President Trump’s ‘Friends’ in Saudi Arabia Reply

Isn’t it interesting that the two greatest allies of the US are an ethno-supremacist state and a Bronze Age theocracy?
By Andrew Bacevich
The American Conservative

In the long arc of history, while regimes come and go, civilizations endure. Bet on the former against the latter, and you’re taking one helluva gamble. The House of Saud is a regime, a dynastic enterprise masquerading as a nation-state. Iran, by contrast, is the modern incarnation of an ancient civilization. The antagonism between the two is deep-seated, genuine, and destined to persist.

How the United States found itself aligned with the former against the latter is a story fraught with miscalculation, folly, and hubris. Taken as a whole, it’s our version of Lawrence of Arabia, albeit without a charismatic protagonist on which to hang the tale. Our own equivalent of T. E. Lawrence would be an in-over-his-head mischief-maker like Graham Greene’s fictional Alden Pyle, albeit relocated from Indochina to the Persian Gulf. Imagine a composite figure combining the signature traits of Kermit Roosevelt, Oliver North, and Max Boot, and you have the makings of an epic of sorts, even if shorn of the wide-angle grandeur that was a hallmark of David Lean’s film.

Saudi Arabia qualifies as an American friend and ally in precisely the same sense as does the state of Israel. In both countries, cold calculation rather than warm regard governs attitudes toward the United States. Each faces a list of national security challenges longer than it can comfortably handle on its own. Over several decades, in hopes of mitigating those challenges, each has worked assiduously to cultivate a close relationship with Washington.

READ MORE

Neocon Think Tanks Not Russian Media Are the Enemy Within Reply

“Neocon think tanks” are merely organizations that develop the “policy” programs that serve the interests of the state.

By Jon Wight

Ron Paul Institute for Prosperity

undefined

The latest salvo in the ongoing attempt to de-legitimize and demonize Russia-based media has arrived with a directive from the US Justice Department that Sputnik News in the US must register as a foreign agent.

In this regard Sputnik now joins RT America (previously directed to register as a foreign agent) in being stigmatized as peddling propaganda instead of news and news analysis, its journalists and contributors smeared by association, in the context of a wider neo-McCarthyite offensive unleashed with the aim of pushing back against opposition to neoconservative nostrums and influence on Western foreign policy, along with its neoliberal economic counterpart.

READ MORE

Trump’s Failed Coup in Iran Reply

Efforts by the Empire to turn Iran into a wrecked nation like Iraq, Libya, and Syria have thus far failed.

By Eric Margolis

Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

undefined

Listen to the state-“guided” US media this past week and you’d believe a series of spontaneous anti-government protests broke out across Iran. The protests, according to President Donald Trump and his Israeli allies, were caused by “anger over Iran’s spending billions on wars in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and helping the Palestinian movement Hamas.” Trump tweeted that Iranians were finally rising up against what he called their hated, brutal regime.

Talk about manufactured news. Most Iranians were elated and proud of their nation’s role in thwarting US plans to occupy much of Syria and overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.  By contrast, the other side in this long proxy war – the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain – was smarting with defeat and seeking ways to exact revenge on the hateful trio, Syria, Iran and Russia.

READ MORE

Trump Isn’t Another Hitler. He’s Another Obama. 1

The great thing about the Obama and Trump administrations is that they have proven that supposed “maverick” heads of state are no different than ordinary dynastic centrist politicians like the Bushes and the Clintons. US foreign policy and economic policy reflects the general consensus of the dominant  factions of the state, ruling class, and power elite. Period. The function of the President is to serve as a celebrity-administrator whose purpose is to implement predetermined policies that have been devised by think tanks maintained by various ruling class interests. Period.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity

undefined

Not a lot of people remember this, but George W Bush actually campaigned in 2000 against the interventionist foreign policy that the United States had been increasingly espousing.

More…

Breaking – Tillerson Unveils ‘New’ US Syria Plan: ‘Assad Must Go!’ Reply

Like the Obama regime, the Trump regime is turning out to be a bunch of neocons after all. There is nothing that the Rome on the Potomac hates more than independent nations who defy the Empire. The US Empire would rather liquidate Syria into a failed state like Libya dominated by fourth generation Salafist jihadi forces that tolerate the existence of a functional society that refuses to be incorporated into the Empire.

