Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard just returned from a secret trip to Syria and told Jake Tapper in a CNN Exclusive said any reconciliation would have to involve Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
A Kuwaiti woman explains why she fled her native country.
Press TV. Listen here.
US President Donald Trump’s plans to reduce Washington’s foreign interventionism and focus on issues like immigration are part of a foreign policy plan that seeks to separate Russia from China and Iran, says an American analyst.
Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.org, made the remarks while discussing Trump’s directives to curb immigration.
On Wednesday, the new president signed executive orders to begin the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico and to crack down on states that harbor immigrants.
Following his campaign pledge to ban Muslims from entering America, Trump is also expected to sign another executive order which blocks the entry of Syrian refugees and suspends the entry of any immigrants from Syria and other Muslim countries like Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen.
“He is apparently going to follow through with many things he said he was going to do on the campaign trail and I think primarily what he is aiming to do right now is to establish his own credibility,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday..
By Stefan Gleason
Sound money principles can serve to help grow the economy and restrain government. The political class, however, doesn’t particularly want to restrain itself. Washington, D.C. is addicted to the easy money policies that have enabled $20 trillion in national debt accumulation and tens of trillions more in unfunded liabilities.
Even with a new and unconventional GOP president who vows to take on waste and overregulation, the built-in momentum of “mandatory” spending means the Trump budgets won’t be balanced. The debt will keep growing – and likely at a faster pace than the economy. Thus, political demand for the Federal Reserve’s artificially low interest rates and Treasury bond purchases will continue to be strong.
Short of a currency crisis that forces a monetary revolution, sound money reform efforts will have to proceed in baby steps. Any fundamental proposed changes – such as tying the currency supply to gold and silver reserves – will encounter enormous resistance from Congress, the Federal Reserve, and its member banks. A metallic standard would also be roundly opposed by Wall Street, which benefits from the Fed’s artificial inflation of the financial sector.
You Don’t Have to Wait for the Politicians…
By Alden Braddock
Peoples Post Modernist
Reject liberal(isms). Embrace your will to power.
The Left (even in radical circles)in many respects has failed as a movement. Race baiting, class politics, compromise on top of compromise and a clumsy at best praxis to achieving the ends we strive for are what we have now and accepting this reality is the only what we can now move past it. The old God is dead and we shall lay the groundwork of our stronghold on His grave. In order to do this we must be willing to embrace some new ideas;
1. We must stop pandering to identity politics. Treating people as collectives or even worse as sociological concepts trips individual action of any meaning and obfuscates our shared goal of fostering a world of self sufficiency, unshackled creative expression and freedom from imposed conditions. Yes, we can see the grave injustices levied against minorities by the state but recent events have made it clear that our cure is far worse than the disease. Arguing over who oppresses who, supporting language policing in an effort to hide from open dialogue and stick to our safe spaces have done us all a great disservice. Revolution never happens within a person’ comfort zone.
2. We must be willing to do what the right has done; collaborate with a wide variety of anti-state affinity groups (hard greens, third world nationalists, agorists, gender-nihilist/queer organizations, ext.) in order to crush our opposition and while we’re at it crush everybody’s enemy the neo-liberal/globalist.
3. We must be ruthless but use violence with tact and be willing to organize. Providing aid, organization/mobilization to and radicalizing groups like BLM and focusing on the core idea which motivate dissent (opposition to police brutality)instead of race and gender baiting will take us much further in achieving our long term goals
The best discussion of the globalism vs. nationalism conundrum from an anarchist/libertarian perspective that I have seen to date.
By Tim Bryant
The Last American Vagabond
Whether it’s the Brits voting for the Brexit, the Americans electing Donald Trump as president, or Marine Le Pen gaining momentum in France, the populist tides of nationalism are causing massive shifts in political power throughout the world. It’s not just these select cases either where populism has taken root. The reality is that anti-establishment populism through the medium of nationalism is igniting within pockets of society all over the world.
Unlike any time in known history, the world has access to an incredible amount of data due to the dawn of the Internet, which as a result has catapulted society into the Age of Information. With these new understandings of truth, third world countries are growing increasingly intent on ousting corrupt dictators who take massive foreign bribes in exchange for the sell off of their resources and the control of their democracy. Similarly, western societies are also coming around to some truths of their own, which has them equally intent on cutting off the outsourcing of their wealth, as well as eliminating the infiltration of their cultures.
Bill Lind on why North Korea is just an extension of traditional Korea.
