August 17, 2016
Open Thread 2016-27
News & views ...
Posted by b on August 17, 2016 at 01:19 PM | Permalink
Open for business for sane comments.
Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 17, 2016 1:31:24 PM | 1
What is the update on the renewed Russian air offensive?
Posted by: Hat | Aug 17, 2016 1:33:18 PM | 2
@3 goradiva.. i noticed rothchilds comments stating something to the effect we are in a new paradigm where we don't know how it will work out as we have never been in this place before... asset prices have tripled since 2008, while wages and etc have remained static and etc. etc..
i thought elijah j m's latest post was worth a read.. Obama has the upper hand over Iran and Russia in Syria and Iraq, And without major ground forces
Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2016 1:52:20 PM | 4
@4, interesting perspective. It's amazing that the United States is able to conduct policy and fight wars all over the globe without its own citizens having a clue what the objectives and policies are; in most cases the actual goals of the government or 180 degrees from what the citizens perceive them to be by design.
The public as well as the military rank and file mistakenly believe the US is conducting wars to fight and contain Islamic radicalism when in fact the real objective is geopolitical - global hegemony.
One area Obama is starting to lose has to do with the fallout in Europe. As refugees stream into Europe and retaliatory sanctions quicken Europe's demise, the people in Europe gradually question the relationship with the US and NATO. If Europe breaks down before Russia implodes, US support from European countries would end and some may even consider aligning with Russia. Of course, before anything like that happens, Hillary may push Russia into a nuclear strike and we all get vaporized.
Posted by: Musburger | Aug 17, 2016 2:25:01 PM | 6
@6 Hungary would seem to agree. Slovakia has even called for a reduction of sanctions.
"NATO members including Poland and the Baltic states have voiced concern that they could be targets of hostile acts from Russia, and last month NATO leaders agreed to deploy military forces and to increase air and sea patrols there.
"I don't think it is a realistic assumption today that Russia would attack any NATO member state," Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in an interview with news portal Index.hu.
Szijjarto said each NATO member state had feelings of "different intensity" about a perceived threat from Russia, and that he respected other views.
"This is not how we feel about Russia. I don't think Russia would pose an existential threat to us," he said.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban's conservative government has granted a deal to Russia's Rosatom to build new reactors at Hungary's nuclear power plant, and has promoted what it calls a "pragmatic" relationship with Russia.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia also have less fraught relations with Russia. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has called for a removal of the sanctions imposed by the West over Russia's role in Ukraine."
Of course they will be severely reprimanded for backsliding.
Posted by: dh | Aug 17, 2016 2:47:51 PM | 7
Interesting newz from tinfoil-hat land:
From SuperStation95 (hey - it's as credible as the New York Times or the Washington Post nowadays...):
TURKEY TO U.S.: "Give Turkey Your Nuclear Weapons at Incirlik Air Base or Turkey will Take Them!"
Apparently a series of tweets by the angry editor of some AKP mouthpiece daily in Turkey, so far from a statement by the Turkish state. Still, interesting that it even shows such sentiment in Turkey. They sound pissed!
Even more interesting: The U.S. government censors tweets and/or their search results whenever it serves their interests. That's a secret, so don't tell anybody. Since this subject (Turkey seizing our nukes) is kind of inflammatory, I would expect the black hand of the Twitter censors to make them disappear. They apparently are not, which is telling in itself. Why would the U.S. government 'allow' it's citizens to see these tweets and be worried about the nukes at Incirlik - they have insisted that they are perfectly secure. Unless the U.S. actually wanted public support for a reason to move them. Speaking of which...
From James the Russian analyst at RogueMonkey.net:
RUMINT: U.S. Nukes Are Being Evacuated from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base to Bulgaria
I wish I could offer some insight, but the existance or number of B-61s at Incirlik is a state secret. As a U.S. citizen, I am not allowed to know until Snowden or Assange leak something from my government. If the U.S. was planning on (or already has) moved the nukes to Bulgaria, well... that's another whole problem.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 17, 2016 2:50:26 PM | 8
@#3 If the US will have it's version of competing Oligarchs in Nov like in other countries, why not have them compete directly in some kind of games where the winner picks the politicians to put into place. It would be more honest.
Posted by: Curtis | Aug 17, 2016 3:22:23 PM | 11
Whether a policy is success or failure depends on what the real goal is. I suppose one can choose to blindly accept overt explanations of policy given by (mis)leaders such as Obama and Putin. With such 'friends' as Obama and Putin, the people of Syria may wish for less friendship.
Posted by: paul | Aug 17, 2016 3:25:53 PM | 12
@ #3.."How be U$ debt be solved"?
The Fed will simply create the money needed to finance whatever the Empire needs. They have no interest in whatever the "debt" is. It's (the U$ debt) a Strawman issue to worry the peons.
Posted by: ben | Aug 17, 2016 3:48:35 PM | 13
"The Fed will simply create the money needed to finance whatever the Empire needs"
Congress creates dollars when it passes spending bills and the president signs off on them.
Banks create money (actually the customers create it by taking out loans) when loans are made. This kind of money nets to zero plus interest, so it is a net negative over time.
The Fed does the accounting. It does not have the power to say No, nor can it buy anything other than existing securities. It is tasked with ensuring that checks never bounce in the interbank banking system.
The Fed doesn't create money. It can do asset-swaps, and create reserves, or liquidity in the banking system. The Fed is functionally an accounting system.
Posted by: paulmeli | Aug 17, 2016 4:11:12 PM | 15
For the Federal Government, the "debt issue" is, as you say a strawman. For the nation it is not, but it is not the issue self styled "fiscal conservatives" claim it is. The US debt reflect a massive misallocation of real resources, no less than does China's massive and comparatively new Yuan denominated debt.
The real issue is multiple layers of interest obligations superimposed on a finite number of real productive assets relative to the real expansion or contraction of those underlying assets. While the Chinese have massively over built infrastructure that could have been productive up to some point long past, the US has actively been stripping real assets, monetizing them and levering them again and again with free money from the Fed. So in the US, with the exception of the MIC, which increasingly drives US economic policy, the real productive economy is in advanced decay and producing declining real wealth while the levered financial wealth created by this liquidationism is importing the real output of China, among other places in a kind of "vendor finance" scheme where China has purchased us "debt" to create the liquidity here to purchase her goods.
This has been going on since the mid 80s and accelerating for at least 15 years. Germany has been running a similar scheme in the Euro zone where it acts as China has relative to the US. These circuits have all started to break down in the last several years leaving international trade in a fragile stasis from which it can move in almost any direction depending on politics: political action has become the main driver of the global economy again.
I believe it was Keynes who said "markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent", but we are indeed in uncharted territory with two systems of fiat money in competition for hegemony with neither apparently having a real grasp of what their money actually is.
Posted by: jsn | Aug 17, 2016 4:31:11 PM | 16
The Czech Republic and Slovakia also have less fraught relations with Russia...Of course they will be severely reprimanded for backsliding
i'm reminded of Secretary of State James Baker's ultimatum to the last president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, when Havel appointed Frank Zappa as Special Ambassador to the West on Trade, Culture and Tourism...