By Daniel McAdams
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
undefined

Confirming that the US military presence inside Syria had little to do with fighting ISIS, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unveiled in detail today the real US strategy for Syria: overthrow of the Assad government.

In a speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and introduced by President George W. Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary Tillerson vowed that the United States military would continue to occupy Syrian territory until three conditions are met:

READ MORE

The Endurance of Empire Reply

This looks to be an interesting conference.

The 2018 Telos Europe Conference 
Friday, August 31, to Sunday, September 2, 2018
Ragusa, Sicily

About the Conference 

The end of the two world wars saw the fall of mighty empires—from the Tsarist Empire, the Kaiserreich and the Ottoman Empire to the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire. This was followed by the dissolution of the French and British empires in the 1950s and 1960s. After 1989, the demise of the Soviet Union—dubbed the “evil empire”—seem to confirm the triumph of liberal democracy over tyranny and of national independence over imperial domination. The age of revolution from 1789 to 1989 appeared to mark the end of empire.

But at the same time, the post–Cold War era is often characterized as the hegemony of the Anglophonic liberal empire led by the United States of America. Officially, the United States denies that it is in the business of building an empire, arguing that the independent United States came into existence precisely to throw off the shackles of colonial rule and to fight imperialism everywhere. Donald Rumsfeld famously said in 2003, “We don’t seek empires. We’re not imperialistic. We never have been.” In the same year however, Karl Rove—adviser to George W. Bush’s—was quoted as saying that “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”

According to the historian Niall Ferguson, “the United States is an empire in denial, and U.S. denial of this poses a real danger to the world. An empire that doesn’t recognize its own power is a dangerous one.” If so, then this has implications for Trump’s America and just as much for both contemporary Russia and China. Putin’s actions in Crimea, Ukraine, and Syria suggest that there is a profound continuity with the Soviet Union and Tsarist Russia. And the “Chinese Dream” invoked by Xi Jinping is the idea that the “Middle Kingdom” will regain what many in China see as her ancient birth-right since the Qin dynasty—a global primacy at the heart of world affairs.

Much of nineteenth- and twentieth-century philosophy and history focused on the decline and fall of empires and civilizations. Faced with the resurgence of imperial politics, a question for the twenty-first century is rather about the endurance of empire both in theory and practice. From Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s conception of empire as multitude via Pierre Manent’s work on the metamorphoses of Western political organization to ideas of liberal empire in International Relations (John Ikenberry or Michael Ignatieff), the attempt to renew this theme requires critical engagement.

Today there is a further twist. Alongside the resurgence of old empires and the emergence of new ones, we are also witnessing the return of nationalism and a reaffirmation of the nation-state as the natural locus of sovereignty. Brexit and the election of Donald Trump reflect popular unrest and a rejection of dominant elites in the name of “taking back control” and “making America great again”—a consequence of the liberal imperium. This raises questions about the endurance of both nationalism and imperialism. Appeals to imperial traditions have often met with ridicule. “Neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire,” Voltaire quipped. Yet this ignores long-standing continuities in terms of both ideas and institutions, which were marginalized by revolutions but never entirely destroyed.

The 2018 Telos Europe conference will explore the endurance of empire, its nature and meaning. Among others, the questions that will be debated include the following: Are we witnessing the resurgence of old empires or the formation of new ones? Are empires based on economic power and military might, or on ideology and cultural appeal? Winston Churchill remarked that the empires of the future would be “empires of the mind.” Can power be contained or is it inherently imperial?

The specific topics of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The meaning of empire and imperial power
  • The legacy of empire
  • Westphalia and the rise of national states and transnational markets?
  • Empire, church/mosque/temple/synagogue, and city-state as alternatives to the Westphalian system of states and markets?
  • The Atlantic West as a liberal empire? Are liberalism and empire contradictory or compatible?
  • Western vs. non-Western empires (Russia, China, Muslim caliphate)
  • Old and new empires—ideology and cultural appeal
  • Nationalism, imperialism, and capitalism
  • Contemporary conceptions of empire in philosophy, politics, and IR

READ MORE

Sovereignty and Grand Strategy: Some Observations on the Rise of China and Decline of the Americans Reply

