Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2018-37

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Bloomberg fell for Netanyahoo's trick:

To limit Iran’s role, Russia had proposed a 100-km (60-mile) buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border that would be off limits to Iranian forces and their allies. But Israel is demanding further protections, including the removal of long-range Iranian missiles from Syria and limits on weapons supplies, according to media reports in Israel and Russia.

The MoA piece provides that it was Israel that claimed Russia had set the 100 km range, something it had not done, and it is Israel that demands even more.

This was, for several reasons, an unproductive week for your host. Next week the blog will, hopefully, be back to (nearly) daily posts.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 29, 2018 at 01:41 PM | Permalink

Comments
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b

We all deeply appreciate the immense work and time that goes into hosting this site. Thank you does not begin to compensate for what you do.

Over the 6 years I have followed this site, the readership has grown immensely. With it come all sorts of 'expectations'. Do not let the expectations wear down your physical or emotional health. Guard your heart.

Be sure to take enough time away to keep a good emotional balance. Be with people who love life, who love to laugh and who love you for who you are - warts and all. Feed your soul and as you do may the peace that comes from doing something of lasting value give strength and stamina to you.

Posted by: les7 | Jul 29, 2018 2:05:10 PM | 1


The MoA piece provides that it was Israel that claimed Russia had set the 100 km range, something it had not done, and it is Israel that demands even more.

Actually russian media do not deny that that deal was rejected.

Lavrov Discussed in Jerusalem Iran's Withdrawal From Israeli Border - Kremlin

"During Lavrov's visit, not only this issue was discussed, but also many other issues," Ushakov told reporters, answering whether withdrawal of Iranian troops was discussed during Lavrov's visit.

and

The Russian Foreign Ministry has also commented on the media reports that Israel had rejected Moscow's proposal to withdraw the Iranian forces in Syria to a distance of 100 kilometers (some 62 miles) from the Israeli border.

"These reports are not true....


https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201807241066651633-russia-israel-iran-withdrawal/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 29, 2018 2:09:18 PM | 2

b - i agree with les7.. thanks b for all the work you do that you graciously share..

peter au shared a link from the independent by robert fisk that is worth reading for more confirmation of saudi arabias 2 faced role in the world today.. this equates with the usa/uk/canada and etc. etc. - 2 faced role as well..

A Bosnian signs off weapons he says are going to Saudi Arabia – but how did his signature turn up in Aleppo?
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-war-bosnia-saudi-arabia-aleppo-weapons-arms-deals-a8451841.html

Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2018 2:12:05 PM | 3

All of the topics covered here are important and the coverage couldn't be better. Yet, there is a part of geopolitics that gets missed

Eurasia is coming alive, Shanghai Cooperation Organization has India, Pakistan, China and Russia as members covering a large portion of the Eurasian land mass and 40+% of the world's population - now overshadows the G7. The CPEC is moving forward B&R has its own GPS, legal dispute system, digital connectivity with its own satellites. The skeleton of an alternate trading system is in place. the CEEC+1(Germany) is promising and would connect to the Silk Road project the CPEC.(China Pakistan Economic Corridor)
The interests of India become more aligned with China now as Trump threatens their big port in Iran and puts on sanctions. Things are fluid but you can see the creativity and innovation is all coming from Eurasia.

In spite of it all, it does appear that the US led Western Empire is the last of the European white christian empires and in fact no other empire is waiting to take its place. When the US empire finally collapses, we will be in a world that has left empire behind - at least for a time.

Whatever comes next is going to begin in Eurasia, the moribund dinosaurs of the "Enlightened" West are falling far behind.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 29, 2018 2:44:36 PM | 4

Tyler Durden posted a story some time back detailing the investigation by a Bulgarian journalist into arms shipments proving the US connection. I remember it having a bunch of good links.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-28/journalist-interrogated-fired-story-linking-cia-and-syria-weapons-flights

Posted by: les7 | Jul 29, 2018 2:47:04 PM | 5

Will the SAA ever cross the Euphrates and confront the SDF?

Posted by: chet380 | Jul 29, 2018 2:54:14 PM | 6

great site overall; since you seem to be doing it all on your own, and you do a lot of original work, let me join people in urging you not to push yourself too hard. you're a valuable voice against the tidal wave of pro war propaganda i see in the msm.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 29, 2018 3:16:08 PM | 7

chet380 - 7

It seems that the YPG (Kurdes) main component of the SDF are rather looking toward an agreement with Damas, maybe even joining the SAA and being incorporated and participating in a potential struggle to liberate Afrin.

SSC has a note on Syria this evening.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Jul 29, 2018 3:50:15 PM | 8

b, all your hard work is much appreciated.

@#3 james

Fisk has a follow up to the Bosnian weapons story from almost a week ago:

Independent: I traced missile casings in Syria back to their original sellers, so it’s time for the west to reveal who they sell arms to
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-missile-arms-deals-west-us-uk-saudi-arabia-a8459731.html

I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East

Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year. At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn (£18bn). Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. Raytheon’s Middle East offices can be found in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Kuwait....
####

The rest at the link, not to mention the Glasgow ambulance...


Posted by: et Al | Jul 29, 2018 4:26:26 PM | 9

@9 et Al.. thanks for fisks latest - only a week or so after the link peter posted yesterday... it seems to me the usa/uk could give a rats ass about the horror they inflict on innocent people anywhere in the world... and these are supposed to be the shining beacons of light in the western world..

from your link -

"Are they making enquiries about this shipment, which Krnjic said went to Saudi Arabia, and the shipping documents which clearly ended up in the hands of al-Nusra – papers of which Nato and the EU had knowledge when the transfer was originally made?

I bet they’re not. For I don’t think either Nato or the EU has the slightest interest in chasing the provenance of weapons in the hands of Islamist fighters in Syria or anywhere else in the Middle East – certainly not in the case of Damascus, where the west has just given up its attempt to unseat Assad."

Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2018 4:46:23 PM | 10

Those Robert Fisk articles are great. Although Fisk has been vociferously anti-Assad going back to Hafez in the 1980s, he crossed a line by exposing the fraud of the Sarin/Chlorine gas attack in Douma.

Therefore, both Wikipedia and Snopes have decided to shelter us from his reporting on and from Douma.

Elliot Higgins and Belingcat are not just "reliable," but along with Snopes, have been appointed as guardians of "truth" by the US Ministry of Truth, but Robert Fisk, who Fisk holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent, and has been voted International Journalist of the Year seven times is not to be even considered.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 29, 2018 5:03:46 PM | 11

it seems to me the usa/uk could give a rats ass about the horror they inflict on innocent people anywhere in the world.
Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2018 4:46:23 PM

Of course they would not! Both countries have ethics board and every rat or mouse used in experiments ("sacrificed" in biologists' lingo" has to be properly justified. In the same time, weapon sales are scrutinized, but if the customers pay and checks are cleared, how they can raise any objections, other than trying to increase the sales volume?

For myself, I wracked my brain why Obama spent so much effort to get an agreement with Iran. Before it came to pass, I thought, naively, that this is a part of a major scheme for a better Middle East where countries cooperate rather than compete who makes bigger sh..t to each other. But afterwards, the Administration was sabotaging any promised relief to Iran and then actively contributed to fomenting wars in Yemen and Syria (Libya was a tad earlier in the timeline if I recall). But as a sales tactic it was a beauty: Saudis and other Gulfies became more paranoid and redoubled their efforts to bribe USA and close allies through purchases of overpriced weapons, funding think tanks and charities (welfare for the political class) etc.

Do not believe that the West is oblivious to human tragedies. They are carefully studied, mostly for the opportunities they present. For example, were USA oblivious to a massive massacre in Indonesia in 1965? Of course not, CIA passed a list of names to the military, lest they miss some people that should be killed or sent to concentration camps.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 29, 2018 5:10:41 PM | 12

ran into erdogan & his entourage saturday at kabwata cultural center in lusaka - security was lax on the local side but the bodyguards walked around with their fingers on the trigger of some massive automatic weapons - didn’t even know they were in town before that - no other info to share, just thought it worth a mention as it caught me offguard to brush elbows with the crew while browsing local crafts

Posted by: b real | Jul 29, 2018 5:19:30 PM | 13

So, here’s another puzzle piece with “National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at CIA, and Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at CIA, with overall responsibility for national level strategic forecasting,” Graham Fuller’s name on it.

