Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 31, 2017

Trump Dumps Pretense Of Altruism From U.S. Foreign Policy

For decades the U.S. foreign policy elite and its presidents played the farce of an altruistic United States that acts for the global good and in the interest of humanity.

That was always a lie. Wherever one took a deeper look the U.S. acted solely in its (perceived) self interests. But the rhetoric helped to drag others along. Tributary governments could pretend they worked for the "universal good" when they in fact just followed orders from Washington DC. U.S. pressure was applied behind the curtain - through bribes, threats of revealing private secrets or -if necessary- via well managed "democratic" coups.

Those times are over. Thanks to the honesty of the Trump administration the foremost positions of hard U.S interests and deadly threats are now openly declared fundamentals of U.S. foreign policy.

The neo-conservative chaperone in the White House, National Security Advisor General McMaster, and the Goldman Sachs veto holder in the White House, economic advisor Gary Cohn, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that reveals the new true face of the U.S. empire:

The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it.

Translation: "Power is with the strong. We feel strong. Screw you!"

At every stop in our journey, we delivered a clear message to our friends and partners: Where our interests align, we are open to working together to solve problems and explore opportunities. We let adversaries know that we will not only take their measure, deter conflict through strength, and defend our interests and values, but also look for areas of common interest that allow us to work together. In short, those societies that share our interests will find no friend more steadfast than the United States. Those that choose to challenge our interests will encounter the firmest resolve.

From now on the U.S. will only engage in selective, temporary friendships: "Where our interests align", and only there, will the U.S. be friendly because it obviously serves U.S. interests. Wherever a country deviates from that, even partially, it will "encounter the firmest resolve." That is as clear a threat as it can be.

The threat was there before but it was applied silently. When the then German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle voted against the war on Libya at the UN Security Council, the Obama administration launched a local media campaign against him (through U.S. stooges), that devastated his party in the following election. Most people in Germany did not recognize the campaign for what it was. It was hidden behind "human rights" talk, "democracy" fluff and "winning" in Libya. But the U.S. induced campaign against Westerwelle happened, was successful and was a lesson to other local party leaders to stay in line with U.S. demands.

The more honest Trump approach brings such threats out into the open. It is now clear that the U.S. follows only its interests - exclusively, and that it will apply the utmost pressure on whatever party disagrees with it in this or that case.

Such behavior may work well in relations with the dimwit dictators of Saudi Arabia or Qatar. But voters in democracies do not like it when their politicians cave over the demands of a Donald Trump, or any other such egoist. They will demand accountability. Local politician talk about "doing our share in the global community" will no longer pamper over sycophantic behavior towards unjust U.S. requests to further its interests. Voters will insist on opposition to unjust demands and will be willing to bear the consequences.

Trump is likely to find that this openly brutal foreign policy approach, without the warm and fluffy, pseudo-altruistic marketing of an Obama administration, will not work very well. He can hardly invade Spain should it decline to put pressure on Venezuela. No country will sign on to new sanctions against Iran should such a demand come with open threats. Self-determination and justice are too strong motivators to be overcome with pure boorishness.

The McMaster/Cohn op-ed ends with this:

America First signals the restoration of American leadership and our government’s traditional role overseas—to use the diplomatic, economic and military resources of the U.S. to enhance American security, promote American prosperity, and extend American influence around the world.

That is a lonesome approach and it is unlike to enhance, promote and extend anything but disdain for the U.S. But it may well be the line it will follow over the coming years.

If this is the end of the U.S. empire that evolved from World War II it is at least an honest one.

Posted by b on May 31, 2017 at 18:24 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

Altruism--whatever happened to it? Oh, I know it still exists in the private reaches of society, but publically? The rant at the link could probably be made in almost any language--particularly English--and at its conclusion we find altruism:

"And it benefits all of us, young, old, working, disabled, everyone. The only people it hurts are the establishment, the rich, the bankers, the top 5% highest earners.

"Good, screw them. It's long overdue." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47164.htm

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 1 2017 23:21 utc | 101

b, a most excellent analysis. Perhaps it's worth noting that the crimes of the past and those to come are those of the US AS CAPTURED BY THE OLIGARCHS. The American nation, its culture, its education, its banking and monetary system, its internal politics, its international mania for destroying the remnants of self-govt everywhere-- all of these are degraded that it might be more pliable in the hands of the oligarchs. What is done is not in the interest of the American nation, but in the interests of an international oligarchy who but use America as a tool, in the way earlier generations of the oligarchy used Britain.

