Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 20, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-60

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Clinton's wacky claims came after the NYT published a smear piece about Gabbard: What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To? Both seem to be part of concerted effort.

The predicted Streisand effect:

Mike Cernovich @Cernovich - 4:12 UTC · Oct 19, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard has gained more than 40,000 Twitter followers today - more than she gains in an average month.

More nonsense from Hillary:

Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton - 00:06 UTC · Oct 19, 2019
When I was a little girl, I wrote to NASA and told them I dreamed of being an astronaut.
They wrote back and said they weren't taking girls.
A new generation of little girls watched today's historic spacewalk. May their dreams of reaching the stars have no bounds.
Oregon Designer @Easycure - 6:40 UTC · Oct 19, 2019
You were born in 1947, NASA wasn't formed until 1958 and we didn't have an astronaut in space until until 1962 when you were 15 years old.
You didn't write a letter to NASA when you were a little girl and you should definitely stop drunk tweeting.

Moody's Analytics' Presidential election model predicts that Trump will win: 2020 Presidential Election Model (pdf)

---
Other issues:

During our last requests for donations several people asked if I would take bitcoins. I said no because those crypto-currencies are in my view largely a fraud. They are also not, as claimed, anonymous: Huge Child Porn Ring Busted as Authorities Cite Ability to Crack Bitcoin Privacy

In case there was any doubt that Boeing knew it was selling a bad airplane: Stunning messages from 2016 deepen Boeing’s 737 MAX crisis

The exchange of messages in 2016 between the two lead technical pilots on the Boeing 737 MAX program was released Friday after regulators blew up at the company for belatedly disclosing the matter. The messages reveal that the flight-control system, which two years later went haywire on the crashed flights, was behaving aggressively and strangely in the pilots’ simulator sessions.

It is not only Boeing that is unable to deliver decent engineering: The Navy’s Accountability Crisis Over A Bet Ensnares Its Top Leader

At the USS Ford, the extent of America’s massive systems engineering failure is impossible to understate. The aircraft carrier does not work. As of October 9, only two of eleven advanced weapons elevators actually function, making it impossible for the carrier to safely receive and store weapons.
...
Sources say that one, maybe two elevators are nearing completion. But then, even if the advanced electromagnetic elevators work, the USS Ford must go through a shock trial, where the ship is jolted by a series of explosive charges near the hull. The rickety elevators–along with several other critical subsystems that require tight tolerances to operate correctly–are unlikely to survive intact.

Electromagnetic elevators work like Maglev trains. The magnets that move the elevator must always be in a fixed distance to the rail. That requires that the rails are kept very straight. But ships are rather flexible structures that flex and twist (vid) all the time. The idea to put electromagnetic rails into them is conceptually misguided. The Ford will need new elevators before it can be put to use.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on October 20, 2019 at 13:49 UTC | Permalink

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As Homelessness Surges in California, So Does a Backlash: Tent encampments across California are testing residents’ tolerance and compassion as street conditions deteriorate

The NYT is a pro-California newspaper, so this news is probably legit.

Canada Isn’t So Different. It Could Go Populist Too: How long can politicians avoid real talk about how globalization has failed the middle class?

The Canadians can rest in peace: soon, the middle classes of Europe and Japan will also fall.

But globalization has not failed the "middle class": it's just that it is being replaced by Chinese middle class. China already has more than 700 million people that could be classified as middle class (500 million, depending on the metric). The middle class has never been so big.

An interesting fact is that the MSM is calling "populism" as, by definition, any "illiberal" ideology. That's because today's "populism" falls outside the "vital center", i.e. the left-right political spectrum that determines what is "politically correct" and what is not in Western Democracies. If we're to take Schlesinger's original definition (the vital center as something that spontaneously arises from economic booms and prosperity), then, by "illiberal" we can infer as any anti-capitalist ideology (socialism/communism) or any ideology that threatens the survival of capitalism (greens, neofascism).

Want Trump to Go? Take to the Streets: Another moment for public protest has arrived

As I've already predicted some times here, I don't believe the USA will fall a la USSR: it's capitalist system ensures its social structure is decentralized and multilayered (as Gramsci correctly described in the 1920s-1930s). If it falls, it will be more akin to the Roman Empire: endless crises around all the extension of the territory, constant civil wars, constant social strife and a gradual but inexorable erosion of the institutions that vertebrate its "layers". This would take decades, if not centuries, and would be extremely violent and dangerous.

Now, we have a NYT columnist openly asking for a color revolution against the democratically elected POTUS Donald John Trump. Is this the beginning of the end, the moment the American Empire begins to devour itself?

Some believe this is the case:

America’s Great Betrayal: mr. Trump is taking a wrecking ball to the world order.

This world order — call it Pax Americana or American imperialism, as you like — has been fraying since the fall of the Soviet Union. The Cold War had given United States–led alliances a purpose. The “war on terror” was never a convincing substitute. And the disastrous attempt by George W. Bush to reorder the Middle East by invading Iraq, ostensibly to liberate benighted Arabs, made the idealistic justification for Pax Americana look like a cynical sham.

This one is not open to comments.

Posted by: vk | Oct 21 2019 15:31 utc | 101

@ vk | Oct 21 2019 15:31 utc | 102

I believe Szilard expressed ideas along these lines. ie USSR/USA being a pair in dynamic equilibrium, from which paradigm it's self-evident that the failure of one element dictates the failure of it's brother. Withal, you're on solid ground with the sages.

Max seems to think it's "global insurrection against banker occupation", but in the US, yes, akin to Rome... pity

Posted by: Walter | Oct 21 2019 15:43 utc | 102

noirette @98--

Gabbard along with far too many was taken in and fooled by the propaganda surrounding the US Coup in Ukraine. She's a far wiser bird now. For example, just two years later she introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which she followed with similar anti-war, anti-regime change over the next several Congressional sessions. Indeed, she made a number of youth-related biased errors that she's corrected now that she's gained greater wisdom with time, and is a much different person from the Tulsi Gabbard of the early 2000s. Yes, she still has much to learn, but she did do the right thing and tossed water on the witch whose now melting into the swampy morass she rose from.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 16:10 utc | 103

Although it seems like it ought to be longer, here's the Lavrov/Rossiya-1 interview transcript in English. Lavrov's major revelation is his interpretation of Obama's actions after HRC lost the election:

"President Obama is a case in point. He slammed the door when his administration was already in agony, out of spite and in an attempt to avenge the defeat of the Democrats in the presidential election, seized our property and banished our diplomats."