Y’all know about Turkish preacher, Fethullah Gülen? He’s the guy that the Sultan of Turkey claims was behind he “failed coup” last year. Well, Gülen was granted asylum in the US back in 1999, and it was largely on the reference written by good ol’ Graham Fuller!

Although no one seems to know where his money came from, and despite not having an education goes beyond the 5th grade, Gülen owns and runs several hundred educational organizations such as K–12 schools, universities, and language schools (mostly English) that have been established around the world, mainly Central Asia, Caucasus, Balkans, and including ca. 150 in the U.S.A.

Graham E. Fuller, Where Were You on the Night of July 15? 
By F. William engdahl
9 Aug 2016

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 29, 2018 5:20:51 PM | 14

Piotr Berman 12

In their arguments to persuade congress to agree to the Iran deal, both Obama and Kerry stated it was required to save the US dollar. Without the deal, EU ect would start bypassing the dollar.
Trump has now effectively scrapped the petro-dollar strategy which because of Russia-China was becoming unenforceable. He is using the last of the dollars sanctioning power to try and bring down Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 5:23:03 PM | 15

Open thread for gripes? Good!

The pope, who celebrates the crucifixion like a football victory, said mohammad is satan’s clerk. The imran, who bows to mecca seven times a day, said the self-choosing of abraham’s god has an odious affect. The billy graham preacher, famous for his how-great-thou-art crooner, said bombing the gooks for jesus is tough christian love. The rabbi, feeling an un-soul rancor, said heaven and paradise are pure wish-hood hollow.

Religion is the schoolmaster of the West’s cultural immorality. There is no cleric other than the dangerous kind. Religion’s job is to keep the dumbfounded confounded, keep them in a synthetic happy state of mind, and keep their conscience silent.

(I read MoA for a month now, and, instead of the usual geopolitical humbug, (no offense intended,) I offer my comment for a little bit of enthrallment. I’m an aging hippy, I’ve been through every protest and I’ve endured every oppressive thing, so, from you true humanity do-gooders, I don’t want to feel shunted.)

Although I am a functioning nihilist, suffering every day from ennui, but salved by loaded cookies, I consider the dissident sentiments expressed on this MoA site as part of a larger and more fruitful life, and so I permit a permissible degree of admiration for a bunch of MoA fix-o-journalist’s with a muse to promote learning and light as if they can turn the tide of public opinion, but the situation is badly unbalanced. The comments on this blog are in earnest word combat with a number of exceedingly effective symbols.

You know what I mean.

Happy fate!

Posted by: DineroDProfit | Jul 29, 2018 6:00:49 PM | 16

@2 Zanon up to his old tricks....

Zanon: "Actually russian media do not deny that that deal was rejected."

For a deal to be "rejected" it has to be "offered".
What proof does Zanon have that the Russians put such an offer on the table?

Why, he quotes this: " 'During Lavrov's visit, not only this issue was discussed, but also many other issues,' Ushakov told reporters, answering whether withdrawal of Iranian troops was discussed during Lavrov's visit. "

Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but that an issue was "discussed" is not at all the same as saying that Russia proposed a "deal" on that issue.

Zanon then quotes this: "The Russian Foreign Ministry has also commented on the media reports that Israel had rejected Moscow's proposal to withdraw the Iranian forces in Syria to a distance of 100 kilometers (some 62 miles) from the Israeli border. These reports are not true"....

Gee, there seems to be some stuff missing in that quote.

The missing quote contains this gem "The Israeli leadership highly appreciated the Russian efforts to create a zone of de-escalation in southwestern Syria, which included the withdrawal of all non-Syrian armed groups from this region,"

Again, there is nothing in there to suggest that Russia offered Israel a "deal" or, indeed, that Russia was doing anything more than keeping Israel informed of its efforts in SW Syria.

Now, sorry, Zanon knows all that, because I have already pointed out to him that Russia is putting in that effort because that is part and parcel of an agreement that the Russians made with the USA and Jordan (I'll repeat that: with USA and Jordan, not with Israel) way back in July 2017.

There is nothing new in these talks. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Israel is being hysterical, and Russia is being considerate enough to spell out to Israel what has already been agreed and what Russia has already committed itself to.

But Russia has not offered any deal to Israel. It can't, because Russia is already committed to an EXISTING deal that was struck over a year ago.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 29, 2018 6:00:50 PM | 17

@1 Great post les7, I agree wholeheartedly. Take care of yourself b and your loved ones. Oh and IL is toast in SW Daraa:

#ISIS controls less than 70km2 of territory in southwest #Syria aml.ink/BGpn5 #Daraa

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 29, 2018 6:58:40 PM | 18

@17 Here is a better link Lozion. Interesting that the SAA took Abdyn before As Shajarah. This will make it harder for the 'rebels' to escape westwards.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/isis-controls-less-than-70km2-of-territory-in-southwest-syria/

Posted by: dh | Jul 29, 2018 8:02:01 PM | 19

Election day in the village. Final totals were 140 for Araceli Andraca and about 37 for
Estaban Tellez. It was a re-run of the familiar theme of women versus cattlemen (Estaban is
a part-time rodeo announcer). I filmed the blackboard as the votes were added by the voters
themselves in chalk, employing the familiar-old four-down. one-across counting method.

It's curious and quaint that before the voting nobody will tell me who they will vote for
even though they add their vote in front of everybody. Each person is evidently proud of
the celebration of the social act. The election of village comisario takes place every year.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 29, 2018 8:08:38 PM | 20

14

Trump is using Pence and Pompeo on Iran now as a screen after his devastating performance disappearing 4,000 Christian Latinos into 'indefinite detention', then his hand-in-gloving it with Team Putin oiligarches, that Blue up in his face like a 1000 Points of Mos Def.

When backed in a corner, just kick the Muslim, it works every time. His crypto- base is 'woke' and their wagons are cicled, and Isrea'al is now an Hassidic State. This is their glorious bastard Apocalypse!

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 29, 2018 8:38:16 PM | 21

4

Neither China nor Russia has had a Rennaissance or a Reformation in the Western sense. They remain anti-human fiefdoms, where democracy and freedom is a sham to gain MFN status with US/UK to get trade $s/€s.

While it may be possible for them to link up in certain trades, say, Ukraine supply Russia with fresh food and Cambodia supply China with rice, and Russia supply India with NG, there will always be a lower price vendor outside their sphere, as the outcome of the NeoLiberal 'Third-Way' Credit-Debt Inflation, a massive $17T debt ball rolling around an Earth where the Sun never sets.

China factories sleep workers 9 to a room in bunkbeds. I have heard of factories where they 'hot bunk' 12 to a room, in shifts and chainlink the balconies to stop suicides.

It's the same in SEAsia. When I asked my Cambodia students what they did for the weekend, they said, 'We ate rice with our parents, teacher!' I spent evenings after class getting refugee Vietnamese to the train to the Thai border, so they wouldn't be left to die.

There's no safety net in China or in SEAsia. Russia is squeezing their pension system dry. The New Silk Road will become the path of the pharoahs. Golden pallequins carried on the shoulders of a continuously dying stream of slaves and greased by their blood and bone dust.

This is not the 'bust out' you were looking for.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jul 29, 2018 9:15:51 PM | 22

Chipnik | Jul 29, 2018 9:15:51 PM | @21


There's no safety net in China or in SEAsia. Russia is squeezing their pension system dry. The New Silk Road will become the path of the pharoahs. Golden pallequins carried on the shoulders of a continuously dying stream of slaves and greased by their blood and bone dust.

This is not the 'bust out' you were looking for.

I think it is. There are ground for realistic optimism.

The evilness of the Angloamerican elite has brought out the best in the Eurasian leaders.
Russia has an long tradition of "the great man", its not so much a reality TV show there.

Chinese leadership knows that the Communist Party might become meaningless in a moment;
and that the way to retain power is to make sure that there is continuing economic growth

And these leaders have every motivation to re-build Syria as an emblem of a new approach
one that is based upon the idea of a new world comprised of multi-polar sovereign nations.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 29, 2018 9:30:07 PM | 23

@21 ' refugee Vietnamese to the train to the Thai border"

That is good news. Did they finally get the Pnom Penh to Sisophon section running?