You can do business with the United States or you can do business with Frank Zappa
Posted by: john | Aug 17, 2016 4:34:25 PM | 17
Strictly speaking, you are right. The Treasury creates money whenever it spends and the IRS destroys it when ever they accept a tax payment: it's fiat.
The Fed sells Treasuries to maintain its target interest rate, the links @5 will take you to a large body of research on how the US monetary system actually works as opposed to how our political elite wants Americans to think it works.
Posted by: jsn | Aug 17, 2016 4:36:06 PM | 18
@8 karlof1.. thanks for pepes latest.. to quote from a quote inside the article "“This alone is sufficient reason to support Donald J. Trump. We should make the Carl Icahans and George Soroses do real work by taxing away their speculative profits. We need Henry Fords in this nation who create and build industries, and not Wall Street looters, where they rig everything as in 2008 then used their political power over bought politicians for bailouts, after throwing tens of millions of American out of their homes.”
good luck with that! ain't gonna happen.. and all the folks who rationalize the federal reserves roll in being an innocent bystander over it all - you will have to convince the general public that the power of the people have been given away to a wide variety of kleptomaniacs that could care less about the fate of the usa for that matter... oh, and did i mention they will be happily voting for hillary too? lol.. sad situation in the land of the brave and free, lol..
Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2016 4:39:44 PM | 20
@ 5 c
You link to Yves Smith and her web site that I refer to as Almost naked capitalism. I was a regular reader/commenter/supporter there for many years but got called crazypants by Yves for my comments about MMT a couple of years ago that I will share here.
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a code phrase describing a totally sovereign financial system which we don't have now because of private finance.
I want to make it clear that I support totally sovereign finance with some global superstructure but lets not go there yet and focus on MMT and my swan song disagreement with almost naked capitalism. Yves ran a number of posting by various folk about MMT and after a while I became the squeaky wheel in those conversations. I kept praising the concept but saying it was incomplete by not addressing how to get there from here....and maybe even talk about what here really is. See, private finance is the god that its supplicants never admit is the underpinning to our form of social organization. That is because if you do and 1) you are a Lincoln or a Kennedy, you are dead, or 2) anyone but FDR, you are either dead or played for being a fool for thinking such.
I am a fool for thinking that private finance and inheritance are our key problems and have been happily there for years. And I am way into seeing the current global power struggles as having at their base, control over finance.
There is forming a new alliance of nations and barring nuclear war, the only way that new group can function cohesively in a "Cold War" environment is to have an alternative financial system to the existing Western private finance one. I believe that the alternative backroom inter-nation clearinghouse stuff exists now and I think it was built by China as part of starting up the AIIB bank.......some of it has been working for over a year.
If shit don't blow up before the G20 meeting in September, I expect that conflab to be a barn burner!
I would appreciate more astute MoA folks to start providing insights into maybe the initial and then evolved nations on each side of the coming Multi-polar world. It is above my pay grade.
Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2016 4:49:16 PM | 21
@ paulmeli | Aug 17, 2016 4:11:12 PM | 14
"Banks create money (actually the customers create it by taking out loans) when loans are made. This kind of money nets to zero plus interest, so it is a net negative over time."
A niggle with you there. Contract created money which is how banks distribute money for supporting economic production derives from classic (and Keynesian embellishment) economics. You are safe up to the point "This kind of money nets to zero"; the 'plus interest' is paid as a cost of production which is returned to the producer through pricing. That producer's cost provides the bank's profit in the form of interest. Nowhere is there a net negative over time anywhere (other than the economic ideology that gives rise to market forces, trickle down and Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism and Bordello - however well that is that working for you).
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Aug 17, 2016 5:33:53 PM | 22
Perhaps you caught my comment using Sputnik's format, which said essentially what you did. Despite all the effort to mute Trump, people keep packing his events and some of his message is getting out. If you replace China with Japan in Trump's rhetoric, you get Reagan's 1980 message.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 17, 2016 5:35:28 PM | 23
psycho@20would appreciate more astute MoA folks to start providing insights into maybe the initial and then evolved nations on each side of the coming Multi-polar world. It is above my pay grade.
Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2016 4:49:16 PM | 20
Glad to, thank you for asking. The multipolar world, RU, IRI, China, et al will rapidly evolve in technology, commerce, infrastructure. This juggernaut will pull countries from Africa to South America out of their IMF fueled debt servitude of a 1000 years. A world party will commence excluding all western countries.
All world party excluded countries will continue on their present path of delusion, which will end in death. While the death march continues your attendance will become compulsory at 'full of goodness' rallies, citizen servant seminars where you will be instructed on your new roles in the refined republic of death.
Good luck to all!
Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 17, 2016 6:03:47 PM | 26
hejiminy cricket | Aug 17, 2016 5:39:49 PM | 23 "...Wake me up when September comes..."
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 17, 2016 6:27:05 PM | 28
I've been meaning to ask - So what's up with letting Hinckley the patsy out ...?!
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 17, 2016 6:28:54 PM | 29
August 15, 1971 after DeGaulle demanded gold backing the dollar, the US had created more dollars than it had the gold; Nixon then suspended the convertibility of dollar into gold.. He said it would be a temporary suspension…45 years on.
It's temporary. Get over it.
Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2016 6:29:16 PM | 30
NSA Has Built Its Own, Secret, Warrantless, Shadow Social Network, And You’ve Already Joined It | GOVERNMENT SLAVES
Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden’s leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it’s really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. It’s pretty funny. Except, of course, when you find out that it’s real. And, yes, that seems to be the latest revelation out of Ed Snowden’s leaks. The NY Times has an article by James Risen and Laura Poitras (what a combo reporting team there!) detailing how the NSA has basically built its own “shadow” social network in which it tries to create a “social graph” of pretty much everyone that everyone knows, foreign or American, and it all happens (of course) without a warrant. And, note, this is relatively new:
The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.
The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.
There were apparently two policy changes that allowed this to happen, and both occurred in the past three years. First, in November of 2010, the NSA was allowed to start looking at phone call and email logs of Americans to try to help figure out associations for “foreign intelligence purposes.” Note that phrase. We’ll come back to it. For years, the NSA had been barred from viewing any content on US persons, and the NSA, President Obama and others have continued to insist to this day that there are minimization procedures that prevent spying on Americans. Except, this latest revelation shows that, yet again, this isn’t actually true.
The second policy change came in January of 2011, when the NSA was told it could start creating this massive “social graph” on Americans without having to make sure they weren’t Americans any more, as indicated above.
Somewhat amazingly, the new report notes that in 2006, the NSA asked the Justice Department for permission to do exactly this sort of thing, and was rejected, saying that a “misuse” of that kind of data “could raise serious concerns.” Indeed, it could, and does raise serious concerns, but apparently the current administration just doesn’t give a crap…CONTINUE READING
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 17, 2016 6:39:23 PM | 31
Obama Lied: New Details Confirm $400 Million Given To Iran Was Indeed Hostage Ransom
WSJ via ZH
For the self-described "most transparent administration ever" it appears keeping the lies straight is becoming harder and harder. Having slammed the press, Donald Trump, and anyone who dare mention the "lack of logic" in paying a $400 million ransom for 4 Iran hostages, WSJ reports that Treasury officials have confirmed that Obama lied and in fact, the tightly scripted exchange of cash was specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran. Trump was right again.