After this paragraph, the transcript ends, which seems odd, and I hope more was discussed and that material will be added later. There's no comparison to previous changes in administrations, like when Obama won in 2008. IMO, it's clear that the Blame Russia narrative was well in place and its machinery well oiled, a situation that was described as an "insurance policy" by FBI agents involved in trying to subvert Trump.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 16:35 utc | 104

@85 john merryman... thanks.. it was an interesting read.. yes, a conversation has to happen, but i think something else will happen before the conversation ever happens... i liked this comment "A large part of what makes life so diverse and so integrated, is that everything doesn’t have the same goals, follow the same rules, speak the same languages, use the same currencies." as someone who has never been focused on money, it is hard living in a world where money is an obsession.. i can't explain it better then that..

@98 noirette... yeah, i wonder if tulsi has matured any since she made those comments in 2014?? looks like @104 karlof1 answers my question here..

@100 don... i am not sure how that is going to work out... i basically see it like @89 laguerre.. it is not sustainable..

@102 vk... thanks.. the problem with homelessness here on vancouver island is significant and a real concern.. i heard it was worse in california... my brother was down their a few weeks ago and he tells me this firsthand... i am not sure how all this is going to work out, but it is an issue in the canadian election today for some... thanks for the links..

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2019 16:43 utc | 105

Would welcome perspectives on this:
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20191017-israel-demands-that-us-should-maintain-strategic-base-in-syria/

Which, as far as I know, is the first statement from Israel, at least purportedly, regarding the US "withdrawal" from Syria.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 21 2019 16:43 utc | 106

Rich Chinese outnumber wealthy Americans for first time – Credit Suisse

China now has 100 million people at the top, while the USA has 99 million. However, it's important to highlight the fact that China has 4.5x the USA's population.

No wonder the American services industry (e.g. Hollywood, NBA) is trying as hard as ever to enter the Chinese consumer market.

Posted by: vk | Oct 21 2019 16:53 utc | 107

Two hundred troops? With platoon here, and a platoon there -- god help them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 21 2019 15:22 utc | 100

Couldn't agree more, as I said earlier @89. Having pissed off the Kurds it doesn't work at all, ceratinly not with potato bombardments (which were even reported by archwarmonger Chulov in the Guardian).

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 17:02 utc | 108

I think the Grey Lady has dementia. They should change their slogan to - "All the fits that's news to print."

Posted by: roza shanina | Oct 21 2019 17:04 utc | 109

>> AKCAKALE, Turkey — Angry over the U.S. withdrawal from Syria,

I wonder whether the residents threw potatoes (a) for the reason stated (that serves Oceania’s narrative) or (b) for some other reasons, such as the misery inflicted on them during the past ten years inflicted directly or indirectly by those forces finally leaving.

Posted by: oglalla | Oct 21 2019 17:09 utc | 110

Some may be aware that in 2015 Russia applied to the relevant UN authorities to have its Arctic Continental Shelf region expanded thanks to new oceanographic proof of its extent. Today, TASS published an update on the submission of additional evidence the UN panel requested for the next hearing in February. From the data I've seen, the way the Lomonosov Ridge is formed appears to confirm Russia's claim for an "additional 1.2 million square kilometers," which would greatly expand its 200 mile economic zone. RT also published a short item related to this that provides a bit more detail. And this Wikipedia entry provides the essential background for this very important Russian claim. And since the Outlaw US Empire isn't a party to the Law of the Sea Treaty, it has no direct voice in the matter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 17:12 utc | 111

@87 Bemildred

Thanks for the link to the Alastair Crooke piece: A Panicked Israel Is a Dangerous Israel

It's one of his deepest and most penetrating pieces, to my mind, as well as pointing precisely to this very moment and where Israel now feels it stands in terms of holding (or losing) the US as an ally.

I didn't understand how senior US military officers saw the Houthis as potential allies until the neocons led by McCain overturned their wisdom and sided with KSA against Yemen. That mistake has now come home to roost.

But Crooke's broader picture, of the Vietnam myth of a winnable war being overturned by Trump's latest actions in Syria, is chilling: both as a warning of the danger Trump is in, and as a view of how profoundly the angst associated with the policy shifts triggered by Trump resonates within the neocon world.

It will be half a day before I can come back to this, since duties call. Crooke's article is a big one, to my mind - not least from its several background links - and I recommend it to all.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 21 2019 17:29 utc | 112

Given the atrocities described in the Blumenthal article linked by ben @60, I am most interested in any links that can be provided as to Russia's assessment of this situation. Certainly the immediate effect seems to be that the Kurds now view US troops with enormous negative and understandable emotion, so that the overt decision to have them remain in and around the oil fields is becoming untenable. But I wonder, how is it affecting Russia's relations with Turkey? Certainly Putin would have wished to have a less chaotic situation develop on the border, and it is hard for me to believe that Erdogan would desire it when his supposed inclusion in the new activities there was to make that area more peaceful and stable for his own country's security's sake. Apparently what he has possibly been forced to allow to happen has done just the opposite. He can't be happy with it himself.

Karlof1's brief transcript of the Lavrov interview @ 105 translates for me into US troop departure currently speaking. That it ends where it does perhaps underlines the petty maliciousness of a defeated retiring power - here the last mean gasp of the neocon/neoliberal military. It might be the best way to underline how Russia views the shamefulness of that power being so unworthy in its co-operation with the executive order as to strongarm Turkey into this last Obama like vindictiveness.

The segment on Kissinger in the interview is very interesting also - the subtle distinction between friendship as cordiality and a clear assessment of intractable policy differences. Very interesting interview, karlof1, even in its brevity; thanks.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 21 2019 17:30 utc | 113

Meant to say "the overt decision by Trump to have them remain" meaning the US troops, not the Kurds as might be supposed by my omission above.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 21 2019 17:32 utc | 114

I remind barflies that on 23-24 Oct in Sochi the first ever Russia-Africa Summit will be held about which TASS said:

"The first-ever Russia-Africa summit will focus on ironing out African conflicts and issues by the continent’s countries themselves, without any foreign interference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the 12th convention of the Russian International Studies Association at MGIMO University....

