Ethno-linguistic and "Cultural" Nationalism

as a reaction to Neoliberalism induced decline of standards of living

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And nationalism is given a special virulence when it is said to be blessed by Providence. Today we have a president, invading two countries in four years, who announced on the campaign trail last year that God speaks through him.

We need to refute the idea that our nation is different from, morally superior to, the other imperial powers of world history.

We need to assert our allegiance to the human race, and not to any one nation.

-- Howard Zinn

Neoliberalism creates powerful nationalistic impulses die to its failure of fulfill its promises. Disappointed, impoverished, and, especially, unemployed people are easy recruits for far right movements.  In this sense the situation is similar to Bolshevism, which after being discredited as ideology (which was based on the promise of rising standard of living and eventual overtaking the capitalist West in prosperity) failed to keep the country together because of  growing (and lavishly supported both in propaganda and financially by the West) wave of nationalism which swept the USSR into oblivion. Disintegration of the USSR was based on two major factors -- betrayal of the "nomenklatura" which switched to neoliberalism, and abandoning Comminist ideology (in which actually nobody believed after 1970th)  and the tide of nationalistic sentiments.

Now nationalism is on the rise in all major Western countries. Such events as Brexit and election of Trump are links of the same chain of events.

Nationalism informs our ideas about language, culture, identity, nation, and State--ideas that are being challenged by globalization and an neoliberal economic order and ideology. Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich is generally hostile to nationalism. It often purposely destabilize  the nation-states to open them to transnational corporations ("creative destruction" of sort), the dominant political players under neoliberalism. For example, when the federal government of Canada adopted neoliberal policies one immediate consequence was the termination of the funding programs  for the francophone community cultural programs (along with the termination of the welfare programs). Indeed, the Official Languages Act itself was overhauled.

The United States' pursuit of global primacy is based upon a complex melding of neoliberal economics and hegemonic politics which produce strong anti-American sentiments in various part of the globe, fueling nationalism.  US imperialism is inherently predatory  and profoundly different from the productive capitalism that had been the basis of American economic success. It is essentially a War and color revolutions based racket. It has important difference with classic colonialism: what traditional colonialism tried to achieve with standing armies now is achieved using financial instruments and tiny strata of  "comprador elite" within the given country.  Putting the nation into debt-bondage proved to be even more effective in extracting resources from the countries then the old colonial rule. 

Ethno-nationalism is not the only form of nationalism in existence. Moreover, Ethno-nationalism is in decline, as it is now discomforting intellectually and morally for many people. But two other, more modern and no less powerful forms of nationalism emerged: "cultural nationalism" and "economic nationalism".

As social scientists demonstrated nationalistic sentiments are often a product of culture, often deliberately constructed by the local elite to achieve pretty nefarious and selfish goals.  Still the culture can as solid core of nationalism as ethnicity. this new form of nationalism became an important player on the world scene.

Ukrainian color revolution of February 2014 (EuroMaydan), despite surface slogans about Eurointergation, was fought and won by Western Ukrainian nationalists, which later tried to impose their will on the rest of the country provoking the civil war in Donbass (with substantial help from Russia, which decided to support Russian speaking population against Ukrainian nationalists cultural assault).  While they were ethnic nationalists in the past, now they by-and-large converted in cultural nationalists, which oppose not Russians as a national by Russian culture and language and try to instill Ukrainian culture and language in the country were the majority of population speaks Russian.

So far the net result was a destruction of the Ukrainian economy due to break-up of Soviet era ties with Russian industries and abandonment of Russian market (while Ukrainian goods are no values as much in Western markets and face various often artificial barriers in EU). In 216 the impoverishment of the population reached the Central African states level (less then $2 dollar a day for the majority of population).

Americans generally are strongly negative to the idea of ethnic nationalism and that's is one of the best features of Americans as a nation. After all, in the United States people of varying ethnic origins live in peace. For example within two or three generations of immigration,  ethnic identities of Western and Eastern European immigrants are attenuated by cultural assimilation and intermarriage. In general, immigrants to the United States usually arrive with a willingness to fit into their new country and reshape their identities accordingly. But for those who remain behind in lands where their ancestors have lived for generations, if not centuries, political identities still sometimes take more ancient ethnic or religious form, producing powerful claims to political power. In the past, the creation of nation-states in Europe has often the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. 

While the apogee of ethno-nationalism was probably in 1930th and during post war decolonization,  ethno-nationalism while in decline still remain a powerful social force in some countries. In many way ethno-nationalism is still linked with national socialism.  But traditional national socialism version of ethno-nationalism  was slowly but surely replaced by what the form that is based on colon culture and language --  "cultural nationalism". I think that  American Exceptionalism is one of the most interesting examples of this type of nationalism. And the fact that US flags in the USA are everywhere definitely signify its strength in mind of the people. Unlike many European state were driving a car with the national flag would be considered bad manners, in the USA it is OK behaviour.

The US elite as the leading imperial elite that overtook British elite on the world stage achieved great mastery in using divide and conquer strategy by inciting nationalistic feelings all over the world. This mastery (despite Bush "Chicken Kiev" speech)  was especially demonstrated in facilitation the break-up of the USSR. It was nationalism that had blown up the USSR when it started experiencing economic difficulties and crisis of the political doctrine under which it was created as well as suffering from the losing Afghan war.

It is interesting to note that the crisis in the USSR was amplified due to supply of modern technology. Personal computers inside the country which broke traditional hold on distribution of literature by Communist Party (which rules the country as a religious sect, crushing even minor deviations form holy doctrine), were very similar to Stringers hand held missiles in Afghan war, which deteriorated Russian air superiority, and limited the use of helicopters (with a pretty nasty effect 30 years later).  This along the  money with which the USA and Saudi financed radical Islamic fundamentalism  converted Islamist revels it into a powerful political force. Political Islam was if nor born then strengthens in Afghan war.  Which paradoxically is another example of "cultural nationalism", were the religion serves as the cementing force and identification of us vs. them. .

People often forget that Osama bin Laden was essentially a recruiting agent on Saudi Intelligence payroll during the USSR Afghan war.  In this sense tragedy of 9/11 was simply a blowback of previous efforts to defeat the USSR in Afghan war by whatever means possible. And one of those means was spreading of Wahhabism and what can be called "Islamic cultural nationalism". 

As author of the note Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11? observed:

I would indeed go further and say that Islamic schools infuse a dangerous and un-Islamic Islam-supremacist, and indeed now sectarian Wahhabi-supremacist view vis-à-vis all other religions and cultures and this is at least partly responsible for many of the problems Muslims face around the world today.

In other words with  the ascendance of neoliberalism nationalism re-emerged as a powerful countervailing force.  Brexit was just the first powerful manifestation of this effect.

likbez : , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 02:47 PM
Neoliberalism creates an impulse for nationalism in several ways:

1. It destroys human solidarity. And resorting to nationalism in a compensational mechanism to restore it in human societies. that's why the elite often resorts to foreign wars if it feels that it losing the control over peons.

2. Neoliberalism impoverishes the majority of population enriching top 1% and provokes the search for scapegoats. Which in the past traditionally were Jews. Now look like MSM are trying to substitute them for Russians

3. Usually the rise of nationalism is correlated with the crisis in the society. There is a crisis of neoliberalism that we experience in the USA now: after 2008 neoliberalism entered zombie state, when the ideology is discredited, but forces behind it are way too strong for any social change to be implemented. Much like was the case during "Brezhnev socialism" in the USSR.

So those who claim that we are experiencing replay of late 1920th on a new level might be partially right. With the important difference that it does not make sense to establish fascist dictatorship in the USA. Combination of "Inverted totalitarism" and "national security state" already achieved the same major objectives with much less blood and violence.

Secessionist movements

In the post-Second World War period until 1989, superpowers were committed to upholding existing state boundaries. While decolonization was permitted, the borders of states were treated, in international law and practice, as permanent—non-negotiable—features of the international state system.

Secessionist movements are based on groups that have a strong national identification, and are fuelled by nationalism. Minority nations, in multination states, often criticize state policies on the grounds that they implicitly privilege the majority national group on the territory. They have resisted majority control over certain aspects of state policy, and have made claims for state protection of their culture or for recognition of their distinct identity. This usually means that they want their language to be used in official capacities and their children to be educated in their language and about their culture. They typically demand their own political institutions, to enable them to control their own affairs.

As a political principle nationalism postulates that the political and national unit should be congruent. That naturally leads to secessionist movements. It has many variations and in weaker form presuppose  the moral significance of the national community, its existence in the past and into the future, and typically seeks some form of political protection to safeguard its future existence.

One advantage of viewing nationalism as a normative theory about the value of national membership and national communities is that it can account for the key policies or demands of nationalists. On this conception, the demand for national self-determination is an important plank in many nationalist movements although not, contra Gellner, a fundamental principle of nationalism. Nationalists may, and often do, seek complete independence or state sovereignty. However, in some cases, where the costs of independence are too high, or the benefits of independence too precarious, nationalists may seek other forms of institutional recognition.

,,, ,,, ,,,

the category 'nation', like 'friends' and 'lovers', falls into the second group. It is contingent on its members' sustaining a certain image of it based on their perceptions and feelings—although of course there are a number of conditions which lead to the construction of an image of a nation, such as shared religion, language, law, geographical isolation, colonial policies, bureaucratic decisions, and the like.

... ... ...

David Miller lists five elements that together constitute a nation: it is, he writes 'a community (1) constituted by shared beliefs and mutual commitments, (2) extended in history, (3) active in character, (4) connected to a particular territory, and (5) marked off from other communities by its distinct public culture'. 12 This definition also suggests that the subjective identification is crucial.

... ... ...

One common line of argument, associated with the work of Gellner, Anderson, Hobsbawm, and others, is that national identity is linked with broad historical forces. National forms of identity become prominent in the modern period as a result of industrialization, and the social and bureaucratic changes that accompany industrialization—or precede it, in the case of states aspiring to be industrialized. In Gellner's formulation of the argument, the modern economy is crucially dependent on standardized modes of communication and cultural practices, and people's life chances are shaped by the language in which they communicate, as well as other cultural forms of interaction. This is in contrast to the premodern period when cultural or linguistic differences were politically irrelevant.

That means that the language and culture  became the most important components which defines the boundaries of national identity, while all other characteristics that define nationality, such as specific for given ethnos DNA, receded. That consideration gave rise of élite-manipulation models of nationalism. They view national identity as the product of actions by political or economic élites, who foster national identities for their own (self-interested) ends. More sophisticated élite-manipulation theories describe élites as encoding violence or antagonism as ethnic or national which could be described in other ways—as criminal or class violence, say—for their own ends. Nationalism  is merely a means for élites to preserve or enhance their own power and status in the society. This is a variation of the old Plato's argument that the masses are easily duped and so cannot steer the ship of state. The fact that nations are socially constructed does not suggest that they are less real or are to be regarded with suspicion. Some people focus on the fact that they are 'imagined' communities to suggest that they may have no basis in 'reality'.

The social image is important because it is impossible for all its members to engage in face-to-face contact with each other at all times. Therefore members must refer to their perception of the image of the nation. Of course, on this definition, many, if not most, communities, except the very smallest, are imagined in the same way. Religious communities are imagined; my university is imagined; even my extended family is imagined. 26 But they may all be important, and legitimate, bases of identification.

That means that it is more accurate to describe national identities as existing along a continuum, with the language, the habits or customs or character of the group on one end and the institutional structure of state on the another. For example, in immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, where groups of people left their various 'homelands' to become part of a different political project, immigrant groups do not have the "national territory" as a basis to reproduce their own culture en masse and the political identities in question—the Canadian, Australian, and American identities — are genuinely available to them, in the sense that the host society did not exclude them from the political project and the political project propose to then a new, "born again"  cultural and political identity. In case the have like, for example in Quebec -- their nationalism assumes the forms that are typical for Old World.

Similarly in the case of France, ethnic groups were incorporated or integrated into France prior to the Age of Nationalism, and assimilation was largely effective. There has been some attempt to revive these minority nationalisms, but minority nations typically lack much shared (institutionally separate) history—since Normandy, Brittany, Aquitaine, Languedoc and Burgundy were all incorporated into France prior to 1500.  They lack an institutional basis, as well as social differentiation. The nationalisms are accordingly very weak. The French formula cannot be applied to other areas, where separate institutional or bureaucratic structures were in place by the time of mass democratic participation and the politicization of national and cultural differences by the bureaucratic modern state.  But the reaction against immigrant communities, especially Muslim community was very strong.

At the same time, as little as forty years ago, Britain was thought to be a homogeneous society, with strong class politics, but little in the way of national politics. Now, however, the conglomerate 'British' national identity seems to be eroding and is challenged by Scottish, Welsh, and to a lesser extent—and mainly in reaction to the other two nationalisms—English national identities.

The issue of rights to territory is also important because one basis of the distinction between immigrant groups and national groups is that the latter have territory and the former do not. Whether a group has territory is therefore crucially important, not only to this conceptual distinction, but it also affects, on at least one influential argument, the kind of rights and entitlements that attach to the groups.

Given the chronic availability of nationalist and ethnic idioms in modern polities, one might expect economic crises to foster heightened nation-statist or ethnic exclusion.  Intensified efforts to blame national and ethnic outsiders for economic distress, to protect domestic producers and workers against foreign (or ethnically “alien”) competition, or to treat politically vulnerable minorities as scapegoats. And earlier crises furnish ample precedent for such efforts. This review has suggested, however, that economic crises do not automatically or uniformly generate such responses and that nationalist and ethno-political responses to the present crisis have so far been relatively muted.

The credit crisis on 2008 was mainly interpreted in nation-statist terms and was blamed (outside the United States) on the American profligacy, American-style casino capitalism, the global financial system, or an externally imposed neoliberalism.

Until Brexit nationalist reaction of the crisis of neoliberalism  — or reactions with a more or less pronounced nationalist components were not successful outside a few countries such as Hungary and Russia. Legal and institutional constraints, complex forms of economic interdependence, and prevailing cultural idioms have all worked to inhibit radical measures designed to protect domestic producers or labor markets (although more limited forms of protection were widely implemented).  Even in the USA, the citadel of neoliberalism, the disenchantment with neoliberalism led to the rise of such politicians as Sanders and Trump.

It is   too soon to assess consequences of Brexit on neoliberal globalization, but it is clear that the growing wave of nationalism is able at least to slow if not revert that recent neoliberal "advances" in this direction. If you add coming oil crisis the future of neoliberal globalization now looks more and more uncertain.

As Indonesian Chinese massacre of 1998 proves modern societies are sill not above finding ethnic scapegoats in case of severe economic crisis:


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[Jan 02, 2018] Who Is the Real Enemy by Philip Giraldi

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so the US has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation."
Notable quotes:
"... And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so the US has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation. ..."
"... Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times ..."
"... Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy ..."
"... What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf. ..."
"... You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran. ..."
"... The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him. ..."
"... That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding. ..."
"... The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard. ..."
"... The titanic elephant in the room -- that US foreign policy is not governed by "rationality" but by "special interests" seems .missing ..."
"... Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago. ..."
"... I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this. I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security. Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US? ..."
"... The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest. ..."
"... The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer. ..."
"... Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them. ..."
"... There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals. ..."
"... Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential. ..."
"... Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that. ..."
"... Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance. ..."
"... And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country. ..."
"... The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans. ..."
Jul 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world's largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so the US has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation.

Also, I would characterize international terrorism as a faux threat at a national level, though one that has been exaggerated through the media and fearmongering to such an extent that it appears much more dangerous than it actually is. It has been observed that more Americans are killed by falling furniture than by terrorists in a year but terrorism has a particularly potency due to its unpredictability and the fear that it creates. Due to that fear, American governments and businesses at all levels have been willing to spend a trillion dollars per annum to defeat what might rationally be regarded as a relatively minor problem.

So if the United States were serious about dealing with or deflecting the actual threats against the American people it could first of all reduce its defense expenditures to make them commensurate with the actual threat before concentrating on three things. First, would be to establish a solid modus vivendi with Russia and China to avoid conflicts of interest that could develop into actual tit-for-tat escalation. That would require an acceptance by Washington of the fact that both Moscow and Beijing have regional spheres of influence that are defined by their interests. You don't have to like the governance of either country, but their national interests have to be appreciated and respected just as the United States has legitimate interests within its own hemisphere that must be respected by Russia and China.

Second, Washington must, unfortunately, continue to spend on the Missile Defense Agency, which supports anti-missile defenses if the search for a modus vivendi for some reason fails. Mutual assured destruction is not a desirable strategic doctrine but being able to intercept incoming missiles while also having some capability to strike back if attacked is a realistic deterrent given the proliferation of nations that have both ballistic missiles and nukes.

Third and finally, there would be a coordinated program aimed at international terrorism based equally on where the terror comes from and on physically preventing the terrorist attacks from taking place. This is the element in national defense that is least clear cut. Dealing with Russia and China involves working with mature regimes that have established diplomatic and military channels. Dealing with terrorist non-state players is completely different as there are generally speaking no such channels.

It should in theory be pretty simple to match threats and interests with actions since there are only a handful that really matter, but apparently it is not so in practice. What is Washington doing? First of all, the White House is deliberately turning its back on restoring a good working relationship with Russia by insisting that Crimea be returned to Kiev, by blaming Moscow for the continued unrest in Donbas, and by attacking Syrian military targets in spite of the fact that Russia is an ally of the legitimate government in Damascus and the United States is an interloper in the conflict. Meanwhile congress and the media are poisoning the waters through their dogged pursuit of Russiagate for political reasons even though nearly a year of investigation has produced no actual evidence of malfeasance on the part of U.S. officials and precious little in terms of Moscow's alleged interference.

Playing tough to the international audience has unfortunately become part of the American Exceptionalism DNA. Upon his arrival in Warsaw last week, Donald Trump doubled down on the Russia-bashing, calling on Moscow to "cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere and its support for hostile regimes including Syria and Iran." He then recommended that Russia should "join the community of responsible nations in our fight against common enemies and in defense of civilization itself."

The comments in Warsaw were unnecessary, even if the Poles wanted to hear them, and were both highly insulting and ignorant. It was not a good start for Donald's second overseas trip, even though the speech has otherwise been interpreted as a welcome defense of Western civilization and European values. Trump also followed up with a two hour plus discussion with President Vladimir Putin in which the two apparently agreed to differ on the alleged Russian hacking of the American election. The Trump-Putin meeting indicated that restoring some kind of working relationship with Russia is still possible, as it is in everyone's interest to do so.

Fighting terrorism is quite another matter and the United States approach is the reverse of what a rational player would be seeking to accomplish. The U.S. is rightly assisting in the bid to eradicate ISIS in Syria and Iraq but it is simultaneously attacking the most effective fighters against that group, namely the Syrian government armed forces and the Shiite militias being provided by Iran and Hezbollah. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that at least some in the Trump Administration are seeking to use the Syrian engagement as a stepping stone to war with Iran.

As was the case in the months preceding the ill-fated invasion of Iraq in 2003, all buttons are being pushed to vilify Iran. Recent reports suggest that two individuals in the White House in particular have been pressuring the Trump administration's generals to escalate U.S. involvement in Syria to bring about a war with Tehran sooner rather than later. They are Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey, reported to be holdovers from the team brought into the White House by the virulently anti-Iranian former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Cohen-Watnick is thirty years old and has little relevant experience for the position he holds, senior director for intelligence on the National Security Council. But his inexperience counts for little as he is good friend of son-in-law Jared Kushner. He has told the New York Times that "wants to use American spies to help oust the Iranian government," a comment that reflects complete ignorance, both regarding Iran and also concerning spy agency capabilities. His partner in crime Harvey, a former military officer who advised General David Petraeus when he was in Iraq, is the NSC advisor on the Middle East.

Both Cohen-Watnick and Harvey share the neoconservative belief that the Iranians and their proxies in Syria and Iraq need to be confronted by force, an opportunity described by Foreign Policy magazine as having developed into "a pivotal moment that will determine whether Iran or the United States exerts influence over Iraq and Syria." Other neocon promoters of conflict with Iran have described their horror at a possible Shiite "bridge" or "land corridor" through the Arab heartland, running from Iran itself through Iraq and Syria and connecting on the Mediterranean with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

What danger to the U.S. or its actual treaty allies an Iranian influenced land corridor would constitute remains a mystery but there is no shortage of Iran haters in the White House. Former senior CIA analyst Paul Pillar sees "unrelenting hostility from the Trump administration" towards Iran and notes "cherry-picking" of the intelligence to make a case for war, similar to what occurred with Iraq in 2002-3. And even though Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster have pushed back against the impulsive Cohen-Watnick and Harvey, their objections are tactical as they do not wish to make U.S. forces in the region vulnerable to attacks coming from a new direction. Otherwise they too consider Iran as America's number one active enemy and believe that war is inevitable. Donald Trump has unfortunately also jumped directly into the argument on the side of Saudi Arabia and Israel, both of which would like to see Washington go to war with Tehran on their behalf.

The problem with the Trump analysis is that he has his friends and enemies confused. He is actually supporting Saudi Arabia, the source of most of the terrorism that has convulsed Western Europe and the United States while also killing hundreds of thousands of fellow Muslims. Random terrorism to kill as many "infidels and heretics" as possible to create fear is a Sunni Muslim phenomenon, supported financially and doctrinally by the Saudis. To be sure, Iran has used terror tactics to eliminate opponents and select targets overseas, to include several multiple-victim bombings, but it has never engaged in anything like the recent series of attacks in France and Britain. So the United States is moving seemingly inexorably towards war with a country that itself constitutes no actual terrorist threat, unless it is attacked, in support of a country that very much is part of the threat and also on behalf of Israel, which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go. Saudi financing and Washington's propensity to go to war and thereby create a deep well of hatred just might be the principal causative elements in the rise of global terrorism. Do I think that Donald Trump's White House has the courage to take such a step and change direction? Unfortunately, no.

Jake, July 11, 2017 at 4:12 am GMT

The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic. And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud. So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites.

Priss Factor, Website , July 11, 2017 at 4:41 am GMT
US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests. That's about it.

Priss Factor, July 11, 2017 at 4:49 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at YouTube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

Replies: @Z-man

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.
Israel, the REAL enemy! , @K India is looking to unload hindus to U.S? Quite the opposite. India is 'losing' its best brains to the U.S so its trying to attract them back to their country. For eg: The chief- architect of IBM's Watson is a Hindu Indian and so is the head of IBM's neuro-morphic computing. These people are advancing western technology.... civilian and also defense (IBM is collaborating with the American defense organization DARPA) instead of helping India achieve technological competence. And most of other super intelligent Indians also India is losing them to the west.

(i dont hate the west for doing that. Any country in amercia's place would have done the same. It is india's job to keep its best brains working for it and not for others. And india is trying its best to do that albeit unsuccessfully.)

Wally, July 11, 2017 at 5:02 am GMT

The US govt. does what "that shitty little country" tells them to do.

The True Cost of Parasite Israel. Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

RobinG, July 11, 2017 at 5:49 am GMT

100 Words #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda. ."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

#UNRIG – Robert David Steele Weekly Update

@Durruti Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed - with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet - both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

MEexpert, July 11, 2017 at 5:50 am GMT

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

You forgot the third significant potential threat from a friendly nation, i.e. Israel. Israel will sabotage any effort to normallize relations with Russia or even Iran. They will resort to false flag operations to start a war with Iran.

The problem with this White House, as well as the previous ones, is that none of the so-called experts really understand the Middle East. The US is not interested in having friendly relations with all nations. All her efforts are towards one goal, the world domination. Even if President Trump wanted to normalize relations with Russia, the MSM, the democrats, as well as, his republican opponents will not let him.

That is why the constan drumbeat of Russia's meddling in the 2016 election despite the fact that no proof has been given so far. Similarly, the "Iran has nuclear weapons" narrative is constantly repeated, the reports by IAEA and the 17 Intelligence Agencies to the contrary not withstanding.

The elevation of Muhammad bin Salman to the Crown Prince position will only make the Middle East situation worse. Israel will be able to manipulate him much more easily than the old guard.

jilles dykstra, July 11, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
The western world is dependent on oil, especially ME oil. Saudi Arabia was made the USA's main oil supplier at the end of 1944. The Saud dynasty depends on the USA. That the Saudis would sponsor terrorism, why would they ? And which terrorism is Muslim terrorism ?

Sept 11 not, Boston not, Madrid and London very questionably. We then are left with minor issues, the Paris shooting the biggest. That Saudi Arabia is waging war in Yemen certainly is with USA support. The Saudi army does what the USA wants them to do.

Ludwig Watzal > Website , July 11, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT
Mr. Giraldi, you forgot to mention Israel as one of America's biggest liabilities besides Saudi Arabia. But with such amateur dramatics in the White House and on the Security Council, the US is destined for war but only against the wrong enemy such as Iran. If the Saudis and the right-wing Netanyahu regime want to get after Iran they should do it alone. They surely will get a bloody nose. Americans have shed enough blood for these rascal regimes. President Trump should continue with his rapprochement towards Russia because both nation states have more in common than expected.
animalogic, July 11, 2017 at 7:32 am GMT
I'm a little disappointed in this article. Not that it's a bad article per se: perfectly rational, reasonable, academic even. But unfortunately, it's simply naive.

"Realizing who the real enemy actually is and addressing the actual terrorism problem would not only involve coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia rather than Iran, it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Realize who the real enemy is ? Come down hard on the Saud's ? No -- really ?

The titanic elephant in the room -- that US foreign policy is not governed by "rationality" but by "special interests" seems .missing. Israel, the Saudi's themselves, the MIC & so on & so forth ARE the special interests who literally "realise" US Policy.

Paul, July 11, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.)

Replies:

@Wizard of Oz

I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? ,

Realist, July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am GMT

"The White House is targeting Iran but should instead focus on Saudi Arabia"

Trump has no control of most government functions, particularly foreign affairs. The Deep State takes care of that for him. The Deep State has been calling the shots for decades and all Presidents who weren't assassinated have complied. Democracies never work and ours quit long ago.

Chad, July 11, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT
I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this. I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security. Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves.

USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw.

It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood – "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo.

Replies:

@Jake

Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud,

Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Anonymous, July 11, 2017 at 9:33 am GMT

@Priss Factor

US foreign policy is simple. Zionist Emperor goes thumbs up or thumbs down on whatever nation based on his own interests.

That's about it. That's most of unz.com summed up in a single sentence!

Johnny Smoggins, July 11, 2017 at 10:19 am GMT

The casus belli of America's hostility towards Iran is the 3000 year old grudge that the Jews have been holding against Persia.
Z-man, July 11, 2017 at 11:22 am GMT
@Priss Factor

In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

No, the only threats are the following three:

Too many Meso-Americans invading from the border. These people have totally changed the SW and may drastically alter parts of US as well. This is an invasion. Meso-Americans are lackluster, but Too Many translates into real power, especially in elections.

The other threat is Hindu-Indian. Indians are just itching to unload 100s of millions of their kind to Anglo nations. Unlike Chinese population that is plummeting, Indian population is still growing.

The other threat, biggest of all, is the Negro. It's not Russian missiles or Chinese troops that turned Detroit into a hellhole. It is Negroes. And look at Baltimore, New Orleans, Selma, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, South Side Chicago, etc.

Afromic Bomb is more hellish than atomic bomb. Compare Detroit and Hiroshima.

Also, even though nukes are deadly, they will likely never be used. They are for defensive purposes only. The real missiles that will destroy the West is the Afro penis. US has nukes to destroy the world, but they haven't been used even during peak of cold war. But millions of Negro puds have impregnanted and colonized white wombs to kill white-babies-that-could-have-been and replaced them with mulatto Negro kids who will turn out like Colin Kapernick.

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/2017/07/pattern-recognition-great-sin-than.html

The real missile gap is the threat posed by negro dong on white dong. The negro dong is so potent that even Japanese women are going Negroid and having kids with Negro men and raising these kids as 'Japanese' to beat up real Japanese. So, if Japan with few blacks is turning like this, imagine the threat posed by Negroes on whites in the West.

Look at youtube of street life and club life in Paris and London. Negro missiles are conquering the white race and spreading the savage genes.

Look how Polish women welcomed the Negro missile cuz they are infected with jungle fever. ACOWW will be the real undoing of the West.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yB69UkJGwk

Besides what Priss Factor said above the following is to be reinforced with every real American man, woman and child.

Israel , which for its part would prefer to see Americans die in a war against Iran rather that sacrificing its own sons and daughters.

Israel, the REAL enemy!

eah, July 11, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT
The WH should focus on the USA.
Replies: @Sowhat And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.

Greg Bacon > Website , July 11, 2017 at 11:41 am GMT

The BIGGEST threat to the USA is from within, as we are nothing more than an occupied colony of Apartheid Israel, paying that bastard state tributes each year in the form of free money and weapons, political backing at the UN, and never tire of fighting her wars of conquest.

You won't see Israeli troops in the streets, since their confederates control the economy thru their control of the FED and US Treasury and most of those TBTF banks, which we always bail out, no matter the cost.

The also have a choke-hold on Congress, which is always eager to wag their tail and hope their Yid Overlord gives them a treat and not a dressing-down in the Jew MSM, which is a career killer.

The WH is also Israeli territory, especially now with a Jew NYC slumlord now Trump's top adviser and his fashion model faux Jew daughter egging Daddy on to kill more Arab babies, since she can't stand the sight of dead babies

Wizard of Oz, July 11, 2017 at 11:50 am GMT

@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report?

Replies:

@Sowhat

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/

@NoseytheDuke

A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

Sowhat, July 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm GMT

@eah The WH should focus on the USA. And what grudge is that? The only two I can find are connected. The deposing of our puppets, the Assads and the nationalization of their natural resources. I have the impression that it removes around future hegemon and the rich gas reserves off their coast and the decades long desire to run a pipeline west to the Mediterranean.
anarchyst, July 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm GMT
Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.

The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders" -- goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses

Replies:

@ThreeCranes

Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians--except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe. , @bjondo Jews/Judaism bring death, destruction, misery.

Muslims/Islam (minus Western creation of "Muslim"terrorists) brought golden ages to many areas.

Christianity and Islam elevate the human spirit. Judaism degrades.

bjondo, July 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

SA is the tail wagged by US. US is the tail wagged by internal Jew. Israel/Jewry the enemy of all.

Terrorism is Israeli weapon to take down Sunnis and Shias.

US is Israel's go-to donkey.

Sauds gone tomorrow if wished. And they may be with Arabia broken into pieces. Yinon still active.

Agent76, July 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm GMT
June 7, 2017 We Have Met the Evil Empire and It Is Us

Life in America was pure injustice, the lash and the iron boot, despite the version of history we have been given by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations who "re-invented" America and its history through taking control of public education in the late 1940s. You see, the multi-generational ignorance we bask in today is not unplanned. The threat represented by advances in communications and other technology was recognized and dealt with, utterly quashed at birth.

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/06/07/we-have-met-the-evil-empire-and-it-is-us/

ThreeCranes, July 11, 2017 at 1:41 pm GMT
@anarchyst Israel's current "agreements" and its "kowtowing" to Saudi Arabia speaks VOLUMES. Once again, Israel is about to get others to do their "dirty work" for them.
The point that everybody seems to miss is the fact that Judaism and Islam are inextricably linked. In fact, one could safely argue that Islam is an arabicized form of Judaism.

1. Both Judaism and Islam promote their own forms of supremacy, relegating non-adherents as "lesser human beings", or in Judaism's take "no better than livestock, albeit with souls, to be used for the advantage of the jew".

2. Both systems proscribe lesser (or no) punishment for those of each respective "tribe" who transgress against "outsiders"--goyim or infidels. Both systems proscribe much harsher punishments against "outsiders" who transgress against those of each respective "tribe".

3. When it comes to "equality under law", Israel is no better than Saudi Arabia, as a jew who has a disagreement with an "outsider" will always have the advantage of a judicial system which almost always rules for the jew.

4. Both Judaism and Islam have taken it upon themselves to be arbiters of what the rest of the world should follow, demanding that "outsiders" conform to what THEY believe, thinking that they know what is best (for the rest of us). Just look at the demands moslems (who are guests in western Europe) make of local non-moslem populations.

Read the jewish Talmud and islamic Koran...you will find virtually identical passages that demonize and marginalize those of us who are "goyim" or "infidels".
A pox on both their houses... Now before I say what I'm going to say I want to say that Israel has the right to define and defend her interests just as China, Russia and USA do, as Geraldi says above. No nation or people can be denied this (without force).

Having said that, I am grateful to you, anarchyst, for having pointed out the familial similarities between Islam and Judaism. In addition to what you say there is the fact that the Jewish genome is virtually identical to that of the Palestinians–except for that of Ashkenazi Jews who are more than half European.

As far as I can see, Ashkenazi Jews have an existential choice. They can identify with their European half whereby they acknowledge that the Greeks and not Moses made the greatest contributions to humanity (and more particularly, their humanity) or they can go with their atavistic Semitic side and regress to barbarism. Science, Logic, Math, History, Architecture, Drama and Music or blowing up Buddhas and shrouding your women. Take your pick.

Of course, this is sorta unfair in as much as they were kicked out of Europe and now dwell in the ME where if they try to act like Europeans they will be persecuted by their neighbors as apostates. The Jews do indeed have a tough row to hoe.

Sowhat, July 11, 2017 at 1:49 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/former-nist-employee-speaks-out-on-wtc-investigation/
virgile, July 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm GMT
Trump is torn between Israel's permanent need to weaken its powerful neighbors (Iraq, Iran) and the necessity to protect the USA from terrorists attacks.

Iran is an hypothetical threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia has proven to be a threat to the world.

SolontoCroesus, July 11, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT
Saudi Arabian Manal al-Sharif is the latest (((MSM))) media darling; she wrote a book about being imprisoned for driving in Saudi Arabia. She is attempting to expand a movement to strike down the Saudi ban on women driving. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/09/opinion/sunday/saudi-arabia-women-driving-ban.html

At the same time, (((MSM))) gleefully focuses on Iranian women who are wearing white hijab in protest of restrictions on women's attire in Iran. http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2017/05/24/why-women-and-some-men-in-iran-are-wearing-white-headscarves-on-wednesdays/

I think these women ought to get together.

In Iran, women drive.

In Tehran and other Iranian cities including Iran's holiest, that is, most conservative cities like Mashad. there are taxi companies owned and run by women.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/turnstyle/iranian-women-take-the-wh_b_879041.html

Tehran traffic makes NYC look like Mayberry RFD; many Iranians use small motorcycles to commute and take care of daily chores. It's not at all uncommon to see an Iranian woman in full chador driving a motorcycle with a child and parcels in tow.

Iranian women could offer to teach the women of Saudi Arabia to drive.

What could Saudi women teach Iranian women?

NoseytheDuke, July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz I am beginning to get interested in why some people are sure 9/11 was a false flag affair covered up by a lot of lies. So may I try my opening question on you. How much, if any of it, have you read of the official 9/11 commission report? A better question: Have YOU read The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation by Phillip Shenon?

siberiancat, July 11, 2017 at 2:08 pm GMT

Why is is so difficult to avoid this ugly term 'regime'? Does it really add anything to the discourse?
anonymous, July 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT
There's no alternative to Saudi royal family rule of the peninsula. Who's there to replace them? Any other group, assuming there might be one somewhere waiting in the wings, would probably be anti-American and not as compliant as the Saudis. They've spent gigantic sums in the endless billions buying military equipment from the US, weapons they can't even fully use, as a way of making themselves indispensable customers. Many other billions of petrodollars find their way westward into our financial systems. They collaborate with the US in various schemes throughout the Muslim world using their intelligence services and money in furtherance of US goals.

They live the royal life thanks to being able to use the money from their nation's resource wealth as their own personal kitty, living in palaces, buying obscene amounts of jewelry and other luxury goods, and so on. They'll never give that up and being a close ally of the US affords them protection which of course they pay for. They may be seen as an enemy by the average person but not at the elite level with whom they all consort and roll around in the money with.

LondonBob, July 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm GMT
http://mihsislander.org/2017/06/full-transcript-james-mattis-interview/

Mattis still seems stuck with his Iran obsession. Shame I thought he had the intellectual curiosity to adapt. Trump has good instincts, I hope Tillerson comes to the fore, and Bannon stays influential.

Don Bacon, July 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm GMT
Iran is US enemy #1 not only because it is against that country smaller than New Jersey with less people (Israel) but also because Iran has been a model for other countries to follow because of its intransigence to US oppression and attacks, financial political and cyber. As the world becomes multi-polar, Iran's repeated wise reactions to the world hegemon have been an inspiration to China and others to go their own way. The US can't stand that.
Corvinus, July 11, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT
@Paul Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag. Those who sent the Anthrax letters to resisting congress members. Those who pre-planned the wars of aggression in the whole middle east.

So any appeal to the "White House" is almost pointless since the White House is one element of the power structure captured by the war-criminal lunatics.

To change something people in the US should at first stop buying their war criminal lying mass media.

Then they should stop supporting ANY foreign intervention by the US and should stop believing any of the preposterous lies released by the media, the state dept., or any other neocon outlet.

Actually Trump was probably elected because he said he was anti-intervention and anti-media. But did it help?

The US needs mass resistance (demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, non-participation, sit-ins, grass-root information, or whatever) against their neocon/zionist/mafia/cia power groups or nothing will change.

We need demonstrations against NATO, against war, against false flag terrorism, against using terrorists as secret armies, against war propaganda!

B.t.w. Iran has always been one of the main goals. Think of it: Why did the US attack Afghanistan and Iraq? What have those two countries in common? (Hint: a look on the map helps to answer this question.) "Well, the real enemy of the people are the real terrorists behind the scenes. Those who planned the 9/11 false flag."

Adjust tin foil hat accordingly.


Father O'Hara, July 11, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT
@Jake The title of the article tells it all.

Saudi Arabia is THE worst nation in the Middle East.

Why does the US follow along blindly? Well, it is a WASP thing. We are the new Brit Empire. By the height of the Victorian era, virtually all English Elites were philoSemitic. Roughly half of the UK WASP Elite philoSemitism was pro-Jewish and half was pro-Arabic/Islamic.

And by the time of WW1, the English Elite pro-Arabic/Islamic faction came to adore the house of Saud.

So, our foreign policy is merely WASP culture continuing to ruin most of the rest of the world, including all the whites ruled by WASP Elites. SECOND worst,my friend.

Jake, July 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Chad I fully agree that attacking Iran would be yet another disaster but I don't understand why Saudi Arabia is portrayed as an 'enemy', the 'real' one, no less, in alt-media circles like this.

I mean let's be honest with ourselves. KSA is the definition of a vassal state. Has been so since the state established established relations with the USA in the 1940s and the status was confirmed during the 1960s under King Faisal. Oil for security.

Why pretend that they have any operational clearance from the US?

Contrary to the popular view, Wahabism is necessary to keep the local population under control. Particularly the minority Shia population who live along the eastern coast, an area, which incidentally also has the all the oil reserves. USA fully understands this. Which is why they not only tolerated Wahabism, but strongly promoted it during Afghan jihad. The operation was by and large very successful btw. It was only during the '90s when religion became the new ideology for the resistance against the empire across the Muslim world. Zero surprise there because the preceding ideology, radical left wing politics was completely defeated. Iran became the first country in this pattern. The Iranian left was decimated by the Shah, another vassal. So the religious right became the new resistance.

And as far as the KSA is considered, Wahabi preachers aren't allowed to attack the USA anyway. If any individual preacher so much as makes a squeak, he will be bent over a barrel. There won't be any "coming down very hard on Saudi Arabia" because USA already owns that country.

So what's the answer? Well, props to Phillip as he understood - "it would also require some serious thinking in the White House about the extent to which America's armed interventions all over Asia and Africa have made many people hate us enough to strap on a suicide vest and have a go."

Bingo. Your analysis starts too late. The US supports Wahhabism and the House of Saud because the pro-Arabic/Islamic English Elites of 1910 and 1920 and 1935 supported Wahhabism and the House of Saud.

The British Empire 'made' the House of Saud. Thinking it wise to use Wahhabism to control Shia Islam is like thinking it wise to use blacks to control the criminal tendencies of Mexicans.

Durruti, July 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm GMT

1,000 Words @RobinG #UNRIG adds AMERICA FIRST, NOT ISRAEL to Agenda.
..................."A.I.P.A.C.. you're outta business!"

Due to slanderous attacks by a Mossad internet psy-op, Steele now prioritizes Israeli malign influence on US. Also, check out Cynthia McKinney's twitter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxcnaNND4XM

#UNRIG - Robert David Steele Weekly Update Nice action approach to cure ills of society.

Enclosing copy of flier we have distributed – with a similar approach at a cure.

*Flier distributed is adjusted & a bit more attractive (1 sheet – both sides).

The key is to Restore the Republic, which was definitively destroyed on November 22, 1963.

Feel free to contact.

Use this, or send me a note by way of a response.

For THE RESTORATION OF THE REPUBLIC

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles "

The above is a portion of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson.

We submit the following facts to the citizens of the United States.

The government of the United States has been a Totalitarian Oligarchy since the military financial aristocracy destroyed the Democratic Republic on November 22, 1963 , when they assassinated the last democratically elected president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy , and overthrew his government. All following governments have been unconstitutional frauds. Attempts by Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King to restore the Republic were interrupted by their murder.

A subsequent 12 year colonial war against Vietnam , conducted by the murderers of Kennedy, left 2 million dead in a wake of napalm and burning villages.

In 1965, the U.S. government orchestrated the slaughter of 1 million unarmed Indonesian civilians.

In the decade that followed the CIA murdered 100,000 Native Americans in Guatemala .

In the 1970s, the Oligarchy began the destruction and looting of America's middle class, by encouraging the export of industry and jobs to parts of the world where workers were paid bare subsistence wages. The 2008, Bailout of the Nation's Oligarchs cost American taxpayers $13trillion. The long decline of the local economy has led to the political decline of our hard working citizens, as well as the decay of cities, towns, and infrastructure, such as education.

The impoverishment of America's middle class has undermined the nation's financial stability. Without a productive foundation, the government has accumulated a huge debt in excess of $19trillion. This debt will have to be paid, or suffered by future generations. Concurrently, the top 1% of the nation's population has benefited enormously from the discomfiture of the rest. The interest rate has been reduced to 0, thereby slowly robbing millions of depositors of their savings, as their savings cannot stay even with the inflation rate.

The government spends the declining national wealth on bloody and never ending military adventures, and is or has recently conducted unconstitutional wars against 9 nations. The Oligarchs maintain 700 military bases in 131 countries; they spend as much on military weapons of terror as the rest of the nations of the world combined. Tellingly, more than half the government budget is spent on the military and 16 associated secret agencies.

The nightmare of a powerful centralized government crushing the rights of the people, so feared by the Founders of the United States, has become a reality. The government of Obama/Biden, as with previous administrations such as Bush/Cheney, and whoever is chosen in November 2016, operates a Gulag of dozens of concentration camps, where prisoners are denied trials, and routinely tortured. The Patriot Act and The National Defense Authorizations Act , enacted by both Democratic and Republican factions of the oligarchy, serve to establish a legal cover for their terror.

The nation's media is controlled, and, with the school systems, serve to brainwash the population; the people are intimidated and treated with contempt.

The United States is No longer Sovereign

The United States is no longer a sovereign nation. Its government, The Executive, and Congress, is bought, utterly owned and controlled by foreign and domestic wealthy Oligarchs, such as the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and Duponts , to name only a few of the best known.

The 2016 Electoral Circus will anoint new actors to occupy the same Unconstitutional Government, with its controlling International Oligarchs. Clinton, Trump, whomever, are willing accomplices for imperialist international murder, and destruction of nations, including ours.

For Love of Country

The Restoration of the Republic will be a Revolutionary Act, that will cancel all previous debts owed to that unconstitutional regime and its business supporters. All debts, including Student Debts, will be canceled. Our citizens will begin, anew, with a clean slate.

As American Founder , Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to James Madison:

"I set out on this ground, which I suppose to be self evident, 'that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living':"

"Then I say the earth belongs to each of these generations, during it's course, fully, and in their own right. The 2d. Generation receives it clear of the debts and incumberances of the 1st. The 3d of the 2d. and so on. For if the 1st. Could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not the living generation."

Our Citizens must restore the centrality of the constitution, establishing a less powerful government which will ensure President Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms , freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in ones own way, freedom from want "which means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peace time life for its inhabitants " and freedom from fear "which means a world-wide reduction of armaments "

Once restored: The Constitution will become, once again, the law of the land and of a free people. We will establish a government, hold elections, begin to direct traffic, arrest criminal politicians of the tyrannical oligarchy, and, in short, repair the damage of the previous totalitarian governments.

For the Democratic Republic!
Sons and Daughters of Liberty
florent.defeu@yahoo.com

SolontoCroesus, July 11, 2017 at 4:28 pm GMT

Scholars at Mercatus Center, George Mason Univ. https://www.mercatus.org/statefiscalrankings

are studying US states and ranking them according to financial stability measures. The states with biggest problems -- Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut -- are in the mess they are in largely because of pension liability issues: some pensions are unfunded or underfunded.

I recall that ten years ago about a dozen Jewish organizations formed the "Iran Task Force," ** whose primary activity was to persuade managers of State pension funds to divest from Iran-connected companies; that is, corporations & banks, etc. that did business with Iran. I recall very clearly that Arnold Schwartznegger was the poster child for California's vanguard role in divesting from such nasty nasty companies, in accord with the wishes of Jewish Israel-firsters.

Perhaps the Mercatus scholars could prepare an exercise in alternative financial history: What shape would the US economy, and the various States's economies, be in if the US were NOT so overwhelmingly influenced by Israel firsters, and were NOT persuaded, Against Our Better Judgment, to entangle themselves in Israel's nefarious activities?

____
** The 2007 Iran Task Force is NOT the same as the group formed in 2015 or so, embedded in US House/Senate, with Joe Lieberman and Michael Hayden playing prominent roles in attempting to influence the Iran Deal.

The 2007 initiative was sponsored by groups such as ZOA, RJC, AIPAC, etc., and / or spun off groups such as Foundation for Defense of Democracy, United Against Nuclear Iran.

[Jan 02, 2018] BOOK REVIEW: America s War for the Greater Middle East by Andrew J. Bacevich by David Rohde

This review way written almost two year ago. The new President is now sitting in White house. Nothing changed.
The problem with Bacevich' views is that neoliberalism dictates expansion and maintenance of neoliberal empire as well in best Trotskyism tradition "export of neoliberal revolution" using bayonets, if other means do not work. So this is the nature of the neoliberal beast, not an aberration like he assumes. Militarism is essence of US foreign policy under neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... This book, Bacevich's eighth, extends his string of brutal, bracing and essential critiques of the pernicious role of reflexive militarism in American foreign policy. As in past books, Bacevich is thought-­provoking, profane and fearless. Assailing generals, journalists and foreign policy experts alike, he links together more than a dozen military interventions that span 35 years and declares them a single war. Bacevich analyzes each intervention, looking for common themes from Carter's late 1970s missteps to Barack Obama's widespread use of assassination by drone strike today. ..."
"... A presumption that using military power signified to friends and foes that Washington was getting serious about a problem diminished the role of diplomats and diplomacy. " 'Getting serious' also implied a preference for uniforms over suits as the principal agents of U.S. policy," Bacevich writes. "Henceforth, rather than military power serving as the handmaiden of diplomacy, the reverse would be true." ..."
"... In another repeated mistake, triumphalist American commanders prematurely declare victory without realizing that their opponent has simply withdrawn to fight another day as a guerrilla force, as occurred in Afghanistan in 2001. They also personalize the enemy, wrongly assuming that the removal of figures like Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qaddafi will instantly end conflict. ..."
"... From Somalia in 1993 to Yemen today, American commanders and policy makers overestimated the advantage American military technology bestows on them. And most crucially of all, the United States has failed to decide whether it is, in fact, at war. ..."
"... "In the war for the greater Middle East, the United States chose neither to contain nor to crush, instead charting a course midway in between," Bacevich writes. "Instead of intimidating, U.S. military efforts have annoyed, incited and generally communicated a lack of both competence and determination." ..."
"... For all that, Bacevich is right that the United States' reflexive use of armed intervention in the Middle East is folly. An unquestioning faith in military might and an underinvestment in diplomacy has tied Washington in a policy straitjacket. Bacevich's call for Americans to rethink their nation's militarized approach to the Middle East is incisive, urgent and essential. ..."
Apr 15, 2016 | www.nytimes.com

BOOK REVIEW: AMERICA'S WAR FOR THE GREATER MIDDLE EAST (A Military History) By Andrew J. Bacevich Illustrated. 453 pp. Random House. $30.

In the opening chapter of his latest book, the military historian Andrew J. Bacevich blames Jimmy Carter, a president commonly viewed as more meek than martial, for unwittingly spawning 35 years of American military intervention in the Middle East. Bacevich argues that three mistakes by Carter set precedents that led to decades of squandered American lives and treasure.

First, Carter called on Americans to stop worshiping "self-indulgence and consumption" and join a nationwide effort to conserve energy. Self-sacrifice, he argued in what is now widely derided as Carter's "malaise speech," would free Americans from their dependence on foreign oil and "help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country."

The president came across as more hectoring pastor than visionary leader, Bacevich argues in "America's War for the Greater Middle East." His guileless approach squandered an opportunity to persuade Americans reeling from high foreign oil prices to trade "dependence for autonomy."

Carter's second mistake was authorizing American support to guerrillas fighting a Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan, a move that eventually helped fuel the spread of radical Islam. Finally, in a misguided effort to counter views that he was "too soft," Carter declared that the United States would respond with military force to any outside effort to seize Persian Gulf oil fields. "This statement, subsequently enshrined as the Carter Doctrine, inaugurated America's war for the greater Middle East," Bacevich writes.

This book, Bacevich's eighth, extends his string of brutal, bracing and essential critiques of the pernicious role of reflexive militarism in American foreign policy. As in past books, Bacevich is thought-­provoking, profane and fearless. Assailing generals, journalists and foreign policy experts alike, he links together more than a dozen military interventions that span 35 years and declares them a single war. Bacevich analyzes each intervention, looking for common themes from Carter's late 1970s missteps to Barack Obama's widespread use of assassination by drone strike today.

Washington's penchant for intervention, Bacevich contends, is driven by more than America's thirst for oil or the military-­industrial complex's need for new enemies. In addition to these two factors, he argues that "a deeply pernicious collective naïveté" among both Republicans and Democrats spawns interventions doomed by "confusion and incoherence."

The ultimate responsibility for the United States' actions lies with an "oblivious" American public engrossed in "shallow digital enthusiasms and the worship of celebrity," Bacevich writes. Americans support freedom, democracy and prosperity in other nations, he tells us, as long as they get the lion's share of it. "Ensuring that Americans enjoy their rightful quota (which is to say, more than their fair share) of freedom, abundance and security comes first," Bacevich says. "Everything else figures as an afterthought."

Bacevich's argument is heavy-handed at times, but when he writes about military strategy, he is genuinely incisive. Citing numerous examples, he convincingly argues that destructive myths about the efficacy of American military power blind policy makers, generals and voters. The use of overwhelming lethal force does not immediately cause dictators or terrorists to turn tail and run, even if that's what politicians in Washington want to believe. Rather, it often leads to resentment, chaos and resistance.

A presumption that using military power signified to friends and foes that Washington was getting serious about a problem diminished the role of diplomats and diplomacy. " 'Getting serious' also implied a preference for uniforms over suits as the principal agents of U.S. policy," Bacevich writes. "Henceforth, rather than military power serving as the handmaiden of diplomacy, the reverse would be true."

In another repeated mistake, triumphalist American commanders prematurely declare victory without realizing that their opponent has simply withdrawn to fight another day as a guerrilla force, as occurred in Afghanistan in 2001. They also personalize the enemy, wrongly assuming that the removal of figures like Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Muammar Qaddafi will instantly end conflict.

From Somalia in 1993 to Yemen today, American commanders and policy makers overestimated the advantage American military technology bestows on them. And most crucially of all, the United States has failed to decide whether it is, in fact, at war.

"In the war for the greater Middle East, the United States chose neither to contain nor to crush, instead charting a course midway in between," Bacevich writes. "Instead of intimidating, U.S. military efforts have annoyed, incited and generally communicated a lack of both competence and determination." The historical forces at work in the Middle East are different from the dynamics that led to American victories in World War II and the Cold War. American officials have failed to understand that. What's more, a deluded Washington foreign policy establishment believes that an American way of life based on "consumption and choice" will be accepted over time in the "Islamic world."

But it is here, in his description of the "Islamic world," that Bacevich stumbles. What is missing in this book about "the greater Middle East" are the people of the greater Middle East. Bacevich's most highly developed Muslim character in these pages is Saddam Hussein. The former Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a distant second. Beyond those two, the rest of the world's estimated 1.6 billion Muslims come across as two-dimensional caricatures.

And so Bacevich lumps together vastly different nationalities - from Bosnians to Iraqis to Somalis - often referring to all of them primarily as "Muslims." The dizzying complexities of each country's history, politics, culture, resources and rivalries are missing. And when it comes to how "Muslims" view the world, Bacevich veers into the simplistic essentialism that he accuses Washington policy makers of following.

Bacevich suggests that in the "Islamic world" lifestyles based on "consumption and choice" might not work. Such broad-brush statements might well be considered simplistic and even bigoted if applied to other faiths. Can one contend that a "Christian world," "Hindu world" or "Jewish world" exists? Are such generalizations analytically useful? Do the world's hundreds of millions of Muslims practice their faith identically?

As a result of this essentialism, Bacevich glosses over a vital point about the Middle East today: A historic and brutal struggle between radicals and modernists for the future of the region is underway. One can argue that the United States has no place in that fight, but making sweeping generalizations about Muslims as Bacevich does limits our understanding of the forces at work in the region. It also plays into the hands of extremists who seek to divide the world by faith.

In the most troubling passage of the book, Bacevich breezily questions pluralism itself. "According to one of the prevailing shibboleths of the present age, this commingling of cultures is inherently good," he writes. "It fosters pluralism, thereby enriching everyday life. Yet cultural interaction also induces friction, whether spontaneously generated or instigated by demagogues and provocateurs."

We do live in a dangerous world, but it is also an inevitably interconnected one. The commingling of cultures cannot be stopped. Nor should it be.

For all that, Bacevich is right that the United States' reflexive use of armed intervention in the Middle East is folly. An unquestioning faith in military might and an underinvestment in diplomacy has tied Washington in a policy straitjacket. Bacevich's call for Americans to rethink their nation's militarized approach to the Middle East is incisive, urgent and essential.