Posted by: dh | Jul 29, 2018 9:41:17 PM | 24

Chipnik@21

Sadly you may be right. Both East and West have adopted neoliberalism and authoritarian/faux democratic rule. Just a few different flavors, like coke, coke zero, pepsi, diet pepsi, etc

Maybe thats the only way possible. The strong dominate the weak. Plato called it. Its pretty much always been that way since humans moved beyond hunter gatherers. There are of course degrees of inequality, some societies less so than others

The pyramids celebrate the concept of the power of the few over the many and the organization allowing this to be.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 29, 2018 9:49:48 PM | 25

This was, for several reasons, an unproductive week for your host. Next week the blog will, hopefully, be back to (nearly) daily posts.

If that means you took a break from unraveling peurile MSM bs then it was well-deserved and overdue.
Talking about MSM bs, it was heartwarming to note that in both Pakistan election threads, a significant number of commentators articulated the perception that the MSM has become so Reliably Unreliable that the opposite from its assertions is becoming a reliable indicator of the truth.
"Has The MSM Accidentally Become Useful?" might be a topic worth exploring.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 29, 2018 9:57:46 PM | 26

Chipnik 21

Pension age in Australia ha been 65 for since I can remember but that is going to rise to 67 years.
Pension age in Russia has been 60 for men and 55 for women that will be moved up to 65 for men and slightly less for women. Apparently the ratio of pensioners to workers in Russia is 5 pensioners to 6 workers. The ratio of pensioners to workers according to Russian demographics and longer lifespans will rise further.

A list of retirement ages for various countries, though this does not include what government benefits are received at retirement age.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 10:16:13 PM | 27

Hoarsewhisperer 25

A little like never believing something until it is official denied. Has just been an official US denial of an Au news item so will see how that turns out.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 10:20:03 PM | 28

Posted by: Pft | Jul 29, 2018 9:49:48 PM | @24Chipnik@21

Sadly you may be right. Both East and West have adopted neoliberalism and authoritarian/faux democratic rule. Just a few different flavors, like coke, coke zero, pepsi, diet pepsi, etc

Maybe thats the only way possible. The strong dominate the weak. Plato called it. Its pretty much always been that way since humans moved beyond hunter gatherers. There are of course degrees of inequality, some societies less so than others.

So pessimistic pft? Universal History is full of surprises. What Plato noticed was that
the tyrants and the oligarchs routinely recruited the plebes to their respective causes
I would guess that the plebes come out with a temporary win every forty or fifty revolts.
Otherwise the tyrants and the oligarchs always continue with their selfish modes of rule.

The pyramids celebrate the concept of the power of the few over the many and the organization allowing this to be.

Ancient Egyptian religion, so-called, was also ancient Egyptian science. For a centuries
the priest-scientists of the Temple of Ammon knew that constructibility in the visible
Universe was constrained by principles that much later became the Platonic Solids proof.

But heady constructive gemonetry was not for the masses. The people were happy living
their lives in agriculture and the economics was so well-organized that there was surplus
that was employed to conceive of and construct the pyramids, even if they had some help.

Because Egyptian people didn't need to dedicate themselves to profound scientific studies
they were free to enjoy life rather more than a homeless person in the USA for example...
Then, festival masks faces were turned on them, to satisfy possible metaphysical yearnings.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 29, 2018 11:00:08 PM | 29

Our PM of the day, the mad monk, built a memorial for his victims at Parliament House.
https://gdb.rferl.org/DF3E03F6-0308-4885-897C-542C1E56E4F7_cx0_cy10_cw0_w1023_r1_s.jpg
The monk and his loyal Bishop told us the evil ruskies wouldn't let us into the site and the victims were rotting in the sun.
But defeating the evil ruskies was as easy as getting EU to agree to sanctions.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-30/us-eu-sanction-russia-over-support-for-rebels-in-ukraine/5633926
With that done, the evil ruskies were defeated and the very next day, the Ukraine Rada passed a law allowing the official Australians into the site.
http://iportal.rada.gov.ua/en/news/News/News/96536.html
https://www.smh.com.au/world/mh17-australian-dutch-team-of-investigators-reaches-crash-site-20140731-3cxav.html

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 11:14:05 PM | 30

* Festival masks faces were turned on the ancient Egyptian people
by the priest-scientists to satisfy their metaphysical yearnings;
the heavy-duty maths and metaphysics were regarded as esoteric.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 29, 2018 11:22:45 PM | 31

Well, Guerrero @ 28, I think you're being a bit unkind to Plato, since actually there's another person he writes his dialogues about, and that's Socrates. Who doesn't accept money for his teachings, and upon whose example I would suppose the Athenaeum school which lasted I believe some five centuries had its foundation. Not to mention the various early students of that Socrates, among whom were Plato and his brothers. Most definitely Alcibiades is an example of the student gone wrong, and various persons participating in said dialogues could definitely be put in the oligarchical camp, but there is a middle way or Socrates would not have put his life on the line.

If our economy goes bust as it very well may, there might be some fun in trading our services for a good get together and maybe a glass of wine to spark the conversation about what it really means to be virtuous, or whether all men desire the good. And to hell with the mainstream media! (Plus we'll have no other recourse if the internet goes down.)

Thanks for bringing him up, though, and Greece's terrible fires are a heartbreak for sure. On top of everything, they did not deserve this.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 29, 2018 11:41:31 PM | 32

"Neither China nor Russia has had a Renaissance or a Reformation in the Western sense..."
This is meaningless bullshit.
The reality is that both Russia and China have long traditions, enforced by the populace, of government interventions to protect the poor from the excesses of the powerful. And both cultures have long histories of popular uprisings against tyrants.
You are right to note though that neither has been part of the Roman Catholic communion, which is what accounts for the lack of a Reformation, Luther style.
Perhaps you can explain to us what you mean by the Renaissance? If you mean the 're-discovery' of ancient texts, very familiar to the Islamic world, following the conquest of Byzantium, it is hardly surprising that China, with a rich culture of its own, was not very interested.
Surely you can make the points that you do without importing these spurious historical references, presumably to lend authority to your ideas.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 29, 2018 11:47:30 PM | 33

Chipnik do you have a blog. Would like to hear more about Asia as you've observed.

Posted by: Laura Roslin | Jul 29, 2018 11:50:09 PM | 34

Chipnik "I have heard of factories"

Have you actually visited one... have you walked around an industrial quarter in China chipnut. I think not.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 11:55:25 PM | 35

@21, chipnik has it wrong.

China has a social security system.

Facts matter.

A point of personal history. In 2004 I was on point with a major Chinese corporation to expand their location-based entertainment with new technologies in Dalian, China. We would operate as a stand alone JV and were expected to pay 42% of wages into Social Security for our Chinese employees. Later, I had deals in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and Guangdong. The Social Security payments were all part of those projects also.

One more thing, why would either China (5000 years a civilization) and Russia (1000 years a civilization) need a Reformation or Renaissance? They know who they are and what they are and are doing very fine without Western values or "social" fixes.

The West has lost its culture, and the West is devolving. China and Russia are doing just fine culturally. In fact, both are superb.

Here is an excellent presentation of facts regarding China's Social Security.

http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2017/09/25/chinas-social-security-system-2.html

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jul 30, 2018 12:01:28 AM | 36

Ah, Dinero D @ 15, well spoken! My only quibble is that I don't think most of us would presume we can turn the tide of public opinion, excepting of course our good host b, who serves as our Socrates, if I may be so bold to assert this (having only just thought of it). No, more or less I would think that we gather here, or to put it more crudely, belly up to the bar, because it is refreshing to find like minded souls in a world increasingly going berserk very publicly and alarmingly.

If we could indeed turn the tide, heavens how wonderful that would be. As Guerrero and Pfft have pointed out, Plato was a realist, had to be after losing his master - and what he did to memorialize him I doubt that any of us can match but it was indeed such a time in which he wrote, so there is that. There is that.

