Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 08, 2020

Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies

John Kiriakou, who blew the whistle about CIA torture under the Bush regime, warns of the foreign policy a Joe Biden administration would pursue:

Literally the last thing I would do is to urge anybody to vote for Donald Trump. The president has been a disaster in every sense of the word and in both foreign and domestic policy. The country can’t take four more years of a Trump presidency. But Biden is no panacea. He’s a center-right placeholder. [..]

If you think things will change in foreign policy under a President Biden, think again. It’ll be the same old expansionist, militarist policy that we had under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So go into the voting booth with your eyes open.

In my view Biden is more right than center. Even his campaign slogan is shared with the British conservatives.


A Joe Biden administration would extend the hostile policies towards Russia and China and would continue to push for regime change in Venezuela, Syria, Iran and Belarus.  This even as the organ of U.S. foreign policy orthodoxy, Foreign Affairs, states that U.S. induced regime changes never achieve their aims:

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s repeated assertion around the time of the Iraq war that Washington’s pursuit of “stability at the expense of democracy” in the Middle East had produced neither was broadly true. But it turned out to have a corollary—that pursuing democracy at the expense of stability might also produce neither, but at even higher cost.
...
Regime change will always tempt Washington. [..] The long, diverse, and tragic history of U.S.-backed regime change in the Middle East, however, suggests that such temptations—like most quick fixes that come along in life and politics—should be resisted. The next time U.S. leaders propose intervening in the region to overthrow a hostile regime, it can safely be assumed that such an enterprise will be less successful, more costly, and more replete with unintended consequences than proponents realize or admit. So far, at least, it has never been the other way around.

U.S. foreign policy does not change from presidency to presidency. In a recent interview President Bashar al-Assad of Syria explained why that is the case:

Question 9: You definitely follow the presidential campaign in the United States. And do you hope that the new US President, regardless of the name of the winner, will review sanctions policies towards Syria?

President Assad: We don’t usually expect presidents in the American elections, we only expect CEOs; because you have a board, this board is made of the lobbies and the big corporates like banks and armaments and oil, etc. So, what you have is a CEO, and this CEO doesn’t have the right or the authority to review; he has to implement. And that’s what happened to Trump when he became president after the elections –

Journalist: He used to be CEO for many years before.

President Assad: Exactly! And he is a CEO anyway. He wanted to follow or pursue his own policy, and he was about to pay the price – you remember the impeachment issue. He had to swallow every word he said before the elections. So, that’s why I said you don’t expect a president, you only expect a CEO. If you want to talk about changing the policy, you have one board – the same board will not change its policy. The CEO will change but the board is still the same, so don’t expect anything.

Question 10: Who are this board? Who are these people?

President Assad: As I said, this board is made up of the lobbies, so they implement whatever they want, and they control the Congress and the others, and the media, etc. So, there’s an alliance between those different self-vested interest corporations in the US.

Caitlin Johnstone would likely agree with that view. She argues that the two political camps in the U.S. hardly differ:

When you look at US politics, it appears as though there are two mainstream political factions that very strongly disagree with one another. “Divided” is a word that comes up a lot. “Polarized” is another.
...
But beneath all the hurled insults and heated debates, these two factions are actually furiously agreeing with one another. They’re agreeing the entire time.

They agree that the US government should remain the center of a globe-spanning empire; they just angrily quibble over a few of the details of how that empire should be run [..].
...
On all issues that most severely affect real people on mass scale, these two political factions are in emphatic agreement. They just pour a whole lot of sound and fury into the tiny one percent of the spectrum wherein they have some disagreement.

They do not allow for any mainstream discussion of if the oligarchic empire should continue to exist; all their issues, arguments and histrionics revolve around how it should exist.

This is what they are designed to do.
...
[P]olitics isn’t real in America. It’s a show. A two-handed sock puppet show to distract the audience while pickpockets rob them blind.

If you want to see things clearly, ignore the fake drama of the sock puppet show altogether and focus on advancing the real debate: that the US-centralized oligarchic empire is corrupt beyond redemption and should be completely dismantled.

I find it hard to disagree with these views.

Posted by b on October 8, 2020 at 14:12 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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"I find it hard to disagree with these views."

Amen brother.

So sad that the American people continue to fall for this facade. If we don't correct this situation other countries will have to do it for us. The only problem is many other countries are part of the empire as well.

Stay safe and sane folks, and don't let anyone choose your enemies for you.

Posted by: dave | Oct 8 2020 14:27 utc | 1

"The country can’t take four more years of a Trump presidency."

The country can handle a lot. It is the empire and its capitalist dominance of the planet that cannot take four more years. That's part of why I am hoping for another Trump win, even if I cannot bring myself to vote for him.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2020 14:41 utc | 2

To understand US politics, just look at professional wrestling. In front of the cameras, the wrestlers look and sound like they hate each other, even going so far as to piledrive each other and hit each other with chairs. Off-camera, they are owned by the same people sleep in the same hotel rooms.

The Republic Party uses conservative-coded rhetoric to justify the policies of its shareholders. The Democratic Party uses liberal-coded rhetoric to justify the same policies of the same shareholders.

The "leftist" initiatives of the Democratic Party are largely a bunch of giveaways to rich people dressed in liberal rhetoric. The best example is probably Obamacare, which literally forced the poor and dispossessed to hand over their meager earnings to large insurance corporations in exchange for fake health insurance that they couldn't actually afford to use.

I suspect that the pillars of the Harris Administration will be:

1) Continued "stimulus" for the wealthy elites and swamp creatures who are investing big in her candidacy
2) Warfare and plenty of foreign "intervention" to placate the Borg
3) Sexual and racial identity politics used to convince the gullible Democratic voters that points 1 and 2 are "liberal."

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Oct 8 2020 14:44 utc | 3

And in China, with its hugely successful one-party system that embraces the interests of all the people, educated Chinese such as Zhang Weiwei call the US system a contest between "parties of interest" - his 5-minute YT clip on this subject is always edifying to watch:
The CPC is not a "party"

It is only nowadays, as we become aware that both major parties in the US are largely controlled by the same interests, that we see a problem of non-representation, but it's important to note also that even the system as designed, running cleanly according to theory - where parties of interest compete to represent only partial interests and only portions of the populace - was always a poor system.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 8 2020 14:46 utc | 4

Somehow I'm missing the details in Kiriakou's original article what exactly "the disaster of Trump's foreign and domestic policy" have been,
and how a poteential Biden POTUS would be better or worse in comparison.

As it stands Kiriakou's is just giving us the same old "just trust my words, as I won't go into details" blabber.

Posted by: michael | Oct 8 2020 14:47 utc | 5

The Chinese might call the US system "One regime, two parties" or some such. The US needs a regime change more than anyone else, but the election is not providing it, that is indeed clear.

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 8 2020 14:55 utc | 6

"Everybody Knows"

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Any wonder why more than 90 million Americans
did not vote for president in 2016?
Everybody knows.

Posted by: Eve | Oct 8 2020 14:57 utc | 7

"The country can’t take four more years of a Trump presidency."

As I said in a recent comment on the Saker (dh-mtl on October 06, 2020 at 2:10 pm EST/EDT):

'Nothing short of either the financial collapse of the US and Europe, or war between the West and the Multi-Polar World Order, will end the reign of the ‘Globalist’ financial elites.'

If Trump wins, the U.S. will go through a slow financial collapse, following the collapse of the dollar as the World's reserve currency.

If the 'Globalists' (i.e. Biden) wins, they will go to war before the financial collapse happens.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 8 2020 15:03 utc | 8

But more central to b's point in the article - will the US population be voting on foreign policy or on domestic policy? It's the economy that matters most to people, that's what's hitting the hardest.