In the past, much of my own work has focused on critiquing a world order where the USA is the dominant hegemon because, well, that’s the world we’ve had for the past 30 years (and, really, for 73 years when it is considered that during the Cold War the USSR and PRC were really just Third World countries with nukes). But what does the ongoing decline of American hegemony and the passing of the torch of civilization to the East mean for the future of anti-imperialist struggles? Unlike the Americans, whose traditional foreign policy has operated on the Viking model (i.e. raiding and looting), the Chinese seem genuinely interested in the economic development of other societies for the sake of not only gaining access to material wealth, but also for the the cultivation of export markets for themselves. In fact, the efforts of the Chinese to economically develop Africa seems to have been the one thing that has worked thus far in terms of lifting Africa out of total poverty, something that neither Western hegemony or Western “developmental aid” was ever able to do (and was never intended to do). The Chinese appear to have an interest in developing Central Asia in the same way (one of the primary reasons why the Americans have been so insistent on continuing imperial expansion in Central Asia). At the same time, China’s authoritarian autocratic traditions do not bode well for the expansion of libertarian values in a world where China is the dominant hegemon. Yet China’s xenophobic traditions will likely be an obstacle to the development of a Chinese imperialism on the level of Western imperialism given China’s likely fear of perceived cultural contamination.

By Aaron Zack

Telos

The rise and decline of great powers are not solely material in nature but also moral, political, and cultural. Many modern theorists emphasize the material factors in rise and decline, but older political thinkers focused on moral-political explanations. Carl Schmitt defines the essence of the political as the distinction between friend and enemy. A rising sovereign will effectively distinguish between friends and enemies and act in the interest of a political community. A decaying sovereign will gradually lose its capacity to both make a rational distinction between friends and enemies and act in the interest of the (fading) political community. True grand strategy therefore depends upon a robust sovereign—a decayed sovereign faces difficulty in implementing an effective or optimal grand strategy. China is a rising power without an obvious universal mission or ethos. Nonetheless, China is governed by a robust and effective sovereign determined to advance China’s material national interests. A traditional geopolitical analysis suggests that America should act, if necessary, to prevent the emergence of a Chinese hegemony in East Asia. However, the American “sovereign” and polity are in a state of decay and, despite material wealth, lack the moral-political virtue necessary for the conduct of an effective grand strategy. Therefore America ought to accommodate China’s rise and primarily depend upon robust Asian sovereigns to limit Chinese power. Otherwise, the gap between the American sovereign’s fantasies and the reality of its decay will be closed by a swift military and geopolitical defeat.

READ MORE

‘Oil Wars’: Is This an Accurate Summary of U.S.-Led Interventions in the Middle East of the 21st Century? Reply

Duncan Whitmore argues that US imperialism in the Middle East is about maintaining the hegemony of the petrodollar, countering the influence of Russia and China, and advancing the interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia. To all of that I would add maintaining hegemony over the oil trade by US and Western oil corporations, advancing the interests of politically-connected individual oil companies, justifying expenditures on the military-industrial complex, gaining control over supplies of natural gas, maintaining the dominance of US-backed international financial institutions, maintaining US world hegemony on a general level, along with the individual motivations of policy-makers, and a range of ideological influences such as neoconservatism, liberal internationalism, American exceptionalism, Christian Zionism, and democratic peace theory.

By Duncan Whitmore

Ludwig von Mises Centre

“America is addicted to oil”

So said President George W Bush, echoing a contemporary cover of The Economist, in his State of the Union Address on January 31st 2006.

Although President Bush’s speech was a lament for the fact that the United States is the world’s biggest consumer of oil (reaching 19.4 million barrels per day by 2015[1]), this candid admission by the architect of American interventionism lent support to the notion that his country’s forays into the Middle East have been either wholly or mostly motivated by the desire to have a greater, physical control over oil. In this essay we will, however, conclude that this theory is, at best, incomplete, and, at worst, false and misleading, and that America’s interventionist efforts can be best understood through the explanation of three distinct, yet connected objectives:

  • To maintain the petrodollar system and the global reserve status of the US dollar;
  • To appease and promote the interests of the US’s biggest regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia;
  • To serve as proxy wars against Russia and China and to contain and minimise Sino-Russian influence in the region.

All of these objectives are subsumed by the greater, overarching aim of preventing the outbreak of a multi-polar world and maintaining a US hegemonic international order. As we shall see, any part that the physical control of oil has to play in this picture owes itself to aiding the achievement of this final objective and has little to do to with America’s appetite for gas guzzling.

