The Stark Truth. Listen here.
Ukraine launches a military drill near Russia’s border with which Kiev has been at loggerheads over a wide range of issues. The three-day military exercises involve tanks and heavy artillery. Ukraine stressed that it is prepared to defend its territory. The drill came as Kiev has accused Moscow of planning to seize two of its strategic port cities. However, Russia rejected the allegations as absurd and unsubstantiated. Relations between the two countries have been strained since the crisis began in eastern Ukraine in 20-14 and Crimea re-joined Russia following a referendum the same year. The relations worsened further after Russia seized three Ukrainian ships recently accusing them of illegally entering Russian waters off the coast of Crimea.
Is the Empire receding?
By Kristen Bialik
Pew Research Center
The number of active-duty U.S. military troops stationed overseas has dipped below 200,000 for the first time in at least 60 years. The decline, reflecting a broader one in active-duty U.S. forces, has occurred in multiple countries – including South Korea, which has become a focus of attention amid escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.
There were around 1.3 million total active-duty U.S. military personnel in 2016. Of these, 193,442 – or 15% – were deployed overseas. That’s the smallest number and share of active-duty members overseas since at least 1957, the earliest year with comparable data, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of information from the Defense Manpower Data Center, a statistical arm of the Department of Defense.
An interesting M-L-M critique of the critical theory oriented “Left.” I don’t agree with his general ideology but I agree with his assessment of “identity politics” as having no real value other than to create divisiveness that will have the effect of undermining the system (“destabilizing the imperialist core”), thereby making anti-imperialist victory more likely. That’s why I have spent so much time promoting all kinds of fringe, freakazoid movements and ideologies, and favor the most extreme, ridiculous or insane political candidates. Weaken the system at its core. Another thing I like about Jason is that he recognizes that the “revolutionary potential” of the First World is minimal to non-existent. I agree with his assessment of the Third World at the focus of anti-imperialist revolution, even if I don’t share his Marxism.
By Greg Grandin
Press TV. Listen here.
Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a “liability” to the United States but Washington is not in a position to take action against him, an American analyst says.
Keith Preston, director of the Attackthesystem.org, said Washington was feeling embarrassed by bin Salman’s actions but couldn’t do anything about it.
“The American government is currently in a very difficult situation because the Saudi Arabian government is a staunch ally of the United States and it is obvious that the Trump administration wants to maintain that relationship,” Preston told Press TV.
US President Donald Trump has so far resisted growing calls from both sides of the isle in Congress for a strong response to the Saudi regime’s murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, arguing that doing so would endanger deep financial and political ties between the two sides and push Riyadh towards Russia.
Trump’s reluctance to go after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite growing evidence pointing to his role, became clearer after he undermined a CIA assessment that the prince was indeed aware of the murder.
The biggest reason is the risk that losing Saudi Arabia’s services would pose to Israel, Trump has admitted.
This is big news. Apparently, the political class in Congress is siding with the interests of the media class (the left-wing of capitalism) and these have diverged from the priorities of the Trump administration, which is clearly more concerned with the interests of the Israeli and Saudi regimes, and their domestic associates in the United States such as AIPAC, Exxon, and the armaments industry (the right-wing of capitalism).
The US Senate has advanced a measure to withdraw American support for a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, in a blow to President Donald Trump.
Many senators are unhappy with Mr Trump’s response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis had urged senators not to back the motion, saying it would worsen the situation in Yemen.
However, senators voted 63-37 to take forward the bipartisan motion.
In the past, I have tended to think of Rand Paul as a toady and a sellout, or at least as too moderate. But perhaps I was premature.
By Alison Weir
he Free Beacon reports that “pro-Israel groups in America are mobilizing against Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) for blocking the continuation of U.S. aid to Israel.”
Paul has placed a “block” on legislation to give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years – $23,000 per every Jewish Israeli family of four. This is the largest military aid package in U.S. history and amounts to $7,230 per minute to Israel, or $120 per second. A stack of $38 billion dollar bills would reach ten times beyond the international space station.
A block is a legislative procedure in which a senator calls on the floor leader not to move forward with a bill and indicates that the senator may filibuster against it.
A Communist debates a Romanian conservative who actually lived under Romanian Communism. On a general level, I agree with the Communist guy’s criticisms of imperialism and the First World Left, and the Romanian guy’s criticisms of Communism.
“Well, I think there is a number of issues going on. First of all, we have to understand the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi Arabia is probably one of the United States’ closest allies in the Middle East along with Israel. And Saudi Arabia is also a major export market for American armaments. Recently, there was a multibillion-dollar arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia and this is a major boom to American arms manufacturers. This is essentially a foreign export market for armaments that is underwritten by the American government. So, there are a lot of vested interest who want to preserve this relationship,” Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem, told Tasnim.
The United States and Saudi Arabia are connected at every level, he added.
Referring to the situation in Yemen, Preston described it as serious.
Trump’s candor leaves Anglo-American-Zionist-Wahhabist axis exposed. Well done, Mr. President (even if the intentions were polar opposite).
The Times of Israel
US President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that Israel would face major regional difficulties in the Middle East if it were not for the stabilizing presence of Saudi Arabia.
“Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump told reporters after a Thanksgiving Day telephone call with members of the military from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida.
The US president was asked to comment on reports that the CIA had concluded that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of US-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
“If you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said. “So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”
“The fact is that Saudi Arabia is tremendously helpful in the Middle East, if we didn’t have Saudi Arabia we wouldn’t have a big base, we wouldn’t have any reason probably…” Trump said, without finishing the sentence.
Critics in Congress and high-ranking officials in other countries have accused Trump of ignoring human rights and giving Saudi Arabia a pass for economic reasons, including its influence on the world oil market.