I agree that from a foreign intervention point of view, it matters little at present which of the two CEO's get to preside. But I really like William Gruff's view @2. That's how I think also. I would hate for the temple to come down on my head, and I will try to dodge it if I can - but if the price of a little bit of relative peace for the rest of the world is the collapse of the US, I suppose I must suffer it.

What was that waggish remark reported in the latest Renegade show? "The British are learning what it's like to be ruled by the British". I'm afraid that disaster capitalism has come home indeed to roost, and that the Americans are now going to be learning what's it's like to be plundered by the Americans.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 8 2020 15:06 utc | 9

B hits on the key point in the 1787 constitution of the USA.. .. Article II
section one says => the executive power shall be vested in the President.

sections 2 thru section 8 and amendment 12 say the people have no say in the election of this person

and Article II, section 2. makes this untouchable President<=the commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the USA, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the USA; he may require the Opinion in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments and he has the power to go grant pardons and Reprieves for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

exclusively he and his appointees handle all foreign matters. <=meaning the electoral college trumps Americans in foreign affairs.

He makes treaties, nominates ambassadors and other public ministers and consuls, judges, convenes both houses of congress,

Posted by: snake | Oct 8 2020 15:29 utc | 10

An election is a contest where the majority of counted votes determine a winner.

The US is a Republic with a Constitution.

Read Senator Mike Lees's tweets.

" The whole point of a Constitution is to tell majorities what they can't do, regardless of how badly the majority wants them."

So why would an election in the US change foreign policy?

Posted by: Randy | Oct 8 2020 15:36 utc | 11

best explanation and diagram: http://swprs.org/the-american-empire-and-its-media/

Posted by: rob | Oct 8 2020 15:53 utc | 12

This is disingenuous.
Trump hasn't started any new wars - unlike all of his predecessors going back multiple decades.
Jawboning, yes - but jawboning is still far better than "eloquent but actually a drone killer" Obama.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 16:20 utc | 13

An election is a contest where the majority of counted votes determine a winner.

Last election, Hillary got 3 million more votes than Trump.
The Dims in the Senate got 18 million more votes.
Comprende?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Oct 8 2020 16:25 utc | 14

thanks b... i have to echo assads words and state that it is a one party system for wall st, mic, and oil essentially.. it doesn't matter which CEO is running it.. they are looking after these same interests... this is also why a focus on how our world monetary system works is so important... the reason the usa can do all this is due the position of the us$ especially since 1971 when it came off the gold standard.. this and more has allowed our world to continue on in this way....

i have to agree with @2 william gruff and dh-mtl.... they are exactly right...

@ grieved... it has always struck me that the attempt to keep the american people ignorant of the usa foreign policy agenda while encouraging them to be the fantastic naval gazers they are, has been largely successful.. if americans want to see real change - they need to focus on how the rest of the world sees them, as opposed to how they think of themselves as the exceptional nation... now, i know many americans are hip to all of this too, so it is a bit of an ongoing loop that is not working and more and more do see this... i don't know how to break this, but as someone else said - @ dh-mtl | Oct 8 2020 15:03 utc | 7.. i see it much the same.. neither is a pretty scenario...

Posted by: james | Oct 8 2020 16:26 utc | 15

c1ue @ 12

I think the main reason why Trump hasn't started any new wars is just that we've run out of countries that we can invade without drawing in another major player. I expect that the wars will be mostly economic/propaganda under either Trump or Biden. We can only speculate about which of these lowlifes is more likely to stumble into WWIII.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Oct 8 2020 16:28 utc | 16

There is polarization in the USA. It's not of the revolutionary type (outright class warfare), but you don't need the threat of revolution for inner schisms to happen.

The polarization that is happening now in the USA is precisely of the imperialist type. In the 1990s, the USA emerged as the "lonely superpower", i.e. the head of a unipolar world order. In this unipolar order, the American doctrine became the "full spectrum dominance" (full-fledged dominance), i.e. that the American Empire should be able, if needed and wanted, to defeat the whole rest of the world combined, at the same time.

The "full spectrum dominance" turned out to be an utopia: the American Empire's resources were too limited to materialize it. It wasn't even able to achieve the first phase of the full spectrum dominance doctrine, which was to secure the world's main sources of oil (energy self-sufficiency). It burned trillions of USDs in Iraq and Afghanistan. To make things even worse, the Americans in fact won the war in Iraq - and even then the prophecy didn't realize. Iraq invasion of 2003 was the American version of the Ichigo Operation, maybe its greatest Pyrrhic victory ever.

As a result of the fiasco in Iraq and Afghanistan, POTUS George W. Bush wasn't even able to invade the other countries of his "axis of evil" list (North Korea, Iran and Venezuela). The Empire was clearly overstretched.

But rock bottom wasn't reached yet: to top it off, the 2008 meltdown happened. It happened right under George W. Bush's nose. Regardless, the USA was able to stave the apocalypse off by electing Chicago's finance candidate Barack H. Obama, some months later. Obama's first policy was to bail out the financial system, with a then unparalleled USD 1.1 trillion check (it has been now dwarfed by the Congress' multitrillionaire "rescue packages" during the COVID-19 pandemic).

Obama tried to keep Bush's doctrine by outsourcing the occupation of Iraq with mercenary groups while directing his military resources to China (Pivot to Asia), but, ultimately, his efforts were in vain. This is symbolized by his humiliating defeat in Syria, where Assad frequently crossed his imaginary "red lines", to no retaliation. At the same time, his efforts in Georgia and Ukraine failed and saw the rise of Russia as a global player. As a result, the American people effectively gave up the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine by electing Donald J. Trump, in 2016.

With Donald Trump, the American people faced a new reality. For the first time in their lifetimes, they would have to choose: Russia or China? The USA couldn't face the whole world at the same time. This is the true base of American polarization: an overstretched Empire being forced to make decisions for the first time in its history. And it's not even the case where Trump has simply given up Full Spectrum Dominance: he's still doing what he can when he can, by doing some kind of mix of economic sanctions with military escalation ("Maximum Pressure", which of "Maximum" it has nothing; it's actually "Minimum/Watered Down Pressure").

Posted by: vk | Oct 8 2020 16:30 utc | 17

@Timothy Hagios #15
What you say is possible, but my view is that any Republican would normally be fought tooth and nail by the "peaceful" Democrats whereas the exact same proposed actions, by a Democrat president, would be cheered as humanitarian.
Now multiply the negative reaction by 2 for Trump - because both the mainstream Republicans and Democrats hate him.
Trump has further hired (but also fired) neocons, so clearly he isn't ideologically sound...
If you're interested in peace, Trump is absolutely clearly the way to go...

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 16:34 utc | 18

c1ue - "eloquent but actually a drone killer" Obama - Perhaps you haven't been keeping up with the American drone war. It's excusable - the media that allegedly hates Trump have been reporting on it far less than they did with Obama. But why don't you do a quick Internet search with the following terms and tell me what you find: "Trump Obama Drone Strikes"?

Here are a few headlines that pop up (and the text of the articles does back up what is asserted in the headline):

"Under Donald Trump, drone strikes FAR exceed Obama's numbers" (emphasis/caps mine)

"Trump's Drone War Less Accountable than Ever" (he stopped the reporting that Obama implemented is the short version)

"Trump revokes Obama rule on reporting drone strike deaths"

"Civilian Deaths in U.S. Wars Are Skyrocketing Under Trump. It May Not Be Impeachable, but It’s a Crime." (The Intercept during the impeachment proceedings of course)

So to summarize, Donald Trump is killing more people with more drones and doing so with less transparency (who would have thought that possible?) and less accountability. Sounds like Donald Trump deserves your 'drone killer' moniker even more than Barack Hussein Obomber, doesn't it?