The first issue to address, then, is why oil is not a satisfactory explanation for US interventions in the Middle East – or, at least, why is control of oil not the final objective?

READ MORE

How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism Reply

The Never Trumpers need not have worried. As I have always said, the US President is merely a celebrity-administrator whose only genuine function is to preside over the implementation of policies that reflect the general consensus of the dominant factions of the elite. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO THE PRESIDENT IS. Trump governs as a moderate Republican, not as any kind of right-wing revolutionary, much less as “fascist.” President Hillary Clinton would have pursued similar policies as would President Oprah Winfrey, President Mark Zuckerberg, or President Kim Kardashian. Any US President that seriously tried to defy ruling class consensus or undermine ruling class interests would be removed from office, possibly imprisoned, potentially murdered. Participation in presidential politics is an absolute waste of time (except for purposes of mockery and propaganda, hence the value of campaigns such as those of Adam Kokesh and Cherie DeVille).

By Ilana Mercer

Ludwig von Mises Centre

It’s fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump’s foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

“… for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. ‘The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,’ Trump said. ‘We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.’”

“For a moment,” swooned Lake, “I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting.”

Onward to Venezuela!

Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with “American exceptionalism.”

It’s not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country’s founding. They’re more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State.

That’s just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in “a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war,” Riyadh’s ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake.

After a campaign of “America First,” the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369!

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they’re currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency—its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump’s original “America First” plank—is to “undermine American democracy.”

Besides, “good” Americans know that only the Russians “meddle.”

READ MORE

 

A New Poll Shows the Public Is Overwhelmingly Opposed to Endless US Military Interventions Reply

This is great news in that it really does place the general public at odds with the ruling class. One of the most important and successful political movements in US history was the anti-Vietnam War/anti-draft movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The long range effect of the movement was to delegitimize both imperialist war and the draft to the degree that there is no real popular support for either. The draft is not politically viable, and the state has been forced to fight imperialist war with professional soldiers, proxy forces, mercenaries, and technology. The US public will not accept war if it requires any sacrifices on their side such as high casualties, conscription, war taxes, rationing, etc. Even after the Pearl Harbor-level massacre on September 11, 2001 war fever soon died as casualties on the US side reached the low thousands.

Additionally, the imperialist forces now have what amounts to an 0-6 record over the past 50 years in terms of losses in fourth generation warfare (Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria). The US has now largely retreated from Latin America with democratization, liberalization and economic development now emerging in Latin America now that the US is no longer propping up right-wing military dictatorships. Hopefully, the same process will begin in the Middle East eventually, particularly with the rise of regional counterpower in the form of Russia, China, and the Shia block. The Russians saved Syria from ISIS, and the Chinese have helped to develop Africa economically to the point where the average income in some African regions has increased nearly 20 times in the past 20 years. Hopefully, a similar developmental process will emerge in the Middle East as well.

By James Carden

The Nation

Recent Troops in Afghanistan

Last week, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policy—a bipartisan advocacy group calling for congressional oversight of America’s lengthy list of military interventions abroad—released the results of a survey that show broad public support for Congress to reclaim its constitutional prerogatives in the exercise of foreign policy (see Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution) and for fewer US military interventions generally. Undertaken last November by J. Wallin Opinion Research, the new survey revealed “a national voter population that is largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the US military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well.”

Bill Dolbow, the spokesman for the Committee for a Responsible Foreign Policy, said, “We started this initiative to give a voice to the people and the people have spoken—Congress needs to enact more oversight before intervening in conflict abroad.”

The headline findings show, among other things, that 86.4 percent of those surveyed feel the American military should be used only as a last resort, while 57 percent feel that US military aid to foreign countries is counterproductive. The latter sentiment “increases significantly” when involving countries like Saudi Arabia, with 63.9 percent saying military aid—including money and weapons—should not be provided to such countries.

READ MORE

Getting Grand Strategy Wrong Reply

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

One of the iron laws of warfare is that a higher level dominates a lower. You can be brilliant tactically, but if you are defeated operationally, you lose. You can win tactically and operationally, but if you get beaten strategically, you lose. And if you get your grand strategy wrong, you lose no matter how well you did at the lower three levels. The German Army was the best in the world for almost eighty years, but Germany lost both World Wars because its grand strategy was terrible.

