Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 08, 2019

Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied

It will fun to watch this developing:

Trump Seeks Huge Premium From Allies Hosting U.S. Troops

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them, according to a dozen administration officials and people briefed on the matter.
...
Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the U.S. demands overseas.

As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the U.S.

The extortion scheme Trump wants to use against 'allies' is a perfect own goal.

The German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel is already accused of being too deep inside the U.S. rear.

Her party supported the war on Iraq and now joined the illegal regime change attempt in Venezuela. The public is way less pro-American than German politicians. It will be quite difficult for Merkel and others to justify additional billions for U.S. troops in Germany. They are neither needed nor wanted. (The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany is to prevent them from moving to Poland from where they could threaten the country.)

The situation in Japan is similar. The government of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe supports hawkish U.S. policies but is also under attack over a new U.S. base on Okinawa. It will have problems to justify spending for the privilege of keeping the country under U.S. occupation.

Trump's extortion racket will make it more difficult for Merkel and Abe to ally with the U.S. on other issues.

That is a sound reason to welcome it.

Posted by b on March 8, 2019 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Isn't it funny how the media has tried to push the line that Trump is anti-NATO when he has forced, or attempted to force, all members of the militarist-corporate weapons cartel to pay twice as much on arms, has ordered Germany and Poland to import huge quantities of the environmentally cataclysmic US fracking gas, and has pushed a trade deal with GMO/ISDS/Regulations written by multinational corporations upon Europe under threat of tariffs that would surely sink the EU into recession at this point? It's almost as if he's just intensifying the Marshall Plan "Model Germany" then Model Europe (the EU) structure proposed at the end of the Second World War by bankers and others. If I were him I'd be mad that I wasn't getting the credit I deserve from the deep state folk.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Mar 9, 2019 2:30:50 AM | 101

That brings me to another important point- Trump's seen as an isolationist and his "America First" opposition to multilateralism outside of NATO is seen as a major shift from old US Liberal Order policies. In reality, though, any European with a slightly longer memory than Ms. Merkel and Mr. Macron will recall how George W. Bush and his neoconservative cabal did the same thing - "go it alone." The only difference is now that the media has created an image of Trump as "not really American" or apart from the norm. This, important, necessary popular anti-Americanism has been diluted compared to the 03-06 high point. Public pseudo intellectuals of the Atlanticist breed are playing a major role in these efforts - we need to keep our eye on the long term which is that the US has always sought to dominate Europe and make it into a dumping harbour for consumer trash, junk culture, and poisons of various types (just check out PFAS contaminates)

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Mar 9, 2019 2:36:33 AM | 102

Partisangirl

#MeghanMcCain basically said “I may not be Jewish, but I’m more Jewish than the Jews, more Zionists than any Zionists.”

https://twitter.com/Partisangirl/status/1103999397833003009

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 2:41:53 AM | 103

Trump to the vassals "You have a nice country there, wouldn't like anything to happen to it, know what I mean Gov'nor" Also remember the Fulda Gap.
Juliania@83 Mars is not a danger, Mongo is, Flash Gordon[Buster Crabbe] fought Ming the Merciless there. The US are threatening too many Nations with sanctions etc, the problem is the US loses credibility if only one vassal refuses the shakedown, Germany with Nord stream 2 and rejection of the F35's plus refusing to pay the astronomical 2% of GDP on NATO defence. Then Turkey opting for S400 over the Patriot and F35 fighter[its a done deal]. If the Don [excuse the pun] does not follow through with his threats, its all over for the US

Posted by: Harry Law | Mar 9, 2019 5:10:22 AM | 105

since taking office Trump has increased military spending by tens, or make that hundreds of billions. oh my, why here's a headline from just this morning…

Trump Budget Would Slash Domestic Spending, Boost Military Spending

when the troops start coming home it'll be by necessity, not by decree from a mere president.

Posted by: john | Mar 9, 2019 5:42:41 AM | 106

Simply unbelievable.

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" would seem to have been written with Trump in mind.

Extortion racket indeed.

And it will provide the ultimate test of servility like Abe's.

It will indeed be fun to watch this develop.

I love the picture of the German papier mache protest sculpture. They are very good with those things.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Mar 9, 2019 6:12:22 AM | 107

@Jiri:

"With the Soviets out of Germany it is only appropriate that the other three move out too."