And to the point that there are "no new wars" - that's laughable. Yemen escalated, they tried to start a war with Iran (and will, I promise you, when Trump is re-elected - perhaps in addition to China by way of regional conflagrations), and don't forget the tens of thousands if not more people who have died in Venezuela and Iran due to the Trump regime's draconian sanctions. Do you think Joe Biden would hire John Bolton or Elliot "Monroe Doctrine" Abrams, war criminal, to handle his Venezuela policy? Come on - virtually ALL of the sanctions currently in place are Trump's not Obama's.

It's true - there is very little difference between the parties when it comes to U.S. foreign and military policy. But to pretend that Trump has been some kind of peacenik or that he's stopped the drone wars rather than broaden them and make them more secret or that Elliot Abrams isn't a special kind of evil who would never ben employed by a Democrat, takes willful ignorance.
"

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 8 2020 16:43 utc | 19

The confluence on foreign policy between Ds & Rs occurred in 1940 and has remained similar since, particularly when the #1 Policy Goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance was formally declared in 1996 after GHW Bush's initial announcement of the coming New World Order with the fall of the wall. Essentially, that policy goal escalated Cold War goals, and it continues under Trump as is easily seen. Pepe Escobar has a new article out highlighting the views of Chinese academic Lanxin Xiang. Escobar writes:

"A Trump 2.0 administration would essentially turbo-charge its first-term bet on decoupling, aiming to squeeze 'malign' China on a multiple hybrid war front, undermine the Chinese trade surplus and co-opt large swaths of Asia while always characterizing China as evil incarnate.

"Team Biden, even as it professes no desire to fall into the trap of a new Cold War, judging by the Democratic Party’s official platform would be only slightly less confrontational – ostensibly 'saving' the 'rules-based order' while keeping Trump-enacted sanctions."

Xiang sees Trump captured by Cold Warriors fascinated by regime change everywhere.

"All of the above directly connects with Xiang’s great concern about a possible October surprise: 'It could probably be over Taiwan. Or a limited engagement in the South China Sea.' He stresses, 'Chinese military people are terribly worried. October surprise as a military engagement is not unthinkable, because Trump may want to re-establish a war presidency.'

"For Xiang, 'if Biden wins, the danger of a Cold War turning hot war will be reduced dramatically.' He is very much aware of shifts in the bipartisan consensus in Washington: 'Historically, Republicans don’t care about human rights and ideology. Chinese always preferred to deal with Republicans. They [couldn’t] deal with Democrats’ human rights, values issues. Now the situation is reversed'....

"As it stands, the problem is 'a chief diplomat that behaves as a chief propagandist, taking advantage of an erratic president.'"

But to be top dog geopolitically you must be top dog geoeconomically, and the Outlaw US Empire has ceded that position to China; and as Crooke pointed out in his latest, that won't be easy to recapture. And it will be even harder the more the Financial Parasites use the government to attack the nation since that weakens it even more.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2020 17:00 utc | 20

Only one candidate was actually interested in finding another way for the US behave and she was treated like shit then, disappeared by the D's. The R's actually gave the woman a listen and treated her with some respect while noting their differences.

Posted by: S Brennan | Oct 8 2020 17:02 utc | 21

"In my view Biden is more right than center."

I agree, and I think that applies to all policy, not only foreign policy.

I would not call him a placeholder. I think he is far more malign than that. He is the block put in the road, to prevent change. He is what the donor elite uses to ensure, "Heads I win, tails you lose."

"Vote for anyone you like, as long as it's one of my guys."

Stalin in his famous quote would not have needed to worry about who counts the votes, so long as he controlled who is allowed to run.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Oct 8 2020 17:05 utc | 22

Is this controversial or something? I don't know anyone in the USA who expects anything different from Biden than the zealous Establishment view. When it comes to foreign policy the space between Dems and Reps is closer than those megalithic stone walls in Cuzco. It's Trump that wanted too much change in the status quo of the elites that caused an ongoing, rolling coup against the man. Too bad the President is a cautionary tale of demented privilege rather than service to humanity. Trump is taking his fascist clown act a might too seriously. He is a cult figure - Savior or Satan, depending upon which end of the FOX News/MSNBC divide one lines up. The USA is long past thinking for itself, and wholly awash in the bread and circuses debate of 'woke' and 'cancel'. 50% don't vote, and the other 50% are split between longing for the 1950s, and running from them. As the New Atlantis, how long before the USA sinks beneath the waves of its magical thinking?


Posted by: gottlieb | Oct 8 2020 17:06 utc | 23

I've honed down the phrase and the thought, over the last several years to this: "The arc of the trajectory of US geopolitical activities remains singularly unperturbed by the changing of the White House occupants."

No new wars indeed. Do you in fact read this space regularly, or any others that truthfully report on what happens beyond these fetid shores? Do you not understand the concept of hybrid warfare, or that the US is engaged in such in every hour of every day?

Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 8 2020 17:20 utc | 24

The testimony of Lt. Col. Vindman before the House Intelligence Committee explains it. He testified that the President does not have the authority to direct or change foreign policy. That authority resides in the bureaucracy. Since Vindman was a sitting senior Army officer, that testimony constituted mutiny, normally a capital offense. Following that speech he was fired from his job as National Security Council director for Europe. The US Army still tried to promote him to Colonel, but Trump intervened and prevented it. Following the Army's up or out rule, Vindman retired, unpunished. No one was punished. The reality of the Deep State was laid bare.

The last President to set US' foreign policy was probably Eisenhower. But he could do it because many of the agencies were relatively new, and he had personally commanded many of the senior members during WW II. Modern Presidents struggle against the Deep State. Sometimes they win, because the Deep State itself is divided: DoD vs. DoJ vs. FBI vs. CIA vs. NSA vs. White House staff vs. ... Then there is the matter of Israel. Israel enjoys the open support and obedience of some 300 to 400 members of Congress (out of 535), and those congressmen routinely support all of Israel's wishes regarding the Middle East. The US Congress is a whole-owned subsidiary of the Israeli Knesset. Discipline is enforced by Israeli-controlled media and the donations of rich Jews.

Posted by: bob sykes | Oct 8 2020 18:04 utc | 25

I think Assad's interview reveals something very telling that I believe b misses and the rest here probably will not agree with. But, whatevs....

When pressed, Assad would not say that Trump was on that board or had the same vision as the board. He merely ran into it as the President/CEO. Assad was not ready to condemn Trump. What does this mean? If you look at the concerted and coordinated effort to cockblock Trump at every step, you might actually notice that these same board members actually don't want him as CEO.

But what gives? We were just told by Assad and, by extension, b, that a Trump POTUS makes no difference, and yet they fight his placement as POTUS at every turn. It doesn't appear to be theater. It appears to draw blood and carry weight. Careers have been ended, Generals were in danger of prison time and losing their pension, etc.

Is it all fake wrestling? Not quite.

There is something about Trump's place in history, arriving at a peak and decisive moment within the globalist paradigm, that calls to mind its legitimacy and whether or not a neoliberal world order can be stopped and to what might have the ability to stop it.

That is why they want Trump out. They want the civil actor back in who won't let slip important words like nationalism, globalism, and such Trumpisms as when he was asked about the beligerent behaviors of other nations: "Well, you know we aren't such a good global-actor either."

We need to be clear. We knew they wouldn't just hand it over. And it is becoming increasingly clear that Trump lacks the ability and the coalition to drain the swamp under his watch.