Having failed to copy tactical and operational excellence, we now appear instead to be imitating Berlin when it comes to grand strategy. The new national security strategy published by the White House on December 18 is a disaster. The strategy it recommends was obsolete before the ink was dry.

READ MORE

Keith Preston: Trump represents a tradition of ‘xenophobic isolationism’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump’s administration represents a tradition of “xenophobic isolationism” which is different from conventional GOP foreign policy, and may curb US imperialism, says a political analyst from Virginia.

“We have this isolationist tradition that is very xenophobic in the sense that we tend to view the rest of the world as somehow inferior or somehow contaminated and this idea that Americans are somehow superior, culturally or politically or economically, or whatever, that is a very deep seated tendency in American culture, at least amongst certain sectors. And Donald Trump’s administration in some ways reflects that point of view,” Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com told Press TV on Friday.

Preston pointed that such a xenophobic view could ironically undermine American imperial power and hegemony in the world as it contradicts the expansionist policies of former presidents George Bush and Barack Obama.

According to a new report by the world’s largest political risk consultancy group, Eurasia, Donald Trump’s America First policy will decrease Washington’s influence on the world stage in 2018.

“The decline of US influence in the world will accelerate in 2018,” reads the study released Tuesday by the Eurasia Group,

The report said Trump’s unilateral approach to foreign policy is in stark contrast to the policies of former US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Preston stated the Eurasia consultancy group which authored the recent report is influenced by expansionist neo-cons who are displeased with any sort of policy, including Trump-style isolationism based on xenophobic American nationalism that would undermine US hegemony.

The chief editor of Attack the System argued that both the Bush and Obama administrations had their wars and expansionist policies but “the Trump administration is actually trying to pull back from this not so much because they are opposed to American imperialism as much as they are xenophobic and perhaps this has the unintended consequence, in the sense that it undermines this kind of imperial expansionism and it does create open spaces for a more multi-polar world to develop… .”

 

 

Keith Preston: US war against North Korea would have ‘catastrophic consequences’ Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

A military option by the US against North Korea to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula would have “catastrophic consequences,” says a political analyst in Virginia.

“An attempted invasion by the United States of the Korean Peninsula or the region of North Korea will certainly generate huge numbers of casualties on both sides,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“It could potentially lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction as well,” Preston told Press TV in a phone interview on Thursday.

“It’s also possible that a war of that type could escalate; that the Chinese and the Russians for example, could come to the defense of North Korea,” he added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the US against its “aggressive rhetoric” towards North Korea.

During a Tuesday phone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov stressed that Washington’s actions have heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

Russian Ambassador-at-Large Oleg Burmistrov said on Thursday that there is a growing danger of sliding toward an unprovoked conflict on the Korean Peninsula amid an unprecedented level of tension in the region.

On Monday, the US sanctioned two senior North Korean officials over the country’s ballistic missile program.

Tensions have been boiling on the Korean peninsula since early summer when Pyongyang test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and then carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

Defying rounds of United Nations economic sanctions, the North tested a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, nearly a month ago.

Experts say North Korea has virtually mastered the capability to use the ICBMs with nuclear warheads in potential attacks that could target the entire United States, South Korea’s closest ally in countering the North.

Many also fear that increased pressure on North Korea and bellicose threats of war against the isolated nation from Washington could finally spark a nuclear confrontation in the region. Pyongyang harshly reacted to a recent round of sanctions adopted Friday over the test-firing of Hwasong-15, and called them an act of war.

Trump and Military Intervention Reply

On foreign policy, Trump more or less continues the Obama legacy, with a little bit of Republican hawkishness thrown in for good measure. In other words, more or less what Hillary what have done. Who could’ve guessed?

By Daniel Larison

The American Conservative

Trump has had a more hawkish foreign policy than the one he inherited:

Instead, Trump has sent more U.S. troops to conflict zones in the Middle East and South Asia. He’s dropped more bombs on Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. And he’s expanded a global campaign of targeted drone killings.

Add it all up, and it’s hard to see how Trump’s foreign policy is any less interventionist than his predecessors. If anything, Trump’s policies are a little more hawkish than those of Barack Obama, says Christopher Preble, with the CATO Institute.

“He’s largely continued what he’s inherited, with some additional increment of the use of force,” says Preble.