Old hippies are welcome here - but in your opening statement you left out (a bugaboo of mine) the scholarly Christians who are Orthodox - I can't say from experience that any particular one of the bishops could run counter to your woeful description of the Pope, but I have known priests who were worthy of the name, and there are Christians who don't fit your description at all, no matter what branch of the faith they find their way in. Plus I am sure that could be said for any of the great religions as well. It's not all ignorance and charlatanism.

Still, thank you for the flashes of light in your post. Kia Ora! And Haere Mai! (Which is to say, best wishes and welcome!)

Posted by: juliania | Jul 30, 2018 12:03:50 AM | 37

Chipnut
Have you sat in a restaurant as the factory workers crowd in after five pm, listened to the noise and laughter. places where no English is spoken. Looked in on the thousands of owner operator small businesses. Small and big business is alive and well in China, and the workers who work for the larger businesses - who in the west can afford to eat out every day when working for wages.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 12:06:39 AM | 38

For those eulogizing Plato and Socrates, may I recommend I.F. Stone's The Trial of Socrates. The superlative Stone's sleuthing (he taught himself classical Greek to read source texts) uncovered evidence that Socrates was condemned because of a belief that he was undermining Athenian Democracy. Plato was no lover of Democracy, and it is no wonder he painted his teacher is the most glowing of colors.

Posted by: zakukommander | Jul 30, 2018 12:32:15 AM | 39

From TRNN:

https://therealnews.com/stories/obama-joins-club-of-the-super-rich-defends-global-capitalism-in-lecture

Selling out the workers of the U$A can be very rewarding..

Posted by: ben | Jul 30, 2018 12:42:54 AM | 40

Chipnik @20, re. Trump's "devastating performance disappearing 4,000 Christian Latinos..."

First, weren't those mostly Catholics? I know the Evangelicals have come to some accommodation with the "Whore of Babylon" in order to (re)take control over women's bodies, but I really doubt if they care if any of them get locked up... especially if they can't vote for "Pro-Life" murderers anyway.

Second.. Latinos? Ain't they them furreners? Don't they even speak furren?

;-) Mostly snark.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 12:51:26 AM | 41

'Neither China nor Russia has had a Rennaissance [sic] or a Reformation in the Western sense. They remain anti-human fiefdoms, where democracy and freedom is a sham to gain MFN status with US/UK to get trade $s/€s ...

Posted by Chipnik @ 21

The Western Renaissance associated with Italy in the 1400s was not a religious movement. It crossed religious boundaries in fact: we can speak of the Italian Renaissance, the French Renaissance, the Spanish Renaissance, the German Renaissance, the English Renaissance, the Dutch Renaissance ... and we can also speak of the Polish Renaissance and the Russian Renaissance. The Renaissance movement was, in the main, an artistic, architectural, scientific and technological movement, independent of religion.

The Renaissance in Russia (1500s - early 1600s) is associated with the introduction of printing in that country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Fyodorov_(printer)

Most Western countries that experienced the Renaissance also experienced the Reformation, the Catholic Counter-Reformation ... and the witch-hunt crazes that accompanied these religious movements. The Catholic Inquisition also had offices in these countries. Western Europe was hardly pro-human as a result of having the Reformation and its counterpart.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 30, 2018 12:58:29 AM | 42

Plato was no lover of Democracy

Plato was a smart guy. Athens invented democracy. It brought them defeat and destruction.

Sparta required the Athenians to tear down the great defensive walls of their city.

This was because Athens lost the Pelopenesian Wars, partly due to populist demagogues.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 30, 2018 1:14:46 AM | 43

b banned chipnik; why haven't you...

Posted by: V | Jul 30, 2018 1:18:16 AM | 44

Understanding Murkka the WARfare state,

In the first 10 days of the Libyan war alone, the administration spent roughly $550m. That figure includes about $340m for munitions - mostly cruise missiles that must be replaced

............

The death merchants have the perfect products to pitch - products that are designed to destroy themselves and be replaced in an ever-lasting war on terror.


so funny it makes me cry....

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/01/big-money-behind-war-military-industrial-complex-20141473026736533.html

Posted by: denk | Jul 30, 2018 1:27:27 AM | 45

Back in the 1970s, I started visiting Mexico. I noticed things like a gang of workers painting center lines on the highway. Here in Gringolandia, there’d be a truck with a guy sitting in an outboard seat, pressing a button to spray paint. In Mexico, there were a dozen guys with little pails, and like 2” brushes.

Then I saw a bunch of soldiers, with rifles, and remembering the slaughter in the sports arena in Mexico City, that made me really nervous.

But then a friend and I got to talking with the locals, and got turned onto a different view. Those army guys? Turns out they had no bullets. Many of them had been peasants before enlisting. Those army boots could be the first pair of manufactured footwear they’d ever worn.

And all those guys spending all day painting a line that would take one driver and one button-pusher in CA a half hour? Well, all of them were getting paychecks.

Mexico was bringing a rural, cashless society into the monetized, market world of consumption.

Was this a good thing? Just because someone is a peasant without to centavos to rub together doesn’t mean that person is “poor.” But, it’s more complicated than just “what a waste of time/labor,” or “why is that kid carrying a rifle?”

I suspect the situation in China and Vietnam is not so dissimilar. Are all these “factory girls” assembling our iPhones better off (at least now that the suicide nets are in place), then if they were still picking rice?

Is life in a dormitory, being fed slop out of a barrel worse than the one they left behind?

I don’t know. But I am skeptical, and there are times that the comments glorifying China (and Russia) like that long-dreamt of “shining city upon a hill” in our future strike me as naive at the least.

Still, as others have noted, China (and the Muslim world) didn't have a Renaissance because they hadn't died. And social evolution is not a single path.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 1:36:44 AM | 46

The age of secularism, where the elites began to free themselves from religious constraints, arguably beginning in 1620 with the Age of Enlightenment , has been perhaps the most violent period in human history. In the secular age we have laws and ethics, yet nothing to prevent the laws and ethics themselves from being immoral.

Hitler and Stalin both said everything they did was legal under national law. I suppose Trump, Obama and Bush can say the same (well maybe not), as does Bibi in Israel. Religious leaders, having no direct say or authority in government are/were pretty much silenced, or if not silenced reduced to a whisper (some evangelicals and orthodox excepted)

I propose that government laws and budgets would be subject to review and approval by a Religious branch of government . A form of Theocracy. Religion not being in total control but providing a check on immoral government behavior . FDR VP Wallace said in a 1933 speech that some form of a Theocracy might be required. Might be time.

Posted by: Pft | Jul 30, 2018 1:44:27 AM | 47

Daniel

In China I saw old people perhaps illiterate cleaning streets. There were no street cleaner trucks. The cleaners did not have to work hard, Chinese are clean. Wander along, sweep up a bit of rubbish here and there. Walking along with an empty drink bottle I asked and old man via sign to throw the bottle in his trolley. A big smile and a wave to throw it in.
In this way everyone has work.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 1:47:18 AM | 48

Yeah Right

I refer to what russians themselves, if you somehow still want to argue, go ahead but dont argue with the messenger of that fact.
The problem is of course that Russia should cant be trusted on Syria/Iran because Syria nor Iran, or Hezbollah for that matter surely do not want to leave Syria so Israel, US, Russia should stop its attempts.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 1:49:18 AM | 49

Well it's been officially denied by US that it will attack Iran , so we know its game on.

"THE TRUMP administration is considering military action to keep open key oil shipping routes in the Middle East following escalating rhetoric between Iran and the US after Tehran attacked the waterways."
"Trump administration officials have claimed that in the wake of attacks on Saudi oil tankers by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on July 25, military options may be inevitable."
https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/996010/Trump-military-action-Iran-US-threat-donald-trumps-tweets-sanctions-oil-news-latest

CSO have Iran covered on the sanctions. Now time to see if these fuckers are willing to risk nuclear annihilation in their quest for global energy dominance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 2:14:46 AM | 50

Eric Margolis has a surprisingly negative outlook about Iran's ability to defend itself against an attack by the USA
The Looming War Against Iran
Is this not complete delusion? My impression is that it seems to conflict with many opinions on the subject, including even a former Israel Minister of Defence. He also makes no mention of Iran's rocket technology, and seems to dismiss out of hand their ability to do real damage to US bases in the Middle East. I am no expert so my intuitions could be way out, but it seems to me whilst Iran would probably suffer a lot of damage in a war, the damage suffered by the attackers would probably be much greater.