And even here on this site where so much intelligence is apparent many continue to ignore what they must KNOW-- that the media is wholly controlled by the boards of directors of 6 mega-corps. If it is controlled enough to lie about JFK, 9/11, and Syria then it lies also about most incidents that portray terrorism by Muslims in the West, and even most incidents of police brutality, and especially global warming.

b, I hope your optimism isn't misplaced when you expect resistance due to nearly-frank brutality. Most people are afraid to even KNOW their true situation, much less resist.

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 1 2017 23:24 utc | 102

ben @ 98: But ben perhaps it's useful to overtly portray US as the bad guy so that Russia/China can be presented as the good guy. Unfortunately, their "winning" will still lead to a world oligarchy, but the initially decentralized administration will be called "multipolar." Always the technique is the same: the clash of two apparently opposed sides and the predetermined resolution.

It's like the American Left & Right. No matter who wins nothing changes. No matter whose ideology you listen to they never mention the real actions and actors who are destroying nationhood & self-govt everywhere.

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 1 2017 23:34 utc | 103

Oligarchs Succeed! Only the People Suffer! http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47161.htm#idc-cover

Posted by: ALAN | Jun 2 2017 0:05 utc | 104

@99 karlof

This article's thesis is Daesh is taking over the global illegal drug trade, which is the provenance of the CIA Mafia, thus begging the question of why that Mafia's allowing that to occur.
well, you know it's not for nothing that al-CIA-duh got its name, and daesh is of the same provenance ... they're both 'family' to the CIA, which is surely willing to share its 'off the books' funding sources ... the cost to the CIA is nothing. the world's enslaved users pay the bill.
Duterte has no Deep State to deter his attempt to drastically change the Filipino Order.
i question the relationship between the philippine and us military at the officer rank. they've been working together in the same fields as CIA and al-CIA-duh, forever ... i'd imagine that a major slice of the philippine military would line up with the usofa against the president of the philippines if called to do so, and especially in this instance. there is a very corrupt 1% in the philippines, one which, of course, sees the 1%ers of the usa - of any nation - as their true 'brothers and sisters'. blood may be thicker than water, but that's about all it's thicker than. filthy lucre is thicker than anything.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 2 2017 1:11 utc | 105

@102, pennelope, ' No matter who wins nothing changes. No matter whose ideology you listen to they never mention the real actions and actors who are destroying nationhood & self-govt everywhere. '

i certainly agree with you there. there seem to be many who are embracing the enemy of their enemy as though that entity were their friend. oligarchy is oligarchy.

it certainly seems that folks have embraced what they perceive as the means of their liberation as its end. multipolar oligarchy is neither.

no one cares for the world's peoples but us very peoples ourselves.

all governments will eventually be captured by elites and work against our interests. that's the first thing that 'Most people are afraid to even KNOW ... much less resist.' that's the defining equation of actual democracy : the readiness to de- and re-construct governments as required ... for it will be required, again and again. as natural as birth and death in the natural cycle.

that has to be put at the foundation of our envisioned 'liberation'.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 2 2017 1:24 utc | 106

V. Arnold

:)

Posted by: gut bugs galore | Jun 2 2017 2:43 utc | 107

Hey b Apropos of nothing in particular, it is currently Friday afternoon in Aotearoa and as a big fan of open threads may I request that a weekend subject thread by opened up either late late thursday night or sparrow fart hour friday euro time?
Synchronicity between thought and MoA topics is a struggle for me at the moment.

IMO there is absolutely zero interesting about Trumpet's claim to be 'honest' and take a position on only those issues which advantage amerika.
If yer one of those people who believe what pols say is important, naked self interest has been contained in the subtext of just about everything every amerikan official has stated since 1946 prolly.

If, as I do, you believe what pols do is more informing than what they say, naked amerikan self interest has been blatant in everything amerika has done over the same period. The major difference is, actions haven't been sub rosa in the sub text of amerikan blather, it has been obvious, overt since forever.
Trumpet's statement is a harbinger of nothing other than the fool's ridiculously inflated sense of self.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 2 2017 2:49 utc | 108

P @ 102 said: "But ben perhaps it's useful to overtly portray US as the bad guy so that Russia/China can be presented as the good guy."