We will have to harness what his legacy has left us. An opening into a world of language that we so desperately need today: the swamp, the deplorables, fake news, nationalism, globalism.

They hate him because he is uncouth. So are we. Nice shot, Mr. President. We will have to take it from here.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Oct 8 2020 18:07 utc | 26

I really thought that more of you would already know that Assad is right when he says that the US is a Corporation (with unknown owners). The "Owners" are the ones that supplied the gold to a then bankrupt country just after the US civil war. Who they are and where the gold came from has never been disclosed.

Quote below your information why the "President" acts only as a CEO "manager" rather than an independent. The stockholders wouldn't like to see their profits reduced.

Several significant individual acts of law have already been described that allowed the transition from capitalism into financialization to proceed unopposed, but the most relevant legal elements are contained within the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 that not only turned The United States into a private corporation under undisclosed ownership, but also established a dual Constitution without ratification via an Article V Convention. This illegal constitution altered the scope of Federal governance from that acting “for the People”, to that acting “of the People”, which is a meaningless legal term that renders the entire American population disenfranchised from the scope of Federal governance objectives. Since 1871, the true ownership of THE UNITED STATES has remained unstated, and legally this is important as an unstated corporate ownership here has the equivalence of stating that “We the People” do not own our own country.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 8 2020 18:13 utc | 27

In terms of foreign policy both parties are exactly the same. It is not the president, but the pentagon, think tanks and intelligence agencies which decide foreign policy, and those are career people–not just some clown for 4 or 8 years, but they are in key positions for their career, i.e. 20 or 30 years. That's why foreign policy doesn't change. But there are some differences between the two parties domestically, in some ways which pander to their bases and donors. For example abortion: repukes want it made illegal again, dems don't. Repukes want to allow school prayer, and allow creationism to be taught alongside or instead of science, e.g. like the Dutch reformist asshat Secretary of Education Betsy "amway" Devos. Repukes are more eager to work with the ALEC thinktank to draft laws which for example criminalise environmental activism into serious 'domestic terrorism' offenses with serious jail time. This is repukes serving their corporate masters in the oil lobby or fracking lobbies. Or gun laws: democraps mays at least pay lip service to some gun restrictions; whereas repugnicraps, entirely bought and paid for by the NRA want ALL types of guns readily available with no background check, or they pass insane 'stand your ground' laws that are a euphemism for 'kill anybody who approaches you within 10 feet and get off scott free. So there actually are some important differences between these two shitty, corrupt right wing corporate parties.

Posted by: deschutesmaple | Oct 8 2020 18:18 utc | 28

I see none other than the criminal Dr. K is echoing Crooke:

"The US needs to rethink its hegemony and talk to China about imposing limits on their competition, because the alternative is the creation of conditions similar to those that preceded World War I, Henry Kissinger has warned.

"You can say this is totally impossible, but if it is, we will slide into a situation similar to World War I."

Unfortunately, not much more is reported in the article, although I'm sure more was said at the event. From the info provided, it appears K is urging a Peace Track, which means calling a halt to the current #1 policy goal favored by those currently in charge.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2020 18:19 utc | 29

I have a request.

I agree with the general consensus here that there is and has been little difference between the political parties and that the results of that are evident. Some time back in these comments I offered up my bumper-sticker sized encapsulation of this: Stop looking left and right and start looking up and down.

We are all aware of Nader’s “one party with two right wings” or Warren Buffet’s “it is class warfare, and we have won” kind of quote (and I’m not trying to start a discussion on if these are anecdotal or misattributed). My problem is in conversations when I try to get this whole concept across, as it requires pointing out the shortcomings of one “side” before pointing out the same in the “other”. While put very well in the article and the comments, it is for many people a slog through some history and a list of facts, and before the whole picture can be presented I am characterized (accused might be more accurate)as a supporter of whichever side is not being derided or dismissed as fill-in-your-favorite-political/personal-epithet-here. Only once have I heard “Ah, you’re one of those free thinkers...”

I know that some background and facts are necessary to the arguments presented, and maybe I am running up against too many short attention spans, but do any of the many here brighter and more experienced in this than I have a more concise way to get this idea across to people without long disclaimer prefaces and quite so much “educational content”.

Lately I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door by agreeing with the assertion that Candidate X is an abomination, and then trying to get to the point that both candidates are just the current faces put in front of us by the actual long term abomination. This has had some small success.

I am at a loss for ideas, and any help would be appreciated.

Posted by: NotBob | Oct 8 2020 18:21 utc | 30

@ NotBob | Oct 8 2020 18:21 utc | 29.. i would just do it in bits and pieces, short of having your own website where you can extend it as far as you want.. good luck!

Posted by: james | Oct 8 2020 18:48 utc | 31

Attack on Iraq could happen before election:

'War is imminent': Iraq's Kadhimi moves to fend off US threat to target pro-Iran groups

"The United States has drawn up a list of 80 sites in Iraq linked to Iranian-backed groups that it plans to target if it follows through with a threat to close its embassy in Baghdad, Middle East Eye has learned.

The sites include secret headquarters and shelters used by Hadi al-Amiri and Qais Khazali, the respective leaders of the Badr Organisation and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), as well as sites associated with Kataeb Hezbollah (KH).

All three are Shia armed groups supported by Tehran which are also part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces under the nominal control of the Iraqi government.

Political leaders and armed group commanders told MEE that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared hundreds of satellite images of the 80 sites with Iraqi President Barham Salih during a phone call on 20 September.
Baghdad's Green Zone on alert after three Western targets attacked in 24 hours
Read More »

Pompeo also informed Salih of Washington’s plans to close its embassy unless the Iraqi government took action to stop attacks targeting the Green Zone, where the fortified building is located, and convoys delivering supplies to US and international forces elsewhere in Iraq.

“The Americans’ message was clear. If you don't react, we will,” a prominent Shia politician told MEE, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Allowing this to happen means an open war in Baghdad, and America’s exit from Baghdad means that this war is imminent...

...A senior official close to Kadhimi told MEE that the government had long expected to find itself caught in the middle of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran but had been surprised by the ferocity of the reaction of the Shia armed groups to the Kataeb Hezbollah arrests and by the suddenness of the US threat to close the embassy.

Still, he said, the government hoped to push the issue back until after the US election."

"The prime minister led a diplomatic campaign through contacts with leaders of countries who could influence the US president, and he held many meetings with European ambassadors, and these efforts succeeded at least by delaying the implementation of the decision,” he said.

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 8 2020 18:59 utc | 32

I see it quite differently then Caitlin since as we see with the article in the Council on Foreign Relations website that they have a different view on foreign policy than the war hawk Republicans and Democrats. For years the CFR represented the establishment foreign policy but no longer. Instead we now see a war hawk group which controls lots of Democrats and Republicans and has an agenda at odds with the CFR. Back in 2016 a leading voice of the CFR agenda Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote an article called Toward a Global Realignment which laid out a new vision for foreign policy. Kissinger also in 2015 was saying something similar in an interview.

The idea they promoted is very much against the new cold war we see going on now for a number of years. Brzezinski wanted America and its NATO allies to integrate their foreign policy agenda with Russia, China, and Iran. Kissinger said more or less the same, to work with the Russians, Chinese and Persians instead of against them. Those two for a long time were the main mouthpieces of the CFR establishment, yet we see that there is a completely different agenda coming from war hawks in both political parties and in the UK. Something has changed among the elites.

My guess is that new players have gained a lot of influence and the CFR establishment is no longer the dominant force in American and British politics. We saw that Obama had bad relationships with the Saudis and also with the Likudniks in Israel, they wanted him to invade Syria. Obama seemed to want to implement Brzezinski and Kissinger's ideas about making friends with with Russia at one point in his first term. Brzezinski was his advisor and the Israeli right complained strongly about that. Remember when Obama was caught on a live mic saying that in his second term he would be free to make friends with Russia? Well, what happened? My guess is that the new power is the Israelis and maybe also the Saudis who have pushed out the CFR people.