Margolis also dismisses out of hand the possibility that Russia would help Iran - that is even more implausible in my view, as the fall of Iran poses an existential threat to Russia.

A while ago Russia concluded an agreement with Iran for the use of certain military airfields in Iran (I forget where) in return for S-400 defences of the facilities. This is the time to greatly expand such agreements and to make known that Russian air defences will be used very actively against all threats. That is entirely in Russian interests in my view.

If Russia is seen as committing its resources to Iran air defence the US and Israel will never attack.

Posted by: BM | Jul 30, 2018 2:49:30 AM | 51

"Trump administration officials have claimed that in the wake of attacks on Saudi oil tankers by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on July 25, military options may be inevitable."
Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 2:14:46 AM | 49

Iran has threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz, but in the event of war they might simultaneously provide large-scale support to the Houthis to close the Red Sea side as well for a double whammy. They have held back from giving full support to the Houthis so far, presumably knowing that it would incite retribution from the US, but in the event of war that disincentive vanishes immediately.

Posted by: BM | Jul 30, 2018 3:00:52 AM | 52

@ Daniel who wrote: " And social evolution is not a single path."

What really bothers me about the halt in the evolution of how we relate to each other in community is the associated destruction of the cultures depth and potential ecological diversity by the imposition of Central Banks, oligarchy's, private property/inheritance and God of Mammon values/incentives

Darwin would say we are in a evolutionary dead end with the Western way. Perhaps others on our planet understand this in ways that us constrained watchers from other nations imbued with the Western way can't comprehend.

I know, Its too early to tell what the tides of change will bring in from the unevenly distributed future.....but it is positive/healing to speculate about good changes, IMO.

Thanks for your general econ comment and link from one of the Pakistan election threads that supports my comment about Khan being a potential Obama like (s)election option provided to Pakistan......more of the same in a new wrapper.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30, 2018 3:03:21 AM | 53

BM
Trump admin initiates a war between KSA and Iran. The US nationalists are happy as Iran knocks the shit out of KSA who were involved in 9 11. US gets readings on Iran radar and launch sites. When KSA is largely destroyed, US hits Iran with their dial a yield toys that Trump pushed for. Sub launched dial a yield to take out air defense and strategic bombers dropping ground penetrating dial a yields to take out launch site.
US with only goodsome interests in mind takes control of Persian gulf oil. Global energy dominance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 3:05:17 AM | 54

@ Peter AU 1 who wrote: "CSO have Iran covered on the sanctions. Now (is the) time to see if these fuckers are willing to risk nuclear annihilation in their quest for global energy dominance."

I agree but posit that financial dominance is primary to energy which is being used as a proxy in this situation.

Let me add another thanks to b for providing such a wonderful geo-political postings and forum web site. Please take care of yourself through this trying time of humanity.

And lastly a shout out to Yeah Right for continuing to show one of our current trolls Zanon a tireless refutation of its deceitful propaganda attempts. This is one of the reasons that makes this site work is that b lets through enough trolls that provide educational fodder for commenters with the current patience/subject chops of Yeah Right........ so that the masses that read MoA for geo-political insight are shown the truth/compelling alternative sets of data.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30, 2018 3:17:22 AM | 55

It has gotta be bad when you call troll psychohistorian :)

Finance control... question mark forward slash key has succumbed to over indulgence of beer and caffeine.
Finance control. Control. Control can come by a variety of means. Finance is a big one, but rather than just finance, perhaps all the means of control should be looked at.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 3:28:05 AM | 56

@ Peter AU 1 who wants to question all means of control

Sign me up!

I just keep focusing, and encourage others to think about what structural changes to our world could occur if "finance control" was a public utility instead of a private tool of control. I argue that Finance Control in the Western world is really a forced participation in a private proxy for all economic interchange with individuals, organizations and nations. That private proxy says usury is ok and has been used to enslave most of the Western world. That private proxy gets to create money out of whim or purpose in whatever amounts are needed, within whatever nation, to further and continue the private Financial Control meme.

This proxy attempt by empire to control the world's energy supplies is doomed to failure or an ugly end of our world as they try to enforce dying empire....and like you, I would like to see humanity either evolve beyond this dead end or get out of the way of some potential less hurt driven species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30, 2018 4:01:30 AM | 57

Mattis has officially denied that US will attack Iran in the next month or so, so that means its on.
Now we have to wait on Russia Chinas next moves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 4:20:14 AM | 58

psychohistorian / Peter AU 1

I have used quotations by Lavrov, Russian spokesmen, Russian media and so forth, sorry to tell you, but this is the reality of things.

Or take this:
Senior Russian Official: US, Turkey, Iran And Hezbollah Should Withdraw From Syria
https://southfront.org/senior-russian-official-us-turkey-iran-and-hezbollah-should-withdraw-from-syria/

I see whats going on though, people cant accept that Russia works with Israel like this, thats why there is so much denial in this debate and attack on the messenger.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 4:28:03 AM | 59

@48 "I refer to what russians themselves, if you somehow still want to argue, go ahead but dont argue with the messenger of that fact."

No, so sorry, but you don't.

What you do is quote their words out of context and then accept without question the interpretation that has been placed upon those few words by Israeli propaganda.

You can do that precisely because you only quote a snippet of what they say, which allows you to pretend that those snippets agree with you.

They don't, and you can see that they don't when you read the COMPLETE text of Lavrov's statements i.e. statements that are posted IN FULL on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs web site.

You know, that place to which You Will Not Go no matter how many times I point you to it.

And by refusing to go there you think you are able to get away by quoting news sources that intersperse editorializing between the quotes that you - and they - so selectively pluck. You are doing this deliberately, and you have been doing this from the very beginning.

Now, one more time, yet again, the following is untarnished, unadulterated truth:
1) Russia struck an agreement with the USA and Jordan in July 2017 regarding the disposition of forces in SW Syria
2) Israel was never a party to that agreement, though they were kept informed of them
3) The Russians insist that the reason for that agreement is to prevent anyone - a.n.y.o.n.e. - from using the presence of non-SAA forces to interfere with the routing of terrorist forces in that area.
4) The Russians further insist that they are trying their best to implement that July 2017 agreement, and are pressing the USA and Jordan to do the same.

Now, once again, the following is unadulterated nonsense being peddled by you:
a) That Russia continues to consult with Israel on all things to do with SW Syria is not in any way, shape or form "proof" or even "evidence" that the Russian policy position on this has changed. The Russians themselves insist that It Has Not Changed.
b) That Russia continues to insist that the July 2017 agreement stipulates that only the SAA is to operate against terrorist forces in SW Syria does not in any way, shape or form constitute "proof" or even "evidence" that Russia are attempting to stab the Iranians in the back, let alone that they are doing so at Israel's behest. The Russians themselves insist that forcing Iran out of Syria will solve nothing, and that any such suggestion is the work of simpletons.

I am perfectly happy to quote Lavrov at length saying exactly those things, but by now I shouldn't have to.

It should be enough to once again point you here
http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches/-/asset_publisher/7OvQR5KJWVmR/content/id/3239504
and to here
http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches/-/asset_publisher/7OvQR5KJWVmR/content/id/3288008

Those are authoritative texts, completely free of Israeli editorializing, Israeli misinformation and, quite frankly, Israeli bullshit.

I know you don't want to go there, and I know why: you prefer that everyone should let Israeli hasbarah to do their thinking for them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 30, 2018 4:33:37 AM | 60

Yeah Right

You must realize why Israel appreciate Russia's work in the south deescalation zone, its not because jihadists will be removed, Israel have no problem with these people, no Israel apprecaite Russia's work since Russia works toward removing iranian, hezbollah troops.