That very thing has caused me much concern. Are China and Russia the " good cops" in a global "Good cop, bad cop"scenario? Perhaps, but, time will reveal all. If the overall goal is a united front of global oligarchs, only a worker global revolt can change it. Please don't hold your breath 'til that happens.

At this point in time, the U$A and it's corporate empire, without a doubt, is the greatest purveyor of terror the world has ever known.

Posted by: ben | Jun 2 2017 3:45 utc | 109

I hope Trump hasn't intervened in Marawi in the Philippines:

Before heading out they strap on white armbands and attach a white flag to their cars to signal that they are noncombatants. “We’re like the White Helmets,” said Abdul Azis Lomondot, a 25-year-old squad member, referring to the humanitarians in Syria famed for pulling people from the rubble.

But unlike the White Helmets, many in the Suicide Squad have no medical experience. Lomondot studies international relations at university. “I have no medical training but I want to help,” he said. “We risk our lives. We didn’t expect this invasion – Marawi was a peaceful place before. Now it’s under siege.”


Typical Guardian propaganda but that comparison could end up getting people killed.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 2 2017 4:13 utc | 110

I didn't vote for Trump but supported his win over Clinton's because I wanted to see the world move into this phase of its evolution/devolution. The accumulated hurt society has suffered at the jackboot of the private finance form of social organization has to stop.

Humanity has a window of opportunity to wake up from their private finance zombiedom and take back control of their lives from the parasitic elite of present. We are not a bad species at our core but being a cult of the God of Mammon/private finance parasite has brought us to the edge of extinction...a friend says we are already in Hospice.

Will we continue the outdated social structure that is killing us? Maybe we will allow it to be made worse.

I continue to posit that the one change of global elimination of private finance replaced by totally sovereign nation's systems coordinated globally by the sovereign nations instead of private finance organizations that exist now as part of the IMF/World Bank jackboot would totally change the incentives we all live our lives by....for the better, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2017 4:22 utc | 111

Debsisdead @ 107

You want to help 'move the Pols' ??
Then head to Wellington next week and join the crowds wanting to give
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a solid 'UnWelcome'

Yes, the very same Tillerson as CEO of ExxonMobil that suppressed internal
documents validating climate change, helped cover up the Exxon Valdez oil spill,
and worked to 40 years to reward shareholders, regardless of the disasters foisted on the wider world

Even more nauseating is the sycophantic enthusiasm from the NZ press
-headlines about 'Improving NZ US relations and politicians
-our FM Gerry Brownlee talks about "maintaining peace, prosperity and stability in the Asia Pacific region "
while the US NAvy plays chicken in the South China Sea

Doubtless we will be pressured to "up our defense spending" and send more troops
to re-enforce the US actions in Afghan/Iraq/Syria so welcomed by the inhabitants..

The same politicians that are opening doors for the US wealthy to escape from the impending
chaos that they helped create
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88705064/super-rich-americans-buying-land-in-new-zealand-as-bolthole-from-apocalypse
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4190322/Tech-billionaires-building-boltholes-New-Zealand.html

But one example: Peter Thiel, of PayPal and Facebook fame, paid $10 million for a 477-acre lakeside estate in the country’s beautiful but isolated Southern Alps. This was after the New Zealand government cited ‘exceptional circumstances’ to give him a New Zealand passport.
He then demonstrated his loyalty to his new country by rorting at least $30 million after contributing just under $7m to an NZG Joint venture (NZVIF). Guess who pays for the $23M difference???

Nice work if you can get it
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11794020

(This is why I was so reluctant to use PayPal to contribute to b's blog )

Posted by: DavidKNZ | Jun 2 2017 4:47 utc | 112

@5: "Very few Americans have a problem with imperialism."

Agree Dan, but R2P and similar covers are PR for allied countries where they are acting against their own economic interest in subservience to US interests.

A good example may be Germany, which sanctions and demonizes Russia like a US attack dog, which damages and delays its inevitable and most advantageous economic future, a geographic/economic tight bond with China and Russia, dominating the Eurasian space.