As a reminder, The Hill reported that, President Obama chastised the press for their coverage of the payment, noting that the deal with Iran was announced months ago as part of a larger diplomatic settlement.
U.S. officials wouldn't let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17, the officials said.
Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash back from a Geneva airport that day, according to the accounts.
Posted by: likklemore | Aug 17, 2016 6:43:46 PM | 32
@30 Like I said in another post - this election might result in the Hillary admin carrying out a type of purge against all flagged individuals, based upon their opinions online.
Of course, this is just a conspiracy theory, but the infrastructure is clearly there for anybody that wants to trgger it. Anybody using the internet today has to assume that any traceable activity will be compiled into a database
Posted by: bbbb | Aug 17, 2016 7:39:17 PM | 35
@34- thanks for the reminder, chicken head. Oh heavens, my social graph has been red flagged! Cue the storm troopers repelling through the windows and skylights!
Bbbb has big brother on speed dial and he'd sell out his own grandmother to save his worthless skin.
Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 17, 2016 7:51:07 PM | 36
@35 Wow-that's the second time that I've triggered you.
Posted by: bbbb | Aug 17, 2016 8:18:49 PM | 37
@22 karlof1.. thanks.. trump might be about 4 years too early.. the usa seems to have to go further into a hole of it's own making.. hillary is just the person to sink it even further into a vipers nest of it's own making.. this is my best election guess at this point and of course she is the heavy favourite at this moment..
anyone else having periodic problems loading rt.com? -> "Server not found" is the message i get..
Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2016 8:23:12 PM | 38
I never have any problem getting any Russian website. I do have occasional problems sending .ru URLs via email, however. If Trump had some basic horse-sense, he'd easily beat HRC.
Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 17, 2016 8:36:46 PM | 39
I've mostly stayed out of this election thing, but one thing I've never really agreed with is this universal concept that Clinton will take us into WWIII. I kind of look at her presidency as a "bring it on" moment where she voices the rabid neocon dreams so furiously that when the Pentagon quietly tells her it can't be done, the US looks like an even bigger fool than currently, except perhaps to its own people as well.
Am I wrong to think that Clinton is so over the top that the top finally gets revealed to the US population?
Brinkmanship when you yourself are on the ledge is not wise and the neocons are precisely in that place, while the nations of the multipolar world are not - certainly the Eurasian bloc. Clinton as an incorrigibly corrupt greed-head, Wall St shill, and neocon tough bitch could be the best piece of self-revelation for the US.
The only fear is if the deep state and the Pentagon would actually take the US to a suicidal war against Russia and China - but consider the logic of this. If they are truly that deluded, then nothing can save the US and perhaps the world anyway. It could be argued that it doesn't matter who's in the White House if the fundamental military establishment is insane.
When someone is raving, sometimes the kindest thing is a short sharp slap across the face to wake them up. I have long imagined that the US will walk itself into a regional situation somewhere to receive such a slap, probably from Russia but anymore it could well be another country. Long before the ICBMs launch, the slap takes the US into a shock of revelation. Questions on the Hill, the government has to answer to its people, million-strong rallies, this kind of thing. Perhaps.
But either way I find it hard to see Clinton as any kind of real disaster - or real anything, for that matter - in this geopolitical world of ours. Really irrelevant maybe.
Posted by: Grieved | Aug 17, 2016 8:59:47 PM | 40
NYT decries Syria/Russia use of incendiary bombs
They reference US use of napalm during the Viet Nam war. But where's the mention of WP use by Israel in Gaza in 2009 or US use of it in Fallujah in 2004? I don't like these weapons (or the war) but NYT sort of forgot those uses. And there's a mention of Russia using the base in Iran to launch strikes where US govt lawyers will look into it. The non-war war we have against Syria and Iran continues.
Posted by: Curtis | Aug 17, 2016 9:13:54 PM | 41
@39- hardly irrelevant. As difficult as it is to predict the behavior or policy of psychotics, we have a known nihilistic harpy of wanton destruction in HRC. What is the likely behavior of a nihilistic harpy of wanton destruction who the mic answers to, whether they are sane or not, when she knows, the jig is up, loss is imminent, gets slapped in the face by reality?
Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 17, 2016 9:17:03 PM | 42
Am I wrong to think that Clinton is so over the top that the top finally gets revealed to the US population?
Americans will see that the Emperor has no pantsuit?
IMO hejiminy is right: its best not to be complacent about the "nihilistic harpy of wanton destruction".
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 17, 2016 9:38:42 PM | 43
I was unaware that there is a Broadway show named Hamilton - about Alexander - raking in crowds at nealy $1000 a seat. I saw news of he phenomenon at The Irony of ‘Hamilton’ Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Advocacy For Puerto Rico, which referenced Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age.
I guess this is a pre-emptive strike to keep Hamilton on the $10 bill lest he fall victim to the same fate as Jackson on the $20.
The parts of Washington and other of the 'founding fathers' have been given to - surely not taken by - black actors. Young Latino school kids have been bought - not given - tickets to the show. Hamilton is portrayed as "young, scrappy and hungry ... not throwing away [his] shot!"
Classic Hamiltonian heresy is quoted ...
“All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are the rich and well born, the other the mass of the people. The voice of the people has been said to be the voice of God; and however generally this maxim has been quoted and believed, it is not true in fact. The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct, permanent share in the government. They will check the unsteadiness of the second, and as they cannot receive any advantage by a change, they therefore will ever maintain good government. Can a democratic assembly, who annually revolve in the mass of the people, be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.”
... and Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Barack Obama are all hailed as 'scrappy' members of the many who turned their backs on their brethren, and on all of us, in their scramble to join the few, and young Latino and Black and White school kids are urged to join them.
The key, of course, is that the few always remain few, that's the whole point of the exploitative system as designed, and so, too, do the many remain the many. The legions who join the few in spirit, take their shot, and fail in fact, disappear back into the exploited many, while the very few who join the few in body and mind congratulate themselves as they look down in scorn upon their many, many brothers and sisters who failed, or refused the bait and never betrayed their inherent sense of justice and equity to become gladiators in the financial arena to begin with.
This seems, in my lifetime, the high point of propaganda aimed at justification and recruitment of the class-based system of inequality and the low point of manufactures 'popular' culture. Hamilton is a 'rap' musical.
The USA seems sicker now than I've ever seen it before.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 17, 2016 9:50:34 PM | 44
@39 grieved, 'If they are truly that deluded, then nothing can save the US and perhaps the world anyway.'
I'm in agreement with you here. There's a thread of discussion, bridging perhaps a few physical threads here at MoA, about the 'upcoming and certain' attack by Israel on Iran and subsequent WW III, whether instant or by stepwise escalation.
If that's the way they're thinking then in truth ... nothing can save the US and perhaps the world anyway.