"Russia will back the African approach to African problems, Lavrov said, citing Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying in an interview with TASS in the run-up to the summit."

Note the convergence between Russia's and China's approach to its external relations and allowing, aiding nations to solve problems using homegrown solutions, the exact opposite of the approach taken by IMF and World Bank.

Another event happening 23 Oct is the Valdai Club's presentation of a paper at 12:00 Sochi time: "Economic Integration in the Middle East: Problems and Prospects," that can be accessed here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 17:33 utc | 115

This withdrawal of the US army abandoning the kurds, remind me the betrayal of George H.W. Bush sr. in 1991 when he asked the shia in Irak to rise up against Saddam, and then when they rised up, he allowed Saddam to use the army, helicopters and the air force to crush the rebelion with hundred thousands of shia people dead.

Ok, and now there are still some shia people in Irak who think the US army is "their friends" and do not want the yankies to go home....

Good luck with that, folks

Posted by: DFC | Oct 21 2019 17:46 utc | 116

Global Times editorial related to Taiwan's politicizing the voluntary return of the accused murderer than spawned the extradition bill crisis:

"Chan allegedly killed his girlfriend in Taiwan in February last year and fled to Hong Kong. It is his case that prompted the Hong Kong government to amend the extradition bill and later triggered unprecedented social turmoil in Hong Kong. But before the anti-extradition bill protests emerged, Taiwan had already issued an arrest warrant for Chan, which is still valid today. Hong Kong's relevant law is strict in this regard. It cannot investigate and convict Chan for the murder because the incident occurred outside Hong Kong's jurisdiction. At this point, Chan is willing to turn himself in to Taiwan. The case is supposed to proceed in Taiwan.

"Yet in Taiwan, the course of the incident took a turn. Amid the escalating political chaos in Hong Kong, Taiwan authorities are trying to make a few political points. Plus, the "presidential election" is approaching. What if Chan's case brings unknown changes to the current Taiwan authorities' future approval ratings?"

The editorial's conclusion is pointed and aimed at those behind Taiwan:

"The Taiwan-style elections, which are based on a Western-style political system, have gone extreme. The combination of 'presidential election' and the topic of 'Taiwan secession' have blurred a variety of issues which used to be very clear, and have confused public opinion. Because of the election, a criminal case cannot proceed in accordance with the law in Taiwan. The island's politics, being narrow-minded, is doomed to a bleak future."

Global Times also published a news item about the case that provided further proof of its politicization:

"Taiwan's 'justice chief' Tsai Ching-hsiang said Monday that the case should be prioritized for review by the Hong Kong government. The Taiwan authority would provide formal judiciary assistance to Hong Kong to resolve the case and the case would not be solved privately, Radio Taiwan International reported.

"The move came after the Taiwan regional authority at the weekend rejected an attempt by Chan to turn himself into Taiwan authorities for trial and refused to grant him entry to the island."

Both explain that Hong Kong has no jurisdiction in the matter that entirely comes under Taiwan's legal system. And Hong Kong's terrorists were at it again today, while PRC continues to prudently keep its distance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 17:57 utc | 117

Exit Bibi!!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5FY3oP7a568

Posted by: Mina | Oct 21 2019 18:09 utc | 118

@Ben I haven't seen Donkeytale put a single fact into his posts.

Donkeytale has a single shallow stupid message but it's effective enough at keeping people:

1. away from MoonofAlabama
2. keeping other readers from engaging in the comments section

Donkeytale's consistent message is that of a servant of empire: "Look upon my works, Ye Mighty and, and Despair"

This time he's rattling away again about Putin with a new metaphor (no doubt carefully worked out by the expensive new hires with a better education):

Will the mastermind Prince Metternicht Putin put a foot down on Erdo's strongman neck next week and put a stop to this madness once and for all? Or will the Syrian war actually never end whether the US is involved or not?

Frankly I don't see how Donkeytale engages or illuminates. He mocks, belittles, obfuscates and distracts. It's not my weblog but it certainly makes me wish for a Slashdot system here (or even Zerohedge's Ignore User function). In the absence of better automated tech, I'd just as soon not see another of donkeytale's snide, MSM and Wall Street boot-licking performances.

Posted by: Uncoy | Oct 21 2019 18:13 utc | 119

Sec of War Esper said:

"This withdrawal will take weeks, not days. Until that time, our forces will remain in the towns that are located near the oil fields."

The implication being the Outlaw US Empire will completely withdraw from its illegal deployment in Syria, although it won't be instantaneous.

And Magnier has a new article about the withdrawal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 19:06 utc | 120

Posted by: Mina | Oct 21 2019 18:09 utc | 119

Great news! Not that I think that any other Israeli regime will be much different. Israel is committed to a Crusader policy of war against their neighbours. The ultras wouldn't accept it if a PM wanted to make peace.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 19:15 utc | 121

And Magnier has a new article about the withdrawal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 19:06 utc | 121

Magnier doesn't have much to say which is new. It's a roundup of what is happening.

It seems to me that the problem the Syrians have is that they have a lot of territory to recover, and not a lot of troops. Manbij and Kobani they seem to have got, and probably the Turks aren't going to contest them. Ras al-'Ayn is beyond their reach, and lost. Qamishli already has a Syrian garrison. I don't think the Turks are going to fight the Syrians. Khassekeh I haven't had news of.

The Turks are going to be restricted in the lands they can seize, unless they want to fight the Syrians, and I don't think they do. This means that Erdogan is going to be limited to a pointless occupation round Ras al-'Ayn. And the winner will be Asad.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 19:50 utc | 122

Yeah on the one hand it's "Well Folks Hillary seems to be loosing it...", and on the other hand how do you not freak people out as to try and explain why!!! Interesting Times but 'Discernment Always!'

Posted by: Jayne | Oct 21 2019 19:56 utc | 123

Grieved @113: One of Crooke's best pieces of late, I can particularly relate to his characterization of the US officer class attitudes and pretensions, which have led us into this debacle. Always fighting the last war, and losing it again. Petraeus in particular has a lot to answer for; but they are an arrogant, selfish, and dishonest lot, the bunch of them, and always have been. Like the cops in this country, most of them need to be fired.