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 2 2017 5:56 utc | 113

If I was Trump, I would get the US out of a few other treaties - the treaty on asylum seekers, for instance - as well. And with the same reasoning: my costs go down. The countries who remain in the treaty end up paying more, but that's not my problem.

Posted by: passerby | Jun 2 2017 12:27 utc | 114

Peter @ 23

You are confusing 'Medicaid' with 'Medicare'

Trump is going after lazy people who work less than 20 hrs/week so that they can continue to receive Medicaid and food stamps...

Medicare not Medicaid is the healthcare entity for Seniors (and would be cheaper than Obamacare and actually provide universal healthcare for all US citizens)

Posted by: crone | Jun 2 2017 13:32 utc | 115

On BBC NewsHour this morning there was a report that Kurdish fighters allied with US interests are refusing to allow Iraqi Arabs from towns taken by the Kurds to return to their own homes in those cities. According to Arab refugees, they were forced into camps with no food or other necessities and told that they could flee to areas held by Turkey, but they could not go home. The Kurds apparently expected the US to provide food, water, etc., for these Arabs, but the US is not coming through with such necessary aid, and the UN can only bring in aid using airplanes, then 5 hour truck routes.

There may be less patience with the US at the BBC right now (Trump's tantrums about the Paris Accord?) as the interviewer noted that not caring for civilians displaced due to military actions is considered a crime...or breaking international law. Can't quite remember and haven't found any transcript.

But such open criticism seems unusual to me.

Anyone seen any articles on this subject?

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 2 2017 14:40 utc | 116

Correction: The discussion of the Kurds comes toward the end of the NewsHour broadcast for AM June 2.

It concerns Syrian Kurds or Kurds roped into the Raqqa fight by the US. The reporter who'd been following the story, whose name I couldn't quite catch, had approached the US military officials in charge of the area and was told by them they, the US, had absolutely no responsibility for the Syria Arab refugees. The Kurds had to do that. The reporter was amazed at such an assertion since it was the US behind the attack on Raqqa.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 2 2017 14:51 utc | 117

Weird news: Russia is not accused of interfering in British elections. Weirder: The Guardian endorses Labour with (and that is the weird bit) some kind words about Jeremy Corbyn. Did his manifesto concession about Trident mollify the editors? Or they feel that the resistance is futile?

The world is still as we know it: op-ed article in The Guardian ponders the question: Which is a bigger threat, ISIS or Putin?, with the conclusion that it is hard to tell.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 2 2017 18:20 utc | 118

@118 piotr.. that headlines tells anyone who cares to know who butters the guardians bread.. if on the other hand it was 'which is a bigger threat, isis or corporate rule? i would be more impressed.. of coourse corporate rule is responsible for isis too...

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2017 18:33 utc | 119

@DavidKNZ @112
I am somewhat cynical about the point (aside from tiresome boomer socialising) of these gatherings which are usually kept far away from the target so far he/she is unaware of it.
The only one of these things I ever attended which 'worked' was a vigil outside the Intercontinental in Auckland when Agnew did the deal with Holyoake to send more troops to Vietnam in return for the glorious reward of NZ manufacturing Agent Orange - a deal that left Aotearoa permanently poisoned. Anyway we stayed up all night interspersing banging drums, pots, pans etc with making small talk to the SIS agents tasked with developing profiles of us all.
Agnew was pissed the next morning as we had kept him awake - so we felt good about that but Vietnamese still died and Aotearoa got poisoned. Action has to be much more direct and targeted than chanting while holding a sign especially given that the alternative in the next election is a dyed in the wool neoliberal who kisses amerikan arse as much as the current mob do and would sell out the people for self-aggrandizement. Therefore it cannot even be argued that the protest will effect any useful political change.

But whatever - if you imagine that stuff does anything other than expose people to unwarranted intrusion go right ahead.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 3 2017 2:24 utc | 120

Penelope 103

+It's like the American Left & Right. No matter who wins nothing changes. No matter whose ideology you listen to they never mention the real actions and actors who are destroying nationhood & self-govt everywhere.+

Who's the destroyer ?
Go ask the Africans, Afghans...amongst others.


http://bit.ly/2rOWbUz

Posted by: denk | Jun 3 2017 2:28 utc | 121

I watched RT News the morning which was full of stories about the St Petersburg economic summit, the big story out of that is a deal between the state owned energy corporation Rosneft and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.