Maybe there are others like exiled Russian oligarchs. Those billionaires have been throwing their money around a lot in the UK. Have they, like Bill Browder, been using their influence to direct UK and American politicians to do their bidding vis-a-vis Russia? It looks to me like the idea of a single foreign policy establishment lead for the CFR is a thing of the past. Trump made the UK based oligarchy nervous because of their anti-Russia agenda. I think they were the main players behind the agenda to remove Trump with the Clintonistas as simply opportunists who joined them in order to gain power for themselves. I don't believe they have any philosophy on ruling the world other than gaining wealth and power for themselves, being aligned with various plutocrats and corporations simply to make money.

The Israelis and Saudis I believe have gained control of the war hawk agenda seen in both parties towards the Middle East and Iran. The anti-China agenda is something else, it looks to be pushed by other people with an interest in stopping Chinese domination over telecom, along with plutocrats who see the Chinese as a threat to various other industries. Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership was specifically aimed at stopping China, but China payed off a lot of people to get it stopped.

Posted by: Kali | Oct 8 2020 19:09 utc | 33

Biden said something incredibly lazy and stupid when questioned by a stenographer about his reaction to Trump's declaration that he would rather talk directly to The People than waste time debating waste-of-space Sleepy Joe Biden.
When asked "What will you do?" Biden had a little think and then said
"I don't know..."

WTF??!!!

Biden, the man who would be Prez, went to a presser about Trump's recalcitrance, before he'd had time to dream up an answer to THE most obvious question?

Biden is an empty suit. He didn't have an answer because he hadn't been told what to say.
That, is NOT leadership; or Management...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 8 2020 19:15 utc | 34

There's an old adage: Domestic Policy drives Foreign Policy. Recently, I've watched several excellent programs that explain that the prior Colonial/Imperial policies of the Anglo & American Empires are now being visited upon the home nations via Neoliberalism. I suggest watching this Crosstalk episode featuring Steve Keen and Michael Hudson and to either precede it of follow it with this Renegade Inc episode, which show beyond doubt that the Parasites are in charge of policy thus giving us an idea of what they want to obtain. Kissinger is proposing a very different program that the Parasites won't like at all since he wants to keep Nukes from flying while the Parasites don't care as much about that. They just want to eat and need to expand their banquet to include more hosts.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2020 19:20 utc | 35

c1ue | Oct 8 2020 16:34 utc | 17:

Respectfully, c1ue, your comment – word-for-word – would have been a plausible, albeit optimistic, opinion four years ago, but today is not connected to the reality being lived by millions of people around the world.

The assertion that “Trump hasn't started any new wars” (as you say @12) may have a grain of truth, but it obscures too much to count as a valid characterization of U.S. foreign “policy” since his inauguration.

U.S. aggressions under Trump, carried out without any detectable blood and fur flying from Dems (as you put it) fighting him “tooth and nail”, include (far from exhaustive list):

• this year’s greatly expanded (arguably “new”) drone war in East Africa (haven’t heard about it? that’s kind of my point)

• creating a de facto protectorate in northeast Syria

• two cruise-missile raids on Syria (which, far from being fought tooth-and-nail, garnered him Beltway praise for showing he can be “presidential”)

• continued and intensified starvation sanctions against Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and DPRK. These are in fact wars, with many civilian casualties, even without things going boom (though the assassination of Gen. Soleimani, and this summer’s Bay of Piglets fiasco in Venezuela shows there’s no Trump aversion to introducing bombs and bullets into the equation, and no Dem/Beltway appetite for challenging him on it).

• too many provocations aimed at China and Russia to list

Personally, I think Trump has no love of war, something I count among his vanishingly few good qualities (though his puerile love for uniforms and military razzle-dazzle has made him a dream for the M-I complex), but he’s far too weak, stupid, personally/sexually insecure, and easily manipulated for it to make a significant difference in what the U.S. has inflicted on the world during his first term, or what we can expect from a second.

I believe President Hillary might well have created a true nightmare of direct military confrontation with Russia in Syria, and for that reason alone we may all be lucky Trump beat her – we’ll never know. But it is demonstrably false that the Dems or the Beltway establishment in general have served as a check on Trump’s many continuations and escalations of U.S. rogue-state activity. In fact, the only Congressional squawking I can think of has been in response to the current election-season de-escalatory push in Afghanistan, and to his stated intention to pull some troops out of Germany. (It would be nice if the complaints were because he wants to transfer a portion to Poland, upping the threatening posture against Russia, but we know that’s not the case.)

On a micro-level one may argue either Trump or Biden is likely to be more or less belligerent in some given situation. For instance, I think the JCPOA (“Iran deal”) has become so personalized as an Obama initiative torpedoed by Trump, that a Biden administration will feel political pressure to try to tack back to it in some fashion, without renouncing the overarching hostility toward Iran (just as was the case under Obama). On the other hand, Biden may also try to shore up the U.S.-al Qaeda alliance that cooled a bit under Trump.

But be that as it may, neither Trump nor Biden merits the support of anyone who, as you put it, is “interested in peace”.

Posted by: David G | Oct 8 2020 19:21 utc | 36

james@30

Thanks for the reply and the suggestion. As to my own website, I certainly don’t have the time or inclination for that! (As a musician you will understand as I am currently trying to arrange/transcribe some Schumann for the guitar. Quite a project.). And bits and pieces still take time, but maybe making it into more digestible pieces is a good idea. Will try.

Posted by: NotBob | Oct 8 2020 19:22 utc | 37

@ 36 notbob... schumann is great! a good friend named his dog schumann in honour is him.. good luck with that!!

Posted by: james | Oct 8 2020 19:25 utc | 38

b: I find it hard to disagree with these views.

I find it hard to agree.

Consider: US business is very bad at long-term planning and would bicker and fight each other without a Deep State 'referee' who coordinates policy. US businesses and oligarchs would not be allowed to control the media the way that the Deep State does. Nor would they be trusted with knowledge of how markets or elections are manipulated in a way that ensures continuity of Empire priorities.

IMO there is a hierarchy of power among the oligarchs and lobbyists. A heirarchy that results in a small number of people that have real power. And when those people agree on a policy direction the direction of the country can change (as it did with Trump).

I suspect that this is hidden in plain sight: as we see certain long-term politicians and intelligence officials get favorable treatment from the establishment and media time and time again. People like Hillary, Biden, Bush, Mueller, maybe Romney.

Musing: it seems that GWBush may have joined the "DS Club" after his father passed away, if his rehabilitation is any indication. To wit: there would not be a rehabilitation (no need) if he hadn't been bumped up to "management."

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2020 19:30 utc | 39

U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies?
Wrong. The last presidential election gave us a president who started no new wars, and against Pentagon pressure has tapered off the existing ones. Plus Trump has created sour relations with long-time allies which has greatly lessened another 'coalition of the willing' which encouraged the vastly destructive effects of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Trump also killed the TPP which was the foundation of an advanced US hegemony in Asia. . . .These were huge changes in US foreign policies.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2020 19:39 utc | 40

@Duncan Idaho #13
The Founding Fathers had an absolute horror of pure democracy - because they are educated and understood the ridiculous crap that the mob in Athens would pull.
The electoral college system was the result.
If you don't like it, get it changed via constitutional amendment.
Until then, in English, comprehend that it is the law of the land.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 19:59 utc | 41

@David G #35
Your tactical points are valid, but the strategic question you should answer is:
Is Trump more or less warmongering than Obama, Bush, Clinton and Reagan? And Biden?
This is the point I was making - and it is not addressed by your response.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 20:01 utc | 42

@Kali #32
Your reading of the CFR is incomplete.
Both Brzezinski and Kissinger are members of the CFR. Brzezinski hated Russia because he's Polish; Kissinger advocated against China because he's a realist.
To say the CFR is "against Russia" is totally inaccurate. The CFR isn't the Central Committee of a communist party with a unitary public policy position.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 20:04 utc | 43

Let us consider the implications of a discussion where the sole metric of a candidate's worth is his alleged quality of having refrained from starting 'new wars'. To me, when you transpose the notion and apply it in an equal context, and it turns out astoundingly silly, then you know that narrative is very much degenerate. How many world leaders can we think of who could be lauded for 'not starting any new wars'? I could name a handful of empire poodles who might qualify, but other than that, the mere idea sounds silly.

Here's a different challenge : in how many wars is the US currently engaged ? How many can we name ? And just to be clear, the definition of war should apply from the perspective of those on the receiving end of America's focus.

And once we've counted every last drone operation in Africa, we should consider that the concept of war goes far beyond the overt and covert type. We can then start counting those other projects various agencies and departments are currently running: overthrow governments, impose governments, crush popular movements, lay economies to waste, pry open markets, destroy indigenous societies, destroy natural habitats, and on and on...

Posted by: robin | Oct 8 2020 20:06 utc | 44

@karlof1

The link you gave to Renegade Inc goes to the playlist of all their shows. Can you repost the link to the specific show you were speaking about?

Posted by: Kali | Oct 8 2020 20:08 utc | 45

@vinnieoh #23
The difference between you and I, is that I understand that a President of the United States - any President - is severely limited in what he can personally do.
Can Trump unilaterally repeal sanctions on Iran, Venezuela? No. Among other things, laws needs to be passed; generals and directors of various agencies need to be replaced etc.
A big part of the Republican and Democrat parties' power is that they have entire cadres of personnel ready to step in to fill the literally thousands and tens of thousands of bureaucratic positions in the Cabinet, Departments, military and agencies.
The "Deep State" is really this bureaucracy, and they're motivated mostly by pure self interest: the main drivers behind these various policies are big on the political side; failure to adhere to one or the other (and often both sides are basically the same) means getting kicked off the gravy train.
The fact that Trump did not accede to any new wars despite severe bureaucratic/Deep State pressure as well as pressure from members of his own administration (note he appointed a number of war mongers mostly because he didn't have anyone else to put in those slots), that's what I look at.
Can the same be said for Biden? I guarantee not.
Here's the question I would ask: if you removed Trump the man from what he has/has not done - how does that compare?
As has been said before: if you focus on the details of what Trump says, you won't like it. If you, however, focus on what he actually does, it is a completely different story.
North Korea: the peace talks didn't complete, but he actually got them to the table and got a set of points agreed on. Compare that to "peaceful" Obama, Bush or Clinton.
Iran: yes, he killed Soleimani. But he killed exactly 2 people in that strike. Compare with the far more typical wedding party/water and food foraging strikes.
Venezuela: the embargo goes on, but like Cuba before it - this act spans multiple administrations. Perhaps you forgot that Obama is the one who called Venezuela a "National Security Threat"? Will Biden go against Obama's embargo?
And then there's Russia. Do I really need to say more on this subject?

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 8 2020 20:15 utc | 46

Don Bacon | Oct 8 2020 19:39 utc | 39:

On the “no new wars” jingle I have a comment above, and “relations with long-time allies” have “soured” so badly that they this week sided with the U.S. in the U.N. Security Council in an unprecedented move to stop the currently presiding ambassador from Russia from having José Bustani testify on the Syria-OPCW scandal, and are eagerly joining in on the Navalny-Novichok foolishness. These are dogs that can take some kicking and still obey their master.

The TPP is another kettle of fish, and brings up the one area where Trump really has perhaps affected U.S. policy (either foreign or domestic) in a distinctive way and on a large scale, going in a different direction than what would have been expected of Hillary or Jeb Bush, or any other of the other designated acceptable candidates in 2016.

The decoupling with China seems real to me, and I don’t think we’d be seeing anything like it without Trump.

And *even if everything in the above sentence is wrong* (quite possible) this is still the one area where I think the Trump administration has deserved serious analysis as not just another interchangeable “CEO” (h/t Bashar), instead of the more than five years now of non-stop noise about everything from Mexican rapists (June 2015) to coronavirus super-spreading (October 2020), with not a single goddamn minute’s letup in between.

Posted by: David G | Oct 8 2020 20:22 utc | 47

Agree with Don Bacon.

USA and West are on the cusp of a momentous change in foreign policy: The movement to a 'club' or 'bloc' system again, with re-imposition of protectionist trade.

All International Institutions are being subverted/suborned to the purposes of the western 'bloc'.

New western 'different values' institutions are being created. Membership by invitation. Comply, you are in the club. Don't, you are ejected. Majority decisions, perhaps with USA, Germany, Britain (and maybe France) having veto rights.

This 'bloc' will use the so-called 'International Order' they themselves invent - as if a few countries speak for all 193 odd.

Forget the WTO - it will be dropped by the West. A new western (highly protectionist) trade organisation will ultimately be erected, controlled by the west.

All club members will have the most favorable trading rules. The rest will have tariffs to the moon, prohibitions, restrictions, bank access denied, currency non-recognition.

Military action, illegal under International Law, will be given the color of legality by members of the club under the cloak of 'human rights'. Anything will be a pretext for aggression, and as the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland commanded 'execution first - then the trial'.

The UN will still exist, but the club members will ignore what does not suit them.

I can smell it coming, and so can Russia. A Eurasian bloc will follow.

The Eurasian Bloc/Club created by Russia will follow similar principals, but more in a retaliatory tit for tat way. Importantly, the bloc will be open to all (yes, including the West), but rule solely by consensus (nothing is decided until everybody agrees), and be explicitly founded on the principles and purposes contained in the UN Charter. So no bloc military action will be permitted outside UN Security Council resolutions.

Lavrov hints at it, buried in carefully crafted oblique diplomatic words:

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4368405

Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 8 2020 20:30 utc | 48

The Republicans and Democrats to differ and do fight. They fight tooth and nail over who gets the spoils of victory. It's not just the money, but also the right to appoint friends and relatives to positions of high power.
For the rest, as in policy and vision? Say what?

Posted by: Hal Duell | Oct 8 2020 20:42 utc | 49

I find it hard to disagree with these views.

So do I!

Posted by: michael lacey | Oct 8 2020 20:51 utc | 50

c1ue | Oct 8 2020 20:01 utc | 41:

I think my comment @35 made it crystal clear that at the “strategic” level, I’m with Bashar al-Assad in saying that Trump is neither more nor less warmongering than other U.S. presidents, but just another guy to fill the suit (although admittedly worse tailored and with scotch tape on the back of the tie).

If you think otherwise, after almost a full term of Trump, I’d say the burden is on you to justify concretely why for those “interested in peace, Trump is absolutely clearly the way to go” (you @17).

Most particularly, I’d like to see you back up your assertion (also @17) that the Dems have fought Trump warmongering “tooth and nail” (times 2!). Of course, you don’t actually say they have done so, just that they *would* do so, even though he has been president for almost 45 months.

Why should we pretend it is four years ago, and ignore what we have seen both of what Trump has done and how the ostensible opposition has responded?

Citing specifics shouldn’t be dismissed as merely being “tactical”; it’s how we acknowledge reality.