His comments on Israel at the moment very apropos too, the light dawns. Never try to con a con man. But also very worrisome, as with USA confronting its limitations all of a sudden.

karlof1 @121: Good article by Magnier there too, clarifies the motives of the relevant parties very well. He's been busy lately. Thnx.

RE: Situation in Syria: it was pointed out at the time when Obama/Clinton were starting to dig this hole that our occupation of N. Syria in alliance with the Kurds would alienate Turkey, I had a number of such discussions at the time. That was only the latest in a long string of warnings ignored, starting with our invasion of Afghanistan. We have in fact been pissing off and insulting Turkey at least since that time. Turkey begged us not to attack Iraq for example, and has had a world of shit to deal with since as a consequence. I hold no particular brief for the Turks, but they have a real complaint against us, and that is why Putin/Lavrov listen to them despite their many flaws.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 21 2019 20:01 utc | 124

Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 19:50 utc | 123

If this would be the result is gets dangerous. For Erdogan. In comparison to his huge demands before and even today at home it would be a smashing defeat and contradict all his messages of the last days. There is still no positive perspective in sight for the different kind of head choppers he used to entertain.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Oct 21 2019 20:01 utc | 125

Posted by: Hausmeister | Oct 21 2019 20:01 utc | 126

I don't agree. Erdogan's main objective is to prevent the Rojavan kurds helping the Kurds in Turkey. If the Syrians take over the territory, and do the work for Turkey, as they will do, that's fine.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 20:10 utc | 126

...and in predictable yet breathtakingly cynical fashion the australian media has launched a ‘your right to know’ campaign without mentioning a certain tall, blonde guy in solitary confinement.
Posted by: Paul | Oct 20 2019 21:44 utc | 53

Yep. Just another Cheap Trick from the purveyors of Fake News (with Zionist characteristics) in Oz. I stopped buying Oz Newspapers in the run-up to the Iraq Fake War. They were all publishing Tom Friedman's provocative "moral equivalence" drivel. I bought two of today's hi-profile newspapers and neither mentioned Assange at all. It's much more about precious self-pity and lofty delusions of grandeur than the "defense of Human Rights" trope.

I hope I have to eat those words one day, but it's highly unlikely that this stunt has anything whatsoever to do with redemption.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 21 2019 20:18 utc | 127

Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 20:10 utc | 127

In which way did or could the Rojavans help the Kurds in Turkey up to now? They have been busy with their own main task: to survive. The main help not only to the Kurds, to the whole younger generation in the Near East, was and is ideological. They opened hope for another kind of life there. This radiates not only to Turkey. Why must Demirtas be kept in jail? The claimed supporting terrorists is ridiculous what even hard-boiled follower of Erdogan accept. Second you neglect that the present propaganda there is for „fatih“, conquering lost terrain. One cannot just make this forget in a moment. No, this would be sensed as a defeat there and his media control is not enough.

A similar, smaller thing from last year: he triumphed that the important NATO summit would be held in Turkey. So his people triumphed as well. What weak leaders you have, like that. Merkel had a phone call with Macron. She did not speak up. Her speaker told 2 days later, en passant: by the way, this meeting will not happen in Ankara. It simply would not fit. He was not able to prevent that it got communicated in Turkey.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Oct 21 2019 20:27 utc | 128

Posted by: Hausmeister | Oct 21 2019 20:27 utc | 129

I have no doubt that Erdogan's policy is foolish, but that's what it is.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 21 2019 20:58 utc | 129

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F

keeping people in jail with a different viewpoint won't end well for erdogan... same deal assange in the west...

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2019 21:02 utc | 130

To karlof1 about the Lavrov interview

As you suspected the interview does continue a little further than that. I can't explain why it didn't load for you but here's the rest:

"…seized our property and banished our diplomats. Back then, we did not respond immediately, because we realised that this was mainly an attempt to undermine President-elect Trump’s position so that he would begin his presidency with relations with Russia in this kind of state. As you may recall, we took a pause. Later, despite President Trump’s saying he wanted to improve relations with Russia and take them to the right trajectory, the US Congress simply didn’t allow this to happen. When we realised that rather than the sanctions being frozen or lifted, they were expanding and deepening, we also responded and insisted that the number of US diplomats in Russia and Russian diplomats in the USA be equal. Of course, our response was to close the US Consulate General in St Petersburg after a similar move against our property in the United States.

To reiterate, we are ready at any time to resolve these issues on the basis of “zero option” and return to the normal functioning of our diplomatic missions. I spoke about this with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The other day, I saw the US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, who had already completed his mission. I think they have an understanding that we must return to this someday. The sooner the better."

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 21 2019 21:07 utc | 131

persiflo,
Beyond the issue of consciousness, the problem of Western philosophy is that it is monist. We think everything ultimately boils down to one thing, so there can only be a single point of view that is primary, rather than a tension and balance of opposites. For example, top down, versus bottom up. Either the big guy rules and everyone else shuts up, or the experts know everything and generalists are just philosophers and have nothing important to add. Rather than understanding there has to be feedback between the reductionism of the experts and contextualization of the generalists. In better times, that is why the people who run armies are called generals, while specialist is about one rank above private.
Even matter is more a tension between positive and negative, than a substance.

Posted by: John Merryman | Oct 21 2019 21:30 utc | 132

@ 87 bemildred and @ 113 grieved.. it was a fine article by crooke... but here is where the metal hits the pavement and it goes into the title - A Panicked Israel Is a Dangerous Israel... 2 quotes from the article "Trump then, should be able to weather the criticism from this quarter quite easily. The US public is fed up with ‘forever wars’." and "But he will need to watch his back from the repercussions arising from the Israeli realisation Notes Ben Caspit, “after three years of being convinced that it was on the winning side, Israel is beginning to realise that it is on the one that’s losing; or at least [the side that] has been abandoned”." they don't go together and crooke puts the title of the article on the last statement, not the first... is it any surprise impeachment looms, or that the nyt, wapo and etc. etc. lie 24/7 over what is happening in syria, or that the dems rant on endlessly about trump being putins puppet? no...

the fact is israel has always acted like a spoiled brat in the middle east... trump has been a slave to this thinking as well as i see it.. he is completely subservient, even when he is making mistakes according to the israel first thinking that he is surrounded by - with his immediate family and all the neo con koolaid drinkers and ngos etc. etc. sucking off the same tit.. so, lets hope trump can hang in and the wishes of a majority in the usa can turn a deaf ear on the constant b.s. that is being peddled to them 24/7... i think it is too close to call how this will all pan out... it seems like when there is a chance to make a bone headed move, the usa excels at it... trump moving the troops to iraq isn't the same as trump pulling out the troops.. and on and on.. we'll see how it goes.. i continue to believe the usa is an imperialist empire in serious decline..