Yeah you all hate Barzani but I cannot but wonder if amerika's refusal to offer kurds anything other than the right to kill for them has bit them in the ass, and Barzani et al are signalling amerika that failing to protect Kurds from Turkey's genocidal policies will hit amerika in the only place amerikans care - their pocketbooks.

Myself, I enjoy Kurds' company - like everywhere else their pols aren't worth a bottle of stale piss, but Kurds themselves have been surrounded by asshole bullies for centuries yet still manage to maintain a sense of decency that is commendable, so I hope whatever comes will allow them to continue as a viable culture in an area beset with greedy war mongers.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 3 2017 3:04 utc | 122

re 116

On BBC NewsHour this morning there was a report that Kurdish fighters allied with US interests are refusing to allow Iraqi Arabs from towns taken by the Kurds to return to their own homes in those cities.
That's nothing new. I'm amazed you seem surprised. Ethnic cleansing has been on the Kurds' agenda since 2014, when they swore blind that if they retook Sinjar, they would not allow the Arabs back. And so it has been done as they said they would. Debs might like Kurds, but they're actually as nasty militaristic shits as anyone else. Expansion by military use of force is definitely in the plans, never mind what the UN says about the illegitimacy of acquisition of territory by force. In fact, I suspect Kurds haven't heard of all these curious rules of international law, and their advisors the Israelis are hardly going to tell them, as Israel is evidently advising them to do precisely as Israel itself did back in the day. After all, how are all those shiny new oil-fields the Kurds keep telling us about to be acquired other than by taking by force the land they are under?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 3 2017 6:09 utc | 123

@ Laguerre | Jun 3, 2017 2:09:52 AM | 123

Was there not something of the same with the Kurds, way back when, in Kirkuk (and the oil fields laying about) just after Saddam H. was deposed? Kurds seem to use Zionist Thug tactics when it suits; could it be something in their water?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 3 2017 6:57 utc | 124

Does anyone here forget that the kurds were chased from these vill ages by saddam during his arabization policy?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 3 2017 8:21 utc | 125

@ #123 124
Aside from the obvious "if its on the BBC it must be true" thing, if such a decision has been made who is to say it was the kurds who made that call or instructions from amerika.

There is no doubt that Kurds are reluctant to cede control over areas in and around Kirkuk to Turkey and the englanders have been stirring that pot by trying to force Kurds to allow the settlement of Turkmen (many of whom fought in Turkey's proxy militia) in the area.
The kurds have been forced into bad choices because assholes like erdogan have pulled some of the meanest most corrupt stunts about, to deny Kurds any base.
Their choice to take advice from zionists is an example of what happens when injustice piles upon injustice. It could have been prevented if kurds hadn't been stood over by anyone & everyone for the last few centuries.
This is not a comparable situation to Palestine where indigenous people are being butchered, raped and stolen from by gangs of thugs from amerika & europe.
Kurds, just like many of the other cultures around Persia/Syria/Mesopotamia have been living in the same place for at least 1000 years.
Just like everyone else, much of their traditional lands were blockaded following Genghis Khan's occupation of Persia.
Since the 10th century or so all the ME people particularly nomadic ones, have had to exist with more people on ever shrinking available lands - there have been many conflicts and it makes no sense to try to blacken one group/ sanctify another when all are absorbed with existential problems.

Equally a couple of lines overheard from a bbc propaganda piece leaves out details whether those denied access to liberated areas have been vetted for ISIS connections.

It is easy to throw muck about especially in a nation such as Iraq which has a diverse range of people and cultures entangled in all sorts of complex alliances.
If the kurds had bent over and taken it from turkey, isis, amerika, iraqi shi'ites and iraqi sunnis, plus israel, they wouldn't exist any longer, but they would be ideologically pure.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 3 2017 8:36 utc | 126

Those wondering about the shift in the graun's indeed the bbc and to a lesser extent the entire englander media attitude towards Mr Corbyn should be aware that the laws about political reporting in england change during an election campaign.
Big media outlets such as TV News the fishwraps etc, are meant to provide balanced coverage during a campaign - equal time, right of reply, properly attributed opinions eg no more "anonymous Labour sources claimed" etc.