With the Soviets out of Germany there's motivation for the Russians, and several other countries like Poland, Holland, and France, to want the US troops to remain in Germany. This is still true today in 2019.

However, Russia doesn't want US troops based on its border--the idiotic policy pursued by Obama and now Trump. Hint it's the "in Germany" part that motives Russia, France, Norway, etc.

Posted by: Jay | Mar 9, 2019 7:04:10 AM | 108

Zanon @ 23 asks:

Is there any party in Germany being against US forces in Germany? Or if not being against, atleast questioning this issue

i posted this some months ago...i guess you missed it.

Posted by: john | Mar 9, 2019 7:04:21 AM | 109

The US troops have been occupying Germany since the end of WWII. It is laughable that that asshole Trump and the pentagon swine actually have the gall to demand payment for occupation. If there are any signs of intelligent life in Germany, they should tell the Americans to get the fuck out, and good riddance. I've heard countless stories of problems with the white trash enlistees at US army bases in DE. "Now you want to be paid to militarily occupy our country!? Really!? GET THE FUCK OUT, AND GOOD RIDDANCE.

Posted by: Deschutes | Mar 9, 2019 7:27:34 AM | 110

slightly off topic, but there's no open thread this week, but the Russian foreign ministry reporting that a US Embassy employee was caught in Moscow trying to smuggle a mortar shell through the airport to London, what on earth could that employee been trying to do, trial run for a smuggling operation / false flag or a US sponsored attack on an airline?

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 9, 2019 8:13:54 AM | 111

@Jiri:

"With the Soviets out of Germany it is only appropriate that the other three move out too."

Except even in 2019, the Poles, Russians, French, Dutch, Norwegians, etc see good cause for the USA to have troops in Germany.

True, Russia doesn't want US troops on its border with Poland.

Posted by: Jay | Mar 9, 2019 8:16:21 AM | 112

Excerpt from The Straight Times:

GOOD BEHAVIOUR DISCOUNT
Current and former administration officials briefed on the idea, who asked not to be identified discussing the program, describe it as far more advanced than is publicly known. As well as seeking more money, the administration wants to use it as a way to exert leverage on countries to do what the US demands overseas.

As evidence, they say officials at the Pentagon have been asked to calculate two formulas: One would determine how much money countries such as Germany ought to be asked to pay. The second would determine the discount those countries would get if their policies align closely with the US.

Germany now pays about 28 per cent of the costs of US forces based there, or US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) a year, according to David Ochmanek, a researcher at the Rand Corp. Under "Cost Plus 50," its payments would skyrocket, as would those of Japan and South Korea.

======
Further in the article: in October Koreans were pressed to pay with this formula, the outcome was that they agreed to pay "a bit more" and shortened the renewed agreement from 5 years to one.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9, 2019 8:16:36 AM | 113

"Trump Asks Germany, Japan To Pay For Being Occupied
--------------------

That's right. The USA are occupied by Jews. Germany, Japan and many other countries are occcupied by the USA. Allegedly by the United States...

This is Jewish chutzpa. It is really so American. Can someone dispute this statement?"

And screen name John Smith just went off.

Posted by: Jay | Mar 9, 2019 8:18:58 AM | 114

Posted by: Jay | Mar 9, 2019 8:18:58 AM | 114

And screen name John Smith just went off.
-----------------

Is this the only argument in a dispute or something else?

Other people did not pay attention to the post, but you did not. What exactly aroused you in it?

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 8:47:46 AM | 115

Under White House direction, the administration is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan and eventually any other country hosting U.S. troops pay the full price of American soldiers deployed on their soil -- plus 50 percent or more for the privilege of hosting them...
----------------

For the privilege of being vassal states with no sovereignty?

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 9:04:23 AM | 116

John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 8:47:46 AM | 115

May be I am wrong.But „Jew“ labels members of a religion. But apparently you mean American citizens that support AIPAC. Didn't you notice this?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9, 2019 9:06:25 AM | 117

Moreover, Japan should compensate the US their two nukes' cost.