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2019 21:42 utc | 133

john merryman.. i was thinking about your medium post more earlier today.. i think the conversation is happening, but people aren't actually interested in what is being said.. planet earth is speaking and the financial gurus and those sold on the growth mantra at all costs are completely ignoring what planet earth is saying.. so the conversation is one sided and some important players are definitely not listening to what is being said...

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2019 21:44 utc | 134

"..I didn't understand how senior US military officers saw the Houthis as potential allies until the neocons led by McCain overturned their wisdom and sided with KSA against Yemen. That mistake has now come home to roost...."
What was weird was that the Houthis had been supported by the imperialists in the Yemeni Civil War of the 60s.
In fact Israel's victory on the 1967 war was not unrelated to the fact that Egypt's best troops were in the Yemen trying to defeat the Houthi royalists and an army of mercenaries recruited in the UK.
So the US military were aware that the Houthis were legendary fighters in a country where almost every man is armed.

As the donkeytale, I'm in total agreement with the assessment of Uncov @120. He and Jackrabbit are the Mutt 'n' Jeff of trolls on this site: the one never running out of reasons why the Empire can't lose and the other constantly appealing to the "It's all an illusion, folks" gang. Between them they define the meaning of space-and bandwidth- wasted.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 21 2019 21:52 utc | 135

Grieved @113--

Yes, Crooke's latest is an interesting distillation. His outing of David Wurmser as one of the prime-movers in the formation of Islamic terrorism beyond that of al-Ciada needed to be done awhile ago:

"The point here is that whilst Wurmser [in 1997] stressed that demolishing Baathism must be the foremost priority in the region, he added: 'Secular-Arab nationalism should be given no quarter – not even – he added, for the sake of stemming the tide of Islamic fundamentalism.'" [Emphasis Original]

Somewhere there must be some overlooked or perhaps still classified papers dealing with the Clinton administration's efforts in promoting al-Ciada and its successor while appearing to oppose it, particularly since Clinton was a CIA proxy.

Another interesting citation Crooke makes is by Gilad Atzmon:

"As things stand, Israel used the billions of dollars it squeezed from American taxpayers to build an obsolete anti-missile system that at best, might be effective against 1940 era German V2 missiles." [My Emphasis]

An interesting choice of words--"squeezed", not extorted. However, given the great majorities voted on by Congress in favor of squeezing the American taxpayer to provide billions yearly to Occupied Palestine, it appears a bit of an overstatement.

It's been a very long time since a pro-peace president sat in the White House--and FDR wasn't really pro-peace; rather, the context of the times and the Public made him appear that way.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 22:05 utc | 136

It is Monday 21 October 2019. Indeed it must be nearing Halloween,

RT cites an interview with Pompeo on CNBC:

US President Donald Trump is “fully prepared” to use military force against Turkey if “needed,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared, qualifying the statement by insisting Washington prefers to use its “diplomatic powers.”

“We prefer peace to war,” Pompeo told CNBC in a taped interview that aired Monday afternoon.[.]

Pompeo added that Washington would use economic and “diplomatic powers” before breaking out the heavy artillery. He did not want to “get out in front of the president’s decision about whether to take the awesome undertaking of using America’s military might,” he said, indicating that it was up to Trump to decide whether Ankara had crossed the line.[.]


What was the repositioning of troops all about, if not to avoid conflict?

Will someone please remind Pompous Turkey remains in NATO and, and there are two bases there. Oh and the Bosphorus Strait.

Posted by: Likklemore | Oct 21 2019 22:16 utc | 137

To whoever was looking for the source on groups in the SNA under Turkish control previously supported by the US

(I haven't noticed it being linked previously, I apologize if it has, I haven't clicked on every link on the topic by everyone including b).

Courtesy of a sputniknews.com article the source seems to be a Turkish organization called SETA (their home page) who published a pdf called "Uniting the Syrian Opposition, The Components of the National Army and the Implications of the Unification" by Ömer Özkizilcik this month. It's 20 pages but only about 9 pages of text and has the graphics (I haven't yet read it, only skimmed it).

It has an expanded version of the table we have all seen so far, this version lists who has gotten TOW launchers/missiles, who has fought who, ethnicity and geographical origin of members, and current location(s) in Syria.

(I am not familiar with SETA or setav.org although I think I've seen them before but it looks decidedly pro-Turkish which in this case should be a benefit of sorts).

Runny egg on my face if this is all old already :P :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 21 2019 22:21 utc | 138

Txs SRB for the links, interesting doc though full of unrealistic hopes for the opposition. Ex: "{Russia's role} "Communicating with the Assad regime that a resettlement including the Nation- al Army is essential for a durable solution to the Syrian crisis."

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 21 2019 23:14 utc | 139

Sunny Runny Burger @132--

Thanks for your reply! That's where the interview ended. I expected there to be more beyond that as there wasn't the usual spacibo ending. Do note the Tsarist-era furnishings in the room. I've always been quite awed by the ornateness visible at the Kremlin and particularly the St. Petersburg royal buildings versus the average Russian hovel from Tolstoy's times. The reference to "Tolstoy's diplomacy of good" sparked my curiosity as I'd never heard of such a thing. Tolstoy remains a very enigmatic person. In my search for a definition of his diplomacy, I came across something rather different based on the following of which I'd no idea:

"Also a moral thinker and a social reformer, Tolstoy held severe moralistic views. In later life, he became a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His non-violent resistance approach towards life has been expressed in his works such as The Kingdom of God is Within You, which is known to have a profound effect on important 20th century figures, particularly, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi."