David Rohde is the national security investigations editor for Reuters and a contributing editor for The Atlantic.

[Jan 02, 2018] American exceptionalism extracts a price from common citizens

Highly recommended!
Widespread anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.
Notable quotes:
"... For all the haters of us ugly Americans, just remember that we at this blog are suffering in our country standing up for the truth, pitted against our neighbors, coworkers, and friends in the arena of political debate and decrying the massive injustice of our foreign aggression. ..."
"... The world knows the military industrial complex that has worked over years, and year to create the ugly tentacles throughout what was once our government has been usurped. Dollars. All these bastards see is dollars. Not human life. Not the potential of that lost life in science, math, technology. Just dollars. ..."
"... or heavens sakes the voters in Arizona returned the worst of ALL Warmongers to Congress. ..."
"... We can't even get the voters to learn that their votes equal WAR pushed by both Parties they are aligned with. Get real. Our challenge is yours. Help us! ..."
"... I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs. ..."
"... Playing groups of people against one another is the oldest domination trick in the world, but it seems to work every single time...sad! ;-) ..."
"... I'm from California. Technically the USA. My take on things is we United States of Americans are exceptional. Most of us are exceptionally ignorant and violent. That is exceptionally sad. ..."
Jul 01, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

NemesisCalling | Jun 30, 2017 8:21:54 PM | 31

For all the haters of us ugly Americans, just remember that we at this blog are suffering in our country standing up for the truth, pitted against our neighbors, coworkers, and friends in the arena of political debate and decrying the massive injustice of our foreign aggression.

I won't call ya out by name, but lumping us forlorn sacks into your "untouchable" category reeks of reactionary arrogance that is, to pay patrons at this fine blog their due, beneath you.

In the mean time, American issues = issues concerning the empire they we all want to see destroyed. Liberating Americans should also be on your wish list.

lex.talionis | Jun 30, 2017 9:14:01 PM | 36
Amen @31

The world knows the military industrial complex that has worked over years, and year to create the ugly tentacles throughout what was once our government has been usurped. Dollars. All these bastards see is dollars. Not human life. Not the potential of that lost life in science, math, technology. Just dollars.

For heavens sakes the voters in Arizona returned the worst of ALL Warmongers to Congress. And you, the World, think for a moment we, citizens in this colony, have a snowball's chance in hell reeling these creatures in all by ourselves are sorely mistaken.

We can't even get the voters to learn that their votes equal WAR pushed by both Parties they are aligned with. Get real. Our challenge is yours. Help us!

h | Jun 30, 2017 8:38:56 PM | 32

@Nemesis

Well said...!

I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.

Playing groups of people against one another is the oldest domination trick in the world, but it seems to work every single time...sad! ;-)

smuks | Jun 30, 2017 8:50:51 PM | 35

@ Nemesis and all,

I'm from California. Technically the USA. My take on things is we United States of Americans are exceptional. Most of us are exceptionally ignorant and violent. That is exceptionally sad.

I am very glad to have found MoA and the crew of experts. I have learned so very much.

Big up b! Booyakah as they say in JA. God help us.

[Jan 02, 2018] Hillary Clinton and neoLiberal American Exceptionalism

Notable quotes:
"... It does, after all, have deep roots in the Manifest Destiny ethos that spurred the Mexican War, drove continental and trans-Pacific expansion, and emerged as a paternalistic justification for voluminous military interventions in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. As Dick Cheney suggests, "the world needs a powerful America." In this unilateral missionizing zeal Clinton proves most typical. ..."
"... she wants the United States to be the dominant power in the world, so she doesn't question the massive sums spent on the military and on the other branches of the national-security state. ..."
"... But Clinton's brand of American exceptionalism goes beyond the issue of American military dominion and into the policy potentials of mid-century social liberalism and, more specifically, the neoliberalism that has since replaced it. Indeed, since George McGovern's failed presidential bid of 1972, neoliberals, moving decidedly rightward on economic issues, have consistently employed exceptionalist code to fight off movements, ideas, and challengers from the left. ..."
"... She is smart enough to know that women in the United States endure far more poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity than women in Denmark-yet she shamelessly made clear that she was happy to keep it that way." Indeed, Clinton's denunciation of the idea that the United States should look more like Denmark betrayed one of the glaring the fault lines within the Democratic Party, and between Clintonian liberalism and Sandersite leftism. ..."
Jan 05, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
Peter K. : January 05, 2017 at 07:42 AM , 2017 at 07:42 AM
...It's hilarious how cocky and confident the neoliberals were throughout the election. It's amazing how wrong they were. Trump's victory is almost worth it.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/02/26/we-are-not-denmark-hillary-clinton-and-liberal-american-exceptionalism

Published on
Friday, February 26, 2016
by Common Dreams

"We Are Not Denmark": Hillary Clinton and Liberal American Exceptionalism

by Matthew Stanley

Several months removed, it now seems clear that the Democratic debate on October 13 contained an illuminating moment that has come to embody the 2016 Democratic Primary and the key differences between its two candidates. Confronting Bernie Sanders's insistence that the United States has much to learn from more socialized nations, particularly the Nordic Model, Hillary Clinton was direct: "I love Denmark. But we are not Denmark. We are the United States of America."

The implication behind this statement-the reasoning that ideas and institutions (in this case social and economic programs) that are successful in other nations are somehow practically or ideologically inconsistent with Americans and American principles-speaks to a longstanding sociopolitical framework that has justified everything from continental expansion to the Iraq War: American exceptionalism. Rooted in writings of Alexis de Tocqueville and the mythology of John Winthrop's "City Upon a Hill," the notion that the history and mission of the United States and the superiority of its political and economic traditions makes it impervious to same the forces that influence other peoples has coursed through Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address," the Cold War rhetoric of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and the foreign policy declarations of Barack Obama.

Despite particular historical trends-early and relatively stable political democracy, birthright citizenship, the absence of a feudal tradition, the relative weakness of class consciousness-historians have critiqued this "American exceptionalism" as far more fictive than physical, frequently citing the concept as a form of state mythology. Although different histories lead naturally to historical and perhaps even structural dissimilarities, America's twenty-first century "exceptions" appear as dubious distinctions: gun violence, carbon emissions, mass incarceration, wealth inequality, racial disparities, capital punishment, child poverty, and military spending.

Yet even at a time when American exceptionalism has never been more challenged both by empirically-validated social and economic data and in public conversation, the concept continues to play an elemental role in our two-party political discourse. The Republican Party is, of course, awash with spurious, almost comically stupid dialogue about a mythic American past-"making America great again"-the racial and ethnic undertones of which are unmistakable. Those same Republicans have lambasted Obama and other high profile Democrats for not believing sufficiently in their brand of innate, transhistoric American supremacy.

But this Americentrism is not the sole province of the GOP. We need look no further than bipartisan support for the military-industrial complex and the surveillance state to see that national exceptionalism, and its explicit double-standard toward other nations, resides comfortably within the Democratic Party as well. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa censured Obama's use of the term in the fall of 2013, with the latter likening it to the "chosen race" theories of Nazi Germany. Hyperbole notwithstanding, academics often do associate American exceptionalism with military conquest.

It does, after all, have deep roots in the Manifest Destiny ethos that spurred the Mexican War, drove continental and trans-Pacific expansion, and emerged as a paternalistic justification for voluminous military interventions in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. As Dick Cheney suggests, "the world needs a powerful America." In this unilateral missionizing zeal Clinton proves most typical. As historian Michael Kazin argues in a recent piece for The Nation: "Hillary Clinton is best described as a liberal. Like every liberal president (and most failed Democratic nominees) since Wilson, she wants the United States to be the dominant power in the world, so she doesn't question the massive sums spent on the military and on the other branches of the national-security state. "

But Clinton's brand of American exceptionalism goes beyond the issue of American military dominion and into the policy potentials of mid-century social liberalism and, more specifically, the neoliberalism that has since replaced it. Indeed, since George McGovern's failed presidential bid of 1972, neoliberals, moving decidedly rightward on economic issues, have consistently employed exceptionalist code to fight off movements, ideas, and challengers from the left.

The victims include leftist efforts toward both American demilitarization and the expansion of a "socialistic" welfare state. Socialist feminist Liza Featherstone and others have denounced Clinton's uncritical praise of the "opportunity" and "freedom" of American capitalism vis-à-vis other developed nations. "With this bit of frankness," Featherstone explains, referring to the former Secretary of State's "Denmark" comments, "Clinton helpfully explained why no socialist-indeed, no non-millionaire-should support her.

She is smart enough to know that women in the United States endure far more poverty, unemployment, and food insecurity than women in Denmark-yet she shamelessly made clear that she was happy to keep it that way." Indeed, Clinton's denunciation of the idea that the United States should look more like Denmark betrayed one of the glaring the fault lines within the Democratic Party, and between Clintonian liberalism and Sandersite leftism. It also revealed a more clandestine strain of American exceptionalism common among liberals and the Democratic Party elite in which "opportunity" serves as a stand-in for wider egalitarian reform. As Elizabeth Bruenig highlighted in The New Republic: "Since getting ahead on one's own grit is such a key part of the American narrative, it's easy to see how voters might be attracted to Clinton's opportunity-based answer to our social and economic woes, though it leaves the problem of inequality vastly under-addressed. Indeed, a kind of American exceptionalism does seem to underpin much opportunity-focused political rhetoric."

This preference for insider politics (rather than mass movements involving direct action) and limited, means-tested social programs speaks to a broader truth about modern liberalism: it functions in a way that not only doesn't challenge the basic tenets of American exceptionalism, it often reinforces them. Whether vindicating war and torture and civil liberties violations, talking past the War on Drugs and the carceral state, or exhibiting coolness toward the type of popular protest seen during of Occupy Wall Street, with its direct attacks on a sort of American Sonderweg, establishment Democrats are adept at using a more "realistic" brand of Americentrism to consolidate power and anchor the party in the status quo. Now the 2016 Democratic Primary has seen progressive ideas including universal health care, tuition-free college, and a living minimum wage, all hallmarks of large swaths of the rest of the developed world, delegitimized through some mutation of liberal exceptionalist thinking. These broadminded reforms are apparently off limits, not because they are not good ideas (though opponents make that appraisal too), but because somehow their unachievability is exceptional to the United States.

All this is not to exclude (despite his "democratic socialist" professions) Sanders's own milder brand of "America first," most evident in his economic nationalism, but to emphasize that American exceptionalism and the logical and practical dangers it poses exist in degrees across a spectrum of American politics. Whatever his nationalistic inclinations, Sanders's constant reiteration of America's need to learn from and adapt to the social, economic, and political models of other nations demonstrates an ethno-flexibility rarely seen in American major party politics. "Every other major country " might as well be his official campaign slogan. This bilateral outlook does not fit nearly as neatly within Clinton's traditional liberal paradigm that, from defenses of American war and empire to the, uses American exceptionalism tactically, dismissing its conservative adherents as nationalist overkill yet quietly exploiting the theory when politically or personally expeditious.

In looking beyond our national shores and domestic origin-sources for fresh and functional policy, Sanders seems to grasp that, from the so-called "foreign influences" of the Republican free soil program or Robert La Follette's Wisconsin Idea or even Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, American high politics have been at their most morally creative and sweepingly influential not only when swayed by direct action and mass movements, but also when they are less impeded by the constraints of ethnocentrism and exceptionalism. The "We are not Denmark" sentiment might appear benign, lacking as it does the bluster of Republican claims to national supremacy and imaginary "golden age" pasts and what economist Thomas Picketty has termed a "mythical capitalism." But it is the "seriousness" and very gentility of liberal Americentrism that underscores the power, omnipresence, and intellectual poverty of cultural dismissal. "I still believe in American exceptionalism," Clinton has proclaimed in pushing for U.S. military escalation in Syria. Indeed she does, and it is by no means relegated to the sphere of foreign policy.

[Jan 02, 2018] The Idolatry of the Donald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Europe will not contribute more to its defense, and Trump will not abandon NATO. China will continue on as before, indifferent to the blustering of the American president because it realizes Trump needs Chinese workers to manufacture the things Americans will not (at Chinese wages), the same things (at low prices) that maintain the lifestyle of the Trump supporters. ..."
"... So civil religion is now a name for national megalomania? ..."
"... If you think the Americans sacralize the presidency, then I don't think you know what it actually means to sacralize a state authority. Look at Putin, Stalin and the tsars in Russia. American presidents are nowhere near them in sacralization ..."
"... Clinton, on the other hand, presents us with a deadly serious plan ("no fly zone")to start an unnecessary unjustified war against Syria, Russia and Iran, the only beneficiaries of which would be Al-Qaida and ISIS, the inevitable results of which would be the destruction of Middle Eastern Christianity and an intensification of the migrant invasion of Europe, and the obvious risk of which is a catastrophic nuclear exchange. ..."
"... Trump will be the first president since Eisenhower who can be trusted to enforce the immigration laws, reduce the trade deficit, and avoid unnecessary wars. ..."
"... Look, here's the deal: Trump is the only candidate who has identified the problems of Middle America and who has identified ways to begin to fix those problems. Trump is not a "miracle" worker, but he does have the will and the courage to lead the country back in the right direction. And as his supporters he has our backing all the way. ..."
"... As President Trump will no doubt run into problems in implementing some aspects of his broad, multi-faceted program to make America great again. For sure there will be setbacks and delays, because (1) there is so much wrong with the country that has to be set right again, and because (2) there are so many powerful, wealthy, vested interests who will oppose doing what the country needs. ..."
"... Nelson said: You can't be a Christian and hate thy neighbor. ..."
"... Well, let's see what John Adams had to say about the Christian nation concept. ""The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." ..."
"... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding ." ..."
"... There's a whole lot more I could point to that further illustrates the erroneous nature of the Christian nation myth. But people love their myths, just as the term Christian is quite a bit problematic in that historically it most accurately describes Orthodox Jews. ..."
"... Bush2/Cheney fancied themselves caesars invading multiple Mideast nations. Obama fancies himself as god. ..."
"... Is Trump a surprise? Only in that he is unapologetic and doesn't hide it. ..."
"... WYSIWYG. The problem is he is a mirror, and the problem is it is your image staring back even if you find it horrible. ..."
"... Trump is what you get when a party becomes bankrupt of any real ideas other than personal greed. ..."
"... Why is the author, and some commenters here, acting as if the label "Evangelical" means any more to those Evangelicals than the label "Catholic" means to most Catholics, or the label "Jewish" means to most Jews, etc. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
"I even brought my Bible-the evangelicals, OK?" Donald Trump whinged at a campaign stop in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses. "We love the evangelicals and we're polling so well." For good measure, he waved his prop a little more and doubled down, "I really want to win Iowa-and again, the evangelicals, the Tea Party-we're doing unbelievably, and I think I'm going to win Iowa."

This sycophantic word vomit was about average as Trump's public forays into religion go. His transparent attempts to cast himself as a churchgoer have been awkward at best , and more often approach the bizarre if not the heretical . Nevertheless, as the man himself would say, the professing evangelicals-and the "professing" is key here -love him. They really, really do.

But for all the headlines the Trumpvangelicals have snagged, their vehement support is ably matched by the strident opposition to Trump found among millions of American Christians of all stripes, many of them (like me) appalled that such blatant pandering and brash prurience is, well, working on our fellow travelers in the faith. Nearly a year into this misadventure, it is still tempting to ask: How is this happening? How is the heir of the Moral Majority endorsing a twice-divorced former strip club owner? How is Trump so appealing to what is supposed to be a Christian nation?

And it is in precisely that last phrase-"Christian nation"-the answer may be found: America's entrenched , pseudo-Christian civil religion is the primary culprit here. President Trump is the due result of our theologically vacant imperial cult, which in the guise of orthodoxy worships only the power of the state.

Granted, the connection may not be immediately obvious, particularly in light of the harsh critiques Trump has received from many prominent Christians, as well as his own dime-store costume faith.

These surface obstacles obscure the deeper fit. Trump's extravagant self-deification, his demands of personal allegiance, and his obsession with unique national and personal greatness all flow naturally out of a civil religion which co-opts Christianity to cast an aura of divine approval on Washington. Indeed, Trump fancies himself a modern Caesar , tinged with divinity and cloaked in gold . Our civil religion gives him just the theological resource he needs.

Consider, first, Trump's view of himself. As Frank Bruni persuasively argued in the New York Times , the Republican frontrunner comes off not as "someone interested in serving God" so much as "someone interested in being God." Trump so closely links himself and the divine that he drifts into boasting of his own accomplishments in the very process of explaining why God is important. The candidate feels he is above the need for God's forgiveness ( as it is written , "there is one who is righteous, yea, just one") and recently named "an eye for an eye" as his favorite Bible verse, an interesting selection given the New Testament's assignment of vengeance as God's prerogative.

Of course, Americans might rightly protest that we don't ascribe divinity to the presidency, but the office is undoubtedly sacralized. Its successes-notably in foreign policy-are attributed to divine blessing. Conventional politicians may be more politic than Trump, but most will happily harness God to tow their pet projects. A classic example is what theologian Michael J. Gorman labels the "divine passive voice," in which, often in the run-up to war, presidents say things like "We are called " to subtly invoke a holy authority for their plans. In a Trump White House, the voice would simply become slightly more active.

Beyond this there's Trump's demand ( and receipt ) of intense personal loyalty. One gets the feeling that the provision of a bust of Trumpself for long-distance veneration would not be taken amiss by many of his followers, but usually a simple pledge of allegiance will do.

"I do solemnly swear that I, no matter how I feel, no matter what the conditions, if there are hurricanes or whatever, will vote on or before the 12th for Donald J. Trump for President," he asked Floridian supporters to promise in advance of their state's primary. This sort of ultimatum is right at home in a civil religion that facilitates unthinking Christian loyalty to the state by means of a clever syncretism: If America is "under God"-if the United States becomes the " city on a hill "-we needn't worry about obeying God rather than men. It's all one and the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph is idolatrously mutated into an American tribal deity.

But the most convincing link lies in Trump's preoccupation with greatness. In the context of American civil religion, Gorman explains , "Greatness is defined especially as financial, political, and/or military strength, and this definition carries with it the conviction that both America and Americans should always enjoy and operate from a position of strength and security."

"Weakness," he adds, "is un-American; Americans want to be number one. For many, these kinds of secular strengths are seen as manifestations of power from God." Gorman wrote that more than five years ago, but Trump couldn't have said it better himself. His is a perverse patriotism inextricably tied to the notion that God likes America (and the Donald) most. Trump is certainly more explicit in his promises of unparalleled personal ("the greatest jobs president God ever created") and national ("we will have so much winning") greatness, but his distinction from our standard-issue civil religion is one of degree, not kind.

We might ask why a Trumpian candidate is only now appearing-and with such success-on our political stage. The civil religion is hardly new, but surely Trump is. The tipping point, I suggest, is primarily about the expansion of power in the executive branch, a process which has been underway for decades but accelerated in recent times. The authority of the White House has expanded to match the sanctity we've assigned it. (Not for nothing is it called the imperial presidency.) The modern office "looks nothing like the modest, businesslike, law-governed executive the Framers envisioned," and if it did, Trump wouldn't want it.

In The Four Loves , C.S. Lewis recounts a conversation with an elderly clergyman sincerely convinced that his "own nation, in sober fact, has long been, and still is markedly superior to all others." "To be sure," Lewis muses, "this conviction had not made my friend (God rest his soul) a villain; only an extremely lovable old ass. It can however produce asses that kick and bite." If mixed with assurance of unique divine favor, he continues, this dangerous nonsense "draws evil after it. If our country's cause is the cause of God, wars must be wars of annihilation. A false transcendence is given to things which are very much of this world."

In Trump we find such nonsense crystallized into an ass that kicks and bites, and gleefully plans to torture and murder because this is what will make America great again. His gilded self-aggrandizement is the organic fruit of a "Christian" nation that welcomed such theo-nationalism in drabber forms for years. We may not for a while see again so shameless an execution of the temple ceremonies of the American state, but the false transcendence of our civil religion will not die with the Trump campaign.

Bonnie Kristian is a writer who lives in the Twin Cities. She is a graduate student at Bethel Seminary, a contributor at The Week , a columnist at Rare, and a fellow at the American Security Initiative Foundation. Her writing has also appeared at Time , Relevant, and The American Conservative , among other outlets. Find her at bonniekristian.com and @bonniekristian .

Brendan, May 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

Well, America has had a born again evangelical Christian in the Whitehouse in recent memory, and how did that work out?

I suspect most Presidents are a reflection of culture, rather than shapers and formers of it. In other words, the problem didn't begin and end with Trump.

Nick Valentine, May 5, 2016 at 8:03 am

The opinion of the New York Times is not normally a reliable voice when one seems to determine what is and what is not properly Christian.

Nonetheless, as a Christian voter, I'll gladly explain my support of Donald Trump despite his questionable Christian "creds".

I don't care.

I've given up on finding a true, virtuous, Conservative Christian to lead us in DC, because that's never going to happen. This is NOT a devoutly Christian nation any longer. Sure, many people identify as Christians, but like Trump, few of them ever pick up a Bible.

Instead, I prefer the man who speaks his mind – however un-PC his mind may be – honestly and forthrightly, and who talks directly to the citizens about the real issues that concern us as a nation:

Illegal immigration, Islamic terrorism, corruption in government, jobs and the economy, crony-capitalists who are destroying the middle class by shipping jobs overseas, and unfair trade deals that also damage American jobs.

Based on Mr. Trump's business success and extreme confidence, he strikes me as the man most likely to right this ship of state.

So as a Christian, I'm confident that if Trump is President, I'll do just fine.

In all honesty, any Christians who are looking for devout Christianity at the polls should probably stay home.

Daniel (not Larison ), May 5, 2016 at 8:59 am

Nick wrote:

Instead, I prefer the man who speaks his mind – however un-PC his mind may be – honestly and forthrightly, and who talks directly to the citizens about the real issues that concern us as a nation:

Does "speaking his mind" and being "un-PC" include shameless, ham-fisted pandering to Evangelicals, as posted in the article?

Trump is as deceptive as the rest of them, perhaps more so. You just get a kick out of him offending certain people, the people that you don't like either. If anyone–including Trump–said something to hurt your precious feelings, you wouldn't say "I love how he speaks his mind!" You'd call him an @sshole.

That doesn't make you weak, it makes you human. But to support it when others are the victims is just sad.

JLF, May 5, 2016 at 9:30 am

The most frightening thing will not come in the immediate wake of Trump's inauguration. It will not be brought by Democrats and Republicans-in-exile. It will come from the Trump faithful when they see that their idol has feet of clay and cannot perform the miracles he says he will. Even with a compliant Congress (and Court), Trump will not build a wall. Mexico will not pay for it. He will not deport 11 million illegal aliens. Europe will not contribute more to its defense, and Trump will not abandon NATO. China will continue on as before, indifferent to the blustering of the American president because it realizes Trump needs Chinese workers to manufacture the things Americans will not (at Chinese wages), the same things (at low prices) that maintain the lifestyle of the Trump supporters.

The scales fallen from their eyes, Trump's followers will act in the same way any mob acts and turn on the one that has betrayed them. Only two questions remain: how long after inauguration will it take for their enlightenment, and how will The Donald react to being cast down from his pedestal?

Rancor, May 5, 2016 at 9:49 am

So civil religion is now a name for national megalomania?

The British saw themselves as the lost tribe of Israel

The French as Galls and descendants of the Roman Empire

The Germans as Germanics who are supposed to destroy the Rome

The Russians as Katechons who must conquer Europe, as the last and true Rome

All of this is civil religion?

If you think the Americans sacralize the presidency, then I don't think you know what it actually means to sacralize a state authority. Look at Putin, Stalin and the tsars in Russia. American presidents are nowhere near them in sacralization

John Gruskos, May 5, 2016 at 10:02 am

Trump muses about the possibility of using torture and assassination against a small number of terrorists who have American blood on their hands.

Clinton, on the other hand, presents us with a deadly serious plan ("no fly zone")to start an unnecessary unjustified war against Syria, Russia and Iran, the only beneficiaries of which would be Al-Qaida and ISIS, the inevitable results of which would be the destruction of Middle Eastern Christianity and an intensification of the migrant invasion of Europe, and the obvious risk of which is a catastrophic nuclear exchange.

Please remove the plank from your own eye before trying to remove the speck from mine.

Trump will be the first president since Eisenhower who can be trusted to enforce the immigration laws, reduce the trade deficit, and avoid unnecessary wars. He is receiving enthusiastic support because of his *platform*, not his alleged cult of personality. The clown act was a necessary tactic to circumvent the media gatekeepers who prevented previous outsiders such as Buchanan, Tancredo and Paul from presenting their ideas to the public. See Scott Adams' blog for a full explanation. Bravo Trump! You weren't too proud to fight for the interests of the American people.

Robert Thomas, May 5, 2016 at 10:20 am

Not that I am particularly religious nor does religion play a part in my politics.
However I don't need to be a bible thumper to see how over my life Christianity has been slowly systematically and successfully attacked and wiped clean from our culture but the left and their orahanizatuons like the ACLU. Trump is the first guy who actually acknowlages this and addresses it by simply saying " we will say Merry Christmas again"

When B.J.B. And Michael Sheuer both support Trump That's a great indicator that My support for Trump is well founded.

I was surprised to see an article like this written in TAC

It would be more fitting and we'll received in the national review or huffington post!

Clint, May 5, 2016 at 10:54 am

Trump,
"I will be the greatest representative of the Christians they've had in a long time." It appears Trump will be a better advocate for Christians than Obama or Hillary Clinton.

SteveM, May 5, 2016 at 11:16 am

These days the ONLY thing we get from a president are NEGATIVE impacts. I.e., too much war, too much immigration, too much regulation, a pathologically busted health care solution, tolerance of a pathological tax code, tolerance of Beltway Swamp corruption, supplicant to the Security State. All of it – just too much

If Trump us just gives a small respite, let alone some actual relief from the massive parasitic hammer of the Leviathan, I'll settle for that.

"Business as usual" just can't continue. It can't

Kurt Gayle, May 5, 2016 at 11:57 am

@ JLF, who wrote: "The most frightening thing will come from the Trump faithful when they see that their idol has feet of clay and cannot perform the miracles he says he will."

With all due respect, JLF, I think you hold those of us who are "the Trump faithful" in an unusual level of contempt.

Look, here's the deal: Trump is the only candidate who has identified the problems of Middle America and who has identified ways to begin to fix those problems. Trump is not a "miracle" worker, but he does have the will and the courage to lead the country back in the right direction. And as his supporters he has our backing all the way.

As President Trump will no doubt run into problems in implementing some aspects of his broad, multi-faceted program to make America great again. For sure there will be setbacks and delays, because (1) there is so much wrong with the country that has to be set right again, and because (2) there are so many powerful, wealthy, vested interests who will oppose doing what the country needs.

But as tough and steadfast a group as we Trump supporters have shown ourselves to be, why would you think that we would see setbacks and delays as signs of some sort of "betrayal"? Why? That doesn't make any sense. Haven't you learned yet, JFL, that of all the groups of Americans supporting all the candidates of both parties, those of us who are Trump supporters are by far the most loyal, the most unshakeable, and the toughest.

So, don't try to hang some kind of prissy faint-of-heart label on us. As Trump supporters we're in this for the long haul. We're ready to fight against the setbacks. We'll be fighting this out for as long as it takes to get the job done.

TB, May 5, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Nelson said: You can't be a Christian and hate thy neighbor.
____________________

all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

Lee, May 5, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Well, let's see what John Adams had to say about the Christian nation concept. ""The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
-John Adams

Or what of Thomas Jefferson's letter to John Adams on April 11 of 1823?

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding ."

There's a whole lot more I could point to that further illustrates the erroneous nature of the Christian nation myth. But people love their myths, just as the term Christian is quite a bit problematic in that historically it most accurately describes Orthodox Jews.

LouisM, May 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm

Bush2/Cheney fancied themselves caesars invading multiple Mideast nations. Obama fancies himself as god. He has gone beyond any president in usurping the congress and the states for his personal beliefs in Islam, global warming, drugs, immigration, unions, sexual identity, Title IX, Healthcare, etc.

Is Trump a surprise? Only in that he is unapologetic and doesn't hide it. More than likely future presidents will not be as overt and obvious but that does not make them any less psychopathic in seeing the Presidency as a throne rather than a orchestra leader.

tz, May 5, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Sad. Bush and Obama have both tortured and murdered and garnered only a few peeps – aside from the few low level personnel who were all but ordered to do so, who is in prison, much less been tried?

Trump is the epitome of our last two decades of compromise, of the end justifies the means, the "24" "Jack Bauer" that will save the day at any cost, and is somehow the amoral savior.

The most rabidly righteous evangelicals who hate even the mild "damn" love "24". For some reason they originally preferred Cruz.

This is the one thing – Trump may be many other forms of evil, but is not a hypocrite. He doesn't equivocate on torture (listen to Cruz's debate response). He doesn't pull punches. He doesn't triangulate or check the polls.

WYSIWYG. The problem is he is a mirror, and the problem is it is your image staring back even if you find it horrible.

Jay L , May 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Trump is what you get when a party becomes bankrupt of any real ideas other than personal greed. The party of NO wing of the Republican Party has reached its logical conclusion. The Party has paid only lip service to Evangelicals for a generation. Look at all the shirt sleeve pols that end up in sex and/or money scandals all the while thumping the bible and being born again. Look how every problem can be solved and every issue addressed if only you support us is giving the corporate and wealthy class another round of tax cuts and hand outs. The Party has over and over said to the Evangelicals if you support us we will get around to your agenda right after we address the lobbyists who fund our greed. I have wondered for years when the Evangelicals would see that the ends don't justify the means philosophy of the Republican Party isn't really interested in what they have to say. One doesn't achieve a Christian state through the seven deadly sins.

My greatest fear is that Trumps rise and the rise of a civil religion/cult is but a step on the path to chaos. History has shown many times that when people don't see religion as an answer to their problems that they next turn to civil god champions and when their champions ultimately fail there is nothing left to turn to except the social chaos of tearing the whole structure down. Many of Trumps and Bernie's supporters won't listen to or care about what dangers, even to themselves, are on the path they are supporting as long as it hurts the current ruling class that refuses to share the benefits of the system.

A. G. Phillbin , May 6, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Why is the author, and some commenters here, acting as if the label "Evangelical" means any more to those Evangelicals than the label "Catholic" means to most Catholics, or the label "Jewish" means to most Jews, etc.

People are asked in a survey to identify by religion. People saying, for example, "Catholic," would include both liberal and traditionalist Catholics, practicing Catholics and lapsed Catholics and perhaps even ex-Catholics who haven't converted to anything. But the poll would only reflect the number of people who checked the "Catholic" box, not the depth of their faith.

Similarly, would not people checking "Evangelical" include people who were born into an Evangelical Christian household, but don't practice much themselves and have given little thought as to what being an Evangelical means, as well as the very devout?

Without knowing which Evangelicals or which Catholics or which Jews are supporting a candidate or political position, how useful is the information?

[Dec 31, 2017] Brainwashing as a key component of the US social system by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Whitehead documents how hard a not guilty verdict is to come by for an innocent defendant. Even if the falsely accused defendant and his attorney survive the prosecutor's pressure to negotiate a plea bargain and arrive at a trial, they are confronted with jurors who are unable to doubt prosecutors, police, or witnesses paid to lie against the innocent defendant. ..."
"... The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that "official sources" lie repeatedly and never tell the truth? ..."
"... The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. We have failed God. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character." ..."
"... The failure of the American character has had tremendous and disastrous consequences for ourselves and for the world. At home Americans have a police state in which all Constitutional protections have vanished. Abroad, Iraq and Libya, two formerly prosperous countries, have been destroyed. Libya no longer exists as a country. One million dead Iraqis, four million displaced abroad, hundreds of thousands of orphans and birth defects from the American ordnance, and continuing ongoing violence from factions fighting over the remains. These facts are incontestable. Yet the United States Government claims to have brought "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. "Mission accomplished," declared one of the mass murderers of the 21st century, George W. Bush. ..."
"... The question is: how can the US government make such an obviously false outrageous claim without being shouted down by the rest of the world and by its own population? Is the answer that good character has disappeared from the world? ..."
"... Or is the rest of the world too afraid to protest? Washington can force supposedly sovereign countries to acquiesce to its will or be cut off from the international payments mechanism that Washington controls, and/or be sanctioned, and/or be bombed, droned, or invaded, and/or be assassinated or overthrown in a coup. On the entire planet Earth there are only two countries capable of standing up to Washington, Russia and China, and neither wants to stand up if they can avoid it. ..."
"... For whatever the reasons, not only Americans but most of the world as well accommodate Washington's evil and are thereby complicit in the evil. Those humans with a moral conscience are gradually being positioned by Washington and London as "domestic extremists" who might have to be rounded up and placed in detention centers. Examine the recent statements by General Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Cameron and remember Janet Napolitano's statement that the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus from terrorists to domestic extremists, an undefined and open-ended term. ..."
"... Americans with good character are being maneuvered into a position of helplessness. ..."
"... When Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was asked if the Clinton's regime's sanctions, which had claimed the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, were justified, she obviously expected no outrage from the American people when she replied in the affirmative. ..."
"... ... Americans are "intentionally ignorant" of other countries' rights and sovereignty while other countries had been well-informed of America's malicious intents of destroying other countries' rights and sovereignty ... ..."
"... No, I don't think Americans are intentionally ignorant, any more than other nationalities. What they are tribal. Tribal peoples don't care whether their policies are right or wrong; they are instinctively loyal to them and to those who formulate them. ..."
"... "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind." -- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda ..."
"... "Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." ..."
"... "When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility." ..."
"... Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere. If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off. The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes....& has Europe changed since the West was settled? Did Europeans even stop their warring amongst themselves? ..."
"... "The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." ..."
"... I agree with Paul Craig Roberts. He asks "Why" and "How." Well, Paul, here is my answer. Decades of Public Education and over 50 years of mass media monopoly. In an age where FOX is the top rated News station and CNN is considered liberal? Where kids in Public school are offered Chocolate milk and frozen pizza for school breakfast before going to class rooms with 30-40 kids. When Texas political appointees chose school text book content for the nation? A nation where service has ended, replaced with volunteer soldiers signing up for pay and benefits, instead of just serving as service, like we did in the 70's? ..."
"... There is a difference between IGNORANCE and STUPIDITY. As Ron White said, "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID". In todays information age, ignorance is a choice. ..."
"... The problem is that we have no "Constitution." That is a fable. The constitution of the separation of powers has been undermined from almost day one. Witness the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. ..."
"... Yes sir. Globalization has failed us. The infinite growth paradigm has failed us, as we knew it would. Castro's Cuba, based in a localized agrarian economy, is looking pretty good about now. Localization is the only way back to sustainability. ..."
"... Books? Who said books? You mean reading books? Let me throw a couple out there: I read 'The Image: A Guide To Pseudo-Events In America' last year, it was published 50+ years ago by a very recommended writer and accomplished historian. Boorstin's observations are truer today and even more concerning thanks to our modern, ubiquitous "connectivity". http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159979.The_Image ..."
"... Adorno famously pointed out in 1940 that the "Mass culture is psychoanalysis in reverse." ..."
"... He doesn't blame the masses because he simply points out the fact that Americans are completely ignorant and blindly believe anything MSM spoon-fed to them. ..."
"... Paul Craig Roberts believe that the people are capable of creating a better and more just society. Instead the people have voted against their own best interest and overwhelmingly believe the propaganda. ..."
"... "... the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise ..." ..."
"... Governments were created by the history of warfare, which was always organized crime developing on larger and larger scales. In the context, the greater problem is that people like Paul Craig Roberts are reactionary revolutionaries, who provide relatively good analysis, followed by bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals. ..."
"... The "American People" are the victims of the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy. As Cognitive Dissonance has previously stated on Zero Hedge: "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled." ..."
"... The article above was another illustration of the ways that the typical reactionary revolutionaries, Black Sheeple, or controlled opposition groups, respond to recognizing the more and more blatant degrees to which there has been an accelerating "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY CONTINUE TO STAY WITHIN THE SAME OLD-FASHIONED BULLSHIT-BASED FRAME OF REFERENCE, INSTEAD, AROUND AND AROUND WE GO, STUCK IN THE SAME DEEPENING RUTS, since they do NOT more fully "face the facts" regarding how and why the only realistic solutions to the real problems would require developing better organized crime. INSTEAD, they continue to promote the same dualities based upon false fundamental dichotomies, and the associate bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals ... ..."
Jul 25, 2015 | Zero Hedge

Original title: The Eroding Character Of The American People

Paul Craig Roberts

How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool's hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn't help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.-Bob Dylan, "Hurricane"

Attorney John W. Whitehead opens a recent posting on his Rutherford Institute website with these words from a song by Bob Dylan. Why don't all of us feel ashamed? Why only Bob Dylan?

I wonder how many of Bob Dylan's fans understand what he is telling them. American justice has nothing to do with innocence or guilt. It only has to do with the prosecutor's conviction rate, which builds his political career. Considering the gullibility of the American people, American jurors are the last people to whom an innocent defendant should trust his fate. The jury will betray the innocent almost every time.

As Lawrence Stratton and I show in our book (2000, 2008) there is no justice in America. We titled our book, "How the Law Was Lost." It is a description of how the protective features in law that made law a shield of the innocent was transformed over time into a weapon in the hands of the government, a weapon used against the people. The loss of law as a shield occurred prior to 9/11, which "our representative government" used to construct a police state.

The marketing department of our publisher did not appreciate our title and instead came up with "The Tyranny of Good Intentions." We asked what this title meant. The marketing department answered that we showed that the war on crime, which gave us the abuses of RICO, the war on child abusers, which gave us show trials of total innocents that bested Joseph Stalin's show trials of the heroes of the Bolshevik Revolution, and the war on drugs, which gave "Freedom and Democracy America" broken families and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world all resulted from good intentions to combat crime, to combat drugs, and to combat child abuse. The publisher's title apparently succeeded, because 15 years later the book is still in print. It has sold enough copies over these years that, had the sales occurred upon publication would have made the book a "best seller." The book, had it been a best seller, would have gained more attention, and perhaps law schools and bar associations could have used it to hold the police state at bay.

Whitehead documents how hard a not guilty verdict is to come by for an innocent defendant. Even if the falsely accused defendant and his attorney survive the prosecutor's pressure to negotiate a plea bargain and arrive at a trial, they are confronted with jurors who are unable to doubt prosecutors, police, or witnesses paid to lie against the innocent defendant. Jurors even convicted the few survivors of the Clinton regime's assault on the Branch Davidians of Waco, the few who were not gassed, shot, or burned to death by US federal forces. This religious sect was demonized by Washington and the presstitute media as child abusers who were manufacturing automatic weapons while they raped children. The charges proved to be false, like Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," and so forth, but only after all of the innocents were dead or in prison.

The question is: why do Americans not only sit silently while the lives of innocents are destroyed, but also actually support the destruction of the lives of innocents? Why do Americans believe "official sources" despite the proven fact that "official sources" lie repeatedly and never tell the truth?

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed. We have failed Justice. We have failed Mercy. We have failed the US Constitution. We have failed Truth. We have failed Democracy and representative government. We have failed ourselves and humanity. We have failed the confidence that our Founding Fathers put in us. We have failed God. If we ever had the character that we are told we had, we have obviously lost it. Little, if anything, remains of the "American character."

Was the American character present in the torture prisons of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and hidden CIA torture dungeons where US military and CIA personnel provided photographic evidence of their delight in torturing and abusing prisoners? Official reports have concluded that along with torture went rape, sodomy, and murder. All of this was presided over by American psychologists with Ph.D. degrees.

We see the same inhumanity in the American police who respond to women children, the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, with gratuitous violence. For no reason whatsoever, police murder, taser, beat, and abuse US citizens. Every day there are more reports, and despite the reports the violence goes on and on and on. Clearly, the police enjoy inflicting pain and death on citizens whom the police are supposed to serve and protect. There have always been bullies in the police force, but the wanton police violence of our time indicates a complete collapse of the American character.

The failure of the American character has had tremendous and disastrous consequences for ourselves and for the world. At home Americans have a police state in which all Constitutional protections have vanished. Abroad, Iraq and Libya, two formerly prosperous countries, have been destroyed. Libya no longer exists as a country. One million dead Iraqis, four million displaced abroad, hundreds of thousands of orphans and birth defects from the American ordnance, and continuing ongoing violence from factions fighting over the remains. These facts are incontestable. Yet the United States Government claims to have brought "freedom and democracy" to Iraq. "Mission accomplished," declared one of the mass murderers of the 21st century, George W. Bush.

The question is: how can the US government make such an obviously false outrageous claim without being shouted down by the rest of the world and by its own population? Is the answer that good character has disappeared from the world?

Or is the rest of the world too afraid to protest? Washington can force supposedly sovereign countries to acquiesce to its will or be cut off from the international payments mechanism that Washington controls, and/or be sanctioned, and/or be bombed, droned, or invaded, and/or be assassinated or overthrown in a coup. On the entire planet Earth there are only two countries capable of standing up to Washington, Russia and China, and neither wants to stand up if they can avoid it.

For whatever the reasons, not only Americans but most of the world as well accommodate Washington's evil and are thereby complicit in the evil. Those humans with a moral conscience are gradually being positioned by Washington and London as "domestic extremists" who might have to be rounded up and placed in detention centers. Examine the recent statements by General Wesley Clark and British Prime Minister Cameron and remember Janet Napolitano's statement that the Department of Homeland Security has shifted its focus from terrorists to domestic extremists, an undefined and open-ended term.

Americans with good character are being maneuvered into a position of helplessness. As John Whitehead makes clear, the American people cannot even prevent "their police," paid by their tax payments, from murdering 3 Americans each day, and this is only the officially reported murders. The actual account is likely higher.

What Whitehead describes and what I have noticed for many years is that the American people have lost, in addition to their own sense of truth and falsity, any sense of mercy and justice for other peoples. Americans accept no sense of responsibility for the millions of peoples that Washington has exterminated over the past two decades dating back to the second term of Clinton. Every one of the millions of deaths is based on a Washington lie.

When Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, was asked if the Clinton's regime's sanctions, which had claimed the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children, were justified, she obviously expected no outrage from the American people when she replied in the affirmative.

Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise.

benb

The American people have been scientifically mis-educated, propagandized, and beaten down. A disproportionate number of the under 30's are societal DOAs thanks to ... weaponized TV. But I am being too optimistic...

PrayingMantis

... Americans are "intentionally ignorant" of other countries' rights and sovereignty while other countries had been well-informed of America's malicious intents of destroying other countries' rights and sovereignty ...

BarnacleBill

No, I don't think Americans are intentionally ignorant, any more than other nationalities. What they are tribal. Tribal peoples don't care whether their policies are right or wrong; they are instinctively loyal to them and to those who formulate them.

Also, I have to say that I believe the US empire is a long, long, way from collapse. It is still expanding, for goodness sake. Empires collapse only when the shrinking process is well under way. (The recent Soviet Empire was exceptional, in this regard.) It will take several more generations before the darkness lifts, I'm afraid.

macholatte

The only conclusion that one can come to is that the American people have failed.

It's now official, PCR is a complete dipshit.

Hey Paul, how about you get your head out of the clouds and stop looking down your nose at everyone long enough to read a couple of books about brainwashing and then get back to us. Maybe you start with this: http://edward-bernays.soup.io/post/19658768/Edward-Bernays-Propaganda-19...

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. ...We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. ...In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons...who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind."
-- Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda

OldPhart

"Americans need to face the facts. The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise."

I think that happened August 13, 1971, but didn't get fully organized (as in Mafia) until 2000.

PT

The majority have their nose to the grind stone and as such can not see past the grind stone. They rely on "official sources" to put the rest of the world in order for them, but have no time to audit the "official sources". Would public education suffer if mothers and fathers were monitoring what the children were learning? But who has got time for that when both parents are working? How many non-work organizations were your parents and grand-parents involved in (both the wage-earner and the housekeeper)? How many organizations are you involved in?

Do you constantly hassle your local politicians or do you just say, "I'll vote 'em out in four years time"? (Yes, I know, you just don't vote. Fair enough, this question is for the voters.)

Yes, some of us are guilty of not fighting back. We had "Shut up and do as you're told" and "Well, if you're not happy with what you've got then work harder" beaten into us. Some of us are a little awake because, despite all our efforts, the grind stone was removed from us and then we got to see the larger picture of what lies behind the grind stone. Others are still busy, nose to the wheel, and all they see is the wheel.

And that is before we even consider HypnoToad on the Idiot Box. Some "need" the idiot box to help them wind down. Some can no longer enjoy the silence. (Remember Brave New World? It's true. Many people can no longer stand to be around silence, with nothing but their own thoughts.) I tell everyone that TV is crap. Radio is crap. Newspapers are crap. Turn that shit off for six months to a year, then go back to it and see what you really think of it. But they can't handle the thought of being away from "the background noise".

Ever spoken to grandparents who remember wars and depressions? And even amongst the rations and the hardships they still find positive memories? Time to talk to them again. Or not. I guess we'll get first-hand experience soon enough.

AlaricBalth

Allow me for a moment to share a brief anecdote about the new "American Character".

Last Sunday I was at the local supermarket. I was at the bakery counter, when suddenly a nicely dressed, Sunday best, non-Caucasian woman barrels into my cart riding a fat scooter. She rudely demands from the counter person a single cinnamon bun and then wheels off towards the front. Curious, I follow her up the aisle as she scarfs down the pastry in three bites. She then proceeds to stuff the empty bag between some soda bottles and scooters through the checkout without paying for her item. In the parking lot she then disembarks from her scooter, easily lifts it into the trunk of her Cadillac and walks to the drivers side, gets in and speeds off with her kids, who were in the back seat.

Amazed at what I had just witnessed, I went back into the store, retrieved the empty bag, included it in my few items at checkout and then went to the manager to share this story with him. He laughed and said there was nothing he could do.

The new "American Character" is that of a sense of entitlement and apathy.
I weep for the future.

Headbanger

Having character is not politically correct. Plus there's no need to develop character anymore because there's no jobs requiring any!

Consumption is the ONLY value of the inDUHvidual today.

And the less character they have, the more shit they'll consume to feel fulfilled cause they can't get that from themselves.

clymer Sat, 07/25/2015 - 07:34

Macholatte, i don't think PCR is writing from a point of view that is haughty and contemptful of the American people, per se, but rather from a perspective that is hopeless and thoroughly depressed after contemplating what the American people of many generations ago has taken for themselves as natural rights from a tyrranical government, only to see the nation slowly morph into something even worse than what was rejected by the founders.

"A nation can survive its fools and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within...
He rots the soul of a nation; he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city; he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist."

ThroxxOfVron

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise. "

"I think that happened August 13, 1971 "

The entirety of the Western Hemisphere, not just 'The United States', was seized by invaders from Europe.

It is not an 'American' disease: it is a European disease and always was.

The indiginous populations of the Western Hemisphere were suystemaically and with forethought expropriated, ensalved, and slaughtered. The indiginous persons that dwelled within the geographical domain that presently comprise the USA were still being margialized, forcibly relocated, and murdered, long after the so-called 'American Civil War' had been decided.

...& As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage.

Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere.

If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off.

The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes.

...& has Europe changed since the West was settled? Did Europeans even stop their warring amonsgst themselves?

See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

That would be: Hell NO.

Neither in Europe itself, nor in the settled West.

The Pacific Ocean wasn't named for calm waters.

It was named thusly because it is the natural geographic boundary where the mayhem and brutality and genocide ceased, if only because the greedy and ruthless Europeans had run out of land in the Western Hemisphere with people upon it to plunder and murder...

El Vaquero

The US will collapse within the next decade if some serious new technology is not developed and the infrastructure to use it is put in. There is too much debt and not enough material resources to continue growing the ponzi scheme that is our monetary system at an exponential rate without something breaking. The question is, will it be at the end of this boom-bust cycle, or the next? And if you look at what is being done on the financial front, which is the backbone of our neo-empire, that is shrinking.

The USD is slowly falling out of favor. There will come a point where that rapidly accelerates. We've been in a state of collapse for 15 years.


Abitdodgie

ignorance is choice these days and Americans love it.

AetosAeros

Not only a choice, but the ONLY choice they are prepared to accept. Cognitive Dissonance at it's finest. And to make matters worse, in only the best American fashion, we've asked if if it can be Supersized to go along with the Freedom Lies we feed ourselves.

I've seen the enemy, and....

But only if I'm willing to look in the mirror. Today's American doesn't look for what's right there in front of him/her, we look for all the new 'Social Norms' that we aren't living up to. This article is completely on target, and I hope Roberts hasn't decided to do any remodeling, cause too many idle nails guns make for a great Evening News sidebar mention.

Damnit all to hell.

Fun Facts

Fun Facts's picture

Rubicon727

We educators began seeing this shift towards "me-ism" around 1995-6. Students from low to middle income families became either apathetic towards "education" or followed their parent's sense of "entitlement." Simultaneously, the tech age captured both population's attention. Respecting "an education" dwindled.

Fast forward to the present: following the 2007-8 crash, we noted clear divisions between low income vs middle/upper class students based on their school behavior. Low to slightly middle income students brought to school family tensions and the turmoil of parents losing their jobs. A rise in non-functioning students increase for teachers while the few well performing students decline significantly.

Significant societal, financial shifts in America can always be observed in the student population.

reader2010

Mission Accomplished.

"When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility."

- Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, 1985

Lea

"The American people have been scientifically mis-educated".

You've got the answer there. The education system is the root cause of the problem. I'm from Europe, but if I've understood correctly, the US education policy is to teach as little as possible to children, and expect them to fill in the gaps in the Universities, past a certain age.

Only, it can't work. Children WILL learn, as childhood is the time when most informations are stored. If the schools don't provide the knowledge, they will get it from the television, movies or games, with the consequences we can see: ignorance, obsession with TV and movies stars, inability to differentiate life from movies, and over-simplistic reasoning (if any).

In Europe, we knew full well children learn fast and a lot, and that was why the schools focused on teaching them as much general knowldge as possible before 18 years old, which is when - it is scientifically proved - the human brain learns best.

Recently, the EU leading countries have understood that having educated masses doesn't pay if you want to lead them like sheep, so they are perfidiously trying to lower the standards... to the dismay of parents.

My advice, if I may presume to give any, would be to you USA people: teach your children what they won't learn at school, history, geography, literature (US, European and even Asian, why not), a foreign language if you can, arts, music, etc; and keep them away from the TV, movies and games.

And please adapt what you teach them to their age.

Refuse-Resist

Bang on! One anecdotal example: insisting that all 3rd graders use calculators "to learn" their multiplication tables. If I didn't do flashcards at home with my kids they wouldn't know them. As somebody who majored in engineering and took many many advanced math courses, I always felt that knowing your 'times tables' was essential to being successful in math.

What better way to dumb down otherwise intelligent children by creating a situation where the kid can't divide 32 by 4 without a calculator. Trigonometry? Calculus? Linear Algebra? Fuggedaboudit.

doctor10

The CB's and MIC have Americans right where they want them. the consequences of 3-4 generations of force feeding Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny

ThroxxOfVron

Some of US were never fucking asleep. Some of us were born with our eyes and minds open. We were, and are: hated, and reviled, and marginalized, and disowned for it. The intellectual repression was, and is, fucking insane and brutal. Words such as ethics and logic exist for what purpose? What are these expressions of? A bygone time? Abstractions?

Those that have tried to preserve their self awareness, empathy, and rationality have been ruthlessly systematically demeaned and condemed for confronting our families, our culture and institutions. We all have a right to be angry and disgusted and distrustful of the people and institutions around us. I am very fucking angry, and disgusted, and distrustful of the people and institutions around me.

But I still have hope. Nothing lasts forever.. This self-righteous nation called The United States, this twisted fraud of a culture called America, is most dangerously overdue for receipt of chastisment and retribution. It would be best if the citizenry of the United States taught themselves a lesson in stead of inviting Other nations and cultures to educate them.

A serious self education may be tedious and imperfect; but, it would be far far cheaper than forcing someone to come all the way over those oceans to educate Americans at the price they will be demanding for those lessons...

I do not require representation. I will speak my own mind and act of my own accord.

Every time other so-called Americans take a shit on me for thinking and speaking and acting differently it is a badge of honor and a confirmation of my spiritual and intellectual liberty. They don't know it but they are all gonna run out of shit before I run out of being free.

ThroxxOfVron

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise. "

"I think that happened August 13, 1971 "

The entirety of the Western Hemisphere, not just 'The United States', was seized by invaders from Europe. It is not an 'American' disease: it is a European disease and always was.

The indiginous populations of the Western Hemisphere were suystemaically and with forethought expropriated, ensalved, and slaughtered. The indiginous persons that dwelled within the geographical domain that presently comprise the USA were still being margialized, forcibly relocated, and murdered, long after the so-called 'American Civil War' had been decided.

...& As much as it is fashionable and/or politically expedient to vilify and blame the 'white' Europeans both for this history and extenuate that history to inform the present state of affairs, the Dutch, the French, the Portuguese, and the Spanish ( most eggregiously IMHO) were brutal and savage.

Look at the demographics of the Western Hemisphere. If you have a shred of honesty you just can't hang the blame on 'whites', put it on a bumper sticker or a #shittyhashtagmeme and go back to fucking off. The disgusting fraud of Manifest Destiny was a fig leaf to hide the enormity of these crimes; but, they are most obviously European crimes....& has Europe changed since the West was settled? Did Europeans even stop their warring amongst themselves?

See for yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

That would be: Hell NO. Neither in Europe itself, nor in the settled West. The Pacific Ocean wasn't named for calm waters. It was named thusly because it is the natural geographic boundary where the mayhem and brutality and genocide ceased, if only because the greedy and ruthless Europeans had run out of land in the Western Hemisphere with people upon it to plunder and murder...

Mini-Me

"The loss of character means the loss of liberty and the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise."

I agree with the first part. As for the latter, "government," by definition, is a criminal enterprise. It doesn't start out pure as the driven snow and then change into something nefarious over time. Its very essence requires the initiation of violence or its threat. Government without the gun in the ribs is a contradiction.

The fact that those in power got more votes than the losing criminals does not magically morph these people into paragons of virtue. They are almost without exception thoroughly deranged human beings. Lying is second nature to them. Looting is part of the job description. Killing is an end to their means: the acquisition and aggrandizement of power over others, no matter how much death and destruction results.