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 9:13:18 AM | 118

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 9, 2019 9:06:25 AM | 117

But „Jew“ labels members of a religion.
----------------

Really? In your opinion, only all Jews are supporters of Judaism?

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 9:22:25 AM | 119

The only sound reason to keep the 30,000 U.S. troops in Germany ...

The "official" figure is 35,000-plus. In reality, there are more.

In addition, we have at least 5,000 British soldiers that would certainly follow US orders should it ever come to that.

Posted by: mh505 | Mar 9, 2019 9:26:30 AM | 120

"..Other people did not pay attention to the post, but you did not. What exactly aroused you in it?" John Smith
What aroused me was the racist idiocy behind it. The USA is not 'occupied by Jews" It is dominated by a ruling class with roots in colonialism. It is very happy to support zionists who are engaged in precisely the same sort of genocidal racist land piracy which they built their power upon. They are equally pleased to see the segregationist racial policies that they introduced, particularly in the South, being honoured by imitation. Finally they are happy to employ Israel as an unsinkable aircraft carrier, a handy base from which to rule over a strategically crucial junction of three continents.
If you think that the US ruling class is dominated by "Jews" you ought to visit a few of the ruling class's cultural strongholds- from most of them Jews are either banned or restricted into quota measured corners.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 9, 2019 9:31:21 AM | 121

Here's Eric Zuesse's report on the barefaced robbery of Syria's gold.
https://countercurrents.org/2019/03/09/syria-accuses-u-s-stole-40-tons-of-its-gold/

Posted by: bevin | Mar 9, 2019 10:03:53 AM | 122

Good news basically. Trump is sticking to his promise to get the EU-peons to pay for their own defense (defense re. what left out) and cancel NATO (a great idea), — have the US withdraw from it as Trump has threatened, which would effectively kill it.

At first, it was just that the EU-ers had to up their military budgets by 2% and immediately buy US military matériel, plus refuse NordStream 2, and more..

A faint, disguised and late riposte or reaction from Macron _ Merkel was forthcoming, a “sort of” (the text is vague) mutual defense alliance between F and D, enshrined in the (new) Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, possibly has more to do with EU politics (its potential break-up, the core getting ready to blast the periphery, other matters ..) than Trump.

Now Trump ups the ante, as the previous moves fell flat.

As an isolationist nationalist, he is doing fine, charging Nations to be occupied will not go down well, and cause them to split, or at least crack a tiny bit, away.

The EU has schizo-like, and hypocritically, denounced Trump, bashed him (MSM, as a pussy-hater, racist, etc.), allying with the Dem. Camp which they see as powerful because Obama was so supremely succesful and murderous. While simultaneously doing nothing! to escape US hegemony.

Imho, about 6 mos. ago, the EU Commission and Top Dogs simply decided to wait out the Trump presidency in view of a ‘New’ Dem Prez, and not make waves.

text (F) treaty link

https://de.ambafrance.org/Texte-du-Traite-d-Aix-La-Chapelle

F promises somehow to get D on the Security Council to ‘share’ the F veto.

Les deux États s’engagent à poursuivre leurs efforts pour mener à terme des négociations intergouvernementales concernant la réforme du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies. L’admission de la République fédérale d’Allemagne en tant que membre permanent du Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies est une priorité de la diplomatie franco-allemande.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 9, 2019 10:22:37 AM | 123

Reverse psychology. Not what a person says, nor what he does, but what the end result is.

Posted by: Ralph | Mar 9, 2019 10:26:19 AM | 124

I wonder why folks think Trump knows anything about the US's foreign policy or geopolitics in general. I daresay most of the posters on this board have much clearer and learned thoughts on the subject than he does.
A rich kid with a ginormous ego who already knows everything one needs to know after a schooling at MSM of America.

Posted by: arby | Mar 9, 2019 10:36:18 AM | 125

Re: 121 Bevin, Further to what Bevin said what I've noticed is that when people talked about Jewish or Muslim or Catholic or Masonic ruling conspiracies, they never seem to understand how political elites exist within societies. Namely, political elites in one country are fundamentally more similar to political elites in another country than they are to plebeian or proletariat masses. Think of it like this, as a commoner in any society your primary everyday concern is finding work, keeping a roof over your head, feeding your family, not getting sick or losing your job and ideally saving something for the future in the hope you don't have to work till the day you die.

