is broke.

With a history that fake, the American Ministry of Truth may yet manage to project it into the future as well. They may produce a level of ignorance so astonishingly high that Americans at large won’t know that they have been defeated, thinking that the torrential downpour of the world’s rancid slops raining down on their heads is God’s rain, and being thankful for it. Unless, that is, enough Americans wake up and start making the word DEFEAT part of the national vocabulary. This is not a exceptional nation, not an indispensable nation, but a defeated one. Defeated by their own hands, mind you, because nobody particularly went out of their way to defeat them. They showed up to get beaten, over and over again, until they got what they came for.

Now, defeat has proven to be a great learning experience to many countries that then went on to be quite successful: Germany (on second try), Japan, Russia after the Cold War … Of course, the first step in that learning process is to admit defeat. But if you don’t want to do that, that’s okay, because there is always ignorance to give you all the strength you need.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.jp/2016/01/defeat-is-victory.html

Posted in Uncategorized

The Future is “blivets”

by Dmitry Orlov

Club Orlov (January 26 2016)

If you have been paying attention, you may have noticed that the global financial markets are currently in meltdown mode. Apparently, the world has hit diminishing returns on making stuff. There is simply too much of everything, be it oil wells, container ships, skyscrapers, cars or houses. Because of this, the world has also hit diminishing returns on borrowing money to build and sell more stuff, because the stuff we build doesn’t sell. And because it doesn’t sell, the price of stuff that’s already been made keeps going down, lowering its value as loan collateral and making the problem worse.

One solution that’s been proposed is to convert from a products economy to a services economy. For instance, instead of making widgets, everybody gives each other backrubs. This works great in theory. The backrub industry doesn’t generate an ever-expanding inventory of backrubs that then have to be unloaded. But there are some problems with this plan. The first problem is that too few people have enough money saved up to spend on backrubs, so they would have to get the backrubs on credit. Another problem is that, unlike a widget, a backrub is not a productive asset, and doesn’t help you pay off the money you had to borrow to pay for the backrub. Lastly, a backrub, once you have received it, isn’t worth very much. You can’t auction it off, and you can’t use it as collateral for a loan.

These are big problems, and one proposed solution is to create good, well-paying jobs that put money in people’s pockets – money that they can then spent on backrubs. This is best done by investing in productivity improvements: send people to school, invest in high technology and so on. It’s an intuitively obvious idea: productive workers are easier to employ than unproductive workers, because the stuff they make ends up cheaper, and people can afford to buy more of it. Whether they do buy more of it is debatable, especially if there is more than enough of it already and nobody has any extra money saved. Still, the theory makes sense.

But this theory doesn’t seem to be working all that well: no matter how much money we put into automation – robotic assembly lines, internet-based virtualization, what have you – the number of unemployed workers isn’t going down at all. And it’s even worse with driverless cars. In theory, they are great: if the driver doesn’t have to do the driving, then she can spend the time giving her passengers backrubs. But no matter how much money we throw at driverless cars, the number of unemployed drivers, or unemployed massage therapists, isn’t going down.

But even if we give up on trying to stimulate demand through job creation and just let everyone starve, we can still put our faith in rich people. There are people who are as rich as entire countries! Surely they can spend and consume on everyone else’s behalf, and make the economy boom. But it turns out that it’s very hard for just one person to consume as much as an entire country. To make that happen, it’s necessary to pay people to consume on one’s behalf. But if other people can spend your money just like you, then that defeats the purpose of being wealthier than everyone else, and all that hard work of swindling people and of gaming the markets would turn out to have been in vain.

* * * * *

But here is a solution that is so stunningly simple and elegant that somebody must have thought of it already. Alas, make a note: I am the first!


A Blivet

The solution is this: sell everything and go long blivets. Blivets are geometrically impossible objects: they can be drawn, but, by their nature, they cannot be manufactured. This solves a major problem with the futures markets, which is that people can actually take delivery of their futures contracts. This means that the stuff being speculated on actually has to exist. And this means that what some people have the audacity to call “the real economy” actually has to exist. What a nuisance!