By William S. Lind
As North Korea inches its way toward possessing an ICBM than can hit the United States with a nuclear warhead–both of dubious reliability–we can expect a Korean “crisis” to grow. In fact, there need be no crisis. A deal with North Korea is not difficult to envision, and America now has a president who is good at making deals.
The conventional wisdom presents North Korea as a rogue state ruled by a madman, Kim Jong Un. He, and it, are irrational, dangerous, and impossible to predict. Sanctions having failed, we must pile up more sanctions. There is no alternative to growing hostility between North Korea and the U.S., a course which is likely at some point to lead to war. In the meantime, we must keep thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea, a country far stronger than North Korea.
But there is another way to look at the situation, one that sees continuity rather than irrationality in North Korean policy. For centuries, Korea, then one country, was known as the “Hermit Kingdom”. Like Japan under the last Shogunate, Korea was closed to foreigners, trade, and all outside contact. Its government, a monarchy, was centralized, powerful, and all-controlling. An “ideology” of sorts, Confucianism, was the only tolerated way of thinking. The king was regarded as semi-divine.
From this perspective, today’s North Korea is merely an extension of historic Korea. The Kims are a new dynasty, behaving very much like the old dynasty. North Korea’s legitimacy is rooted in this continuity; it is South Korea, not North Korea, that is a historic anomaly.
The best analysis of the Trumpian approach to foreign policy I have seen to date.
By Pete Escobar
South China Morning Press
China, Russia and Iran are the three key players in what promises to be the Eurasian Century.
Donald Trump may be The Joker; The Fool; The Ace of Spades; the ultimate trickster. What nobody can tell for sure is how this shifty chameleon will seduce, cajole, divide and threaten these three countries in his bid to “Make America Great Again”.
Considering the composition of his cabinet, as well as his motormouth twittering, the world according to Trump sees radical Islam as the No 1 threat, followed by Iran, China and Russia.
The strategy of Henry Kissinger, Trump’s unofficial foreign policy guru, is a mix of “balance of power” and “divide and rule”. It will consist of seducing Russia away from its strategic partner China; keeping China constantly on a sort of red alert; and targeting Islamic State while continuing to harass Iran.
All this has the potential to backfire splendidly. Even a real “reset” with Russia, of the non-Hillary Clinton kind, is not exactly assured.
Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, may in fact be a cipher, a privileged ExxonMobil dealmaker, or a Trojan Horse for Kissinger’s views. Tillerson is a trustee of the hardline Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank, along with Kissinger.
I agree with this analysis but disagree with its conclusions. Ultimately, our enemies are all states everywhere, and our greatest non-state rivals are the Wahhabist/Salafist renditions of Islam. I consider the struggles of the Kurds, particularly the PKK and allied tendencies, to essentially be the same as the struggles of ATS.
By Andrew Korybko
One of the most curious quirks of recent history is that self-proclaimed followers of the Cold War-era ideology of Marxism are on the upswing two and a half decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and interestingly enough, they’re making on-the-ground progress in the Mideast of all places. This may come as a surprise to casual observers who have been convinced by the Mainstream Media that the region is only awash with religious radicalism, which while certainly true, doesn’t fully encapsulate the whole picture of all the extremism that’s active there nowadays.
By Will Rahn
Something people will increasingly ask down the road: In a wildly diverse nation of over 300 million people, would it not make more sense to have, say, three countries with a 100 million people each? Or how about 300 countries with a million people?
On the far-right, there are already those who pine for a breakup of the United States akin to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On the far-left, we’re hearing some secession talk too, particularly when it comes to the possibility of CalExit or a Second Vermont Republic.
And it’s not just the far-left, mind you: the Trump-supporting billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the country’s more powerful if eccentric business leaders, recently said he thought the secession of California would be a good thing.
This is a new piece published by the leftist “watchdog” group Political Research Associates by Matthew Lyons, who has previously critiqued yours truly (see Lyon’s original critique here and my reply here). Lyons’ latest piece on the Alternative Right is available on the Political Research Associates website. Read it in full here. Lyons’ report includes a discussion of ATS generally and yours truly specifically. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
“…self-described anarcho-pluralist Keith Preston has continued to participate in Alt Right forums, for example speaking at National Policy Institute conferences and on The Right Stuff podcasts. Preston is a former left-wing anarchist who moved to the Right in the 1990s and then founded the group American Revolutionary Vanguard, which is better known today by the name of its website, Attack the System.67 ATS brings together a number of right-wing currents, including National-Anarchist, libertarian, White nationalist, Duginist, and others, among it editors and contributors, but Preston’s own ideology is distinct from all of these.68
By Jp Cortez
Tens of millions of Americans and their employers pour money into pension plans each month, counting those funds to grow and to be there when needed at retirement.