Since political authority in virtually all countries is closing linked to personal wealth, what are the concerns of people with vast wealth? They don't worry every day about getting food (they worry about gluten free bread), they don't worry about having a roof over their heads (they often own several homes, they can own whole islands, I remember John Mccain when asked by a reporter couldn't even remember how many homes he owned - I bet the average commoner knows exactly how many homes they owned). Bereft of the concerns facing the average citizen within their societies, the political and economic elite have their concerns and interests which are primarily focused on 1) the expansion of their political/economic power 2) the use of their economic power in elite activities (thereby affirming their "eliteness"). Notice how Russian, UK, Saudi and US elites all share a love of buying sports teams, but not necessary sports teams within their own countries, rather they travel back and forth buying and trading many different teams through the world. Likewise, there are a subset of restaurants and hotels that explicitly target the crem dela crem of the political & economic elites, where various elites from different countries can mingle and form connections. US foreign policy itself can be described as "Elite Capture", wherein the US government (i.e. the US political/economic elite) convince, i.e. "bribe" the elite of the target nation to adopted US elite interest policies over the interest of their own average citizens (cases in point; the US arm twisting of Germany and their attempted coup vs Venezuela). In this way you can talk of a transnational elite consensus that the US elite are trying to create (which would nominally be based in the US, or more accurately be based in certain major cities, the most important of which would be in the US, i.e. New York, Washington)

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 9, 2019 10:37:20 AM | 126

@125 Unfortunately most of the posters here are not welcome in the Oval Office. They/we do not 'get with the program'. Some may even have 'bad attitudes'.

Posted by: dh | Mar 9, 2019 10:54:41 AM | 127

Pft,
My thought is that government debt is necessary to absorb much of the private capital and give it a public guarantee. So the military needs to spend that money, in order to keep it circulating. That that is the elephant in the room, of capitalism.

Posted by: John Merryman. | Mar 9, 2019 11:12:50 AM | 128

Actually, some citizens of the Russian Federation own clubs in their own country:

Suleyman Kerimov
Owns: Anzhi Makhachkala, a Russian football club

Net worth:$5.5 billion

Kerimov, an investor and politician, recently picked up the Dagestan-based football team and has prepared to spend millions on new players to improve the club's standings.

It kind of points to the fact that elites have "sub-elites" where would be peers engage in upmanship, perhaps Kerimov impresses fellow potentates in his region. Jewish potentates collect Israeli politicians for similar reasons. Netanyahu is Adelson's tchotchke, but there is still fierce competition to be number 2 etc. Sorely outclassed, they may collect American senators, e.g. Norman Braman can display Marco Rubio on his mantelpiece, "an American billionaire car dealer, art collector, and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.", will he put Rubio for sale at a charitable auction one day?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9, 2019 11:29:15 AM | 129

About American twisting hands of Germans to get support on Venezuela, I do not see much evidence. I stumbled upon a leftist complaint that one Linke representative was joined with 20 co-culprits in displaying placards against sanctions and interventions concerning Venezuela, only to be condemned by a chorus of appalled big wigs of his party.

Joining liberal causes (I mean, actual liberalism, not what one could postulate about it) is a badge of "responsible politicians", and being as pro-American as possible is another badge. Linke has a misfortune of catering to some unwashed rabble, so they had to throw them some stale pieces of meat, like opposition to NATO, but a humanitarian intervention, IF DONE PROPERLY, cannot be rejected out of hand, that would make the irresponsible fringe elements.

Social Democrats were so responsible as politicians that they nearly responsibilitated themselves to extinction, nevertheless they remain important role models for they wannabe successors.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9, 2019 11:46:00 AM | 130

Sorry, I was so short of charitable spirit toward Germans that my spelling/grammar deteriorated. Sometimes I wish for the return of old days when Germans were led by Austrians.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9, 2019 11:48:11 AM | 131

Posted by Deltaeus @49: "If I was a president who could not step too far out of line due to powerful forces all around me, I would take the ideas of neocons et al and push them even further over the line past reasonable."

To the degree that I can assemble a plausible theory to keep Trump on the "right side" of his electioneering rhetoric, this line, and the subsequent details in your post, reflects my own thinking. It is a judo-like approach (and very Putinesque) to use your enemies' power against them.