Can all those analogies with WW I be about to be fulfilled? I wish we could reach them all ... Obama, Hillary, Merkel, May, Holland-Valls ... and just slap some sense into them. Let us hope their 'courage' fails them at the last moment and they are forced to rejoin the world of the living, to leave the world of the walking dead. It certainly hasn't up until now.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 17, 2016 10:00:45 PM | 45
jfl | Aug 17, 2016 9:50:34 PM | 43
The USA seems sicker now than I've ever seen it before.
You and I are basically the same age (I'm +2 yrs.), grew up through the same era, and I would have to agree with your POV. A bitter pill to swallow, but things change...
Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 17, 2016 10:38:34 PM | 46
@38 karlof1.. rt.com is back running now, but i have had intermittent probs the past week, including today..
@39 grieved.. i mostly agree with you, especially the comment @44 jfl highlights.. it would be nice if someone slapped some sense into the freaks running the worlds financial pyramid scheme with most western politicians in tow.. i haven't gotten involved in the usa election - i can't, as i am a canuck.. and, i try to stay out of it, but it is difficult when the usa is what i personally believe to be a real meddling country in others affairs.. i wish canada would grow a backbone and not go along with so much of what we have under the idiot stephen harper.. now we have trudeau, but he is nothing like his dad who actually had a good mind and was willing to voice an independent position that i really admired.. his son is nowhere in the same league..
it remains to be seen how things unfold with either hillary or trump, but it seems to me if you want war - the warmonger hillary is a better choice... if you want something completely unpredictable - trump is the way to go... i think the next few years are going to be really tense regardless who gets to run the usa from the political point of view.. seems to me the usa and the west is coming undone.. here's a canadian group playing a song called 'undun', lol.. thanks for everyone's comments..
Posted by: james | Aug 17, 2016 10:46:13 PM | 48
The naiive and carefree Olympic Spirit has been slowly corroded by corruption from within and is close to meltdown. Brazil has arrested Patrick Hickey, an Irish member of the IOC Coordinating Committee. Mr Hickey is accused of 'coordinating' the diversion of significant numbers of entry tickets into the hands of scalpers, from the inside, for Personal Profit.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 17, 2016 11:08:06 PM | 49
jsn | Aug 17, 2016 4:36:06 PM | 17
The Fed sells Treasuries to maintain its target interest rate, the links @5 will take you to a large body of research on how the US monetary system actually works as opposed to how our political elite wants Americans to think it works.
Correct. And when the wool is finally pulled from people's eyes, man oh man. If you think there might be a minor revolution out there now because of Trump, wait until people understand how fiat currency really works, and how the citizens of America have been deprived of their rightful prosperity.
Posted by: MRW | Aug 17, 2016 11:11:37 PM | 51
When I write "the people" I mean the everyday man, the common man.
Posted by: MRW | Aug 17, 2016 11:12:24 PM | 52
psychohistorian | Aug 17, 2016 4:49:16 PM | 20
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is a code phrase describing a totally sovereign financial system which we don't have now because of private finance.
This is a preposterous, idiotic, statement.
(12,000 years of recorded history describe sovereign states in terms of state (king/government/despot/whatever) finance and private (sector) finance.)
Posted by: MRW | Aug 17, 2016 11:18:20 PM | 53
@6, The US does not exercise hegemony over Libya, Syria, Yemen or Somalia, let alone Russia or China. That's not the goal. Jill Stein was spot on when she said that current US foreign policy is "a marketing strategy for weapons manufacturers," and she is correct when she says that the only way to defeat terrorism is to stop arming and funding terrorists. She has called for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia and financial sanctions on those who finance terrorism. jill2016.com
Posted by: William Rood | Aug 17, 2016 11:54:27 PM | 54
Escobar is whoring it up with the rest of the Trump=Maverick mesmerists who tried that schtick with McCain-Palin. Trump-Pence are pro-Israel, pro-NeoCon Two-Front War, pro-Deficit-and-Spend Big Government, like McCain and the rest of the Mil.Gov.Fed Familia.
Rothschilds, Escobar and Black are all Trotskyistas of the Eternal Now. "Oh, this has never happened before! Don't look to the (criminal) past for answers, look to the Fed!" They want you to believe that salvation is only through their Plastic Jesus. It's not.
Central Banks will inflate assets to create a firewall and unbridgeable moat around all real property and natural resources, then the rest of us will be the kulak aboriginals, like those Brave 95,000,000 Jobless or Homeless who have already disappeared before us.
There is no salvation. You'll be begging for rice gruel soon enough.
Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 12:00:53 AM | 55
Does she advocate the same thing against Israel?
Posted by: MRW | Aug 18, 2016 12:01:10 AM | 56
Rothschilds, Escobar and Black are all Trotskyistas of the Eternal Now.
Bill Black a Trotskyite (aka a neocon)? Ditto Escobar?
The rest of your remarks are emotional/paranoid drivel, not rooted in facts.
Posted by: MRW | Aug 18, 2016 12:04:53 AM | 57
That 'undone' meme is mere controlled dissent and stress positioning. You can't sell WWE RAW tickets for November 8th in August if you don't play up REALLY BIG SMACKDOWN schtick. You then stress-position cattle if you want them to jump into the slaughterhouse chutes.
Red Donald and Blue Hillary are 19th Cousins of Vampire Royals. The Central Banks are re-precising all lands, real estate and natural resources, so that only the Royals own them. Nothing is 'undone'. Everything is proceeding like some ISS docking maneuver. Ssst. Ssst.
"Houston, The Sheeple are Rabble Now." Like rabble, we'll be sent off to war in Crimea, or used for uncontrolled drug interaction experiments like our elderly in nursing homes. Drugs will proliferate along with guns. Communities break down. People will sell blood.
This is what Royals do. That's all they do. And they will never, ever, stop.
Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 12:13:51 AM | 58
Posted by: MRW | Aug 18, 2016 12:04:53 AM | 56
The rest of your remarks are emotional/paranoid (identity politics) drivel, not rooted in facts.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 18, 2016 12:22:28 AM | 59
RT has been under attack apparently. I have been able to access it ok from my time zone.
From an RT article today.
"RT has faced repeated cyberattacks for more than a week, with experts saying the organization of such systematic assaults requires extensive financing. At the same time, the attacks have had only a negligible effect, IT specialists say.
“Attacks on RT are continuing for several days in a row, and that is an unusual situation for a protected [internet] resource, when the attacker cannot breach its security. This fact, alongside the absence of any demands from the hackers, indicates that the attackers are really determined to achieve their goal [and] make the targeted resources unavailable,” Aleksey Kiselev, head of the Kaspersky DDoS Prevention Project in Russia, told RT.
Kiselev added that “these attacks are likely to be not accidental, but thoroughly planned and have serious financing behind them.”"
Posted by: Peter AU | Aug 18, 2016 12:23:07 AM | 60
Nothing Bill Black has ever written wasn't front-ended off investments he's trying
to dump, using his 'my Argentina horse ranch' bullshit to Buy Now. He's a Red Book
Now-ist. Pepe Escobar stopped being original in 2013, and reads like an NSA soft-
hangout Now. Go back and read his old posts, you'll see those silver shekel threads.
Rothschilds? Well, I've drunk his champagne, but I don't know a thing about the man.