Luckily and hopefully Iran wont ever take this call:
Iran Rejects Russia’s Call to Remove All Foreign Troops from Syria
http://www.thetower.org/6283-iran-rejects-russias-call-to-remove-all-foreign-troops-from-syria/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 4:44:05 AM | 61

Guerrero says:

But heady constructive gemonetry[geometry] was not for the masses

nope, and even the specialists of yore fucked up now and then.

difficult to say what ramifications this 5 inch deviation from the golden rule might've had on the wider world of pyramidology, but i'd guess that the blinking stars in the belt of Orion are pretty much unperturbed.

Posted by: john | Jul 30, 2018 5:48:27 AM | 62

Daniel at 45
Because land can't be bought in China and is 'leased' from the villagers, deals are usually done whereby the villagers are promised work in whatever business is set up on their land. So in supermarkets there will be a worker in every aisle ostensibly to restack or assist but mainly just being paid.
My first night in Nanjing I saw 2 guys painting the lines on the road, at night, with peak traffic zipping past in both directions, amazing!

Posted by: Carlos | Jul 30, 2018 6:09:54 AM | 63

@ BM | 50

Eric Margolis has a surprisingly negative outlook about Iran's ability to defend itself against an attack by the USA
The Looming War Against Iran
Is this not complete delusion?

Yes, it is delusional. Margolis have no clue about Iranian capabilities, literally. He got one thing right though - there would be no ground invasion, and just air strikes will be useless to overthrow Iranian government. At the same time it would be the end of US as a superpower, as pain inflicted by Iranians would be immeasurable. Trillions wasted in Iraq is nothing in comparison.

That said, US arent that stupid to do that, IMHO if it comes to "necessity to show force" by Trump, it could be similar to the show of missiles strikes against Syria, i.e. informed beforehand and bombed few empty buildings. In that case Iran might even not retaliate (overtly).

In any case, this huffing and puffing by US is more similar to the same they did vs NK, i.e. just a hot air.

They have held back from giving full support to the Houthis so far, presumably knowing that it would incite retribution from the US, but in the event of war that disincentive vanishes immediately.

Not just support for Houthis, but everywhere in ME.

Posted by: Harry | Jul 30, 2018 7:16:03 AM | 64

Zanon @ 60 must be extremely desperate to dispel MoA commenters' trust in Russian forces supporting Syria if s/he has to resort to a link to a pro-Israeli media website (The Tower) quoting a Times of Israel article.

The curious thing is why Zanon keeps falling for Israeli propaganda aimed at making Israel look like a significant participant in peace-making efforts.

Well, keep at it, Zanon - we need some stand-up comedy around here.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 30, 2018 7:33:16 AM | 65

Posted by: juliania | Jul 29, 2018 11:41:31 PM | 31

Greece's terrible fires are a heartbreak for sure. On top of everything, they did not deserve this.

I'm not so sure about that. After all, the reason they didn't have the guts to renounce the troika's predations and embark upon Grexit is that they can't bring themselves to give up the all worthless junk of Mammon's globalized consumerist economy and would rather be slaves in every sense. So they're also willing contributors to the climate chaos driving the wildfires around the world, among all the other chaotic effects.

Of course the same is true of all populations which have renounced humanity and citizen consciousness in order to become atomized consumer masses. And that's why they get the neoliberal Leadership which reflects this.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 30, 2018 8:08:52 AM | 66

@60 "Luckily and hopefully Iran wont ever take this call:"
Followed by a website that... oh, fer' f**k's sake! Are you kidding me?

I now invite everyone to visit Zanon's link
http://www.thetower.org/6283-iran-rejects-russias-call-to-remove-all-foreign-troops-from-syria/

Note how some anonymous (hold that thought) reporter for a monumentally undistinguished website reports on what the Times Of Frickin' Israel (!!!!) claims that the "Tasmin news service" (????) claims that Bahram Qasemi said.

Now I'm not great with maths, but by my reckoning that makes Zanon's argument hearsay-thrice-removed.

And, of course, it is "news" that is now two months old and yet Iran is still there, which makes your scoop rather more than a day late and a dollar short.

Zanon, there is an official Iranian government web site. So there should be no need to listen to the Chinese-whispers of Qasemi-told-Tamsin-who-told-Times of Israel-who-told-thetower-who-told-Zanon.

Speaking of which, notice how Mr Anonymous (again, hold that thought) goes on to quote Vladimir Putin. Not that Mr Anonymous would know, since he got his information from CNN.

Or did he?

Yeah, I just had a look and Mr Anonymous just cut'n'pasted what Times of Israel said that CNN said that Putin said.

Again, Zanon is spouting hearsay-thrice-removed.

Because that's the... odd thing about Zanon. He appears not to know that Putin holds a very important position and, as such, Putin has an official web site that posts every official utterance that he makes. Officially, as it were.

This one, in fact:
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/statements/57488

The real quote is this.
Putin: "We proceed from the assumption that in view of the significant victories and success achieved by the Syrian Army in its fight against terrorism, and the start of a more active phrase of the political process, foreign armed forces will be withdrawing from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic."

That's a pretty nondescript statement.
Indeed, it is a statement of the obvious.

It is, indeed, a statement of Putin's assumption i.e. his best guess, his prediction, his expectation of what follows as this war winds down.

And it is a pretty sensible working assumption.

But what it isn't is a demand that Iran **must** leave Syria, and it certainly isn't a statement that Iran must - or even should - leave Syria while the war is still ongoing.

So, with that in mind let's go back to thetower-heard-from-etc-etc.
Qasemi: "As long as terrorism exists and the Syrian government wants, Iran will have presence [in Syria],"

The only real difference between that statement and Putin's statements is that Putin is obviously a glass-half-empty kind of guy while Qasemi is demonstrably a glass-half-full kind of guy.

Oh, yeah, I nearly forgot one last thing.

Zanon, a tip: reporters love seeing their name on a byline. They live for it. So when you go to a website and you see that it is written "by TheTower.org Staff" you can be pretty certain it is regurgitated propaganda.

Q: Why?
A: Because they couldn't find even one presstitute who is willing to scrawl their name in that puke.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 30, 2018 8:16:08 AM | 67

Well, since Zanon obviously stands for Zionist Anon, I don't know what you were expecting. Of course, could still just be a troll or a reverse-troll.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 30, 2018 9:40:23 AM | 68

Alistair Crooke's article is worth checking out:\https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/30/forcing-surrender-era-old-pretences-henry-kissinger.html
The basic problem in 'western' thought is that it cannot shake off the 'discoveries'made in the "Enlightenment." The idea that history consists of an evolution from caves to condos, via nomads' tents, peasant huts and slum terraces, has proved to be so attractively elegant, making whole swathes of thinking unnecessary that it has become the guiding light of the bourgeoisie (not to mention their 'marxist'-with apologies to a thinker now residing in Highgate Cemetery- critics).

"... “The mistake NATO has made”, Kissinger says, “is to think that there is a sort of historic evolution that will march across Eurasia - and not to understand that somewhere on that march it will encounter something - very different to a Westphalian [western idea of a liberal democratic and market orientated state] entity.”

"Precisely. For years, both Republican and Democratic administrations have argued that the gravitational pull of U.S.-dominated international institutions, trade flows, even pop culture, would gradually reshape both Russia and China, turning both into enthusiastic, compliant (and subservient) participants in a global, consumerist, world set-up, led by the US...."

Posted by: bevin | Jul 30, 2018 9:49:06 AM | 69

bevin | Jul 30, 2018 9:49:06 AM | 68
"Precisely. For years, both Republican and Democratic administrations have argued that the gravitational pull of U.S.-dominated international institutions, trade flows, even pop culture, would gradually reshape both Russia and China, turning both into enthusiastic, compliant (and subservient) participants in a global, consumerist, world set-up, led by the US...."

Thats got to be the outsider's joke of the 21st century.
Good stuff; keep it coming...