Assuming for a moment it is true (and not an all-powerful psy-op designed to enthrall the helpless and quivering masses; or stark evidence of Trump's utter greed, incompetence and stupidity) it carries significant risks. Among them is the risk that it will expose how craven the leadership of the vassals actually are if they actually accede to such overtly outrageous and imperious demands. Another is that it will provoke an excessive "pre-emptive" response from the adversaries it has backed into a corner. That hasn't happened yet, thankfully.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Mar 9, 2019 11:49:17 AM | 132

Sorry again, I meant "Bella gerant alii, tu FELIX Austria nube", which seems the current policy, and not some UNHAPPY migrants from Austria to Germany.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 9, 2019 11:50:14 AM | 133

b referred to my first take of the theory that Trump is purposefully getting others to cut US foreign entanglements. https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/01/trump-offloads-foreign-policy-problems-lets-eu-grow-a-spine.html

And ya gotta admit that this idea is stunningly brilliant!


Here is my latest look at my theory a year later -- I completed it before this latest move.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/09/trump-and-gordian-knot-year-two.html

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Mar 9, 2019 11:54:55 AM | 134

BUsh snr...
'Jp is an ATM that requires no pin number'

hehehheh

Posted by: denk | Mar 9, 2019 12:00:42 PM | 135

Posted by: Jay | Mar 9, 2019 8:18:58 AM | 114

Posted by: bevin | Mar 9, 2019 9:31:21 AM | 121
---------------

Are you Jay or bevin?

Jay, bevin or whatever you like, pull yourself together and do not sprinkle saliva on the display screen. Better tell us all about racism, as ideology, in Israel. Since this topic is very close to you.

Posted by: John Smith | Mar 9, 2019 12:06:21 PM | 136

the "allies" have NO choice! They MUST pay the protection money. That is the WHOLE reason for the US wanting to openly create a market in low-yield "containable" nukes. This is peak power. Peak-Power power play on behalf of hte US. It can only go downwards from this zenith of evil behavior.

Posted by: kiers | Mar 9, 2019 12:15:24 PM | 137

@133 patrick armstrong..thanks for sharing your perspective..a quote near the end of your article: "My question remains: we see the alienation but is it deliberately-caused or is it not? Is Trump behaving in a boorishly unilateral way to force his allies to break the imperial connection, or is it just the habitual "America First" style now crudely stripped of the earlier politesse?" it's a good question.. in terms of crude behaviour - trump gets an A+... on the other hand, i don't discount his intelligence.. however, i think he is much too self centered to have the interests of the usa at the top of his priority list.. i think he is leading a country that is finding it harder to hide and he is not one to hide any of his thoughts about american exceptionalism.. that's my take...

@135 john smith.. are you john smith or craig summers by chance?

Posted by: james | Mar 9, 2019 12:29:00 PM | 138

The European people should support Trump in his desire to eliminate NATO. Of course the Deep State in both Europe and the US will fight it tooth and nail. Maybe the #GiletsJaunes who have been erased from western media will finally topple the Party of Davos candidate Macron. And similar populist movements in other European countries can topple other Deep State stooges from western Europe. Merkel is already on her way out as the CDU/CSU combine and the Social Democrats implode in Germany. Posted by: ab initio | Mar 8, 2019 11:49:49 AM | 6

The big question your post raises is: who should the Americans support? and what means should Americans employ to make clear who it is Americans support during this transformation by Trump of who pays policies? Americans, I have talked to, are sick and tired of the elected people abusing the Armed rule-making (nation state) structure (ARMS) called the USA to advance private or not in the interest of the American governed. Governed Americans seem very unhappy about foreign interest controlling the USA(an ARMS) and about foreign, or special American interest being allowed to use the USA to pursue profits from Foreign Interest. Taxes are extortion of sort. But when the elected impose taxes on the governed poor and direct the proceeds to support the rich, or foreign nations or to profit from a private foreign interest they express an abuse of power.

No longer should Americans be required to foot the bill for 550+ USA military bases located in ARMS controlled by foreign interest. It takes hundreds of.. trillions of America tax dollars to keep military bases armed and manned. Where did you say yellow Jacket's could be purchased? I see a world wide transition in power taking place.. its a transition that is just now hearing the rumbles of the crowds, but the people controlled by the few who use ARMS to abuse the governed have been exposed..