Noting that Saudi Arabia helps keep oil prices down, Trump on Thursday argued that almost no country is without its faults.
“If we go by a certain standard we won’t be able to have allies with almost any country,” he said.
Press TV. Listen here.
US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Saudi Arabia’s importance for Israel prove right longtime speculation about Riyadh’s secret alliance with Tel Aviv, American political analyst Keith Preston says.
Faced with international pressure to hold Riyadh responsible for murdering dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump has argued that punishing the kingdom hurts the US more as it would alienate the key Middle East ally and jeopardize billions of dollars in arms sales.
But the biggest reason, as he told reporters on Thursday, was the risk that losing Saudi Arabia’s services would pose to Israel.
“Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” Trump said after a Thanksgiving Day telephone call with military personnel from his Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida.
“If you look at Israel, Israel would be in big trouble without Saudi Arabia,” he added. “So what does that mean, Israel is going to leave? You want Israel to leave? We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia.”
The President said the Saudis were “tremendously helpful” in the region as they also helped keep oil prices down.
Preston, chief editor of attackthesystem.com, said the remarks corroborated previous reports about growing ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
“Trump is unusual for an American president in that he frequently goes off-script and says things that are unusually candid,” Preston told Press TV on Friday.
The analyst said while many people seemed to think that Riyadh and Tel Aviv were enemies, Trump’s statement proves that they are not.
Saudi Arabia sucks. Period.
“You said nothing as homosexuals were tossed off buildings, as women were stoned for being raped, or as dissidents were harassed or assaulted. Stop with the crocodile tears over the White House Khashoggi statement, stop being opportunists about the death of a journalist.”
It’s interesting how the MSM never said a word about the Saudi war in Yemen for years, until MBS bumped off a WaPo journalist, and the media realized they could use anti-Saudi sentiment as a weapon against Trump, which is actually quite helpful if it shifts the discourse away from the previous Russiahate line toward a new Saudihate line.
This is a fortunate turn of events. Now, if only Israel would take a bonesaw to a WaPo journalist.
NBC News/Associated Press.
SANAA, Yemen — An estimated 85,000 children under age 5 may have died of hunger and disease since the outbreak of Yemen’s civil war in 2015, an international aid group said Wednesday.
Save the Children said the “conservative” estimate is based on average mortality rates for Severe Acute Malnutrition, which the U.N. says has afflicted more than 1.3 million children since a Saudi-led coalition went to war with Yemen’s Houthi rebels in March 2015.
Professor Antony C. Sutton in 1975 on the involvement of Wall Street (Federal Reserve, Rockefeller, Averell Harriman, Morgan, Armand Hammer, General Electric, etc) in the Bolshevik Revolution, the non-murder of the Romanovs, the funding of the USSR, the decisions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the rise of Adolf Hitler.
Press TV. Listen here.
The United States is beginning to view Saudi Arabia as a “liability” that could complicate international relations, says a political analyst in Virginia.
“The policymakers in the United States have apparently decided that the Saudis have become too much of a liability and are trying to rein in some of the excessive behavior of the Saudis,” said Keith Preston, chief editor and director of Attackthesystem.com.
“The level of state repression that exists in Saudi Arabia is very extreme and always has been. That’s well known,” he said.
The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the gruesome murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last month, The Washington Post reported.
Sources close to the spy agency said it had assessed the evidence in detail.
The Washington Post, which Khashoggi worked for, said the CIA assessment was based partly on a phone call made by the crown prince’s brother, Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US.
Prince Khalid allegedly called Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of bin Salman, at the direction of his brother and told him to go to the Saudi diplomatic mission while giving him assurances that he would be safe there. Khashoggi, 59, was killed in the consulate in Istanbul on October 2. His body has not been found.
“It’s always been known that the Saudi Arabia murders political dissidents,” Preston said, adding, “so it’s not that anything unusual has happened.”
What came as a shock to US officials is that the Saudis murdered a political dissident that happened to live in the United States and wrote for The Washington Post and other major American newspapers, the analyst pointed out.
“It’s been very difficult for the Saudis to simply slip this under the rug,” he said.
Khashoggi’s murder has also brought the world’s attention to the Saudi war crimes in Yemen, where about 56,000 Yemenis have been killed since the start of the war in 2015.
Preston said the Saudi war has created such a serious international crisis that the American media and policy makers can no longer simply ignore.
A bipartisan group of US senators introduced a bill Thursday that would halt US arms exports to Saudi Arabia as a response to the “barbaric” murder of Khashoggi and the “indiscriminate” bombing of Yemen.
Eight million people are affected by severe food shortages in Yemen and up to 14 million — or half of its population — are at risk of famine, UN officials have warned.
I am inclined toward the view that much of the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy can be understood in terms of the traditional elite, with their Hamiltonian perspective, attempting to reassert themselves against the Wilsonian view of the liberal internationalists and neoconservatives that has been dominant in recent decades. Of course, my own approach would be more in the Jeffersonian vein.
By Jake Meador
Given President Obama’s speech at the UN this morning, today seems like a good day to pass this article around. WRM has a nice summary of the four schools of thought in American foreign policy over at Via Meadia (I’ve bolded his description of the four approaches) :
Amidst all the pious, hypocritical mourning of the end of World War One commemorations, Rosa Luxemburg’s words from 1916 are more relevant than ever:
Far too many people on the center left and center right have bought into the idea that nations such as Russia or China are genuine enemies of the global system, and far too many people on the far left and far right have bought into the idea that these nations represent credible alternatives to the global system. While it is certainly true that the Washington-London-Brussels-Berlin-Tel Aviv-Riyadh axis is the real international ruling class, the Asian powers are merely backwater provinces in the global system that are occasionally unruly.