But a time bomb awaits. The bulk of U.S. pension funds are dangerously underfunded, and the assets are often invested in securities that have bleak prospects for providing income that keeps up with a general decline in purchasing power.
A pension plan requires an employer to make contributions into a pool of funds set aside for a worker’s future benefit. In 1875, when the American Express Company established the first private pension plan in the United States, the face of retirement was fundamentally changed. Before that time, private-sector pension plans did not exist, as most employers were small “mom-and-pop” businesses.
The innovation at American Express caught on. By 1929, 397 private sector pension funds were in operation throughout the United States and Canada. As of 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 18% of private sector workers are covered by pension plans. At the end of 2015, the value of U.S. pension funds was $21.7 trillion.
Trump may be a maverick, but not that much of a maverick.
By Leon Hadar
The American Conservative
We’re all familiar with “slippery slope” arguments. Allow Casual Fridays, and soon enough everyone will be coming to work in shorts and T-shirts. Ban assault weapons, and you’re on the road to repealing the Second Amendment.
In a way, the response of Western elites to the recent election reflects that kind of logic: as Donald Trump prepares to occupy the White House, we are about to see the collapse of the Western alliance and the breakdown of the post-World War II liberal international order. It’s the end of the West. We are closing the last chapter of the Age of Enlightenment.
But then, does anyone really believe that after four or eight years of a Trump presidency, the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan will turn into a new Trump Hotel (as recently proposed, tongue-in-cheek, by conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer)? Or that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will shut down their offices in downtown Washington, DC?
Interesting. Sounds like Trump’s faction of the ruling class may favor a foreign policy paradigm similar to that recommended by Bill Lind.
By Mike Whitney
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:
An interesting interview with leftist anti-fascist Matthew Lyons who argues that Trump may represent a ruling class faction that seeks a new direction beyond neoliberalism. Listen here.
With #DisruptJ20 actions taking place in only a few days, many are wondering both what far-Right forces will do in response to massive protests that are planned in Washington DC and across the country, and how will the insurgent far-Right continue to maneuver now that Trump is in office. Wanting to think critically about these questions as well as how to place Trump politically, we caught up with long time anti-fascist author, Matthew Lyons who writes for Three Way Fight, which offers analysis on a wide variety of far-Right forces and anti-fascist struggle.
We discuss several topics, including why fighting the far-Right is important, why the Alt-Right has gotten so much media attention the last year, looking critically at the far-Right concept of ‘globalism,’ and also a discussion on Trump and fascism which revolves around this essay from CrimethInc. Lyons does a good job of addressing that within the ruling class there is not always unity and that often there are competing ideas of how to organize capitalism and govern the State. What remains to be seen with Trump is if he only represents only a slightly different face to neoliberalism or if he will try and create something much different along Nationalist and military lines, which Lyons argues is possible.
ANOTHER RADICAL doctrine developed during the period of the 1830s– anarchism. Anarchism is often considered to represent current of radical thought that is truly democratic and libertarian. It is hailed in some quarters as the only true political philosophy freedom. The reality is quite different. From its inception anarchism has been a profoundly anti-democratic doctrine. Indeed the two most important founders of anarchism, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Michael Bakunin, developed theories that were elitist and authoritarian to the core. While later anarchists may have abandoned some of the excesses’ of their founding fathers their philosophy remains hostile to ideas of mass democracy and workers’ power.
It is certainly true that anarchism developed in opposition to the growth of capitalist society. What’s more, anarchist hostility to capitalism centered on defence of the liberty of the individual. But the liberty defended by the anarchists was not the freedom of the working class to make collectively a new society. Rather, anarchism defended the freedom of the small property owner–the shopkeeper, artisan and tradesman–against the encroachments of large-scale capitalist enterprise. Anarchism represented the anguished cry of the small property owner against the inevitable advance of capitalism. For that reason, it glorified values from the past: individual property, the patriarchal family, racism.
Todd Lewis vs. Brent Lengel.
One of the best debates I have ever heard between a left-anarchists and a non-anarchist.
PressTV. Listen here.
Incoming US President Donald Trump will only use his opposition to the “one China” policy as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China and to the extent that would not disrupt relations with Beijing, says a political commentator.