News is useless when it fails to provide sufficient details needed to act on the news.. Identifying who is the person or corporation will help the masses to learn the viscous disregard used by those who abuse their powers to run these ARMS. Details how those in charge are using the ARMS to abuse their governed are essential.. News articles should not say the Russians did it, instead they should say The Hell with you Corporation, inc., a Russian Corporation owned by the XYZ mafia, obtained a grant from private interest(name them) based in the NBC land (an ARMS) blew up the damn or whatever in Libya <=for example. Might not have been Russia at all? Russian law and Russian people would be angry about it if they could only know about it. History has kept the governed in the dark by covering up the details in news since the professional schools of Journalism were instituted. Cover up is necessary to make propaganda work. That's why I like MOA it tries to expose the facts.

Posted by: snake | Mar 9, 2019 12:54:36 PM | 139


It took a Somali woman to say what has been needed to be said for a hundred years, and of course she was met with brainless innuendos that insisted how could anyone say that the Jews who furnish all those wonderful campaign funds be anything but wonderful patriotic individuals.

No white man has had the balls to say what has been needed to be said on the floor of Congress for an entire century.

I would advise all Americans to join with Rep. Ilhan Omar in asking the question of every elected official: How much does Jewish money affect what every American politician does and says?

And how much do Americans suffer for it?

Posted by: anon3245 | Mar 9, 2019 1:37:27 PM | 140


President Kushner

Two years into his administration and President Kushner is once again in the news, a little.

Trump Demands WH to Grant Kushner Top Security Clearance Amid US Intel Concerns:

"Trump ordered his chief of staff at the time John Kelly to grant Kushner security clearance despite warnings from intelligence officials and White House lawyers, the New York Times reported on Thursday."

According to NBC News, two White House security specialists rejected last month Kushner’s application for a top-secret clearance after a FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him, but they were overruled by their supervisor, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

No One Has More Influence on Trump Than Jared Kushner, Ex-NJ Governor Claims:

During an extensive interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Chris Christie, who wrote a memoir entitled “Let Me Finish: Trump, the Kushners, Bannon, New Jersey, and the Power of In-Your-Face Politics”, weighed in on reports that Ivanka Trump’s beloved husband Jared Kushner is de facto operating as White House chief of staff.

“I don’t know if it’s true. But let me say this: There is simply no one more influential in the White House on the president than Jared Kushner. He’s not the only person who he listens to, but I don’t think anyone as more influence than Jared has”, he said.

Kushner is the embodiment of foreign influence in the White House. Negative influence, driving an agenda completely divorced from what Trump told his thirsty supporters they’d be getting.

It’s a big, controversial story, and understandably it is taking time for the (((media))) to settle on a way to (((explain))) it. So far they’ve mostly just ignored Kushner, compensating by loudly and quite consciously shifting attention and blame to Russia instead.

Likewise, and for the same reason, they’ve been screeching continuously about WHITE supremacism and WHITE nationalism, as the Israel-first governments across the West are literally making it illegal to oppose them

Posted by: anon3245 | Mar 9, 2019 1:45:44 PM | 141

John Merryman@130

“My thought is that government debt is necessary to absorb much of the private capital and give it a public guarantee. So the military needs to spend that money, in order to keep it circulating. That that is the elephant in the room, of capitalism.”

Government debt actually multiplied private capital. Each dollar of government debt allows banks in the Fed System to create 100 dollars in money via loans made to cspitslists/individuals

Money can be kept circulating via non-military means as well such as for universal healthcare and guranteed income. The savings from health costs and added cash gets spent by consumers into the economy, which is good for productive business. Of course, consumers going into debt to spend is better for the extractive financial class until they default, and then government prints the money to bail them out.

I think military spending is primarily to support imperialist corporate agendas as well as to justify austerity measures on the population for neomalthusian purposes. Financial stress and lack of access to health keep the lower classes of people from living too long .