READ MORE

China and Russia Train for War with U.S. if Trump Invades North Korea 1

The withering away of the antiwar movement during the Obama era, and the failure of the Left to oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to strengthen the position of the Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi axis (or to even take notice) indicates that US imperialism will have to be defeated externally rather than internally. This will be achieved by a combination of ongoing military defeats by fourth generation warfare forces, and the rise of counter power on a geopolitical level. On the former point, the US is now 0-5 in the 4GW conflicts that have been fought over the last quarter century (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria). Meanwhile, the “triangular resistance” of the BRICS, Shia-led Resistance Block, and the Global South is rising to create a multipolar rather than unipolar world. The US has largely retreated from Latin America, and will gradually do the same in Asia and Africa in the future.

By Tom O’Connor

Newsweek

China and Russia may be devising a plan to attack U.S. forces in the event of an imminent war breaking out on the neighboring Korean Peninsula, according to two former military officials.

Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, the former deputy commander of the western Nanjing Military Region, warned “the war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year”; his comments came during a conference hosted Saturday by ruling Communist Party newspaper The Global Times. The following day, the nationalist outlet expanded on the retired general’s remarks with insight from Chinese military expert, commentator and author Song Zhongping, who said China could potentially engage U.S. forces if they posed a threat.

READ MORE

Whither the Antiwar Movement? Reply

This article provides a pretty good overview of why the antiwar movement is so tiny and ineffectual. The antiwar movement of the early 2000s was a cover for an anti-Republican movement, that quickly disappeared when Barack Obama was elected, even if there were no substantive changes in US foreign policy. Here are some of the author’s main points:

“The rallies and protests in the early 2000s attracted significant numbers but they were weighed down by far-left organizations like the World Workers Party, which brought with them myriad other issues beyond war like global warming and poverty. There was also long-held and fairly broad skepticism about the intentions of United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ) and the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, which organized most of the big protests over the last 17 years. This was due to the “big tent” affiliations of some of their steering committee members, which critics say led to a dilution of the message and drove the anti-war movement further from the mainstream. “

What the author is saying that the massive antiwar rallies of the early 2000s were frequently organized by Commie-front groups, for the sake of creating a revolutionary leftist movement under their leadership, and not opposing imperialist aggression per se. The antiwar movement was only a vehicle for advancing revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, and trying to bring other left movements under their umbrella as well. Hence, the emphasis on the “big tent” that you find at leftist antiwar rallies, where antiwar banners and signs will be displayed along with banners about a multitude of other issues, from climate change to transgender rights. This is a standard Marxist-Leninist organizing technique, and one that is very familiar to those of us with decades of experience with the far left.

More…

The Greatest Mass-Death Regimes in History Reply

Some more interesting comments from Dick Moore. I would agree that US imperialism at present is far more pernicious than anything the Russians or Chinese are currently doing. For one thing, it has a much, much wider reach. Russia’s present foreign policy is a traditional Russian foreign policy, i.e. maintain buffer zones in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and formulate a Eurasian/Global South alliance for the purpose of countering Western imperialism and moving towards multipolarity. Chinese foreign policy is also fairly traditional Chinese foreign policy, i.e. maintaining buffer zones and avoid cultural contamination, with an additional emphasis on economic development. American foreign policy at present is also a fairly traditional American, i.e. aggressive expansionism and domination of international trade.

————————————–

Even if you leave out actual shooting and bombing people, the US Empire is one of the greatest mass-death regimes in history. The political-economic kleptocracy uses its hegemonic power and military threats to alter the legal and economic environments of foreign nations from Panama to Formosa. It regularly uses both its own military and its puppet agencies such as the United Nations to blockade and sanction foreign countries, and to prop-up thuggish regimes who are compliant with the needs of the Corporate Super-Class. The indirect effect this has on domestic regimes’ political and economic environment has resulted in the deaths of literally tens of millions of people who are being deprived of access to medical, food and other resources that would otherwise have been available to them. Even if you think some ‘alternative’ source of starvation and tyranny would have filled the vacuum had the USA not been the one doing it, they are still responsible for what they actually are doing.

If one counts the Ukraine famine and the actions of the Kyrgiz Socialist Republic in the death total of Stalin, I don’t see why we shouldn’t count these murder-by-sanction and murder-by-proxy against the US Empire. Which would make the USA right up there with Chairman Mao for total body count – if not higher. The difference is that the USSR and Chinese Communist death totals were largely confined to the domestic spheres of the old Russian and Chinese empires, whereas the USA is murdering and starving people on a global scale.