How does he earn his Bread? And to paraphrase an old line, if you're not paranoid,
then you will be. Victory over Crimea!! On to Kiev for the Good of Greater Israel!
Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 12:25:57 AM | 61
More from the RT article here in case it is not accessible in other parts of the world.
The most powerful recent cyberattack on RT occurred on August 9. It involved a mixed Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on RT websites that lasted two-and-a-half hours, and was carried out in two phases. The first targeted RT’s American and European data centers, while the second hit Moscow’s infrastructure. The attack did not result in any damage or prolonged service outage, however.
Since then, RT has been dealing with a particularly well-planned series of DDoS attacks that have targeted its websites and also its internet provider and data centers in the US, Europe and Russia. The hackers are attempting to overwhelm the provider’s capacity, according to IT specialists at RT.
According to the experts, all the recent attacks have come from the same source, with the hackers behind them constantly improving their methods and studying RT’s outer network infrastructure.
RT’s website routinely faces DDoS attacks. On July 16, a massive assault was staged on the servers of the internet service provider responsible for web streaming for RT TV during the coverage of an attempted coup in Turkey.
One of the largest attacks in the history of RT’s websites happened in September 2014, and reached some 10 gigabits per second. Other notable attacks were launched in February 2013, when RT.com became unavailable for six hours, and in August 2012, when both the RT International and RT Spanish websites were attacked.
Posted by: Peter AU | Aug 18, 2016 12:29:21 AM | 62
@ peter au.. thanks peter.. i am on the westcoast of canada and have had rt.com access problems..
Posted by: james | Aug 18, 2016 12:48:13 AM | 63
At the moment RT (Live) Moscow is under scheduled maintenance until 7 AM.
Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 18, 2016 12:53:32 AM | 64
German media steps up anti-Russian agitation
On Tuesday, virtually every leading German newspaper published denunciations of the Russian government, blaming it for stoking the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
French Police Fine Muslim Women for Not Showing Enough Skin
In the name of security and public order, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls defended Wednesday a ban on "burkinis" issued in various French seaside cities over the weekend, responding to controversy over various Muslim women being fined by police for not showing enough skin at the beach.
Calling the population of the US sheeple and castigating the US media is easy ... shooting fish in a barrel. But are the Europeans any different. I don't think so. I think the disease is rampant throughout Neolibraconia. These are not times to be proud of ourselves, anywhere. And still we crawl.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 18, 2016 1:20:09 AM | 65
The Olympics have been co-opted, monetized, weaponized ... just like everything else in Neolibraconia. Rio's poisonous, the Russians are all cheaters, druggees. Everything the Neolibraconians touch wilts and dies. It's as though they were radioactive.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 18, 2016 1:38:57 AM | 66
TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 12:25:57 AM
Nothing Bill Black has ever written wasn't front-ended off investments he's trying
to dump, using his 'my Argentina horse ranch' bullshit to Buy Now.
What!?! Show me one
article or youtube talk that contains that. I think you must be mixing him up with some huckster.
You 're not talking about Dr. William H Black, aka Bill Black. Bill Black is one of the nation's pre-eminent white-collar criminologists, if not thee top one. He is the regulator who put 1,000 people in jail for the S&L crisis--1/70th the size of the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 for which no one was indicted--including Jim Wright, the Democratic Speaker of the House.
Posted by: MRW | Aug 18, 2016 1:57:02 AM | 67
MRW | Aug 18, 2016 1:57:02 AM | 66
TRD is a troll spouting non-sense.
Bill Black and Michael Hudson are two pre-eminent scholars of economics; not the neo-liberal puppets of the CCM (corporate, controlled, media).
Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 18, 2016 2:09:51 AM | 69
You mean William K. Black at UMKC?
[from Wiki] William Kurt Black (born September 6, 1951) is an American lawyer, academic, author, and a former bank regulator. Black's expertise is in white-collar crime, public finance, regulation, and other topics in law and economics. He developed the concept of "control fraud", in which a business or national executive uses the entity he or she controls as a "weapon" to commit fraud.
Posted by: chu teh | Aug 18, 2016 4:11:24 AM | 70
Yesterday in Mali the police opened fire on a small demo of youth who came to support a blogger . One killed and several injured. No condemnation from France ? Just last week, French ministry of defense attended the opening ceremony of idris deby in Chad. And no trace of these on the front pages of the msm of course.
Posted by: Mina | Aug 18, 2016 4:31:57 AM | 71
yes, William Engdahl has pretty much indicted the entire sordid clan.
Posted by: john | Aug 18, 2016 5:12:53 AM | 74
Everything the Neolibraconians touch wilts and dies. It's as though they were radioactive.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 18, 2016 1:38:57 AM | 65
The saga continues ... 2 of the 4 Yankee swimmers who (loudly) reported having been robbed at gunpoint in Rio were dragged of a plane, arrested, and will be charged with making stuff up.
I'm smelling CIA useful idiots with Gene Sharp overtones.
The list of countries AmeriKKKa isn't interested in smearing, undermining and overthrowing, if it hasn't already done so, would very short indeed.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 18, 2016 6:19:04 AM | 75
Thank you for the link to Asia Times!
I had read the article by Badrakhumar before but the comment by Bianca is indeed very interesting and useful (much better than Badrakhumar's btw) for understanding the bigger picture, namely that the rapprochement between Russia and Turkey did not happen over night. After having read the comment by Bianca I see Erdogan in a completely new light.
Very interesting as well is the explanation of the Israel-Turkey deal and Russia being behind it. Geopolitics in the making and now we are back to where it all began: Where do all the pipelines go?
Posted by: Demeter | Aug 18, 2016 6:45:08 AM | 78
Jackson attacked the banksters of his day, and was one of the heroes of the New Deal people. Hamilton was one of the founders of Wall Street.
Posted by: lysias | Aug 18, 2016 6:47:37 AM | 79
Recently, Piotr Berman et al were asking why the Brits were so wedded to the idea of their nuclear deterrent.
As a Brit, it looks to me like the “man in the street” considers that it wards off threats from nuclear states. It is the Ultimate Deterrent.
And it gives us a say in the councils of the other states that can make a bang big enough to destroy humankind. It gives us influence where we otherwise would have none. A matter of national prestige.
The “politicians” like it because they can trot out the term Ultimate Deterrent and shut down debate on defence. Some of them enjoy the prospect of having the power to destroy mankind.
It also gives them licence to reduce spending on conventional defence when the Govt has no money to spend on anything. For some while we’ve been at a pass where Britain is not defensible by its military.
Best of all, for the pol’s, it gives the UK a seat on the UN Security Council. This makes them the ultimate VIP’s.
I’m not posting on a board like this to discuss the obv fallacies in the above outlook. But they are beginning to impinge on the “man in the street”.
e.g. the ruling party in Scotland (where they make the subs), the SNP, don’t want to have anything to do with any of it and are kicking up a fuss.
e.g. the Chilcott Inquiry makes plain that our military was incapable of holding a town like Basra.
That Iraq’s supposed WMD didn’t discourage attack by overwhelming conventional military force. etc etc.