Posted by: Pft | Mar 9, 2019 5:00:52 PM | 142

.. .. We see the alienation but is it deliberately-caused or is it not? Is Trump behaving in a boorishly unilateral way to force his allies to break the imperial connection, or is it just the habitual "America First" style now crudely stripped of the earlier politesse?

patrick 136, see also Deltaeus, Activist Potato, james.

Imho, the two are not necessarily contradictory, if one views it in business terms. The USA defense outposts - bases - cost a bomb (sic) and don’t provide any ‘return’ that Trump can see and measure in dollars - all that is accomplished is pouring money into ‘foreign’ local economies, ex. US spending in Italy. (The highest concentration of US bases in the EU, according to some measures.)

It follows that no benefits or ‘profits’ (some form of scraped up value..) accrue to the US, therefore it is up to the host countries to pay for this activity. If they refuse, well and good, the arrangement then ends via unilateral or bilateral cancellation, fine as nothing has been signed, and in any case it is USA-maga that decides.

about Italy, e.g.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201609091045147056-us-bases-italy/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/03/us-military-base-expansion-italy

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 10, 2019 8:57:34 AM | 143

I spent parts of two decades in Korea. The troops are not welcome. It was a tragedy that beautiful JeJe CheJu Island had to be sacrificed.

Posted by: steve | Mar 10, 2019 9:10:31 AM | 144

Tenuously related to US Occupation...

South Front, March 10, is reporting that Syria is on the cusp of issuing an ultimatum to "Israel."
"Get out of Golan, or else."

It makes a whole lot of sense in an oblique way. Syria's already wrecked and AmeriKKKa has promised to thwart any attempts attempts at rebuilding Syria. So now is the perfect time to start reducing "Israel's" pristine cities and infrastructure to rubble.
Iran, apparently, is keen to help.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 10, 2019 11:14:46 AM | 145

Karlof1 @ 15

What does this even mean?

And of course, the extortion must be paid in US Dollars. Clearly, the threat is all about keeping Dollar Hegemony alive by reducing the massive trade deficit.

Your thinking here is too simplistic/dualistic...sort of cowboys vs indians, good guys vs bad guys. Did you attend a lot of Saturday matinees when you were a kid? Lol. So did I. Always rooted for the Native American team too...hated John Wayne's fat guts.

The massive US trade deficit is in fact a result of "Dollar Hegemony". "Dollar Hegemony," which I think in your formulation means "world reserve currency" is actually akin to determinism within a floating currency system. That is, so long as the global elites believe their cash reserves to be safer in USD than RMB the dollar will remain hegemonic.

The Chinese continually support a strong USD so the US consumer market retains the ability to buy more Chinese-produced stuff. This relationship is symbiotic.

In fact, it is in the best financial interest of both the EU and China for the dollar to remain strong relative to the Euro and the RMB. This extends Europe's and China's further ability to sell goods to the US. This is also the flaw in Trump's "thinking" vis a vis his ill-advised tariff war with China (of course he will soon declare "victory" and end the war as we all know because even he is not that stupid). Tariffs serve to strengthen the dollar which in turn has increased the trade deficit, exactly the opposite of the Orange Moron's intentions.

The maintenance of the House of Cards that is US consumer debt is required by exporting nations to continually feed the insatiable US materialism. When the House of Cards implodes once and for all only then will the USD no longer be hegemonic.

However, this implosion will also have severely deleterious affects on the exporting nations' economies. And the US may well rebound in short order and become an exporting nation when the RMB or the Euro become hegemonic.

Today, China is just as invested in "Dollar Hegemony" as the Evil Empire. In fact, I consider China the "Outlaw Evil Empire 1-B" at this stage in its economic development. Perhaps I am at fault in my thinking here because I fail to invest global capitalism with any [make-believe] sheen of a nationalistic morality.

Capitalism is evil. In all its national currency manifestations.

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 10, 2019 11:34:43 AM | 146

81

thanks for the link to Michael Hudson.

Posted by: Phil | Mar 10, 2019 5:33:56 PM | 147

If the EU wants an army, give them NATO and walk away.
End the subsidies we have always provided to NATO and make them responsible for the outcome of provocations that they produce and we can simply benefit from selling them weapons and equipment at a profit supported by their economies instead of ours.

Posted by: Vonu | Mar 10, 2019 5:53:12 PM | 148

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