This brief bio here is worth the time to read. Perhaps it's Tolstoy's rejection of the "Great Man Theory" of history that forms the basis for his diplomacy of good. And thanks to my search I never would have discovered the jockeying to publish Russian authors or the propaganda use of such an article! I'd probably get better results if I wrote to Russia's Foreign Ministry and asked my question as the internet search really isn't getting me anywhere.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 23:16 utc | 140

karlof1

Squeezed would be the correct term. Evangelical Christian plus other assorted zionists makes a large voting block. Also,if you take into account USS liberty and the SR-71 blackbird runs over Israel, it was US forcing itself onto Israel rather than Israel worming its way into the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 21 2019 23:27 utc | 141

Bemildred @87 & 125
Grieved @113
karlof1 @113

Re Crooke Thank you all for highlighting this article.

I suggest readers follow the all the links in the Crooke article if you have the time and the inclination to go back to the early days of the origination of the 1996 "Coping with Crumbling States" neocon-Israeli promotion of a zionist renaissance in a "a stalled and shackled [Israeli] economy" with it's "eroding national critical mass “including a palpable sense of national exhaustion” and forfeited strategic initiative."

The trailer from Scott Horton: A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm by David Wurmser 1996

Companion piece “Coping With Crumbling States” here.

Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.” The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.

Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, “New Middle East” undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s “peace process.” That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass “including a palpable sense of national exhaustion” and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:

Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, “comprehensive peace” to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.

Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.

Forge a new basis for relations with the United States stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.


A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm


Posted by: pogohere | Oct 21 2019 23:27 utc | 142

pogohere @143--

Thanks for the excerpt! It appears that as it is elsewhere corruption is the unmentioned cause of Occupied Palestine's economic malaise and decline--corruption likely generated by the billions too freely given away--squeezed out of--by the Outlaw US Empire. If I recall correctly, "aid" monies increased after 911 whereas the neocons in this paper argue for doing the opposite.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2019 23:45 utc | 143

Looks like bibi is having a great birthday present, that is failing to form a new government.
Not quoting any source from IL coz I'm like that..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 22 2019 0:51 utc | 144

Recent jousting between Iran, Saudi over Yemen:

Zarif's ready to go to Saudi to talk:

"Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says he is ready to visit Saudi Arabia to help reduce tensions between Riyadh and Tehran if suitable conditions existed.

"Iran's top diplomat made the remarks while answering a question posed by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news agency on the sidelines of a conference held in Tehran on Monday themed 'Unilateralism and International Law.'

"'If suitable conditions are provided, I would be ready to travel to Riyadh to settle differences' between the two countries, Zarif was quoted by ISNA as saying."

Meanwhile in London, Jubeir accused Iran of being behind the "terrorist attack" on Aramco and tried to dispel rumors of talks happening between Saudi and Iran:

"Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Cabinet Member Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir denied the existence of mediation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran to ease tensions. He said that it is the responsibility of the Iranian regime to change its behavior and show good intentions rather than words."

Some are seeing his remarks as a signal to Houthis to renew their assault on Aramco facilities since the US-Saudi aggression continues in violation of the Stockholm Agreement.

Finally, majestic vid/pic of the massive demonstration against government corruption yesterday in Beirut--1.5 Million or 1/4 of Lebanon's population! Inspiring!


Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2019 0:55 utc | 145

Lozion: I have read the pdf now and I completely agree although I have to say it was well written and the parts that concerned policy probably makes (too much) sense from a Turkish perspective (but not from any other).

I think/speculate the Turks are walking into a nasty trap of their own making but I could be wrong. Ottoman aspirations tempt the Ottoman fate; only Atatürk saved the remnants of the Ottomans from the Treaty of Sèvres very close to a century ago. I'm sure parts of the US government is salivating at the thought and I doubt they're alone, Turkey keeps tempting fate and are essentially already sanctioned by NATO who has also established a committee to constantly scrutinize Turkish actions. It looks to me like the gunsights have swiveled from Syria to Turkey.

Maybe it's only deception.

Karlof1: Ah, my mistake. Separately the ostentatious furnishings and old buildings in many parts of Moskva (I don't get why it isn't called Moskva in English, or at least Moscowa, it should be imo since Moskva is not only a direct letter for letter translation but also a pleasant-sounding name) and St. Petersburg are essentially "live" museums. The same is true in many countries (especially the UK) but I have the impression it's much more geographically concentrated in Russia due to the past and history in general.

I can't help with the language barrier (I also have it and I'm too old a dog) or Tolstoy :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 22 2019 1:10 utc | 146

karlof1 @137: "Squeezed" makes sense in the context of the Epstein scandal, which Atzmon has also addressed. Of course that is speculation, but ...

I think Crooke is perceptive about aspects of US political culture that are surprising in a foreign diplomat, of course he's British so that helps. I assume he reads a lot. Sometimes he wanders around and isn't quite sure what he wants to say, but I look for him anyway. And he doesn't automatically hype anybody who is against us either, why he's almost Russian in his soberness.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 22 2019 1:23 utc | 147

In many ways Crooke, like most, only seem be able to look at America and Trump in terms of "the way it has always been done". The way it has always been done ended with Russia's move into Syria.
And for the US it ended with the election of Trump. A lot of momentum still in "the way it has always been done" due to deep state and polititions hyped on their own propaganda, and will take a little time to fully change course.
Endless wars. Trump is always very specific as to the type of wars he dislikes, but virtually all take this to mean he dislikes all wars. As yet he has not started new one, but he did veto the congress resolution to end US involvement in the war on Yemen, so Trump wanting to pull out of all wars has bit the dust already.
Trumps wars when he starts them will be centered on Israel and oil but using a far different strategy than in the past.
The only thing that will prevent Trump starting his wars is Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 22 2019 1:31 utc | 148

peter.. trump got stopped with regard to the tanker scene in the persian gulf too, thanks iran.. but russia might also be a part of that too..