Posted by: V | Jul 30, 2018 10:03:11 AM | 70

Well, Kissinger is right that it was insane on its face to expect a Fukuyama-like march of progress across the world, with liberalism overthrowing everything on its path; the kind of Whig history that can only lead to disaster down the road. On the other hand, I think he's wrong if the thinks the roadblocks come because the West meets non-Westphalian states; quite the opposite, I'd say current Russia and China would be perfectly happy if the West stuck to Westphalian principles - something B has already commented about in the past, among many others. The trick is that the fraudsters that lead us don't want the Westphalian principles; some of them are on a path to expansionism for their own greed and will use any excuse to pummel opposition, and others are on some grand ideological crusade for universalism of some principles, which by definition is anathema to Westphalian principles (and the other way around of course), because it implies exceptionalism of the "Free West" and right of not duty to enlighten the others and bring them multiculturalism, progressivism, free-market, free-trade and free flow of people across all borders.
It's high time countries went back to Westphalian principles, so that - at least for any issue that doesn't endanger the survival of mankind as a species -, any foreign interference of any kind on any matter - including the whole range of human rights topics - should be met with "Go fuck yourself" as a by-default reply (and the applause of bystanding countries).
Those who aren't happy could, of course, try to create a global empire, but a true one, with military conquest and annexation and the explicit goal of having just one country on Earth and one world government, not the hypocritical one based on loose influence, threats and economic manipulation, and deal seriously with the multitude of countries, societies and people who'll oppose it. It's time for everyone to put all the cards on the table.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 30, 2018 10:12:59 AM | 71

RR @ 35: Thanks for the link on China's Social Security system. Very interesting, and never discussed here in the U$A..

( Not the only missed info here. The list is too long to mention.)

Posted by: ben | Jul 30, 2018 10:47:30 AM | 72

Russ @ 65 said:"Of course the same is true of all populations which have renounced humanity and citizen consciousness in order to become atomized consumer masses. And that's why they get the neoliberal Leadership which reflects this."

New take on the old saying; "You get the Govt. you deserve "

Couldn't be more true than here in the U$A today....

Posted by: ben | Jul 30, 2018 11:10:50 AM | 73

Clueless Joe | Jul 30, 2018 10:12:59 AM | 70
It's time for everyone to put all the cards on the table.

It may well be time; but, do not hold your breath.
Not going to happen; the U.S.'s cards alone, would bury the table...
Duplicitious doesn't even begin to cover it...

Posted by: V | Jul 30, 2018 11:16:00 AM | 74

Dear b;

Please accept my admiration for your work and site.the
I'm curious if there is a url or theme for mobile browsers?
You see my eyes are not what they once were. There are over forty characters per inch on the horizontal on the comments page on my phone. The comments here are of high quality, so dilemma!

I'm a developer too, so if you'd like assistance, please don't hesitate to ask.

Posted by: bobzibub | Jul 30, 2018 11:27:45 AM | 75

65

There is an interesting Reddit yesterday showing 20 years of BOx data for USA and China, side by side, in 1998 a massive dense cloud of NOx over the Rust Belt transitioning to a massive dense cloud of NOx in the industrial cities around Beijing.

A simple thought experiment would confirm CO2 levels would be even more massively dense over the USA in 1998 and then even more massively dense over China, then by AGW Postulate (still an unproven postulate, and will always remain one), the ground in the Rust Belt should have been in flames in Ohio in 1998, then the ground in Beijing should have burst into flames in Beijing in w018.

Nothing of the sort happened. Magic CO2, the Boogerman for everything...and for nothing. AGW is pure Red Bolshevism. AGW is 'Creeping Communism'. AGW is 'Islamic Jihad'. AGW is blood libel, is Hope and Chains. We got to 'Get Back to the Garden' by plunging USA into a Druid Apocalypse.

Funny true story. I worked for the State when they attempted to pass a 'Carbon License Tab Fee'. Same fee for a motorbike or a 16-wheeler, lol. And the fees would go to 'increasing Ecology staff for more climate studies'. What...what? If we are 'past the point of no return' as End of Days McKinnon made his journalist fortune on, why do we need more studies?

The State could not even wait for the referendum to pass. They massively hired, then, and this is eye-witness verified, they held a naked dancing orgy of will and and padlocks that October full moon to celebrate.

The Carbon License Tab initiative was defeated in November. None of the newly hired 'Climate Warrior's were let go. Instead, they were made...ready?...into *building inspectors*, harassing contractors about construction waste and onsite runoff and LEED (sic) comiance until the 2008 Crisis brought down the whole show.

AND STILL THOSE CARBON TAX THAT NEVER PASSED 'CLIMATE WARRIORS' REMAIN ON THE STATE PAYROLL, AND ALL OF THEM ARE VESTED IN THE PENSION FOR LIFE GRAVY TRAIN.

(Sorry for shouting)

Posted by: Chipher | Jul 30, 2018 11:54:11 AM | 76

Yeah Right

Followed by a website that... oh, fer' f**k's sake! Are you kidding me?

Is Presstv good enough?

Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected such demands, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi saying that “no one can force Iran to do anything.”
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/07/12/567860/Iran-Russia-Syria-Putin-Israel-Netanyahu

Do you agree with Iran or Russia? You believe Iran should not hear russian calls to move out?

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 12:08:33 PM | 77

Clueless Joe

Not sure how I can be a "zionist" troll since I argue against Russia talking and working with Israel contrary to people here arguing against that position.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 12:10:30 PM | 78

@75 chipher

Climatism is indeed a problem with the left. Not only, like you wrote, has there never been any definitive proof, but the pseudo-science that believers in AGW have offered has been either doctored to fit their narrative or undone completely by recent trends of ice growth in both The Arctic and Antarctica. Debunkers I have followed point out the fact that many of AGW models put forth by NASA and the NOAA deliberately leave out the extremely hot period of the 1930s in the US and begin their models from the 1970s. If they were to include the 30s in their models, average temps in the US since actually show a decline in value, going against the theory that ppm CO2 increase begets temp increase.

Climategate, too, put a wrench into their workings when it revealed that they were trying to nix the whole medieval warming period because it was an "inconvenient truth" to what they wanted their models to show.

It befuddles me that many posters here who are well clued-in to the false narratives of globalism, permanent war from the MIC, and fake news from its propaganda arm can not open themselves up to at least a skeptical take on AGW that, if acted upon with legislation, would indeed hurt the commom man the most with such silly notions of a carbon tax.

AGW legislation is nothing more than an extension of the R2P doctrine TPTB want you to swallow. "No manufacturing jobs ever again in the states!" Acting first, it kicks the truth can down the road and leaves us little guys with treadmarks down our backs and gravel in our mouth.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 30, 2018 12:18:50 PM | 79

35

I'm always willing to be wrong and learn, but your link makes clear in the first paragraph the pension system is only for urban workers and has only been in place forv18 years, therefore has had no payout. I believe they can retire at 53, is what my Chinese colleague tells me. So 32 years of working, for a pension system only 18 years old and only for urban workers and NOT including Foxconn factories or rural citizens, I think my statement is more accurate than yours.

AFA Rennaissance and Reformation, how could you expect those values from a country that purged all of its intellectuals and religious leaders to a rural holocaust? Surely Western Chinese quickly assume Western values, as do Chinese scientists and technicians who do daily business with the West, but again, I am talking about China, in China, not the pancake makeup it puts on for the West.

Both the Russian and the Chinese people live lives of quiet desperation, and both are going to massively suffer under Trump, from uncontrolled fracking oversupply of oil and gas, and from NeoLiberal credit-debt inflation suddenly being 'economically-sanctioned'. Tracking is free market expansionism, nothing to be done until it fizzles out, but NeoLiberal credit-debt inflation then economic sanctions is deliberate, venal, anti-human, in essence, fracking whole societies.

Anyway, no, Russia and China do not have social welfare systems like US or EU. One is only a mere pittance being carved away, and the other only for the urban Chosen of Job and has not paid out yet. So in that sense, they are more like US than EU, lol.

Posted by: Chipher | Jul 30, 2018 12:24:42 PM | 80

@39 ben... interesting link and overview on obama.. obama and clinton were good talkers, lol... they could say all sorts of things and people would generally go along with it.. it kind of reminds me of those types who sell refrigerators to eskimos.. after they are gone and the money has been taken - what does the eskimo do with the refrigerator? that would be the ordinary person who these politicians have duped.. if you ask me, the western political system is on it's way down and out.. it can't happen soon enough..

@43 v.. yes, but he's back and everyone is responding to him!!!

@45 daniel.. nice post.. do you still travel to mexico? i was going down there in the 70s too.. i used to enjoy the train system they had which i took advantage of..