These people are sick bastards. To expect something virtuous from them after an endless string of wanton slaughter, theft and abuse, is simply wishful thinking.

Jack Burton

I agree with Paul Craig Roberts. He asks "Why" and "How." Well, Paul, here is my answer. Decades of Public Education and over 50 years of mass media monopoly. In an age where FOX is the top rated News station and CNN is considered liberal? Where kids in Public school are offered Chocolate milk and frozen pizza for school breakfast before going to class rooms with 30-40 kids. When Texas political appointees chose school text book content for the nation? A nation where service has ended, replaced with volunteer soldiers signing up for pay and benefits, instead of just serving as service, like we did in the 70's?

Paul Craig Roberts points out the police war against the people. That comes right from the very top, orders filter down to street cops. Street Cops are recruited from groups of young men our fathers generation would have labeled mental! But now they are hired across the board, shaved heads, tatoos, and a code of silence and Cops Above Justice.

The people have allowed the elites to rule in their place, never bothering to question the two fake candidates we are allowed to vote for.

Jtrillian

There is a difference between IGNORANCE and STUPIDITY. As Ron White said, "YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID". In todays information age, ignorance is a choice.

Part of the problem that no one is talking about or addressing is the population explosion. And it's not linear. Those who are the least educated, fully dependent others for their survival (welfare), the most complacent, and often with violent criminal records are breeding the fastest.

Evolution is not guaranteed. It can be argued that the apathy we experience today is a sign of the human race de-evolving. It takes a certain amount of cognitive ability to observe and question what is going on.

Further, the society we have created where "60 is the new 40" creates very little time to pay attention to what is going on in the world. Many people rely on mainstream media which is not really news any more. When six corporations control more than 90% of the news, it's the message of the corporate elite that we are fed. This becomes painfully obvious when you start turning to other sources for information like social media and independent news. Mainstream media today is full of opinion bias - injecting opinion as though it were fact. They also appeal to the lowest commmon denominator by focusing on emotionally charged topics and words rather than boring facts. Finally, the mainstream media is extremely guilty of propaganda by omission, ignoring important events altogether or only presenting one side of the story as is being done with regard to ISIS, Syria, and Ukraine today. People who watch the mainstream media have no idea that the US played a significant role in arming ISIS and aided in their rise to power. They have no idea that it was likely ISIS that used chemical weapons in Syria. They have no idea that the US has propped up real life neo nazis in high government positions in Ukraine. And they have ignored the continuing Fukushima disaster that is STILL dumping millions of gallons of radioactive water into the ocean every single day.

To sum up, democracies only work when people pay attention and participate. People are either too stupid, too overworked, are are looking to the wrong sources for information.

Until we break up mainstream media, remove incentives for those who cannot even care for themselves to stop breeding, and make fundamental changes to our society that affords people the time to focus on what is happening in the world, it will only get worse.

Much worse.

serotonindumptruck

A dying empire is like a wounded, cornered animal.

It will lash out uncontrollably and without remorse in a futile effort to save itself from certain death.

Enough Already

The problem is that we have no "Constitution." That is a fable. The constitution of the separation of powers has been undermined from almost day one. Witness the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798.

In the centuries since then, there has been no "separation of powers." Marbury v Madison (1803) gave the Supreme Court the right to "decide" what the "law" was. Although, only in the 20th century did the "Supreme" court really start "legislating" from the bench.

We're just peons to the Overall Federal Power; the three "separate" parts of the federal government have been in collusion from the first. But like all empires, this one is in the final stage of collapse; it has just gotten too big.

gswifty

Yes sir. Globalization has failed us. The infinite growth paradigm has failed us, as we knew it would. Castro's Cuba, based in a localized agrarian economy, is looking pretty good about now. Localization is the only way back to sustainability.

napples

Books? Who said books? You mean reading books? Let me throw a couple out there: I read 'The Image: A Guide To Pseudo-Events In America' last year, it was published 50+ years ago by a very recommended writer and accomplished historian. Boorstin's observations are truer today and even more concerning thanks to our modern, ubiquitous "connectivity". http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/159979.The_Image

Another by Boorstin, The Discoverers was my fav, like Bryson's 'Short History' on steroids:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_J._Boorstin

I'm currently trying to fathom all of the historical implications of the claims Menzies is making in his book '1434', where apparently everything I learned about history is a lie. While he's making a lot of claims(hoping some sticks?) I'm not truly convinced. It is a very good, believable thought experiment. It almost makes perfect sense given the anglo/euro history of deceit & dishonesty, but I digress:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Menzies

This one took a long time to grok, Dr Mandelbrot tried to warn us:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/665134.The_Mis_Behavior_of_Markets#

Benoit's friend & protege tried to warn us too:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Swan_%282007_book%29

Put them together and you get the financial meltdown's 'Don't say we didn't warn you' manifesto from 2006(not a book, but a compelling read):
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5372968a-ba82-11da-980d-0000779e2340.html

OK, I'm tired. Time to unplug.

reader2010

Adorno famously pointed out in 1940 that the "Mass culture is psychoanalysis in reverse." It takes 75 years for someone such as PCR to reiterate. He doesn't blame the masses because he simply points out the fact that Americans are completely ignorant and blindly believe anything MSM spoon-fed to them.

George Orwell once remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we believe in the authority of what Adorno called Culture Industry and MSM, no matter what. Today we are indeed in another Dark Age

PoasterToaster

"Americans" are not one person. Individuals are not fungible. Reasoning from the "average American" leads to false conclusions.

reader2010

Jacques Derrida says, "The individualism of technological civilization relies precisely on a misunderstanding of the unique self. It is the individualism of a role and not of a person. In other words it might be called the individualism of a masque or persona, a character [personnage] and not a person." There are many Americans but they all play the same role in the Pursuit of Happiness, aka wage slaves, career slaves, debt slaves, information junkies, and passive consumers.

Moccasin

Paul Craig Roberts believe that the people are capable of creating a better and more just society. Instead the people have voted against their own best interest and overwhelmingly believe the propaganda.

When do the people or the society take responsibility for its greater good or own the crimes of those they put into power?

Blaming the aristocracy or the oligarchs seems like a scapegoat when the people have never stood up to the corruption in a cohesive or concerted way. imho, After a few generations of abuse and corruption the people need to take responsibility for their future. I expect that most will just buy into the charade and live the lie, on that basis as a society we are doomed to live in a corporatocracy fascist state.

Aldous Huxley called it a scientific dictatorship, Edward Bernays referred to us as a herd.

Moccasin

In the USA being white, monied and having the capacity to afford a good education is privileged. To his credit he speaks to the greater population, the 'average citizen' and not the plutocratic class.

MSorciere

What we have is the result of conditioning and commoditizing a population. The country is filled with consumers, not citizens. Teach the acquisition of money and goods as the main goal and individualism as the only acceptable social unit. We end up with a nation of insatiable sociopaths, ruled by power-hungry psychopaths.

Divisive politics, jackbooted authority from the DC scumpond down to the cop on the beat, the constant preaching of the cult of the individual as a sustitute for true liberty... all of these have served to destroy a sense of community and decentness between Americans.

The ONLY thing that could threaten the ruling class is a banding together of the people - in large numbers. 'They' have purposefully and effectively quashed that.

TrulyStupid

Shifting responsibility to the usual suspects is simply a manifestation of the American moral collapse. Man up and do some self evaluation.

T-NUTZ

"what I have noticed for many years is that the American people have lost, in addition to their own sense of truth and falsity, any sense of mercy and justice for other peoples"

Unfortunately, Paul, the American people have lost any sense of mercy and justice for their own people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXRDq9nKJ0U

Phillyguy

Painful as it may be, we need to rationally look at US history/society. The nascent US was formed by stealing land from the native population and using human capital (read African Slaves) to generate wealth (it took a civil war with circa 500K casualties to stop this- one could argue the US "civil war" never ended). More recently, the US has been almost continuously at war since 1940, we dropped atomic bombs on Japan. Currently, the US/NATO war theater extends from the Levant, to Caspian Basin, Persian Gulf, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa (Saudi/US war on Yemen), the Maghreb and E Europe and Russian Border.

Radical Marijuana

"... the transformation of government into a criminal enterprise ..."

Governments were created by the history of warfare, which was always organized crime developing on larger and larger scales. In the context, the greater problem is that people like Paul Craig Roberts are reactionary revolutionaries, who provide relatively good analysis, followed by bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals.

The "American People" are the victims of the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy. As Cognitive Dissonance has previously stated on Zero Hedge: "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled."

It is practically impossible to exaggerate the degree to which that is so, on such profound levels, because of the ways that most people want to continue to believe that false fundamental dichotomies and impossible ideals are valid, and should be applied to their problems, despite that those mistaken ideas cause the opposite to happen in the real world, because those who promote those kinds of false fundamental dichotomies and their related impossible ideals, ARE "controlled opposition."

Rather, the place to begin would be by recognizing that all human beings and civilizations must necessarily operate as entropic pumps of energy flows, which necessarily are systems of organized lies operating robberies. Everyone has some power to rob, and power to kill to back that up. Governments assembled and channeled those powers. There was never a time when governments were not organized crime. There could never be any time when governments were not organized crime. The only things that exist are the dynamic equilibria between different systems of organized lies operating robberies. Those dynamic equilibria have become extremely unbalanced due the degree that the best organized gangs of criminals were able to control their opposition.

Paul Craig Roberts, as well as pretty well all of the rest of the content published on Zero Hedge, are presentations of various kinds of controlled opposition groups, most of which do not recognize that they are being controlled by the language that they use, and the philosophy of science that they take for granted. THAT is the greatest failure of the American People, as well as most of the rest of the people everywhere else. They believe in false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals, and therefore, their bogus "solutions" always necessarily backfire badly, and cause the opposite to happen in the real world.

After all, the overwhelming vast majority of the American People operate as the controlled opposition to the best organized gangs of criminals that most control the government of the USA. Therefore, the FAILURES of the American People are far more profound and problematic than what is superficially presented by guys like Paul Craig Roberts, and also, of course, his suggested bogus "solutions" are similarly superficial.

The ONLY things which can actually exist are the dynamic equilibrium between different systems of organized lies operating robberies. The degree to which the American People, as well as most of the rest of the people in the world, FAIL to understand that is the degree to which they enable the best organized gangs of criminals to control them, due to the vast majority of people being members of various controlled opposition groups. Controlled opposition always presents relatively superficial analysis of the political problems, which are superficially correct. However, they then follow that up with similarly superficial "solutions." Therefore, magical words are bandied about, that express their dualities, through false fundamental dichotomies, and the related impossible ideals.

Governments must exist because organized crime must exist. Better governments could be achieved through better organized crime. However, mostly what get presented in the public places are the utter bullshit of the biggest bullies, who dominate the society because they were the best organized gangs of criminals, who were also able to dominate their apparent opposition. Therefore, instead of more realistic, better balancing of the dynamic equilibria between different systems of organized lies operating robberies, we get runaway developments of the best organized gangs of criminals being able to control governments, whose only apparent opposition is controlled to stay within the same bullshit frame of reference regarding everything that was actually happening.

The mainline of the FAILURES of the American People have been the ways that the international bankers were able to recapture control over the American public "money" supply. After that, everything else was leveraged up, through the funding of the political processes, schools, and mass media, etc., being more and more dominated by that fundamentally fraudulent financial accounting system. Of course, that FAILURE has now become more than 99% ... Therefore, no political possible ways appear to exist to pull out of that flaming spiral nose dive, since we have already gone beyond the event horizon into that social black hole.

Most of the content on Zero Hedge which is based upon recognizing that set of problems still acts as controlled opposition in that regard too. Therefore, the bogus "solutions" here continue to deliberately ignore that money is necessarily measurement backed by murder. Instead of accepting that, the controlled opposition groups like to promote various kinds of "monetary reforms." However, meanwhile, we are actually already headed towards the established debt slavery systems having generated debt insanities, which are going to provoke death insanities.

In that context, the only realistic resolutions to the real problems would necessarily have to be monetary revolutions, that may emerge out of the future situations, after the runaway debt insanities have provoked death insanities. Indeed, the only genuine solutions to the problems are to develop different death control systems, to back up different debt control systems, which must necessarily be done within the context that governments are the biggest forms of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals.

The various controlled opposition groups do not want to face those social facts. Rather, they continue to want to believe in the dualities expressed as false fundamental dichotomies and the related impossible ideals, which is their greatest overall FAILURE. In my view, the article above by Roberts contained a lot of nostalgic nonsense. There was never a time when there were any governments which were not based on the applications of the principles and methods of organized crime, and there could never be any time in the future when that could be stopped from being the case.

The greatest FAILURE of the American People, as well as most of the rest of the world's people, has been to become so brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit world view, that there is no significant opposition that is not controlled by thinking inside of the box of that bullshit. The government did NOT transform into a criminal enterprise. The government was necessarily ALWAYS a criminal enterprise. That criminal enterprise has become more and more severely UNBALANCED due to the FAILURE of the people to understand that they were actually members of an organized crime gang, called their country. Instead, they were more and more scientifically brainwashed to believe in bullshit about everything, including their country.

The ONLY connection between human laws and the laws of nature is the ability to back up lies with violence. The development of the government of the USA has been the developed of integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence. Those systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS have been able to become more extremely unbalanced because there is almost nothing which is publicly significant surrounding that core of organized crime but various controlled opposition groups.

Of course, it seems politically impossible for my recommendations to actually happen within the foreseeable future, as the current systems of debt slavery drive through debt insanities to become death insanities, but nevertheless, the only theoretically valid ideas to raise to respond to the real problems would have to based upon a series of intellectual scientific revolutions. However, since we have apparently run out of time to go through those sorts of paradigm shifts sufficiently, we are stuck in the deepening ruts of political problems which guys like Roberts correctly present to be the case

... HOWEVER, ROBERTS, LIKE ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE, CONTINUE TO PRESUME UPON DUALITIES, AND THEREFORE, HAVE THEIR MECHANISMS REGARDING "SOLUTIONS" ABSURDLY BACKWARDS.

Rather, we should start with the concept of SUBTRACTION, which then leads to robbery. We should start with the recognition that governments are necessarily, by definition, the biggest forms of organized crime. Governments did NOT transform into being that. Governments were always that. The political problems we have now are due to the best organized gangs of criminals, which currently are primarily the biggest gangsters, which can rightly be referred to as the banksters, having dominated all aspects of the funding of politics, enough to capture control over all sociopolitical institutions, so that the American People would more and more be subjected to the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy, which was built on top of thousands of years of previous history of Neolithic Civilizations being based on backing up lies with violence.

The runaway systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS, or the integrated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, that more and more dominate the lives of the American People are due to the applications of the methods of organized crime, and could not be effectively counter-balanced in any other ways. However, the standing social situation is that there is no publicly significant opposition that is not controlled to stay within the same frame of reference of the biggest bullies, which is now primarily the frame of reference of the banksters. Indeed, to the degree to which people's lives are controlled by the monetary system, they are debt slaves. Moreover, the degree to which they do not understand, and do not want to understand, that money is necessarily measurement backed by murder, then they think like controlled opposition groups, who have their mechanisms absurdly backwards, when they turn from their superficial analysis of what the political problems, to then promote their superficial solutions of those problems.

I AGREE that "Americans need to face the facts." However, those facts are that citizens are members of an organized crime gang, called their country. "Their" country is currently controlled by the best organized gangs of criminals. However, there are no genuine resolutions for those problems other than to develop better organized crime. Since the controlled opposition groups that are publicly significant do not admit any of the deeper levels of the scientific facts regarding human beings and civilizations operating as entropic pumps of energy flows, but rather, continue to perceive all of that in the most absurdly backward ways possible, the current dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies continue to become more and more extremely UNBALANCED.

In the case of the article above, Roberts does NOT "face the facts" that governments were always forms of organized crime, and must necessarily be so, because human beings must live as entropic pumps of energy flows. Rather, Roberts tends to illustrate how the controlled opposition takes for granted certain magical words and phrases, such as "Liberty" or "Constitution," that have no adequate operational definitions to connect them to the material world.

We are living inside of an oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, which has applied the progress in science primarily to become better at backing up lies with violence, while refusing to allow scientific methods to admit and address how and why that has been what has actually happened. Therefore, almost all of the language that we use to communicate, as well as almost all of the philosophy of science that we take for granted, was based on the biggest bullies' bullshit, which is now primarily manifested as the banksters' bullshit, as that bullshit developed in America to become ENFORCED FRAUDS.

ALL of the various churches, corporations, and countries are necessarily various systems of organized lies operating robberies. Those which are the biggest now were historically the ones that were the best at doing that. The INTENSE PARADOXES are due to human systems necessarily being organized lies operating robberies, wherein the greatest social successfulness has been achieved by those who were the best professional liars and immaculate hypocrites. That flows throughout ALL of the established systems, which are a core of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition groups.

The degree to which the American People, as well as the rest of the world's people, have been more and more scientifically brainwashed to believe in bullshit about governments in particular, and human beings and civilizations in general, is the degree to which the established systems based upon ENFORCED FRAUDS are headed towards some series of psychotic breakdowns. For all practical purposes, it is politically impossible to get enough people to stop acting like incompetent political idiots, and instead start acting more like competent citizens, because they do not understand, and moreover have been conditioned to not want to understand that governments are necessarily organized crime.

Roberts ironically illustrated the deeper nature of the political problems that he also shares, when he perceives that governments have somehow transformed into being criminal enterprise, when governments were always necessarily criminal enterprises. Similarly, with those who recognize that, but then promote the impossible solutions based upon somehow stopping that from being the case, which is as absurdly backwards as stopping human beings from operating as entropic pumps of energy flows, which then also presumes that it would be possible to stop human civilizations from being entropic pumps of energy flows.

Rather, the deeper sorts of intellectual scientific revolutions that we should go through require becoming much more critical of the language that we use to communicate with, and more critical about the philosophy of science that we presumed was correct. Actually, we were collectively brainwashed to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit, which is as absurdly backwards as it could possibly be. However, due to the collective FAILURES of people to understand that, as reflected by the ways that the core of organized crime is surrounded by nothing which is publicly significant than layers of controlled opposition, there are no reasonable ways to doubt that the established debt slavery systems will continue to drive even worse debt insanities, which will provoke much worse death insanities. Therefore, to be more realistic about the foreseeable future, the development of new death control systems will emerge out of the context of crazy collapses into chaos, wherein the runaway death insanities provide the possible opportunities for new death controls to emerge out of that situation.

Of course, the about 99% FAILURE of the American People to want to understand anything that I have outlined above indicates that the foreseeable future for subsequent generations shall not too likely be catalyzed transformations towards enough people better understanding their political problems, in order to better resolve those problems. Rather, what I mostly expect is for the psychotic breakdowns of the previous systems of ENFORCED FRAUDS to give opportunities to some possible groups of controlled opposition to take advantage of that, to perhaps emerge as the new version of professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, who will be able to operate some new version of organized lies, operating robberies, who may mostly still get away with being some modified versions of still oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, due to social success still being based upon the best available professional liars and immaculate hypocrites, who were able to survive through those transformations, so that the new systems arise from some of the seeds of the old systems.

At the present time, it is extremely difficult to imagine how the human species could possibly reconcile progress in physical science by surpassing that with progress in political science. Rather, what mostly exists now is the core of organized crime, which gets away with spouting the bullshit about itself, such as how the banksters dominate the mass media, and the lives of everyone else who depend upon the established monetary system (which is dominated by the current ways that governments ENFORCE FRAUDS by privately controlled banks), while that core of organized crime has no publicly significant opposition that is not controlled by the ways that they think, which ways stay within the basic bullshit world view, as promoted by the biggest bullies for thousands of years, and as more and more scientifically promoted to brainwash the vast majority of people to believe in that kind of bullshit so completely that it mostly does not occur to them that they are doing that, and certainly almost never occurs to them that they are doing that in the most profoundly absurd and backward ways possible.

That is how and why it is possible for an author like Roberts to correctly point out the ways in which the government of the USA is transforming into being more blatantly based on organized crime ... HOWEVER, Roberts is not willing and able to go through deeper levels of intellectual scientific revolutions, in order to recognize how and why governments were always necessarily manifestations of organized crime. Therefore, as is typically the case, Roberts does not recognize how ironically he recommends that Americans should "face the facts," while he himself does not fully do so.

The whole history of Neolithic Civilizations was social pyramid systems based on being able to back up lies with violence, becoming more sophisticated systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which currently manifest as the globalized electronic frauds of the banksters, were are backed up by the governments (that those banksters effectively control) having atomic bombs. Those are the astronomically amplified magnitudes of the currently existing combined money/murder systems. Therefore, it appears to be politically impossible at the present time to develop better governments, due to the degree that almost everyone is either a member of the core groups of organized crime, or members of the surrounding layers of groups of controlled opposition, both of which want to stay within the same overall bullshit frame of reference, because, so far, their lives have been socially successful by being professional liars and immaculate hypocrites.

Ironically, I doubt that someone like Roberts, or pretty well everyone else whose material is published on Zero Hedge is able and willing to recognize the degree to which they are actually controlled opposition. Indeed, even more ironically, as I have repeated before, even Cognitive Dissonance, when he previously stated on Zero Hedge: "The absolute best controlled opposition is one that doesn't know they are controlled." DOES NOT "GET IT" regarding the degree to which he too is controlled opposition, even while superficially attempting to recognize and struggle with that situation. (Indeed, of course, that includes me too, since I am still communicating using the English language, which was the natural language that most developed to express the biggest bullies' bullshit world view.)

Overall, I REPEAT, the deeper problems are due to progress in physical science, NOT being surpassed by progress in political science. Instead, while there EXIST globalized electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs, practically nothing regarding the ways of thinking that made that science and those technologies possible has found any significant expression through political science, because political science would have to go through even more profound paradigm shifts within itself in order to do that.

The INTENSE PARADOXES continue to be the manifestation of the oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, that deliberately refuses to become any more genuinely scientific about itself. Therefore, the banksters have been able to pay for the best scientific brainwashing that money could buy, for generation after generation, in order to more and more brainwash most of the American People to believe in the banksters' bullshit world view. While there exist electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs, practically nothing regarding the physical science paradigm shifts that made that possible have even the slightest degree of public appreciation within the realms of politics today, which are almost totally dominated by the biggest bullies' bullshit world view, despite that being as absurdly backwards as possible, while the controlled opposition groups, mostly in the form of old-fashioned religions and ideologies, continue to stay within that same bullshit world view, and adamantly refuse to change their perceptual paradigms regarding political problems.

However, I REPEAT, the issues we face are NOT that governments have transformed to become criminal enterprises, but that governments were always necessarily criminal enterprises, which had the power to legalized their own lies, and then back those lies up with legalized violence. Thereby, the best organized criminals, the international bankers, as the biggest gangsters, or the banksters, were able to apply the methods of organized crime through the political processes. Meanwhile, the only "opposition" that was allowed to be publicly significant was controlled, to basically stay within the same bullshit world view, which is what Roberts has done in his series of articles, as well as what is almost always presented in the content published on Zero Hedge.

The NEXT LEVEL of "the need to face the facts" is to recognize that the political economy is based upon ENFORCED FRAUDS, or systems of debt slavery backed by wars based on deceits. However, the NEXT LEVEL "the need to face the facts" is the that the only possible changes are to change the dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies, i.e., change those ENFORCED FRAUDS, in ways which CAN NOT STOP THOSE FROM STILL BEING ENFORCED FRAUDS, because of the degree to which money is necessarily measurement backed by murder.

For the American People, as well as the rest of the world's people, to stop being such dismal FAILURES would require them to become more competent citizens. However, at the present time they appear to be totally unable to do that, because they are unwilling to go through the profound paradigm shifts that it would take them to become more competent citizens inside of world where there exist globalized electronic frauds, backed by atomic bombs. The vast majority of the American People would not like to go through the severe cognitive dissonance that would be required, to not only recognize that "their" government was a criminal enterprise, but that it also must be, and that they too must necessarily be members of that organized crime gang. However, without that degree of perceptual paradigm shifts of the political problems, then enough of the American People could not become more competent citizens.

Somehow, most people continue to count on themselves never having to think about how and why progress was achieved in physical science, by going through series of profound paradigm shifts in the ways that we perceived the world. Most people continue to presume that it is not necessary for their perception of politics to go through profound paradigm shifts, that surpass those which have already been achieved in physical science. We continue to live in an oxymoronic scientific dictatorship, that employs science and technology to become better at being dishonest and violent, but does not apply science and technology to "face the facts" about that scientific dictatorship as a whole.

At the present time, technologies which have become trillions of times more capable and powerful are primarily used as special effects within the context of repeating the same old-fashioned, stupid social stories, such as promoted by the biggest bullies, and their surrounding controlled opposition groups. Ironically, especially when it comes to politics, that tends to manifest the most atavistic throwbacks to old-fashioned religions and ideologies being relied upon to propose bogus "solutions," despite that those kinds of social stories adamantly refuse to change their paradigms in light of the profound paradigms shifts which have been achieved in physical science.

The article above was another illustration of the ways that the typical reactionary revolutionaries, Black Sheeple, or controlled opposition groups, respond to recognizing the more and more blatant degrees to which there has been an accelerating "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise." THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY CONTINUE TO STAY WITHIN THE SAME OLD-FASHIONED BULLSHIT-BASED FRAME OF REFERENCE, INSTEAD, AROUND AND AROUND WE GO, STUCK IN THE SAME DEEPENING RUTS, since they do NOT more fully "face the facts" regarding how and why the only realistic solutions to the real problems would require developing better organized crime. INSTEAD, they continue to promote the same dualities based upon false fundamental dichotomies, and the associate bogus "solutions" based upon impossible ideals ...

Given that overall situation, that there there almost nothing which is publicly significant than the core of organized crime, surrounded by controlled opposition groups, I see no reasonable hopes for the foreseeable material future of a civilization controlled by ENFORCED FRAUDS, since there is no publicly possible ways to develop better dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies, since the biggest forms of doing that were most able to get away with pretending that they are not doing that, which was facilitated by their controlled opposition promoting the opinions that nobody should do that, while actually everyone must be doing that.

Roberts' article above, to me, was another typical example of superficially correct analysis, which implies some bogus "solutions" because those are based upon the same superficiality. It is NOT good enough to recognize "transformation of government into a criminal enterprise," unless one goes through deeper levels of analysis regarding how and why that is what actually exists, and then, one should continue to be consistent with that deeper analysis when one turns to proposing genuine solutions to those problems, namely, I REPEAT THAT the only realistic resolutions to the real political problems requires the transformation of government into a better organized criminal enterprise, which ideally should be based upon enough citizens who are competent enough to understand that they are members of an organized crime gang, which should assert themselves to make sure that their country becomes better organized crime.

[Dec 31, 2017] Is [neo]Liberalism a Dying Faith by Pat Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Nationalism really represent a growing threat to neoliberalism. It is clear the the rise of nationalism was caused by the triumph of neoliberalism all over the globe. As neoliberal ideology collapsed in 2008, thing became really interesting now. Looks like 1920th-1940th will be replayed on a new level with the USA neoliberal empire under stress from new challengers instead of British empire.
Rumor about the death of neoliberalism are slightly exaggerated ;-). This social system still has a lot of staying power. you need some external shock like the need of cheap oil (defined as sustainable price of oil over $100 per barrel) to shake it again. Of some financial crisis similar to the crisis of 2008. Currently there is still no alternative social order that can replace it. Collapse of the USSR discredited both socialism even of different flavors then was practiced in the USSR. National socialism would be a step back from neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html ..."
"... What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey." ..."
"... Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power. ..."
"... Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers. ..."
"... It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc. ..."
"... If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008). ..."
"... And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade". ..."
"... The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election. ..."
"... Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency. ..."
"... But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism. ..."
Oct 01, 2002 | www.unz.com

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic -- and the model for mankind's future.

Equality, diversity, democracy -- this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People's Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria's vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis "makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO's mission is outdated."

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson's line that "All men are created equal," but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his

... ... ...

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve "illiberal" ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as "illiberal" or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

Jason Liu , October 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT
Yes. Fuck yes.

Liberalism is the naivete of 18th century elites, no different than today. Modernity as you know it is unsustainable, mostly because equality isn't real, identity has value for most humans, pluralism is by definition fractious, and deep down most people wish to follow a wise strongman leader who represents their interests first and not a vague set of universalist values.

Blind devotion to liberal democracy is another one of those times when white people take an abstract concept to weird extremes. It is short-sighted and autistically narrow minded. Just because you have an oppressive king doesn't mean everyone should be equals. Just because there was slavery/genocide doesn't mean diversity is good.

The retreat of [neo]liberalism is very visible in Asia. All Southeast Asian states have turned their backs on liberal democracy, especially Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar in the last decade. This NYT article notes that liberalism has essentially died in Japan, and that all political contests are now between what the west would consider conservatives: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/15/opinion/liberalism-japan-election.html

Good riddance. The idea that egalitarianism is more advanced than hierarchy has always been false, and flies against the long arc of history. Time for nationalists around the world to smash liberal democracy and build a new modernity based on actual humanism, with respect to hierarchies and the primacy of majorities instead of guilt and pathological compassion dressed up as political ideology.

TG , October 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT
"Liberalism" is not dying. "Liberalism" is dead, and has been since at least 1970.

What is today called "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" both are simply corrupted labels applied to the same top-down corporate-fascistic elite rule that I think Mr. Buchanan once referred to as "two wings of the same bird of prey."

Nobody at the top cares about 'diversity.' They care about the easy profits that come from ever cheaper labor. 'Diversity' is not suicide but rather murder: instigated by a small number of very powerful people who have decided that the long-term health of their nations and civilization is less important than short-term profits and power.

Paul's Ghost , October 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm GMT
Its been dead for nearly 20 years now. Liberalism has long been the Monty Python parrot nailed to its perch. At this point, the term is mainly kept alive in right-wing attacks by people who lack the imagination to change their habitual targets for so long.

To my eye, the last 'liberal' politician died in a susupicious plane crash in 2000 as the Bush Republicans were taking the White House by their famous 5-4 vote/coup and also needed to claim control of the Senate. So, the last authentic 'liberal' Senator, Paul Wellstone of MN was killed in a suspicious plane crash that was never properly explained.

Hillary and Obama are to the right of the President that Buchanan served in his White House. Richard Nixon was to the Left of both Hillary and Obama. I can't even imagine Hillary accepting and signing into law a 'Clean Water Act' or enacting Price Controls to fight inflation. No way. Heck would freeze over before Hillary would do something so against her Banker Backers.

And, at the root, that is the key. The 'Liberals' that the right now rails against are strongly backed and supported by the Wall Street Banks and other corporate leaders. The 'Liberals' have pushed for a government Of the Bankers, By the Bankers and For the Bankers. The 'Liberals' now are in favor of Endless Unconstitutional War around the world.

Which can only mean that the term 'Liberal' has been so completely morphed away from its original meanings to be completely worthless.

The last true Liberal in American politics was Paul Wellstone. And even by the time he died for his sins, he was calling himself a "progressive" because after the Clintons and the Gores had so distorted the term Liberal it was meaningless. Or it had come to mean a society ruled by bankers, a society at constant war and throwing money constantly at a gigantic war machine, a society of censorship where the government needed to control all music lyrics, the same corrupt government where money could by anything from a night in the Lincoln Bedroom to a Presidential Pardon or any other government favor.

Thus, 'Liberals' were a dead movement even by 2000, when the people who actually believed in the American People over the profits of bankers were calling themselves Progressives in disgust at the misuse of the term Liberal. And now, Obama and Hillary have trashed and distorted even the term Progressive into bombing the world 365 days a year and still constantly throwing money at the military machine and the problems it invents.

So, Liberalism is so long dead that if you exumed the grave you'd only find dust. And Pat must be getting senile and just throwing back out the same lines he once wrote as a speechwriter for the last Great Lefty President Richard Nixon.

Miro23 , October 20, 2017 at 6:17 pm GMT

Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?

Another question is whether this is wishful thinking from Pat or some kind of reality.

I think that he's right, that Liberalism is a dying faith, and it's interesting to check the decline.

It's sure that financial (neo)liberalism was in a growth phase prior to year 2000 (under Greenspan, the "Maestro") with a general belief that the economy could be "fine tuned" with risk eliminated using sophisticated financial instruments, monetary policy etc.

If [neo] Liberalism is a package, then two heavy financial blows that shook the whole foundation were the collapse of the dot.com bubble (2000) and the mortgage bubble (2008).

And, other (self-serving) neoliberal stories are now seen as false. For example, that the US is an "advanced post-industrial service economy", that out-sourcing would "free up Americans for higher skilled/higher wage employment" or that "the US would always gain from tariff free trade".

In fact, the borderless global "world is flat" dogma is now seen as enabling a rootless hyper-rich global elite to draw on a sea of globalized serf labour with little or no identity, while their media and SWJ activists operate a scorched earth defense against any sign of opposition.

The basic divide is surely Nationalism (America First) vs. Globalism (Neo-Liberalism), as shown by the last US Presidential election.

reiner Tor , October 20, 2017 at 6:39 pm GMT
@Randal

A useful analogy might be Viktor Orbán. He started out as a leader of a liberal party, Fidesz, but then over time started moving to the right. It is often speculated that he started it for cynical reasons, like seeing how the right was divided and that there was essentially a vacuum there for a strong conservative party, but there's little doubt he totally internalized it. There's also little doubt (and at the time he and a lot of his fellow party leaders talked about it a lot) that as he (they) started a family and having children, they started to realize how conservatism kinda made more sense than liberalism.

With Kurz, there's the possibility for this path. However, he'd need to start a family soon for that to happen. At that age Orbán was already married with children

Verymuchalive , October 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT
@Paul's Ghost

Liberalism ( large L) is indeed long dead.

Neoliberalism, of which the Clintons are acolytes, supports Free Trade and Open Borders. Although it claims to support World Government, in actual fact it supports corporatism. This is explicit in the TPPA Trump vetoed. Under the corporate state, the state controls the corporations, as Don Benito did in Italy. Under corporatism, the corporations tell the state what to do, as has been the case in America since at least the Clinton Presidency.

Richard Nixon was a capitalist, not a corporatist. He was a supporter of proper competition laws, unlike any President since Clinton. Socially, he was interventionist, though this may have been to lessen criticism of his Vietnam policies. Anyway, his bussing and desegregation policies were a long-term failure.

Price Control was quickly dropped, as it was in other Western countries. Long term Price Control, as in present day Venezuela, is economically disastrous.

KenH , October 21, 2017 at 1:51 pm GMT
Let's hope liberalism is a dying faith and that is passes from the Western world. If not it will destroy the West, so if it doesn't die a natural death then we must euthanize it. For the evidence is in and it has begat feminism, anti-white racism, demographic winter, mass third world immigration and everything else that ails the West and has made it the sick and dying man of the world.

But I recall that Pat B also said neoconservatism was on its way out a few years after Iraq war II and yet it's stronger than ever and its adherents are firmly ensconced in the joint chiefs of staff, the pentagon, Congress and the White House. It's also spawned a close cousin in liberal interventionism.

What Pat refers to as "liberalism" is now left wing totalitarianism and anti-white hatred and it's fanatically trying to remain relevant by lashing out and blacklisting, deplatforming, demonetizing, and physically assaulting all of its enemies on the right who are gaining strength much to their chagrin. They resort to these methods because they can't win an honest debate and in a true free marketplace of ideas they lose.

[Dec 25, 2017] The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0. ..."
"... But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role. ..."
"... While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value. ..."
"... In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968. ..."
"... Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US. ..."
"... It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm. ..."
"... "Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one. ..."
"... The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak). ..."
"... So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel. ..."
"... So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first. ..."
"... Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection. ..."
"... Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference. ..."
"... I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along." ..."
"... The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy. ..."
"... FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story. ..."
"... God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact. ..."
"... I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war. ..."
"... Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence. ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate December 23, 2017

While unproven claims of Russian meddling in U.S. politics have whipped Official Washington into a frenzy, much less attention has been paid to real evidence of Israeli interference in U.S. politics, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

By Dennis J Bernstein

In investigating Russia's alleged meddling in U.S. politics, special prosecutor Robert Mueller uncovered evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Trump transition team to undermine President Obama's plans to permit the United Nations to censure Israel over its illegal settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank, a discovery referenced in the plea deal with President Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

At Netanyahu's behest, Flynn and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly took the lead in the lobbying to derail the U.N. resolution, which Flynn discussed in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (in which the Russian diplomat rebuffed Flynn's appeal to block the resolution).

I spoke on Dec, 18 with independent journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein, who writes on national security and other issues for a number of blogs at Tikun Olam .

Dennis Bernstein: A part of Michael Flynn's plea had to do with some actions he took before coming to power regarding Israel and the United Nations. Please explain.

Richard Silverstein:

The Obama administration was negotiating in the [UN] Security Council just before he left office about a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements. Obviously, the Israeli government did not want this resolution to be passed. Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead. They approached Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner became involved in this. While they were in the transition and before having any official capacity, they negotiated with various members of the Security Council to try to quash the settlement resolution.

One of the issues here which is little known is the Logan Act, which was passed at the foundation of our republic and was designed to prevent private citizens from usurping the foreign policy prerogatives of the executive. It criminalized any private citizen who attempted to negotiate with an enemy country over any foreign policy issue.

In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0.

But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role.

This speaks to the power of the Israel lobby and of Israel itself to disrupt our foreign policy. Very few people have ever been charged with committing an illegal act by advocating on behalf of Israel. That is one of the reasons why this is such an important development. Until now, the lobby has really ruled supreme on the issue of Israel and Palestine in US foreign policy. Now it is possible that a private citizen will actually be made to pay a price for that.

This is an important development because the lobby till now has run roughshod over our foreign policy in this area and this may act as a restraining order against blatant disruption of US foreign policy by people like this.

Bernstein: So this information is a part of Michael Flynn's plea. Anyone studying this would learn something about Michael Flynn and it would be part of the prosecution's investigation.

Silverstein:

That's absolutely right. One thing to note here is that it is reporters who have raised the issue of the Logan Act, not Mueller or Flynn's people or anyone in the Trump administration. But I do think that Logan is a very important part of this plea deal, even if it is not mentioned explicitly.

Bernstein: If the special prosecutor had smoking-gun information that the Trump administration colluded with Russia, in the way they colluded with Israel before coming to power, this would be a huge revelation. But it is definitely collusion when it comes to Israel.

Silverstein: Absolutely. If this were Russia, it would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States and the leading story on the TV news. Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby and they have so much influence on US policy concerning Israel, it has managed to stay on the back burner. Only two or three media outlets besides mine have raised this issue of Logan and collusion. Kushner and Flynn may be the first American citizens charged under the Logan Act for interfering on behalf of Israel in our foreign policy. This is a huge issue and it has hardly been raised at all.

Bernstein: As you know, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC has made a career out of investigating the Russia-gate charges. She says that she has read all this material carefully, so she must have read about Flynn and Israel, but I haven't heard her on this issue at all.

Silverstein:

Even progressive journalists, who you'd think would be going after this with a vengeance, are frightened off by the fact the lobby really bites back. So, aside from outlets like the Intercept and the Electronic Intifada, there is a lot of hesitation about going after the Israel lobby. People are afraid because they know that there is a high price to be paid. It goes from being purely journalism to being a personal and political vendetta when they get you in their sights. In fact, one of the reasons I feel my blog is so important is that what I do is challenge Israeli policy and Israeli intervention in places where it doesn't belong.

Bernstein: Jared Kushner is the point man for the Trump administration on Israel. He has talked about having a "vision for peace." Do you think it is a problem that this is someone with a long, close relationship with the prime minister of Israel and, in fact, runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal Israeli settlements? Might this be problematic?

Silverstein:

It is quite nefarious, actually. When Jared Kushner was a teenager, Netanyahu used to stay at the Kushner family home when he visited the United States. This relationship with one of the most extreme right political figures in Israel goes back decades. And it is not just Kushner himself, but all the administration personnel dealing with these so-called peace negotiations, including Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, the ambassador. These are all orthodox Jews who tend to have very nationalist views when it comes to Israel. They all support settlements financially through foundations. These are not honest brokers.

We could talk at length about the history of US personnel who have been negotiators for Middle East peace. All of them have been favorable to Israel and answerable to the Israel lobby, including Dennis Ross and Makovsky, who served in the last administration. These people are dyed-in-the-wool ultra-nationalist supporters of [Israeli] settlements. They have no business playing any role in negotiating a peace deal.

My prediction all along has been that these peace negotiations will come to naught, even though they seem to have bought the cooperation of Saudi Arabia, which is something new in the process. The Palestinians can never accept a deal that has been negotiated by Kushner and company because it will be far too favorable to Israel and it will totally neglect the interests of the Palestinians.

Bernstein: It has been revealed that Kushner supports the building of settlements in the West Bank. Most people don't understand the politics of what is going on there, but it appears to be part of an ethnic cleansing.

Silverstein:

The settlements have always been a violation of international law, ever since Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967. The Geneva Conventions direct an occupying power to withdraw from territory that was not its own. In 1967 Israel invaded Arab states and conquered the West Bank and Gaza but this has never been recognized or accepted by any nation until now.

The fact that Kushner and his family are intimately involved in supporting settlements–as are David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt–is completely outrageous. No member of any previous US administration would have been allowed to participate with these kinds of financial investments in support of settlements. Of course, Trump doesn't understand the concept of conflict of interest because he is heavily involved in such conflicts himself. But no party in the Middle East except Israel is going to consider the US an honest broker and acceptable as a mediator.

When they announce this deal next January, no one in the Arab World is going to accept it, with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia because they have other fish to fry in terms of Iran. The next three years are going to be interesting, supposing Trump lasts out his term. My prediction is that the peace plan will fail and that it will lead to greater violence in the Middle East. It will not simply lead to a vacuum, it will lead to a deterioration in conditions there.

Bernstein: The Trump transition team was actually approached directly by the Israeli government to try to intercede at the United Nations.

Silverstein:

I'm assuming it was Netanyahu who went directly to Kushner and Trump. Now, we haven't yet found out that Trump directly knew about this but it is very hard to believe that Trump didn't endorse this. Now that we know that Mueller has access to all of the emails of the transition team, there is little doubt that they have been able to find their smoking gun. Flynn's plea meant that they basically had him dead to rights. It remains to be seen what will happen with Kushner but I would think that this would play some role in either the prosecution of Kushner or some plea deal.

Bernstein: The other big story, of course, is the decision by the Trump administration to move the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Was there any pre-election collusion in that regard and what are the implications?

Silverstein:

Well, it's a terrible decision which goes against forty to fifty years of US foreign policy. It also breaches all international understanding. All of our allies in the European Union and elsewhere are aghast at this development. There is now a campaign in the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the announcement, which we will veto, but the next step will be to go to the General Assembly, where such a resolution will pass easily.

The question is how much anger, violence and disruption this is going to cause around the world, especially in the Arab and Muslim world. This is a slow-burning fuse. It is not going to explode right now. The issue of Jerusalem is so vital that this is not something that is simply going to go away. This is going to be a festering sore in the Muslim world and among Palestinians. We have already seen attacks on Israeli soldiers and citizens and there will be many more.

As to collusion in all of this, since Trump always said during the campaign that this was what he was going to do, it might be difficult to treat this in the same way as the UN resolution. The UN resolution was never on anybody's radar and nobody knew the role that Trump was playing behind the scenes with that–as opposed to Trump saying right from the get-go that Jerusalem was going to be recognized as the capital of Jerusalem.

By doing that, they have completely abrogated any Palestinian interest in Jerusalem. This is a catastrophic decision that really excludes the United States from being an honest broker here and shows our true colors in terms of how pro-Israel we are.

Dennis J Bernstein is a host of "Flashpoints" on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom . You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net .

Drew Hunkins , December 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

As most regular readers of CN already know, some dynamite books on the inordinate amount of influence pro-Israel zealots have on Washington:

1.) 'The Host and the Parasite' by Greg Felton
2.) 'Power of Israel in the United States' by James Petras
3.) 'They Dare to Speak Out' by Paul Findley
4.) 'The Israel Lobby' by Mearsheimer and Walt
5.) 'Zionism, Militarism and the Decline of U.S. Power' by James Petras

I suggest that anyone relatively knew to this neglected topic peruse a few of the aforementioned titles. An inevitable backlash by the citizens of the United States is eventually forthcoming against the Zionist Power Configuration. It's crucial that this impending backlash remain democratic, non-violent, eschews anti-Semitism, and travels in a progressive in direction.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Which one would you suggest? I already read "The Israel Lobby."

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:38 pm

Findley and Mearsheimer are certainly worthwhile. I will look for Petras.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:38 pm

If you haven't already read them, the end/footnotes in "The Israel Lobby" are more illuminating.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:10 pm

That influence is also shown, of course, by the fact that Obama waited until the midnight hours of his tenure and after the 2016 election to even start working on this resolution.

SocraticGadfly , December 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value.

In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm.

The leaked emails showed the corruption plainly, and based on the ACTUAL evidence (recorded download time), most likely came from a highly disgruntled insider. The picture was starting to spill into public view. I'd estimate the real huge worry was that if this stuff came out, it could bring out other Israeli secrets, like their involvement in 9/11. That would mean actual jail time. Might be hard to buy your way out of that no matter how much money you have.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

The Logan act states that anyone who negotiates with an enemy of the US, and Israel is not defined as an enemy.

Annie , December 23, 2017 at 6:59 pm

The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would. I don't think anyone has been convicted based on this act, and they were part of a transition team not to mention the Logan act clearly states a private citizen who attempts to negotiate with an enemy state, and that certainly doesn't apply to Israel. In this administration their bias is so blatant that they can install Kushner as an honest broker in the Israeli-Palestine peace process while his family has a close relationship with Netanyahu, and he runs a foundation that invests in the building of illegal settlements which goes against the Geneva conventions. Hopefully Trump's blatant siding with Israel will receive a lot of backlash as did his plan to make Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

I also found that so called progressive internet sites don't cover this the way they should.

Al Pinto , December 24, 2017 at 9:16 am

@Annie

"The Logan act would not apply here, although I wish it would."

You and me both .

From the point of starting to read this article, it has been in my mind that the Logan act would not apply here. After reading most of the comments, it became clear that not many people viewed this as such. Yes, Joe Tedesky did as well

The UN is the "clearing house" for international politics, where countries freely contact each other's for getting support for their cause behind the scene. The support sought after could be voting for or against the resolution on hand. At times, as Israel did, countries reach out to perceived enemies as well, if they could not secure sufficient support for their cause. This is the normal activity of the UN diplomacy.

Knowing that the outgoing administration would not support its cause, Israel reached out to the incoming administration to delay the vote on the UN resolution. I fail to see anything wrong with Israel's action even in this case; Israel is not an enemy state to the US. As such, there has been no violation of any acts by the incoming administration, even if they tried to secure veto vote for Israel. I do not like it, but no action by Mueller in this case is correct.

People, just like the article in itself, implying that the Logan Act applies in this case are just plain wrong. Not just wrong, but their anti-Israel bias is in plain view.

Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state. Even then, Russia contacting the incoming administration is not a violation of the Logan Act. That is just normal diplomacy in the background between countries. What would be a violation is that the contacted official acted on the behalf of Russia and tried to influence the outgoing administration's decision. That is what the Mueller investigation tries to prove hopelessly

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

"Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one.

Annie , December 24, 2017 at 1:55 pm

Thanks for your reply. When I read the article and it referenced the Logan Act, which I am familiar with in that I've read about it before, I was surprised that Bernstein and Silverstein even brought it up because it so obviously does not apply in this case, since Israel is not considered an enemy state. Many have even referenced it as flimsy when it comes to convictions against those in Trump's transition team who had contacts with Russia. No one has ever been convicted under the Logan Act.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:41 pm

The Logan Act either should apply equally, or not apply at all. This "Russia-gate" hype seems to apply it selectively.

mrtmbrnmn , December 23, 2017 at 7:36 pm

You guys are blinded by the light. The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak).

There is no doubt that Trump is Bibi's and the Saudi's ventriloquist dummy and Jared has been an Israel agent of influence since he was 12.

But half the Dementedcrat Sore Loser Brigade will withdraw from the field of battle (not to mention most of the GOP living dead too) if publically and noisily tying Israel to Trump's tail becomes the only route to his removal. Which it would have to be, as there is no there there regarding the yearlong trumped-up PutinPutinPutin waterboarding of Trump.

Immediately (if not sooner) the mighty (pro-Israel) Donor Bank of Singer (Paul), Saban (Haim), Sachs (Goldman) & Adelson (Sheldon), would change their passwords and leave these politicians/beggars with empty begging bowls. End of $ordid $tory.

alley cat , December 23, 2017 at 7:45 pm

So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel.

Mueller can use that evidence of sabotage and/or obstruction of justice to try to coerce false confessions from Kushner and Flynn. But what are the chances of that, barring short stayovers for them at some CIA black site?

So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first.

Leslie F. , December 23, 2017 at 8:28 pm

He used it, along with other info, to turn flip Flynn and possibly can use it the same way again Kusher. Not all evidence has end up in court to be useful.

JWalters , December 23, 2017 at 8:40 pm

This is an extremely important story, excellently reported. All the main "facts" Americans think they know about Israel are, amazingly, flat-out lies.

1. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Israel overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would not be able to resist the zionist army.

2. Muslim "citizens" of Israel do NOT have all the same rights as Jews.

3. Israelis are NOT under threat from the indigineous Palestinians, but Palestinians are under constant threats of theft and death from the Israelis.

4. Israel does NOT share America's most fundamental values, which rest on the principle of equal human rights for all.

Maintaining such a blanket of major lies for decades requires immense power. And this power would have to be exercised "under the radar" to be effective. That requires even more power. Both Congress and the press have to be controlled. How much power does it take to turn "Progressive Rachel" into "Tel Aviv Rachel"? To turn "It Takes a Village" Hillary into "Slaughter a Village" Hillary? It takes immense power AND ruthlessness.

War profiteers have exactly this combination of immense war profits and the ruthlessness to victimize millions of people.
"War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror"
http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

Vast war profits easily afford to buy the mainstream media. And controlling campaign contributions for members of Congress is amazingly cheap in the big picture. Such a squalid sale of souls.

And when simple bribery is not enough, they ruin a person's life through blackmail or false character assassination. And if those don't work they use death threats, including to family members, and finally murder. Their ruthlessness is unrestrained. John Perkins has described these tactics in "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man".

For readers who haven't seen it, here is an excellent riff on the absurdly overwhelming evidence for Israel's influence compared to that of Russia, at a highly professional news and analysis website run by Jewish anti-Zionists.
"Let's talk about Russian influence"
http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/about-russian-influence/

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Hitler and Mussolini, Trump and Netanyahoo – matches made in Hell. These characters are so obviously, blatantly evil that it is deeply disturbing that people fail to see that, and instead go to great lengths to find some complicated flaws in these monsters.

mike k , December 23, 2017 at 8:49 pm

Keep it simple folks. No need for complex analyses. Just remember that these characters as simply as evil as it gets, and proceed from there. These asinine shows that portray mobsters as complex human beings are dangerously deluding. If you want to be victimized by these types, this kind of overthinking is just the way to go.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

There is a modern theory of fiction that insists upon the portrayal of inconsistency in characters, both among the good guys and the bad guys. It is useful to show how those who do wrongs have made specific kinds of errors that make them abnormal, and that those who do right are not perfect but nonetheless did the right thing. Instead it is used by commercial writers to argue that the good are really bad, and the bad are really good, which is of course the philosophy of oligarchy-controlled mass publishers.

Sam F , December 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm

A very important article by Dennis Bernstein, and it is very appropriate that non-zionist Jews are active against the extreme zionist corruption of our federal government. I am sure that they are reviled by the zionists for interfering with the false denunciations of racism against the opponents of zionism. Indeed critics face a very nearly totalitarian power of zionism, which in league with MIC/WallSt opportunism has displaced democracy altogether in the US.

backwardsevolution , December 23, 2017 at 9:18 pm

A nice little set-up by the Obama administration. Perhaps it was entrapment? Who set it up? Flynn and Kushner should have known better to fall for it. So at the end of his Presidency, Obama suddenly gets balls and wants to slap down Israel? Yeah, right.

Nice to have leverage over people, though, isn't it? If you're lucky and play your cards right, you might even be lucky enough to land an impeachment.

Of course, I'm just being cynical. No one would want to overturn democracy, would they?

Certainly people like Comey, Brenner, Clinton, Clapper, Mueller, Rosenstein wouldn't want that, would they?

Joe Tedesky , December 23, 2017 at 10:33 pm

I just can't see any special prosecutor investigating Israel-Gate. Between what the Zionist donors donate to these creepy politicians, too what goods they have on these same mischievous politicians, I just can't see any investigation into Israel's collusion with the Trump Administration going anywhere. Netanyahu isn't Putin, and Russia isn't Israel. Plus, Israel is considered a U.S. ally, while Russia is being marked as a Washington rival. Sorry, this news regarding Israel isn't going to be ranted on about for the next 18 months, like the MSM has done with Russia, because our dear old Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, or so they tell us. So, don't get your hopes up.

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:33 am

It's true the Israelis have America's politicians by the ears and the balls. But as this story gets better known, politicians will start getting questions at their town meetings. Increasingly the politicians will gag on what Israel is force-feeding them, until finally they reach a critical mass of vomit in Congress.

Joe Tedesky , December 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

I hope you are right JWalters. Although relying on a Zionist controlled MSM doesn't give hope for the news getting out properly. Again I hope you are right JWalters. Joe

Jeff Blankfort , December 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

Actually, Netanyahu was so desperate to have the resolution pulled and not voted on that he reached out to any country that might help him after the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of its co-sponsors refused to pull the plug after a testy phone exchange with the Israeli PM ending up threatening an Israeli boycott oturnef the KIwis.

He then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin, who owed him a favor for having Israel's UN delegate absent himself for the UNGA vote on sanctioning Russia after its annexation of Crimea.

Putin then called Russia's UN Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, since deceased, and asked him to get the other UNSC ambassadors to postpone the vote until Trump took over the White House but the other ambassadors weren't buying it. Given Russia's historic public position regarding the settlements, Churkin had no choice to vote Yes with the others.

This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US which, due to Zionist influence on the media, does not want the American public to know about the close ties between Putin and Netanyahu which has led to the Israeli PM making five state visits there in the last year and a half.

Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto. That Netanyahu apparently knew in advance that the US planned to veto the resolution was, I suspect, leaked to the Israelis by US delegate Samantha Power, who was clearly unhappy at having to abstain.

Abe , December 24, 2017 at 12:39 am

The Israeli Prime Minister made five state visits to Russia in the last year and a half to make sure the Russians don't accidentally on purpose blast Israeli warplanes from the sky over Syria (like they oughtta). Putin tries not to snicker when Netanyahu bloviates ad nauseum about the purported "threat" posed by Iran.

argos , December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

He thinks Putin is a RATS ASS like the yankee government

JWalters , December 24, 2017 at 3:34 am

"This story was reported in detail in the Israeli press but blacked out in the US"

We've just had a whole cluster of big stories involving Israel that have all been essentially blacked out in the US press. e.g.
"Dionne and Shields ignore the Adelson in the room"
http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/jerusalem-israels-capital

This is not due to chance. There is no doubt that the US mainstream media is wholly controlled by the Israelis.

alley cat , December 24, 2017 at 4:49 am

"He [Netanyahu] then turned to his buddy, Vladimir Putin "

Jeff, that characterization of Putin and Netanyahu's relationship makes no sense, since the Russians have consistently opposed Zionism and Putin has been no exception, having spoiled Zionist plans for the destruction of Syria.

"Had Clinton won the White House we can assume that there would have been no US veto."

Not sure where you're going with that, since the US vote was up to Obama, who wanted to get some payback for all of Bibi's efforts to sabotage Obama's treaty with Iran.

For the record, Zionism has had no more rabid supporter than the Dragon Lady. If we're going to make assumptions, we could start by assuming that if she had won the White House we'd all be dead by now, thanks to her obsession (at the instigation of her Zionist/neocon sponsors) with declaring no-fly zones in Syria.

Brendan , December 24, 2017 at 6:18 am

Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection.

Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference.

Skip Scott , December 24, 2017 at 7:59 am

I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

argos , December 24, 2017 at 6:57 am

The zionist will stop at nothing to control the middle east with American taxpayers money/military equiptment its a win win for the zionist they control America lock stock and barrel a pity though it is a great country to be led by a jewish entity.

Herman , December 24, 2017 at 10:47 am

What will Israel-Palestine look like twenty years from now? Will it remain an apartheid regime, a regime without any Palestinians, or something different. The Trump decision, which the world rejects, brings the issue of "final" settlement to the fore. In a way we can go back to the thirties and the British Mandate. Jewish were fleeing Europe, many coming to Palestine. The British, on behalf of the Zionists, were delaying declaring Palestine a state with control of its own affairs. Seeing the mass immigration and chafing at British foot dragging, the Arabs rebelled, What happened then was that the British, responding to numerous pressures notably war with Germany, acted by granting independence and granting Palestine control of its borders.

With American pressure and the mass exodus of Jews from Europe, Jews defied the British resulting in Jewish resistance. What followed then was a UN plan to divide the land with a Jerusalem an international city administered by the UN. The Arabs rebelled and lost much of what the UN plan provided and Jerusalem as an international city was scrapped.

Will there be a second serious attempt to settle the issue of the land and the status of Jerusalem? Will there be a serious move toward a single state? How will the matter of Jerusalem be resolved. The two state solution has always been a fantasy and acquiescence of Palestinians to engage in this charade exposes their leaders to charges of posturing for perks. Imagined options could go on and on but will there be serious options placed before the world community or will the boots on the ground Israeli policies continue?

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm

As I have commented before, it will most probably be the Jewish community in Israel and the world that shapes the future and if the matter is to be resolved that is fair to both parties, it will be they that starts the ball rolling.

The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Truly mind-boggling. Ahistorical, and as you say, fantasy.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 5:48 pm

FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story.

$50K of Facebook ads about puppies pales in comparison to that blatant, prima facia, public manipulation. God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Just for the record, Richard Silverstein blocked me on Twitter because I pointed out that he slammed someone who was suggesting that the Assad government was fighting for its (Syria's) life by fighting terrorists. Actually, more specifically, because of that he read my "Free Palestine" bio on Twitter and called me a Hamas supporter (no Hamas mentioned) and a "moron" for some seeming contradiction.

I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war.

Silverstein is probably not a good (ie. consistent) arbiter of Israeli impact on US politics. Just sayin'.

I wish it were otherwise.

Taras 77 , December 24, 2017 at 6:35 pm

https://www.therussophile.org/virus-found-inside-dnc-server-is-linked-to-a-company-based-in-pakistan.html/

This may be a tad ot but it relates to the alleged hacking of the DNC, the role debbie wasserman schultz plays in the spy ring (awan bros) in house of rep servers: I have long suspected that mossad has their fingers in this entire mess. FWIW

Good site, BTW.

Zachary Smith , December 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm

I can't recall why I removed the Tikun Olam site from my bookmarks – it happened quite a while back. Generally I do that when I feel the blogger crossed some kind of personal red line. Something Mr. Silverstein wrote put him over that line with me.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/us/06leak.html?hp

In the course of a search I found that at the neocon NYT. Mr. Silverstein claims several things I find unbelievable, and from that alone I wonder about his ultimate motives. I may be excessively touchy about this, but that's how it is.

Larry Larsen , December 24, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Yeah Zachary, "wondering about ultimate motives" is probably a good way to put it/his views. He's obviously conflicted, if not deferential in some aspects of Israeli policy. He really was a hero of mine, but now I just don't get whether what he says is masking something or a true belief. He says some good stuff, but, but, but .

P. Michael Garber , December 24, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence.

[Dec 24, 2017] The never-ending crisis of Zionism by Philip Weiss

Notable quotes:
"... The Crisis of Zionism ..."
"... Thanks to Allison Deger. ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

After a video came out this week of two young Palestinian women slapping Israeli soldiers in the occupied village of Nabi Saleh, the Israeli leftwing group Peace Now tweeted that the soldiers were "heroes" for not responding violently, and issued a statement commending the soldiers for "demonstrating moral fortitude in the face of an attempted stunt to blacken Israel's image."

The day those women slapped the soldiers, their 14-year-old cousin was shot in the face by Israeli soldiers, blood pouring from his head "like a fountain," and he had to undergo a lengthy operation.

Peace Now didn't say anything about that. Both young women were later arrested. The 16-year-old, Ahed Tamimi, faces a possibly lengthy sentence so that Israel can maintain its honor. Peace Now has not issued a statement about that.

I find this so dispiriting it is hard to put one word after another. But people should know: this is the world Zionism made. In which a leftwing organization cares about Jewish soldiers maintaining their honor and purity of arms; and has nothing to say about human rights violations against an occupied, subject people.

This is a story about Jewish identity being rooted in trauma; and how long will it take us to overcome that trauma?

The Palestinian experience today is a lot like the Jewish experience of pogroms 100 years ago and more in eastern Europe. As Jews were beaten and killed by marauding gangs with the blessing of the state -- American Jews were not silent. Jews acted. Our leaders went to the White House. Important Jewish organizations were formed. The most powerful Jew in the world, the banker Jacob Schiff, supported the Russian revolution because he so hated the czar. The most brilliant Jew in the world, Franz Kafka came out of his office in Prague to see Jews being beaten and he went to Zionist meetings.

Today millions of Palestinians under occupation are being humiliated, deprived of freedom, their children given no chance to dream of a better life and the leftwing Zionist organization says a 16-year-old Palestinian woman whose cousin was maimed and who slapped a soldier in the courtyard of her house is carrying out a stunt.

Peace Now urges separation: "the occupation corrodes Israel and its image, and will continue until Israel extricates itself from the Palestinians."

Jewish separation from Palestinians is a delusion. It is like whites separating from blacks in the U.S. Israel is 20 percent non-Jewish; and it rules territories containing 5 million Palestinians; and though the world has resolved to "extricate" the Jews from the Arabs for 70 years now, the communities are intertwined more than ever, as Israeli Jews flood the West Bank and build more and more Jewish-only colonies.

These Jewish colonies and their military escort have inflicted endless trauma on the subject population. Ahed Tamimi is plainly traumatized; she has been subject to violence again and again in her short life.

Two years ago Ahed Tamimi famously tried to protect her brother from an Israeli soldier.

Two years later she is a young woman put in jail for slapping Israeli soldiers in her village.

And Peace Now cries out about the Israeli soldiers:

The occupation is destroying Israel!

And Americans for Peace Now, the strongest liberal Zionist group, retweets the statement.

The occupation surely is destroying Israel spiritually. But who is it actually destroying, Palestinians. Liberal and leftwing American Jews have known this forever. Seven years ago video of a Palestinian boy running after his father as Israeli police dragged the father away for allegedly stealing water from Jewish colonists inside occupied territory gained international attention, and then too Israel said the footage was staged– and Peter Beinart wrote a book partially inspired by that moment, The Crisis of Zionism . And nothing changes. The Jews stay in crisis, and the Palestinian children get older– and more traumatized.

The only question is why Jews do not act? Why, given this endless evidence of persecution, haven't Beinart and Peace Now come out for something stronger to break the occupation? Does Palestinian human wreckage count for anything?

These liberals mock the idea of bearing witness. Americans for Peace Now is still on the board of AIPAC. It could quit tomorrow and send a message. It doesn't. And I understand calls for partition. Nationalism is a dangerous force. But partition efforts have crumbled for 70 years, and the last 25 years of earnest effort have been a miserable failure. It is not enough to call for partition.

Palestinians like Ahed Tamimi have called on Americans to support boycott of Israel, the tool that has been used on countless occasions in our progressive history to stirring effect– lately over transgender access to bathrooms in North Carolina. But Jewish Voice for Peace is the only large Jewish group to support boycott, and JVP is renegade; a leader of the official Jewish community, Jeffrey Goldberg, smears JVP for having a "homicidal impulse" for Israel; and he gets away with it.

Because at some deep level older Jews are committed to the idea of a Jewish state as some historical compensation for the greatest trauma of the last century, the Holocaust. That's an understandable desire, to gain some amendment from the world's powers for the horrors of the last century.

But it comes down ultimately to a matter of selfishness in the formation of identity. How safe are we today in the west? Safe, and empowered. On what terms are we safe? Democratic principles of equality for all persons. Even Bannon and Trump's indulgence of anti-Semites has done nothing to curb our powers.

That is the modern Jewish condition; but we cannot acknowledge it, let alone the Palestinians' condition. No, we are traumatized; so we insist that a girl living right now in an occupied village with no future is somehow on an equal footing with a heavily-armed occupying soldier, who is there to keep her family from going to its spring and who when his three years is up and he's done his one year decompensation smoking dope in India will go to the Technion and then participate in a tech startup while his little brother replaces him in armor.

This is so dispiriting it can't be expressed in words. Every young American Jew who goes home for the new year needs to talk to their parents about the persecution of Ahed Tamimi. It is only happening with American Jews' blessing.

Thanks to Allison Deger. (Republished from MondoWeiss by permission of author or representative)

RealAmerican , December 23, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT

This is the kind of article that exemplifies the traditional, gentle, and progressive spirit of Judaism as I understood it at one time. Is it not delusional to believe that tiny Israel will forever be able to dominate the Middle East which is inhabited by over 300 million Arabs, mostly young. Add to that Persian Iran, Israel's arch-enemy of 70 millions, and the remainder one billion Muslims in North Africa and Asia.

Americans at present do not give a damn about Palestinians and Muslims, but there is no guaranty that they would not regard Israel in the same fashion at some point in the future.

So, yes, young American Jews should talk to their parents about the persecution of Ahed Tamimi, and the murder and maiming of thousands of children like her at the hands of heavily armed occupying Israeli soldiers.

Miliia18 , December 23, 2017 at 11:44 pm GMT
One Israeli state that includes the West Bank Allow the Palestinians to become citizens. What's more likely is a fake Palestinian authority, beatings, expulsions, land theft, military detention, and eventual full ethnic cleansing. A large percentage of American Jews are as bigoted toward Palestinians as any southern cracker was toward blacks in the 1950′s.

Most Jews are only concerned with Jewish suffering. No one else matters. If you don't believe me count the number of Hollywood movies that concern Palestinian suffering under Jewish occupation in the West Bank.

ZERO

anony-mouse , December 24, 2017 at 1:56 am GMT
Er,

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/a-good-year-for-israel-and-its-friends/

utu , December 24, 2017 at 2:29 am GMT
Perhaps you are setting too high standard on Israelis. If you slapped a cop in the US most Americans would accept you being subsequently shot as justified.
MarkinPNW , December 24, 2017 at 3:52 am GMT
@Miliia18

Actually there is one that touches on the suffering of the Palestinians, "Miral", produced by Weinstein. There is a conspiracy theory out there some where, that all the accusations against Weinstein are largely payback for his "treason" against the tribe in producing and releasing that movie.

anon , Disclaimer December 24, 2017 at 5:33 am GMT
All I know is that Israel has been nothing but trouble and bad news for America since its founding. If only America could just wash its hands of this whole mess.
Mis(ter)Anthrope , December 24, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
And soon American young men will die in a war against Iran that will only benefit Israel and destroy the USA. It makes me sick to my stomach that we have allowed the Jews to manipulate us to the point that our corrupt government cares more about Israel than the American people that are supposed to serve.
Dan Hayes , December 24, 2017 at 6:45 am GMT
@MarkinPNW

MarkinPNW: The old trope that holds for Weinstein's producing Miral: No good deed ever goes unpunished!

jilles dykstra , December 24, 2017 at 7:00 am GMT
Good propaganda does not tell lies, but tells just the facts that suit the propagandist. Around 1800 Poland was divided, not for the first time, the majority of world jewry came to live in tsarist Russia, five million. Around 1900 was the tenth resignation of the tsarist assimilation committee.
Around the same date count Witte said to Herzl that he would gladly drown five million jews in the Black Sea, but it could not be done.

Solsjenytsyn, in his last published book, he waited with publication till his death was near, for obvious reasons, explains how jews in Russia resisted all attempts at assimilation. Alas there is just a German translation of the book. Dutch journalists interviewed Solsjenytsyn shortly before his death, and wrote an article in which they stated 'that the book had caused great irritation in the west'.

They did not write that the book contains lies, the book resembles Mearsheimer and Walt on AIPAC, the number of references is unbelievable.
Many are from jewish sources, such as a jewish encyclopedia. It is interesting to see how this encyclopedia follows Orwell's '1984′, whenever it seems necessary the facts are changed.

BozoB , December 24, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT
Is it possible that there is a style of life characteristic of each of these peoples and that the subordination of the Palestinians is therefore as close to inevitable as was the westward push of Native Americans by the European newcomers?
Wizard of Oz , December 24, 2017 at 9:49 am GMT
@utu

America is indeed different from other First World countries, not least in its attitudes to the use of violence and guns in particular, but I would be interested in what evidence or argument you could muster to support that view. I think you raise the bar for justification when you say "subsequently". I can see some possibility of "self-defence" if the girl was throwing herself at the soldier (especialy a female as in the picture) and, after being fended off with the barrel of the gun made another rush at the soldier or grabbed the barrel. Otherwise no excuse for shooting a lone attacker.

Realist , December 24, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT
@utu

The Israeli is not a cop. She is military and does not belong in Palestine.

Karl , December 24, 2017 at 9:54 am GMT
5 MarkinPNW > one that touches on the suffering of the Palestinians,"Miral", produced by Weinstein

he told me that he did that flick for the sake of getting a few new pieces of ass. I've done quite a bit of time at US military bases in the PNW, and you are pretty cuck'd if you choose to live there. Maybe you'd like to emigrate to Sweden next?

By the way, the blond chick is in the uniform of a cop, not a soldier.

Logan , December 24, 2017 at 11:54 am GMT
Blonde Palestinians? Who knew?
Greg Bacon , Website December 24, 2017 at 11:59 am GMT
Close to 200 nations in the world, yet all we hear about -- in the West -- on a daily basis is how Israel reacted to this or how Netanyahu views that or will Israel invade Lebanon AGAIN or maybe bomb Iran.

I for one am sick and tired of hearing constantly the whining, self-pitying, war mongering and aggrandizement coming from Israel and her Jewish supporters.

It's like we're all trapped in a lunatic asylum with the biggest loony always babbling about how their pain is the only pain that counts.

No wonder Jews have been kicked out of over 100 nations over the centuries.

Logan , December 24, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT
Clearly the Israelis are showing great cultural sensitivity by applying the Arab Muslims' own rules for treating the conquered, reducing them to dhimmitude.
wayfarer , December 24, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Israel, the self-serving trust-fund nation has sealed its karmic fate. Having made the same mistake as the Nazis, the Zionists too have tried to bite off way more than they could possibly ever chew. Greed. You had it all, but that just wasn't good enough for your spoiled privileged children.

Humanity, knows all too well of your selfish cold-blooded crimes and your absolute guilt.

It's now only a matter of time, before a cosmic tide begins to slowly sweep this toxic Zionist ideology from the face of the Earth.

n230099 , December 24, 2017 at 1:03 pm GMT
@Mis(ter)Anthrope

" And soon American young men will die in a war against Iran "

Let's fix that:And soon the dumbest of the dumb American young men will die in a war against Iran. Until Americans say, no, we will no longer participate in this nonsense, the dumb will keep dying. On the bright side at least they're not in the way here.

Colleen Pater , December 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT
@RealAmerican

As usual you try and approach a problem from a conservative and reasonable perspective and it all wrong.
First error is your assumption that jews and arabs can live in peace in the same state. as heartiste says Diversity plus proximity equals war. I know plenty of Muslims and I even think they are less of a threat to my people than are the jews, but as you should know when they are honest they will tell you the entire middle east must be muslim and that particularly means to them Israel must be no more. So any inch you give them is an inch in the direction of your eventual destruction. The actual solution is to evict every last arab, you can never be worse off, just like you want every white dead they want every jew dead.

But your even stupider error is the moral underpinning of of why you should act in ways that will destroy israel. Because evil whites pogroms you in the past and it made you mad enough to conspire with the jewish political philosophy of marxism running a jewish led revolution of terror on white nations that murdered an order of magnitude more than hitler ever did._ and so you ought to have learned something about sharing from the pogroms ( not of course learned from the murderous communism you are still perpetuating under the rebranding of cultural marxism/multiculturalism that led to the world wars and your near destruction). You seem to have learned nothing what you should have learned from history is diversity plus proximity equals war. what you should have learned is that jews make really bad neighbors and eventually try their hosts patience until they are forced to leave, but your reputation precedes you and no one wants you, and then your strategy of saving the resources of building and maintaining a nation of your own and instead parasitizing others nations while using your resources to target key centers of wealth and power within others nations, becomes a fatal error. You seem finally to have figured this out and founded an actual nation in an appreciate geographical place.all you semites are are wandering camel jockeys but jewish claim to the area is at least written and thousands of years old if you think shit like that matters. It doesnt. power to take and hold is the only moral right to ownership there is, under your deluded reasoning italy would own the mideast and americans would have to surrender to red skins. right is might. israel owns israel and has the power to evivt the remains muslims and ought to because our patience in the west is once again exhausted with your little white privilege game your days are numbered rather not have to re open the camps just pack you on planes with your stocks and bonds and wave goodbye. but one way or another whites are waking up to who is behind the leftism that has destroyed us and it wont be long before youre asked to leave

Brabantian , Website December 24, 2017 at 3:13 pm GMT
Chronological maps, viciously expanding Israel, shrinking Palestine
Che Guava , December 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm GMT
Merry Christmas, y'al!l Apologies to Mr. Weiss, will reading in detail tomorrow.
Anon , Disclaimer December 24, 2017 at 3:37 pm GMT
@utu

Most Americans would say they had it coming if they shot your family in the face.

Anon , Disclaimer December 24, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT
@Logan

Yeah, if people did know, they might be more sympathetic. Therefore, the usual suspects make sure we don't.

anonymous , Disclaimer December 24, 2017 at 3:52 pm GMT
@Renoman

, nobody cares.

LOL! So says, presumably, a white satanist, whose kind has been wantonly executing its limitless Greed and Psychopathy around the world.

Comeuppance for all that, including your "nobody cares" attitude, will be forthcoming.

MEexpert , December 24, 2017 at 4:04 pm GMT

The only question is why Jews do not act?

No, the only question is why don't the Muslims act? The rich Gulf monarchies have sold out their souls to the Jewish and American masters. They are only interested in saving their hides. Palestinians and other suffering Muslims be damned.

Why, given this endless evidence of persecution, haven't Beinart and Peace Now come out for something stronger to break the occupation?

They are under no obligation to do that. They tried and see what happened. Bannon is out of the White House. This is the power of the Jewish Lobby.

Does Palestinian human wreckage count for anything?

It hasn't so far. Palestinians have been killed and displaced from their homes for the past 70 years. The Arab monarchies have only provided some lip service to the Palestinian cause. Their own leader, Mahmood Abbas, is on Israeli pay roll. His term expired long time ago but he is kept in place by Israel so that he can control the Palestinians in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

My only concern is the US policy towards Palestine. With all the talk of human rights and Responsibility to Protect, when it comes to Palestine, the US remains silent. I know the American people are getting fed up with the Israeli control over their politicians but they are powerless to do anything about it. Unless that hold is broken, nothing will be achieved in the Middle East. There will be wars and more wars , instigated by Israel and funded by the US. Israel/US/Saudi Arabia can always fund and arm another ISIS or Al-Qaeda to shed more innocent Muslim blood.

trixie dixie , December 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm GMT
This an interesting article; it seems strange in several ways, conflagration of several issues, a tacit endorsement of any claim of local citizenship on any family lines that weren't there as a result of zionist activities from 1850, and/or non-Middle Eastern ethnicities, i.e. Khazar descent (which would include over 95% of the 'jews' living in the Palestinian lands), among others.

" The Controversy of Zion " by Douglas Reed (easily available by an internet search using title and author), is a pragmatic, non-biased review and analysis of the history of the current incarnation of this sect.

Reading " The Controversy of Zion " would better place the context of this article and the numerous otherwise misleading allusions and claims.

jilles dykstra , December 24, 2017 at 5:57 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

http://www.achgut.com/

Michael Wolffsohn über den Judenhass-Import-Weltmeister

Translation 'Wolfssohn on the record holder of importing hate against jews'.
I suppose he is targeting Merkel.

Muslim immigrants to Germany demonstrated against Israel, burning Israeli flags. Wolffsohn, of jewish descent, complains about the German government, looking the other way. He says a diagnosis is needed, then complains that a state should protect all its citizens. The flabbergasting thing is how this obviously well educated man is unable to diagnose the reason for Muslim hatred against Israel.

mike k , December 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm GMT
The Jews who dominated the Old Bolsheviks, and murdered and tortured priests and destroyed churches while executing and starving millions weren't 'Zionists' in a crisis – they were Jews people whose religion teaches that they are meant to teach the world about 'God' and dominate the untermenchen.

If you dig into Zionism you find Judaism, the world's first Master Race ethos. Judaism free to be itself resulted in the genocide of Canaanites, and it causes the persecution of their descendents, the Palestinians and Lebanese today. Guilt is kept at bay by exaggerating and even fabricating a perpetual Jewish sacred innocence as Eternal Victim.

jack ryan , Website December 24, 2017 at 7:17 pm GMT
"Jewish separation from Palestinians is a delusion. It is like whites separating from blacks in the U.S. Israel is 20 percent non-Jewish;"

I respond:

No. And that's a very straight forward answer No.

The Zionists or just regular Israelies or Jews know there are other options and they are implementing those other options.

Jews in and out of Israel are strongly working to support the mass Arab Muslim migration invasion, conquest of Europe, Scandinavia, UK, Australia, USA.

Jews and Muslims worked together for 700 years in Muslim Moor occupied Spain. Jews were expelled or put under the Spanish Inquisition to convert to Catholic Christianity in large part for taking the Arab Muslim Moor side against White Spanish Catholics, for being the Muslim's tax collectors, selling White girls in to sexual slavery to Arab/Muslims. The Jews are doing pretty much the same thing by dominating the hard core porn industry.

Israel and Saudi Arabia are now on the same side in all things that count. The Saudi Sunni Islamist Royals don't care about the Palestinians. Israel and Saudi Arabia accepted basically zero Syrian war refugees. Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jewish Liberals/Jewish Neo Conservatives overwhelmingly supported/funded the mass Muslim migrant invasion of Western Europe.

So the other options this author doesn't mention is that Liberal Left/Neo Conservative Jews in the USA will sponsor the Arab Palestinians to move to the USA/Europe where they will join Liberal Left Socialist anti White, anti Christian political movements.

Muslims elected a Pakistani Muslim Leftist Labor Party mayor of London/Londonstan. Jewish voters in England overwhelmingly voted for this Lib Leftist Pakistani Muslim mayor of London/Londstan.

It's just all part of being on the anti White winning team.

legerdemain , December 24, 2017 at 7:58 pm GMT
Just posted this on another thread about Achilles, but relevant here too:

On a not unrelated note, but going in the opposite direction, there's this:

Of all modern mass movements  --  national, religious, cultural, colonial  --  and ancient literature about mass movements, only do Virgil's Aeneid and Zionism invoke a latter-day return to an ancestral homeland, a claim doubly premised on history and religious revelation. In both cases the claim is preceded by war, holocaust, and the survival of displaced persons who vow to live on, despite the existence of a transcendent racial animus that follows them everywhere, and in both cases it meets with native rejection, accusations of colonialism, terrorism, and reciprocal violence seemingly without end.

https://eidolon.pub/aeneas-in-palestine-2ef032bca420

utu , December 24, 2017 at 8:01 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

My comment was alluding to attitudes among Americans to killings by the the law enforcement. The "self-defense" and "fear for life" is almost always successfully invoked. Over 1000 are killed per year. Only 0.3% of cops are convicted of some crime. 99.7% are never charged or are acquitted by the jury of their peers who believes that killing was justified because of "self-defense" and "fear for life."

One example:

'Please don't kill me': Cop is cleared of murder after shooting dead a sobbing father, 26, as he crawled along a hotel corridor in shocking footage which his family insists shows a 'cold-blooded execution'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5157957/Ex-Arizona-police-officer-acquitted-fatal-hotel-shooting.html#ixzz52D6z9tuq

[Dec 16, 2017] Brexit, Trump, and the Dangers of Global 'Jihad' HuffPost by Ben Railton

For 1995 the book Jihad vs. McWorld was really groundbreaking.
Also the concept of "Neoliberal jihad is valid, but it is better to call it Neoliberal World revolution as it was borrowed from Trotskyism
Notable quotes:
"... Jihad vs. McWorld ..."
"... In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. ..."
"... Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. ..."
"... Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.huffingtonpost.com

In his ground-breaking 1995 book Jihad vs. McWorld , political scientist Benjamin Barber posits that the global conflicts of the early 21st century would be driven by two opposing but equally undemocratic forces: neoliberal corporate globalization (which he dubbed "McWorld") and reactionary tribal nationalisms (which he dubbed "Jihad"). Although distinct in many ways, both of these forces, Barber persuasively argues, succeed by denying the possibilities for democratic consensus and action, and so both must be opposed by civic engagement and activism on a broad scale.

In the two decades since Barber's book, this conflict has seemed to play out along overtly cultural lines: with Islamic extremism representing jihad, in opposition to Western neoliberalism representing McWorld. Case in pitch-perfect point: the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Yet despite his use of the Arabic word Jihad, Barber is clear that reactionary tribalism is a worldwide phenomenon -- and in 2016 we're seeing particularly striking examples of that tribalism in Western nations such as Great Britain and the United States.

Britain's vote this week in favor of leaving the European Union was driven entirely by such reactionary tribal nationalism. The far-right United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and its leader Nigel Farage led the charge in favor of Leave , as exemplified by a recent UKIP poster featuring a photo of Syrian refugees with the caption " Breaking point: the EU has failed us ." Farage and his allies like to point to demographic statistics about how much the UK has changed in the last few decades , and more exactly how the nation's white majority has been somewhat shifted over that time by the arrival of sizeable African and Asian immigrant communities.

It's impossible not to link the UKIP's emphases on such issues of immigration and demography to the presidential campaign of the one prominent U.S. politician who is cheering for the Brexit vote : presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. From his campaign-launching speech about Mexican immigrant "criminals and rapists" to his proposal to ban Muslim immigration and his "Make American Great Again" slogan, Trump has relied on reactionary tribal nationalism at every stage of his campaign, and has received the enthusiastic endorsement of white supremacist and far-right organizations as a result. For such American tribal nationalists, the 1965 Immigration Act is the chief bogeyman, the origin point of continuing demographic shifts that have placed white America in a precarious position.

The only problem with that narrative is that it's entirely inaccurate. What the 1965 Act did was reverse a recent, exclusionary trend in American immigration law and policy, returning the nation to the more inclusive and welcoming stance it had taken throughout the rest of its history. Moreover, while the numbers of Americans from Latin American, Asian, and Muslim cultures have increased in recent decades, all of those communities have been part of o ur national community from its origin points . Which is to say, this right-wing tribal nationalism isn't just opposed to fundamental realities of 21st century American identity -- it also depends on historical and national narratives that are as mythic as they are exclusionary.

Linking Brexit and Trump to global right-wing tribal nationalisms doesn't mean conflating them all, of course. Although Trump rallies have featured troubling instances of violence, and although the murderer of British politican Jo Cox was an avowed white supremacist and Leave supporter, the right-wing Islamic extremism of groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram rely far more consistently and centrally on violence and terrorism in support of their worldview and goals. Such specific contexts and nuances are important and shouldn't be elided.

Yet at the same time, we can't understand our 21st century world without a recognition of this widespread phenomenon of global, tribal nationalism. From ISIS to UKIP, Trump to France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, such reactionary forces have become and remain dominant players across the world, influencing local and international politics, economics, and culture. Benjamin Barber called this trend two decades ago, and we would do well to read and remember his analyses -- as well as his call for civic engagement and activism to resist these forces and fight for democracy.

Ben Railton Professor & public scholar of American Studies, Follow Ben Railton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AmericanStudier

[Nov 13, 2017] People who are told at every possible opportunity how exceptional they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders. The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because exceptional countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

Notable quotes:
"... Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands. ..."
"... The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes. ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

How the establishment attempts to brainwash collective memory concerning war criminals
str8arrow62 | Nov 12, 2017 3:46:35 PM | 2
Rolling that wheelchair bound POS ex-Prez. out on to the field at the last super duper bowl to a cheering audience can now be considered a weekly 2 minutes of stupidity ritual.
Daniel | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:02 PM | 3
nhs @2, yes, this rehabilitation of war criminals is startling. I first noticed it a few years ago, and wrote this comment during the primaries when I still had hope that Sanders could present a step in the right direction.


A few years back, Stephen Colbert did a dance routine skit in which he danced into Henry Kissinger's office and then left. I commented that I didn't think it appropriate to include that war criminal in a "progressive" comedy skit that didn't call him out as the monster he is, and I got a lot of grief from Colbert fans (which I was also).

Then, in Jon Stewart's last season on The Daily Show, he had Henry Kissinger on as a guest and did a disgustingly fawning interview. I was sickened.

Why? I asked. Why was Viacom introducing to this younger audience a war criminal and treating him like some great statesman?

Then, the Obama Administration (Ash Carter specifically) gave Kissinger the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award our country can grant to a civilian.

What???

But then, in one of the debates against Bernie Sanders, HRC gave a shout out to Kissinger as a dear friend whom she has gone to for advice on foreign policy for decades, and to whom she would seek out his "wise counsel" if elected President.

And then the previous couple of years of gradually refurbishing Kissinger made sense.

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.

notheonly1 | Nov 12, 2017 6:56:13 PM | 7
@ nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

A very good example as to why Krishnamurti called this society 'profoundly sick'.

Although we now know that it is much more than that. Instead of being profoundly sick, this society is terminally ill.

This happening is reminiscent of the practices the Fascists devised in Germany. The media depicted the most rabid war criminals as loyal followers of the Führer. In other words, they were above the law and shielded from any public scrutiny (by the same kind of 'media') until they ended up at the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which the big boys got scot free and the little guys were hung. Which in turn led to the German 'proverb' "Die Kleinen hängt man und die Grossen läßt man laufen." (The little ones are hanged and the big ones walk away.)

So, by itself there is nothing new about that. What is most disturbing though, is the impunity the so called 'news' 'media' displays when lying to the public. One day the chicken will come home to roost.

The archaic leadership delusion needs to go. Abolish the office of the most dangerous man on earth. The government is public enemy number one and there are two ways of denial about it:

The first is related to ' inexterminateable ' obedience . There are really still people out there that believe all the shit the 'media' churns out on behalf of the owners of this planet (at least that's how see themselves).

Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes. But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for. Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes.

After all we only do it to protect the American people and their allies from all these dictators that we have prepped up prior. With the exception of Syria, that is on the regime change wish list of public enemy number one since 70 years.

Thanks for the link, even though I had some stomach fluid coming up at the sight of these pathetic excuses for what goes for a Human Being.

Sigh. It really looks like it will get a lot worse before it can get slightly better.

[Oct 31, 2017] Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East.

Oct 31, 2017 | www.unz.com

Alfred , October 31, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

Israel is overplaying its hand. Hubris always comes before the downfall.

All their plans in the Middle East have failed. They have not won a single war since 1967. In 1973, they were saved by US pilots, intelligence and supplies. Ever since they have failed – most recently in Syria.

Erebus , October 31, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
@whyamihere

It's amazing to me how people get so angry at the thought of the US supporting the only friend it has in the region, Israel.

To which John Sheehan, S.J. provides the perfect retort:
"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East."

Buzz Baldrin , October 31, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@whyamihere

I side with President Eisenhower's diplomacy-first foreign policy, which balanced domestic and military spending.

In practice, this meant neutrality to Israel, reduced boots on the ground in the Middle East, a huge missile gap over the Soviet Union, controlled and relatively beneficial immigration, and expanded physical and cultural infrastructure during the 50s.

, as for your fear that Muslim terrorists would "turn Israel into another third world Muslim hellhole where barbarity is commonplace," you're a little late. Likud beat them to it.

Dr. X , October 31, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
@whyamihere

Can someone please explain to me (with limited snark, if possible) why you side with Hamas and Hezbollah over Israel?

I don't side with Hamas or Hezbollah over Israel. I think a lot of Muslims are nutjobs and lunatics. However, I as an American am under no obligation to pick one side or the other. America should be neutral with regard to Muslim nutjobs, as well as Jewish nutjobs who think that Yahweh made them the "Chosen People" and will give them the "Promised Land."

Not. My. Problem.

As John Quincy Adams said, America "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy" and America "is the champion and vindicator only of her own ."

Screw Hamas and Hezbollah, and screw Israel, too.

Anon2000 , Next New Comment October 31, 2017 at 9:40 pm GMT
Trump has made many big mistakes, including his entire foreign policy team from Tillerson to John Mattis to HR McMaster, but Nikki Haley has got to be one of the worst mistakes he ever made. This daft woman should just be known as "Israel's ambassador to the UN", nothing more than an attack dog for Israel. She has made no effort whatsoever to even be remotely objective or cool headed when it comes to Israel. Given all the rumors coming out of South Carolina of her extra marital affairs, I am almost certain she's sleeping with an Israel loving neocon Jew.

She is also John McCain in a dress. Every time Trump is anywhere near this woman, he's talking about going to war with somebody, be it Syria, Venezuela, North Korea John McCain in a dress is leading the way.

The whole "Russian collusion" investigation was a farce. The real foreign interference in our election that Mueller should be investigating are Saudi Arabia and Israel. The Saudis donated no less than $25m to the Clinton Foundation and even directly to her campaign, while Israel has enough Jewish agents in the US donating on their behalf.

utu , October 31, 2017 at 9:51 pm GMT

The PLO was also supported by the old Soviet Union

In retrospect Soviet influence in the Middle East was very positive. It helped to create secular states like Iraq, Egypt, Syria and Libya (and Afghanistan in late 1970s) with modern universal educational systems, rights for women, industrialization, etc. It was the West and Israel that decided to destroy these states by using Islamists and Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists by supporting them starting with Muslim Brotherhood, Al Queida, Daesh and pumping up and keeping alive Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism. It is possible that fundamentalists were used even against the pro western Islamic state like Iran in 1979 because it was modernizing fast and growing strong and the fact that Iran was very pro West and pro Israel did not save it. Israel prefers weak and dysfunctional states/areas even if they are overtly hostile to Israel over friendly and strong (like Iran of Shah) states.

It is the West and Israel that are solely responsible for stoking up the flames of radical Islamism and it is them responsible for spreading of Islamophobia in the West which has only one purpose: the acceptance of Israel and its plans of domination and expansion as the comrade in arms gains common enemy. The enemy was however constructed. Everything what we are doing now is reactive to what the US and Israel has created.

[Oct 31, 2017] The Dangerous Trend Threatening the Future of the Nation-State by John Feffer

Weak article but some valuable observations: "Since these [neoliberal] figures and institutions delivered an economics of inequality and a foreign policy of war over the last three decades, the flight from the center is certainly understandable." ... "Secessionist movements are gaining momentum" ... "Those who might enjoy an EU-style frisson of schadenfreude look at Europe's ills as a case of the chickens coming home to roost. Many European governments supported the American-led conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria that have shattered the Greater Middle "
He does not understand that neoliberalism, and , especially, neoliberal globalization, generates powerful splash of nationalism. So in Europe 2020th might be a repeat 1920th on a new level. As colonialism under neoliberalism was replaced by neo-colonialism in a form of debt slavery and enforcement of Washington consensus, what we observe is the start of blowback.
In a way nationalism remain the only viable option ion the fight against neoliberalism.
Oct 25, 2017 | fpif.org
... ... ...

Sure, most Americans don't yet fall into irreconcilable factions . But if you consider the transformation of Yugoslavia from vacation spot to killing field in two short years after 1989, it's easier to imagine how a few demagogues, with their militant supporters, could use minority passions in this country to neutralize majority sentiments. All of which suggests why the "American carnage" that Trump invoked in his inaugural address could turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Of course, it's not just Donald Trump. Globally speaking, the fledgling American president is more symptom than cause. The United States is just now catching up to much of the rest of the world as President Trump, from his bullying pulpit, does whatever he can to make America first in fractiousness.

When it comes to demagogues and divisiveness, however, he has plenty of competition -- in Europe, the Middle East, indeed all over our splintering planet.

The Multiplication of Division

The recent referendum on independence in Catalonia is a reminder that a single well-timed blow can break apart the unitary states of Europe as if they were nothing but poorly made piñatas. True, it's not clear how many Catalans genuinely want independence from Spain. Those who participated in the referendum there opted overwhelmingly in favor of secession, but only 42 percent of voters even bothered to register their preference. In addition, the announced relocation of 531 companies to other parts of the country is a sobering reminder of the potential economic consequences of secession. However the standoff may be resolved, though, separatist sentiments are not about to vanish in Catalonia, particularly given the Spanish government's heavy-handed attempts to stop the vote.

Such splittism is potentially contagious. After Britons narrowly supported Brexiting the European Union (EU) in a referendum in 2016, the Scots again began talking about independence -- about, that is, separating from their southern cousins while remaining within the EU. Catalans have a different dilemma. A declaration of independence would promptly sever the new country from the European Union, even as the move might spread independence fever to other groups in Spain, particularly the Basques .

The British and the Catalans have delivered something like a prolonged one-two punch to the EU, which until recently had been in continuous expansion: from six member states in 1957 to 28 today. Losing both Great Britain and Catalonia would mean kissing goodbye to more than one-fifth of that organization's economic output. (According to 2016 numbers , the United Kingdom contributes 2.7 trillion euros and Catalonia 223 billion euros to the EU's 14.8 trillion euro gross domestic product.) That's the economic equivalent of California and Florida peeling off from the United States.

The question is whether the British and Catalan votes are the culmination of a mini-trend or the beginning of the end. Although Brexit actually gave a boost to the EU's popularity across its member states (including England), Brussels continues to experience pushback from those states on immigration, financial bailouts, and the process of decision-making.

Euroskeptic movements like the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany and the Freedom Party in Austria have met with growing success and rising voter support, even in Euro-friendly countries. In that continent's future lie: a possible Czexit as a right-wing billionaire takes over as prime minister of the Czech Republic and looks to create a governing coalition with a vehemently anti-immigrant and anti-EU partner; a Nexit if Euroskeptic Geert Wilders succeeds in expanding his political base further in the Netherlands; and even an Italexit as voters there have bucked the "Brexit effect," with 57 percent now favoring a referendum on membership.

... ... ...

Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Prior to the consolidation of the French nation in the nineteenth century, for instance, the inhabitants of the country thought of themselves as Bretons, Provençals, Parisians, and the like. Contrary to various founding myths, the nation didn't exist from time immemorial. It had to be conjured into existence -- and for a reason.

The nineteenth century witnessed the first great modern shattering as people weaponized the new concept of "nation" and companion notions of ethnic solidarity and popular sovereignty in their struggles against empires. The revolutions of 1825 in Greece and Russia, the 1848 "spring of nations" throughout Europe, the subsequent unification of Germany and Italy -- all were blows against the empires presided over by the Habsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Ottoman sultans.

World War I then dispatched those weakened empires to their graves in one huge conflagration. After the war ended, a Middle East of heterogeneous nation-states and a new group of independent Balkan countries emerged from the defunct Ottoman Empire. Imperial Russia briefly fragmented into dozens of smaller states until the Soviet Union glued them back together by force. The house of the Habsburgs fell and the Central European countries of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary crawled out from under the wreckage.

The second great shattering, which stretched across the middle span of the twentieth century, accompanied the collapse of the colonial empires. The British, French, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, and German overseas colonies all achieved independence, and a new global map of nation-states emerged in Africa, Asia, and to a lesser extent Latin America where decolonization had largely occurred a century earlier.

... ... ...

Consider, for instance, the impact of economic globalization. The expansion of trade, investment, and corporate activity has long had the effect of drawing nations together -- into cartels like OPEC, trade communities like the European Union, and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund. By the 1970s, however, economic globalization was eating away at the exclusive prerogative of the nation-state to control trade or national currencies or implement policies regulating the environment, health and safety, and labor.

At the same time, particularly in industrialized countries like the United Kingdom and the United States , income inequality increased dramatically. The wealth gap is now worse in the United States than in Iran or the Philippines. Among the top industrialized countries, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, the gap between the richest 10 percent of the population and the poorest 10 percent has grown appreciably larger.

Even among countries where inequality has dropped because of government efforts to redistribute income, the perception has grown that globalization favors the rich, not the poor. Fewer than half of French respondents to a 2016 YouGov poll believed that globalization was a force for good -- even though income inequality has fallen in that country since the 1970s. Having once reduced tensions among countries and strengthened the nation-state, economic globalization increasingly pits peoples against one another within countries and among countries.

Other forms of globalization have had a similar effect. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, have connected people in unprecedented ways and provided a mechanism to mobilize against a variety of societal ills, including dictators, trigger-happy police, and sexual harassers. But the other side of the ability to focus organizing efforts within digital affinity groups is the way such platforms Balkanize their users, not by ethnicity as much as by political perspective. Information or opinions challenging one's worldview that once appeared in the newspaper or occasionally on the evening news get weeded out in the Facebook newsfeed or the Twitter stream of one's favorite amplifiers.

Ethnic cleansing by decree has been largely overtaken by ideological cleansing by consent. What's the point of making the necessary compromises to function in a diverse nation-state when you can effectively secede from society and hang with your homies in a virtual community?

Given the polarizing impact of economic and technological globalization, it's no surprise that the politics of the middle has either disappeared or, because of a weak left, drifted further to the right. Donald Trump is the supreme expression of this stunning loss of faith in centrist politicians as well as such pillars of the institutional center as the mainstream media.

Since these figures and institutions delivered an economics of inequality and a foreign policy of war over the last three decades, the flight from the center is certainly understandable. What's new, however, is the way Trump and other right-wing populists have stretched this disaffection, which might ordinarily have powered a new left, to encompass what might be called the three angers over: immigration, the expansion of civil rights, and middle-class entitlement programs. Fueled by a revulsion for the center, Trump is not simply interested in undermining his political opponents and America's adversaries. He has a twin project, promoted for decades by the extreme right, of destroying the federal government and the international community.

That's why the fourth great shattering is different. In the past, people opposed empires, colonial powers, and the ideological requirements of the Cold War by banding together in more compact nation-states. They were still willing to sacrifice on behalf of their unknown compatriots -- to redistribute tax revenues or follow rules and regulations -- just on a smaller scale.

Nationalism hasn't gone away. Those who want to preserve a unitary state (Spain) as well as those who want out of the same state (Catalonia) appeal to similarly nationalist sentiments. But today, the very notion of acting in solidarity with people in a territorial unit presided over by a state is fast becoming passé. Citizens are in flight from taxes, multiculturalism, public education, and even the guarantee of basic human rights for all. The fourth great shattering seems to be affecting the very bonds that constitute the nation-state, any nation-state, no matter how big or small.

[Oct 29, 2017] John Feffer The Real Disuniting of America by Tom Engelhardt

Wars eventually deeply affect on the nation which launches them....
Notable quotes:
"... Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief. ..."
"... Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. ..."
"... In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.unz.com

Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time -- home being not just this particular country (though that's true , too) but this planet. Though hardly alone , the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief.

Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State's "capital," the city of Raqqa, was " liberated ." We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city ( almost !). And oh yes, according to witnesses , the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. Over these last months, the American bombing campaign against Raqqa and the artillery support that went with it reportedly killed more than 1,000 civilians and turned significant parts of the city into rubble -- and what that didn't do, ISIS bombs and other munitions did. (According to estimates , they could take years to find and remove.) And Raqqa is just the latest Middle Eastern city to be smashed more or less to bits.

And since the splintering of the planet is the TomDispatch subject of the day, what about the recent Austrian election, fought out and won by right-wing "populists" on the basis of anti-refugee sentiments and Islamophobia? Where exactly did such sentiments come from? You know perfectly well: from America's war on terror and the much-vaunted " precision warfare " (smart bombs and the rest) that continues to fracture a vast swath of the planet from Afghanistan to Libya and beyond.

In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions , including staggering numbers of children , have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven't been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. In this way, America's 16-year-old war on terror has been a genuine force for terror, and so for the kind of resentment and fear that's now helping to crack open a recently united Europe (and in the United States helped elect well, you know just who).

And that's only a small introduction to the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Don't even get me started on our president and climate change!

As it happens, the fellow who brought the nature of this splintering home to me was TomDispatch regular John Feffer, who in early 2015 began writing for this website what became his remarkable dystopian novel Splinterlands . In it, he imagined our shattered planet in 2050 so vividly that it's stayed with me ever since -- and evidently with him, too, because today he considers just how quickly the splintering process he imagined has been occurring not in his fictional version of our world, but in the all-too-real one.

Robert Magill , October 25, 2017 at 3:40 pm GMT

If we lose the state in a fourth great shattering, we will lose an important part of ourselves as well: our very humanity.

In many respects the "state", USA that is, is already lost. What we had until the 1950s was an ongoing mythology known as America; an agreed upon, ongoing concern known abroad for its popular music, for Hollywood, for a thriving middle class, a healthy working-class and a supplier of goods and services to the world, envy of all. Well, we shot a few holes in Myth America!

First to go was the music: replaced by Bubblegum; downhill from there. Tin Pan Alley is now dumpster heaven. The middle class now resides in Beijing with largess delivered to our Dollar emporiums (not seen here since the Great Depression). Noticeable gaps in the starving malls once housed record stores and book shops; remember them?

The final blow has landed on the movie houses across the land. Near empty, struggling. Even in the depths of the 30′s, movie house were full. But then, "No myth:No nation". No more.

https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/mankind-a-bogus-species/

[Oct 28, 2017] Independence and Self-Determination by James Petras

Nationalism was used and will be used by Western powers to weaken opponents as "enhanced" divide and conquer strategy. That's given. an interesting nuance is that several nationalist movement (for example in Ukraine and Baltic countries) de-facto promote enlargement of neoliberal empire led by the USA, which, in reality is the bitter enemy of any national self-determination and will support them only until such support weakened their geopolitical adversaries. The key political players in this empire are not nations but transnational corporations. Such a paradox, that several nationalist movement fail to understand.
An interesting nuance with Crimea and Ukraine was that at the moment of Crimea referendum for independence, Provisional government of Yatsenyuk-Turchinov in Kiev was form international legal norms standpoint an illegitimate junta, as Yanukovich was still alive (despite attempts to kill him) and did not pass the presidential power to Provisional government. The only claim to legitimacy of Provisional government was the fact that it was supported by the USA and EU. Putin refused to play this card, but in general he could announce Ukrainian government in exile and occupy all Eastern and Southern Ukraine under the pretext of restoring legitimate. there were two problems with this solution: Yanukovich was probably hated by most population for corruption (which actually did not exceed the levels achieved under Poroshenko; so it is unclear what Ukraine people gained here) and that might create problems with a few cities with some sizable "nationalists" population (Dnepropetrovsk is one), but that's about it. In such situation Western Ukraine and announce that it is legitimate Ukraine, with Western Ukraine simply cut from the rest.
As new regime now dropped the standard of living of population to African level of poverty, and population started to reject Western Ukrainian nationalism as a path to nowhere, this scenario might still possible in case some major crisis in Kiev. The key issue here is that new separate republic should be independent from both Russia and Western Ukraine. Of couse the USA will try their best to block this scenario.
Notable quotes:
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... Many of the prime movers of empire-building adopted the tactics of dividing and conquering adversaries – under the liberal pretext of promoting 'self-determination', ..."
"... 'central' ..."
"... 'national unity' ..."
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... 'uneven and combined development' ..."
"... 'Nationalism', ..."
"... 'nationalism' ..."
"... 'nationalist' ..."
"... 'divide and conquer', ..."
"... 'regime change' ..."
"... In the case of Iraq in the 1990's, Kurds were sponsored, armed, funded and defended by the US and Israel in order to weaken and divide the secular-nationalist Iraqi republic. Kurds, again with US support, have organized regional conflicts in Turkey and more recently in Syria, in order to defeat the independent government of Bashar Assad. Leftist Kurds cynically describe their imperial allies, including the Israelis, as 'progressive colonialists'. ..."
"... In brief, the Kurds act as surrogates for the US and Israel: They provide mercenaries, access to military bases, listening and spy posts and resources in their newly ' liberated ..."
"... In the Ukraine, the US hailed the cause of self-determination when it engineered a violent coup to oust an elected regime, whose crime was its commitment to independence from NATO. The coup was openly funded by the US, which financed and trained fascist thugs committed to the expulsion or repression of ethnic Russian speakers, especially in the eastern Donbas region and Crimea with the aim of placing NATO bases on Russia's border. ..."
"... 'self-determination'. ..."
"... 'self-determination' ..."
"... 'We bombed the wrong side'. ..."
"... The US imperialist state, like all aspiring empire-builders, represses or supports movements for self-determination according to their class and imperial interests. To be clear: Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle. ..."
"... Imperialism's selective use and abuse of self-determination is not a case of 'hypocrisy' or 'double standards', as their left-liberal supporters complain. Washington applies a single standard: Does this movement advance Empire by securing and buttressing vassal regimes and their supporters? The language of 'liberation' ..."
"... For decades, Eastern European, Balkan and Baltic countries were encouraged to struggle for 'self-determination' against the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, only to later embrace the yoke of vassalage under the command of NATO, the EU and Washington. In many cases their sovereignty and standard of living collapsed followed by ethnic cleansing, including the mass expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and Kosovo and the cultural-linguistic repression of ethnic Russians in Latvia and Ukraine. ..."
"... Beyond the immediate conflicts, many independent regimes, in turn, become oppressive rulers of their own minorities and native critics. 'Self-determination' ad infinitum can ultimately lead to schizoid individuals – extolling their mythical people while oppressing others. Today, Zionism is the ultimate parody of 'self-determination'. Newly independent countries and rulers frequently deny minorities of their own right to self-determination – especially those who sided with the previous power. ..."
"... As for "kleptocracy", that term would seem to describe both the Russian government and the US government, and its vast wasteful & crooked complex of "connected" military contractors, medical-insurance and pharma corporations, big union leadership, and the revolving door of think tanks and "media" outlets. ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Since World War II most of the world's conflicts have revolved around struggles for independence against Western and Japanese colonial/imperial regimes

Following formal independence, a new type of imperial domination was imposed – neo-colonial regimes, in which the US and its European allies imposed vassal rulers acting as proxies for economic exploitation. With the rise of US unipolar global domination, following the demise of the USSR (1990), the West established hegemony over the East European states. Some were subject to fragmentation and sub-divided into new NATO dominated statelets.

The quest for a unipolar empire set in motion a series of wars and ethnic conflicts in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Baltic States, North Africa, Asia and Western Europe – leading to ethnic cleansing and the global mass refugee crises.

The break-up of nation states spread across the globe as the rhetoric and politics of 'self-determination' replaced the class struggle as the flagship for social justice and political freedom.

Many of the prime movers of empire-building adopted the tactics of dividing and conquering adversaries – under the liberal pretext of promoting 'self-determination', without clarifying who and what the 'self' represented and who really benefited

Sectional, regional, cultural and ethnic identities served to polarize struggles. In contrast 'central' regimes fought to retain 'national unity' in order to repress regional revolts.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and discuss the national and international forces behind the slogans of 'self-determination' and the larger international and regional consequences.

Basic Concepts: Ambiguities and Clarification

One of the striking aspects of the process of globalization and national development is 'uneven and combined development' (ICD). This takes several forms – uneven development between regions, within and between countries, and usually both.

Imperial countries concentrate industries, commerce and banking while colonized/neo-colonized countries are left with export-linked, resource-based enclaves and low-wage assembly plants. Frequently, the capital cities of colonized and de-colonized countries concentrate and centralize political power, wealth, infrastructure, transport and finance while their provinces are reduced to providing raw material and cheap labor by subject people. Infrequently political power and administration – including the military, police and tax collection agencies – are concentrated in economically un-productive central cities, while the wealth-producing, but politically weaker regions, are economically exploited, marginalized and depleted.

Combined and uneven development on international and national levels has led to class, anti-imperialist and regional struggles. Where class -based struggles have been weakened, nationalist and ethnic leaders and movements assume political leadership.

'Nationalism', however, has two diametrically opposing faces: In one version Western backed regional movements work to degrade anti-imperialist regimes in order to subordinate the entire nation to the dictates of an imperial power. In a different context, broad-based secular nationalists struggle to gain political independence by defeating imperial forces and their local surrogates, who are often ethnic or religious minority rent-collecting overlords.