Posted by: David G | Oct 8 2020 20:57 utc | 51

I have noticed that the direction and progression of domestic policy does not at all change when US presidents change either. The elimination of civil rigjts continues progressively through the succession of presidents during my lifetime. The erosion of the middle class, with the aim of elimination, also continues basically unchecked. The steady progression of corruption, namely its increase, continues unabated. The steady increase of criminal behaviors in the population also increases steadily.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 8 2020 21:04 utc | 52

This nails it for me
"[P]olitics isn’t real in America. It’s a show. A two-handed sock puppet show to distract the audience while pickpockets rob them blind."

Posted by: Steve | Oct 8 2020 21:05 utc | 53

The systematically implemented distancing of the focus of public consciousness is also continued through successive regimes. Basically, convincing as much of the population as possible that there is no such thing as right and wrong, good and bad, thereby reducing resistance to the criminal enterprises of the ruling class.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 8 2020 21:07 utc | 54

Basically, both political parties behave in the exact same manner towards everything and everyone, for all practical and realistic intents and purposes. The only thing different is the way they lie about it, which is supposed to confuse and polarize the population into 'picking sides', and being decieved into the exact same craptrap either way.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 8 2020 21:10 utc | 55

"USA and West are on the cusp of a momentous change in foreign policy: The movement to a 'club' or 'bloc' system again, with re-imposition of protectionist trade."

Certainly that's what the US wants; a return to the glory days when America was rich and the Soviet sphere was struggling to rebuild after a devastating war. Things cannot happen that way today, though. The USA had all of the industry in the world back at the end of WWII, but today that position is occupied by China. The West doesn't have the economic spine to cut loose from China. Any successful effort to do so will result in permanent recession in the West while China continues to grow, along with whoever is wise enough to sign on with their Belt and Road Initiative.

Permanent recession is going to set up like cement in the West anyway, and there is no way for the West to re-industrialize under market economics. Rolling the clock back to the 1950s is a reassuring fantasy for an empire on its deathbed, but it simply cannot happen. So long as the US$ remains the world's reserve currency, and thus remains strong relative to the rest of the currencies in the world, then investment in domestic manufacturing will be anemic at the very best. Except for brief periods under very unusual circumstances (surviving a global war unscathed, for instance), it is impossible to have the strongest currency in the world and the biggest industrial base at the same time in a "free market".

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2020 21:14 utc | 56

First of all: tell us something we don't know. Quit whining about the Trump alternative who is 79 years old, is planning to reinstate ACA with modifications people demanded and reinstate the JCPOA, and if he gets lucky someone on SCOTUS will leave and to make DACA legal and pass green legislation. HE WON'T HAVE TIME to nuke Russia FGS! He just wants a restorative legacy and then will retire! Why are you still trying to push that scoundrel Trump when there is nothing to lose with 4 years of Biden and everything to lose with effing Trump?!

Get this through your thick skulls: Trump is going to lose and lose bad. Anyone who's bleeding the support of women and goes out at the 11th hour calling Kamala a monster on national t.v. and writes MONSTER in caps on his twitter to describe a black woman is insane and killing off whatever support he has left!

I'm telling you, it's over for Trump, and you called it all wrong a few months ago. That's all that's going on here.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 8 2020 21:23 utc | 57

"The preceding message was brought to you by the DNC glee club"

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2020 21:26 utc | 58

NotBob @ 29:

Depending on where you live, you can always start with the local government or community politics situation, or even what is happening at the local primary or high school vis-a-vis some issue that has potential to be highly politicised.

Suppose your local council or school is considering issuing tenders for a construction project. Each and every tender has its merits and faults. People can always agree that, no matter how many tenders have been offered, no one tender will be perfect. Whichever the council or school chooses reflects its bias and prejudices. In many cases, the tender that is accepted is the cheap-n-nasty one, not the one that offers the best value for the money that will be spent on it. The winning tender may be chosen because the developer behind it has a friend or friends on the selection panel who did not declare a conflict of interest.

Football (in all its forms), baseball and cricket are other possibilities: most people are pretty knowledgeable about the politics that goes on in their favourite sports and can readily accept that most clubs in their sports are not above cutting dirty deals, and players can be played for pawns. In many sports, players come from poor families and do not have much education, and they are often easy prey for clubs and sports administrators, especially where money is involved and someone promises "we will (or "this will") take care of your family".

People can then accept that the military can be played by politicians and governments just as athletes can be played by the clubs they sign up to or the administrators in charge of the sport's regulations and rules.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 8 2020 22:40 utc | 59

Please forgive any redundancies in what I'm about to paste from a rather small tablet. I can't see more than three paragraphs at a time and it was written on the subway.

Regarding U.S. policy and Venezuela. Indeed, Trump’s sanctions have *mostly* been enacted within various frameworks set up by the Bush II and Obama administrations. As with many other things, the persecution of Julian Assange included, much of what Trump has done can be considered taking the most drastic action possible within policies conceived and readied under Bush II and Obama (the former attempted at least a few coups, as has Trump; the latter to my knowledge never actually did) – AND – conceiving of an implementing NEW draconian policies with scope extending far beyond those of Obama. For one thing, the U.S. began acting unilaterally in its sanctions regime after failing to get the OAS to sign onto the more drastic measures.
But, as with the drone program (actually started under Bush/Cheney of course), the targeting of whistle blowers, the persecution (which became prosecution under Trump) of Julian Assange, and many other things (as is always the case – every subsequent executive expands on and abuses the powers claimed by the previous ones), Trump’s Venezuela policy is an evolution, not a revolution. Why do you think he is spared criticism in the “resistance” mainstream media, and instead praised lavishly for his draconian sanctions regime there – including praise from involved figures in the former Obama administration?

On another front, it can be argued that the Trump administration, through its way-too-close and deferential relationship with the Saudi head choppers (and bone sawers) have conspired with Saudi Arabia to keep oil prices low in order to hit out at Venezuela – and of course Iran. By looking the other way, Trump allowed the Saudis to make serious headway in their attempts to crush the U.S. shale producers and weaken Iran. Russia was likely also an intended target. But Venezuela paid the heaviest price given their reliance on oil exports and the already crippling sanctions mentioned previously.

Further, characterizing the assassination of Soleimani, who was in Iraq on a peace making mission as a diplomat, in terms of immediate body count by comparing it to the common occurrence of drone strikes on weddings and funerals under Bush, Obama AND Trump is a disingenuous attempt to minimize its severity and farther-reaching effects. In my personal opinion, it was a blatant attempt to up the ante in the cage rattling game so high that Iran would lose their cool and lash out with a major military retaliation against US military in the region or their “interests” and “allies.” Iran didn’t take the bait in the manner Trump’s cabinet wanted them to, hence a potential hot war was dodged. But that isn’t exactly being any less warlike than Obama.

The list goes on and on. Trump’s supporters continually try to spin his foreign policy (and other) record(s) this way and that in order to differentiate him in an allegedly meaningful way from Obama (it’s much easier to do comparing him to Bush II). It’s horsecrap and 100% Red vs. Blue partisan politics trying to disguise itself as anti-war and push the “no new wars” lie (again, I believe that if Trump is re-elected we will see a real hot war involving Iran, even if there are no “boots on the ground” in Iran) that his supporters cling to (and his detractors debunk) in pretending he’s any better (or worse) than Obama or any other president for that matter, save George W. Bush. All of this leaves out Israel, Africa, Yemen and Trump’s own attempted color revolutions in Hong Kong and Belarus, coups in Venezuela and Boliva and the aforementioned intentionally anti-humanitarian sanctions that have cost perhaps hundreds of thousands of lives in Venezuela and Iran.