Trump, who will officially take the oath of office on Friday, said he was not committed to a longstanding agreement with China known as the “one China” policy. Under the agreement adopted by the US in 1979, Washington has been recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan and maintaining only unofficial ties with Taiwan.
In an interview with Press TV, Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com said Trump would be using the issue “as leverage” in trade negotiations with China.
“He is looking for things he could potentially use against the Chinese as a means of encouraging a settlement in terms of the currency issue and trade issues that Trump is concerned about,” the analyst said.
Trump started questioning China’s claim over Taiwan just after his election in November, when he took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen in a major break from US diplomatic protocol in 37 years.
Beijing warned Trump on Monday against using the “one China policy” as a bargaining chip in trade talks.
Preston, however, said the incoming president would not go “so far to really disrupt the relations between the United States and China,” because according to him there is a very “important trade relationship” between the two countries.
He explained that the US foreign policy has always been “oriented to a peaceful co-existence with China for obvious strategic and geo-political reasons.”
“Even during the Cold War, the United State was very dependent on China as a source of manufacturing and labor and America imported a great deal of the consumer goods from China,” he added.
During his presidential campaign, Trump consistently complained about “unfair competition” with the Chinese, Preston said, adding that new president wants to “negotiate trade agreements that are more favorable to American business interests.”
By Glenn Greenwald
Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “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.” That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.
This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”
Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.
The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.
But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.
Press TV. Listen here.
The American intelligence community is seeking to cause “friction” between the United States and Russia as President-elect Donald Trump has signaled willingness to improve relations with Moscow, says a political analyst.
Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, made the remarks on Wednesday in an interview with Press TV when asked about new legislation introduced in the Senate to impose sweeping new sanctions on Russia.
Five Democrats and five Republicans unveiled the new punishments on Tuesday after the intelligence community concluded in a report that the Russian government had sought to influence the outcome of the November election through cyberhacking and a smear campaign, a claim that Trump and Moscow have both rejected.
“It’s extraordinarily foolish for the American Congress to try to impose any kind of sanctions on Russia on the grounds that Russia has supposedly interfered in the American election, that has not been proven,” Preston said.
“The intelligence services are trying to create a greater degree of friction between the United States and Russia, and the Democratic Party is going along with this, in part because they want to blame the Russians for their loss in the election,” he added.
The proposed legislation would solidify many of the sanctions President Barack Obama’s outgoing administration has imposed against Russia and limit Trump’s ability to improve relations with Moscow.
Preston said, “the intelligence services and the political establishment are trying to undermine (Trump)’s efforts to bring the United States closer to Russia,” adding, “they have allies in Congress, particularly in the Democratic Party” to help them achieve their goal.
He said one reason they do not want better ties with Russia is that “the military industrial complex wants to expand NATO right up the Russia’s border and they also want to circle Russia with military bases in Central Asia.”
Powerful elites are using the credibility of the US Intelligence agencies to demonize Russia and prepare the country for war. This is the real meaning of the “Russia hacking” story which, as yet, has not produced any hard evidence of Russian complicity.
Last week’s 25-page report, that was released by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, illustrates to what extent intelligence is being “fixed around the policy”. Just as the CIA generated false information related to Weapons of Mass Destruction to soften public resistance to war with Iraq, so too, the spurious allegations in the DNI’s politically-motivated report are designed to depict Russia as a growing threat to US national security. The timing of the report has less to do with the election of Donald Trump as President than it does with critical developments in Syria where the Russian military has defeated US-proxies in Syria’s industrial hub, Aleppo, rolling back Washington’s 15-year War of Terror and derailing the imperialist plan to control vital resources and pipeline corridors across the Middle East and Central Asia. Russia has become the main obstacle to Washington achieving its strategic vision of pivoting to Asia and maintaining its dominant role into the next century. The Intelligence Community has been coerced into compromising its credibility to incite fear of Russia and to advance the geopolitical ambitions of deep state powerbrokers.
he “Russia hacking” flap shows how far the Intel agencies have veered from their original mandate, which is to impartially gather and analyze information that may be vital to US national security. As we have seen in the last two weeks, the leaders of these organizations feel free to offer opinions on issues that clearly conflict with those of the new President-elect. Trump has stated repeatedly that he wants to reduce tensions and reset relations with Russia, but that policy is being sabotaged by members of the intelligence community, particularly CIA Director John Brennan who appeared just last week on PBS Newshour with Judy Woodruff. Here’s an excerpt from the interview: