Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 19, 2017

The New National Security Strategy Paves A Path To Isolation

Yesterday the White House published a new National Security Strategy (pdf). The publication was, unusually, announced by the president in a stump speech. The new NSS is unusually long:

Reagan National Security Strategy was 41 pages, Bush 2002 was 31, Obama 2015 was 29. Trump's is 55 pages: Buffet of priorities without much prioritization.

The first "fundamental responsibility" the NSS sets out is:

.. to protect the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life ..

Micah Zenko points out that it does not really do that:

[A]lmost nothing in the .. document deals with the actual domestic threats, risks, and systemic harms that Americans experience every day.
...
The Trump NSS .. mentions terrorists 58 times, and pledges to “defeat jihadist terrorists,” just as all previous NSS documents have done since 9/11. Over the past 16-plus years, jihadis have killed 103 Americans within the United States, while right-wing terrorists have killed 68. During that same time period, drug-induced deaths have more than tripled, with over 59,000 Americans dying in 2016, while America’s suicide rate has risen by 25 percent, resulting in 43,000 deaths annually.
...
The Trump administration’s NSS fails to do what it claims — protect Americans — largely because it does not address the real threats and risks faced by Americans. It might be an “America First” foreign policy, as the president contends, but it does not put Americans themselves first.

While it touches lots of foreign policy issues, the emphasis of the new NSS is more realist than the - on paper - more idealistic version of Obama's imperial strategy. There is less schmoozing about "values" and a new emphasis on "rivals", most importantly China and Russia.

Labeling those two countries as rivals implies that they are again seen on a similar level than the U.S. itself. It thus marks the end of the "unilateral moment" that the U.S. felt entitled to after the end of the Soviet Union. Sure, the U.S. is still trying to set itself apart from others. It just ridiculously vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that reaffirmed the occupied status of Jerusalem. But voting against all other members of the UNSC, including close allies like Britain, is not a sign of global leadership but of a pariah state.

That the "unilateral moment" has passed might have some very positive aspects for the world. The end of a global competition had allowed the U.S. to wage more wars:

[W]hile the United States engaged in forty-six military interventions from 1948–1991, from 1992–2017 that number increased fourfold to 188.

The interventions after 1991 occurred even while the U.S. had lost the ideological rationale of "countering communism" and while the chance of military operations against it was smaller than before. Moreover many of those interventions were not successful. Other states have found means to counter overwhelming military might.

The unchecked United States felt no necessity to weight potential responses from competitors. It did not show a "decent respect for the opinions of mankind". It proved itself to be a danger to global peace. It intervened because it could, not because there was a real national interest at stake, or even a decent chance of winning. The "unilateral moment" has cost the U.S. a lot of money and goodwill, and it brought little gain.

A rational U.S. strategy would recognize that the unilateral approach failed and thus emphasize other means. Real global cooperation and increasing economic and diplomatic power would likely be more successful than military might. The new National Security Strategy does not offer that. While it says it "will advance American influence" it ignores or rejects climate change and international "rules of the road", like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Trump administration in putting more resources into the military and less into diplomatic and economic foreign policy measures. It is thereby, true to Trump's campaign stance, isolationist.

One can either have an overwhelming role or finesse one's influence through cooperation with others. The overwhelming role, demonstrated by military interventions, has not been successful. The cooperation approach is spelled out in the words of the NSS but rejected in its specific policies. The third way it is paving is one of isolation.

As a global citizen I welcome this development. A U.S. that again feels limited in its global reach will likely be more careful when it considers initiating new conflicts. It will do less damage to others and to itself.

Posted by b on December 19, 2017 at 06:46 AM | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for the nice article B, it's good to have you back in production!

It is hard to imagine the US cooperating with the rest of the world in a positive manner on most issues, at this stage at least, so isolationism is certainly the most reassuring course.

Posted by: BM | Dec 19, 2017 7:10:30 AM | 1

The "unilateral moment" has cost the U.S. a lot of money and good will, and it brought little gain.

It brought massive gain for the US MIC. Which remains America's N°1 problem.
http://billmoyers.com/story/theres-no-business-like-arms-business/

And welcome back, B!

Posted by: Lea | Dec 19, 2017 7:36:48 AM | 2

Several months ago I read a Pentagon paper on the US narrowing its allies that it would 'protect' down to a small number of core allies, which I take to mean five eyes, Israel, Japan ect. I cannot remember the name of the paper or where to find it now, but since reading it I have thought the US seemed to be moving in this direction.
From what I can remember of it, the paper seemed to be about US strategy for living in the emerging multi polar world where the US would be forced to cede ground to China and Russia in some parts of the world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 19, 2017 7:44:20 AM | 3

Good analysis, and as we go along, one hopes we get the message when our isolation becomes obvious and proceed to a neutralist foreign policy.

Posted by: Joseph Moroco | Dec 19, 2017 7:45:25 AM | 4

A rational U.S. strategy would recognize that the unilateral approach failed and thus emphasize other means. Real global cooperation and increasing economic and diplomatic power would likely be more successful than military might. The new National Security Strategy does not do that. While it says it "will advance American influence" it ignores or rejects climate change and international "rules of the road", like the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Trump administration in putting more resources into the military and less into diplomatic and economic foreign policy measures. It is thereby, true to Trump's campaign stance, isolationist.
b

I, for one, do not believe the deep state is so easily swayed; isolationist? Not in the forseeable future, IMO.
Just look at the Syrian situation; the U.S. insists to have a presence; illegal or not; they don't bloody care; damn international law; the U.S. will have its way.
Russia could easily declare Syrian air-space a total no-fly zone; but they don't.
I understand why; but at some point; the law must be enforced or all is lost to the chaos...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 19, 2017 7:46:37 AM | 5

Where was the Trump from 2016 who wondered why we were wasting trillions of dollars on winless pointless wars on the other side of the world? Where was the Trump who asked why we are still defending South Korea more than half a century after the Korean war? Who asked why would could not get along with Russia? Who pointed out that in order to keep Americans safe from terrorists, we don't need to remake the entire world in our image, just not let them come here (like Japan does, and very well, I might add).

So sad.

Posted by: TG | Dec 19, 2017 8:17:21 AM | 6

TG @6 seems to think 'just not let them come here' will be a winning strategy. The 'terrorist' are not folks that got up one day and said looks like a good day to turn terrorist. They are the results of decades of attacks by the Americans and Five Eyes on their families and homes. The 'terrorist' may not come America but they are for sure going to take out their 'blood debt' on the European lap dogs. Expect the Europeans to soon start throwing rocks at American tourist. Isolation! You bet.

Posted by: ger | Dec 19, 2017 8:44:49 AM | 7

TG @ 6

Conmen do not have to have consistency. Actually, it's part of being a conman to tell people what they want to hear and then fleece them. Or screw them in an number of ways.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 19, 2017 8:47:05 AM | 8

Trump's statement contains contradictions which allows both Neocons and those who oppose them to see what they want. While he disparages nation building, Russia and China are called revisionist powers who challenge the U.S. established world order and U.S. values.

One must look at Trump's actions.
Anti-Neocon:

1. Trump dropped Syrian regime change (for now, U.S. troops and protection of rebels still present in Syria).

Pro-Neocon:
1. U.S. buildup of forces in Eastern Europe ongoing, along with call for EU/NATO to pitch in, air patrols close to Crimea ongoing, and arms authorized for Ukraine and mention of soft power in Central Asia.

2. Military buildup and South China Seas operations ongoing.

3. Pro-Saudi operations in Yemen beefed up along with strong arming Iraqi govt against Iran.

4. Nation building in Afghanistan ongoing.

Will he break the JCPOA?

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 19, 2017 9:19:22 AM | 9

Isolationism...the old playground, 'I'm taking my ball and going home,' psychology. Good for the US! Go home and sulk. The playground will be a better place. Problem is the US has outsourced all its industry for Wall St. So all that is left is manufacturing war. Who they gonna fight?

Broke, in debt, no more money to print, no future but death. Decades long NSS equals more war. Those who lead (as in pillage) have no other way out. Really, no other way out!

Posted by: Lawrence Smith | Dec 19, 2017 9:53:38 AM | 10

"We will not allow adversaries to use threats of nuclear escalation or other irresponsible nuclear behaviors to coerce the United States, our allies, and our partners. Fear of escalation will not prevent the United States from defending our vital interests and those of our allies and partners." (Tronald's-NSS)
"As a global citizens I welcome this development. A U.S. that again feels limited in its global reach will likely be more careful when it considers initiating new conflicts. It will do less damage to others and to itself." (B's conclusion)

I come to a different conclusion.

Posted by: Pnyx | Dec 19, 2017 10:11:17 AM | 11

Very well said b. This article by Julie Hyland resonates well with this.

Women’s rights is definitely a great issue but doesn’t seem to be our true concern. What seems most needed is a multipolar moderation to the US aggression which has taken place since 1991.

weaponisation of feminism


“”With the juridical liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO’s aggressive stance became more overt as it mounted direct military operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and, more recently, Libya and Syria aimed ultimately at encircling, and dismembering Russia and China.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives as a result and millions more have been injured and displaced. These wars, moreover, have been accompanied by the evisceration of all pretence at maintaining democratic norms—including extraordinary rendition and targeted assassinations by drone strikes, not to speak of the gutting of civil liberties “at home.”

It is to conceal its predatory aims that Stoltenberg/Jolie attempt to recast NATO as a tool of female emancipation.

NATO will integrate “gender issues into its strategic thinking”, reinforce a “culture of integration of women throughout the organisation, including in leadership positions”, promote “the role of women in the military”, and deploy “gender advisers to local communities”, where “NATO’s female soldiers are able to reach and engage with local communities,” they write.

Without a trace of shame, the op-ed targets Ukraine and Syria as in particular need of NATO’s gender crusade. This on behalf of an organisation that supported fascists in the first conflict, and worked with Islamic extremists, such as the Al Nusra front in the other.””

Posted by: financial matters | Dec 19, 2017 10:25:00 AM | 12

@7 "Expect the Europeans to soon start throwing rocks at American tourist."

Or start spitting in the soup. Unfortunately that sort of thing will just make them more paranoid. I think deep down Americans want to be loved. The problem is reconciling that with the need to be number one.

Posted by: dh | Dec 19, 2017 10:28:57 AM | 13

As I started reading b's post, BBC Impact began broadcasting snippets from Yalda Hakim's interview with HR McMaster, a certifiable member of AmeriKKKa's Lunatic Fringe. He was issuing threats to Russia & China and promising to rid the world of North Korea's nukes with or without NK's consent. Which made me wonder if McMaster had read the NatSec Strategy memo?
Whether he has or not is neither here nor there because both Russia and China have read it and have told Trump to shove it where the sun doesn't shine - according to Zio Jazeera.

I won't be optimistic about AmeriKKKa until Russia and/or China announce a Zero Tolerance policy toward US military adventurism in countries on the borders of Russia/China - by promising to bomb the continental USA if it attacks a Russia/China neighbor.
Imo it's absolutely essential to light a big bonfire under AmeriKKKa's Impunity.
And it would be delightful, sobering, and a big boost for Peace and Diplomacy to hear the Yankees whingeing about being threatened by entities quite capable of following through on their threats.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 19, 2017 11:10:32 AM | 14

NSS: "We will preserve peace through strength by rebuilding our military so that it remains preeminent, deters our adversaries, and if necessary, is able to fight and win."

Currently the military is in poor shape. Half the fighter planes can't fly, only one of eleven aircraft carriers is deployed, and the Pentagon has struggled to send one brigade to Europe. Morale is low, the Air Force has a deficit of about 2,000 pilots, Navy personnel are poorly trained in seamanship so collisions occur, and the Army is struggling to recruit because young people in the recruit pool have drug and weight problems (and better things to do).

The current "rebuilding" is characterized by spending tons of money on complex systems that don't work well, like the F-35 strike fighter, the Ford-class aircraft carrier, the stealth destroyer and the Littoral Combat Ship.

Budget limitations including sequestration mean that the defense budget funds for rebuilding are not available, and as the out-of-power Democrat Party insists that domestic needs be considered equally with "defense." (That's the good news.)

Of course the military budget has little to do with defense and mostly has served for elective wars which the US has consistently lost, and then paid to correct such as the $60 billion used for Iraq reconstruction in a country the US converted from an Iran enemy to an Iran ally (Iran says thank you Uncle Sam).

Trump has promised to expand the half-million person Army when in fact there is no need for a US ground force; Canada and Mexico are quite benign. The NSS in fact makes it clear that the objective is not defense but increasing world hegemony: "We will advance American influence because a world that supports American interests and reflects our values makes America more secure and prosperous." Baloney, the wars have made America less secure and will continue to do so as new wars on North Korea and Iran are promoted.

Thus hundreds of billions of dollars are wasted on the military in a country with dire domestic needs. That's no way to Make America Great Again, is it. That's just being stupid.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 19, 2017 11:15:26 AM | 15

The NSS is a declaration of Hegemony. The intention is to break the China-Russia multi-polar project, to suffocate China's development, to prevent Eurasian development, to undermine security with the maritime containment arc of the Indo-Pacific Quad navies, and to destabilize Russia with a never-ending hybrid war.

If that is isolationism, I'm staring into the Looking Glass.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 19, 2017 11:24:57 AM | 16

The greatest danger of the US's decline in power relative to the rest of the world is an overreaction by the US to try to halt such decline. This has been true for a while; Trump's belligerence just brings it into sharper focus. Obama was actually pretty much the same but he hid it behind smoother language.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Dec 19, 2017 11:29:24 AM | 17

It's amazing how much slack this board is ready to cut Trump as long as he's chumming with Putin.

"he may find that that this doesn't work"

"he may be isolationist"

FFS..he's starkers. Taking all references to climate change out of his environmental dept. Just as California burns and his coastal cities are underwater.

Roiling the whole Muslim world with his Jerusalem policy.

Continuing to poke the rattlesnake in North Korea and risk the lives of millions because he's too vain to negotiate.

On a mission to gut the benefits of the poor and elderly in his own country. Surely the most telling feature of his total lack of empathy for the people he's supposed to be looking afterward.

Case in point, the new tax bill kills the Obamacare mandate. That kills Obamacare dead. It's been described by you fucking geniuses as a total scam but in your heart you know better. It was passed under distress because of heartless Republican demand for changes to it and since Trump took office they have spent most of their energy trying to repeal it. Well, they finally succeeded. It provided at least some level of coverage for many millions with no other access and you fucking clowns think killing it is great.

But he likes Putin so God bless the orange one.

Posted by: peter | Dec 19, 2017 11:42:11 AM | 18

As a child of the '60's I have always found US/UK/et al elites a tad suss (more than a tad!) but have liked individual US people. Now unfortunately even the number of individuals I like and find interesting, sane if you will, to be just one or two & a dog, with the sweet puppy #1, woof.

The elites have not changed nor have their policies. That these people find themselves exceptional is an exceptionally deluded division from "others" everywhere....but not when there's money it.

That competition is required for a "balance" is a nonsense of education from birth in order to continue the states quo, or, to continue us all living as yesterday people for today & tomorrow, limited or not by competition, or not.

The Gorbachev revolution (Russians say disaster), was the offered chance of change for this era, and any era that might remain and you blew it, or more accurately, conned us all again (see the previous para).

So, enjoy all your yesterdays yesterday people - Viva conflict & division forever. - Ta for the article.

Posted by: sadness | Dec 19, 2017 11:52:52 AM | 19

Don Bacon@15, Don, projected costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars are not billions but trillions.
Kennedy School professor Linda Bilmes finds that the all-in costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will measure in the $4 trillion to $6 trillion range when all is said and done. But that's not the most terrifying element of her survey of the fiscal impact of the "war on terror" and related undertakings. What should really strike fear into your heart is her finding that "the largest portion of that bill is yet to be paid." http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/03/28/cost_of_iraq_linda_bilmes_says_iraq_and_afghanistan_wars_could_cost_6_trillion.html
So much for Trumps 'fix our infrastructure' first promises. instead of MAGA we get MIGA make Israel great again.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 19, 2017 12:13:22 PM | 20

@16, "The NSS is a declaration of Hegemony. The intention is to break the China-Russia multi-polar project, to suffocate China's development, to prevent Eurasian development, to undermine security with the maritime containment arc of the Indo-Pacific Quad navies, and to destabilize Russia with a never-ending hybrid war.

If that is isolationism, I'm staring into the Looking Glass."


Red Ryder, that is EXACTLY how I read it too.
After DT leaves office, we will still have hybrid warfare in central Asia, a spiffy nuclear arms race, a $750B military budget, troops in the M.E., a navy making useless gestures at China, ...

The irony here is that we have become the Soviet Union at the peak of its most inefficient cycle. I'm convinced that human nature being what it is, we will stay in denial until we collapse under the burden of our own stupidity. The thing that kills me is that the morons who shoved us into this path are not the ones who will have to answer for it.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Dec 19, 2017 12:20:26 PM | 21

@14 Hoarsewhisperer,

I concur with you. The bully learns when he is hit back. And to prevent
innumerable sufferings, China and Russia should draw a red line and
promise swift and heavy nuclear retaliation to the KKka if it trespasses.

But, as a matter of fact, the arms business if of such nature and profits
so great that the MIC will always push for transgressions.

Sooner or later, this will end in Nuclear exchange.

But a good part of the World's woes would end if Russia and China
were to impress the Israelis that there is a limit to their wrongdoings.

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 19, 2017 12:23:16 PM | 22

Posted by: peter | Dec 19, 2017 11:42:11 AM | 18

Buyers remorse?
Trump said he'd drain the SWAMP. Luckily, Swamp Hillary was relying on Divine Intervention to compensate for her lazy and incompetent campaign. AmeriKKKa dodged a bullet when she lost the race. It would be Im-possible for Trump to be worse than Hillary. The ppl who voted for Trump wanted the SWAMP drained but didn't know how. Trump reckons he knows how and they're not going to quibble with his methods or the sequence.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 19, 2017 12:24:21 PM | 23

>>>> peter | Dec 19, 2017 11:42:11 AM | 18

Taking all references to climate change out of his environmental dept. Just as California burns and his coastal cities are underwater.

The existing policies were not doing enough to prevent climate change. Perhaps when people start to see real impacts from climate change they might take effective action. Perhaps a fire that impacts the entire state of California.

Roiling the whole Muslim world with his Jerusalem policy.

The existing Israeli policy was slow ethnic cleansing/genocide and other countries did fuck all. Allowing Netanyahu to demonstrate what a bastard he is, might persuade some (but not Washington) that continued support for Israel is too dangerous and immoral.

Continuing to poke the rattlesnake in North Korea and risk the lives of millions because he's too vain to negotiate.

The North Koreans claimed they had completed their nuclear weapons program so what's the rush. There are more important things for the president to work on such as reducing the taxes on the extremely wealthy and organising a victory parade for the defeat of ISIS. I wonder if we'll see al-Baghdadi being dragged behind Trump's golden chariot? Give him six months and the American public will have forgotten about this crisis, so he can cancel the biannual war games as by then everyone will be wondering why the United States has to pay for them when South Korea is itself wealthy enough to pay the bill with a bit of help from Japan.

On a mission to gut the benefits of the poor and elderly in his own country. Surely the most telling feature of his total lack of empathy for the people he's supposed to be looking afterward.

You can hardly call it a welfare state so what's the problem?

Case in point, the new tax bill kills the Obamacare mandate. That kills Obamacare dead.

According to Scott Lemieux, one of the Clintonists (Clintion personality cultists) over at Lawyers, Gun and Money, it will merely "repeal the tax penalty for not carrying health insurance in the Affordable Care Act". While this will be bad for many, it won't be the end of the ACA. But let's face it, the ACA was pandering to the healthcare industry, Big Pharma, Wall Street and the Oligarchy. The only rational solution is a national health service funded by federal insurance as a percentage of income. The economies from getting rid of the private insurers would mean it would cost less than the existing pile of crap.

I still can't work Trump out. Is he just a wealthy cunt, or might he be one of the greatest revolutionaries the world has ever seen. After all the shit he's dumping on the the American public, if there isn't a libertarian socialist or libertarian communist revolution soon, then I'll know that the Americans really are sheep (perhaps that's why they rarely eat lamb, hogget or mutton). If it's a communist one, I hope they remember that Bolshevism doesn't work or are their memories too short even to remember that?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 19, 2017 12:30:13 PM | 24

No wonder when western media cover Russia like this:

Newsweek's claim Putin is planning World War 3 is completely fake report
https://voat.co/v/politics/2298005

Western media spread fake news daily, no wonder you get idiots in charge carrying out idiotic policies.

Posted by: Anon | Dec 19, 2017 12:32:08 PM | 25

@7 "Expect the Europeans to soon start throwing rocks at American tourist."

Or start spitting in the soup. Unfortunately that sort of thing will just make them more paranoid. I think deep down Americans want to be loved. The problem is reconciling that with the need to be number one.

Posted by: dh | Dec 19, 2017 10:28:57 AM | 13

I think you would find that the vast majority of Americans would be quite happy to disengage militarily from the rest of the world, and put resources at work on domestic problems.

Posted by: sleepy | Dec 19, 2017 12:38:29 PM | 26

thanks b... you have a typo near the top on one of the links - unsuasually long"

i like your last sentence and the sentiment... lets hope the usa can find an alternative to always being on the war path..

@3 peter au... multipolar world view on the part of the usa.. that would be a positive development.

@5 v. arnold.. i agree with you, but i think russia is hoping cooler heads will prevail and they aren't willing to push that..

@6 tg... i guess that was another cheap sales pitch of a us politician wanting to get elected.. it worked.. - i agree with ger @7 - the usa has created terrorists out of all their wars, drones and etc. etc..

@14 hoarsewhisperer and @22 carl d... i see your point... i hope you are wrong, but you might be right... we are not at that point yet, but rapidly approaching..

@15 don bacon.. that was the part i picked up in the speech and i was really disappointed.. more of the same.. money for the mic.. it never stops.. meanwhile that train that went over onto the i5 - there is no money for that..

Posted by: james | Dec 19, 2017 1:05:39 PM | 27

Can @20 be deleted as it has a deliberately long link and thereby makes the page illegible?

Posted by: Albertde | Dec 19, 2017 2:26:43 PM | 28

Nikki Haley, in her distinct fashion, articulated an "America First" pov at the UNSC yesterday as she claimed the repudiation of decades of international understandings on the status of Jerusalem was an expression of American "sovereignty", and criticism of same amounted to an "insult" that "would not be forgotten." Not a lot of nuance, or diplomacy, on display and the tantrum was aimed at friends and rivals alike.

The National Security vision seems to place a lot of faith in a version of laissez-faire libertarian economics which, reading between the lines, will serve as a motivating principle in extending great power rivalry based on defining the "rules based international system" as precisely such economic system. That's probably not too different from the "exceptional" viewpoint of the previous administrations, but expressed, much like Haley, in far blunter fashion.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 19, 2017 2:32:48 PM | 29

@ 2 lea

Very well said. I would only add that the globalist/financial sector did even better!

@ 15, 20

I am surprised that Russia does not openly support US regime change projects. (sarc)

Afganistan cost 100's of billions and converted the Taliban from allies to enemies.

Iraq cost 100's of billions and converted them from pro Sunni/Gulf to pro-Iranian

Turkey has cost uncounted billions and converted them from pro NATO to pro Russia

Syria cost up to 100 billion and converted the country from pro-west to pro Russia

Yemen cost billions and converted a pro-western ruler (now dead) to anti-western

This is not to mention Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and a host of other countries in Africa and South America - who all look at Libya and realize the plans that await them

Really, what other country gets so much bang for their buck? Perhaps this is history's version of shock and awe for those who arrogate to themselves the power to 'make' it.

Posted by: les7 | Dec 19, 2017 2:39:00 PM | 30

Peter @ 18

No Obamacare is an absolute scam, and as a person who grew up under a national insurance plan in Canada and now pays for Obamacare, I know the difference. Obama had no intension of even discussing a single-payer insurance option and killed that idea dead at the outset. What he delivered was government-enforced participation in a private sector insurance scheme that blew health care costs for middle-class Americans through the roof. He talked his usual silky smooth talk about "caring" while enriching his big pharma and sick-care donors, and it's a shame that well-intentioned people such as yourself still can't see through his bullshit.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Dec 19, 2017 2:52:23 PM | 31

Meanwhile China protests the US's the use of 'revisionist' to describe them.

Revisionist- why not own it proudly?

China calls for the US "to abandon its outdated zero-sum thinking” and “engage in win-win cooperation.” The US has never stood for a Win-Win outcome. This call by China is not just revisionist, it is revolutionary.

China stated "it is completely selfish” for Washington to put its interest above others - yet US self-interest has been the sole principle of US action in the world since Kissinger formalized it in the mid-70's - removing from discussion any sense of morality and wider long-term interest. Again, a revolutionary call by China.

Finally, in the historical sense "revisionism identifies the re-interpretation of the historical record. It usually means challenging the orthodox views held by professional scholars about a historical event, or introducing new evidence, or of restating the motivations and decisions of the participant people"

China, by its' very existence challenges and identifies an alternative model of economy, of political leadership that is not only successful (680 million people moved out of poverty in the last 20 years) - it has proven more successful, more adaptive, and more socially just than the leading western forms of capitalism.

China is revisionist - own it with pride.

If I were China, I would proudly wear the label of revisionist -

Posted by: les7 | Dec 19, 2017 2:55:49 PM | 32

The word "isolationist" is simply a buzz word trying to vilify looking out for one's own country. Every nation should put itself first, "globalism" is middleman bullshit for illicit profit (in both directions) off of all trade between nations, the ancient purpose of middlemen.
It is also a lie to treat the UN as a disinterested entity. It is just another talmudic tactic to conquer the world and should be quickly abolished.
So, even though Trump is an incurable blow hard for anything his insane son-in-law wants, it is proper for the U.S. to defend itself for a change instead of playing talumdic neo con world conquerer.
It is light years past time for writers to label the TRUE CAUSERS of the world's problems, THE ROTHSCHILD CABAL, instead of constantly PITTING ONE SYMPTOM OF THAT CABAL AGAINST ANOTHER. Until people are directed to take down the cabal itself NOT A DAMNED THING WILL EVER CHANGE FOR THE BETTER.

Posted by: Tony B. | Dec 19, 2017 3:34:14 PM | 33

TG @6. In response to your question about what happened to Candidate Trump, I wanted to post Trump’s precise words at his election-night victory speech. As the crowds chanted “Lock Her Up,” I was taken aback that he said something like “that was fine for the campaign, but not anymore” and then went into his call that we should all honor her for her decades of public service, etc.

But, when I searched for transcripts, that line was not published. His call for honoring Clinton and uniting was there, but not his call to shut up about locking her up. Well, often transcripts of speeches are “as prepared” and do not include “off the cuff” remarks, so I watched 3 different videos of his speech. And that exchange was NOT in any one of them. In fact, though articles I found still comment about the crowd chanting “Lock Her Up,” the videos do not contain them on the audio track.

These videos were all on youtube. Has the chanting and his response been censored out? Why?

If anyone can find the original, please post it.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 19, 2017 3:35:45 PM | 34

Anon 25
Had a good piece of fake news on state run radio national Australia last weekend when a yankee commentator - as always in Australia - informed us the quartet of powers , U S , Japan , India and Australia were resolute in opposing the possible misuse of Chinese power in the India/Pacific. She asserted that this showed Australian policies of crudely confronting China were receiving regional backing .
The truth is quite the opposite as India AND JAPAN are clearly showing interests economically and geo-politically that do not align with the U S concerning China .
As for Australia we must remember Lavrov's recent comment that '' Australia doesn't seem to have any independent policies at all '' .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Dec 19, 2017 3:45:08 PM | 35

The analysis offered on this site is critical, meaning it aims to provide an alternative albeit accurate and objective assessment of various conflicts and events around the world, which is its positive side, yet the analysis suffers from a major shortcoming, and that is its detachment from a major independent variable that is the capitalist mode of production. All these events and conflicts, including the military issue analysed above, are directly related to and the product of the growing contradictions of capitalism. A firm understanding of the capitalist system (a la Marx et al.) is necessary in order to completely understanding what is going on in the world today.

Posted by: ninel | Dec 19, 2017 3:46:29 PM | 36

Wow! Interesting article and comments. Trump's NSS is exactly like his speech at the UN. He tosses a few terms in to placate his "base," but the entirety of the substance is a continuation and even expansion of US foreign policy since WW II, and especially since 1991 and 9/11.

At the UN he mumbled some platitudes about "sovereignty" to suck in his "Liberty Movement" backers, but then proceeded to threaten the sovereignty of 4 or 5 other countries, only one of which has even demonstrably threatened to respond militarily if attacked by the US.

Here, the narrative that this is about "isolationism" and the comments about Trump being buddy/buddy with Putin is belied by his specifying that Russia and China are our greatest "rivals" and its insistence on expanding US hegemony. It's rather startling that the elephant in the room seems to be invisible to so many people. The Empire has no intention of changing course, and this NSS makes that clear.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 19, 2017 3:55:22 PM | 37

@ Sad Canuck | Dec 19, 2017 2:52:23 PM | 31

Why don't you move back to Canada, we still have public health care, although I am not sure for how long?

Posted by: ex-Sa | Dec 19, 2017 4:07:13 PM | 38

As I wrote yesterday when Don Bacon posted an excerpt from Trump's speech, it's just a continuation of the scam that began in earnest with GHW Bush and escalated by every POTUS since. The scam is meant to perpetuate and expand the disparity present in this chart. This comment IMO best sums up Trump's speech, its contents and what's currently taking place in Congress--Same Old Shit, Different Day.

As for "revisioning," the same charge could be made of Trump's speechwriter since it amounts to a rehashing of Vision 2010 and Vision 2020. There's only one time an action cannot qualify as being revisioned--upon its immediate occurrence, which was hopefully filmed from as many angles as needed--all other descriptions of that action must by definition be a revisioning of it as what is seen is filtered through the viewer's brain and all its biases before the act is commented upon by the viewer. So, as was stated by les7 @32--China's Win/Win certainly qualifies as a revision of its economic policy as even Xi admitted in his lengthy CCP Congress speech outlining BRI.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 19, 2017 4:17:47 PM | 39

@37 Daniel

No, but it does change the tenor of how America conducts its business. On the one hand, you say that he was merely placating his "liberty movement" but you gave real weight to his threats towards soverignty of these nations which we all know to be necessary to neocons for THEIR placation. So which is Trump being truthful towards?

Like it or not, there is no unifying, buddy-buddy theme to world business. Everyone tries to help their team at the expense of other teams. Business is business. The difference here is that Trump is admitting that using our military to safeguard corporate interests has not been fruitful. He has said this over and over and has not been too aggressive, with the exception of empty shows of force which he distanced himself from ever increasingly. There are other tools in the chest, however, like tariffs and protectionism. I would still take that over innocent bloodshed anyday.

DT is not a true-believer, and thank god for that.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 19, 2017 4:34:43 PM | 40

Another POV from Andrew Korybko at Sputniknews:

He looks at the NSS as based essentially on Infowar technologies. The US's main hope and stock in trade.
https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201712191060145146-us-national-security/

He's a very prolific analyst, American, now based in Russia. Expert on Hybrid War.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 19, 2017 4:38:52 PM | 41

@ 36

This comment will help me with my sociology essay I forgot to hand in 47 years ago.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 19, 2017 4:48:01 PM | 42

7: "Expect the Europeans to soon start throwing rocks at American tourist."

I can envision an underground cottage industry that will provide Canadian passports and other papers for Americans who travel abroad.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 19, 2017 5:34:01 PM | 43

@ger, 7

They are the results of decades of attacks by the Americans and Five Eyes on their families and homes.
While I'm sure there are people who have become terrorists because of the way the US has attacked their friends, family, tribe or country, I suspect that aspect is actually exaggerated in the manufactured consensus. I think most terrorists are indoctrinated by Wahhabis from KSA, then trained and equipped by 5 eyes operatives + KSA + Israel, then paid by KSA or Israel. The "they hate us because of what we do" mantra is a limited hangout from "they hate us for our values." It's meant to distract from the truth: They hate us because we want them to and we pay them to.

Posted by: William Rood | Dec 19, 2017 6:37:34 PM | 44

@40 NemesisCalling, @24 Ghost Ship

I can't make out Trump yet either. I still think all the data is not in yet to account for all the layers of US action.

Everything the US does works backwards against it - like closing your fist around water, you push it away instead of grasping it. We seem to be living in a Taoist parable which all the audience and most of the players get, but which the main protagonist totally fails to perceive.

It was like this before Trump, so it's difficult to think that Trump has done anything different. He speaks one direction but the US walks in the other. But this is what the US has been doing, and what it will continue to do.

I don't think Trump is a genius who understands these currents of history and is deliberately playing a master's game. But there could be genius at work, and it could be what might once have been called the "American genius" - in this case a strong penchant for plain talking and plain dealing. This, if anything, elected Trump, I suspect. And this is how Trump acts, whether it's smart or right or real, or not.

Trump has blown more paradigms in the last year, and changed the discourse by bringing themes and phrases onto the table and in the light of day, than I can believe could have been desired by any deep state or Zionist policy of social control - from making a century of propaganda a household term with "fake news" to bringing "US interests" to the table as a reason for all US action, shining city be damned.

And none of this bringing of the underlying scams to the surface as memes has been done in a manner aimed to destroy these terms. It's the opposite, in fact. He aims to use these terms to further policy. But because we live in the Taoist play, it all hastens the demise of empire, and sheds more power daily that can never be regained.

If he's now bringing "isolationism" to the surface as a conscious position, then good, let that position win or lose in the light of day over time, and be embraced or rejected consciously in the future.

I think of Trump as a somewhat unconscious actor in the play, a force of nature, mindlessly carried along by other forces of nature, of which the Zionists know nothing, and yet which foil their ends at every turn. Trump seems more like a tool of history than anything. I don't call him stupid, and because of the history unfolding here, I don't even say he's doing anything wrong - because in fact he's weakening the evil power, whether wittingly or unwittingly, who can say?

I still don't know who or what Trump is. But the role he seems to be playing in this force majeure production, is definitely a starring one, to my mind.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 19, 2017 7:08:05 PM | 45

Amerika Uber Alles!!!

Seig Heil

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 19, 2017 7:08:38 PM | 46

China has offered some uppity backtalk. This cannot stand. Trump must declare war on China immediately. Lockheed Martin got a $987,000,000 contract (why not an even billion?) today to make new bombs and deployment hardware. Patriotic Lockheed executives and their families should enlist in the armed services straight away.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 19, 2017 7:23:03 PM | 47

@ 45 Grieved

Great comment. He is definitely weakening the empire, the pressure is building, the bolts are popping like in a U-boat too far down in the depths. He clomps around with huge footsteps, knocking stuff over and causing division, seemingly unthinking but possessed of canny intuition and hunch. As you say, he is uniquely American, big and brash and bold like his tower.

Whereas nearly all the other politicians have been extensively schooled in Zionist thought and ideology, Trump has not been properly house trained, which is why they did not want him.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 19, 2017 8:10:54 PM | 48

@ Grieved and Lochearn with the Trump observations

I agree that Trump is bringing down the America part of empire but I posit this is the plan....and his plutocrat apprentice role

While America may go under the bus the underpinnings of empire (private finance) will live on............. in China eventually

At least that is what everyone keeps telling me and I hope they are wrong....and that private finance becomes public only

Maybe the aliens don't care if we nuke the place on the way out. We sure as hell don't seem to want to evolve beyond slavery to the God of Mammon meme.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19, 2017 8:38:50 PM | 49

@45 Grieved

Thank you for taking the time to empty your brain out in such an elucidating manner. Anyone that has found their way to the bar warrants an interested gaze, but there are some that warrant copying their writing on to pamphlets for distributing from the rooftops. You articulate the "?" that is the Trump-happening exceptionally well.

Likewise, as you write, the Tao Te Ching can teach us to see irrespective of what we are force-fed.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 19, 2017 9:17:00 PM | 50

In San Diego AKA "America's Finest City" --

Hundreds of homeless people have been evicted from several downtown San Diego streets that were lined with tents in recent days as the city ramps up efforts to curb a hepatitis A outbreak that has left 17 people dead. The hepatitis A virus is spread through fecal matter, and steps to fight the outbreak have included installing more public restrooms and hand-washing stations downtown and power-washing sidewalks with a bleach solution.

A city-contracted crew began washing downtown sidewalks Sept. 11, and on Wednesday, workers expanded those efforts to include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach and the Midway area. Crews will begin cleaning some areas of Mid-City and Uptown San Diego on Friday. Nearly a dozen firefighters may have been exposed to Hepatitis A while battling a brush fire in a Spring Valley homeless encampment early Sunday, a fire official said.

“The crews were focused on the fire but once they put it out, they realized the smell around them was from human waste,” Moran said. They soon realized their boots, uniforms and equipment had been soiled. One firefighter accidentally stepped into a 5-gallon bucket filled with feces while walking toward the fire. He ended up falling down a hill and was taken to a hospital with a minor back injury.

As a precaution, fire officials contacted the county’s Hazardous Material’s team that recommended firefighters wash their gear and equipment with soap and water before returning to the station. A stretch of hose that was buried in the mess was left in the canyon. Moran said they didn’t want to chance exposing anyone else to Hepatitis A, but that they plan to retrieve it at some point.


But hey, Russia and China are a threat, for sure. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 19, 2017 9:26:59 PM | 51

I'm not nearly as sanguine about the amerika of the next few decades.
As trump is aware populism is a double edged sword, unless the rethugs make some genuine efforts to redistribute down it won't matter what they think. Of course the same applies to the dems who will be soundly beaten in the midterms however much they delude themselves that the rethug wimmin's vote in an Alabama by-election is part of a bigger picture.
What I'm saying is it's nearly impossible to predict which half of the amerikan empire party will crack first but one will, and it will make changes to the current income distribution model sufficient to enthuse some voters once more.

That will be good for amerikans but lousy for the rest of the world because both sets of pols are unreconstructed devotees of traditional rape, loot and pillage imperialism. That will not change especially given the same arseholes are gonna be very reluctant 'income redistributors'
Meaning that they will go hard to secure a stranglehold on sufficient under exploited resource-rich places around the planet to a) purloin sufficient wealth to oil squeaky domestic wheels, and b) give 'their team' a stranglehold on power for the foreseeable.

As much as I am loathe to acknowledge it, a big chunk of humanity quit concerning themselves with the fate of the world when their own immediate needs are getting 'maintained'.

amerika is a particularly vivid example of indoctrinated groupthink and I just cannot see anyone/movement espousing alternative ways of operating getting traction.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 19, 2017 9:29:53 PM | 52

"I won't be optimistic about AmeriKKKa until Russia and/or China announce a Zero Tolerance policy toward US military adventurism in countries on the borders of Russia/China - by promising to bomb the continental USA if it attacks a Russia/China neighbor.
Imo it's absolutely essential to light a big bonfire under AmeriKKKa's Impunity.
And it would be delightful, sobering, and a big boost for Peace and Diplomacy to hear the Yankees whingeing about being threatened by entities quite capable of following through on their threats."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 19, 2017 11:10:32 AM | 14

Hell yes, I'd love that scenario, but never happen. Too much $to be made by kissing up to the empire.


Sad Canuck @ 31: Abso fukken 'lutely!!

b, you better change what you're smoken' if you believe the empire is going isolationist.

Posted by: ben | Dec 19, 2017 10:10:35 PM | 53

@48 They did not want him lol? So many comments in here make me chuckle.
Ok, he has been called the most pro Israel President by Netanyahu himself, his administration just recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, something even most ardent analysts in here did not predict. His son-in-law who he listens to is a pure Zionist and the neo-con lap dog Hailey is quite clearly gearing the audience up for a confrontation with Iran. One way or another....watch out 2018.

But no he is not controlled enough by the Zionists? The overall direction of the empire was never going to change with or without Trump and we are seeing it play out now.

Posted by: Alexander P | Dec 19, 2017 10:17:08 PM | 54

@26 "I think you would find that the vast majority of Americans would be quite happy to disengage militarily from the rest of the world, and put resources at work on domestic problems."

Disengage militarily? I would like to think so sleepy but why do they keep getting so involved internationally? Instead of concentrating on domestic issues putting 'America first' seems to mean bullying any country that doesn't do what it's told.

Posted by: dh | Dec 19, 2017 10:27:40 PM | 55

@ Debsisdead with the end of his comment
"
amerika is a particularly vivid example of indoctrinated groupthink and I just cannot see anyone/movement espousing alternative ways of operating getting traction.
"

There are those that say the same (vivid example of indoctrinated groupthink) about China, so there might be some competition in our world yet.

I , for one, want to end private finance and maybe give the China way a go. Anyone else? I did future studies in college and am intrigued by planning processes at the scale that China has done 13 of....their 5-year plans.

May we live to see structural change in the way our species comports itself......soon, I hope

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 19, 2017 10:42:31 PM | 56

NemesisCalling, I suggest paying little to know attention to Trump's (or any other politician/oligarch) platitudes. Simply pay attention to what those monsters actually do. The Trump Administration has continued and expanded US domestic and foreign policy precisely as has his predecessors. NATO is bigger, better funded, and more heavily deployed along Russia's "near abroad" than at any time in history. The Pentagon now admits we have 2,000 to 5,000 active "boots on the ground" in Syria, and they have no intention of ever leaving. Goldman Sachs is embedded in every Executive Branch office. Taxes on the wealthy and corporations are being slashed soon to be followed in social services, as neo-liberal economics remains the god worshipped by all.

I remain amazed that people who KNOW that the MSM lies to us constantly, about things big and small, still believe with all their hearts the MSM narrative that Trump is an "outsider" whom the Establishment hates and has fought against ever since they gave him $5 billion in free advertising.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 19, 2017 10:51:15 PM | 57

Disengage? In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command. That's around 75 percent of the nations on the planet.

What the vast majority of Americans might want has been cast aside by this president after he got their votes. There go hope and change again, damn.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 19, 2017 10:52:39 PM | 58

psychohistorian. That could well be where we're headed. To the psychopathic 0.01%, we USAmericans are spoiled, "useless eaters." The Chinese peons seem to be thrilled at earning $1 per day (or at least the nets below their factory dorms are cutting down on suicides). The US is still THE military power of the world, so we still serve the important role as enforcers for the oligarchs. And I guess that requires keeping some level of "prosperity" inside the States. For now.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 19, 2017 11:03:32 PM | 59

Oh jeez. Did I really write "know" instead of "no?"

Yes, I did. Maybe I should go back to smoking pot. Brain seemed to work better then.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 19, 2017 11:05:55 PM | 60

@ 20,29,37,41.. Swamp drain: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/SWAMP-VISION-10.28.13.pdf

@55 military supports corporations that make their bread stealing assets and money from foreigners.

Posted by: FOG | Dec 19, 2017 11:08:02 PM | 61

@57 Daniel

I hear you, brother. I'm just looking at the same situation seeing not only empty shows of force and bluster, but also an untenable military overreach writ large. I do see it half-full, however, because at the foot of disaster is opportunity. America is headed for a correction. Economically, spiritually, you name it. Call it a reckoning. Call it Karma. I don't care. But if you understand how these things unfold, you would know that empires come and go and are charted on a -(parabola).

Regarding your point about the msm: you can have your theory about them hiding the fact they secretly condone DT and his presidency, but to that I must say that the talking heads must all have gone to Juilliard because their tears on election night surely fooled me and the fact that they have kept the act up...wow. *throws Oscar statue at Coakie Roberts*

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 20, 2017 12:04:44 AM | 62

Red Ryder | Dec 19, 2017 11:24:57 AM | 16

This is one reason it's so important to understand Mahan, MacKinder & Spykman. Taken together, they showed the way forward to world domination by Eurasia. Understanding the Asia/Pacific maritime trade routes is the exact reason China has staked out and constructed islands for a military, first line of defense to protect its trade routes.
Apparently Russia and China have a very scholarly view of world history being well familiar with all three.
For myself, it's ample evidence the U.S. is not/will not move towards isolation, IMO.
Frederico Pieraccini wrote a superb, 4 part article specifically on these three.
It can be found at Strategic-Culture.org

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 20, 2017 1:01:10 AM | 63

@38 ex-Sa

Might head back some day but for now the pay and opportunities in my field are better in the US. Also while there are certainly more "crazies" in the US, there are also far more people who have taken the effort to look behind the curtain and see the world for what it actually is. The Canadian self-image is still largely based on memories of 1970s peacekeeping and engagement with the global south then the present reality of five eyes surveillance, bombing civilian infrastructure, and overtly supporting facist groups. Touch those issues with most Canadaians and it creates cognitive dissonance on a massive scale given the disconnect between what most in the country believes it is and what it actually does.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Dec 20, 2017 1:21:40 AM | 64

i mostly agree with the view trump is an insider with support from enough of the insiders to get the job... i could be wrong.. they always paint out that their is this other group - the borg - who are in a conflict with the president, but that kinda sounds too good to be true to me.. i would like it to be that way, but it sounds like a narrative from some hollywood story somewhere and it is hard to buy into it...

@64 sad canuck.. sadly, i think you are right on all that.. i guess i might be one of those canucks you could talk to, but i do think most canucks are out to lunch when it comes to the shit that is going down at present..

@grieved.. i too like your posts.. you could have been a preacher, if you aren't one now already.. i relate well to what you have to say, but my life in music has led to a life where swearing is no big deal, not that i would swear to you, lol... thanks for your posts!

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 1:56:40 AM | 65

Nemeis. One "bright side" of having (s)elected Trump is that he's tearing the pretty mask off of the very ugly US policies that both party flavors have been carrying out for decades.

I have no doubt that some, maybe even many of the MSM talking heads actually believed their bosses hate Trump. And don't get me wrong, the 0.01% were going to win whichever of the "major party" candidates won. But I see NO reason to believe that the financial powers behind the MSM are anything but thrilled with the Trump Administration.

Posted by: Daniel | Dec 20, 2017 2:20:33 AM | 66

Not firing a degenerate UN ambASSador that proclaims to speak for all American citizens should be grounds for impeachment of the degenerate's boss.
The hubris emanating from radio waves is reaching shrieking heights. Nazi propaganda radio allows a Holocaust survivor to talk about concentration camp like conditions in NK prisons without having ever been there. Simply based on stories by 'defectors'. While stories are made up to manufacture consent for military action against NK at prime broadcasting time on NPR, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Graib and the extermination campaign with US support and logistics of the Yemeni people is irrelevant.
One can really not eat as much as one wants to vomit.

What a farce to wish for 'Happy Holidays' while innocent women and children are exterminated like cockroaches.

Also lovely the systemic childfucking by the catholic childfucking in Australia. What else has to happen to dissolve this criminal organization and distribute it's assets among those who were abused, tortured and killed in the name of the so called 'Lord'?
The suffering and pain dished out by the major religions warrants their prohibition.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Dec 20, 2017 3:28:29 AM | 67

Apologies for the moronic google auto-correct. It fucks words up as one types, creating the impression that the commenter can't write proper sentences. Aggravating and disgusting how every aspect of our lives is now subjected to manipulation.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Dec 20, 2017 3:34:23 AM | 68

Disengage militarily? I would like to think so sleepy but why do they keep getting so involved internationally? Instead of concentrating on domestic issues putting 'America first' seems to mean bullying any country that doesn't do what it's told.

Posted by: dh | Dec 19, 2017 10:27:40 PM | 55

I think it goes without saying that the citizens of most nations in the west don't have much input into their nations' policies. When you use the term "they keep getting so involved internationally" you are conflating those citizens with their government's policies. That makes no more sense than saying that the citizens of France, the UK, or Germany love the austerity and decline in living standards that the politicians they elect end up enacting.

So, as far as "spitting in the soup" of US tourists would be the equivalent of my spitting in the soup of a German tourist because I think what Germany did to Greece. Makes no sense and is a silly personalization.


Disengage? In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command. That's around 75 percent of the nations on the planet.

What the vast majority of Americans might want has been cast aside by this president after he got their votes. There go hope and change again, damn.
Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 19, 2017 10:52:39 PM | 58

You expressed the stark disconnect between US policy and the inability of its citizens to affect that policy.

Posted by: sleepy | Dec 20, 2017 6:57:38 AM | 69

Of course!
Why haven't we thought of this earlier?
Been globalised is fun!
Being unemployed is fun.
China Mafia getting all your assets,
gold, rare matts., infrastructure, manufacturing,
later on - your very soul when the convergence
arrives.. its super cool!
We just needed the right German genius to tell us that!
Ahh yessss... All those German geniouses that made this
world a better place.. Schauble, Merkel, Schultz, "b" Hitler.
.

Posted by: b for boots | Dec 20, 2017 7:50:52 AM | 70

The new national security strategy is like an old rust bucket with a paint job from Earl Scheib. Deception by any other name. Here is an article that sums it up very well and it does that by reference to the slave market in Libya. American Fascism for Dummies

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Dec 20, 2017 9:07:00 AM | 71

Posted by: b for boots | Dec 20, 2017 7:50:52 AM | 70
China just explained that there is nothing to be afraid of and that they do not intend to colonize the world like Europeans did. Just doing business.


Ah globalization is fun.

After all the US used to be just a 'European' colony, no culture of its own except from the black slaves they imported. So they analyze it is between the Chinese and the European model :-))

Posted by: somebody | Dec 20, 2017 9:08:30 AM | 72

@69 "I think it goes without saying that the citizens of most nations in the west don't have much input into their nations' policies."

Absolutely true. I don't think America has a monopoly on politicians who say one thing at election time and change when they get in office. Why this should be I have no idea. I guess it's just easier to make promises at town hall meetings than it is once you join the big league.

I do not approve of spitting in the soup. It was a response to ger @7 remark about throwing stones at tourists. Such behaviour is totally counterproductive.

Posted by: dh | Dec 20, 2017 9:18:02 AM | 73

Actually, reading Hongkonks South China Morning Post on Chinese superiority is a lot of fun.

Chinese – the most amazing economic ants on earth: the Robert Kuok memoirs

There is more like "There’s an imperial elephant in the room: China"

b for boots - if you want 1950's US power back you have to agree to 1950's life style. Which had a poverty rate of 22 percent.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 20, 2017 9:19:27 AM | 74

When one reads about China's clean auto and green energy plan, versus the recycled negative verbiage about China in this recycled NSS, it ought to become clear which nation is in the vanguard when it comes to technology and green energy policy--the science and climate denialists within the Republican Party are driving the Outlaw US Empire into becoming 100% uncompetitive in that entire industrial sector. I'd call the debacle so serious it borders on treason.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20, 2017 12:05:46 PM | 75

@ karlof1 who wrote:
"
I'd call the debacle so serious it borders on treason.
"

They are doing God's work, don't you believe in the God of Mammon?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 20, 2017 12:53:22 PM | 76

Too much for "isolation".....
At the best ultra-conservative primary school´s style, Nikki Haley send letters of menace to all those who would think to deem voting against US resolution on Jerusalem at the UNSC.
US says it has been ashamed by the unanimous vote against it by its shameful resolution, in another astonishing exercise of projecting when ignoring that what is shameful is its behaviour in the international arena and not the vote trying to stop its barbarities by those who see it as the real menace for peace and stability in the world, say, the rest of the world:

Mafioso methods at the UN

Sorry for to waste the "love fest" for The Donald at this thread...yes, I know, it´s Christmas, but yours taking out where there is nothing from to whitewash, once again, The Orange Dotard, has no forgiveness from God.....No wonder some of you have been deemed "preachers", since trying to tell us no other thing but fairytales, mundane in this case...