Imperial states have always had a clear understanding of the nature of the different kinds of 'nationalism' and which serve their interests. Imperial states support regional and/or 'nationalist' regimes and movements that will undermine anti-imperial movements, regimes and regions. They always oppose 'nationalist' movements with strong working class leadership.

Historical Experience

Imperial Perfidious Albion, the United Kingdom, slaughtered and starved millions of people who resisted its rule in Asia (India, Burma, Malaya and China), Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, etc.) and Europe (Ireland).

At the same time, British imperialists promoted regional conflicts arming Muslims to fight Hindus, Sikhs to fight Muslims, Gurkas to oppress Malays and create various warring religious, ethnic and linguistic groups throughout the Indian subcontinent, Burma and Malaya. Likewise the UK promoted conflicts among religious, secular nationalist and conservative groups throughout the Middle East.

The imperial powers naturally operate through the strategy of 'divide and conquer', labeling their adversaries as 'backward' and 'authoritarian' while praising their surrogates as 'freedom fighters' which they claim are 'in transition to Western democratic values'.

However, the strategic issue is how imperial states define the kind of self-determination to support or repress and when to change their policies: Today's allies are dubbed 'democrats' in the Western press and tomorrow they can be re-assigned the role of 'freedom's enemies' and 'authoritarian', if they act against imperial interests.

The Two Faces of Self-Determination

In contrast to the imperial practice of shifting policies toward dominant regimes and separatist movements, most of the 'left' broadly support all movements for self-determination and label all opponents as 'oppressors'.

As a result the left and the imperialist regimes may end up on the same side in a massive 'regime change' campaign!

The libertarian left cover-up their own fake 'idealism' by labeling the imperial powers as 'hypocrites' and using a 'double-standard'. This is a laughable accusation, since the guiding principle behind an imperial decision to support or reject 'self-determination' is based on class and imperial interests. In other words, when 'self-determination' benefits the empire, it receives full support. There are no abstract historical, moral precepts, devoid of class and imperial content determining policy.

Case Studies: The Myths of the "Stateless Kurds" and "Ukraine's Liberation"

In the Twentieth Century, the Kurdish citizens of Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran have made claims of 'self-determination' and fought against established nation-states in the name of 'ethnic liberation'.

But who defines the real 'self' to be liberated?

In the case of Iraq in the 1990's, Kurds were sponsored, armed, funded and defended by the US and Israel in order to weaken and divide the secular-nationalist Iraqi republic. Kurds, again with US support, have organized regional conflicts in Turkey and more recently in Syria, in order to defeat the independent government of Bashar Assad. Leftist Kurds cynically describe their imperial allies, including the Israelis, as 'progressive colonialists'.

In brief, the Kurds act as surrogates for the US and Israel: They provide mercenaries, access to military bases, listening and spy posts and resources in their newly ' liberated (and ethnically cleansed) country ', to bolster US imperialism, which 'their warlord leaders' have chosen as the dominant 'partner'. Is their struggle one of national liberation or mercenary puppetry in the service of empire against sovereign nations resisting imperial and Zionist control?

In the Ukraine, the US hailed the cause of self-determination when it engineered a violent coup to oust an elected regime, whose crime was its commitment to independence from NATO. The coup was openly funded by the US, which financed and trained fascist thugs committed to the expulsion or repression of ethnic Russian speakers, especially in the eastern Donbas region and Crimea with the aim of placing NATO bases on Russia's border.

The overwhelmingly Russian-speaking people of Crimea opposed the coup and exercised their right to self-determination by voting to rejoin Russia. Likewise the industrialized Donbas region of eastern Ukraine declared its autonomy, opposing the oppressive and grossly corrupt US installed regime in Kiev.

The violent US-EU sponsored coup in Kiev was a blatant form of imperial annexation, while the peaceful vote in Crimea and the militant Eastern Ukraine (Donbas) exercise of self-determination presented a progressive response by anti-imperialist forces. Thwarted in its project to turn Eastern Ukraine and Crimea into NATO launching pads for aggression against Moscow, US/EU condemned this response as 'Russian colonization'.

Tibet and the Uighurs in China's Xinjiang Province

Separatist groups have been actively engaged in armed uprisings for many decades in Tibet and Xinjiang, Western China. While they claimed to be 'independent', their feudal warlords have long been hostile to the positive advances of the Chinese revolution (including the abolition of slavery in Tibet, as well as opium trade and bride price and the extension of universal education in feudal Moslem regions). They collaborated with the US and expansionist India (where the Dalai Lama established his palace and camps of armed supporters, trained and armed by Western imperial agencies).

While the West advertises the Dalai Lama as a peace-loving holy man giving platitudinous speeches to adoring crowds, this saint never condemned the genocidal US wars against fellow Buddhists in Vietnam, Korea or elsewhere.

The well-funded Western pro-Tibet and pro-Uighur celebrity/victim circuit has ignored the links between the Dalai Lama and his imperial patrons, which ultimately defines the operational meaning of 'self-determination'.

Kosova: Self-Determination by Terrorist White Slavers

After World War II, Yugoslavia, liberated from its vicious Nazi collaborators by the Communist partisans, embarked on becoming a peaceful self-managed, multi-ethnic socialist society. But in the 1990's, the overt military intervention of NATO forces deliberately engineered the violent break-up of Yugoslavia into 'independent' statelets. The experiment of a multiethnic socialist state in Europe was destroyed. After massive ethnic cleansing of its non-Albanian populations, a new NATO puppet-state, Kosova, came under the control of an internationally recognized terrorist, white slaver, narco-US vassal Hashim Thaci and his Kosovo Liberation Army thugs.

With the massive US bombing campaign against Belgrade and other Yugoslav cities and with NATO military support, Kosova achieved 'self-determination' – as a huge land-based US aircraft carrier and 'R&R' center (Camp Bondsteel) with discounts at KLA-run brothels for the GI's. Because Kosova serves as a mercenary outpost run by vassal thugs, Washington and Brussels endorsed its claims as a 'liberated independent state'. It has also served as an international discount depot for the gruesome trade in human organs for transplant. Viewing the ethnically cleansed mafia state of Kosovo, then NATO commander, Canadian General Lewis MacKenzie, later admitted: 'We bombed the wrong side'.

The break-up of Yugoslavia, led to multiple separatist mini-states, each of which fell in line with EU-economic domination and US military control. In Western jargon this was dubbed 'democratic self-determination' – the ugly reality is that of massive ethnic cleansing, impoverishment and criminality.

Catalunya's Independence and Neo-Franco Spain

Spain is under the rule of a regime descended from the fascist dictator Francisco Franco. President Mariano Rajoy and his misnamed 'Popular Party' (PP) and his royal sidekick, King Felipe VI, have engaged in massive corruption scandals, money laundering and fraudulent multi-million euro public–private building contracts. Rajoy's neo-liberal policies significantly contributed to a financial crash which resulting in a 30% unemployment rate and an austerity program stripping Spanish workers of their collective bargaining power.

In the face of Catalunya's pursuit of self-determination via free and democratic elections, Rajoy ordered a police and military invasion, seizing ballots, breaking heads and asserting total control.

The Catalans' peaceful exercise of self-determination via free elections, independent of imperial manipulation, was rejected by both the EU and Washington as 'unlawful'– for disobeying Rajoy and his neo-Franco legions.

Self-Determination for Palestine and US Backed Israeli Colonization and Subjugation

For a half-century, Washington has supported brutal Israeli occupation and colonization of the Palestinian 'West Bank'. The US consistently denies self-determination for the people of Palestine and its millions of displaced refugees. Washington arms and finances Israeli expansion through the violent seizure of Palestinian territory and resources as well as the starvation, incarceration, torture and assassination of Palestinians for the crime of asserting their right of self-determination.

The overwhelming majority of US Congressional officials and Presidents, past and present, slavishly take their cues from the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish (Israeli) Organization who add billions to the coffers of colonial Tel Aviv. Israel and its Zionist surrogates inside the US government manipulate the US into disastrous wars in the Middle East against the self-determination of independent Arab and Muslim nations.

Saudi Arabia: Enemy of Yemen's Self-Determination

Saudi Arabia's despotic regime has fought against self-determination in the Gulf States and Yemen. The Saudis, backed by US arms and advisers, have dispossessed millions of Yemeni civilians and killed thousands in a merciless bombing campaign. Over the past decade the Saudis have bombed and blockaded Yemen, destroying its infrastructure, causing a massive plague of cholera and threatening starvation for millions of children in an effort to defeat the Houthi-led Yemeni liberation movement.

The US and UK have provided over a hundred billion dollars in arms sales and give logistical support, including bombing coordinates to the Saudi tyrants while blocking any UN-sponsored diplomatic action to relieve the immense suffering. In this grotesque war crime, Washington and Israel are the Saudi Monarchy's closest associates in denying self-determination to the oppressed people of Yemen who have long resisted Saudi control.

Conclusion

The US imperialist state, like all aspiring empire-builders, represses or supports movements for self-determination according to their class and imperial interests. To be clear: Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle.

Imperialism's selective use and abuse of self-determination is not a case of 'hypocrisy' or 'double standards', as their left-liberal supporters complain. Washington applies a single standard: Does this movement advance Empire by securing and buttressing vassal regimes and their supporters? The language of 'liberation' is a mere gloss to secure the allegiance of vassals opposed to independent states.

For decades, Eastern European, Balkan and Baltic countries were encouraged to struggle for 'self-determination' against the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact, only to later embrace the yoke of vassalage under the command of NATO, the EU and Washington. In many cases their sovereignty and standard of living collapsed followed by ethnic cleansing, including the mass expulsion of Serbs from Croatia and Kosovo and the cultural-linguistic repression of ethnic Russians in Latvia and Ukraine.

The Kurdish 'freedom fighters', followed ethnic warlords who were funded by the US and Israel, and took over town, cities, oil resources and territory to serve as imperial military bases against the sovereign governments of Iraq, Iran and Syria.

In this context, the Kurdish warlords and oligarchs are loyal vassals and an integral component of the long-standing US-Israeli policy aimed at dividing and weakening independent allies of Palestine, Yemen and genuine liberation movements.

Clearly the criteria for deciding whose claims of self-determination are valid require identifying whether class and anti-imperialist interests are advanced.

Beyond the immediate conflicts, many independent regimes, in turn, become oppressive rulers of their own minorities and native critics. 'Self-determination' ad infinitum can ultimately lead to schizoid individuals – extolling their mythical people while oppressing others. Today, Zionism is the ultimate parody of 'self-determination'. Newly independent countries and rulers frequently deny minorities of their own right to self-determination – especially those who sided with the previous power.

To the extent that the 'national' struggle is limited to political independence it can lead to a mere 'changing of the guard' – maintaining oppressive class exploitation and introducing new forms of cultural-ethnic and gender oppression.

In some instances the new forms of class exploitation may even surpass their previous conditions under imperial vassalage. Kurds, Tibetans, fascist Ukrainian nationalists, Uighurs and other so-called freedom fighters turn out to be military Sepoys for aggressive US incursion against independent China, Iran and Russia. Leftist backers of these dubious 'liberation movements' tag along behind the empire.

Capitalist 'globalization' is today's greatest enemy to authentic self-determination. Imperial globalization supports fragmented statelets – all the better to convert them into new vassals with their own flag and anthem!

anon , Disclaimer October 20, 2017 at 6:01 am GMT

I wrote months ago that the U.S, the EU, the Kiev provisional government and Russia should have met and then proposed a solution to Ukraine. They could have suggested a poll of Ukrainian citizens as to whether to split the country into East and West Ukrainian nations along the Dnieper, with built in provisions for free movement of people, finance and goods between the two countries for a specified period in order to ameliorate difficulties of transition. This would have maintained both countries' access to the Black Sea and eliminated the cause of Russia's occupation of Crimea, as well avoiding the subsequent trouble and bloodshed tearing the country apart and the increasing international tension it's causing.

The Kiev government needs increased connection with the West, not the problem of governing half a country's worth of Russophiles in the east. There would be no great threat to the West by having an Eastern Ukraine bordering the Dnieper – the longer the East acceded to the mindset and demands of the kleptocracy that is Russia, especially as greener forms of energy take over, the worse it would look to both itself and others in comparison to West Ukraine, which would be well rid of it, and accelerating its own progress aided by its connections with the West.

But this scenario would require political leadership instead of the standard bumbling and gamesmanship in response to each daily event.

RadicalCenter , October 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm GMT
It would seem that the average Ukrainian would tend to benefit from increasing trade with both Russia and the Western countries. Why mention only that "[t]he Kiev government needs increased connection with the West" without mentioning the benefit of trade with the Russian Federation?

As for "kleptocracy", that term would seem to describe both the Russian government and the US government, and its vast wasteful & crooked complex of "connected" military contractors, medical-insurance and pharma corporations, big union leadership, and the revolving door of think tanks and "media" outlets.

Grandpa Charlie , October 21, 2017 at 2:30 am GMT

"Self-determination is a class-defined issue; it is not a general moral-legal principle." -- Petras

That seems clear enough on its face, but then, in his conclusion, Petras introduces "authenticity" into the mix:

Capitalist 'globalization' is today's greatest enemy to authentic self-determination.

So it appears that we are right back in the moral-legal realm after all, under the heading of "authenticity." Or, perhaps, under the mind-numbing category of "class-defined issues"?

In effect, Petras does indeed apply a moral-legal principle: the principle of "authenticity." Under this pretence, Petras essentially equates Kosovo and Tibet, going so far as to conflate the Dalai Lama with whatever "warlords" perhaps exist anywhere in the western regions claimed by the PRC.

Not only is Petras' BS an instance of guilt by association, the association exists nowhere but in Petras' rhetoric -- certainly not any place on the ground in Asia. Ah, but this is where Petras' arch-villain comes in handy for his argument! Who knows whether there may be CIA operatives skulking around, spreading USD in places like Samarkand, setting up arms deals and the like? (Clearly, the Dalai Lams is involved in that, eh?) Thus Petras would pull off a trick of shifting the burden of proof: since the Dalai Lama never involved himself in Vietnam or Korea, then clearly the burden of proof is on those like myself, who question Petras' grand narrative, to show that the Dalai Lama is anything other than a stooge of the arch-villain USA.

Petras expects us to agree, categorically, that there is nothing authentic about "free Tibet" or about objections that the PRC's occupation of Tibet is an instance of genocide, just as surely as was the campaign of the Japanese Empire to annex vast regions of China in WW2. But the truth is that the world doesn't know that the "free Tibet" meme is in any way inauthentic actually we recognize something authentic about it! Perhaps we can condemn the occupation of Palestine by Israel, but to also condemn the occupation of Tibet by China? No, no, no nothing "authentic" about Tibetans' desire for freedom from Chinese imperialism?

https://www.freetibet.org/about-us

hyperbola , October 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm GMT
@anon

Perhaps Odessa (at least the southern-eastern part) should be joined with Transnistria to accomodate another area with strong Russian population.

[Oct 17, 2017] The Lobby British Style by Philip M. Giraldi

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!
Notable quotes:
"... To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history. ..."
"... That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate. ..."
"... The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ..."
"... That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. ..."
"... I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah. ..."
"... I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby). ..."
"... Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been. ..."
"... Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though! ..."
"... And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. ..."
"... All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War. ..."
"... The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down. ..."
"... The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated. ..."
"... WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. ..."
"... You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.' ..."
"... The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man. ..."
"... That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too. ..."
"... Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .) ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.unz.com

One month ago, I initiated here at Unz.com a discussion of the role of American Jews in the crafting of United States foreign policy. I observed that a politically powerful and well-funded cabal consisting of both Jewish individuals and organizations has been effective at engaging the U.S. in a series of wars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests. This misdirection of policy has not taken place because of some misguided belief that Israeli and U.S. national security interests are identical, which is a canard that is frequently floated in the mainstream media. It is instead a deliberate program that studiously misrepresents facts-on-the ground relating to Israel and its neighbors and creates casus belli involving the United States even when no threat to American vital interests exists. It punishes critics by damaging both their careers and reputations while its cynical manipulation of the media and gross corruption of the national political process has already produced the disastrous war against Iraq, the destruction of Libya and the ongoing chaos in Syria. It now threatens to initiate a catastrophic war with Iran.

To be sure, my observations are neither new nor unique. Former Congressmen Paul Findley indicted the careful crafting of a pro-Israel narrative by American Jews in his seminal book They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel's Lobby , written in 1989. Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt's groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy said much the same thing nine years ago and discussions of Jewish power do emerge occasionally, even in the mainstream media. In the Jewish media Jewish power is openly discussed and is generally applauded as a well-deserved reward bestowed both by God and by mankind due to the significant accomplishments attributed to Jews throughout history.

There is undeniably a complicated web of relationships and networks that define Israel's friends. The expression "Israel Lobby" itself has considerable currency, so much so that the expression "The Lobby" is widely used and understood to represent the most powerful foreign policy advocacy group in Washington without needing to include the "Israel" part. That the monstrous Benjamin Netanyahu receives 26 standing ovations from Congress and a wealthy Israel has a guaranteed income from the U.S. Treasury derives directly from the power and money of an easily identifiable cluster of groups and oligarchs – Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, Haim Saban – who in turn fund a plethora of foundations and institutes whose principal function is to keep the cash and political support flowing in Israel's direction. No American national interest, apart from the completely phony contention that Israel is some kind of valuable ally, would justify the taxpayers' largesse. In reality, Israel is a liability to the United States and always has been.

And I do understand at the same time that a clear majority of American Jews, leaning strongly towards the liberal side of the political spectrum, are supportive of the nuclear agreement with Iran and do not favor a new Middle Eastern war involving that country. I also believe that many American Jews are likely appalled by Israeli behavior, but, unfortunately, there is a tendency on their part to look the other way and neither protest such actions nor support groups like Jewish Voice for Peace that are themselves openly critical of Israel. This de facto gives Israel a free pass and validates its assertion that it represents all Jews since no one important in the diaspora community apart from minority groups which can safely be ignored is pushing back against that claim.

That many groups and well-positioned individuals work hand-in-hand with the Israeli government to advance Israeli interests should not be in dispute after all these years of watching it in action. Several high level Jewish officials, including Richard Perle , associated with the George W. Bush Pentagon, had questionable relationships with Israeli Embassy officials and were only able to receive security clearances after political pressure was applied to "godfather" approvals for them. Former Congressman Tom Lantos and Senator Frank Lautenberg were, respectively, referred to as Israel's Congressman and Senator, while current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has described himself as Israel's "shomer" or guardian in the U.S. Senate.

A recent regulatory decision from the United Kingdom relates to a bit of investigative journalism that sought to reveal precisely how the promotion of Israel by some local diaspora Jews operates, to include how critics are targeted and criticized as well as what is done to destroy their careers and reputations.

Last year, al-Jazeera Media Network used an undercover reporter to infiltrate some U.K. pro-Israel groups that were working closely with the Israeli Embassy to counter criticisms coming from British citizens regarding the treatment of the Palestinians. In particular, the Embassy and its friends were seeking to counter the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which has become increasingly effective in Europe. The four-part documentary released late in 2016 that al-Jazeera produced is well worth watching as it consists mostly of secretly filmed meetings and discussions.

The documentary reveals that local Jewish groups, particularly at universities and within the political parties, do indeed work closely with the Israeli Embassy to promote policies supported by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It also confirms that tagging someone as an anti-Semite has become the principal offensive weapon used to stifle any discussion, particularly in a country like Britain which embraces concepts like the criminalization of "hate speech." At one point, two British Jews discussed whether "being made to feel uncomfortable" by people asking what Israel intends to do with the Palestinians is anti-Semitic. They agreed that it might be.

The documentary also describes how the Embassy and local groups working together targeted government officials who were not considered to be friendly to Israel to "be taken down," removed from office or otherwise discredited. One government official in particular who was to be attacked was Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

Britain, unlike the U.S., has a powerful regulatory agency that oversees communications, to include the media. It is referred to as Ofcom. When the al-Jazeera documentary was broadcast, Israeli Embassy political officer Shai Masot, who reportedly was a Ministry of Strategic Affairs official working under cover, was forced to resign and the Israeli Ambassador offered an apology. Masot was filmed discussing British politicians who might be "taken down" before speaking with a government official who plotted a "a little scandal" to bring about the downfall of Duncan. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is the first head of a political party in Britain to express pro-Palestinian views, had called for an investigation of Masot after the recording of the "take down" demand relating to Duncan was revealed. Several Jewish groups (the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students and We Believe in Israel) then counterattacked with a complaint that the documentary had violated British broadcast regulations, including the specific charge that the undercover investigation was anti-Semitic in nature.

On October 9 th , Ofcom ruled in favor of al-Jazeera, stating that its investigation had done nothing improper, but it should be noted that the media outlet had to jump through numerous hoops to arrive at the successful conclusion. It had to turn over all its raw footage and communications to the investigators, undergoing what one source described as an "editorial colonoscopy," to prove that its documentary was "factually accurate" and that it had not "unfairly edited" or "with bias" prepared its story. One of plaintiffs, who had called for critics of Israel to "die in a hole" and had personally offered to "take down" a Labour Party official, responded bitterly. She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

The United States does not yet have a government agency to regulate news stories, though that may be coming, but the British tale has an interesting post script. Al-Jazeera also had a second undercover reporter inserted in the Israel Lobby in the United States, apparently a British intern named James Anthony Kleinfeld, who had volunteered his services to The Israel Project, which is involved in promoting Israel's global image. He also had contact with at least ten other Jewish organizations and with officials at the Israeli Embassy,

Now that the British account of "The Lobby" has cleared a regulatory hurdle the American version will reportedly soon be released. Al-Jazeera's head of investigative reporting Clayton Swisher commented "With this U.K. verdict and vindication past us, we can soon reveal how the Israel lobby in America works through the eyes of an undercover reporter. I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate."

Americans who follow such matters already know that groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) swarm over Capitol Hill and have accomplices in nearly every media outlet. Back in 2005-6 AIPAC Officials Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman were actually tried under the Espionage Act of 1918 in a case involving obtaining classified intelligence from government official Lawrence Franklin to pass on to the Israeli Embassy. Rosen had once boasted that, representing AIPAC and Israel, he could get the signatures of 70 senators on a napkin agreeing to anything if he sought to do so. The charges against the two men were, unfortunately, eventually dropped "because court rulings had made the case unwinnable and the trial would disclose classified information."

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open. And ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy and, most recently, Cynthia McKinney, what happens to your career when you appear to be critical of Israel. And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Rurik , October 17, 2017 at 4:29 am GMT

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure. A voice of integrity and character in a sea of moral cowardice and corruption. If there is any hope for this nation, it will be due specifically to the integrity of men like Mr. Giraldi to keep speaking truth to power.
googlecensors , October 17, 2017 at 5:00 am GMT
One is unable to open the documentary – all 4 parts – on YouTube suggesting that google/YouTube are censoring it and have caved into the Jewish Lobby
Malla , October 17, 2017 at 5:03 am GMT
When the Jewish Messiah comes, all of us goyim (Black, White, Yellow, brown or Red) will be living like today's Palestinians. Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

But if I was a Westerner, I would support Israel any day. Because if the Israeli state were to be ever dismantled, all of them Israelis would go to the West. Why would you want that?

Frankie P , October 17, 2017 at 5:42 am GMT
@Rurik

He has been set free by the truth, proving the old maxim.

wayfarer , October 17, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT
Understand a Spoiled Child, and You Will Understand Israel. source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiled_child

Discipline the Spoiled Child, and Boycott Israel. source: https://bdsmovement.net/

Israel Anti-Boycott Act – An Attack on Free Speech?

Dan Hayes , October 17, 2017 at 5:48 am GMT
Philip,

My admittedly subjective impression is that your UR reports are becoming more open/unbounded after your release from the constraints of the American Conservative . In other word, you're now being enabled to let it all hang out. In my book that's all to the good.

Of course your work and those of the other UR writers are enabled by the beneficence of its patron, Ron!

Uebersetzer , October 17, 2017 at 6:14 am GMT
There may be limits to their power in Britain. Jeremy Corbyn is hated by them, and stories are regularly run in the MSM, in Britain and also (of course!) in the New York Times claiming that under Corbyn Labour is a haven of anti-Semitism. Corbyn actually gained millions of votes in the last election. Perhaps they will nail him somewhere down the road but they have failed so far.
JackOH , October 17, 2017 at 6:59 am GMT
" . . . [W]ars in the Middle East and North Africa that benefit only Israel and are, in fact, damaging to actual American interests (emphases mine).

That's the money shot, Phil. I'm okay with Jews, okay with the existence of Israel, all that, but I think we were massively had by Iraq II. When Valerie Plame spoke in my area, she talked disgustedly about a plan to establish American military power throughout the Middle East. She used the euphemism "neocons" for the plan's authors, and seemed about to burst with anger. I looked up the plan, but don't recall the catch phrase for it.

I recall the basic idea was for the U. S. to do Israel's dirty work at U. S. expense and without a U. S. benefit, and I think there was the usual "God talk" cover in it about "democratization", "development", blah-blah.

Cloak And Dagger , October 17, 2017 at 7:43 am GMT
I remain skeptical that the Al-Jazeera undercover story in the US will be able to be viewed. I anticipate a hoard of Israel-firster congress critters to crawl out from under their respective rocks and deem Al-Jazeera to be antisemitic and call for it being banned as a foreign propaganda apparatus, much as is being done with RT and Sputnik.

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles under the might of Jewish power – impotent in our ability to arrest its fall.

Mark James , October 17, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT
ask Congressmen like Paul Findley, Pete McCloskey, William Fulbright, Charles Percy

I'd also add Adlai E. Stevenson III and John Glenn. Stevenson was crucial in getting compensation -- paltry sum though it was– payed to "Liberty" families for their loss. The Israelis had been holding out. Something for which the Il Senator was never forgiven (especially by The Lobby).

Netanyahu should not have been allowed to address the joint session. No foreign leader should be speaking in opposition to any sitting President (in this case Obama). It only showed the power of "The Lobby." Netanyahu who knew that Iran didn't have the weapons the Bush Adm. had claimed, was treated like a trusted ally. He shouldn't have been.

Kevin , October 17, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT
And the point is that while Israel calls the shots in terms of what it wants, it is a cabal of diaspora American Jews who actually pull the trigger. With that in mind, it will be very interesting to watch the al-Jazeera documentary on The Lobby in America.

Maybe, instead of Russia-Gate, we have is Israel-Gate. This time Netanyahu discreetly interfering in US Presidential Election ..Chilling thought though!

Tyrion , October 17, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

And Israeli interference in U.S. government and elections is also a given. Endorsement of Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election by the Netanyahu government was more-or-less carried out in the open.

London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, actually went to America to campaign for Hillary. Numerous European leaders endorsed her, while practically all denounced Trump. Exactly the same can be said of the Muslim world, only more so.

The problem with criticism of Israel is not that it lacks basis in truth. It is that it is removed from the context of the rest of the world. Israel's actions do not make Israel an outlier. Israel fits very much within the norm. Even with the recording this is the case.

All embassies try to further their national interest through political machinations and all people in politics tend to use hyperbolic language to describe what they are doing. I don't know if your shock is just for show or you are just a bit dim. The same applies to Buzzfeed's 'expose' of Bannon and the gasps the article let out at his use of terms like #War.

Unfortunately, contemporary idiots of all stripes seem to specialise in removing context so that they can further their specious arguments.

Randal , October 17, 2017 at 9:58 am GMT

"so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did"

Sadly, Clayton Swisher is probably correct that the US establishment will take their findings in America just as "seriously" as the British media and political establishment, and government, did.

The British government attitude was that everything was fine because the Israeli government "apologised" and the "rogue individual" responsible was taken out of the country, and the British media mostly ignored the story after an initial brief scandal. Indeed the main substantive response was the Ofcom fishing expedition against Al Jazeera looking for ways to use the disclosure of these uncomfortable truths as a pretext for shutting that company's operations down.

But there's no "undue influence" or bias involved, and if you say there might be then you are an anti-Semite and a hater.

The supreme irony behind all this is that Trump has been prevented by his own personal and family/adviser bias from using the one certain way of removing all the laughably vague "Russian influence" nonsense that has been used against him so persistently. All he had to do was to, at every opportunity, tie criticism and investigation of Russian "influence" to criticism and investigation of Israel Lobby influence under the general rubric of "foreign influence", and almost all of the high level backing for the charges would in due course have quietly evaporated.

geokat62 , October 17, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT
@Rurik

Philip Giraldi is a rare American treasure.

Rare, indeed, Rurik.

And in this rare company I would place former congressman, Ron Paul.

Here's an excerpt from his latest article, President Trump Beats War Drums for Iran :

Let's be clear here: President Trump did not just announce that he was "de-certifying" Iran's compliance with the nuclear deal. He announced that Iran was from now on going to be in the bullseye of the US military. Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another Middle East war?

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/october/16/president-trump-beats-war-drums-for-iran/

animalogic , October 17, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT
This state of affairs, where the Zionist tail wags -- thrashes -- the US dog is bizarre to the point of laughter. Absent familiarity with the facts, who could believe it all? Is there a historical parallel ? I can't think of one that approaches the sheer profundity of the toxic embrace the Zionists have cover the US & west generally.
The Alarmist , October 17, 2017 at 11:01 am GMT
So how is using money we give them as foreign aid (it's fungible by any definition of the US Treasury and Justice Department) to lobby our legislators not a form of money laundering? Somebody ought to tell Mnuchin to get FINCEN on this yeah, I know, it sounded naive as I typed it. FINCEN is only there to harass little people like you and me.
Bardon Kaldian , October 17, 2017 at 11:05 am GMT
@googlecensors

Not true.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT
@Malla

Abby Martin is amazingly sharp. Many of the things she says can be confirmed by Uri Avnery, both his books and articles.

Here's a link to his weekly columns.

http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery

Incredible stuff there; thanks for posting it.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT
@Malla

Our slave descendant will be scurrying around in their ghettos afraid of the Greater Israeli Army military andriod drones in the sky.

According to the first vid, those drones will be built by the goyim.

Maybe there's a message there for us.

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT
@Cloak And Dagger

I fear that we are long past the point of being redeemed as a nation. We can only watch with sorrow as this great nation crumbles

We are long past that point.

I myself am watching with joy, because this supposedly "great nation" was corrupt to the core from its inception.

For evidence, all one has to do is read the arguments of the anti-federalists who opposed the ratification of the constitution* such as Patrick Henry, Robert Yates and Luther Martin. Their predictions about the results have come true. Even the labels, "federalist" and "anti-federalist" are misleading and no doubt intentionally so.

Those who spoke out against the formation of the federal reserve bank* scheme were also correct.

The only thing great about the US in a moral sense are the high sounding pretenses upon which it was built. As a nation we have never adhered to them.

*Please note that I intentionally refrain from capitalizing those words since I refuse to show even that much deference to those instruments of corruption.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT
Philip, glad to see you undaunted after the recent attacks on you. We can maybe take solace in the fact that their desire for MORE will finally pass a critical point, and dumbass Americans will finally wake up.
jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

"She said that the Ofcom judgment would serve as a "precedent for the infringement of privacy of any Jewish person involved in public life."

I have news for that twister of words.

In my opinion, if you choose to put yourself in the limelight, you have no private life. That is especially true for those who think they're entitled to a position of power.

In other words, if you think you're special, then you get judged by stricter standards than the rest of us.

It's called accountability.

BTW, speaking of Netanyahu, why do we hear so little about the scandal involving the theft of nuclear triggers from the US?

"The Israeli press is picking up Grant Smith's revelation from FBI documents that Benjamin Netanyahu was part of an Israeli smuggling ring that spirited nuclear triggers out of the U.S. in the 80s and 90s."

http://mondoweiss.net/2012/07/netanyahu-implicated-in-nuclear-smuggling-from-u-s-big-story-in-israel.html

jacques sheete , October 17, 2017 at 11:58 am GMT
Thank you Mr Giraldi. You covered an amazing number of issues in such a well written and compact article.

Thanks also to Mr Unz for publishing these sorts of things.

ISmellBagels , October 17, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

What she really meant by that was HOLOCAUST ALERT HOLOCAUST ALERT!!

Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm GMT
@Malla

When you listen to Abby Martin describe her experience regarding this brutal apartheid system in Israel and the genocide of the Palestinian people, remember, Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic , was a prison guard in the Israeli Defense Forces guarding the West Bank death camp. And David Brooks, political and cultural commentator for The New York Times and former op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal , has a son in the Israel Defense Forces helping to perpetuate this holocaust of the Palestinian people. I hope I live to see the day when some Palestinian Simon Wiesenthal hunts these monsters down and brings them to trial in The Hague.

iffen , October 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm GMT
NPR Morning Edition 10/17/17

Rachel Martin talks to Vahil Ali, the communications director for the Kurdish president.

In which she tries to steer him into calling for armed American intervention in Kurdistan to resist the Iranian sponsored militia.

LondonBob , October 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT
The lobby is not as powerful in Britain as it is the US, we can talk about it and someone like Peter Oborne is still a prominent journalist, but I don't see that it makes that much difference. We seem to end up in the same places the US does.
Sherman , October 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT
I had my meeting with the Rothschilds, Goldman Sachs and the Israeli Department of Hasbara last week and we discussed how our plan to suppress both the US and British governments is progressing.

Apparently we are meeting our targets and everything is going according to plan.

Thanks for update Phil!

ChuckOrloski , October 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm GMT
@geokat62

Hey geokat62,

Speaking about how greatly rare a treasure are the P.G.'s words, below is linked a deliberately rare letter written by Congressman Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of the AZC.

http://www.israellobby.org/azcdoj/congress/defaultZAC .

Also, re, "Will Americans allow themselves to be lied into another M.E. war?"

(Sigh)

History shows that, in order for ZUSA to start M.E. wars, Americans are routinely fed Executive Branch / Corporate Media-sauteed lies. Such deceit is par-for-the-course.

At present, it would be foolish for me to not realize there is a False Flag Pentagon plan "on the table" & ready for a war with Iran.

Jake , October 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT
What is playing out in the UK, and is in early stages in America, is the fight between the two side of Victorian WASP pro-Semtiism.

WASP culture has always been philo-Semitic. That cannot be stated too much. WASP culture is inherently philo-Semtic. WASP culture was born of Anglo-Saxon Puritanism, which was a Judaizing heresy. Judaizing heresy naturally and inevitably produces pro-Jewish culture. No less than Oliver Cromwell made the deal to get Jewish money so he could wage culture war to destroy British Isles natives were not WASPs.

WASP culture has always been allied with Jews to destroy white Christians who are not WASPs. You cannot solve 'the Jewish problem' unless you also solve 'the WASP problem.'

By the beginning of the Victorian era, virtually all WASP Elites in the Empire – who then had a truly globalist perspective – were divided into two pro-Semitic camps. The larger one was pro-Jewish. It would give the world the Balfour Declaration and the state of Israel.

The smaller and growing one was pro-Arabic and pro-Islamic. It would give the world the people who backed Lawrence of Arabia and came to prop up the House of Saud.

Each of these philo-Semitic WASP Elites groups was more than happy to keep the foot on the pedal to destroy non-WASP European cultures while spending fortunes propping up its favorite group of Semites.

And while each of those camps was thrilled to ally to keep up the war against historic Christendom and the peoples who naturally would gravitate to any hope of a revival of Christendom, they also squabbled endlessly. Each wished, and always will wish, to be the A-#1 pro-Semitic son of daddy WASP. Each will play any dirty trick, make any deal with the Devil himself, to get what he wants.

The Israeli lobby is more powerful throughout the Anglosphere than the Saudi/Arabic lobby, but the Saudi lobby is equally detestable and probably even a more grave threat to the very existence of Western man.

It is impossible to take care of a serious problem without knowing its source and acting to sanitize and/or cauterize and/or cut out that source. The source of this problem is WASP culture.

Michael Kenny , October 17, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT
That the intelligence services of many countries engage in such conduct is not really news. Indeed, you could say that it's part of their normal job. They usually don't get caught and when accused of anything they shout "no evidence!" (now, where have I heard that recently?) Of course, if the Israelis engage in such conduct, then, logically, other countries' services do so too.

Thus, Mr Giraldi's argument lends credibility to the claims that Russia interfered in the US election and to the proposition that US intelligence agents are seeking to undermine the EU.

Since those two operations are part of the same transaction, i.e. maintain US global hegemony by breaking the EU up into its constituent Member States or even into the regional components of the larger Member States, using Putin as a battering ram and a bogeyman to frighten the resulting plethora of small and largely defenseless statelets back under cold war-era American protection, could it be that US and Russian intelligence services collaborated to manipulate Trump into the White House? If that were true, it would be quite a scandal! Overthrowing foreign governments is one thing, collaborating with a foreign power to manipulate your own country's politics is quite another! But of course, there's "no evidence"

Fran Macadam , Website October 17, 2017 at 1:32 pm GMT
Not surprising that the Jewish public gets gamed by Israeli political elites, just as the American public keeps getting gamed by our own cabal of bought politicians. Trying to fool enough of the people, enough of the time, contra Lincoln (who was not exactly a friend of critical dissent against war either .)
Anon , Disclaimer October 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT
@wayfarer

Daphne Caruana Galizia exposed both local thieves and the CIA-Azerbaijan cooperation in supplying ISIS with arms:

https://www.rt.com/news/406963-assange-reward-caruana-galizia-death/ https://www.newsbud.com/2017/10/16/breaking-gladio-b-assassinates-journalist-with-car-bomb/

"Azerbaijan considers Malta to be "one of its provinces": https://daphnecaruanagalizia.com/2017/09/azerbaijan-considers-malta-one-provinces/
The Middle Eastern wars have repercussion .

[Oct 16, 2017] Sic Semper Tyrannis Kurdistan - yet another long term British and US policy triumph

Oct 16, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Iraq was created as a by-product of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War One (1914-1918). The present territory of Iraq had been ruled by the Ottoman Turks for several hundred years. At Versailles the British were given what is now Iraq as a "mandatory territory" with the intention that the area be made independent at some point in the future. Britain decided to cobble together something called the "Kingdom of Iraq" in this mandatory area. There was no Iraqi People when this state was created. There was no group that thought of itself as Iraqi. There were a number of distinct populations that had little in common; Arab Sunni Muslims, Arab Shia Muslims, Kurdish Sunni Muslims, Kurdish Shia Muslims, Kurdish Yaziidis, Turcomans, Assyrian Christians, Chaldean Christians and Jews. None of these groups particularly liked each other. Nor did they like the Hashemite prince that the British installed as their king.

Soon after Iraqi independence was granted in 1925 revolts against the central government's authority began. Kurdish revolts, Arab Revolts, etc. Kurdish and Arab revolts had actually begun before 1925 in the period of direct British rule. The British had actually exiled the Barzani of the day to India. The Kurds of NE Iraq have been more or less in some form of revolt since 1925. There have been periods when either the Talabani or Barzani Kurds have formed temporary alliances with the Baghdad government usually in an effort to screw the other major Kurdish faction but in general the pattern of resistance to Arab rule has been persistent.

The history of the State of Iraq from 1925 until the destruction of the state by the US in 2003 was characterized by a continual effort by the various Baghdad government to create an Iraqi national identity that subsumed the various groups that had happened to be in what became Iraq's sovereign territory. IMO the emergence of Iraqi Man was still a work in progress when US invasion halted the process.

A new Iraqi state emerged under US occupation and covert Iranian tutelage. This state is dominated by Shia Arabs. IMO if a choice must be made in the future between the US as a sponsor or Iran the Shia government will turn away from the US and face east. The Borgists believe that the US should have refused to withdraw its forces from Iraq and that the US will be able to refuse a future Iraqi demand for US withdrawal. It is a big mistake to think the US could do that. A refusal would inevitably lead to another country wide guerrila rebellion against the US.

In the present circumstance the US has encouraged both the KRG and the Baghdad government to think that it is our one true love. Since these two historic actors have mutually exclusive and deeply held goals and desires, that was a very foolish thing for the US to do.

Will there be a secessionist war? Probably there will be such a war. The oil in the north of Iraq certainly exacerbates the crisis since the new Kurdish state would need the income to survive.

As Churchill said. "just one damned thing after another." pl

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41631697

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_Kurdistan

Posted at 11:31 AM in Iran , Iraq , Middle East , Turkey Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments

Laura , 16 October 2017 at 11:47 AM

Thank you. Clear, concise and pithy! I wish you were still "in the rotation" of the talking heads...
Clueless Joe , 16 October 2017 at 11:52 AM
McCain warning Baghdad that there will be "severe consequences" if US-provided equipment and US-trained army keep on being used against the Kurds and not against ISIS will only push them further towards Iran and, to a lesser extent, Russia.
In a way, Borgists should actually be glad this happens now, since this ties up a lot of Iraqi forces and PMU that could be sent West and might help SAA - if not directly, at least indirectly by destroying ISIS and helping SAA to take over the East.
Rd , 16 October 2017 at 11:55 AM
"As Churchill said. "just one damned thing after another.""

Looks like US FP is betting on the wrong horse again!!!, same for the Barzani clan. the question could be, would this be the end of Barzani?

The Twisted Genius , 16 October 2017 at 12:37 PM
Most reports are saying the Iraqi Army and PMU are quickly gaining control of Kirkuk and the nearby oilfields. The PUK Peshmerga withdrew from these areas refusing to fight the Iraqi Army. The KDP Peshmerga are not putting up much of a fight. This all sounds very familiar. I wonder if the Green Berets are once again watching forces they trained squaring off against each other. I know how that feels.
JamesT , 16 October 2017 at 12:51 PM
It seems to me this whole Iraqi Kurdistan thing blew up as the SAA and the SDF found themselves facing off east of the Euphrates. If the PMU were not occupied in Iraq I assume they would be in eastern Syria helping the SAA secure the Baghdad to Damascus highway and those oil fields east of the Euphrates. The referendum in Iraq seems timed perfectly to help the Kurds in Syria take more territory.
A.Pols , 16 October 2017 at 12:52 PM
It's a good summation of the last 100 years. Ah, Perfidious Albion!!

It can be tough for divergent elements to make common cause voluntarily, but to be forced together by someone neither one likes is a dog that won't hunt.
Why are we led by people with "Halitosis of the intellect"?
(Credit given to harold Ickes)

The Twisted Genius , 16 October 2017 at 01:00 PM
The USG has chosen a side. US embassy spokesman quoted as saying: "We support the peaceful reassertion of federal authority, consistent with the Iraqi Constitution, in all disputed areas." I'm sure the YPK in Rojava are hearing this loud and clear.
outthere , 16 October 2017 at 01:26 PM
Why You Should Read These Military Classics
They tell us much about service life and futile imperial adventures.
By Andrew J. Bacevich • October 16, 2017

There are, in my judgment, three great novels that explore American military life in the twentieth century. They are, in order of publication, Guard of Honor (1948) by James Gould Cozzens, From Here To Eternity (1951) by James Jones, and The Sand Pebbles (1962) by Richard McKenna.

The first is a book about airmen, set at a stateside air base during World War II. The second is a soldier's story, its setting Schofield Barracks in the territory of Hawaii on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In The Sand Pebbles, the focus is on sailors. It takes place in China during the 1920s when U.S. Navy gunboats patrolled the Yangtze River and its tributaries.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-bother-reading-these-military-classics/

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 01:40 PM
TTG

I have very little confidence in the USG being able to follow a clear policy in Iraq. pl

Linda -> turcopolier ... , 16 October 2017 at 02:04 PM
Amen! It seems to me that we had very little thought (or none) about the consequences when we started training and deploying th3 peshmerga for Iraq or Turkey. This current situation was easy to see coming
LeaNder -> Linda... , 16 October 2017 at 02:32 PM
Linda, you feel it had been wiser to simply let the Daesh forces take over both regions in Iraq and Syria?
DJK , 16 October 2017 at 01:44 PM
In 1920 the population of Iraq was under 3 million; now it's about 37 million and growing fast. It's a little unfair to blame Britain (I know, everyone does...) for not forseeing problems 100 years hence in a country of ten times the size.
Serge -> DJK... , 16 October 2017 at 03:51 PM
DJK,
The organized ethic cleansing of dozens of Assyrian Christian villages in what is now kurdistan by Sunni and yazidi Kurds(what a twist!)didn't occur in 2000s,it occurred in 1933
The Beaver -> DJK... , 16 October 2017 at 04:12 PM
@ DJK

Reading the diaries of Gertrude Bell may make you think otherwise !

Especially this one: http://gertrudebell.ncl.ac.uk/letter_details.php?letter_id=228

We shall, I trust, make it a great centre of Arab civilization and prosperity; they were bent on a Turco-Prussian steam roller which would have flattened out, if it could, all national qualities and characteristics. And now we've got to keep the other ideal well before us; that will be my job partly, I hope, and I never lose sight of it.

mike , 16 October 2017 at 01:57 PM
Colonel –

It started long before 1925. There was a Kurdish uprising against the Abbasid Caliphate in the 9th Century. There were several more in the following centuries against various dynasties, continuing up until the Second Mahmud Barzanji revolt in 1922. Those are only in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan and do not include the many other uprisings in Iran and Turkey.

Bill Herschel , 16 October 2017 at 01:59 PM
This is wildly off-topic and must be treated as such.

In the Times today we read about the U.S. going through a routine exercise to evacuate U.S. dependents in South Korea in the event of war. Apparently, the U.S. military is going out of its way to emphasize the routine nature of this exercise.

In the financial news we have an entity called the Korea Fund.

https://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE:KF

It is behaving as though there is absolutely no threat of war on the peninsula at all. None.

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 01:59 PM
DJK

IMO it is quite fair to blame Britain as well as the US for this mess. It was the British who decided to structure the country the way it is. from this all else followed. pl

Fredw , 16 October 2017 at 02:03 PM
"I have very little confidence in the USG being able to follow a clear policy in Iraq."

I'll second that. I think it is up to the Kurds to work out a policy that leaves them strong at the end of this. I can imagine them winning such a war, but it is hard for me to see how they then make that work. Their oil has to go out somewhere to support their state, i.e. though Iraq, Iran, Turkey, or Syria. None of those neighbors is likely to be very friendly, but maybe they can work that out. On the other hand it seems a good bet that Iraqi government capabilities will begin to deteriorate almost immediately once ISIS is removed. The Kurds need a vision and a policy to keep as independent and as strong as possible. Their call.

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 02:19 PM
mike

Well, I had to start somewhere, but you are right. The Kurds have always been difficult. BTW, the Kurds typically do not revere Saladin whom they consider to have been very Arabicized. pl

eakens , 16 October 2017 at 02:40 PM
The Kurds are morons for buying the snake oil they were being sold. They were running scared in Erbil. What makes them think they would have fared any better, without the Iranian help they cried out for to defend Erbil.
mike , 16 October 2017 at 02:47 PM
Colonel -

Difficult? Yes, like the Irish, the Scots and the Indian revolts and mutinies against the British. And I suppose the American colonials were thought of as difficult and ungrateful by George III.

They are the new deplorables. Yet they stood standfast against Daesh several years ago when the Iraqi Army ran in panic.

outthere , 16 October 2017 at 02:55 PM
A significant piece of modern history of Iraq not mentioned: the 1920 Iraqi Revolt. This revolt against British rule began as joint sunni and shia. And it had some serious success. It began with peaceful demonstrations and protests, which were dismissed by British officials. The British managed to crush the revolt by making a deal with the minority sunnis, which offered them leadership of Iraq and ruling status over majority shia, in return for turning against the revolt. The British under direction of Winston Churchill, bombed shia areas, including the use of "poison fas against uncivilized tribes". The shia were crushed, the sunni were empowered, and Faysal was installed. This form of minority rule lasted until Bush/Cheney were forced by Sistani to hold fair elections.
b , 16 October 2017 at 03:05 PM
I find it difficult to talk of "the Kurds"

There are four Kurdish languages who are not mutually understandable. There are a dozen religions among Kurds though a majority are (Sufi) Sunni. They have been schooled and socialized in four different states. There are tribal conglomerates or clans like the Barzani and Talibani which have their own political parties and are led by patriarchal family mafias. There are members of the anarcho-marxist cult of Özalan while neighboring Salafi Kurds have joined ISIS to then kill the neighbouring Yezidi Kurds. None of these groups has any enlightened or democratic understanding of the world.

The Kurds never got a state and will never get one because they are so hugely diverse and have little national unity. They will rather fight each other than accept some common leadership.

Since the 1950s the Zionist have build up the Barzani Kurds as a counter-force to the Arabs. Israel was the only country that supported Barzani's independence vote gimmick. It is the worst ally the Barzani-Kurds could have chosen as all surrounding countries hate Israel.

Frank , 16 October 2017 at 03:32 PM
Good precis.
outthere , 16 October 2017 at 04:37 PM
"The difference is that George W Bush was being urged towards the Iraq conflict by people in his administration who were neo-cons. They were civilians who were demanding military action. In the case of Trump we have people in the administration who are military but who are the moderates urging restraint. That is very interesting, isn't it?" Blix reflected.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-iran-nuclear-deal-risks-repeating-errors-in-iraq-a8003376.html

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:37 PM
b

I don't have a problem with any of that but I have to write for a more general audience. pl

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:39 PM
outthere

I should have included that. It strengthen my case for the structural instability of Iraq. pl

turcopolier , 16 October 2017 at 04:39 PM
mike

You left the Confederates out of your list but they too were crushed in the end. In the case of both our wars for independence foreign intervention was crucial. You either had it or you failed. pl

[Oct 16, 2017] The End Of The Kurdish Independence Project

Oct 16, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Iraq - The End Of The Kurdish Independence Project

Today the Iraqi government took Kirkuk back from occupying Kurdish forces. This marks the end of the Kurdish independence project in Iraq.

in 2014 the Islamic State occupied Mosul. At the same time the regional Kurdish government under Masoud Barzani sent its Peshmerga troops to take the oil rich city of Kirkuk from the collapsing forces of the central Iraqi government. There were plausible allegations and some evidence (vid) that the Kurds had made a deal with ISIS and coordinated the move.

In 2016 and 2017 Iraqi forces defeated ISIS in Mosul. Kurdish groups took the opportunity of the ISIS defeat to occupy further land, even as that did not have a Kurdish majority population and did not belong to their autonomous region.

bigger

The red lined area is the autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq as accepted by the Iraqi constitution. The red dotted line is the additional area the Kurds captured and at times controlled.

The Iraqi government insisted that the situation be turned back to the pre-2014 lines. The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arab. Kirkuk produces two-third of all oil in north Iraq. There was not a chance that any central government of Iraq would leave the city and these riches to Kurdish occupiers.

bigger

But the Kurdish leaders did neither think nor listen. The leading Barzani clan and his KDP party, long associated with Israel , tried to solidify their resource robbery. On September 25 they held an "independence referendum" in all areas under their control. All countries, except Israel, spoke out against this move.

But Barzani was urged on by the Zionists and international neo-conservatives:

Bernard-Henri Lévy meeting Masoud Barzani - September 30 2017 - bigger

As I remarked at the time of that meeting:

This is the death sentence for the Kurdish independence project. No cause [Bernard-Henri Lévy] supported has ever had a happy ending.

Egged on, Barzani continued his path. He threatened to proclaim Kurdish independence from the Iraqi state.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi could not condone such an unconstitutional insurrection. He sent his troops to restore the 2014 lines of control, starting with the oil rich areas around Kirkuk. During the last three days the Iraqi army, national police and counter-terrorism units, all hardened by the fight against the Islamic State, were marched onto Kirkuk. An ultimatum was issued for the Kurdish Peshmerga to leave the area. Barzani insisted on staying. He even called in PKK fighters from Turkey to help him keep the city.

Last night the inevitable happened. The Iraqi government forces moved forward and, after a few skirmishes, the Kurdish Peshmerga ran away. It is not clear who, if anyone, ordered them to retreat. Some Peshmerga units arrested other Peshmerga units. No one seemed to be in command.

As of now the Iraqi government is back in control at the Kirkuk airport, the military garrisons and the oil fields and refinery installations. Kirkuk city itself is untouched. There are reports that everyone associated with the Kurdish regional government is moving out.

The U.S., which had provided both sides with weapons and training, had no real idea what was going on and took no side. Without U.S. support the Kurdish forces had no air-support and no chance to win any fight. Kirkuk is lost for them and the other areas they occupied since 2014 will follow.

Barzani has lost his high stake gamble.

The dreams of an independent Kurdistan in Iraq have just been buried again. Masoud Barzani's position has been weakened significantly. This huge blunder might cost him his head. The Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has gained in standing and is now in position to win next years election.

These events will also have consequences for the Kurdish position in Syria. They demonstrate that they can not hope for continued U.S. support and will have to reconcile with the Syrian government. The idea of some autonomous or even independent Kurdish entity in Syria is, as of today, also dead.

Madmen | Oct 16, 2017 4:49:32 AM | 1

Until the various Middle Eastern sects and groups learn that they are being divided and conquered by external forces that sell them weapons and buy their US dollar donominated oil they will continue to repeat the same stupid mistakes ass their forefathers.
Quintus Sertorius | Oct 16, 2017 5:20:50 AM | 2
You can expect Mossad or CIA to send in more ISIS fighters to the region, both to northern Iraq, to weaken and undermine the position of the Iraqi government, and to Iraqi Kurdistan proper. The chaos-loving Zionists are not going away without a fight.
papa | Oct 16, 2017 5:24:57 AM | 3
the ones who committed crimes against the Turkmen and Asyrians will probably flee to EU, Germany and Austria particularly. is the EU prepared?
Alexander P | Oct 16, 2017 5:25:28 AM | 4
I think it would be premature to call the fall of Kirkuk as the definite sign of the empire's intention. The US is pushing for war with Iran and anything that furthers that agenda will do even if it means giving Abadi some leeway in Iraq. Similarly, just because the US "abandoned" Barzani doesn't mean they will do the same in Syria.

While I welcome the latest moves in Iraq as it will hopefully solidify Baghadad's control over the country, Kurdish independence movement is far from over and will be continuously used by the Anglo-Zionist entity when need arises.