For example, the gold futures market trades 300 times more gold than physically exists. [Update: the number just went up to 542.] This means that if just 0.3% [Update: 0.18%] of futures contracts resulted in deliveries, the vaults would be empty and there would be nothing to trade. The horrible thing is, unreasonable people, who take delivery of their gold, do exist: the Chinese, the Russians and various other nations with cash on hand or US Treasuries to liquidate keep doing this. Promoting “regime change” and looting various countries’ gold reserves helps a bit (Iraq, Libya and Ukraine have been looted already; Syria should have been looted by now if it weren’t for those pesky Russians!). But the eventual outcome of all this is force majeur: somebody wants to take delivery, but the vaults are empty.


Source: Zerohedge

A similar problem exists with the biggest futures market in the world: in crude oil. Here, traders have been having a merry old time taking advantage of a notional glut, driving the price of crude lower and lower. They could drive it as low as $1 a barrel, but then what? The problem is, nobody on earth can produce oil that cheaply, and so a day will come when somebody will demand delivery on their $1 per barrel crude contract, and the only response will be an echo, as tumbleweeds blow across the abandoned oil fields.

You should have guessed the moral of the story by now: if you are going to “ephemeralize” the entire economy – the workers/consumers along with their productive capacity – you better switch to trading in things that are ephemeral too, or you’ll risk a market implosion, deflation, deleveraging and financial collapse followed by poltitical, commercial, social and cultural collapse in four-part cacophony with many screaming refrains and a shrieking, tumultuous coda. I am not kidding. I wrote the book on that.

This is where blivets would be such a great help. A blivet is by definition a “paper blivet” because a “physical blivet” is a physical impossibility. If you demanded physical delivery of your blivets, people would simply laugh at you, twirl their fingers around their temples and roll their eyes. That would be cra-cra, like demanding your rights under the US constitution, or pretending that climate change is a conspiracy theory.

Blivets are composed of the purest financial ether – even more ethereal than Bitcoins (those long strings of magical digits that get their value from an algorithm, a block chain, and a “coolness factor”). Bitcoins are ethereal too, but they have to be physically mined by burning lots of electricity in running big computer farms, and this causes a big problem: Bitcoins are scarce.

Now, some people claim that scarcity is what gives things value, but that’s clearly nonsense. Look at the US dollar: the number of dollars has been expanding out of all proportion to the growth of the US economy, but has there been any hyperinflation? Of course not! The problem isn’t with printing money; the problem is with giving it to regular people, who don’t know that they should only invest it in blivets. Instead, they do economically destructive things – like buying food for their children and heating their houses during winter. That’s what causes hyperinflation, not the money-printing! There are only two potential problems with money-printing: not printing enough money, and not printing it fast enough.

There are still a couple of problems with my proposed blivetization of the global economy, but these too can be solved by dint of financial innovation.

First, there is the problem of the blivet futures market potentially going down instead of up. We don’t like it when markets go down; so how do we prevent that from ever happening? Here’s an idea: introduce the so-called Schrodinger’s Blivet: if you are short blivets, then, when your contract expires, the clearing house may demand that you deliver on it, in which case a simple rule applies: based on a flip of a coin, it is determined whether your blivets exist or not. This requires those who are shorting blivets to maintain a rather large reserve, and would make them a lot less interested in wrecking the market. Because of this, blivet prices may stagnate sometimes, but over time they should go up monotonically.

Second, there is the problem of where to get additional capital to sink into blivets. You’ve liquidated all your other holdings, you are long blivets, but how is the blivet market supposed to expand? If it doesn’t expand, then that means a lack of growth, and we don’t like it when there isn’t growth. With all other productive capacities idled and no wealth generation occurring outside the blivet market, where is that new investment capital going to come from? Here’s an idea: it’s called Auto-Rehypothecation. Whenever you pledge blivets as collateral for a loan (which you invest in blivets, of course) the loan itself automatically becomes available to be used as collateral for another loan.

Thanks to these financial innovations, blivet valuations should go through the roof in no time, and keep going. In fact, they may go up so high that it may become necessary to start quoting blivets in scientific notation instead of simple decimals. Eventually it may even make sense to drop the mantissa and just quote the exponent. Why, with all physical constraints removed, the number of blivets being traded will be set free to exceed the number of atoms in the observable universe!

Problem solved! I’ll take 10**82 blivets, please!

http://cluborlov.blogspot.jp/2016/01/the-future-is-blivets.html

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