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2019 1:54 utc | 149

Sunny Runny Burger @147--

Thanks for your reply! Yeah, when I took Russian I was surprised Moscva was anglicized as Moscow; never did ask why though. One of my lifetime, bucket-list, goals was to tour all of the Imperial Capitals of Eurasia, but I've only really visited Istanbul and only for several days. The way it looks now, that goal will remain unfulfilled, so I'm stuck touring via websites, which is better than nothing.

Et al--

On Crooke, I sometimes disagree with him, but not as often as most writers thanks to his mostly non-ideological voice. And his perspectives often prompt small epiphanies. We all must admit it's hard to find good journalists nowadays not beholden to pushing narratives.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2019 2:23 utc | 150

james

Russia publicly declaring Iran an ally has, I think, been a big stumbling block for Trump. Arab NATO has not come about, and the Khashoggi killing didn't help much.
The tankers and the Houthi strikes were perhaps pushback.
Constant move and countermove.
Trump in his book says he always has a fallback position. If that is the case then Saudi and gulf Arab oil may be the fallback position. They would be easy pickings for the US, and as yet, not Russian allies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 22 2019 2:26 utc | 151

karlof1 @ 144

Just for the record re Israel's corruption and wealth/income distribution:

18 Israeli Families Control 60% of Nation’s Corporate Equity

July 13, 2010


Israeli protests: 430,000 take to streets to demand social justice

Up to 300,000 take part in Tel Aviv, 50,000 in Jerusalem and 40,000 in Haifa in Israel's biggest ever demonstration

9-4-11

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday night in Israel's biggest ever demonstration to demand social justice, a lower cost of living and a clear government response to the concerns of an increasingly squeezed middle class.

About 430,000 people took part in marches and rallies across the country, according to police. The biggest march was in Tel Aviv, where up to 300,000 took part. There was an unprecedented 50,000-strong protest in Jerusalem, and 40,000 marched in Haifa. There were smaller protests in dozens of other towns and cities.

It had been billed as the "march of the million" but organisers said a turnout matching the 300,000-strong demonstrations four weeks ago would be a triumph. Israel's population is 7.7 million.

Saturday's demonstrations followed 50 days of protests that have rattled political leaders and led commentators and analysts to ask whether a new social movement would transform Israeli domestic politics for the next generation.

Israeli poverty and inequality trends in international perspective

Dan Ben-David and Haim Bleikh

Israel’s Gilded Age

By Paul Krugman

March 16, 2015


But wait: Why are Israelis discontented? After all, Israel’s economy has performed well by the usual measures. It weathered the financial crisis with minimal damage. Over the longer term, it has grown more rapidly than most other advanced economies, and has developed into a high-technology powerhouse. What is there to complain about?

The answer, which I don’t think is widely appreciated here, is that while Israel’s economy has grown, this growth has been accompanied by a disturbing transformation in the country’s income distribution and society. Once upon a time, Israel was a country of egalitarian ideals — the kibbutz population was always a small minority, but it had a large impact on the nation’s self-perception. And it was a fairly equal society in reality, too, right up to the early 1990s.

Since then, however, Israel has experienced a dramatic widening of income disparities. Key measures of inequality have soared; Israel is now right up there with America as one of the most unequal societies in the advanced world. And Israel’s experience shows that this matters, that extreme inequality has a corrosive effect on social and political life.





The Distribution of Wealth in Israel

11/15

Thousands protest in Tel Aviv against corruption; Likud slams ‘division’

Ruling party criticizes left-wing groups for not presenting ‘a united front to the world’ as Netanyahu sets off to Europe to defend Trump’s Jerusalem decision

12-9-17


OECD Economic Surveys Israel

March 2018 OVERVIEW


Income inequality has fallen, but economic disparities and a lack of social cohesion persist
Rapid employment growth has also boosted the income of the poor, benefiting the disadvantaged groups. However, the share of working poor has risen because many workers, notably Israeli-Arabs and Haredim, are in low-paid jobs due to their weak skill sets. Workers from these communities are often trapped in low quality jobs, implying persistent inequality and weak aggregate productivity. Moreover, low social transfers imply that the often large families in these communities face deprivation that contributes to child poverty. High house prices also weigh on the social situation and well-being. Without further policy action, these trends are likely to worsen, as Israeli-Arabs and Haredim will constitute half the population by 2059.

See Chart 4, p.4 The share of working poor is high and increasing

Tens of thousands expected at Tel Aviv protest against immunity push for PM

Opposition parties join forces for what they hope will be a major Saturday night rally; Blue and White official: ‘We won’t let up until we save democracy’

5-25-19


Meet Israel's 128 Billionaires


In 2003, Israel only had 8 billionaires. What happened since?

Click the timeline to find out


Israel's richest are getting richer, and other takeaways

6-19-19


Posted by: pogohere | Oct 22 2019 2:51 utc | 152

@Walter #27
Sorry, but I don't agree with your views on solar whatsoever.
Among the problems: you complain about the systemic losses in fossil fuel electricity generation - but the reality is that the losses due to solar are much, much worse.
Solar: enormous energy expending in mining the rare earths and manufacturing the solar cell substrate. More energy expending in the solar cell fabrication. More energy lost due to the mismatch between usage and solar production - read up on the duck curve. Solar produces the most in the middle of the da which maximum consumption is right after work in the early evening. Offsetting that is possible via storage, but batteries also consume enormous energy in mining resources and prepping the materials into the battery itself.
The most egregious issue is the notion that a few kw installed on each person's house means anything. Roads, sewers, water, cell comms, fiber optic comms/internet, durable goods like cars, train and ship transport, manufactured goods - these are just a few of the things which function poorly, if at all, with solar PV.
An entire society functioning on solar base load is very much a 3rd world nation.
This *could* change in the future, but the reality today is what it is.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 22 2019 2:52 utc | 153

@Peter AU 1 #69 and at that guy #70
Gentlemen,
Cloudflare is an anti-DDoS/CDN (content delivery network) company.
An IP address that points at Cloudflare is utterly meaningless. All it means is that the owner of said site uses the Cloudflare service - which literally tens to hundreds of thousands of web sites do.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 22 2019 3:15 utc | 154

c1ue
Molten salt solar with gas turbine back I think will work for base load.
For houses though, solar hot water rather than electricity panels seems the way to go as the energy is stored in the water and can be used at night. Solar panels to offset daytime air conditioning works.


Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 22 2019 3:33 utc | 155

Pogohere @ 153:

Here is a Wikipedia article on the Arison family, one of the richest families in Israel, featuring a list of the companies the family owns including Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest travel leisure company. Shari Arison is or once was the richest woman in Israel.

For a long time also, while he was Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon was Israel's biggest landowner with a huge ranch in the country's south and he and his two sons also owned properties in Cyprus.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 22 2019 3:52 utc | 156

@ c1ue who wrote to that guy at #70
"
Cloudflare is an anti-DDoS/CDN (content delivery network) company.
"
So what? Did you find that at Google?

I had CCNP (Cisco Certified Networking Professional) certification in my day and have written programs/applications to suck out and parse telcom switch data.

You project a lot of assumptive ignorance and continue to get called out on it here on a regular basis. When are you going to take note of that?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 22 2019 4:10 utc | 157

further to Hausmeister's concern @129 and my agreement with his concern @ 131

Turkish police detain 3 pro-Kurdish party mayors over ‘terrorism’ links turkey has been doing this all during and before the war on syria... when does erdogan take a different tack?

"Turkish police detained three mayors from a main pro-Kurdish party on Monday on suspicion of ‘membership of a terrorist group’ and ‘disseminating terrorist propaganda,’ according to the official Anadolu news agency."

a country can't keep on doing this and expect a positive result... cultivating nationalism on the basis of attacking a minority doesn't make sense to me..

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2019 4:25 utc | 158

Another great open thread.

On a tablet so please forgive my informal formatting.

Site linked above thanks to the barfly. It's a 1970 era expose by an insider about the c I a Secret Team, its inception and 5 presidents' fight against it. Recommended. Author notes that the ST is not in charge, it is an Agency that implements general instructions inferred from its inputs.

Although the details are Vietnam-era, the motives and methods are still the same.

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/ST.html#TOC

" This great machine has been constructed by such able men as "Wild Bill" Donovan, Clark Clifford, Walter Beedle Smith, Allen Dulles, Maxwell Taylor, McGeorge Bundy, and many others, who have guided and molded it into the runaway giant that it is today. It is big business, big government, big money, big pressure, and headless -- all operating in self-centered, utterly self-serving security and secrecy. As C. P. Snow has said, "The euphoria of secrecy goes to the head." And as Allen Dulles has said, perhaps in a slightly different context, this is really the craft of intelligence.

Posted by: jonku | Oct 22 2019 6:02 utc | 159

Tim Kirby at Strategic Culture has picked up on Trump not doing things the way they've always been done.
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/10/21/trump-ushers-in-financially-responsible-empire/
" Trump’s business background has lead him to making a major policy change that the Mainstream Media has surprisingly ignored that could actually be very good for America’s future."

"The interesting thing about this moment in Trump history is that he demonstrated a very different, business oriented, way of thinking that wouldn’t have come from other Republicans/Democrats in Washington."

"Now breaking with over half a century of a particular tradition Trump is allowing 3000 US troops to go to Saudi Arabia on the Saudi’s dime. Now Trump is offering to provide NATO defense to vassals and “make them pay for it”. This profit-driven policy is a radical departure from the status quo and to be honest is a much wiser wiser way of doing things in the long term with one huge exception depending on your view."

"The only disadvantage (depending on your view) is that if Trump pushes for profitability as a key factor in military decisions/policy then we will never be able have another Vietnam."
........

My take for some time has been the same as Kirby's veiw in this article. US can no longer fund its occupation of Europe, Japan, South Korea ect, nor can it continue to fund ideological wars. US involvement in the war on Yemen is no doubt funded by the Saudis as are the US troops stationed there. Saudi's and others were also coughing up much of the cost of the US occupation of eastern Syria. Still to come I think are Trump's wars for Israel with Persian Gulf oil for funding, plus future income and US power over the world if he can grab a large enough slice.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 22 2019 8:29 utc | 160

james @159: Well, Turkey is a lot like US, USA, personality-wise, just farther along in the failed empire situation, and still trying to hold together as much as possible, rather that figuring out what makes things work when you aren't an empire anymore. Several other countries in Europe with similar "issues". So yeah, Nationalism, enemies, sturm and drang, and it does not work. He's lucky Putin wants a functional Turkey, as long as his doesn't piss off Putin, he's safe. Putin CAN crash his economy, and can afford to do it too, among other things.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 22 2019 8:30 utc | 161

james,

A way to think about how change occurs is the old becomes rigid and cracks, rather than adapting, like old skin, or a scab, or bark on a tree. While the new pushes through these weaknesses. Sometimes reenforcing and patching the old and sometimes slowly pushing it out of the way. To the extent the old resists any change, the more likely the break has to eventually be that much cleaner.
Then there is the broad spectrum of changes and older systems, from religions that require unquestioning faith and reject logic, to an economics that is obviously failing, to political systems more interested in inter party politics, than actually serving anyone other than those directly paying them.
Consider the extent to which Stoicism and Eastern religions are pushing out Established Christianity.
Even, I would add, theoretical physics, in trying to model time as a dimension, based on the narrative flow, from past to future, rather than change turning future to past, as effect, like temperature. It's a bit like a geocentric cosmology, being built around our perception, rather then an objective view.
So while we might think of progress as media attention, it is more that ground swell. As I pointed out, the left, logical side of the brain likes the clear distinctions of frequency and amplitude, but they only occur as the wave is cresting. The right, emotional, intuitive side is the thermostat/barometer, that senses the wave starting to build.

Posted by: John Merryman | Oct 22 2019 10:35 utc | 162

John Merryman - 163
"Consider the extent to which Stoicism and Eastern religions are pushing out Established Christianity."
That would be quite ironic, considering that Christianity was an Eastern religion - one among many that flooded Rome, and not even the one most adapted to its host or the one that made the most sense - and that its way was basically paved by ancient Stoicism, which laid the groundwork and is by some (many?) aspects Christianity-light.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 22 2019 10:43 utc | 163

@ c1ue | Oct 22 2019 2:52 utc | 154

All more or less as you say, but the hard fact is that for the people in our town and the ranches 'round it, and for our "small-holding"(well, there are chickens and orchards cows and a river and so forth) the solar PV works very well. I