An unabashed plug. I wrote abt this (though with more colour) on my site before the Election in May 2015. http://tubbytowntales.co.uk/defence.html Since then I’ve twice had to update the cost of Trident and it’s going to have to be done again shortly.
The UK suffers an absence of strategic thinking at the top. That applies to everything, the economy, defence, agriculture, you name it.
Posted by: Stubbs | Aug 18, 2016 6:49:30 AM | 80
Jack Smith | Aug 18, 2016 6:34:06 AM | 76
Yandex is indeed superior; I do not use yahoo, chrome, or firefox.
Yandex e-mail is likewise far better than the competition...
Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 18, 2016 6:50:44 AM | 81
My thoughts too. And why, in a severe case of robbery (at gunpoint!) would you not most certainly stay in the country until the investigation is closed? Interestingly that third swimmer (Lochte?) has already left right after the incident. I wonder why.
As for the Olympics they have lost their attraction for me. It is politics everywhere and not an enjoyable competition anymore. At least, for a team that has been reduced to almost nothing, the Russians are doing very well as far as medal count is concerned. Otherwise I think the whole idea of how to have future Olympiades needs to be reformed.
Posted by: Demeter | Aug 18, 2016 7:25:38 AM | 82
Hoarsewhisperer @ 74
I doubt that the likes of Ryan Lochte and his fellow swimmers are smart enough to serve as the CIA or the US State Department's useful idiots. Lochte and company, and the US women's soccer team goalkeeper (who accused the Swedes of being cowards for defeating the US with defensive tactics) are US sport's equivalent of soldiers stationed in military bases in places like Okinawa and South Korea, who go around behaving like oiks, raping young women or running down pedestrians while drink-driving, and then miraculously ending up being sent home before the host country's police can charge them with serious crimes.
The useful idiots in Brazil are those politicians who suspended Dilma Rousseff in May this year and are forcing her to undergo impeachment for corruption, and those in the Brazilian Congress (in both houses) who went along and voted for her suspension and impeachment.
Posted by: Jen | Aug 18, 2016 8:33:19 AM | 83
78;Yes,you are correct as usual.The banksters love their Hamiltons and newly printed Tubmans.
Donald Trump has a touch of Andy Jackson in him,an American for America,not Zion.
Don't believe any polls from serial liars is all one can say to the hysteria the MSM is producing re Trump Clinton.
Todays lying times had 2 of those iwh Clinton ads splashed across their web today.
How much do they cost,where is the money coming from for these daily ads?
Soros?Gratis from zion?
And the pitiful Graun says Trumps Manafort? has foreign money flowing to him,but no mention of the Clinton Foundations foreign funders.What a joke.
And whats up with Brazil holding Americans?Will Obomba intervene?Interesting turn of events there.
Posted by: dahoit | Aug 18, 2016 8:37:15 AM | 84
So the data (i.e., falling poll nos. and continued Rethuglican defectionc) suggests that The D**khead Donald's unique brand of politics is not serving him as well now as it did through the primaries.
So what's the logical thing to do? Push the campaign manager upstairs and bring on the Breitbart crazy, Bannon to ramp up the trash talk.
It seems to me like Trump has blown off the election. Bannon will be used to rouse the troops for the post-election "Second Amendment" solution.
But of course he won't wait that long to start the violence. He's already called for his yahoo supporters to sign up as poll watchers. He wants his uneducated, rural voters to head into the cities of Pennsylvania as poll watchers, to make sure minorities don't vote "five or ten times." From our local MSM hardcopy this a.m.
All of this is extremely troubling. Given the history of violence at Trump rallies and the racially charged nature of his campaign, Trump supporters showing up at inner-city polls (the "certain parts of the state" Trump was clearly talking about) demanding proof that voters about to cast their ballots haven't already voted earlier in the day risks confrontation, intimidation, and voter suppression.
Further, delegitimizing the results of an election before it even occurs is profoundly damaging to our democracy.
Yeah, but who needs democracy once we get so used to winning again?
Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 18, 2016 8:37:24 AM | 85
@ jfl 43
Hamilton gave the US its first Central Bank and national debt. And he was NYC/Wall Street's man in the creation of the Constitution. (See the book Hologram of Liberty) While I like the idea of his protectionism I also recognize this as doing what the elites wanted when they wanted it. (And many years later when they didn't want protectionism, it went away.) Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and others are considered demons because of slavery while Hamilton is considered a hero because his history has been "whitewashed." Do a search on Alexander Hamilton and slavery and there are rebuttals to this corrupted historical revisionism that plays to the anti-white race baiting agenda of the elites. Playing us against each other for profit? Priceless.
Posted by: Curtis | Aug 18, 2016 9:10:50 AM | 86
Formerly T-Bear @21
You're correct, I should have been more clear in my wording as I was alluding to something else.
Interest is a net negative for the borrower in aggregate, a net transfer of funds to the banking system as a result of profit-taking as retained earnings. Functionally, the portion of the borrowers income that goes to debt service shifts that income to the banking sector.
The banking system gets richer and richer, by loaning us our own money (not our savings, but the money belongs to the citizens nonetheless). Banks should be non-profits (in my view), I realize that is wishful-thinking.
Posted by: paulmeli | Aug 18, 2016 9:45:53 AM | 87
chu teh | Aug 18, 2016 4:11:24 AM
Yeah, middle initial K not H.
Posted by: MRW | Aug 18, 2016 10:20:09 AM | 88
If you have Polish friends, colleagues, please spread this around.
Mateusz Piskorski, a leader of the pro-Russian, anti-NATO party ZMIANA, has been jailed for more than 3 months in Poland based on completely false accusations of espionage for Russia and China (!). So far NOT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE has been presented!
Polish government has been refusing illegally to register the party for months.
This is how "fiefdom and demockracy" under a Brutish Yankee boots looks like in Poland now.
This is an appeal to the government in Poland (in Polish):
W związku z bezprawnym uwięzieniem Mateusza Piskorskiego – 18.08.2016.
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 18, 2016 10:30:16 AM | 89
Senior citizen at Trump Rally claims he wants every pregnancy carried to full term and he wants to stop wasting our military in the Middle East for Zionist Israel.
Trump replies "We are 100 percent for Israel our very important ally.":
Interesting to me to is my perception of the tepid response from audience.
Tepid response. Am I wrong?
Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 18, 2016 10:36:06 AM | 90
@et Al | Aug 18, 2016 4:52:04 AM | 72
Obviously a fake, like many others before.
NATO propaganda seems to be picking up, Orwellian "2 minutes of hate sessions" against Assad appear in the lame-scream media again.
There must some very valuable NATO assets trapped in that besieged Allepo district.
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 18, 2016 10:40:12 AM | 92
If you go back and read that Escobar piece of stank tripe, then come back and say that:
1. you're not a paid Escobar or RT fanboy;
2. you actually read that whole piece of horseshit;
3. that you believe Escobar actually wrote it and not some spook cabal;
4. that in any way, shape or form it's intellectually coherent and cogent to the moment,
then I will stop posting on MoA, because you are clearly presenting cognitive dissociation.
Meanwhile Amb. zBaer at zNYTimes just wrote a slash piece claiming Russians are infiltrating Ukraine,
and NATO had better get ready to push them back and out of Crimea by next Spring.
Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 10:47:50 AM | 93
Re USian sport players - how many are, like Serena, MK LUTRA / MONARCH mind control products?
SERENA WILLIAMS EATS DOG FOOD! MK ULTRA BREAKDOWN? v=oGG0rnAMm78
Disturbingly Creepy! Serena Williams (Athletes) on Mind Control Sports illuminati Exposed 2015 v=90hsy6W8oGU
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 18, 2016 10:48:45 AM | 94
posts 3, 4, 5 (GoraDiva, james, c..) and others..
Debt is by theoretical principle of no importance to anyone who can print or create money.
Various problems and strife may arise, for sure: 1) Some entity may insist on ‘debt being paid back’ - here human, political and even military forces come into play. Those squeezed by the debt may refuse to pay (used to be allowed for in some measure..), etc.
2) The financial system breaks down because no-one can handle / discharge / otherwise manage the ‘debt’ and all kinds of repercussions take place (systemic ricochets, etc.) (Setting aside rampant inflation which is not really relevant for now..)
What has happened in the world is that money creation, i.e. DEBT in first place, asset bubbles in second (overvalue..), fraud in third, various manipulations in 4th has been applied as a solution for struggling, lowered, economic gains, for ex. steadily sinking GDP per capita in the West. (China may be different...) The stock market, hedge funds, etc. are pretty much irrelevant, casino finance, a play ground for gamblers.
Money has become a symbol that takes on its own existence as ‘being something real’ - and *more* money came to be seen as more investment, new initiatives, more economic gains, jobs, or socialistic stipends for children, whatever, etc.
Quantitative easing (money creation) was supposed to accomplish a flowering of activity and ‘entrepreneurs’..
It served mostly to bail out banks (however many also failed or were taken over by the taxpayer, aka ‘Bad Banks’, others were ‘fused’), the banks were, are, a vital ‘node’ in the economy.
Burning them down would have been a revolutionary act, leading to enormous upheavals and a total re-set, which nobody wanted to, or could, consider. (I’m describing merely.) Joe-6 mortage-owner, Mary on a low salary with cruel taxation, etc. was made to assume some of the losses, which is supremely nasty, unfair, but it could be done (2008-9) without murderous civil unrest. See for ex. "Austerity" in Greece...
The infusion of ‘money’ gave a little kick-start, a little bump, to the world economy. Soon sagged.
Nature bats last.
More ‘money’ (invented yardstick, bad measurement, a layer of obfuscation) was a temp. jag.
The elephant in the room is Energy. Its geological availability, its production volume, the ‘cost’ of its production / etc. / transport, the capacity for end-users to ‘pay’ for it and *and make a profit*, while at the same time *offering a profit to the 7 Sisters of yore* as that is what ‘growth is about.. is broken.
Some may scream! the price or oil (other FF..) is low right now! The price is in itself not important. That is very difficult to understand.
Posted by: Noirette | Aug 18, 2016 10:49:35 AM | 95
The discussion here on the U.S. Monetary System compels this repost…the difference between Currency and Money.
The U.S. Monetary System – how the Treasury Bonds and Federal Reserve is the biggest Scam; built on debt –deficit spending will end badly.
A helpful simple video explains it all - the Biggest Scam in The History of Mankind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFDe5kUUyT0&list=PLE88E9ICdipidHkTehs1VbFzgwrq1jkUJ&index=4
Posted by: likklemore | Aug 18, 2016 10:50:15 AM | 96
@Les | Aug 18, 2016 10:36:50 AM | 90 Poor Romanians! Does the population know?
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 18, 2016 10:53:55 AM | 97
Bannon is former Goldman, and that's why Republicans are all 'afraid' (sic) of Donald the 'Disruptor'. Watch Donald shave McMahon's head, it gives you everything you need to know. He's just in it for Donald, and his goombah porky pig sidekick Christie. Fahged abahd et!
Posted by: TheRealDonald | Aug 18, 2016 10:54:15 AM | 98
@kafkananda | Aug 17, 2016 3:01:28 PM | 9 Here it is by Bianca 4 days ago:
We are such victims of romanticism in international relations, and all the credit goes to the Murdoch school of communications -- that is, neocon school of globalization, Trotsky style. Look at the narrative in the text -- all in all very correct -- but prone to romanticism. It sounds as if Turkey, Iran and Russia have -- in the course of the coup dynamics -- changed orbits, and potentially affected the earth's trajectory. No such romantic thing happened. Turkey's path to an independence from the powerful NATO grip started back in the late nineties, and was at first wobbly with some progress, and some retreats -- but nonetheless oriented towards the newly formed Eurasian pole. After Russia-China axis was formed in 2000, with the founding of SCO, slowly but surely, the two countries started reshaping first their most immediate neighborhood, and then stepped into their first major geopolitical battle -- battle for Iran. Stepping into Syria is a second large-scale geopolitical battle for Eurasian vision of the region, and Turkey -- that was all along the economic and the low key political partner, is now the third geopolitical battleground. Turkey's Eurasian orientation became more obvious after AKP became stronger, and Erdogan a politician with broad public support. That support did not come out of the thin air, but is due to Turkey's persistent economic expansion into markets like Russia, Central Asia and China -- bringing economic development to the impoverished Anatolia and all regions outside large cities. So, this change of constellations is not sudden -- it has been long in the making. As the relationships grew stronger in energy, trade and infrastructure, the internal struggle in Turkey intensified. Military, or as the western media lovingly calls them, "the secularists", or "Kemalists", alluding to the presumed wholesomeness of Western dominated culture -- was caught red handed in the coup attempt a few years ago, and the resulting restructuring diminished the capacity of military to easily topple governments at will. Since that time, the Gulenist movement became the key weapon in an attempt to topple the leading party, and its leading politician, Erdogan. as the battleground between the Atlanticists and the sovereignists, moved into political theater.