@47 peter.. i would like to visit china.. maybe one day i will..

@51 BM.. good point!

@54 psychohistorian.. ditto.. thanks for articulating all that.

@68 bevin.. thanks for that link.. i am going to go read it now..

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 12:36:36 PM | 81

The present consumption of world resources is un sustainable. it's short term self interested greed by the 1% at the harm of many generations to come. Like maggots eating away at an apple! Planet earth!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30, 2018 12:37:26 PM | 82

i encourage others to read bevins link to alastair crooke @68.. that is very much how i see it and it is hard not to be concerned about the possibility of war between usa/euro and russia/china.. to change that we need more talks like the one at helsinki and not less..

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 12:44:52 PM | 83

Jen

must be extremely desperate to dispel MoA commenters' trust in Russian forces supporting Syria if s/he has to resort to a link to a pro-Israeli media website

False. If you actually read the article you would know the source:

“No one can force Iran to do anything,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi said, according to the Tasnim news website.

Tansim is a pro-Iranian newspage.

Its stated aims are to "[defend] the Islamic Republic against negative media propaganda campaign and providing our readers with realities on the ground about Iran and Islam.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasnim_News_Agency

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 1:07:20 PM | 84

#ISIS controls less than 70km2 of territory in southwest #Syria aml.ink/BGpn5 #Daraa

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 29, 2018 6:58:40 PM | 17

Today less than half remained, largest remaining village and two hamlets remain, three villages and two hamlets to go, because of mines SAA proceeds methodically.
We are reaching higher stages in the logic of belief. Armed fight against Syrian government is a lost cause, jihadists know it, sponsors of the jihadists know it and they know that jihadist themselves have noticed that etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 30, 2018 1:23:35 PM | 85

Piotr Berman @ 84
Thanks for that timely reminder of exciting developments in Syria slowly and surly reaching a positive conclusion in that region. Freeing up the saa /tiger forces to liberate other areas !
What I'd like to know (easer to ask than answer) ---- what is to be done to remove the illegal USA occupation of areas of Syria and there basis.
Time for some really hard hard talking in the glare of the world public ! Making a prosicution case re US crimes (a long list). They won't like the negative publicity ! Example the funding , weaponising and protection of Isis by US !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30, 2018 1:45:56 PM | 86

Zanon @76: You believe Iran should not hear russian calls to move out?

The PressTV link you provided doesn't show any such "Russian calls".

The PressTV quote in your comment: "Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected such demands ..." is deceptive. The "demands" it refers to are Israeli demands.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 30, 2018 2:16:24 PM | 87

Yikes, this thread is all over the place, throwing chump in the water sure attracts 'em..
@84 Piotr, yes and there is word Turkey may hand over parts of Idlib back to the SAA.
Also, the YPG wants to participate in the Idlib campaign which means they have seen the light and will dissociate from the US controled SDF..


Posted by: Lozion | Jul 30, 2018 2:20:44 PM | 88

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 30, 2018 12:18:50 PM | 78

It befuddles me that many posters here who are well clued-in to the false narratives of globalism, permanent war from the MIC, and fake news from its propaganda arm can not open themselves up to at least a skeptical take on AGW that, if acted upon with legislation, would indeed hurt the commom man the most with such silly notions of a carbon tax.

It befuddles me that many posters here who are well clued-in to the false narratives of globalism, permanent war from the MIC, and fake news from its propaganda arm cannot perform the simple intellectual operation of separating a real phenomenon from the various ways the corporate system seeks to exploit it. There's the climate crisis, which is simple physical reality driven by GHG emissions and destruction of sinks, and then there's the political-economic scams which seek to exploit it for power and profit even as they drive it. It's called disaster capitalism. But the disasters are all too real. It's the de jure deniers who most of all are playing the globalists' game by propagating the lie that all is well with productionist civilization. Why stop there?

BTW scams like a carbon tax are part of the extreme emission system you're defending, not part of the opposition to that system.


Posted by: Russ | Jul 30, 2018 2:23:11 PM | 89

@87 There's even something called the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) now. They are negotiating with the Syrian government. I'm guessing they are the remnants of the SDF with a few anonymous YPG observers thrown in.

Posted by: dh | Jul 30, 2018 2:29:05 PM | 90

bevin @68 thanks for the link

Clueless Joe @70 great comment

Kissinger is an ideologue that pretends to be a realist. He ignores the West's transgressions while bemoaning the fractured "world order". Phooey!

In this way, he is as much responsible for the failure of diplomacy and that "there is no debate" as much as anyone. There is a mono-culture of hubris at the top of the Western pecking order and Kissinger has been well rewarded for fellating it.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 30, 2018 2:30:39 PM | 91

@88 Forgot the link...

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/300720181

Posted by: dh | Jul 30, 2018 2:37:31 PM | 92

At Trump and Italy's PM Conte press conference, Trump said sanctions on Russia will remain and that he is talking to the EU about building a number of LNG terminals - at the EU's expense - so American LNG can compete with Russian gas.

Posted by: spudski | Jul 30, 2018 2:46:22 PM | 93

@90 The reconciliation talks have not gone down well with everybody.

ENKS for instance is not happy with the SDC. ENKS is a Rojava political council backed by the KDP. They are the opposition party to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) that rules northern Syria. They do not trust the YPG the PYD or the PKK.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/interview/29072018

Posted by: dh | Jul 30, 2018 2:48:55 PM | 94

@94 Txs dh for the precision..

Posted by: Lozion | Jul 30, 2018 3:19:19 PM | 95

@91 jr.. how much is kissinger working for israel and the neo cons as opposed to the goodness of the planet under his helpful guidance of usa? that remains an open question to me...

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 3:28:41 PM | 96

@89 Russ

AFAIK, Russ, most if not all of these peer-reviewed schlock-jobs put forth by "scientists" use the data taken from the NOAA and NASA. Would you care to comment on the two instances of misleading-by-omission that I put forth? Did it ever dawn on you that the "physical reality" of AGW through GHG need to be proven by science and not just theorized on?

I am not in anyone's corner when I say that just leave the whole BS of AGW alone and focus on the issues of empire. In my comment I was tring to point out that climatists are hurting the left, just as identity poltics and notions of humanitarian intervention are as well.

I didn't know I was defending extreme emmission systems, whatever those are. Thank you for pointing that out.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 30, 2018 3:37:43 PM | 97

@ 77 Z "You believe Iran should not hear russian calls to move out?"

When it comes to Syria, the ONLY voice that matters is Assad's and the people of Syria

As of today, from what I understand, Assad is quite content with the presence of Russia, Iran & Hzb in his country - the coalition/US/Israel not so much...

So the question REALLY should be: When will the Coalition/US/Israel "get out"? As they were never invited in the first place

THAT is Assad's chief concern at the moment (along with eradicating the last vestiges of the proxy terrorists)

Once that happens, THEN we can talk about permanency, or not, of Russia, Iran & Hzb in Syria, and even then it will be the Syrians who drive it

But in the mean-time, the continued "misadventures" of Israel & company INSURES they will not be leaving any time soon...

Posted by: xLemming | Jul 30, 2018 3:39:22 PM | 98

xLemming

I fully agree with you, this is only up to Syria to decide, therefore should no state even think of try to change or force them to do anything against this relationship Syria have with Iran/Hezbollah.
US, Israel should of course leave first as you say, Israel shouldnt be able to influence whether it is US or Russia to do anything on Syria/or its allies.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 30, 2018 4:03:07 PM | 99

james @89: how much is kissinger working for israel and the neo cons

Just a note on language.

As an ideologue he's not strictly "working for" anyone but his ideology aligns with the mono-cultural Western establishment.

=

Why do I say "mono-culture"?
Because even when there are apparent differences, like between Europe and US or Trump and "Deep State", they are always resolved in a way that furthers the Empire/NWO.

In a mono-culture deviation is risky to the dominant culture. Small deviations can be assimilated or overcome while others must be shut down because they are fundamentally incompatible or demonstrate the inadequacy/failings of the mono-culture.

That's why you rarely see people like oligarchs and career officials challenging the establishment. When it happens, those people are crushed.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 30, 2018 4:30:50 PM | 100

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