Truist | Oct 16, 2017 5:25:31 AM | 5
Anything can happen going forward. But as of today, Iraq and Iran are clear winners with Russia and Syria are behind them. Erdogan and Turkey are clear losers (Kurdistan might be dead but Kirkuk under Iran influence is clear threat to Turkish influence (!) in Kirkuk.
ALAN | Oct 16, 2017 5:58:21 AM | 6
Iran's Top General Meets With Kurdish President Barzani As U.S. Neocons Push For War http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-15/irans-top-general-meets-kurdish-president-barzani-neocons-push-war
Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 6:16:28 AM | 7
The Iraqi government forces moved forward and, after a few skirmishes, the Kurdish Peshmerga ran away.
Although I don't follow Twitter, my understanding was that the city of Kirkuk has not yet fallen. I'm not surprised if the Peshmerga ran. If you don't get paid, you don't fight. They've run away on a good number of occasions, but it's always hushed up in the MSM (because Kurds are noble, aren't they?). They don't fight if they're not heavily supported by air-strikes, but I don't see the US coming in on Erbil's side. On the other hand, as I suggested yesterday, things may be done under the table to slow the Iraqis down. The Kurds will really be up the creek, if they lose the Kirkuk oil-fields.
john | Oct 16, 2017 6:35:12 AM | 8
...and the Council on Foreign Relations eats some more shit, err, i mean, crow .
Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:18:23 AM | 9
The Kurds are not a homogenous group. General Fadhil Barwari ("Golden division"), one of the top Iraqi military leaders in the Kirkuk action, is an ethnic Kurd.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DMO2_RyW4AAI5dl.jpg

Some Kurds were active members of ISIS, taking part in executions of prisoners. https://steemit-production-imageproxy-thumbnail.s3.amazonaws.com/U5dr4xUmBp2FVFkCUr89XCDBgoZPVna_1680x8400

AS for the position in Syria, the means to deal with the Kurds/SDF has already been established. They either renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution or get herded into an area where they can be reduced to dust if necessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:25:34 AM | 10

AS for the position in Syria, the means to deal with the Kurds/SDF has already been established. They either renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution or get herded into an area where they can be reduced to dust if necessary.

Posted by: Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:25:34 AM | 10 /div

Peter AU 1 | Oct 16, 2017 7:40:00 AM | 11
Since Mosul, there has been very little action in Iraq against ISIS, I take it due to Iraq having to counter Barzani. The Barzani territory grab and referendum - a little more US bullshit to prolong the existance of ISIS?
V. Arnold | Oct 16, 2017 7:56:14 AM | 12

Anonymous | Oct 16, 2017 7:18:23 AM | 9
The Kurds are not a homogenous group.

That is important to understand; the Kurds are tools; to be used by the U.S. to meet the U.S.'s ends and no more. During the Iraq/Iran war the Kurds were encouraged to revolt; they did; and were gassed by Saddam. The U.S. did nothing to support the Kurds; many thousands died.
For whatever reason the Kurds still work with/for the U.S. is a mystery to this one.

Are they stupid, greedy...or what?

Truly, I do not understand their motives; and, once again, they are being betrayed; a culture of victims???????

Petri Krohn | Oct 16, 2017 8:04:18 AM | 14
U.S. PROXIES vs. U.S. PROXIES - WHO WILL WIN?

Which side will the U.S. take? A war is staring in Iraq and Syria between the Kurds and just about everyone else. In Iraq the U.S. is training, arming, and supporting both the Iraqi government and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Is Syria they support both the Kurds and the anti-Kurdish fake FSA.

Even Finland is involved, a 100 strong Finnish unit is embedded with the Peshmerga as trainers and advisers. Except that part of the unit may now be embedded with the government forces.

Adam Garrie speculates that "Iraqi Kurds' unwillingness to negotiate with Baghdad, indicates they are banking on foreign support"

Is there any logic in this? The U.S. logic seems to be to strengthen the Iraqi Kurds so they will weaken the Iraqi army which will strengthen ISIS to weaken the Syrian SAA which will give and edge to U.S. proxies, the Syrian Kurds. At play today, the Omar oilfields in ISIS-held Syria. From WaPo yesterday:

Iraqi forces launch operation for Kurdish-held oil fields, military base

Earlier in the day Col. Ryan Dillon, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad had described the situation as "stable" but said the "heightened tension" was distracting from the fight against Islamic State militants.

After recapturing the city of Hawija, Iraqi forces were supposed to deploy to the borders with Syria to stamp out the last pockets controlled by Islamic State militants.

The latest:

It looks like the Iraqi forces are advancing. RT reports :

Iraqi troops have captured several key Kurdish Peshmerga-controlled positions near Kirkuk and continue to advance, Reuters reports, citing the Iraqi military. Earlier, troops deployed to secure Kirkuk clashed with Kurds in the disputed area.

The Iraqi armed forces gained control of roads and infrastructure near Kirkuk from Kurdish fighters, including the North Gas Company station, a nearby oil processing plant, and the industrial district south of the city. The military also captured Kirkuk's K-1 Air Base from Kurdish forces, a military statement says, according to Reuters.

But where did the Western mainstream media go? Are they hiding their heads in the sand? Google prioritizes "Fake News" and "Russian disinformation" in their top stories section. The three top stories for the search "Peshmerga" on Google just now are from 1) rudaw - Kurdish propaganda 2) RT - Russian propaganda 3) Al Masdar News - another source for "Russian disinformation" and "fake news".

Mina | Oct 16, 2017 8:06:57 AM | 15
#1
As long as their "friends" tell them they have the bigger one, it won't change.
Even the BBC is now saying the Peshmerga have done a runner.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16

Even the BBC is now saying the Peshmerga have done a runner.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16 /div

somebody | Oct 16, 2017 8:30:10 AM | 17
Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 8:15:08 AM | 16

Which shows intelligence. German radio reports that Kirkuk Peshmerga are/were members of close to Iran PUK .

Clueless Joe | Oct 16, 2017 9:10:40 AM | 18
@11 Peter AU 1
Actually, Iraqi troops spent the last month reducing the sizable Hawija pocket, which ISIS hold close to Kurdish lines and to Kirkuk itself. IAF and PMU obviously didn't want to face a rear-attack by ISIS before dealing with Kirkuk. And odds are that some troops who took part in the Hawija cleaning up are involved on the Kirkuk front right now.
Glen Etzkorn | Oct 16, 2017 9:29:35 AM | 19
Perhaps this might well and rightly curb aspects of the greater Israel and Turkey oil scams during this period when for example Syria lost 32 billion in underpriced oil that ended up being sold cheaply to provide and cover Israel and others export of weapons in the region to many of the opposition groups. Obviously it was not all their money in the game.
AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 9:38:29 AM | 20
Just going to throw in my tuppence worth and run! ))

In my humble opinion what we are seeing is a two-fold position against Kurdish forces.

In Iraq we are seeing the true nature of the Erdogan (US?) / Barzani game unfolding to facilitate open conflict with PKK / HPG in Kirkuk: Barzani hiking up his skirts and legging it as he did in Mosul, Sinjar etc - always has been a Turkish/ ISIS / US useful turncoat, and he has done it again – facilitating the divide and conquer of the 'Kurds'. (Interestingly, many of our respected independent pundits have played their biased role in this game deliberately conflating the various Kurdish groups as one 'Kurds' - even Magnier was talking about how Kurds fled Sinjar allowing him to avoid clarifying that Peshmerga fled, PKK fought and liberated!! A very malicious and systematic demonization of the Kurds has been carried out recently by mass media and independent media alike (There are exceptions, of course) I too want to see the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq but that does not equate with having to perpetuate the decades old persecution of ethnic groups!!)

In Idlib, we see a holding position against YPG etc. - As Erdogan puts it 'to prevent a terrorist corridor' same thing he said when he was given the green-light to move into Jerablus and when Erdogan says 'terrorist' we must be clear that he means Fetocular and Kurds! ISIS are always identified separately!

Having lost badly in the Syria, his focus is to ensure that his war against the Kurds is fought anywhere but on Turkish soil, and this is what we are seeing again. As for Al Qaeda, it is so inherently linked to Muslim Brotherhood that Erdogan will never turn on them. It goes beyond ideology to mafia / business dealings lets not foget.

Russia's silence, (?) is not surprising, I have to say. It supports territorial integrity and I think, some kind of federal or power-sharing solution in Syria, probably Iraq as well. To this end it is pragmatic to ensure a balance of powers at the negotiating table, and so we see the Astana agreement 'holding position' in Syria and the return to 2014 (?) Kurdish borders in Iraq.

Additionally, there was a very interesting letter / memo / article, not sure, by Davutoglu the other day calling for a freeze to the hostilities in Kirkuk and an equal power sharing agreement to be drawn up between the three parties reducing the majority Kurdish population to having no voice whatsoever! Laughable and typical Turkish bollocks. If I can find an English translation I shall post it here.

And can anyone verify Erdogan's claim that US has agreed to halt the fight against ISIS in order to concentrate on Kirkuk?

AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 10:10:38 AM | 21
"The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arabs"
WTF?
Turkmen have always been a small minority. Demographics have changed recently, granted, but not so significantly! This sentence is clearly intended to deceive. Next you'll be quoting Cavusoglu's "Kirkuk is 78% Turkmen"!

Who wrote this second piece?

chris m | Oct 16, 2017 10:15:35 AM | 22
US has already destroyed Iraq at least 3 times
1)1990s war;sanctions
2)2003 war
3) since 2003 "Arab spring/winter etc (via IsiS)

the ROW keeps trying to put Iraq back together again ;the US tries its damndest to keep the fire going wherever there's a conflict in the world, US comes along and tries to make it even worse. Syria conflict was a dream come true

Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 10:21:02 AM | 23
AtaBrit

There's no systematic demonization of the Kurds. That's ridiculous. Just a little of the truth has been allowed to come out against massive pro-Kurdish propaganda on the MSM. You may like the Kurds in Turkey, but it's not the same in Iraq, with Syria somewhere in between.

You're wrong on what happened in 2014. The Peshmerga did do a runner, and shamefully abandoned the Yazidis (who are Kurds, don't forget). It was the Rojavans (not actually the PKK, but friends with), who crossed the border from Syria, went up the mountain and brought a lot of Yazidis down. The Kurds didn't come back until much later (2015, I think).

The Peshmerga have just repeated 2014 today. According to the BBC at midday, there are only local armed Kurds resisting the Iraqi advance. All this that happened in 2014 was effaced from the MSM. It won't be so easy this time.

AtaBrit | Oct 16, 2017 10:24:54 AM | 24
"But Barzani was urged on by the Zionists and international neo-conservatives"

Silly me. I had thought it wqs Turkey that had flown the Kurdistan flag at AtaTurk Airport to welcome Barzani! Immediately after the Erdogan / Barzani meeting the 'plan' was hatched: TNon Iraqi Turkmen appeared in Kirkuk the Turkmen flag raised against the PKK flag, Barzani started 'linking' Iraqi Kurdish hopes with PKK hopes creatibg a faux 'Kurdish bloc' which in fact did not exist, but began the 'cobflation' of different Kuridsh groups as one and the groundwork for the game now being played out was laid.

Only months before this meeting the independent media were lambasting Barzani for illegally remaining in power and praising those who demonstrated against him ... Everything changed with that Erdogan/ Barzani meeting.

Maybe Israel jumped on the bandwagon later, but only as a means to demonose the 'Kurds'. Any association with Osrael would kill any standing that the 'Kurds' had, surely.

It reminds me of the very ominous and concisely worded press conference held by then Turkish President Gul and newly elected Rouhani after their first and only meeting. They said that the two countries would be like France and Germany - still sont understand that one; and that there would be an ens to terrorism in the region. At that time I thought that Kurdush grouos would be in for a hiding! Of course,not Barzani though!

Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 10:28:41 AM | 25
AtaBrit
"The vast majority of the people in Kirkuk are Turkmen and Arabs" WTF?

The Kurds are not majority either. They've been importing Kurds to settle in Kirkuk. What is clear is that the Kurds have no legal right to occupy Kirkuk. It's an occupation of Baghdad territory by force, which has been allowed so far (and apparently you are in favour of military conquest giving rights, although it's strictly forbidden in the UN). The Erbil Kurds have been allowed to carry out a lot of illegality recently, but like the Israelis, it'll remain illegitimate, and so temporary.

AriusArmenian | Oct 16, 2017 12:07:35 PM | 26
The Kurds have put themselves into a vice by going in with the US.
Laguerre | Oct 16, 2017 12:51:20 PM | 27
Masdar
DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:20 P.M.) – Moments ago, the Iraqi Armed Forces and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) imposed full control over the city of Kirkuk after surrounding it from three flanks, thereby prompting a mass retreat by a Kurdish Peshmerga garrison that narrowly avoided being encircled.

Hundreds of Humvees, BMP-1's and technicals could be seen rolling towards the city centre around noon after entering Kirkuk from the city's western and southern gates, prompting a mass exodus of civilians trying to flee towards Kurdish-held territory along the highway.

I'm quite surprised it was so fast. The US and Israel didn't have time to react.

[Oct 12, 2017] Secession and Catalonia What is a Nation

Oct 12, 2017 | www.unz.com

It becomes complicated. If the question of secession -- and not just secession of, as in the case of California, but of any entity -- really be examined, then wide variations in culture, history, ethnicity, economics and politics should be considered, taken into consideration.

While secession can be a viable and satisfactory solution to insoluble national problems, it is not always in every case advisable. There may be good reasons for a region, or a state, or a province to depart from a larger entity. I would argue strongly that the painful decision by the Southern states of the United States to secede from the American union in 1860-1861 was largely justified on historical, cultural and economic reasons, not to mention the politics involved.

Actually, the departures of those eleven states (or, actually, thirteen if you count the illegally thwarted departures of Kentucky and Missouri) came in two waves: the first began with South Carolina and continued with the exit of several Deep South states. Lincoln's call in April 1861 for troops to suppress South Carolina shocked the constitutional sensibilities of additional states in the Upper South, several of which had resisted the initial impulse to join the secession. And by early summer the Confederate States of America was a functioning nation, albeit a country facing invasion from its powerful former co-citizens.

But, I can think of instances when secession -- that is, the break-up of larger nations or empires -- is not only inadvisable, but positively injurious not only to the whole, but also to the respective seceding parts. The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically. What was produced by the Treaties of Saint-Germain and Trianon was a succession of angrily dissatisfied, uber-nationalist states and displaced ethnic minorities imprisoned in new, arbitrary and irrational geographical expressions, waiting for the next powder keg to explode.

Interestingly, it was the heir to the wizened old Kaiser, Franz Josef, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who advocated additional decentralization of the old empire, with a third, Slavic kingdom, to join Austria and Hungary in a tripartite monarchy. That he and his wife, Sophie, were cruelly assassinated in Sarajevo in July 1914 by a Serbian nationalist, not only put into motion the coming of the First World War, but stymied what might have been a revitalized, regionalist future for the creaky old Habsburg Empire.

The castration of the ancient Russian homeland more recently is another case of good (American) intentions gone awry: the creation of new artificial states such as Byelorussia and Kazakhstan was not only historically and politically wrongheaded, but economically ill-advised. President Vladimir Putin's statement -- rightly understood -- that the break-up of the Soviet Union was one of the greatest disasters of the 20 th century was intended in this sense (and not , as some Russophobic Neocons attempt to construe it, as a lament for Communism!).

Talking to a friend recently, I expressed some serious skepticism about the recent plebiscite in Catalonia on the question of secession from Spain. My friend, knowing of my longstanding defense of secession historically when it concerns the South, was surprised. I attempted in a very brief discussion to explain why I demurred in the Catalan case, but the conversation was cut short.

What I would suggest is that the simple slogan that secession is always good policy is not really defensible, historically, culturally, economically, ethnically, or politically.

In the case of Catalonia, my arguments against secession are multiple, and range from the very practical and statistical, to the historical and cultural.

Let's start with the historical and cultural. Basically, the medieval County of Barcelona was united under the crown of Aragon in the mid-12 th century. The de facto dynastic union of Aragon and Catalonia (ruled by the Counts of Barcelona) became a de jure one, a legal one, in 1258. Thus, for eight centuries the region has been united with Spain. While the Catalan language, which while distinct from Spanish, is also similar to it, remained the lingua franca of rural areas, Castilian Spanish began to be spoken in more urban areas. But like the other kingdoms and principalities that came together to create Spain, Catalonia retained many of its customs, and regional and historic rights, within the new Spanish monarchy.

Historically, Spain was a composite, a dynastic federation and union of the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Leon, Aragon, Valencia, and then, the Kingdom of Navarra and the Basque territories in the north of the country, plus the formerly Muslim Kingdom of Granada in the South. Indeed, even at the time of the great monarch, Philip II -- supposedly, according to Anglophile and Protestant propagandists of the 16 th century, that all-powerful authoritarian monarch of the early modern era -- Spain was known as "las Espanas," that is, "the Spains," to indicate that King Philip was not actually the absolute king of a unitary, centralized royal state, but rather the monarch over a collection of fiercely regionalist states, each with its own traditions, history and parliaments (or "cortes"), but all together composing a country. Philip was dependent on them for financing his government. Each of those regions, those ancient components, of Spain had legal codes ("recopilaciones de leyes") which guided jurisprudence; those historic and regional rights were called "fueros," which we would render in English to mean "states' rights." Eventually portions of those statutes and legislated customs were cobbled together in a common law for the entire country. Nevertheless, the historic regions jealously guarded their respective traditions, languages, customs and fueros, and continued to do so throughout the remainder of Habsburg Spain into the early 19 th century.

Not only because of the dynastic question, but precisely over those fueros much of Spain underwent a series of bloody civil wars in the 19 th century. And what many foreigners find ironic and incomprehensible is that it was the so-called royalist "absolutistas," the defenders of the ancient regime and the old monarchy, the traditionalists who took the name "Carlists" after the dispossessed rightful heir to the throne, Don Carlos V ("de jure" king of "las Espanas") in 1833, who actually defended the historic regionalism and subsidiary of the old regime. For them it was a powerful king who ruled from Madrid, but who was also limited in his powers by the historic, unbridgeable rights of the "kingdoms" that made up the country, which guaranteed more essential and more local liberties to the citizens. Like the martyred King Charles I of England, who declared at his illegal trial that he was more the defender of the "rights of the good people of England" than the rump parliamentarians, the traditional monarchs in Spain, with the legacy of the patchwork of historic states and their sacralized customs and legal "recopilaciones,"offered far more self-government, far more "liberties" than any centralizing liberal state could or ever would.

During those several civil wars in the 19 th century, Catalonia stood, by and large, with the traditionalist defenders of the ancient regime, the Carlists. It was the Carlists who defended the fueros and who advocated the return of a strong king who actually had power, but whose powers were also circumscribed by the historic regions and traditions of the country. It was the Carlists -- and some of their most perceptive political philosophers (e.g., Jaime Balmes, Francisco Navarro Villoslada, Juan Vazquez de Mella) -- who understood that 19 th century liberalism, despite it slogan of "liberty and equality," would actually do away with and suppress those old regionalist statutes and protections, those intermediate institutions in society, that secured more liberties for the citizens.

Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si." But that means that approximately just 30% of the electorate truly favors independence. And those political groups that most zealously support such a move are on the Left politically. They see the region, which is the most economically successful area of Spain and the most "Europeanized," as able to get a better deal economically within the European Union. They welcome globalism and a unitary European government with themselves also at the helm sharing power.

Of course, it is always good to hit the bloated central government in Madrid in the eye, but at what price?

The present-day proponents of independence do not represent the ancient and best traditions and historic legacy of Catalonia. Their advocacy of Catalan independence is not a comfortable fit with the long history of that region. The nationalism they advance owes far more to the liberal statism of the 19 th century than to the Catalan heritage of local and regional self-rule. Catalonia is not a nation-waiting-to-be-born; its association as one of the integral and historic, largely autonomous regions within Spain is its tradition. Catalonia can best find its destiny in reasserting its role as a largely self-governing region -- but within the historic federation of the Spanish kingdom.

ThreeCranes > , October 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

Good time to address the issue of secession. Krugman was just talking about this at the NYT and like most liberals he assumes that secession is a threat that the coastal states can wield over the benighted interior states. But is this truly a real threat?

I don't think so. First, when the South seceded, the North dragged them back. Today, if every county that voted Trump were to break away from Hillary voters they would take with them the most productive farming, manufacturing, mining, electricity generating sectors of the economy. The coastal Hillary voters are the banking, information sectors of the economy. Now which of the two is independent? Which is dependent?

Right. That's why secession by the heartland would no more be tolerated today than secession was in 1860. The coastal "Elite" are entirely dependent on the heartland for their basic commodities and yet they have no loyalty to the people who dwell there and further, want to displace them with outsiders and can't wait for them to die (even gunning them down in public spaces).

Secession? Hail yeah!

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 10, 2017 at 5:35 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes You make some good points here.

The coastal "Elite" are entirely dependent on the heartland for their basic commodities and yet they have no loyalty to the people who dwell there and further, want to displace them with outsiders and can't wait for them to die (even gunning them down in public spaces).

True. Most of them also have no significant real life skills which matter, bar some hipsters obsessed with organic food–many of them are trying, actually, to grow it and that is a plus. But yes, most people you describe here never spent a day on manufacturing floor, or in the uniform, or anywhere which requires serious labor and uncomfortable existence.

ThreeCranes > , October 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov But more, Andrei. All the hydroelectric dams are locate inland, the mineral deposits, the fertile soil and so on. The coastal are to the people of the heartland as an absentee landlord is to his tenant farmers.

Before 1965, virtually every business located in the downtown of cities of under say, 250,000 citizens was locally owned (some exceptions, Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Ward). Now, every business is a franchise whose central office is in New York City et al. The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing, now own, via money loaned into existence by the Central Bank, America's small town economies. That this doesn't have to be so is proved by the fact that it wasn't always so.

America was a better place to live before the local economies were destroyed and displaced by the global one. We are currently suffering from a plague like the ones imported from the East during the dark days of the Black Death and for the same reason. We are being exposed to the toxic effects of moving people and goods around the world with no regard for the effect this has on local ecologies–cultural or natural. That this is literally killing us is a matter of indifference to our coastal elites.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes

The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing

Agree. But then again, we live in the world where Facebook "capitalization" is several times larger than that of Boeing, which provides half of the world with needed actual high-tech products. B-787 is a marvel. We have Tesla which is one of the most outstanding (together with Musk's "Mars mission") frauds in history. A madhouse. But while agreeing with you in principle, I also have to make some clarifications, I also observed how many, namely from logging industry on the West Coast didn't want to take new opportunities, granted paying less than their logging professions, to turn their life around. The opportunities were there, they just refused. Opportunities were in aerospace, in excellent Air Washington Program (I took advantage of it to get some CNC courses for general horizons expansion) , granted that it required math and more brain-work than usually is required from logging. But no, they just wanted it the way they wanted it. Knowing how logging worked on the West Coast I kinda see why they wanted it back but it will never be back the way it was. Next step for them once it doesn't come back? Well, we have here a massive growth of pot dispensaries, that will take care of the labor force (bitter sarcasm).

Miro23 > , October 11, 2017 at 3:03 am GMT

Catalonia can best find its destiny in reasserting its role as a largely self-governing region -- but within the historic federation of the Spanish kingdom.

One of the best articles ever on Unz, with a great presentation of the historical roots of modern Spain. Maybe it underplays the role of 20th Century leftist internationalism (i.e. Bolshevism light or otherwise) but still , it would correctly see radical international leftism as a new arrival on the scene, mostly burning itself out with the exit of Spanish feudalism .

But, I can think of instances when secession -- that is, the break-up of larger nations or empires -- is not only inadvisable, but positively injurious not only to the whole, but also to the respective seceding parts. The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically.

I'm not so sure about this.

Austria-Hungary, prior to its collapse, wasn't a respectful alliance of largely self-governing regions. There were a lot of other things going on – most notably hopeless race wars focused on Vienna.

Just as an example:

"In the old Austria, nothing could be done without patronage. That's partly explained by the fact that nine million Germans were in fact rulers, in virtue of an unwritten law, of fifty million non-Germans. This German ruling class took strict care that places should always be found for Germans. For them this was the only method of maintaining themselves in this privileged situation. The Balts of German origin behaved in the same way towards the Slav population."

"Hitler's Table Talk". Conversation Nº 109 15th-16th January 1942

and,

"The rise of the Jews in Austria-Hungary may well have been the most sudden , impressive rise of Jews in modern history."

" .all public life was dominated by Jews. The banks, the press, the theater, literature, social organizations, all lay in the hands of the Jews . The aristocracy would have nothing to do with such things . The small number of untitled patrician families imitated the aristocracy; the original upper-middle class had disappeared .. The court, the lower middle class and the Jews gave the city its stamp. And that the Jews, as the most mobile group, kept all the others in continual motion is, on the whole, not surprising."

Albert Lindeman, "Esau's Tears: Modern Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the Jews"

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 11, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

@Anonymous The interior has very little population though and would have trouble holding territory. The interior's farmland could be sabotaged and destroyed and its access to major waterways and water traffic would be cut off. The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.

The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.

Actually, it is the other way around. What coasts? If in the East it could be viewed as a somewhat continuous urban chain in the North-East, the West Coast "elites" reside mostly in Seattle, Portland, SF urban areas, which, while large, are in effect the places of compact residence. As such, they are fairly easily isolated, not to mention the fact of undeniable emasculation of their male residents. They can not find often their own ass with their two hands in a brightly lit room, let alone "lay siege" to anything. This is not to speak of the fact that all, without exception, urban centers depend entirely on "interior" for food. As per interior main cities–as latest elections showed, Ohio or Indiana, which are interior and do contain serious urban centers are not "elitists" states. Neither is Texas, which is also a major urban and port state. In other words, it is a very complex picture.

simplyamazed > , October 11, 2017 at 3:58 pm GMT

Although I agree that this historical overview of Catalonia since the 1200′s is quite good, I still have a few quibbles and one big caveat. First quibble: Catalonia was joined to the kingship of Aragon, but was functionally separate from the State of Aragon and generally left alone by the various kings over the next several centuries. Second quibble: Catalonia rebelled quite regularly since the 1400′s when its neighbours sought to encroach on traditional Catalan rights and prerogatives. It has never been long an easy member of what became the Spanish nation following the reconquest.

My caveat is the part of the history that has been left out. Catalonia existed as a distinct entity or one allied with its (now) French neighbour. Catalonia has had strong ties with its Mediterranean neighbours and with France during its long historical period of development following the fall of Rome in the West. During the existence of El Andelus under caliphate rule and later after various statelets splintered off of the caliphate, Catalonia often allied with the muslim states as well as having strong ties northward. Many of its feudal rulers were descendents of Visigoths who descended out of the decaying Roman Empire and set up rule in many parts of Iberia. This long formative period of Catalan history can still be felt in many Catalan customs and in the Catalan language.

So, is it surprising that a large portion of the people of Catalonia might have a strong independent spirit and outlook. However, I agree that independence in today's context needs more than a vibrant history, language and customs. It needs a strong and functioning administration, government and military to defend itself and its borders. It needs to preserve and protect and grow its economy. It also needs international recognition.

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm GMT

That Mythical Pro-Spanish Majority in Catalonia

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/10/mythical-pro-spanish-majority-catalonia/

The media constantly pumps out the lie that there is a silent anti-independence majority in Catalonia, which is merely curiously invisible.

Consider this. The highest turnout ever at an election in Catalonia was the 74.9% in the 2015 Regional Election, with 4,130.196 people casting their vote. At Spanish general elections turnout is even lower, at 69%. A minimum of 25.1% of the population never vote at all. Of that 25% who do not vote, some will be dead, or moved away, but most are probably just not civilly engaged.

The trick of the pro-Spanish lobby is to boycott polls on Independence, and then claim that this minimum 25% of the electorate who never vote at all anyway, are anti-Independence and participating in the boycott. In truth there are absolutely no grounds to attribute the minimum 25% habitual non-voters as anti-independence. Particularly the dead ones.

So in fact the 2,044,038 votes cast in favour of Independence on Sunday, that survived the police and could be counted, already amounted to 49.6% of the highest number of votes ever cast in any election in Catalonia. When you add in the hundreds of thousands of votes confiscated by the police, and the voters who were deterred by the terrible violence, there is no doubt whatsoever that Sunday's referendum would have seen a healthy majority for Independence on any probable turnout figure ..

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

Most participants here will know virtually nothing about Spain, Catalonia, or even successful confederal models in Europe. Long, complicated topics, so I will make only a few short comments here.

1. The present spanish monarchy essentially involved a murderous dictator designating a king. A poisonous contradiction (restoring a monarchy) was mostly accepted to escape from the murderous dictatorship. There are "republicans" who would like to end the monarchy throughout Spain, including Catalonia. The issue of constitutional reform is now on the table and the Spanish would be wise to get rid of such an anachronism. The country has suffered every time that it has had foreigners as kings, starting with the "germans" Carlos I and Carlos II who bled Spaniards for numerous wars in Europe. The present royal family is of French (the Borbons) and German (Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glücksburg) ancestry. The grandmother of the present king (Felipe VI) can be seen (together with her brothers) dressed in the uniform of the Hitler Youth in numerous web sites.

2. Cataluña is not the only area of Spain that "rebels" against right-wing, centralized control. Similar sentiments are present (to more or less degree) in Pais Vasco, Galicia, Valencia, Baleares, Canarias, . Spain has a centuries long history of failing to deal with the pluri-national nature of the country and seems to be failing once again.

3. There are models of pluri-national confederations/nations that are exemplary instances of how to deal with such problems. Switzerland is perhaps the best known. The "Eidgenossenschaft" (confederation) of the german-speaking areas dates from about 1250 and initially involved seven independent countries, each of which retained its own sovereignity. The model was soon after copied in the french- and italian-speaking areas of modern Switzerland. The present confederation includes 27 kantons (the federal constitution guarantees that they remain sovereign nations, i.e. in principle can withdraw) and 4 different languages. The Kantons retain power over taxes, education, welfare, citizenship, .. Direct democracy reigns at both the national and kantonal level, i.e. citizens can reject/initiate laws by referendum, including kantonal/national taxation/expenditure.

4. Spain actually has a mixed system in which certain "autonomia" (states – Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon) have a status somewhat like Kantons in Switzerland, e.g. a separate status with regard to taxation.

Probably the best thing that Spain could do would be to copy the Swiss model and get rid of the monarchy. Probably even Cataluña could be convinced to join such a model.

AP > , October 11, 2017 at 4:43 pm GMT

Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si." But that means that approximately just 30% of the electorate truly favors independence.

1. The 40% is because the Madrid government interfered with the vote.

2. In the 2016 American election, turnout was 54.7% of whom 46.1% voted from Trump. That's 25.2% of the electorate favoring Trump. In the 2012 election, turnout was 54.9%, 51.1% of whom voted for Obama. That's 28% of the electorate favoring Obama. A higher percentage of Catalonia's electorate favor independence than American electorate favored the last two US presidents.

hyperbola > , October 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm GMT

@AP Macron in France is even less favored by the electorate. But the mainstream media will never mention that.

The Single Party French State as the Majority of Voters Abstain

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/21/the-single-party-french-state-as-the-majority-of-voters-abstain/

.. Macron's victory was both overwhelming and underwhelming. All records of abstention were broken; for the first time in over a century, a majority of eligible voters stayed away from the polls in the first round of the parliamentary elections, and abstention rose to 57% in the second round. He owes his landslide to less than 20% of registered voters ..

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:42 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes But more, Andrei. All the hydroelectric dams are locate inland, the mineral deposits, the fertile soil and so on. The coastal are to the people of the heartland as an absentee landlord is to his tenant farmers.

Before 1965, virtually every business located in the downtown of cities of under say, 250,000 citizens was locally owned (some exceptions, Sears, Penny's, Montgomery Ward). Now, every business is a franchise whose central office is in New York City et al. The coastal elite, having financialized everything in the American economy worth financializing, now own, via money loaned into existence by the Central Bank, America's small town economies. That this doesn't have to be so is proved by the fact that it wasn't always so.

America was a better place to live before the local economies were destroyed and displaced by the global one. We are currently suffering from a plague like the ones imported from the East during the dark days of the Black Death and for the same reason. We are being exposed to the toxic effects of moving people and goods around the world with no regard for the effect this has on local ecologies--cultural or natural. That this is literally killing us is a matter of indifference to our coastal elites. A cogent analysis by all Three Cranes (Martin, Niles, and Fraser?

Seriously, I would offer a partial counter-argument, but only a partial one. The rest of the country buys enormous quantities of fruits, vegetables, and nuts (the jokes write themselves) from California, right? I assume CA would be glad to keep selling to the rest of the USA, but with the farther-left, more anti-white government that would come to power in an independent CA, who knows. They might elect to sell only to other countries, and China and India can buy up anything CA can produce in that regard.

On the other hand, as California grows ever more over-populated, it further exceeds the carrying capacity of this territory. Among other baleful effects, we see that California droughts become more common, more prolonged, and more severe.

There are increasing battles over agricultural producers' access to the scarce water supplies of this State. Dire results seem almost inevitable as the population is allowed to keep growing without an end in sight.

In fact, the loons who run Cali now -- and the even loonier loons who will run an independent Cali -- will make it a badge of honor to show how many Mexicans they can admit to settle on their land, and how fast. That will intensify the drought and hasten the day when Cali can no longer maintain anything like its current ag output. God help them, and us, when that day comes.

ThreeCranes > , October 11, 2017 at 8:48 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov


The coasts have extensive global trade networks and would effectively lay siege on the interior.
Actually, it is the other way around. What coasts? If in the East it could be viewed as a somewhat continuous urban chain in the North-East, the West Coast "elites" reside mostly in Seattle, Portland, SF urban areas, which, while large, are in effect the places of compact residence. As such, they are fairly easily isolated, not to mention the fact of undeniable emasculation of their male residents. They can not find often their own ass with their two hands in a brightly lit room, let alone "lay siege" to anything. This is not to speak of the fact that all, without exception, urban centers depend entirely on "interior" for food. As per interior main cities--as latest elections showed, Ohio or Indiana, which are interior and do contain serious urban centers are not "elitists" states. Neither is Texas, which is also a major urban and port state. In other words, it is a very complex picture. This is going to be a bitter pill for Steve Sailer to swallow, but his beloved California is not the preeminent region in America's economy.

"According to the Brookings Institution, if it stood alone as a country, the Great Lakes economy would be one of the largest economic units on earth (with a $4.5-trillion gross regional product). It contains most of an area urban planners have viewed as an emerging Great Lakes Megalopolis which has an estimated 54 million people."

"If the state were considered separately, it would rank as the sixth largest economy in the world, behind rest of the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that California's GDP was $2.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier."

Let California go. We don't need them with their mealy, inedible vegetables.

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm GMT

@Anonymous You make a great point about the prospect of economic blockade, in effect, by coastal independent Cali against the inland portion of the State that presumably remains with the USA.

First of all, the inland and more rural-to-suburban counties must demand to leave Cali before Cali secedes. They could comprise the new U.S. States of, say, East California and North California.

Second, the non-seceding States -- and by extension the USA -- MUST keep territory leading to the coast, and significant frontage on the Pacific Ocean in northern, central, and southern California, for reasons economic and military above all.

If merely the LA and SF metroplexes, broadly construed, secede, leaving the majority of the State's counties to stay in the USA, that might not be so bad for the rest of the USA.

Here is the website of a California political party advocating eventual negotiated independence:

https://californianational.party/

They are waaaaaay too far left for me, but then, (1) that's why they want to leave the USA, and (2) that's why my wife and I would almost certainly have to pick up stakes and leave LA if Cali seceded, because something like the Cali National Party platform would surely garner a BIG supermajority of support in many of Cali's coastal counties.

P.S. But would the rest of the USA have the balls to prohibit all immigration from the new Third World coastal "Republic" of California? That would need to happen for it to benefit (and not continue gradually balkanizing and destroying) the rest of the USA longer-term.

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov Texas may not be nearly as much a home to America-hating elites as LA, SF, NY, and DC, to be sure, but politically it will become part of that coalition seeking to replace and subjugate European-Americans nationwide. As you know, Texas is going Mexican, and its politics are about to change drastically.

In its current size and form, much of Texas even ten years from now cannot be counted as a reliable ally or as a place for Americans to seek refuge from violence, discrimination, etc.

Perhaps Texas, too, is in need of a peaceful, negotiated break-up into smaller, more manageable, more culturally / socially cohesive States. This needn't entail secession, just new U.S. States whose people are allowed the broad autonomy guaranteed them by the Tenth Amendment. (yeah, I know, cue the laugh track)

I often think that simply adhering to our Constitution would greatly dampen the ardor and perceived need for secession. The Constitution called for very limited powers for the federal government, and conversely very broad autonomy for the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy. Why would California "need' to secede if they were allowed to have whatever laws they want on abortion, homosexual marriage, universal government-funded or government-provided healthcare, etc.? Why would Texas need to secede if they were allowed to have quite the opposite laws, without interference or threat from the fed gov (including the un-elected legislators known as the federal judiciary).

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:04 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov P.S. There are entire counties in south Texas where the population is almost 100% Mexican. Not just right on the border, either.

This phenomenon of immi-vasion keeps spreading northward while we Americans focus on the REALLY important issues like preventing Russians in Crimea from reuniting with Russia & demanding more "rights" for mentally ill people ("transgenders").

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:07 pm GMT

@hyperbola Most participants here will know virtually nothing about Spain, Catalonia, or even successful confederal models in Europe. Long, complicated topics, so I will make only a few short comments here.

1. The present spanish monarchy essentially involved a murderous dictator designating a king. A poisonous contradiction (restoring a monarchy) was mostly accepted to escape from the murderous dictatorship. There are "republicans" who would like to end the monarchy throughout Spain, including Catalonia. The issue of constitutional reform is now on the table and the Spanish would be wise to get rid of such an anachronism. The country has suffered every time that it has had foreigners as kings, starting with the "germans" Carlos I and Carlos II who bled Spaniards for numerous wars in Europe. The present royal family is of French (the Borbons) and German (Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glücksburg) ancestry. The grandmother of the present king (Felipe VI) can be seen (together with her brothers) dressed in the uniform of the Hitler Youth in numerous web sites.

2. Cataluña is not the only area of Spain that "rebels" against right-wing, centralized control. Similar sentiments are present (to more or less degree) in Pais Vasco, Galicia, Valencia, Baleares, Canarias, . Spain has a centuries long history of failing to deal with the pluri-national nature of the country and seems to be failing once again.

3. There are models of pluri-national confederations/nations that are exemplary instances of how to deal with such problems. Switzerland is perhaps the best known. The "Eidgenossenschaft" (confederation) of the german-speaking areas dates from about 1250 and initially involved seven independent countries, each of which retained its own sovereignity. The model was soon after copied in the french- and italian-speaking areas of modern Switzerland. The present confederation includes 27 kantons (the federal constitution guarantees that they remain sovereign nations, i.e. in principle can withdraw) and 4 different languages. The Kantons retain power over taxes, education, welfare, citizenship, .. Direct democracy reigns at both the national and kantonal level, i.e. citizens can reject/initiate laws by referendum, including kantonal/national taxation/expenditure.

4. Spain actually has a mixed system in which certain "autonomia" (states – Pais Vasco, Navarra, Aragon) have a status somewhat like Kantons in Switzerland, e.g. a separate status with regard to taxation.

Probably the best thing that Spain could do would be to copy the Swiss model and get rid of the monarchy. Probably even Cataluña could be convinced to join such a model. I need to learn more about the structure of the government in Spain, and its recent history. Your comment was VERY helpful, thank you

RadicalCenter > , October 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

@AP And imagine if the US had a two-round system for our presidential elections, i.e., top two vote-getters from the first round advancing to a run-off.

We could have seen MILLIONS more people voting Green or Libertarian instead of Trump or Clinton. That system would tell us the real popularity of these "major-party" candidates, which is pitifully low when people feel that they have a realistic alternative and a way to express it through their vote.

Trump and Clinton probably wouldn't get even 30% of the votes each in such a first round. Even farther below the support that Catalonian voters just showed for independence.

Go Catalonia!
Go Scotland!

And while we're at it, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, LA and San Francisco, Portland and Seattle."

Matra > , October 12, 2017 at 2:31 am GMT

@hyperbola I don't consider Spain v Catalonia any of my business so I'm neutral but Murray seems to be an ideologue more interested in narrative than truth. He even claims today's Spaniards had Muslim ancestors, a typical leftist talking point. He's not very credible.

Miro23 > , October 12, 2017 at 2:33 am GMT

@RadicalCenter

The Constitution called for very limited powers for the federal government, and conversely very broad autonomy for the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy.

Very broad autonomy to decide means that they would have to use this autonomy – which is a shockingly different mindset from what exists at present. Each citizen would have to be personally involved in evaluating issues, attending meetings and voting – and the only way I could see this happening is if Civic Democratic participation was compulsory.

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw

My assumption is that most citizens would be too busy or too lazy and disinterested to participate, so it would have to be mandatory, with a penalty of loss of voting rights or even loss of citizenship. The idea is that you are only a citizen as long as you act as a citizen, and it would almost certainly need to combine with a period of compulsory military service for all male citizens to concretize the idea.

the people of each State to decide almost everything except national monetary and foreign policy.

Monetary and foreign policy would have to come back to the states as well. Foreign policy needs to be firmly rooted in full participative state decision making, and FED/Treasury national level credit creation completely halted (we know where that money goes).

The Alarmist > , October 12, 2017 at 5:16 am GMT

With respect to Northern California, the author misses the obvious precedent of West Virginia, which in 1861 was carved out of the western parts of a recently seceded Virginia.

The Alarmist > , October 12, 2017 at 5:21 am GMT

@RadicalCenter Then there's the issue of what to do with the launch facilities of Vandenberg AFB. Will this relationship be like Russia leasing Baikonur from Khazakhstan? Do we have any reason to fear a nuclear armed Southern California with Ballistic Missile Technology? Should Mr. Trump start a pre-emptive bombing campaign now?

Miro23 > , October 12, 2017 at 5:41 am GMT

@Miro23

The idea is that you are only a citizen as long as you act as a citizen, and it would almost certainly need to combine with a period of compulsory military service for all male citizens to concretize the idea.

Also, out-of-state military service would help Americans to get to know each other (Californians to Ohio, Texans to California, Alabamians to Washington State, New Yorkers to Montana or Hawaiians to Alaska).

szopen > , October 12, 2017 at 6:04 am GMT

The dissolution of the old Austria-Hungarian Empire in 1918, for instance, was not only a tragic mistake geopolitically, but made little sense economically, ethnically or historically.

Of course the dissolution of A-H was necessary and it's further existance would be absurd – it woudl also destablize the Europe, because of constant frictions within it. Historically, Poland, Czechia etc were historic nations, who were unwilling to be ruled by Austrians (even though in 1914 Austrians were the best from the three partitioners). I don't know why double standards with respect to southern states and my own country. Don't Poles deserve the same right to live in their own country as southerners?

Hans Vogel > , October 12, 2017 at 7:15 am GMT

Interesting point of view, though I beg to differ on a point or two.

It would seem that your presentation of Catalan claims to independence lacks a few key observations. The union of Spanish crowns actually dates from the late 15th century with the marriage of Queen Isabel of Castile to King Ferdinand of Aragon. While they each continued to rule over their own kingdom, they did coordinate some key policies. Their daughter Juana "la Loca" was the first to rule over the two kingdoms together. "Spain" became a Habsburg land when Juana's son Charles I succeeded in 1517. Spain continued to be ruled by Habsburgs until 1700, when Charles II died without leaving an heir. The heir apparent was Louis XIV's grandson Philip, a Bourbon. However, the Netherlands and England did not want him to succeed and therefore they recognized Charles VI, son of the German Emperor, as King of Spain. In the ensuing War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713/4), the Dutch and English conquered Gibraltar and occupied Catalonia. In the end they had to accept that while Catalonia supported Charles VI, most of the rest of Spain preferred Philip. Once firmly on the throne, the new monarch did not exactly favor Catalonia, to put it mildly. However the seeds for Catalan separatism had now been planted in fertile soil.

As for the point of what constitutes a nation, the answer is simple: anything at all, whether geographic location, language (which really is a "dialect with an army"), wealth, economic specialization, religion (Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks all speak the same language, but Serbs are Orthodox, Croats Roman Catholic and Bosniaks Mohammedan), etc.

Basically, the key elements for constituing a nation are money, time, perseverance, violence and propaganda.

pyrrhus > , October 12, 2017 at 7:46 am GMT

The tyrannical actions of Madrid against a referendum that probably would have failed otherwise, fully justify secession (at least as a threat) at this point. Another point, misunderstood by the author, is that the Catalan language is the primary language spoken in Barcelona and the region around it, and is the official language of the universities and Government. The Basques, who are the most creative group in Spain, also are chafing under Madrid's rule .

Jo King > , October 12, 2017 at 8:28 am GMT

"1258. Thus, for eight centuries the region has been united with Spain".
This is completly false, Spain simply HAS NOT 8 centuries of existence, learn History first, wright after. americans and History, what a difficult relation.

Verymuchalive > , October 12, 2017 at 9:06 am GMT

@Miro23 Yes, an excellent article from Prof Cathey.
And you are right, Miro23, about the role of C 2oth "leftist internationalism" which continues to envelope Barcelona. People living very bourgeois lifestyles would come up to you and spout often very extreme left wing opinions, which you knew they had no intention of following in real life.
My brother, a Post Grad in Spanish History, had to teach in Barcelona for a year as part of his course. I visited him several times. He came to despise Barcelona and its phony Toytown anarchists and other leftists. Neither he nor I have ever felt the desire to return.
Without these Toytown leftists, I doubt there would have been a Referendum at all. Puigdemont needed their support and this was his bribe.

animalogic > , October 12, 2017 at 9:43 am GMT

@hyperbola You are spot on hyperbola. The author here tries to "stick his thumb on the scale"
" Only 40% of the eligible voters in Catalonia participated in the recent plebiscite on possible independence; of those around 90% voted "Si."[my emphasis]
His conclusion ? The plebiscite/referendum lacks popular validity.
Absent, of course, is Madrid's direct sabotage of the vote: ballots "stolen", & voters obstructed from voting (sometimes violently, also psychologically).
Nor, if memory serves, is the 40% that much less than the voter turn- out for some other countries, such as the US.

Alfred > , October 12, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

The story that the WWI is the direct result of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke is an example of Fake News at its best.

In reality, the English planned to take down Germany long before WWI. The Entente Cordiale with France had secret clauses that neither the British parliament nor most of the Cabinet knew anything about.

Winston Churchill switched from Conservatives to Liberals in order to get the Liberals to start the war. As First Lord of the Admirality, he agreed with the French that their fleet should stay in the Mediterranean and the Royal Navy would defend their Atlantic coast.

The British public were in favour of the Prussians and against the Russians and French. All of that was changed in a concerted propaganda campaign that went on for more than 10 years.

Belgium was not a neutral country – the main pretext for getting the UK into the war – as it planned with the British the details of how a large British expeditionary force should deploy into Belgium to fight the Germans – long before 1914.

Lastly, Germany was the last country to mobilise. So much for "German Aggression".

Gene Tuttle > , October 12, 2017 at 10:03 am GMT

Excellent summary of the issue!

I spent much of September in Spain, often trying to reconcile my conviction that Catalan separatists were wrongheaded provincials heading down a dangerous path with my past sympathies for some secessionist movements elsewhere. This article, with its compact history review, was helpful in describing some of the nuances differentiating diverse separatist movements. It shows that different conclusions about which ones are justified need not reflect a double standard.

animalogic > , October 12, 2017 at 10:29 am GMT

@Matra "I'm neutral but Murray seems to be an ideologue . He even claims today's Spaniards had Muslim ancestors, a typical leftist talking point."
Maybe he is an ideologue, but you certainly are.
Although I guess the practice of history is itself typically leftist.
Imagine claiming that modern Spaniards may have Muslim ancestors when Muslim's controlled much of Spain (in ever decreasing area) from 711AD to 1492. I wonder whether a few drops or more of Muslim/Arabic blood my snuck into all that European blood over the course of 100′s of years ?

szopen > , October 12, 2017 at 10:31 am GMT

@Hans Vogel

Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks all speak the same language

It's more complicated than that. There are several dialects in ex-Yugoslavia, crossing through the ethnic lines. The are three dialects in Croatia, and I was told that one (official language) is almost same as Serbian, while two others are as different as almost a different language. If some Croat is here, he could confirm.

Kirt > , October 12, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT

I tend to support popular secessionist movements reflexively, since the ability to opt out is the only thing that gives real meaning to consent of the governed. But if Spain is determined to drown this attempt in a Lincolnesque bloodbath, the Catalans better ask themselves if it is really worth it. Some of us onlookers will wish them well, most won't care, but no one will ride to their rescue.

Jake > , October 12, 2017 at 1:50 pm GMT

The brief synopsis of Spanish history is helpful, and Catalonia is the issue. But the article opens with California, which is the primary interest of almost all of us in terms of secession. Not necessarily CA, but the USA Empire.

Yes, if California secedes, its many 'conservative' peoples and their towns and counties will be even more at the mercy of the ultra looney Left of Hollywood and San Francisco. But that is not a deal-breaker of the idea. The secession of 13 colonies of the British Empire meant that in each of those 13 colonies sizable numbers of pro-Empire people were made very unhappy at losing their concept of nation.

The fact is that there will be no classic secession within the current USA Empire, no state or 2 or 13 will leave with the rest remaining as the USA. If anything comes, it will be a divorce. The entire compact will be abolished, with property divided.

And yes, that splitting of states will mean that we will see movements out of one into the other. We will see more conservative people living in, say, CA or MA or MN, moving to NC or MO or TX. We will see Liberals living in VA and FL and AR fleeing to NY or Chicago or Portland or Seattle.

Wally > , October 12, 2017 at 2:02 pm GMT

@ThreeCranes 'Elite' states secede? Could be interesting.

- 45% of California, for example, is Federal land.

- Without US taxpayers money CA would be a 3rd world country completely filled with unemployable & dumb illegal immigrants.

- Think about this brief list made possible by the US taxpayers / federal government, money CA would not get and then tens of thousands of CA people would lose their jobs (= lost CA tax revenues):

aerospace contracts, defense contracts, fed gov, software contracts, fed gov airplane orders, bases, ports, money for illegal aliens costs, federal monies for universities, 'affirmative action monies, section 8 housing money, monies for highways, monies for 'mass transportation', monies to fight crime, monies from the EPA for streams & lakes, monies from the Nat. Park Service, monies for healthcare, monies for freeloading welfare recipients, and all this is just the tip of the iceberg

- Not to mention the numerous counties in CA which will not want to be part of the laughable 'Peoples Republic of California'.

- And imagine the 'Peoples Republic of California Army', hilarious.

[Oct 10, 2017] National balkanization is very problematic in the context of bringing substantially enhanced economic rights and opportunities to a broad spectrum of the oppressed in a nation's population is consistent with recent history elsewhere especially the former Yugoslavia

Notable quotes:
"... "Behind the assault on the working class in Spain is a European and indeed global crisis of capitalism. After a quarter century of social cuts and escalating imperialist wars across the Middle East since the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991, European capitalism is in an advanced state of collapse. Particularly since the 2008 Wall Street crash and global economic crisis, the ruling elites in Europe and America all sought to strengthen the military and police agencies, while imposing devastating austerity on the workers. ..."
"... Spanish capitalism is economically moribund. Spain's unemployment rate stands at a massive 17.8 percent and at 38.6 percent for the under-25s. One in four unemployed have not had a job for at least four years. 2.5 million workers came off the unemployment rolls not because they found jobs in Spain, but because they emigrated to find work elsewhere." ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Northern Star , September 30, 2017 at 11:40 am

Profoundly illuminating analysis of the Catalonia situation the observation that national balkanization is very problematic in the context of bringing substantially enhanced economic rights and opportunities to a broad spectrum of the oppressed in a nation's population is consistent with recent history elsewhere, e.g the former Yugoslavia.

"Behind the assault on the working class in Spain is a European and indeed global crisis of capitalism. After a quarter century of social cuts and escalating imperialist wars across the Middle East since the Stalinist bureaucracy dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991, European capitalism is in an advanced state of collapse. Particularly since the 2008 Wall Street crash and global economic crisis, the ruling elites in Europe and America all sought to strengthen the military and police agencies, while imposing devastating austerity on the workers.

This left Spain -- like Greece, Portugal, Italy, and much of Eastern Europe -- in ruins. Spanish capitalism is economically moribund. Spain's unemployment rate stands at a massive 17.8 percent and at 38.6 percent for the under-25s. One in four unemployed have not had a job for at least four years. 2.5 million workers came off the unemployment rolls not because they found jobs in Spain, but because they emigrated to find work elsewhere."

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/30/cata-s30.html

Evgeny , September 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm
Just read Anatoly Wasserman's take (in Russian):

https://www.nalin.ru/kak-vlast-ispanii-dobivaetsya-otdeleniya-katalonii-6000

He makes a point that by banning the referendum, the Spanish Government unwittingly promotes the cause for independence of Catalonia. Since the referendum is deemed to be illegal, the only ones to attend it would be pro-independence-minded people, which would result in the high percentage of vote for the independence. Consequently, pro-independence leaders would be able to capitalize on that result by claiming that it reflects the will of the people (despite the low voter turnout).