I would guess that is why May insisted upon a curtailed campaign of only 6 weeks. Ten weeks of the truth would have buggered her for sure - 6 is running it close.

There are traps still though, and Corbyn winning while his parliamentary party is still overflowing with members of "The Oxbridge Parachutist Club" complete with the manual "how to get ahead as a neolib", is the biggest trap of the lot.
As cheering as a Corbyn victory would be for us all, it is worth noting that most of the pricks who tried to unseat Mr Corbyn in that coup last year remain as do the low lifes who were eager to take a million quid from zionists (as exposed by al Jazeera - I generally dislike AJ news but that was the scoop of the year).

The labour party membership have the right to select the Party Leader but only MPs may vote for the Prime Minister.
Now I doubt that OPC membership will try to roll Mr Corbyn immediately, but it doesn't take much imagination to envisage the horror story that could unfold if they continuously leak, white ant and lie to their mates at the graun, Telegraph and BBC, and then roll him as PM.

I dunno what Messrs Corbyn and Milne (Seamus Milne, Mr Corbyn's strategist) want, but a stronger more lasting shift to humanism may be obtained if May wins with a much decreased number of seats, it become more chaotic as she fails to control the 'Wets' Vs the 'Drys' and has to call another election in a couple of years - by which time Mr Corbyn has purged the neolibs, blairites and assorted tory-lites.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 3 2017 9:46 utc | 127

Trump And The Bubbles From A Sunken (Old) World


Of course, the Americans are bastards for encouraging the Eurodummies in their delusional dreams, but now that the deed is done, the Americans are doing the rational and pragmatic thing: they are letting the Eurodummies deal with their own mistakes. This is best shown by Trump’s new policy about the Ukraine: he simply does not care.

the saker despises europe, and gives himself license to make ridiculous distortions like the above in his orgy of contempt.

yeah, the american regime is walking away from the ukraine, but the ukraine was not europe's mistake, it was the us neocons' mistake - just as everything else that's gone wrong in the world during the last decade and a half is the us' mistake.

it's true that they bought the eu, and its true that the europeans let 'em do it, but the bad actor - the drive wheel on the evil locomotive - is the usofa, and the europeans are just their spineless sychophants. incapable of any actions themselves.

they're not, of course, incapable. maybe we'll see a hard-core, authoritarian european 'renaissance' to balance the us' own, but over the past decade and a half and more, the europeans have been sleepwalking behind the usofa ... and all those highly paid sleepwalkers are still in place, deadmen and women still walking to the us' metronome.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 3 2017 12:34 utc | 128

yes, imperialism, old boss the same as the new boss, etc.

However. This is Trump’s isolationist go-it-alone stance coming out in the light of day - more toughness, less pretense, etc. (..yet.. Israel ..)

I can’t quite decide if this all is just minor public about-face based on Trump’s (Brennan, others…) world-view, which clearly rests on a ‘business’ type model, where deals are deals and trade = trade and advantages aren’t handed out lightly, fools and wimps are thrown off the table, and where long term calculations don’t apply.

Or if it represents a stage in decline, deliquescence. The US has been, since roughly 1985 (well other dates would do, it depends what aspect..) declining in economic power, manufacturing and exports, > GDP per capita; prestige, influence, and foreign involvement which has positive outcome(s) garnering admiration; cultural and scientific advances and influence (music, patents, great discoveries, etc. etc.) perhaps compensated for by IT in part. It has conserved or augmented its military power but it is not clear what purpose it serves (I mean for the US long term, for US citizens, etc.)…Its financial sector has grown, again: ?? A re-trenchment, a re-focus, and ‘new’, ‘better’ allies, to do deals, makes sense in this situation, and that was what Trump was proposing, but did not manage to implement (for whatever reason-s.)

Maybe both at once..

Trump withdrawing from the Paris ‘climate’ accords is of the same stripe. These were total BS to being with, what is the point of pretending rubbish? Better to have free hands and concentrate on an area where the US still has some ‘strength’ - fossil fuel energy (fracking, domination of KSA, Big Oil, etc.)

Imho, Trump and his ‘gvmt’ / ‘advisors’ etc. don’t have any clear plan at all, that is why it is so hard to make out.