No automatic alt text available.

Neocons Seek War with Iran, Ethic Cleansing of Palestinians Reply

As a I have long suspected.

William S. Lind

Traditional Right

Those of us who supported President Trump in last year’s election because he promised a less interventionist foreign policy need to be aware of a rising danger.  Neo-con influence in the Trump administration seems to be on the increase.  Rumored high-level personnel changes could put neo-cons into key foreign policy positions.  Just as their neo-con predecessors led President George W. Bush into the disastrous Iraq war, a gift that keeps on giving, so today’s neo-cons want a war with Iran.

The obvious question is, how could anyone be so stupid?  War with Iran is a lose-lose proposition.  If the Iranians defeat us, we lose.  If we defeat them, we also lose because there is a high probability the Iranian state would disintegrate and Iran would become another stateless region.  That would be a huge victory for our real enemies, Islamic non-state entities such as Al Qaeda and ISIS that wage Fourth Generation war. 

The neo-cons refuse to see this because they are playing another game, a game driven by the misconceived interests of a foreign power.  To put it bluntly, many influential neo-cons are part and parcel of Israel’s Likud party.  Years ago, around the beginning of the George W. Bush administration, they helped Likud devise a strategy for Israel.  That strategy called for the United States to destroy every Middle Eastern state that could be a threat to Israel.  That was why the neo-cons pushed the Bush administration into war with Iraq.

READ MORE

Keith Preston: Trump Most “Pro-Zionist” U.S. President Ever Reply

I got a mention in Breitbart, lol. Listen to the original interview with Press TV here.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: President Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel renders him the “most pro-Zionist” commander-in-chief to have ever held the high office, declared Iran’s state-controlled news agency Press TV, citing an analyst.

State sponsor of terrorism Iran does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has continually threatened to destroy it. The Shiite powerhouse joined various predominantly Muslim countries, jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and Pope Francis in condemning President Trump’s decision.

On Wednesday, Trump announced that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has directed his administration to move America’s diplomatic mission from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” declared Trump. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

Soon after Trump made his historic decision public, Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, told Press TV:

This is not surprising that Trump would make this announcement. One thing that needs to be recognized about the Trump administration’s foreign policy is that the Trump administration is zealously pro-Israel.

The Trump administration is ardently pro-Zionist, even more, pro-Zionist than many past administrations have been, arguably the most pro-Zionist administration in U.S. history.

READ MORE

A Future Global War between States and Non-State Actors? 1

Bill Lind’s analysis of the emerging world order is absolutely correct. If I were a statist, I would be taking the exact same position as Bill Lind, i.e. that the main threat that states now face is not each other but the rise of  non-state actors and fourth generation warfare forces. The difference is that Bill, being a Hobbesian conservative, is rooting for the statists while I, as an anarchist, am rooting for “the other side.” It is easy enough to envision a future, more radical version of the Non-Aligned Movement of the kind proposed by the International Secessionary Movement, representing a global alliance of startup societies, waging a common insurgency against the emerging global imperial system.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

As President Trump knows well, he has not been very successful in getting the measures he wants through Congress.  One way to improve his chances of doing so is to change the context.

Relations with Russia provide an example.  The president knows our hostility towards Russia makes no sense.  Communism has fallen, we have no interests that should lead us to oppose Russia and Russia is resuming her 19th century role as the most conservative of the great powers.  Russia should be our ally, not our enemy. 

The Washington establishment wants a hostile relationship with Russia because it is still thinking in the context of a world of states in conflict.  Any other powerful state (including China) that does not bow to American hegemony must be seen as an enemy.  The purpose of all the clucking and squawking about the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia is to scare the administration away from improving relations with Moscow.  Unfortunately, that trick seems to be working. 

But what if the administration responded by changing the context?  President Trump could easily explain to the American people that the real threat we face is not any other state (except perhaps North Korea) but “terrorism” (really 4GW) from non-state entities, of which ISIS is only one.  To beat the terrorists, we need an alliance with Russia and China, because they are the other two great powers.  In fact, that alliance would only be the beginning.  We should work with Moscow and Beijing to create an alliance of all states against violent non-state entities.  If we want a relatively peaceful, ordered, and safe 21st century, that is what we have to do.    

READ MORE