[Oct 09, 2017] Amazon.com Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges published this book eight years ago and the things he predicted have sadly been realized
Notable quotes:
"... his screed is a liberating tonic against the crazy-making double-speak and the lies Americans are sold by our country's elite in order to distract us from the true threat and nature of the Corporate State, from the cult of celebrity, to how our nation's Universities have been hijacked to serve the interests, not of the public, but of our corporate overlords. It explains the self-same conditions in all aspects of our society and culture that we now must face, the ever-shrinking flame of enlightenment being exchanged for the illusory shadows on a cave wall. ..."
"... He fearlessly and incisively calls us out on the obvious farce our democracy has become, how we got here, and highlights the rapidly closing window in which we have to do something to correct it. It is a revelation, and yet he merely states the obvious. The empire has no clothes. ..."
"... One of the most powerful aspects of this book was in regard to how our Universities are run these days. I may be in the minority, but I experienced a life-changing disillusionment when I gained entrance to a prestigious "elite" University. Instead of drawing the best and the brightest, or being a place where scholarship was valued, where students were taught critical thinking skills, the University I attended was nothing more than an expensive diploma mill for the children of the wealthy. In the eyes of the University, students were not minds to be empowered and developed, but walking dollar signs. ..."
"... Instead of critical thinking, students were taught to OBEY, not to question authority, and then handed a piece of paper admitting them to the ruling class that is destroying America without a moral compass. Selfishness, deceit, disregard for the common good, and a win-at-all-costs attitude were rewarded. Empathy, curiosity, dissent, and an honest, intellectually rigorous evaluation of ourselves and our world were punished. Obviously I am not the only one to whom this was cause to fear for the future of our country. ..."
"... The chapter involving the porn trade that is run by large corporations such as AT&T and GM (the car maker, for crying out loud) was an especially dark, profanity-laced depiction of the abuse and moral decay of American society . ..."
"... He is correct in his belief that the continual barrage of psuedo-events and puffery disguised as news (especially television) has conditioned most of Americans to be non-critical thinkers. ..."
"... Entertainment, consumption and the dangerous illusion that the U.S. is the best in the world at everything are childish mindsets. ..."
"... The are the puppet masters." As extreme as that is, he is more credible when he says, "Commodities and celebrity culture define what it means to belong, how we recognize our place in society, and how we conduct our lives." I say 'credible' because popular and mass culture's influence are creating a world where substance is replaced by questionable style. ..."
"... Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. ..."
"... Visibility has replaced substance and accomplishment; packaging over product, sizzle not steak. Chris Rojek calls this "the cult of distraction" where society is consumed by the vacuous and the vapid rather than striving for self-awareness, accomplishment and contribution ("Propaganda has become a substitute for ideas and ideology."). Hedges builds on Rojek's descriptor by suggesting we are living in a "culture of illusion" which impoverishes language, makes us childlike, and is basically dumbing us all down. ..."
"... Today's delusionary and corrupted officials, corporate and government, are reminiscent of the narratives penned by Charles Dickens. Alexander Hamilton referred to the masses as a "great beast" to be kept from the powers of government. ..."
"... Edmund Burke used propaganda to control "elements of society". Walter Lippmann advised that "the public must be kept in its place". Yet, many Americans just don't get it. ..."
"... Divide and conquer is the mantra--rich vs. poor; black vs. white. According to Norm Chomsky's writings, "In 1934, William Shepard argued that government should be in the hands of `aristocracy and intellectual power' while the `ignorant, and the uninformed and the antisocial element' must not be permitted to control elections...." ..."
"... The appalling statistics and opinions outlined in the book demonstrate the public ignorance of the American culture; the depth and extent of the corporatocracy and the related economic malaise; and, the impact substandard schools have on their lives. ..."
"... This idea was recently usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court where representative government is called to question, rendering "our" consent irrelevant. Every voting election is an illusion. Each election, at the local and national level, voters never seemingly "miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" to eliminate irresponsible and unresponsive officials. ..."
"... Walt Kelly's quote "We have met the enemy and he is us" prevails! ..."
"... It's also hard to follow at times as Hedges attempts to stress the connections between pop culture and social, political. and economic policy. Nor is Hedges a particularly stylish writer (a sense of humor would help). ..."
"... The stomach-turning chapter on trends in porn and their relationship to the torture of prisoners of war is a particularly sharp piece of analysis, and all of the other chapters do eventually convince (and depress). ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.amazon.com

H. I. on May 13, 2011

This Book Explains EVERYTHING!!!!!

Hedges cogently and systematically dismantles the most pernicious cultural delusions of our era and lays bare the pitiful truths that they attempt to mask. This book is a deprogramming manual that trims away the folly and noise from our troubled society so that the reader can focus on the most pressing matters of our time.

Despite the dark reality Hedges excavates, his screed is a liberating tonic against the crazy-making double-speak and the lies Americans are sold by our country's elite in order to distract us from the true threat and nature of the Corporate State, from the cult of celebrity, to how our nation's Universities have been hijacked to serve the interests, not of the public, but of our corporate overlords. It explains the self-same conditions in all aspects of our society and culture that we now must face, the ever-shrinking flame of enlightenment being exchanged for the illusory shadows on a cave wall.

As a twenty-something caught in the death-throes of American Empire and culture, I have struggled to anticipate where our country and our world are heading, why, and what sort of life I can expect to build for myself. Hedges presents the reader with the depressing, yet undeniable truth of the forces that have coalesced to shape the world in which we now find ourselves. The light he casts is searing and relentless. He fearlessly and incisively calls us out on the obvious farce our democracy has become, how we got here, and highlights the rapidly closing window in which we have to do something to correct it. It is a revelation, and yet he merely states the obvious. The empire has no clothes.

One of the most powerful aspects of this book was in regard to how our Universities are run these days. I may be in the minority, but I experienced a life-changing disillusionment when I gained entrance to a prestigious "elite" University. Instead of drawing the best and the brightest, or being a place where scholarship was valued, where students were taught critical thinking skills, the University I attended was nothing more than an expensive diploma mill for the children of the wealthy. In the eyes of the University, students were not minds to be empowered and developed, but walking dollar signs.

Instead of critical thinking, students were taught to OBEY, not to question authority, and then handed a piece of paper admitting them to the ruling class that is destroying America without a moral compass. Selfishness, deceit, disregard for the common good, and a win-at-all-costs attitude were rewarded. Empathy, curiosity, dissent, and an honest, intellectually rigorous evaluation of ourselves and our world were punished. Obviously I am not the only one to whom this was cause to fear for the future of our country.

Five stars is not enough. Ever since I began reading Empire of Illusion, I have insisted friends and family pick up a copy, too. Everyone in America should read this incredibly important book.

The truth shall set us free.

By Franklin the Mouse on February 5, 2012

Dream Weavers

Mr. Hedges is in one heck of a foul mood. His raging against the evolving of American democracy into an oligarchy is accurate, but relentlessly depressing. The author focuses on some of our most horrid characteristics: celebrity worship; "pro" wrestling; the brutal porn industry; Jerry Springer-like shows; the military-industrial complex; the moral void of elite colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Berkeley and Princeton; optimistic-ladened pop psychology; and political/corporate conformity.

Mr. Hedges grim assessment put me in a seriously foul mood. The chapter involving the porn trade that is run by large corporations such as AT&T and GM (the car maker, for crying out loud) was an especially dark, profanity-laced depiction of the abuse and moral decay of American society .

He is correct in his belief that the continual barrage of psuedo-events and puffery disguised as news (especially television) has conditioned most of Americans to be non-critical thinkers.

Entertainment, consumption and the dangerous illusion that the U.S. is the best in the world at everything are childish mindsets.

The oddest part of Mr. Hedges' book is the ending. The last three pages take such an unexpectedly hard turn from "all is lost" to "love will conquer," I practically got whiplash. Overall, the author should be commended for trying to bring our attention to what ails our country and challenging readers to wake up from their child-like illusions.

Now, time for me to go run a nice, warm bath and where did I put those razor blades?...

By Walter E. Kurtz on September 25, 2011
Amazing book

I must say I was captivated by the author's passion, eloquence and insight. This is not an academic essay. True, there are few statistics here and there and quotes from such and such person, but this is not like one of those books that read like a longer version of an academic research paper. The book is more of author's personal observations about American society. Perhaps that is where its power comes from.

Some might dismiss the book as nothing more than an opinion piece, but how many great books and works out there are opinion pieces enhanced with supporting facts and statistics?

The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter one is about celebrity worship and how far people are willing to humiliate themselves and sacrifice their dignity for their five minutes of fame. But this is not just about those who are willing to make idiots out of themselves just to appear on television. This is about how the fascination with the world of rich and famous distracts the society from the important issues and problems and how it creates unhealthy and destructive desire to pursue wealth and fame. And even for those few who do achieve it, their lives are far from the bliss and happiness shown in movies. More than one celebrity had cursed her life.

Chapter two deals with porn. It offers gutwrenching, vomit inducing descriptions of lives and conditions in the porn industry. But the damage porn does goes far beyond those working in the "industry". Porn destroys the love, intimacy and beauty of sex. Porn reduces sex to an act of male dominance, power and even violence. Unfortunately, many men, and even women, buy into that and think that the sex seen in porn is normal and this is how things should be.

After reading this chapter, I will never look at porn the same way again. In fact, I probably will never look at porn at all.

Chapter three is about education. It focuses mostly on college level education and how in the past few decades it had increasingly changed focus from teaching students how to be responsible citizens and good human beings to how to be successful, profit seeking, career obsessed corporate/government drones. The students are taught that making money and career building are the only thing that matters. This results in professionals who put greed and selfishness above everything else and mindlessly serve a system that destroys the society and the whole planet. And when they are faced with problems (like the current economic crisis) and evidence that the system is broken, rather than rethink their paradigm and consider that perhaps they were wrong, they retreat further into old thinking in search of ways to reinforce the (broken) system and keep it going.
Chapter four is my favorite. It is about positive thinking. As someone who lives with a family member who feeds me positive thinking crap at breakfast, lunch and supper, I enjoyed this chapter very much. For those rare lucky few who do not know what positive thinking is, it can be broadly defined as a belief that whatever happens to us in life, it happens because we "attracted" it to ourselves. Think about it as karma that affects us not in the next life, but in this one. The movement believes that our conscious and unconscious thoughts affect reality. By assuming happy, positive outlook on life, we can affect reality and make good things happen to us.

Followers of positive thinking are encouraged/required to purge all negative emotions, never question the bad things that happen to them and focus on thinking happy thoughts. Positive thinking is currently promoted by corporations and to lesser extent governments to keep employees in line. They are rendered docile and obedient, don't make waves (like fight for better pay and working conditions) and, when fired, take it calmly with a smile and never question corporate culture.

Chapter five is about American politics and how the government and the politicians had sold themselves out to corporations and business. It is about imperialism and how the government helps the corporations loot the country while foreign wars are started under the pretext of defense and patriotism, but their real purpose is to loot the foreign lands and fill the coffers of war profiteers. If allowed to continue, this system will result in totalitarianism and ecological apocalypse.

I have some objections with this chapter. While I completely agree about the current state of American politics, the author makes a claim that this is a relatively recent development dating roughly to the Vietnam War. Before that, especially in the 1950s, things were much better. Or at least they were for the white men. (The author does admit that 1950s were not all that great to blacks, women or homosexuals.)

While things might have gotten very bad in the last few decades, politicians and governments have always been more at the service of Big Money rather than the common people.

And Vietnam was not the first imperialistic American war. What about the conquest of Cuba and Philippines at the turn of the 20th century? And about all those American "adventures" in South America in the 19th century. And what about the westward expansion and extermination of Native Americans that started the moment the first colonists set their foot on the continent?

But this is a minor issue. My biggest issue with the book is that it is a powerful denunciation, but it does not offer much in terms of suggestions on how to fix the problems it is decrying. Criticizing is good and necessary, but offering solutions is even more important. You can criticize all you want, but if you cannot suggest something better, then the old system will stay in place.

The author does write at the end a powerful, tear inducing essay on how love conquers all and that no totalitarian regime, no matter how powerful and oppressive, had ever managed to crush hope, love and the human spirit. Love, in the end, conquers all.

That is absolutely true. But what does it mean in practice? That we must keep loving and doing good? Of course we must, but some concrete, practical examples of what to do would be welcome.

By Richard Joltes on July 18, 2016
An excellent and sobering view at the decline of reason and literacy in modern society

This is an absolutely superb work that documents how our society has been subverted by spectacle, glitz, celebrity, and the obsession with "fame" at the expense of reality, literacy, reason, and actual ability. Hedges lays it all out in a very clear and thought provoking style, using real world examples like pro wrestling and celebrity oriented programming to showcase how severely our society has declined from a forward thinking, literate one into a mass of tribes obsessed with stardom and money.

Even better is that the author's style is approachable and non judgemental. This isn't an academic talking down to the masses, but a very solid reporter presenting findings in an accurate, logical style.

Every American should read this, and then consider whether to buy that glossy celebrity oriented magazine or watch that "I want to be a millionaire" show. The lifestyle and choices being promoted by the media, credit card companies, and by the celebrity culture in general, are toxic and a danger to our society's future.

By Jeffrey Swystun on June 29, 2011
What does the contemporary self want?

The various ills impacting society graphically painted by Chris Hedges are attributed to a lack of literacy. However, it is much more complex, layered, and inter-related. By examining literacy, love, wisdom, happiness, and the current state of America, the author sets out to convince the reader that our world is intellectually crumbling. He picks aspects of our society that clearly offer questionable value: professional wrestling, the pornographic film industry (which is provided in bizarre repetitive graphic detail), gambling, conspicuous consumption, and biased news reporting to name a few.

The front of the end of the book was the most compelling. Especially when Hedges strays into near conspiracy with comments such as this: "Those who manipulate the shadows that dominate our lives are the agents, publicists, marketing departments, promoters, script writers, television and movie producers, advertisers, video technicians, photographers, bodyguards, wardrobe consultants, fitness trainers, pollsters, public announcers, and television news personalities who create the vast stage for illusion. The are the puppet masters." As extreme as that is, he is more credible when he says, "Commodities and celebrity culture define what it means to belong, how we recognize our place in society, and how we conduct our lives." I say 'credible' because popular and mass culture's influence are creating a world where substance is replaced by questionable style.

What resonated most in the book is a passage taken from William Deresiewicz's essay The End of Solitude: "What does the contemporary self want? The camera has created a culture of celebrity; the computer is creating a culture of connectivity. As the two technologies converge -- broadband tipping the Web from text to image, social-networking sites spreading the mesh of interconnection ever wider -- the two cultures betray a common impulse.

Celebrity and connectivity are both ways of becoming known. This is what the contemporary self wants. It wants to be recognized, wants to be connected: It wants to be visible. If not to the millions, on Survivor or Oprah, then to the hundreds, on Twitter or Facebook. This is the quality that validates us, this is how we become real to ourselves -- by being seen by others. The great contemporary terror is anonymity. If Lionel Trilling was right, if the property that grounded the self, in Romanticism, was sincerity, and in modernism it was authenticity, then in postmodernism it is visibility."

Visibility has replaced substance and accomplishment; packaging over product, sizzle not steak. Chris Rojek calls this "the cult of distraction" where society is consumed by the vacuous and the vapid rather than striving for self-awareness, accomplishment and contribution ("Propaganda has become a substitute for ideas and ideology."). Hedges builds on Rojek's descriptor by suggesting we are living in a "culture of illusion" which impoverishes language, makes us childlike, and is basically dumbing us all down.

This is definitely a provocative contribution and damning analysis of our society that would be a great choice for a book club. It would promote lively debate as conclusions and solutions are not easily reached.

By S. Arch on July 10, 2011
A book that needs to be read, even if it's only half true.

Empire of Illusion might be the most depressing book I've ever read. Why? Because it predicts the collapse of America and almost every word of it rings true.

I don't know if there's really anything new here; many of the ideas Hedges puts forth have been floating around in the neglected dark corners of our national discourse, but Hedges drags them all out into the daylight. Just about every social/cultural/economic/political ill you can think of is mentioned at some point in the text and laid at the feet of the villains whose insatiable greed has destroyed this once-great country. Hedges is bold. He predicts nothing less than the end of America. Indeed, he claims America has already ended. The American Dream is nothing more than an illusion being propped up by wealthy elites obsessed with power and the preservation of their lifestyle, a blind academia that has forgotten how to critique authority, and a government that is nothing more than the puppet of corporations. Meanwhile, mindless entertainments and a compliant news media divert and mislead the working and middle classes so they don't even notice that they are being raped to death by the power-elite and the corporations.

(Don't misunderstand. This is no crack-pot conspiracy theory. It's not about secret quasi-mystical cabals attempting world domination. Rather, Hedges paints a credible picture of our culture in a state of moral and intellectual decay, and leaders corrupted by power and greed who have ceased to act in the public interest.)

At times Hedges seems to be ranting and accusing without providing evidence or examples to substantiate his claims. But that might only be because his claims have already been substantiated individually elsewhere, and Hedges's purpose here is a kind of grand synthesis of many critical ideas. Indeed, an exhaustive analysis of all the issues he brings forth would require volumes rather than a single book. In any case, I challenge anyone to read this book, look around honestly at what's happening in America, and conclude that Hedges is wrong.

One final note: this book is not for the squeamish. The chapter about pornography is brutally explicit. Still, I think it is an important book, and it would be good if a lot more people would read it, discuss it, and thereby become dis-illusioned.

By Bruce E. McLeod Jr. on February 11, 2012
Thorough and illuminating

Chris Hedges book, "Empire of Illusion" is a stinging assessment and vivid indictment of America's political and educational systems; a well-told story. I agree with his views but wonder how they can be reversed or transformed given the economic hegemony of the corporations and the weight of the entrenched political parties. Very few solutions were provided.

Corporations will continue to have a presence and set standards within the halls of educational and governmental institutions with impunity. Limited monetary measures, other than governmental, exist for public educational institutions, both secondary and post-secondary. Historically, Roman and Greek political elitists operated in a similar manner and may have set standards for today's plutocracy. Plebeian societies were helpless and powerless, with few options, to enact change against the political establishment. Given the current conditions, America is on a downward spiral to chaos.

His book is a clarion call for action. Parents and teachers have warned repeatedly that too much emphasis is placed on athletic programs at the expense of academics. Educational panels, books and other experts have done little to reform the system and its intransigent administrators.

Today's delusionary and corrupted officials, corporate and government, are reminiscent of the narratives penned by Charles Dickens. Alexander Hamilton referred to the masses as a "great beast" to be kept from the powers of government.

Edmund Burke used propaganda to control "elements of society". Walter Lippmann advised that "the public must be kept in its place". Yet, many Americans just don't get it.

They continue to be hood-winked by politicians using uncontested "sound bites" and "racially-coded" phrases to persuade voters.

Divide and conquer is the mantra--rich vs. poor; black vs. white. According to Norm Chomsky's writings, "In 1934, William Shepard argued that government should be in the hands of `aristocracy and intellectual power' while the `ignorant, and the uninformed and the antisocial element' must not be permitted to control elections...."

The appalling statistics and opinions outlined in the book demonstrate the public ignorance of the American culture; the depth and extent of the corporatocracy and the related economic malaise; and, the impact substandard schools have on their lives. This is further exemplified by Jay Leno's version of "Jaywalking". On the streets, he randomly selects passersby to interview, which seems to validate much of these charges.

We are all culpable. We are further susceptible to illusions. John Locke said, "Government receives its just powers from the consent of the governed".

This idea was recently usurped by the U.S. Supreme Court where representative government is called to question, rendering "our" consent irrelevant. Every voting election is an illusion. Each election, at the local and national level, voters never seemingly "miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" to eliminate irresponsible and unresponsive officials.

Walt Kelly's quote "We have met the enemy and he is us" prevails!

By Richard Steiger on January 14, 2012
Powerful in spite of itself

There are many flaws with Hedges' book. For one thing, he is given to writing sermons (his father was a minister), hurling down denunciations in the manner of the prophet Amos. The book also tends to be repetitious, as Hedges makes the same general statements over and over. It's also hard to follow at times as Hedges attempts to stress the connections between pop culture and social, political. and economic policy. Nor is Hedges a particularly stylish writer (a sense of humor would help).

His last-second "happy ending" (something like: we're all doomed, but eventually, somewhere down the line, love will prevail beacuse it's ultimately the strongest power on earth) is, to say the least, unconvincing.

SO why am I recommending this book? Because in spite of its flaws (and maybe even because of them), this is a powerful depiction of the state of American society. The book does get to you in its somewhat clumsy way.

The stomach-turning chapter on trends in porn and their relationship to the torture of prisoners of war is a particularly sharp piece of analysis, and all of the other chapters do eventually convince (and depress).

This book will not exactly cheer you up, but at least it will give you an understanding of where we are (and where we're heading).

[Oct 09, 2017] If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, Or New England - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... Our masters then ..."
"... Were still, at least, our countrymen. ..."
"... How Catholicism fell from grace in Ireland , Chicago Tribune, ..."
"... coup d'état ..."
"... Men of 1916 had much in common with Bolsheviks | But October Revolution and Easter Rising had radically diverging ideologies , ..."
"... on all sorts of subjects ..."
"... for all kinds of outlets. (This ..."
"... no longer includes ..."
"... National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and ..."
"... and several other ..."
"... . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: ..."
"... ( also available in Kindle ) and ..."
"... People who are impoverished proclaim their allegiance to their community, because they are looking for help . Hence nationalism and especially religion. ..."
"... I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL. ..."
"... I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades. ..."
"... "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them.

It is of course the case that our co-ethnics may be crazy beasts -- North Korea 's a nation ; Khmer Rouge Cambodia was a nation -- while the foreigners in that distant city might be benign and wise , or at any rate not life-threatening. The Middle East under the Ottoman Empire was not an exemplar of peace and justice, but it doesn't compare badly with today's Middle East.

The great British national conservative Enoch Powell, who fifty years ago gave those eloquent warnings about the evils of mass immigration, once said that if Britain were at war he would fight for Britain , even if it was a communist dictatorship.

The Greek poet in Byron's Don Juan , living under the Ottoman Turks , likewise looked back to the Greek tyrants of antiquity and sighed :

Our masters then

Were still, at least, our countrymen.

I'm basically on the same page with these nationalists, but with reservations. When the Vietnamese army put an end to the Khmer Rouge government by invading Cambodia, most Cambodians hailed them as liberators. Perhaps I would have, too; perhaps even Enoch Powell would have.

So there are qualifications to be made about nationalism, especially small-country nationalism or sub-nationalism. You're not drawing from a big pool of political talent there. I have mixed occasionally with Scottish and Welsh nationalists; let's just say I wasn't impressed.

Sub-nationalism like Catalonia's is also in contradiction to nationalism proper. Who's the truer nationalist: the Spanish citizen who would fight and die for Spain, or the Catalan separatist who feels the same way about his province?

Here you're in the zone of differences that can only finally be decided by force of arms.

You don't have to recall horrors like Cambodia or North Korea to develop some caution about nationalism. Growing up in mid-20th-century England, we had an instance of passionate nationalism -- or sub-nationalism, depending on your point of view -- right on our doorstep . That was of course Ireland.

The Irish had been struggling for centuries to attain self-government. In 1921, after some revolutionary violence , they got autonomy ; then in 1937, full independence.

Irish nationalism was a peculiar thing, though. The Irish had the nationalist impulse , all right: they wanted to be ruled by their own people, not by foreigners. Yet they also had strong trans -nationalist sentiments by virtue of being devout adherents of Roman Catholic Christianity -- a trans-nationalist enterprise if ever there was one.

Having won their independence, the Irish signed on to every trans-national organization that came along. When I took my wife on a tour of the United Nations headquarters in 1987, our tour guide was an Irishman, and we heard a lot of Irish accents around the building.

Likewise with the European Union, on which the Irish are very keen. The sour joke in Britain thirty years ago was that having fought eight hundred years for their independence , the Irish had then sold it for a package of EU agricultural subsidies.

That's not altogether fair. But looking at Ireland today gives you a jaded perspective on Irish nationalism. The seminaries are full of Nigerians [ How Catholicism fell from grace in Ireland , Chicago Tribune, July 92006] the cab drivers are all Polish ; and the current Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is an open homosexual whose father was an Indian born in Bombay.

For this the heroes of 1916 faced the firing squads?

You may say that the right to national independence includes the right to national suicide. I suppose it does. Still, as a fan of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's observation that "Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities," I lament the transformation of Ireland, the Land of Saints and Scholars, into an airport departure lounge -- with the rest of Britain not far behind, indeed in some respects ahead .

"What was long divided must unite, what was long united must divide." Hearing that now we Americans of course think of the secession talk that seems to be getting more and more common on the blogs, including very smart and sensible ones like the Audacious Epigone .

If Catalonia, why not California, or Texas, or New England?

All right; history has its ebbs and flows, to be sure, and to stand athwart them crying "Stop!" is most likely futile. As a conservative, though, I rather strongly favor leaving the big old nations as they are, absent some obvious and pressing need to break them up.

So without knowing much about Catalonia or its independence movement, I'll register myself as guardedly skeptical, on general grounds. America for Americans; Spain for Spaniards; nationalism over trans-nationalism and sub-nationalism both .

Last week I wrote about the coming centenary of the Bolshevik coup d'état in Russia. At the New York Times they're already starting to hang out the bunting.

The tension between nationalism and imperialism was a factor in Lenin's revolution. Tsarist Russia was an empire; it included numerous non-Russian nationalities. What plan did the Bolsheviks have for them?

Irish historian Frank Armstrong had a thoughtful op-ed on this in Wednesday's Irish Times , contrasting the Bolshevik coup of 1917 with the Easter Rising in Ireland the previous year.[ Men of 1916 had much in common with Bolsheviks | But October Revolution and Easter Rising had radically diverging ideologies , October 5, 2017] . He points out the tension among Bolsheviks, notably Stalin, between, on the one hand, the orthodox Marxist line that "the proletariat has no homeland" and nationalism is a reactionary bourgeois impulse, and on the other hand, admiration for revolutionary violence like that practiced by the Irish rebels.

Armstrong doesn't go anywhere much with his op-ed, but it's a useful reminder that nationalists and trans-nationalists can find themselves thinking the same thoughts.

Here's where I renew my call for a worldwide alliance of nationalists along the lines of the old Comintern, the Communist International.

We can call this alliance the Natintern, the Nationalist International. I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a suitable anthem, to be called of course The Nationale .

email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013 .

Randal > , October 7, 2017 at 11:15 am GMT

A good discussion of a complex topic. Touches on conservatism versus radicalism as well, which I think affects whether one is likely to support sub-nationalism against an established nation, even one's own.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

I noted recently that there is an interesting contrast between the British government's concession, in the case of Scotland, to the sub-nation of the inherent right to unilateral independence based merely on a majority of the sub-nation's population supporting it, and Spain's adherence to the opposite (and much more widespread) principle that secession is a matter for the nation as a whole, or simply treasonous sedition.

Someone has pointed to Quebec as another case where the point was conceded to the popular will of the sub-nation, and the whole process of the British withdrawal from colonial empire could be viewed as being the same (although there was a deal of US coercion and implicit threats of secessionist violence involved, along with the basic fact that thanks to WW1 & WW2 the British elites knew they lacked the strength to hold onto their colonies).

Clearly the constitutional positions of Scotland and of Catalonia are very different, but I think the governments of both Spain and Britain could have found ways to rationalise making the opposite choice to the one they took, if they had wanted to. Perhaps it comes down to the British government being confident they would win a referendum, but the Spanish government fearing they would not.

Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften > , October 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm GMT

"If Catalonia, why not California, Texas, or New England?" Don't you know what happened to the South's attempt to secede! Do some homework, writer.

The Scalpel > , Website October 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

It seems to me you are countering the "What was long divided must unite, what was long united must divide," philosophy with one of "This far but no farther." You even recognize that your point of view cannot prevail but prefer it anyway. Well here's to you Don Quixote! May separaratism never come to La Mancha.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 7, 2017 at 2:26 pm GMT

Death is the inevitable end of any civilization. If not now, then when the sun gives way. There is no escape.

Anatoly Karlin > , Website October 7, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

I have recently been thinking that one of the strongest and most consistent geopolitical trends of the past one hundred years has been an explosion in national entities. We went from around 50 in 1900 to around 200 today.

But it wasn't always like this. I haven't seen any data on this, but the number of states or state-like entities must have exceeded a thousand during the medieval period, before the rise of the great gunpowder empires.

And there's no logical reason for this fragmentation not to continue, at least so long as the world remains generally peaceful with the associated lack of selection against small (i.e. militarily weak) states. As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially). Much like the inexorable forwards march of liberalism, can this even be stopped?

Randal > , October 7, 2017 at 3:21 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

And there's no logical reason for this fragmentation not to continue, at least so long as the world remains generally peaceful with the associated lack of selection against small (i.e. militarily weak) states.

But is there any reason to expect it necessarily to continue, given that it appears to be an aggregate function of a number of different processes, some of which are no longer in force, some of which are countervailing and might well become more dominant in future?

It certainly isn't just a function of the world becoming more peaceful and therefore smaller states being more viable – after all the process you describe began before the two world wars. The breakup of the big continental European empires is a different process from the later breakup of the colonial overseas empires, which again is a different process from the collapse of the Soviet empire or of Yugoslavia. They all have in common that they represent the loss of central authority over sub-nations, but they all result from different causes.

Then you have the much vaunted general loss of real sovereignty in the modern globalised world. Many of the newly "independent" entities probably have less freedom of action than many vassals of the Holy Roman Empire. And you have the rise of the EU. How genuinely sovereign will the constituent nations be as the EU develops further towards a United States of Europe?

For all the effort expended, there are few real examples of the long established nations of Europe fragmenting other than as the result of military defeat. Scotland, Wales, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Lombardy, etc, are all still part of the larger states of which they are sub-nations.

Sean > , October 7, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

Enoch Powell said the European community was the economic wing of a military alliance (Nato). A couple of countries (Greece for one) were told they could not join the EC unless they were in Nato.

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially). Much like the inexorable forwards march of liberalism , can this even be stopped?

Oooooh, did someone screech a boogeyman term? Who cares? Let it fragment. Reduce the size of the state -- always a good thing. The higher the ratio of citizens to wannabe rulers, the better.

Sean > , October 7, 2017 at 4:40 pm GMT

Catalonian like Scottish nationalism is largely motivated by resentment by region that perceives itself as being used by a milch cow. Ireland was more authentically nationalist. Powell said the British state was always keen to divest itself of Ireland , but originally wanted the fig leaf of home rule.

According to Paul Johnson in the Offshore Islanders, Ireland was a net drain of Britain (that might also have been true of the Empire be the beginning of the 20th century. Arthur Balfour was right their could be no halfway house.

Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them.

People who are impoverished proclaim their allegiance to their community, because they are looking for help . Hence nationalism and especially religion.

. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-barber/atheism-to-replace-religion-by-2041-a-clarification_b_3695658.html
Research has shown that religion declines not just with rising national wealth but with all plausible measures of the quality of life, including length of life, decline of infectious diseases, education, the rise of the welfare state, and more equal distribution of income. Clearly there is less of a market for religion in societies where ordinary people feel secure in their daily lives. In the most developed countries, such as Japan and Sweden, the quality of life is so good that the majority is already secular.

Religion in an affluent society has not a snowball's chance in hell . When it was the poorest country in Europe, Scotland was a byword for religious fanaticism. A crypto-clerical Irish state had economic growth that was the poorest in western Europe and possibly all Europe. But once hyper-capitalism transformed Ireland, it became like everywhere else–only worse. They don't need the Church now–or nationalism. With war you would see nationalism. It is not nationalism that produces war but more the other way about. Germany got tired of great powers marching across it. Cambodia and North Korea too. For a resurgence of worldwide nationalism, a global war more true in the Clausewitz sense (ie unlimited) than anything imaginable would be needed.

WorkingClass > , October 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm GMT

"Nationalism isn't hard to understand. People want to live among and be governed by other people mostly like themselves, with the same language and shared history, not by foreigners in some distant city who don't understand them."

I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL.

I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

Pat Boyle > , October 7, 2017 at 6:33 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

Some things expand – others decline. For example the total number of languages is dropping quickly I'm told. Every now and then there will be a media story about some old tribesman who dies and with him some language. The tone is always "Og was the last person on earth to speak (some obscure language)". When I read that I always wonder if he was the last speaker- who was he conversing with? It seems to me that a language is truly dead when the second to last speaker dies.

But if one of the root causes for nationalism and splitting off from the old country is language, with fewer languages shouldn't we have less nationalism?

There is also the 700 channel phenomenon. I have 700 TV channels (I think). The people who purport to understand such things tell us that newscasters are killing off regional dialects. Surely if we all speak the same more or less same language in more or less the same way, that will lessen the pressures to split off and form your own country. No?

Chinese shopping malls I see on the web look a lot like the malls in California. South Korea might give up the Korean language and adopt Chinese or Japanese. But they could adopt English. If they wanted to become the 51st state that would help.

jeppo > , October 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

As local, pre-imperial identities are rediscovered, we could be looking at something like 400 states by 2100 (if projecting linearly) or even close to 1000 (if projecting exponentially).

The US could (and maybe should) break up into 50 different nation-states, while the entity known as the "United States" could evolve from a unitary nation into a transnational organization, similar to the evolution of the European Union except in reverse.

Meanwhile the EU could easily grow into 50 or more states, the former Soviet Union another 50, India a couple dozen, Africa an unknowable number etc. But even if the fringe areas of China broke away, that would still leave a homogeneous Han core of more than 1 billion people.

So in any widespread international fragmentation scenario, China probably wins. And that's OK, as long as Europeans/whites are allowed to maintain sovereignty over at least parts of Europe and North America.

On the other hand, if open-borders Spain and other suicidal Western countries (including the US and Russia) are allowed to survive in their present form, then they are all demographically doomed as white-majority nations.

peterAUS > , October 7, 2017 at 6:35 pm GMT

@Randal A good discussion of a complex topic. Touches on conservatism versus radicalism as well, which I think affects whether one is likely to support sub-nationalism against an established nation, even one's own.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

I noted recently that there is an interesting contrast between the British government's concession, in the case of Scotland, to the sub-nation of the inherent right to unilateral independence based merely on a majority of the sub-nation's population supporting it, and Spain's adherence to the opposite (and much more widespread) principle that secession is a matter for the nation as a whole, or simply treasonous sedition.

Someone has pointed to Quebec as another case where the point was conceded to the popular will of the sub-nation, and the whole process of the British withdrawal from colonial empire could be viewed as being the same (although there was a deal of US coercion and implicit threats of secessionist violence involved, along with the basic fact that thanks to WW1 & WW2 the British elites knew they lacked the strength to hold onto their colonies).

Clearly the constitutional positions of Scotland and of Catalonia are very different, but I think the governments of both Spain and Britain could have found ways to rationalise making the opposite choice to the one they took, if they had wanted to. Perhaps it comes down to the British government being confident they would win a referendum, but the Spanish government fearing they would not.

Perhaps light on the aspect of ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism versus "citizenist" (to use I think Sailer's term) nationalism. I would propose that the Catalan secessionists lack the stomach to win a fight for independence and will lose if they start one, in part because their nationalist movement is not strongly based upon ethnic solidarity, because they are indoctrinated in the modern globalist dogma which says that would be "racist".

Well .a little correction if I may.

Ethnic and "blood and soil" nationalism is definitely much stronger in self-sacrifice and will to fight. Definitely. But, in this case, I am not quite sure that Catalan seccseionists aren't actually exactly that.

I have a feeling that underneath that "citizenist' veneer there is that "ethnic and blood and soil" element. If if that is the case you actually, secession wise, have a perfect combination: ethnic solidarity and open mind; open mind technically, technologically and, of course, tactically.

You probably visit ARRSE. Take a look as some of posts by Brits (and ex-military most likely) who live there. Those hint, strongly, at "ethnic element" in this move. I mean, really, at the end of the day, why this can't be as Slovakia and Czech Republic? Or Baltic states? Or Macedonia (before Kosovo, that is .)? If it goes shooting it could be Slovenia. Short and effective for secession.

Of course, from there it can go through Croatia into, even, Bosnia. Uglier and much uglier. I doubt it can go Chechnya or Kosovo. Just not the environment, IMHO.

I see the problem here as deeply emotional and irrational element (by secessionists) versus modern, soft, civilized logic of Western world (by EU, NATO, US).

The sheer willpower by secessionists, in this case, can simply sweep all that logic aside. If .if ..that's that "real" nationalism.

We, outsiders, don't know that. Only Catalans do.

Jonathan Mason > , October 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm GMT

I don't see any good reason why Texas should not have independence if the people who live there want it. It is bigger than many independent nations like Lithuania or Moldovia that were once parts of the USSR.

If even tiny places like St. Kitts and Nevis can be independent nations, why shouldn't constituent United States disunite if they want to, or form new groups of United States? The constituent states of the US at present time are growing so that they all look the same, so I would like to see more diversity of lifestyles.

Jonathan Mason > , October 7, 2017 at 6:45 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

You could get gored by a Texas longhorn instead.

Truth > , October 7, 2017 at 8:08 pm GMT

That's not altogether fair. But looking at Ireland today gives you a jaded perspective on Irish nationalism. The seminaries are full of Nigerians

Atila, you're being paged!

Truth > , October 7, 2017 at 8:10 pm GMT

If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, or New England?

Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm GMT

@Truth

If Catalonia, Why Not California, Texas, or New England?
Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

Don't quote me on this, but I think we already had a war over this, Old Sport.

On the other hand, if a defined population holds a referendum and votes by, say 3/4 majority to separate the political bonds that bind, why not? Is the Constitution a suicide pact? Is it forever and ever, no matter what?

Anon > , Disclaimer October 7, 2017 at 11:29 pm GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith "Defending the Constitution" during the American Civil War almost turned it into a suicide pact. Hundreds of thousands were killed or wounded, the South impoverished for the next century, and angry resentments persist to this day.

Buzz Mohawk > , October 7, 2017 at 11:30 pm GMT

There are quite a few Americans now whom one could call Neo-Confederates. They argue for what they claim was the right and rightness of the historic Southern secession. Some speak of doing it again. I wonder what Derb would say to them?

Hibernian > , October 8, 2017 at 12:11 am GMT

" -- with the rest of Britain not far behind "

Ireland was English ruled for centuries, and part of the United Kingdom for about a century and a quarter (Six counties still are.), but it was never part of Britain. Hibernia and Brittania are two separate islands, a fact of geography apart from politics, culture, etc.

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 12:43 am GMT

@WorkingClass

I'm currently residing in Texas which is at least a big as Spain. If Texas holds a referendum on secession I know how I will vote. I don't even care about the downside if the upside is the removal of Washington's boot from between my shoulder blades.

You wouldn't win a vote on secession (too complicated with borders, currencies, passports etc), but you might win a vote on the return of States Rights as envisaged in the Constitution:

Tenth Amendment

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people".

So go back to the original idea, and mostly RAISE TAXES LOCALLY AND SPEND THEM LOCALLY. Combine this with the removal of the Washington/FED right to create credit and the removal of most Presidential powers and that's the end of Washington.

And BTW you could also change the name of the "United States" to the "Confederation of American States" or "American Confederation" in recognition of the fact that states don' t have to be united, but could still respect each other's decisions and differences of opinion.

Let Texas be Texas and California be California.

It's also a useful way to stop foreign military adventures, since local voters would have to discuss the issue beforehand, budget for the expense and raise a special tax.

Priss Factor > , Website October 8, 2017 at 3:18 am GMT

Question. The race problem in America. Was it slavery or race? Imagine the following thought-experiment. 300 yrs ago, suppose the colonists brought over 300,000 white or Asian slaves and 300,000 free black Africans.

Suppose, at some time, the white or Asian slaves were freed whereas blacks were never under slavery.

Today, which group would be causing the most problems? White or Asian descendants of slaves or black descendants of free blacks?

I think blacks would still be causing the most problem.

Genocide is worse than slavery, and it's been said pre-American Indians got 'genocided'. But they cause far less problems than blacks(and despite their great poverty).

Blacks were bound to cause more problems because of biological factors. They are more muscular, more aggressive, and less reflective.

Cato > , October 8, 2017 at 4:30 am GMT

@jeppo

But even if the fringe areas of China broke away, that would still leave a homogeneous Han core of more than 1 billion people.

Yes, but how many mutually unintelligible dialects would be spoken within that "homogeneous" Han core?

John Jeremiah Smith > , October 8, 2017 at 5:10 am GMT

@Anon

"Defending the Constitution" during the American Civil War almost turned it into a suicide pact. Hundreds of thousands were killed or wounded, the South impoverished for the next century, and angry resentments persist to this day.

Indeed. IMO, had the seceding southern states been allowed to go their own way, in all likelihood they would have abolished slavery of their own accord within two decades. Possibly, reunification of several states would have eventually occurred, and the America of today would have a much stronger, more unified country and a less oppressive government.

Anonymous > , Disclaimer October 8, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

Is America a nation? It is a country, but to call it a nation seems a bit too far. Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common. Nothing.

Truth > , October 8, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith I believe that congress has to ratify any state leaving the union, but I could be wrong.

Grandpa Charlie > , October 8, 2017 at 5:41 am GMT

@WorkingClass

"I view national sovereignty as an indispensable fire wall against globalism which ends in universal, perpetual Feudalism wherein the .001% have everything and the rest nothing. But neither do I wish to be ruled by Imperial Washington which I regard as distant, foreign and EVIL." -- WorkingClass

Hear ye! Especially when globalism is of the corporatist variety -- and is there any other now in 2017? Small nations generally don't stand a chance nor do the large nations unless their politic is a functional democracy -- actually ruled for and by an educated and aware electorate. In the case of small nations, they are like the states of the USA when the states compete for which can give more to huge corporations in hopes of the corporations relocating and bringing capital and jobs to Nebraska, Georgia, Texas, etc. and the winner is Global Capital, Inc..

In the case of large nations go ask Donald Trump.

Grandpa Charlie > , October 8, 2017 at 7:18 am GMT

@Miro23 As Justice Clarence Thomas has pointed out (I believe it was in dissenting opinion in Gozales v. Raich ), the SCOTUS with their radical judicial activism (from both the 'liberal' and the 'conservative' sides if the Court) have effectively repealed the Tenth Amendment.

I agree with Thomas on that score, but that doesn't mean that I agree with those who find merit in the Confederacy's claim that the Tenth Amendment justified formation of the CSA and the bombardment of Fort Sumter by the Confederate States Army, thus beginning the Civil War.

If the Tenth Amendment were intended to nullify Article I, Section 10, then it needed to spell it out within the Amendment.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

-- U.S. Const., Art. I, Section 10

Sure, there are arguments to the contrary, but this approach is by far the most practical and truly conservative approach. The solution to the problem is difficult but plain enough. The people need to make clear to themselves and to their representatives in Congress that they do not want to see Congress surrendering its powers under the Constitution, whether that be to the Executive or to the Judiciary; and, the Congress then needs to rein in the activism of the SCOTUS, exercising their powers as given in Art. III, Sect. 2:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make. -- U.S. Const.Art. III, Section 2

This approach to the necessary reforms is hoping for a lot from the American people, and it will be a long and difficult pull to effect it, but any other course will be either more difficult or will entail disaster. Many Americans have given up on reform within the Constitution, and have given up on the Constitution, and thus they would gladly court disaster today, thinking that we already have disaster but what is the way out if not by way of the Constitution?

unit472 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:07 am GMT

One great big fly in the ointment of any nation is the rise of the global corporation and finance. If the CEO of GM could claim during his Senate confirmation hearing back in the first Eisenhower Administration that there was no conflict of interest from his being Defense Secretary because 'what was good for GM was good for America" ( and vice versa) that is no longer true because GM and most other major companies have no 'national' base just markets.

As we are seeing right now large companies based out of Catalonia are scrambling to register their business address elsewhere to escape any punitive sanctions that might be levied by Madrid or Brussels against a putative Catalonian state.

Unless a 'nation' is large enough to fight back against the dominant power of large corporations ( and really today only the United States and China are) national independence is mostly an illusion.

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:48 am GMT

@Priss Factor I would have two answers to this.

First, that slavery is mostly a rhetorical tool in the ongoing Jewish/ SJW race war against Anglo Americans (of course ignoring the Jewish involvement). The reality of US slavery was that black slaves were valuable property, and as such, were mostly adequately housed and fed. They were owned and sometimes abused but apart from legal definitions, I can't see much practical difference in their situation when compared to much current US minimum wage (or illegal) work.

There was a recent comment on Unz from someone running three fast food jobs with hopelessly long, tightly controlled hours and lousy conditions. This work allowed him to support his family in a minimal way. You could argue that he was not a slave and was "free", but in what real sense is he any different from a slave. Same as Mexican illegals picking fruit. They probably work as hard as black slaves did for a minimum of food and shelter.

Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities. But it's still a mean. People like Carson and Obama can be way above the national average on intelligence and good luck to them.

A positive idea, is that different average ability levels aren't used to identify superior or inferior races – but rather to see individuals co-operatively contributing at their own particular level to a project (e.g. family or workplace). Some are at a higher level, and some at a lower level, but that's true of any organization, and doesn't stop people co-operating with a fair (not equal) share out of the rewards.

But it isn't going to happen in a divisive SJW environment where the media and education constantly push a racial narrative, and it's not going to happen with mass immigration that overwhelms any efforts at integration.

And, of course, it's all much easier with one race, one country, which is more or less how the world developed naturally over millennia.

However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents – pushing forward as an organized racial block to appropriate power for Jewish racial advantage – even to the extent of expending $ trillions of US resources for the benefit of Israel.

Randal > , October 8, 2017 at 9:35 am GMT

@peterAUS I agree that there are certainly strong ethno-centric elements to the nationalism in Catalonia, as presumably there always are in nationalist movements of any size. My point is really that the movement itself is unable to mobilise those sentiments effectively – among the most powerful human motivating factors around, which is exactly why globalists place such a big emphasis on delegitimising their expression, criminalising and silencing them – probably because they are hobbled by their own leftist internationalist political philosophy (see the political origins of the main Catalan separatist parties).

The sheer willpower by secessionists, in this case, can simply sweep all that logic aside.
If .if ..that's that "real" nationalism.

We, outsiders, don't know that.
Only Catalans do.

Yes, we can't know it for certain. But we can try to assess it from the available indicators, and my assessment fwiw is that that is not going to happen in the Catalan case, for various reasons.

Only a fool or a liar would claim certainty on such an issue, though.

Randal > , October 8, 2017 at 9:36 am GMT

@Hibernian Yes, Derbyshire was a little lax using the term "Britain", when he should have written: " with the rest of the British Isles not far behind "

anon > , Disclaimer October 8, 2017 at 11:40 am GMT

There are enormous economic advantages in having a large, national economy. You have a large domestic market, you can have a highly diversified economy, and you have a national currency. The best way to view this is from the outside. Decades of largely failed development economics are entirely consumed with how to overcome the advantages of the large, highly developed economies.

Industrialization's secret sauce was scale -- which a large national economy can support. This is so obvious and fundamental that it seems to be invisible. But also -- a large national economy also has 'diseconomies' and people have had to focus so long on those that it is understandable that the advantages no longer have the proper mindshare.

I view the US as both very strong as well as an underachiever.

Regardless. If a sub-nation splits off and then, for example, adopts the Euro, belongs to the EU, and is a member of NATO, then it isn't much of a nation. Leaving aside the question of military, would an independent California continue to use the dollar? And have free trade and open borders with Oregon and Nevada? And have a free trade agreement with the current 49 US states? If so, then there isn't all that much point. If not, then there are real costs and likely much higher costs than the states can imagine. The West Coast does quite will in global trade. And not in small part because Boeing is subsidized and US Tech firms and Media share a currency with the rest of the country that don't have the same export strength. Not unlike Germany, who benefit from a Euro that is much weaker than a stand alone Mark would be.

And finally -- like it or not -- the US will be dealing with a country (China) that will have massive scale advantages.

jeppo > , October 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT

@Cato Yes, but how many mutually unintelligible dialects would be spoken within that "homogeneous" Han core?

There are seven major subgroups of spoken Chinese. Of those Mandarin is by far the largest, with about 950 million first language speakers, or 70% of China's total population. So even if China was reduced to its Mandarin core it would still be a massive nation.

Numinous > , October 8, 2017 at 1:21 pm GMT

Enoch Powell was a hypocrite. He was an imperialist and wanted to be Viceroy of India. Yet when a few workers from Pakistan and Jamaica made it to his country, he became a demagogue braying about rivers of blood. To him it was always "nationalism for me but not for thee."

Jonathan Mason > , October 8, 2017 at 2:40 pm GMT

@Light Roast

It's in the northeastern corner of Spain, actually.

In that case, which corner is the Basque country around Bilbao and San Sebastian? Maybe that is not a corner at all. Spain seems to have 2 north east corners, but you might want to call the Barcelona corner the south east corner as it sits on the Mediterranean facing of the Iberian peninsula, rather than the Atlantic coast or Bay of Biscay.

In any case, if you really want to nit pick, Barcelona is below the corner formed by the Mediterranean and the French frontier and faces towards the Balearics.

And are Almeria and Gibraltar and Huelva located at corners, and what are they called?

Spain is actually shaped like the tilted head of a bull, with the two horns extending over Portugal and below France, so it has a lots of angles and corners and is not as square or rhomboidal as one might think.

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 4:07 pm GMT

@Miro23 "The reality of US slavery was that black slaves were valuable property, and as such, were mostly adequately housed and fed. They were owned and sometimes abused but apart from legal definitions, I can't see much practical difference in their situation when compared to much current US minimum wage (or illegal) work."

First, Europeans brutally and viciously stripped a group of people from their homeland and of their identity. Second, Europeans conferred to slavery as being "valuable" and as "property"; in other words, "gimmedats". Why didn't Europeans work the land themselves? Were they THAT lazy? Third, black slaves were generally abused by their masters; they were given the bare necessities, but not education nor individual rights. Fourth, how do YOU feel about modern day slavery? Based on your logic, you and your family would have no quibble if ripped from your homeland and forced to till someone else's fields.

"Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities."

IF true, these differences do NOT justify the enslavement of people.

"However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents "

Why are you so obsessed with Jews?

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 4:10 pm GMT

@Anonymous "Is America a nation?"

Absolutely.

"Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common."

Human beings live here. They are Americans or are part of the United States. They share a common language, customs, and ways of life.

Propagandist Hacker > , Website October 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm GMT

the Derb does not favor breaking up the large nations what a surprise after all, he is a conservative and conservatism is nothing if not a propaganda arm of Big Business and keeping large nations together is important to Big Business profits how else can Big Business thwart the will of the white majority? After all, the governments of large nations such as america are not really controllable by the white majority and instead are controlled by .wait for it Big Business!

In general, the larger the nation, the less united and cohesive the nation and the easier it is for Big Business to control it the smaller the nation, in general, the more unified and cohesive .so the people are more united and they are more in control of their own government .large nations like the USA are not united and cohesive .and thus easier for Big Business to control the media and the GOP are against the Catalonia revolt a Catalonian nation would be more united and cohesive than the larger nation of Spain with Catalonia Big Business will lose out .a Catalonian nation would be better able to control its own immigration and no more cheap labor for Big Business no more consumer demand via immigration..oh no and no more cheap domestic labor for upper class propagandists like the Derb

Jonathan Mason > , October 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm GMT

@Corvinus

Think about it: it includes Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Pico and Kansas. What do these areas have in common."

Human beings live here. They are Americans or are part of the United States. They share a common language, customs, and ways of life.

Having human beings living in a country only differentiates it from uninhabited territory, so is not a very useful distinction as Antarctica and Greenland and the Arctic seem like the only really large land masses that are not inhabited, and they all have one thing in common–they are very cold.

Actually Spanish is spoken as the primary language in Puerto Rico, and there are other countries, for example Canada other than Quebec, where the way of life might have more in common with Alaska than with Puerto Rico or Hawaii, which also has its own language, though it is secondary to English.

Corvinus > , October 8, 2017 at 7:18 pm GMT

@John Jeremiah Smith Non sequitar–an inference or a conclusion that does not follow from the premises

Slavery is a moral scourge.Moral scourges need to be eradicated. Therefore, slavery is a moral scourge that needs to be eradicated. **

Please point out how the conclusion ** does not logically flow from the previous statements.

"Unlikely. Industrialization would have rendered Southern slavery non-competitive."

Southern slave owners, as well as northern business owners, would have employed slaves rather than imported foreigners to do the backbreaking labor. Then, your ancestors would likely not come to America, and that would have been an absolute shame.

"Also, spare me your personal moralizing, eh, Corv?"

The same way you personally moralize about the scourge of liberals, the elites, and the Jews?

Miro23 > , October 8, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Corvinus

First, Europeans brutally and viciously stripped a group of people from their homeland and of their identity. Second, Europeans conferred to slavery as being "valuable" and as "property"; in other words, "gimmedats". .Third, black slaves were generally abused by their masters; they were given the bare necessities, but not education nor individual rights.

How slaves were treated probably depended on who their owners were. Slavery is obviously wrong but it doesn't automatically mean that the SJW trope "slaves were generally abused by their masters" is true.

Fourth, how do YOU feel about modern day slavery? Based on your logic, you and your family would have no quibble if ripped from your homeland and forced to till someone else's fields.

I never said that. I was talking about modern day, "free market" hard minimum wage work for excess hours, in return for a bare survival wage, and the similarity to slavery.

"Second, it's a fact that there are biological differences between races in mean abilities."

IF true, these differences do NOT justify the enslavement of people.

Try reading what I wrote. No one is trying to enslave anybody. The whole point is that mean racial differences are irrelevant given 1) the amount of variation about the average and 2) people of different abilities being able to harmoniously and usefully work together in most real life situations.

"However, what is 100% fatal for present US society, is racial patronage (reserved positions to leverage forward one's own race) of which US Jews are the prime exponents "

Why are you so obsessed with Jews?

I know that it's taboo to mention the fact the Jewish 2% of the US population have an outsized influence on Congress, the media, the FED/Treasury and US foreign policy, and they have got it through a long term policy of ethnic patronage (i.e. racism).

The true obsession is US media concern with hiding the fact.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:39 pm GMT

Sorry Mr Derbyshire. I know that you're an American by choice while I'm merely one by ancestry, but it seems to me and to many others that the need to disaggregate is obvious and pressing. If I thought that there was even a remote chance of returning the republic to something reasonably like the one I grew up in during the 1950s and 1960s, I'd certainly make the effort to effect that change. But we're past the point of no return. Too much of the nation is now a polyglot melange of Third Worlders. The only hope now is to try to save those parts of the Heartland that may yet be pulled back from the brink.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm GMT

@Miro23 There's at least as good a chance of disaggregation as there is of returning to federalism. I'd say it's a considerably better chance. The globalists/multiculturalists in the blue regions (blue islands in a sea of red) will never consent to federalism. They might not be able to prevent other regions from breaking away.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:06 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie The Constitution is a dead letter. It is routinely flouted by both parties. One of the parties clearly despises it except when judges that they appointed can interpret it to mean the opposite of what it clearly means. If what you are suggesting were possible, I'd be in full agreement with you, but that ship has long since sailed.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:15 pm GMT

@anon I have no problem trading with the people of California, and I'd hope that they'd have no problem trading with me. But I don't want to live under the sort of laws that Californians want to live under. Best solution: We go our separate ways, but still cooperate where such cooperation is seen to be beneficial to both the parties.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm GMT

@Corvinus Your grasp of the realities of the slave trade is weak indeed. Those who "stripped" the homeland and identity from the African slaves were the Africans who kidnapped them (or enslaved them by judicial process) and then sold them to European and Arab slave traders. The European and Arab slave traders (and those who bought the slaves from them) are not without serious fault, but they were simply availing themselves of a trade that had existed for centuries.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm GMT

@Corvinus Less and less a common language.