I love the newfound imperialist frankness Quadriad at 28. Yup.


Posted by: Noirette | Jun 3 2017 13:47 utc | 129

@129, noirette, 'Imho, Trump and his ‘gvmt’ / ‘advisors’ etc. don’t have any clear plan at all, that is why it is so hard to make out. '

agree there. they are true reactionaries, surfing the waves ... and operating the wave machine 'behind' the scenes. ha ha. though even the blind must see what they're doing.

just as 'the economy' is in the hands of the meta-capitalists, the financiers, and the real economy is now offshore, so too 'politics' is in the hands of the meta-politicians, the performers, and real politics is ... nowhere. completely ignored.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 3 2017 14:31 utc | 130

I dunno what Messrs Corbyn and Milne (Seamus Milne, Mr Corbyn's strategist) want, but a stronger more lasting shift to humanism may be obtained if May wins with a much decreased number of seats, it become more chaotic as she fails to control the 'Wets' Vs the 'Drys' and has to call another election in a couple of years - by which time Mr Corbyn has purged the neolibs, blairites and assorted tory-lites.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jun 3, 2017 5:46:28 AM | 127

My feeling is different. In American context I call it "battles for Mainstream Heights". The way the Establishment propagandizes and conceptualizes, political memes are classified as "mainstream" and "fringe", each with shiboleths. One weird shiboleth in UK is Trident: it is a mainstream conviction that Britania shall rule the waves, and Tridents are indispensible for that purpose. While Corbyn did not recant, abjure etc. his Trident hostility, he graciously let the Labour Manifesto be Trident friendly, which in part explains the title "What is the largest threat: ISIS or Putin" (I mean, why Corbyn was not considered?).

Now the question is: are anti-Corbynists in Labour a "mainstream" or an "myopic elitists group"? The top-most element of hostility to Corbyn is that he is unelectable, in major part because of his fringe ideas. But that argument collapses when the "unelectable one" is elected. It does not mean that his "third way" opponents will vanish, but the morale in their ranks will be dented, and the morale in progressive ranks will improve.

Mind you, for Cornyn to be elected, it is necessary that the voting participation among the supportive young people will increase. Enthusiastic young crowd means active alternative media etc. etc.

Your reasoning is probably based on historical precedences like the collapse of elites in the aftermath of WWI, but Tories can avoid that.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 3 2017 14:48 utc | 131

re 125

Does anyone here forget that the kurds were chased from these vill ages by saddam during his arabization policy?
Not those villages, Mina. The Kurds got everything back in 2003 when a pro-Kurdish regime came in, i.e. American. Now it's expansion. They just didn't dare claim for themselves places like Telafar, although they occupied it for a long time.

re 126

if such a decision has been made who is to say it was the kurds who made that call or instructions from amerika.
You didn't keep up with the news, Debs. This started in August 2014, when the Peshmerga fled from Sinjar, and the Americans were not yet on the scene. The reports of that traumatic time were very vivid. Noble Kurds swore noble oaths that they would ethnically cleanse the territory of Arabs, if they ever got Sinjar back. Which they then did precisely as they said they would. I'm surprised you support such nasty people, Debs. And that's ignoring the obvious fact that the whole event would never have happened, had the Peshmerga not run away and abandoned their kin the Yazidis. The Yazidis have repeatedly said that was what happened, but of course it doesn't get into the MSM, which carry on with their narrative of the Noble Kurd. I thought you were more perceptive than that, Debs.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 3 2017 15:20 utc | 133

Actually the Kurds (KRG) are quite like the Serbs, always ready to carry out any massacre, ethnic cleansing or genocide in their national interest. They don't even hesitate for a moment. A real man doesn't hesitate, does he? And the Kurds see themselves as real men. If they didn't have an effective American/Israeli PR operation, they would be in serious trouble.

This doesn't apply to the Syrian Kurds, by the way. I much admired the way in Aug 2014, they crossed the border and went up the mountain to rescue the Yazidis from Da'ish (not of course 100% successfully, but still a lot). They've had much more good sense than the KRG lot. As we've discussed with Paveway, they've been wise enough not to throw in their lot 100% with the US.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 3 2017 15:44 utc | 134

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