Posted by: elsi | Dec 20, 2017 2:54:16 PM | 77

Btw, in the link above, take a look a the pictures, sometimes worth thousands words, to notice how old are the people in charge right now in the US...One would think that they might be forced to retire..., but, at the same time, notice the smile in the face of satisfaction of the man/woman behind.... the scenes....., the famous members of Chabad Lubavitch, Demian 666 Kushner and Mrs....probably rubbing their hands thinking in the coming business on real state in East Jerusalem as well as in the next opening of a new luxury Trump hotel there which will make pale the old and historic King David....if not by the usual Trump´s kitsch style?....

On the contrary, take a look at the photo below that one, to watch the young guys behind la ínclita Nikki Haley at the UN, to notice their ashamed and worried faces....This is the people who does not see any opportunity to take office before the 70s as weel as no future if things remain in the same path.....

Do not you think it is time for a generational relief in the US´s management, so as to take the opportunity to test if more sane people, not blinded by greed and hatred, could do anything different?

Of course, since most of The Dotard supporters at these kind of blogs are retired or about age of retirement, as I have been able to test during 4 years, and so with an obvious economic interest in mantaining this state of affairs, lest wasting their comfortable life while still alive, your response will most probably be NO...I know....

Then you have that those financing the election campaigns are about the same old ages...Thus, this is why I shelter no hope with you, the US, unless there would be a revolution of the young US people to claim their right to have a future.....


Posted by: elsi | Dec 20, 2017 3:23:12 PM | 78

fun, fun, fun... or threats, threats and more threats as the case may be...

"President Donald Trump has threatened to cut aid to UN member states who vote against US at the upcoming UN General Assembly on the issue of Washington’s Jerusalem move. He said the US will save “billions” in the process."

i think that is called bribery when you give money to someone with lots of strings attached.. sure, the various countries can use it, but they will resent it even more and be looking for a way out of it... trump sure knows how to generate resentment...

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 4:02:21 PM | 79

What do you fellow posters make of the free rein given to the bio labs in the US to
pursue hyper virulence experiments in virus strains already virulent?

The gates have been reopened via new health directives.
Here

Do we really need new enhanced variety viruses? What for? to wipe out the
un-exceptionals?

Posted by: CarlD | Dec 20, 2017 4:39:59 PM | 80

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 4:02:21 PM | 79

As all of US foreign aid is to be spent on US contractors Trump is shooting himself into the foot same as with his Jerusalem statement.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 20, 2017 4:42:15 PM | 81

james @79--

It's also called blackmail, or similarly, interfering in the affairs of another nation. I never expected Trump to do anything good, just to not be quite as bad as HRC, and those expectations are playing out as I imagined.

psychohistorian @76--

Don't believe in any gods or goddesses, although it's very clear numerous people worship at the altar of Greed. If I were to Adore anything besides my wife, I'd Adore Nature and be more akin to an Animist.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 20, 2017 4:46:48 PM | 82

Look at Trump's businesses practices, his actions as POTUS to date, the people the picked for his cabinet and the actors he surrounds himself with on the international stage. That tells you all you need to know about the man and where his loyalties lie.

The chumps that are holding out for Trump are just a 2.0 version of the hopeychangey Obamabots who could not, and still cannot, believe their hero is a fraud who serves global capital, the national security deep state and the Zionist scourge. Liberals hate Trump primarily because he's uncouth and does not pretend to love everyone before ripping them off. In other words, he is exposing the liberals as frauds.

When it comes to foreign policy the GOP and the Dems are on the same page. Even sheepdog Bernie (who really burned his supporters by selling out to HRC) is on board with the pro-Israel, anti-Iran and RussiaDidIt bullshit.

The system cannot be changed from within the system. There will be no Dempublican hero to set the US on a sane and reasonable path.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Dec 20, 2017 6:33:14 PM | 83

There are people who actually believe the U.S. will limit its role around the world because of a President's speech?

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 20, 2017 7:46:03 PM | 84

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 20, 2017 7:46:03 PM | 84

No, because of budget cuts.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 20, 2017 8:27:41 PM | 85

Make America Sound Great Again!

Well, at least it has a catchy slogan.

Posted by: J Swift | Dec 20, 2017 9:44:26 PM | 86

@83 TS

By chumps holding out, I assume you mean a few of us who have reserved our final judgement on DT on the strength that Syria is winding down, that the US has made official statements urging Yemen relief, and that the US Empire is unteneably stretched and due for a correction. It seems that many here will accept nothing less than offerings to the altar of DT's villification. And there are many who are mistakenly reading an ambivalence towards DT as outright, fervent support. Take a look at the comment by Grieved above. He does an exemplary job of laying out how an uncouth huckster like Trump might unwittingly usher in a sea change. Indeed, he and Tillerson have done a number of firsts including: 1) torpedoing two wickedly-evil political dynasties, 2) bringing terms like "fake news" and "isolationism" into the public lexicon, 3) acknowledging that "human rights" causes in faraway lands are a deadend for all involved.

You can understand the ambivalence, then. And it is one thing to set the table, as with tax reform, but another thing to feed the masses. As another poster mentioned: populism is a double-edged force that requires actual results.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 20, 2017 10:13:19 PM | 87

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 4:02:21 PM | 79

When I read an article about that on RT, I thought of this, one of the best spisodes

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 20, 2017 10:17:12 PM | 88

@karlof1 - bribery, blackmail - etc. etc.. there's nothing these politicians don't have going, lol..

@ghost ship... LOL! - that was funny.. i don't know if i ever saw that before, but reminds me of hogans heros, except it is different..

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 10:24:27 PM | 89

@81 somebody - i don't understand much other then trump seems to be doing a great dis service to the usa, all the while stating how great things are and how great they are going to be... man, if someone wanted to take the fast lane to usa breakdown, they got it with trump..

Posted by: james | Dec 20, 2017 10:26:26 PM | 90

thanks very good post
The National Security vision seems to place a lot of faith in a version of laissez-faire libertarian economics which, reading between the lines, will serve as a motivating principle in extending great power rivalry based on defining the "rules based international system" as precisely such economic system. That's probably not too different from the "exceptional" viewpoint of the previous administrations, but expressed, much like Haley, in far blunter fashion.

Posted by: طراحی وب سایت | Dec 21, 2017 12:24:34 AM | 91

Posted by: طراحی وب سایت | Dec 21, 2017 12:24:34 AM | 91

Yep. It is a contest between libertarian economics and two powers Russia, China with a politically controlled market system.

Where the power is - in politics or in economics has a lot of consequences.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 21, 2017 10:47:28 AM | 92

@87 Nemesis
Knee jerk, emotional reactions are commonplace in this age of identity politics, so it's wise and pays dividend to allow sensation to die away before passing judgement...you can add the 'roll back'of Obama's net neutrality rulings as another good call...and i for one fell for that exact emotional response because of the way the (absolutely bunkum) argument was framed. Once you find out who is actively promoting the stupid net neutrality argument then you realise it is just about cost of bandwidth and is fuck all about internet freedom. You can argue that our internet access since Net Neutrality, has been actively 'throttled' already in the form of censorship and domain theft by the likes of Google and Twitter.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 22, 2017 6:22:06 AM | 93

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