MBlanc46 > , October 8, 2017 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Propagandist Hacker the Derb does not favor breaking up the large nations...what a surprise...after all, he is a conservative...and conservatism is nothing if not a propaganda arm of Big Business...and keeping large nations together is important to Big Business profits...how else can Big Business thwart the will of the white majority? After all, the governments of large nations such as america are not really controllable by the white majority and instead are controlled by....wait for it...Big Business!

In general, the larger the nation, the less united and cohesive the nation...and the easier it is for Big Business to control it...the smaller the nation, in general, the more unified and cohesive....so the people are more united...and they are more in control of their own government....large nations like the USA are not united and cohesive....and thus easier for Big Business to control...the media and the GOP are against the Catalonia revolt...a Catalonian nation would be more united and cohesive than the larger nation of Spain with Catalonia...Big Business will lose out....a Catalonian nation would be better able to control its own immigration...and no more cheap labor for Big Business...no more consumer demand via immigration..oh no...and no more cheap domestic labor for upper class propagandists like...the Derb I should like to see John Derbyshire respond to this? Ahoy, Mr Derbyshire, are you reading the comments?

Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY) > , October 8, 2017 at 9:40 pm GMT

"Here's where I renew my call for a worldwide alliance of nationalists along the lines of the old Comintern, the Communist International. We can call this alliance the Natintern, the Nationalist International. I'm still waiting for someone to come up with a suitable anthem, to be called of course The Nationale."

We already have a stirring anthem; we just need new lyrics.

I wonder whether this Billy Bragg (the name itself is humorous) is sincere, or is an anti-Communist parodist. His exaggerated British accent sounds comical (e.g., "comraids"), and his lyrics, with their imperfect scansion, read like a mock on political correctness:

Stand up, all victims of oppression / For the tyrants fear your might / Don't cling so hard to your possessions [a taunt at John Lennon's "Imagine"?] / For you have nothing if you have no rights / Let racist ignorance be ended
Let no one build walls to divide us / Walls of hatred nor walls of stone [Hear that, Trump?] / Come greet the dawn and stand beside us / We'll live together or we'll die alone

Daniel Chieh > , October 9, 2017 at 3:43 am GMT

@Cato Trends in China are toward centralization, not separation.

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 7:23 am GMT

@Grandpa Charlie The South tried to break away from the Union – and the result was the Civil War.

The idea is to stay within a looser Union (American Confederation?), whereby States can still respect and cooperate with each other, but with a lot smaller role for Washington, and correspondingly greater role in looking after their own affairs (raising and spending taxes locally).

Power would switch back to the State/County level and require plenty of citizen participation (almost certainly obligatory) which wouldn't be a bad thing.

"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." -George Bernard Shaw

Miro23 > , October 9, 2017 at 7:42 am GMT

@Daniel Chieh

Trends in China are toward centralization, not separation.

There are different opinions on this:

The true foot soldiers of the political and economic program of Xi and Li are the people who have the most power in the current system – the local party leadership. This includes the heads of the 2,862 counties, 333 prefectures and 31 provincial-level divisions (not counting Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan). Put this group of just roughly 3,200 together, and you have the most important constituency of all for Xi and Li.

The loyalty and competence of provincial leadership in contemporary China is critical. Many of the key leaders from this group in fact sit on the Central Committee.

https://thediplomat.com/2013/11/in-china-all-politics-are-getting-more-local/

[Oct 08, 2017] Russian views on the separatist referendums in Iraq

From comments: "US totally destroyed Iraq twice, first in Gulf War and then in Iraq Invasion. Militarily, US power was overwhelming. Problem was political. US failed to set up a stable system of government. As such, it led to insurgencies everywhere. The problem is that military options cannot fix political and social problems. US can invade and defeat and destroy. Military is a destructive force, and US is second to none. But after the destruction, there is need for construction, and the military cannot do that. It requires political will, talent, unity, and order. But as long as US invaded diverse nations and unleashes tribal conflict, what follows is chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

This is the comparatively simpler one of the two: there is no way Russia is going to take the risk of alienating Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Furthermore, "independent Kurdistan" is so clearly a US-Israeli project that there is no constituency in Russia supporting this concept. Or is there?

Let's not forget the for all the official smiles and declarations of mutual friendship, Erdogan is not, and will never, be trusted by the Kremlin. Furthermore, let's not forget that Russia and Turkey fought 12 (twelve!) wars (1568-1570, 1672-1681, 1686-1700, 1710-1713, 1735-1739, 1768-1774, 1787-1791, 1806-1812, 1828-1829, 1853-1856, 1877-1878, 1914-1918). Neither should we forget the role Turkey played in supporting Takfiri terrorism in Chechnia. Or the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria. Oh and there is the issue of the Russian bomber shot down (with US assistance) over Syrian airspace. So, all in all, there is a lot in the past and the Russians will not ignore it. While it is most definitely not in the Russian national interest to fully support an independent Kurdistan anywhere (meaning not in Turkey, not in Iraq, not in Iran and not in Syria), a Realpolitik approach would strongly suggest that the Russian have an objective interest in keeping the Kurdish issue festering just to have a potential leverage against Turkey. Is that cynical? Yes, absolutely. I am not saying that this is morally/ethically right, only that there will be those in Russia who will make that case.

I think that the real issue for Russia is this: is peace between Russia and Turkey even possible? I personally believe that it is and, not only that, but I even believe that peace between Russia and Turkey is absolutely necessary. And that, in turn, means that it might even be inevitable. Let me explain.

First, 20 th , 19 th , 18 th , 17 th and 16 th century dynamics are simply not transferable to the 21 st century. If the geographical factors have not changed during the past centuries, military realities have. Yes, Russia and Turkey still can compete for influence or for the control of the Black Sea, but for the first time in history the outcome of a Russian-Turkish war has become absolutely predictable: Russia wins, Turkey loses or even disappears entirely. The Russians know that, and so do the Turks. This is exceedingly unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

Second, I would argue that Russia and Turkey have common problems and common enemies. Sure, Turkey is still a member of NATO, I don't think that will change anytime soon, but this membership is in the process of losing a lot of its substance. The attempted coup against Erdogan, which was fully backed and supported by the US, is a stark illustration that with friends like the US Turkey needs no enemies. So look at it from the Turkish point of view: what do Russia and the US want for Turkey? The US want Turkey to be a US colony and use against Russia, Iran and the Arab states in the region and in support of Israel. What does Russia want from Turkey? To be a predictable, reliable and truly independent partner with whom Russia can work. Now if you were Turkish, which option would most appeal to you?

Third, former enemies can become partners – just think of France and Germany for example. That can happen when objective factors combine with a political will and jointly "push" towards a fundamental transition from enemies to partners. I am increasingly inclined to think that this might be happening between Russia and Turkey.

I don't think I am being Pollyannish here. And yes, there are still plenty of problems in Turkey which can flare-up, including Ergodan's megalonania, neo-Ottoman imperial delusions, a nasty type of Ottoman Islamism, Turkey's toxic policies towards Cyprus, Greece and Serbia, etc. But Russia cannot complain about the blind stupidity of East-Europeans who fail to grasp the fundamental differences between the old USSR and the new Russia while at the same time acting as of modern Turkey was the old Ottoman Empire. There are moments in history when what is required from wise leaders is to have the intellectual courage to understand that something fundamental has changed and that old dynamics simply do not apply. At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North.

Fourth, the Kurdish question also presents a serious indirect risk for Russia: even if Russia is not directly involved, any tensions or, God forbid, war between any combination of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq would be a disaster for Russia because all of these countries are, to various degrees, Russian allies. Any conflict between these countries would weaken them and, therefore, weaken Russia too.

For all these reasons, I am personally convinced that having a festering Kurdish problem is not in the Russian national interest. However, neither is it in the Russian national interest to try to become deeply involved in this issue. At most, the Russians can offer to act as intermediaries to help the parties find a negotiated solution, but that's is about it. Russia is neither an empire nor a world policeman and she has no business trying to influence or, even less so, control outcomes in this thorny issue.

Israel and the US will do everything they can to prevent Turkey from integrating itself into regional partnerships with Russia or Iran, but this might not be enough to prevent the Turks from realizing that they have no future with the EU or NATO. In the AngloZionist Empire some are more equal than others, and Turkey will never be granted any kind of real partnership in these organizations. The bottom line is this: Russia has a lot to offer Turkey and I believe that the Turks are beginning to realize this. Russia can, therefore, do much better than to simply support Kurdish separatism as a way to keep pressure on Ankara. " The enemy of my enemy is my friend " is too primitive to be at the foundation of Russia's policies towards Turkey.

For all these reasons I don't see Russia supporting Kurdish separatism anywhere. Russia has nothing to gain by supporting what is clearly a US-Israeli project aimed at destabilizing the entire region. I believe that the Kurds themselves have made a huge historical mistake by aligning themselves with the US and Israel and that they therefore will now reap the bitter fruits of this strategic miscalculation: nobody in the region supports a "2nd Israel" (except Israel, of course) and neither will Russia.

kimms > , October 5, 2017 at 6:25 am GMT

"Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik.

dervis > , October 5, 2017 at 10:20 am GMT

It is shameless to say that -the fact that Erdogan himself bears a huge responsibility in the bloodbath in Syria- after admitting that Kurdistan and for that matter ISIS is so clearly a US-Israeli project. American arrogance

dervis > , October 5, 2017 at 10:23 am GMT

@kimms "Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways"

She does but bringing such a primitive, in essence middle-age-mindset country into the 21st century, is a really really tough one. Some 80% of the Turks support ISIS & Al-nusra what does that tell us about their society? Their violent intolerance and pogroms against native Christians? It would probably be much easier to restore Constantinople after an inevitable civil war then to hope for Turkey to make such a giant leap into realpolitik. You have not got a clue about Turkish mindset my friend.

Johnny Rico > , October 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm GMT

At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North

.

Whatever.

You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

And the future is over-rated.

The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment.

[Oct 08, 2017] Russian views on the separatist referendums in Spain

Notable quotes:
"... Historically, the USSR was on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today. However, there is also s sympathy between Russia and Spain and the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony. ..."
"... The question which divides a lot of Russians is this: is Russia better off with a strong EU because a strong EU might be more capable of standing up to the US or is Russia better off with a weak EU because a weak EU weakens the Western 'front' against Russia? My personal opinion is that EU is doomed anyway and that a collapse of the EU would be a good thing for the people of Europe as it would bring closer the inevitable decolonization of the European continent. This suggests to me that while the eventual outcome of the current crisis is probably irrelevant to Russia, the fact that a crisis is happening is to Russia's advantage. ..."
"... the Kremlin's position that " this is an internal Spanish issue " is probably supported by a majority of experts. Russia has nothing to gain by involving herself in this crisis and she therefore won't do so. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.unz.com

Catalonia

Catalonia is far away from Russia and the outcome of the crisis there will have no real impact on Russian national interests. But on a political level, Catalonia is highly relevant to the Russian political debates. See for yourself:

The case of Catalonia can be compared to Crimea: a local referendum, organized against the will of the central government. In contrast, when Kosovo was cut-off from Serbia in total illegality and without any kind of referendum the entire West gave this abomination a standing ovation. The Russians then issues stark warnings about the precedent this set and thereafter South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea happened. Is the secession of Catalonia not the next logical step? Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?! It is rather funny, in a bitter-sweet way, to see how 'democratic' policemen beat up peaceful demonstrators whose only "crime" was to want to cast a ballot in a box. A lot of Russians are now saying that Russia is now the only truly democratic and free country left out there. Needless to say, the way the Madrid government handled this situation further damage the credibility of the West, the EU and the entire notion of "civilized Europe" being "democratic".

My feeling is that the way the central government handled this event alienated most Russian who are simply baffled by the utter stupidity and needless brutality of the police crackdown during the vote: what in the world were the cops trying to achieve?! Did they really think that they could prevent the vote? And what is the point in then denying that a referendum did take place? Or what about the praise for the police and their behavior? I have to say that for all my pro-Spanish biases, the way Madrid handled it all truly seems fantastically stupid and self-defeating to me.

Historically, the USSR was on the Republican side during the Spanish Civil war and there are still a lot of ties between Russia and Catalonia today. However, there is also s sympathy between Russia and Spain and the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony. Still, a lot of Russian commentator did speak about Madrid's "Fascism" in handling the events in Catalonia, and footage of anti-separatists screaming Francoist slogans did not help.

Some Russians, however, mostly liberal, caution about supporting separatism movements in Europe because Russia herself in multi-national and because of the risk of the separatist fad coming right back to Russia. I don't think that this is much of a real risk for Russia. Not after Chechnia. I just don't see any region in Russia really interested in trying to secede from the Russian Federation. If anything, I see more potential for various region on the other side of the Russian border wanting to join Russia (Novorussia to begin with).

The question which divides a lot of Russians is this: is Russia better off with a strong EU because a strong EU might be more capable of standing up to the US or is Russia better off with a weak EU because a weak EU weakens the Western 'front' against Russia? My personal opinion is that EU is doomed anyway and that a collapse of the EU would be a good thing for the people of Europe as it would bring closer the inevitable decolonization of the European continent. This suggests to me that while the eventual outcome of the current crisis is probably irrelevant to Russia, the fact that a crisis is happening is to Russia's advantage.

I think that most Russians have positive feelings towards both Spain and Catalonia. The only clearly negative feelings I have seen over the past couple of days are elicited by the brutal and dumb way Madrid handled this crisis: most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians. But other than that, the Kremlin's position that " this is an internal Spanish issue " is probably supported by a majority of experts. Russia has nothing to gain by involving herself in this crisis and she therefore won't do so.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 9:53 am GMT

Strong on the Kurdish/Russian analysis. Not so impressed with the Catalonia stuff, which seems to me to be overly impressed by all the hysterical propaganda about "police brutality" in the Spanish police perfectly reasonably trying to enforce the law.

Granted to some extent it's necessary to treat that propaganda seriously, to the extent that it has been successful in shaping some opinion, but it isn't necessary to restate it as though it's objectively true, which suggests Saker for some reason actually believes that a government has no right to order its police to arrest people who break the law, or that police have no right to deal with people who obstruct them in performing their lawful duty.

Try doing that in the US some time and see what it gets you.

I have inherent sympathy for the Catalan separatists as nationalists disrupting the Euro establishment's cosy setup, and inherent antipathy for them as a bunch of globalist lefty pro-immigration, pro-EU hypocrites, so I'm conflicted on my emotional response to the issue. Perhaps that allows for more objectivity.

In practical terms, though, I can see no short term future for Catalan separatism. There is almost zero possibility of any major world government recognising a unilaterally seceding region in Spain, for obviously self-serving reasons, and a unilateral declaration of independence leaves Catalonia in breach of Spanish law to the degree that it fails and outside the EU and without any realistic way to organise its finances and economy to the extent that it succeeds.

Far from making a mistake, I suspect the Madrid government did the right thing (from the point of view of the Spanish central government and its tactical objective of frustrating the Catalan separatists' goal on secession) in making it clear that the "referendum" was illegal – it prevented it from being a much more credible mandate for independence, and the hysterical response to a few robust police operations will soon fade as reality sets in.

Rationally, you would expect therefore that the noises the separatists are making about a UDI within days should be a bluff. However, it's certainly possible that Puigdemont's analysis is different and he will go ahead with one. In that case, it seems likely the central government will suspend regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, replace the senior ranks of the local police force and seek to ride out the likely mass demonstrations, mob resistance and strikes that will follow.

The separatists can only lose from then on, since all they can do is make life unpleasant for their own people in Catalonia while the central government tightens the noose. It doesn't appear there is sufficient or sufficiently strong support for independence in Catalonia, nor any strong foreign sponsor, to enable them to hold out long enough to bring Spain, backed by the EU establishment, to its knees. As time goes on, more and more people in Catalonia, starting with the strong opponents of separatism and moving on to neutrals and ultimately even "soft" separatist supporters, will come to blame the UDI hotheads for their situation.

The separatists will be left depending on a "hail Mary" to rescue them – a Spanish government collapse or some kind of Euro crisis that, instead of causing the big EU powers to tell Madrid to crack down harder and sort things out, somehow has the opposite effect.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 9:55 am GMT

Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?!

The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member ( pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo .

John Doran. > , October 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

The stupidity of the Spanish "politicians" both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

It's almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It's more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, "from the Nile to the Euphrates" is at work in the M.East.
The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

John Doran.

Andrei Martyanov > , Website October 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm GMT

@Randal


Is there not a karmic beauty in the fact that Spain and the rest of the EU are now being hit by the very same demon they unleashed in Kosovo? There is a definite Schadenfreude for many Russians in seeing the pompous asses of EU politicians sitting on the red ants nest of separatism – let's see how smart and "democratic" you guys truly are?!
The Karmic beauty is indeed there as far as the EU is concerned, but there is an irony within the irony, in that Spain is the only significant EU member ( pace any Rumanian patriots reading this) not to have recognised Kosovo . Solana is despicable.
Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

@John Doran. The common denominators are stupidity & Israel.

The stupidity of the Spanish "politicians" both from Milan & Catalan in allowing this situation to develop is almost unbelievable. The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans, who did not previously have a majority for independence. They will now be closer to a majority.

It's almost as though the dummy was conspiring WITH the Catalan dopes in the breakup of his own country. Weird.

Israel is, reportedly, a huge investor in the Catalan area. The Separatist movement is being driven by the Catalan elite, not from the grassroots. It's more Maidan than Wat Tyler.

Only Israel is backing the Barzani Kurd separatists who have considerable Jewish heritage & are as stupid as the Catalans in their greedy pursuit of autonomy.

The Israeli dream of Greater Israel, "from the Nile to the Euphrates" is at work in the M.East.
The globalist dream of the destruction of every nation, including the mad U$Asylum Empire & the Nazi state of Israehell is at work, again, in Europe.

John Doran.

The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans

LOL!

It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" – oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

Catalan separatists:

"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.)

FB > , October 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Randal


The Nazi-like actions of Rajoy in particular has generated huge sympathy for the Catalans
LOL!

It's as though the world has been taken over by a combination of 1970s hippies moaning about "police brutality, man" because they got their weed confiscated and Marxist halfwits going on about "fascist oppressors" - oh, hang on, that pretty much is what has happened. They grew up into globalists and brought their children up as SJWs and antifa thugs

Catalan separatists:

"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! I'm being repressed!"

When did it become "Nazi-like" for police to enforce the law? (For grownups, I mean. Obviously childish hippies have always had that view.) Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime

The details that you overlook are fatal

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force' and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops

The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard

This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons

Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties

What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies

Anatoly Karlin > , Website October 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.

Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.

Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

Daniel Chieh > , October 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin


... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/


... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

This is what I suspect as well. It might matter more if Spain was a major trading partner with Russia, but I don't think that has been the case in recent history. I don't think there is a significant expat community of either Spanish in Russia or vice versa, either.

Watching the EU step a few more steps, zombie-like, toward her inevitable end must be faintly amusing, though.

Randal > , October 5, 2017 at 6:10 pm GMT

@FB Your repetition of the jingo 'police have a right to enforce the law' is laughably simplistic and at odds with reality...

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime...

The details that you overlook are fatal...

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local...what you refer to as 'police' are the Spanish Civil Guard, described by wikipedia as being 'organised as a military force'...and with a long and bloody history during the authoritarian Franco era especially, as political shock troops...

The footage of what took place is there for everyone to see...there was not one recorded instance of the demonstrators resorting to violence, either against property or persons, including the Civil Guard...

This itself is remarkable, as police agent provocateurs starting trouble is a standard tactic in any demonstration where authorities want to create an excuse for police violence...the fact that they were unable to deploy such provocateurs speaks volumes about the order maintained by the demonstrators, supported by local police and first responders...

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently, as was seen in the massive anti-trump riots...they only swung into action after individuals initiated violence against property and persons...

Every police department in civilized countries sticks to these rules, not least for their own interests...during any mass demonstration, the local police interest is always to keep things from getting out of control and minimizing property damage and human casualties...

What we saw in Catalonia was a non-local paramilitary force on a purely political mission of violent assault...

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/860924/catalonia-referendum-spain-map-independence-barcelona-basque-civil-guard-polling

Bottom line is that police do have a duty to stop violent demonstrators who are breaking the law, but not peaceful assemblies...

The right to peaceful assembly is an inalienable human right that is respected by pretty much any non-authoritarian regime

Peaceful assembly does not include intentionally breaking the law as confirmed by a direct court order, unless the law is an unreasonable one that precludes peaceful protest or political expression or assembly, which the Spanish law self-evidently does not. Catalan separatists in Spain have every right to speak and assemble freely, and they do so endlessly. Might as well claim drug dealers can't be arrested in the US for meeting to buy and sell drugs because it's a "breach of their inalienable human rights".

The 'police' with jurisdiction for law enforcement are always local

No they aren't. In the UK there are national police organisations that act on various kinds of crime. In the US federal police enforce federal laws.

Whether it's local or national police enforcing a court's orders is in reality irrelevant, except that local police might be more likely to abrogate their responsibility to enforce the law through partisan loyalty to the lawbreakers, as happened with the Catalan police.

Even US law enforcement with its penchant for violence has not behaved in this way recently

I don't know what world you live in, but in the real one the US and pretty much all police forces regularly enforce court orders and remove and/or arrest those who impede their doing so, with whatever level of violence is required to do so – usually not much in practice.

Here are German police dealing with hippy squatters "exercising their right of free assembly" in Berlin in June:

Here's how US police followed orders to clear leftists "exercising their right of free assembly" in Zucotti Park in 2011:

And here's how US police dealt with treehuggers "exercising their right of free assembly" in breach of the law in Montana last year:

Police in riot gear faced off with protesters on horseback as the months long protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline came to a head Thursday.

At least 117 protesters were arrested after law enforcement Humvees and helicopters began to flood the area to break up a protester encampment near the pipeline's path.

Calling themselves "water protectors," supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe set up tents and teepees on the land, about an hour south of Bismarck, which they said belongs to the tribe under a 19-century treaty.

But authorities said they are trespassing on pipeline property. Officials brought in reinforcements from seven states to remove protesters and dismantle roadblocks made of hay bales and wood.

As the standoff continued, police deployed bean bag rounds and pepper spray gas and unleashed a high-pitched siren to disperse the crowd.

Look, I'm not a blanket apologist for the police or for government repression. I recognise that there are plenty of occasions when governments and police act repressively. But this business in Catalonia was not one of those times, even if there might have been occasions when individual officers or units got carried away – police are human beings, and those might be disciplinary issues but they do not make either the Spanish government enforcing the law nor the Spanish police carrying out their orders to do so somehow "Nazi-like", as the post to which I was replying asserted.

Catalan separatists are an awful lot less repressed than traditionalists/nativists/racists and other such dissident minorities of the traditionalist right are in Europe and the UK, where the latter can have their political representation infiltrated and disrupted, their meetings attacked, their sympathisers harassed and dismissed from employment, and their freedom of expression suppressed, with the connivance or even active cooperation of government. Catalan separatists as a matter of hard fact have all those freedoms that nativists etc do not, and having those freedoms does not require being allowed to carry out a specific illegal act that has been forbidden by court order, merely in order to try to flout the law of the land.

Carlo > , October 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm GMT

@Johnny Rico


At the very least, Russia ought to do everything in her power to encourage Turkey to abandon its old ways and to follow Russia in her realization that her future is not with the West, but with the South, East and North
.

Whatever.

You Can Take The Man Out Of The Ghetto, But You Can't Take The Ghetto Out Of The Man.

These are intractable issues. As much as you wish otherwise, both Russia and Turkey are too big, too clumsy, and too backward to do much about any of this. Powerlessness. Get used to it. At least Russia has oil.

And the future is over-rated.

The smarter citizens of the West began to see the illusory folly of the Myth of Progress decades ago. You Russians are still trying to push Utopia. You would think you would have learned something from the whole Communist experiment. "You Russians are still trying to push Utopia."
What utopia is Russia still trying to push? The West wants the entire world filled with LGBT and tolerance and human rights and free trade and everyone then will be happy.

Mao Cheng Ji > , October 5, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin


... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/


... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it.

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans.

In general, everybody is hostile to everybody else, particularly when the establishment media are endlessly propagating hostile narratives, the US influence being (as the man said) a major factor in that. The phony 'global attitude' survey shows the favorability of the US in Germany dropping 20-30% in one year, and yet the US is exactly the same country. These numbers are meaningless.

Carlo > , October 5, 2017 at 7:21 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

... the Russians understand that Spain is supporting any and all US policies towards Russia because it is a voiceless and totally subservient US colony.
Which Russians exactly?

Spaniards, like many Europeans, are as hostile to Russia as Americans. This absurd trope that the AngloZionist Empire is suppressing Europeans' natural Russophilia needs to be done away with.

http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/08/16/publics-worldwide-unfavorable-toward-putin-russia/pg_2017-08-16_views-of-russia_006/

... most Russians are sincerely appalled at the violence and at the hypocrisy of the EU politicians.
Again, who are these mythical "most Russians"?

It's a sure bet that a good majority hasn't even heard about the Catalonian crisis, let alone have any strong opinion on it. Well, Spain allowed for some years the Russian Navy to stop for provisions in Ceuta. Only last year they finally capitulated to NATO pressure. Locals also noticed that Russian sailors and officers were always polite and ordered, never entering into brawls or getting drunk in public, after a well-orchestrated worldwide propaganda campaign like this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/as-aleppo-burns-spain-resupplies-the-russian-navy_us_5808b794e4b00483d3b5d06a

[Oct 06, 2017] That 'Israel Lobby' Controversy History Has Proved Us Right The Forward

Notable quotes:
"... The result, we also argued, does more harm than good to both the United States and Israel. For the United States, the "special relationship" undermines America's standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, has encouraged a more confrontational approach with Iran and Syria, and contributes significantly both to America's terrorism problem and to needless and costly debacles like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. For Israel, unquestioning U.S. support for almost all its actions has allowed the decades-long subjugation of the Palestinians to continue unchecked, undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and threatening Israel's future as a democratic and/or Jewish state. ..."
"... Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries. ..."
"... There is little question the lobby remains a potent political force today. The "special relationship" is firmly intact: An increasingly prosperous Israel continues to receive billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, and it is still largely immune from criticism by top U.S. officials, members of Congress or contenders for public office. ..."
"... Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the co-author (with John J. Mearsheimer) of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | forward.com

Seven years ago, John Mearsheimer and I published a controversial article and subsequent book examining the impact of the "Israel lobby" -- that is, a loose coalition of pro-Israel individuals and organizations like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Christians United for Israel, just to name a few. We argued that decades of unconditional U.S. support for Israel -- the so-called "special relationship" -- is not explained by U.S. strategic interests or by shared values, as is often claimed, but is due primarily to the political efforts and activities of the lobby.

The result, we also argued, does more harm than good to both the United States and Israel. For the United States, the "special relationship" undermines America's standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, has encouraged a more confrontational approach with Iran and Syria, and contributes significantly both to America's terrorism problem and to needless and costly debacles like the 2003 invasion of Iraq. For Israel, unquestioning U.S. support for almost all its actions has allowed the decades-long subjugation of the Palestinians to continue unchecked, undermining the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and threatening Israel's future as a democratic and/or Jewish state.

We made it clear that the lobby was not a monolith controlling every aspect of U.S. Middle East policy, but rather a collection of disparate groups and individuals united by the aim of defending Israel's actions and deepening the special relationship. We explicitly rejected the idea that anything nefarious was going on, explaining that AIPAC and related organizations were simply part of a powerful interest group like the farm lobby or the National Rifle Association. Their efforts to influence U.S. policy are "as American as apple pie." And we used the term "Israel lobby" to highlight that not all American Jews support these policies and that some key members of the lobby (such as Christian Zionists) aren't Jewish. The book also emphasizes that none of these groups or individuals is solely responsible for the choices U.S. leaders make.

As the article and book predicted, a firestorm of criticism followed their publication, including more than a few accusations that we are anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our aim was to elicit a debate that would help move America's foreign policy in a wiser direction and increase Israel's chances of achieving a durable, peaceful two-state solution with the Palestinians. By successfully squelching any criticism of Israel in almost any form, and by encouraging military action against Israel's foes, the lobby -- in our view -- had led us away from both.

Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries.

There is little question the lobby remains a potent political force today. The "special relationship" is firmly intact: An increasingly prosperous Israel continues to receive billions of dollars in U.S. assistance, and it is still largely immune from criticism by top U.S. officials, members of Congress or contenders for public office. Being perceived as insufficiently "pro-Israel" can disqualify nominees for important government positions; one need look no further than Chuck Hagel's contentious confirmation hearings -- and the 178 times Israel came up -- to see how crucial a role being pro-Israel plays in achieving political success in this country. People who criticize Israel too pointedly can still lose their jobs. Wealthy defenders of Israel such as Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban play outsize roles in American politics, especially on Israel-related issues. A number of hard-line individuals and groups in the lobby remain staunch opponents of the sensible 2016 nuclear deal with Iran and may eventually help convince President Trump or the Congress to overturn it.

The clearest illustration of the lobby's enduring power, however, is the Obama administration's failure to make any progress on settling the Israel-Palestinian conflict. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were strong supporters of Israel, and both believe a two-state solution is, as Obama put it, "in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest and the world's interest." But even with backing from pro-peace, pro-Israel organizations such as J Street, their efforts to achieve "two states for two peoples" were rebuffed by Israel, working hand in hand with AIPAC and other hard-line groups. So instead of seriously pursuing peace, Israel expanded its settlements in the Israeli-occupied territories, making it more difficult than ever to create a viable Palestinian state.

Given AIPAC's enduring influence in Congress and its unyielding opposition to any meaningful compromise with the Palestinians, Obama and Kerry ultimately could offer Israel only additional carrots (such as increased military aid) to try to win their cooperation. Like their predecessors, they could not put pressure on Israel to compromise by threatening to reduce U.S. support significantly. As a result, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had little incentive to make a deal. So, the two-state solution, which the United States has long sought and Netanyahu has long opposed, is now further away than ever. This outcome is bad for the United States and for Israel.

Despite the lobby's continuing influence, however, there is a more open discussion of Israel-related issues today than there was before we wrote our article and book. Together with long-term trends in the region and the United States, the ability to speak more openly about Israel is likely to diminish the lobby's impact on U.S. foreign policy in the future.

For starters, despite joining forces with Netanyahu to oppose the Iran deal, AIPAC was unable to convince Congress to reject the agreement. This failure signaled a rare defeat for the lobbying group, and a triumph for J Street and other groups that had backed the deal.

Furthermore, the taboo of publicly criticizing Israel, the lobby or the special relationship has been broken. In recent years, writers such as Peter Beinart, John Judis, Dan Fleshler and others have written important works examining the role of pro-Israel groups in American politics and criticizing their impact on U.S. foreign policy. Prominent journalists such as Thomas Friedman, Andrew Sullivan and Roger Cohen have penned their own criticisms of Israel's policies and the lobby's activities. More Americans have become aware of the complexities of life in Israel-Palestine and are more sympathetic to the needs and desires of both populations.

There is also a growing divide within the American Jewish community over what is best for Israel itself. Scholars like Dov Waxman, Steven Simon and Dana Allin have documented that American Jews today are less reluctant to criticize Israel's policies or the actions of the Israeli government. The creation of the pro-peace lobby J Street, the rapid growth of progressive groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, and the success of controversial online journals critical of Zionism, such as Mondoweiss, show that attitudes about Israel are more complicated than in the past. Reflexive support for whatever Israel does is no longer the default condition for many American Jews.

These developments are especially evident among young people, and as Waxman emphasizes in his 2016 book "Trouble in the Tribe," they have amplified divisions between the Orthodox and more liberal branches of Judaism. One sees this trend in a recent poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee, which found that nearly 80% of American Jews disapprove of the job President Trump is doing but 71% of Orthodox Jews support Trump. The main reason? Orthodox Jews tend to see Trump as more supportive of Israel. Yet even among the Orthodox, a recent survey by Nishma Research found that only 43% of those between 18 and 34 "actively support" the Jewish state, compared with 71% of those over 55.

These trends stem from a core tension: The vast majority of American Jews remain deeply committed to liberal values, while Israel has been moving away from them for many years now. There is a certain tension between liberalism and Zionism, because liberalism assumes that all humans possess the same set of basic rights and it emphasizes mutual tolerance, while Zionism is a nationalist movement that in its current iteration privileges one people at the expense of another. Until 1967, however, that tension between liberal and Zionist values was muted because most Israelis were Jewish and the second-class status of Israel's Arab minority did not receive much attention.

When Israel gained control of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, the resulting subjugation of millions of Palestinians brought that tension to the fore. The occupation of the Palestinian territories has endured for half a century, and today, certain sections of Israel's government are openly committed to retaining the West Bank in perpetuity and creating a "Greater Israel." This policy not only involves denying the Palestinian subjects meaningful political rights, but also leads Israel to react harshly whenever the Palestinians respond with violence and terrorism (as happened in response to the two intifadas and in Israel's repeated assaults on Gaza), further tarnishing its image in the United States and elsewhere.

But as former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert each warned, in the long run, denying the Palestinians a viable state of their own will turn Israel into a state akin to apartheid South Africa. Such a state will be increasingly difficult for Israel's supporters -- and especially liberal American Jews -- to embrace and defend against the inevitable criticism that will be directed at it. Furthermore, the steady rightward drift of Israeli politics -- exemplified by the 2016 "transparency law" marginalizing Israeli human rights organizations, as well as by Netanyahu's decision to renege on a plan to allow non-Orthodox Jewish men and women to pray together at the Western Wall -- also clashes with the political values of most American Jews.

Even more disturbing, the Israeli government has begun to turn a blind eye to incidents of genuine anti-Semitism, when doing so is seen as safeguarding other priorities. Netanyahu was slow to condemn the anti-Jewish and neo-Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, for example, and he declined to criticize Trump's waffling response to these disturbing events. Netanyahu also remains on good terms with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban despite Orban's anti-Semitic campaign against financier George Soros. Indeed, Netanyahu's son Yair Netanyahu recently posted to Facebook an explicitly anti-Semitic meme about Soros, thereby earning a swift condemnation from the ADL.

These and other events have accelerated what Waxman describes as a "splintering" among pro-Israel organizations. Past depictions of a weak Israeli David surrounded by a hostile Arab Goliath no longer ring true against the reality of a prosperous, nuclear-armed Israel that denies millions of Palestinian Arabs basic rights and uses its vast military power to keep those disenfranchised subjects powerless and afraid. Israel still faces a number of security challenges, but, contrary to what used to be the conventional wisdom, it is not weak, isolated or vulnerable to conventional attack. Instead, it has become a fiercely nationalistic state pursuing increasingly illiberal policies, which makes it increasingly hard for liberals to defend with enthusiasm.

These trends, however, have yet to affect Israel's most ardent defenders here in the United States. If anything, their efforts to silence criticism of Israel have reached new heights. How else can one explain the AIPAC-sponsored Senate bill that would make it a crime in the United States to participate in the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, legislation that the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and the Center for Constitutional Rights have rightly denounced as a direct threat to free speech?

Even if they succeed in muzzling some criticism in the short term, over time these tactics will turn off many Americans, including large numbers of American Jews who prize freedom of speech, tolerance and human rights, and who understand how important those values are for preserving the security of minority populations everywhere.

Barring a major shift in Israel's political trajectory, therefore, the fissures within the lobby -- and in the American Jewish community more broadly -- are likely to widen. If the balance of power in that community shifts in favor of more moderate and pro-peace groups, then there may be a glimmer of hope. "Two states for two peoples" will be harder to achieve today than it would have been under either President Clinton or President Obama, but political pressure from a powerful, pro-Israel and pro-peace lobby in the United States is probably the only development that would convince U.S. leaders to act as fair-minded mediators and persuade the Israeli government to grant the Palestinians a viable state of their own. Over the long term, that may also be the only way to preserve a secure Israel and the strong bonds of the U.S.- Israel relationship.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School and the co-author (with John J. Mearsheimer) of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007). The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/383901/that-israel-lobby-controversy-history-has-proved-us-right/

[Oct 04, 2017] How Kurdish Independence Underpins Israel's Plan to Reshape the Middle East by Jonathan Cook

Notable quotes:
"... It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser. ..."
"... Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US. ..."
"... Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official. ..."
"... Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power. ..."
"... The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency. ..."
"... Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war. ..."
"... Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East. ..."
"... The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities. ..."
Oct 04, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

Palestinians and Israelis watched last week's referendum of Iraq's Kurds with special interest. Israeli officials and many ordinary Palestinians were delighted – for very different reasons – to see an overwhelming vote to split away from Iraq.

Given the backlash from Baghdad and anger from Iran and Turkey, which have restive Kurdish minorities, the creation of a Kurdistan in northern Iraq may not happen soon.

Palestinian support for the Kurds is not difficult to understand. Palestinians, too, were overlooked when Britain and France carved up the Middle East into states a century ago. Like the Kurds, Palestinians have found themselves trapped in different territories, oppressed by their overlords.

Israel's complex interests in Kurdish independence are harder to unravel.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the sole world leader to back Kurdish independence, and other politicians spoke of the Kurds' "moral right" to a state. None saw how uneasily that sat with their approach to the Palestinian case.

On a superficial level, Israel would gain because the Kurds sit on plentiful oil. Unlike the Arab states and Iran, they are keen to sell to Israel.

But the reasons for Israeli support run deeper. There has been co-operation, much of it secret, between Israel and the Kurds for decades. Israeli media lapped up tributes from now-retired generals who trained the Kurds from the 1960s. Those connections have not been forgotten or ended. Independence rallies featured Israeli flags, and Kurds spoke of their ambition to become a "second Israel".

Israel views the Kurds as a key ally in an Arab-dominated region. Now, with Islamic State's influence receding, an independent Kurdistan could help prevent Iran filling the void. Israel wants a bulwark against Iran transferring its weapons, intelligence and know-how to Shiite allies in Syria and Lebanon.

Israel's current interests, however, hint at a larger vision it has long harboured for the region – and one I set out at length in my book Israel and the Clash of Civilisations.

It began with Israel's founding father, David Ben Gurion, who devised a strategy of "allying with the periphery" – building military ties to non-Arab states like Turkey, Ethiopia, India and Iran, then ruled by the shahs. The goal was to help Israel to break out of its regional isolation and contain an Arab nationalism led by Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Israeli general Ariel Sharon expanded this security doctrine in the early 1980s, calling for Israel to become an imperial power in the Middle East. Israel would ensure that it alone in the region possessed nuclear weapons, making it indispensible to the US.

Sharon was not explicit about how Israel's empire could be realised, but an indication was provided at around the same time in the Yinon Plan, written for the World Zionist Organisation by a former Israeli foreign ministry official.

Oded Yinon proposed the implosion of the Middle East, breaking apart the region's key states – and Israel's main opponents – by fuelling sectarian and ethnic discord. The aim was to fracture these states, weakening them so that Israel could secure its place as sole regional power.

The inspiration for this idea lay in the occupied territories, where Israel had contained Palestinians in a series of separate enclaves. Later, Israel would terminally divide the Palestinian national movement, nurturing an Islamist extremism that coalesced into Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

In this period, Israel also tested its ideas in neighbouring southern Lebanon, which it occupied for two decades. There, its presence further stoked sectarian tensions between Christians, Druze, Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

The strategy of "Balkanising" the Middle East found favour in the US among a group of hawkish policymakers, known as neoconservatives, who came to prominence during George W Bush's presidency.

Heavily influenced by Israel, they promoted the idea of "rolling back" key states, especially Iraq, Iran and Syria, which were opposed to Israeli-US dominance in the region. They prioritised ousting Saddam Hussein, who had fired missiles on Israel during the 1991 Gulf war.

Although often assumed to be an unfortunate side effect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington's oversight of the country's bloody disintegration into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish fiefdoms looked suspiciously intentional. Now, Iraqi Kurds are close to making that break-up permanent.

Syria has gone a similar way, mired in convulsive fighting that has left its ruler impotent. And Tehran is, again, the target of efforts by Israel and its allies in the US to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord, backing Iran into a corner. Arab, Baluchi, Kurdish and Azeri minorities there may be ripe for stirring up.

Last month at the Herzliya conference, an annual jamboree for Israel's security establishment, justice minister Ayelet Shaked called for a Kurdish state. She has stated that it would be integral to Israeli efforts to "reshape" the Middle East.

The unravelling of Britain and France's map of the region would likely lead to chaos of the kind that a strong, nuclear-armed Israel, with backing from Washington, could richly exploit. Not least, yet more bedlam would push the Palestinian cause even further down the international community's list of priorities.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net .

[Oct 04, 2017] Diaspora is typically more nationalistic then residents of the particular country. This is true for example for Israeli, Ukranian, armenian, Georgian and other Diaspora in the USA

Oct 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

Brother Nathanael Kapner, Website October 4, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Dear Phil,

I speak as a former Jew, now an Orthodox Christian.

I grew up in an upper-middle class B'nai B'rith synagogue and believe me, MOST American Jews support the warmongering program of the establishment Jewish Lobbies and think tanks.

I speak with authority here having grown up INSIDE the Jewish community. Oh, many Jews might say to the goyim, 'I'm against all this war talk.' BUT with their fellow Jewish 'lantsmen' BEHIND CLOSED DOORS they're ALL for war against Israel's perceived enemies.

Every Sabbath Shacharit (morning) service growing up in the 50′s we sang Hatikvah, the Israeli National Anthem. It was part of our 'religion' that what's bad for Israel is bad for all Jews.

Today that would include all the nations that oppose and/or countering the Zionist project: Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and now Russia.

+Brother Nathanael Kapner

[Oct 02, 2017] On Catalonia's Referendum

Notable quotes:
"... Some people in Catalonia, a rich and culturally distinct area in north-east of Spain, want to secede from the larger country. According to polls (pdf) less than half of the people in the area support the move. The local government prepared for a referendum and called for a local vote. ..."
"... Catalonia has a GDP per capita of some $33,580/year. For Spain as a whole the GDP per capita is $26,643/year. Many factors account for the difference. Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists with its capital Barcelona and its beaches. It has a well developed industry. But the "rest of Spain" is also, by far, its biggest market. ..."
"... In general the splitting off of sub-states from the bigger, established nations weakens both. It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones. While the motives in this or that case are understandable, they are also, in my view, shortsighted. ..."
"... It's contradictory and ridiculous. Propagating for "independence" while staying within the gargantuan Borg-collective EU doesn't make any sense whatsoever. One also has to wonder were the usual suspects are in this case. Soros? ..."
"... It is possible that Madrid has sent in the police because other countries in Spain's neighbourhood (hint, hint) fear that Catalonian independence may be a precedent for moves towards self-government and separation in their own territories and are leaning on the Spanish to stop the Catalans. It is possible also that austerity programs adopted by governments in various European countries are helping to drive separation and independence movements. These movements potentially threaten EU unity. ..."
"... if this would be some ex-soviet county or Asian or African country all the hell broken loose for "right to vote" and for "independence". The world master's would call emergency meeting for the Security Council and unanimously vote in for demand of that "people". ..."
"... It'll be interesting to see if all the trolls agitating for Barzanistan independence will be out again in force here...and with the same level of hysteria... I wager they will be conspicuous by their absence... When it comes to secession movements, the key word is 'targeted'... Good for Kosovo...bad for South Ossetia and Abkhazia and Crimea... Good for Iraqi and Syrian Kurds...bad for Turkish Kurds... Good for Bosnia splitting from Yugoslavia...bad for Serbs splitting from Bosnia... Is anyone still fooled...? ..."
"... Actually it is 38.6% [youth unemployment] according to this: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ but you would not that from Eurostat. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/macroeconomic-imbalances-procedure/youth-unemployment-rate ..."
"... "Then the U.S. came down like a sledgehammer again on Yugoslavia when on November 5, 1990 Congress passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Law 101-513. A section of this law, without previous warning, cut off all aid, credits and loans from the U.S. to Yugoslavia within 6 months. Also, the law demanded separate elections in each of the republics that made up Yugoslavia, requiring State Department approval of election procedures and results before aid to the separate republics would be resumed. In February 1991 the Council of Europe also demanded that Yugoslavia hold multi-party elections or face an economic blockade." Death sentence has been made the US. Need more? ..."
"... Catalonian independence Referendum it is illegal (against the Spanish constitution) have no warranties of any kind, and will be cooked as needed in order to get more subsides and money from the government in Madrid. It is used by nationalistic politicians as a smoke curtain to hide behind in order not to be put to jail after 30 years of corruption. They are not called unofficially the 3% commission Party for nothing. ..."
"... Also say that Catalonian GDP it is actually 17% of Spain's GDP, with about 15% population of Spain. Who's subsidizing who's it is not clear. But related to Spain's External Debt, Catalonia account for about 25 % of it, not to mention 1000s of business have left (and are leaving the region every year) for other parts of Spain since at least 20 years. ..."
"... Before talking of secession check facts. The Catalans don't want to be out the EU, just to have a different relation with Spain. No big deal if not for big money. ..."
"... Ah, yes, than to support "independence" of the Yugoslav republics BND and CIA started to ship weapons trough Austria and Hungary. The Serbs had been already armed to the teeth from depot of ex army. ..."
"... Helmut Kohl and Genscher (US puppets) actively participated and hastily recognized independence of Slovenia. The US' puppet Milosevic (via Lawrence Eaagleburger) and Serbian establishment was all the way to dismantle Yugoslavia. ..."
"... It is funny word "legal" or "illegal". According to the west political philosophy, Vox Populi is Vox Dei so what is legal or illegal it is matter of the power and who has monopole on power (security forces), who interpreting the law. ..."
"... Second thing since the PP is typical capitalist party with only aim to serve foreign financial centers and looting own people I very much doubt they are into legality of any kind. This is power struggle, where perception and rhetoric and emotions are very important in order to "win". ..."
"... Rajoy is ex Lehman Brothers executive. Need to say more? ..."
"... It is even more disturbing considering direct similarities between Crimea and Donbass events of 2014 where Nazi central government violently suppressed local authorities responding to local people demand for autonomy or independence, freedom from fascism. ..."
"... Regardless of political advantages right of people to self determination is in the UN charter and unfortunate moral relativism expressed by b is not serving over all goal of ending global western hegemony of oligarchic class. ..."
"... Catalonia indeps. seek to become a 'new country' that would replicate the EU model: the rich country loves its folklore - language, costume, habits, etc.- and does not pay for the poor elsewhere through taxation, only thru negotiated contribution to 'solidarity' or other voluntary participatory funds. -- See e.g. in EU, Germany and Greece. ..."
"... At the same time, the EU has always had the aim of 'regionalising' areas for them to come under the remit of the new Central Command (EU Brussels), thus gradually diluting the power of the 'old' Nation-State(s), for now a stealthy process. ..."
"... Why has Spain has been so heavy handed? Perhaps because of what happened during the Greek crisis? Recall that Tsipras called a referendum whose result was surprisingly anti-EU. "There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties" - Jean-Claude Juncker, EU Commission President ..."
"... How would you know if US succumbed to "German pressure"? What I remember is the "international community" gave Yugoslavia an offer they could not possibly accept. Typical Mafia governance, per the Judeo-Roman (the actual correct term for the Western civilization, an not the incoherent Judeo-Christian) Regime. ..."
"... There is a saying in Iran: A fool throws a stone in a well and 40 wise men can't take it out. ..."
"... I did so for a very simple reason. The European nations had in the previous 25 years destroyed the nation of Yugoslavia. Then in 1999 NATO went to war against Serbia to give the province of Kosovo independence. Not only that but the Spaniard Javier Solana was the one who pushed NATO into attacking Serbia because it would not give independence to Kosovo. My reaction to Javier -- eat dirt asshole, what goes around comes around. Now it is Catalonias turn to gain independence. ..."
"... "If I remember correctly the U S was inclined originally to help keep Yugoslavia together but it was German pressure..." Very laughable, so client state an issue order to hegemonic power. Germans FP is not run by Germans, when we are talking about political strategic decisions that have affect on international order. Germany is not the creator it is followers. Secondly, Germany is no such power that can cause calamity of such proportion either in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, Libya. Anywhere. ..."
"... As for US help, god help those who US is helping. The US started with dismantling of Yugoslavia in 1984 (or immediately after Tito death), and by cultivation of the Serbian elite (by Zimmmeran, Eagleburger, Scowcroft), investment in Serbia and exporting Yugo cars, handguns from Zastava etc. in the US. And wide "cooperation" of Universities from US with Serbian one. ..."
"... Does this equation hold? NATO + Stasi = NWO ..."
"... My guess is that politicians on both sides are doing what they do best - stay in power by wipping up nationalist feelings. ..."
"... Once again as is becoming far too apparent on this board we many posts from people arguing for what suits them personally. American posters whose slow indoctrination against a united Europe is from America's hypocrisy in enjoying the advantages of a simple market whilst fearing the huge economic and political power a truly united Europe will eventuate in, support Catalans because like Agent Orange they feel more secure when Europe is weakened. ..."
"... On the other hand euros who like united Europe in principle but rightly resent the neoliberal monolith the EU has morphed into, oppose the Catalan secession because they are concerned about further EU destabilization. That is foolish Catalonia would stay part of the EU and any reformed EU must decentralize some decision making to better reflect the local circumstances, while it does a much better job of becoming more 'unitary' in other ways. Yes many Germans hate that idea because they have been enjoying the German imperialism by stealth which is the current EU model, but unless they do become much more understanding of the economic injustices that current EU policies exacerbate, there will be no EU and if that happens these issues will stop being sorted by ballot and go back to the 'old way' of Europeans killing each other in the pursuit of economic advantage. ..."
Oct 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Some people in Catalonia, a rich and culturally distinct area in north-east of Spain, want to secede from the larger country. According to polls (pdf) less than half of the people in the area support the move. The local government prepared for a referendum and called for a local vote.

Polling stations were set up for today. But Spanish laws do not allow for such polls or a separation. Catalonia, like other Spanish regions, already has a good degree of autonomy. If Catalonia were to secede the Basque areas in the north would likely follow. Spain would fall apart. Under Spanish law the referendum is illegal. The central government sent police to prevent the procedure. Street melees ensued.

A lot of mistakes have been made by the central government. It was stubborn in negotiations. It reacted too late to - at least partially - reasonable demands. Its insensitivity only incited resistance to it. But it is also responsible for the country as a whole. The behavior of local government is not much better. It is just as conservative, in its own way, as the government in Madrid.

Catalonia has a GDP per capita of some $33,580/year. For Spain as a whole the GDP per capita is $26,643/year. Many factors account for the difference. Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists with its capital Barcelona and its beaches. It has a well developed industry. But the "rest of Spain" is also, by far, its biggest market.

A richer part of the country does not want to subsidize the poorer ones. But it still wants to profit from them.

In general the splitting off of sub-states from the bigger, established nations weakens both. It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones. While the motives in this or that case are understandable, they are also, in my view, shortsighted.

During the Spanish civil war in the 1930s Catalonia and Basque areas were the last Republican strongholds against the winning right-wing Nationalists. That history lives on in today's conflict. No one should wish to repeat it.

Anon | Oct 1, 2017 6:22:41 AM | 1

Its interesting to watch western MSM and western politician doing everything to smear the right of local people to establish their own state.

And of course, Putin is blamed for this event also!

Mina | Oct 1, 2017 6:36:27 AM | 2
French gov radio explaining as if it was just a light joke that "pictures of people with bloody faces started to circulate on social media" and that the police shot rubber bullets. https://www.franceculture.fr/emissions/journal-de-12h30/journal-de-12h30-dimanche-1-octobre-2017
at 2'

Imagine if it was in Russia or Syria..

Lea | Oct 1, 2017 6:49:00 AM | 3
It is easier for outside forces to manipulated smaller states than larger ones.

I respectfully disagree. If memory serves, places like Switzerland, which is not in the EU, or tiny Cuba defend themselves very well. And don't see that Russia has been particularly easy to manipulate after the general plundering that followed the break-up of the Soviet Union was stopped by Putin.

On the other hand, the EU countries bloc, which would count as one large country, is mercilessly manipulated by its non-elected bureaucrats, corporate lobbies, and exterior influences (see the recent CETA, which was imposed without any democratic process whatsoever).

But yes, at least momentarily, the breaking-up of a country is bound to economically weaken its seceded parts, which is something different. IMHO.

mia | Oct 1, 2017 6:57:39 AM | 5
It's contradictory and ridiculous. Propagating for "independence" while staying within the gargantuan Borg-collective EU doesn't make any sense whatsoever. One also has to wonder were the usual suspects are in this case. Soros?
Jen | Oct 1, 2017 7:10:36 AM | 6
Unfortunately Madrid's reaction to the referendum - which the Spanish government should have foreseen as early as the Scottish independence referendum back in 2015 - has probably helped to legitimise the Catalonian referendum and made it look more important than it actually is to the Catalonian public. Madrid should have advised the public that the referendum was illegal under Spanish law, explained its case as to why, and left targeted would-be voters pondering the consequences if they had chosen to participate.

I would like to say also that it's not like B to simply say that Madrid sent the police in to disrupt the referendum and leave it at that, and that nations splitting into two or more smaller states become more open to outside interference and manipulation. It is possible that Madrid has sent in the police because other countries in Spain's neighbourhood (hint, hint) fear that Catalonian independence may be a precedent for moves towards self-government and separation in their own territories and are leaning on the Spanish to stop the Catalans. It is possible also that austerity programs adopted by governments in various European countries are helping to drive separation and independence movements. These movements potentially threaten EU unity.

0use4msm | Oct 1, 2017 7:13:24 AM | 7
Separation and holding a referendum are two different things. Separation may not be allowed according to the Spanish constitution, so the Spanish government could simply ignore the result, just like referendum results are nearly always ignored by the government in my own country (the Netherlands). But how can the mere act of placing pieces of paper in a box itself be considered illegal, to be answered with by police batons and rubber bullets?
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 7:14:52 AM | 8
There were two interesting programs on France24 about the Catalan referendum. From what i gathered, the president of Catalunya said the latest polls they had were not even giving a majority to the yes, but the refusal of Madrid to let a democratic referendum was worsening the situation. Catalunya has been trying to beg Madrid for discussions for years on several issues but it seems that the king and the Madrid gov are just so corrupt they refuse to open files normally.
Mina | Oct 1, 2017 7:22:24 AM | 9
"Catalonia has an advantages in climate, in the vicinity of the French border, the high attractiveness for tourists of its capital Barcelona and its beaches." ???
oh really, you mean the Costa Brava etc do not attract millions of Brits/Germans/Scandinavian countries? Not to mention the Saudis who land with a dozen of planes each year? But where is the money going?
el sid | Oct 1, 2017 7:39:18 AM | 10