The predictable rise of "civil society", thousands of foreign funded NGOs, rise of foreign funded media -- print, TV and blogosphere -- all contributed to the internal tensions. War in Syria, clearly provoked by armed groups protected politically by US, and funded and armed by a bevvy of Gulf enablers, with US arms sales to the same -- was the most dangerous moment in Turkey's modern history. With Iraq in turmoil, and thousands of foreign "advisors" blanketing Iraqi Kurdish areas, with US taking firm control over Syrian Kurds on the ground, and a variety of armed groups vying for power in post-Assad era -- Turkey had to make a decision on how to minimize the damage. For the first time since 2000, Atlanticists faction in the ruling party -- led by Davutoglu, along with the Atlanticists in the Republican party, and Gulen's conservatives, resulted in Turkey choosing to go along with NATO-US plan for the Levant. By joining the "Assad must go" coalition, Turkey was assured to have a seat at the table of decision makers in post war Syria. But US did not prevail on Turkey to use ground forces in Syria -- even though in western press, the issue was turned upside down. As if it was the West that curbed Turkey not to use ground forces! What a lie -- NATO records show that Turkey refused to go alone, and required that every NATO country participate in ground forces, not just Turkey. That put an end to a NATO ground force debate, as Turkey knew it would. But a feeble continuation of the ground force talk continued with Saudi Arabia egging Turkey on. Turkey was increasingly in danger of internal and external fracturing. The population was firmly against Turkey following US lead on Syria, and Erdgoan was in danger of losing support where it counted -- in the population. The increased Kurdish belligerence in Turkey, and open US push for controlling Syrian Kurds -- all pointed to the dangers of secessionism. Russia's entry into Syria -- changed the dynamics. It weakened Atlanticists --- those that argued that Turkey must stay in US orbit, to earn the mercy of the empire. And it strengthened Erdogan's position. The shooting of the Russian plane was also a blessing in disguise. It allowed Russia to step cleanly out of the Turkish internal struggle -- to sharpen the struggle between Erdogan and pro-US circles in media, NGOs, and Gulen's network of associations from right to the left. The internal pressure also crystalized the overwhelming support by the business community for Erdogan, and against the ministers of Davutoglu government. So, in spite of the billions invested in an attempt to engineer a regime change in Turkey -- the Davutoglu government fell, and the new slate appointed by Erdogan did not waste a day, announcing the change of policy on Russia and Syria. And what is worth noting -- a deal with Israel. That deal was not advanced by US, but by Russia. Nethaniahu was frequent visitor to Moscow before the deal was signed. There is nothing SUDDEN, nothing romantic in the deepening of the relationship between Russia and Turkey. Many processes were under way uninterrupted by the chill in the relationship. The deal has clearly everything to do with the gas off Israeli coast. By giving Turkey the lead role in coordinating the development of Gaza, Israel is trying to get connected to Turkey's pipelines that will eventually flow to Europe. Naturally, it was a deal that reminds one of the sword with two edges. For Israel, it did not matter whether the US prevails in Turkey, and eventually makes Turkey the transit country for the chastised and compliant Iran, or Russia prevails, and Turkish-Russian pipeline becomes the conduit. Naturally, US will not be pleased, but Israel knows that it has to bring the gas to European market -- or else it is worthless sitting under ground. All the time, Turkey, Iran and Russia did not stop collaborating on a range of issues. We still talk of the three states in this formula, but the reality is, this is a Eurasian strategy. Kazakhstan and China are deeply involved on various levels, and with various players in Turkey.
It is the broader Eurasian network of sovereign states that is making inroads into regions whose stability has been undermined for decades. While China is a powerful player in the background, up front, the resolution of the internal struggle, has brought Turkey into the Eurasian fold. It is not just the Middle East that needs to be stabilized. It is also critical to prevent the infiltration of violence into Central Asia -- as that would take energy out of Eurasian development -- and spend it on fighting sectarianism, secessionism or just old fashioned terrorism. Along with all the amenities of such globalizing "successes", like drugs, fanaticism, and human trade. The efforts that SCO has put into the prevention has so far been successful. Attempts at inserting terrorism into Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan, have been contained and dealt with -- but the danger remains. At this stage, US has no carrots to give. Only sticks remain. One of the sticks to be used against both Turkey and Russia is to give Italy, the once colonial power in Libya, the leading role in "stabilizing" Libya. Which in translation means giving them gas and oil of Libya, preventing Italy from participating in the pipeline connection Italy-Greece-Turkey, and Russian gas. Now, that Turkey is no longer considered the reliable US-directed country, Turkey is also no longer desirable energy transit hub. By indicating that Libya's oil and gas will flow to Europe via Italy, US has essentially been forced to fight for Italian and French interests in North Africa, and given them the lead role in shoring up the "Unity" Government in Libya. It is a plan -- that will cost US dearly, but US taxpayers do not seem to know or care. And the plan may backfire, as two out of three governments in Libya are not supported by population but are imposed by the "international community".
So, to talk of the Turkish and Russian plans as if they just fell from the sky, and the countries are now feeling their way into the bold new reality -- is naïve. And very romantic, in keeping with the neocon-introduced communications style of adding five adjectives to a noun.
This text is excellent -- compared to many others today in the Western neocon universe. But it lacks the historic depth, and forgets that many cornerstones were put in place to make this alignment a reality. Many moons ago. And that it involves a broader Eurasian consensus -- including countries beyond Central Asia and China, but also India and Pakistan, and capitals from Jakarta to Manila -- all in favor of stabilizing and peaceful development. This change will have impact on Balkans -- especially as the leadership of all Moslem communities is pro-US, and secretly pro-Saudi Arabia that pays bills -- but the population is fiercely pro-Turkey and pro-Erdogan. Realignment there is at the expense of pro-US factions, and in favor of pro-Russian and pro-Turkish factions.
Tactically, there will be many twists and turns in the realignment of the Middle East, Turkey and Balkans. It will affect US position in Ukraine as well. It will greatly diminish the role, economic wellbeing and financial stability of Europe. Italy and France are staking their future on the success of Libyan adventure. And that alliance with US will keep them dependent on this orbit, and unable to make independent decisions on their economic and political future. This will not DECREASE the terrorist menace, but very likely increase. Neither Italy nor France would be seen as liberators in Libya, and the increased refugee flow will only highlight the two countries foreign policy blunders.
Where are the carrots that Mr. Biden can bring to Turkey, Italy, France, Greece, Ukraine? What will it take for countries of North Africa to believe that US is a dominant player that can bring peace and stability to their region? What will it take for Egypt to be convinced that US is a credible player that can bring about peace, stability and prosperity? Whatever remained of the opportunity for Iran to normalize its relationships with US, is now almost illusory. If anything -- the Clinton administration will bring about heightened tensions, and more reasons for many countries to keep distance from its belligerent noises. Most countries tend to have conservative leadership, not risk prone -- and the idea of pumping up their countries population into ideological frenzy in support of US global wars, seems far fetched to me. Majority will try to appease US, if vulnerable to its pressures, but will behind the scenes work hard to get into Eurasian development plans. Eurasian politics has vision, US has none. Eurasia wants to stabilize regions and open them for infrastructure and trade, US just wants to win at all costs. Long ago, it has become clear that foreign policy of world leading powers that have no benefit to the global community at large, will fail. Yes, there are still a lots of world's politicians that can be bribed and blackmailed. But they will increasingly lose out to those that will notice how nothing succeeds like success.
Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 18, 2016 11:05:24 AM | 99
In the midst of cries and complaints ...Growing disquiet in Washington over Russian-Iranian actions in Syria
[A]fter conquering the city of Manbij in northern Syria, US-backed forces, which are fighting with the support of American special operations troops, granted safe passage to a convoy of between 100 and 200 trucks and cars filled with ISIS members fleeing toward the Turkish border. The effect was to ensure that these forces lived to fight another day, presumably the Americans hope, against Assad.
... comes the news of Washington's having let IS go again, in Manbij, to fight another day.
The Iraqi victories over IS were of the same sort ... let them ride outof town and then occupy it.
Al-CIAduh and IS won't be dead till there's a stake driven through each of their hearts. The problem is that the heart of each beats in Washington DC.
Posted by: jfl | Aug 18, 2016 11:06:23 AM | 100