Finally, with regards to Russia, Trump’s supporters (or detractors) can’t have it both ways. Either he’s been tougher on Russia than any previous president since the heyday of the Cold War, or he’s soft on them. It can’t be both. Caitlyn Johnstone laid out a nice list of the escalations and sanctions that Trump’s administration has put on Russia. So while the Democrat faction of the Pentagon Party and the mainstream corporate media (which almost all have deep “defense” ties and/or share board members with MIC corporations) like to cry about how limp wristed Trump’s Russia policies have been, they have, in fact been the opposite. The anti-Clinton camp (of which I was a member) and pro-Trump camp were both very vocal in saying that electing Hillary would inch us ever closer to a nuclear confrontation between Russia and the United States. It was mostly predicated on the Syria situation and "no-fly zones" but with the benefit of 3+ years of Trump presidency history, and the increased sanctions and maneuverings in and out of the nuclear weapons treaty, it's safe to say we're a lot closer to nuclear annihilation than we were before, no Killary even needed.

And speaking of Syria, it's obvious that Trump’s drawdown there was a politically calculated move, with there being no real appetite among the American people for another Iraq and Assad already on the precipice of a victory – at least in retaining some of Syria’s sovereignty (much territory has been and is being stolen). Just shuffling illegal American military presence abroad around a little. It wasn’t Trump being anti-war from a “drain the swamp” or moralistic perspective – and – the situation is still fluid as readers of this blog know.
I’m certainly not saying Biden will be any better in the balance of things. The Democrat faction of the Pentagon Party has different fish to fry (with much overlap of course). But I would in fact expect a softening of the approach with Iran, Venezuela, China and a resumption of establishing relations with Cuba. As far as Russia and Syria – I can’t say for sure, but the situation isn’t the same as when Trump took office. It would take quite a bold move by the Biden administration to re-stoke any kind of war on Assad. It would probably be a continuation/evolution of the Trump approach.

By the way, I did read the MEE article linked above by ADKC. That looks to me like the first step in Trump’s much desired war with Iran should he be re-elected. More of the “maximum pressure” but turned up to 11 on every front, military, economic, political. It will, of course, run through Iraq. Iran is in the immediate crosshairs for Trump as soon as he’s got his lame duck second term and no concerns about assuaging the not-exactly-tiny-but-not-large (and very vocal) anti-war portion of his base.

All in all, just my rather long-winded $0.02.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 8 2020 22:49 utc | 60

@grieved #4

That was a great link! I especially appreciated his point about China missing the industrial revolution. If you think about it a bit, keeping industrial development from its non-European client states has been the West's MO since it's imperial rise, and stopping the evolution toward a multilateral industrial base NOT controlled by the West, is the basis for it's foreign policy, other than that controlled by various interested parties with lots of money.

@56 Circe

I tend to agree with you as Trump has muffed the economics in the last six months, as well as the response to Covid-19. For Americans that's all that matters. He could theoretically hijack the election through use of Electors superseding states popular votes, but inasmuch as the MSM is in bed with the Dems, that would be branded as traitorous.. Perception is everything in the US and he doesn't have the allies to pull it off. He cannot even get the revocation of security clearances executed, as there are too many high paying careers at stake, as well as the mask of a "Democracy".

Overall this is one of the best threads I've followed in a long time and my hat is off to b and everyone else for pulling out off

Posted by: TheOrherMichael | Oct 8 2020 23:10 utc | 61

The biggest problem maker in the world right now is USA/West/NATO. Let's list a few of them in order of importance:

1. planning to destroy the MAD principle by placing nuclear missiles right next on Russia/China's borders, thus rendering MAD irrelevant. Frankly, MAD is what has kept us(the world/planet Earth) from perishing into a nuclear war in the last 77 years(my mother's age). With MAD gone, USA/NATO/West calculate they can win a nuclear war by destroying Russia before it can retaliate. This is fairly serious development and no matter Putin's posturing, he isn't doing anything serious to prevent this. Putin MUST start doing something about this and fairly soon too. The Russians feel trapped and scared. Problem is as usual Russia doesn't have the "allies"/slaves the way USA/NATO has to be able to place missiles close to USA's border so USA can feel the same way Russia does. Putin better start thinking seriously about this. Maybe another Cuban type crisis is needed and this time Putin better not back down. Venezuela is another obvious place where the Russians can place their weapon systems.

2. Creating "alliances" with countries close to Russia/China's borders, roping them into being USA/NATO/s "allies", forcing them to buy USA's weapons and placing USA"S solders on their soil. Once again, what are Russia/China doing to counter this? Largely pretty much nothing. China is saying they will be singing a big contract with Iran, yet that won't occur until 2021. In fact, they should have done this back when Iran had its revolution in 1979. Both Russia and China should be running around the world much more than USA is and trying to make friends any place they can. yet I don't see them doing it, and in fact, the opposite in happening: They are about to lose Armenia/Azerbaijan/Kazakhstan/India to USA/NATO/West. I have been seeing USA causing problem in Central Asia for years now. What are Russia and CHina doign to prevent this? I need to know the concrete steps.

3. Sanctions are a powerful weapon that USA/West is using to their great advantage to weaken Russia/China economically. Say what you will but sanctions have hurt Russia's economy pretty badly. Poverty is rising in Russia and the ruble may even fall down to 100 rubles to a dollar. Don't try to tell me that isn't a problem: it increases inflation in Russia and inflation hurts ordinary people. Once again, Putin isn't doing enough to counter this; in fact he got caught and looked like a fool with the latest fake flag even featuring Navalny. Merkel put the knife into his side pretty good; maybe that is her revenge for Putin scaring her with his dog years ago. What is Putin doing? He should have already signed another treaty with China and a second gas line should have been started being build by now.

So a Biden win might just force Putin to act more proactively and to get off his butt and maybe really start doing something to counter USA/NATO/West various attacks against Russia and China. Hopefully a rabid Russia hater just as Biden/Democrats might just be the ticket to make Putin start behaving more aggressively. Russia needs a stringer more assertive leader.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 8 2020 23:16 utc | 62

Business lobbyists do not direct foreign policy. Businesses are risk averse and thus employees of the public minded owners are delegated the task of pursuing a balanced foreign policy that tries to appease all temporary local interests for foreign trade of some kind, aka "business," with the long run necessity of suppressing workers everywhere, domestically and abroad, which requires a certain amount of sacrifice. At this point, because of the objective decline in US economic power and the ineffectiveness of direct military power, there is a deep conflict over who to target first: Russia or China? Insofar as there is real opposition to Trump among the owners and their hired administrators, this is it.

Israel does not determine US foreign policy. Israel seems to have power but it is because Christianity, and Christian Zionism, are domestically powerful. Christians believe God gave Jews Palestine and Jesus will come back to a Jewish land (and quite a few like the idea the Jews have a home in Israel, not America.) And among the ostensibly secular minded, Israel is a democratic colonialism, one of the last shameless outposts of empire dedicated to the conquest of foreign lands and the dispossession of its former inhabitants. It is the American dream continued. Of course there's enormous sentimental power in public opinion, that provides great cover. Nonetheless, the tail does not wag the dog. Only committed fascists can "believe" Israel is the dog, Jewish finance, rather than the tail.

Economic warfare is warfare. Period. Siege tactics are assaults on the people. This is a continuation of domestic policy, which is also an endless attack on the people. Trump's crazed plans of US trade sanctions rewriting the world order were anticipated by Thomas Jefferson, who thought his Embargo Act would do the same thing. Jefferson's reputation for simple competence is vastly over-inflated. He peaked at the Declaration of Independence, a grand ideal to live up to, not yet an occasion for self-congratulation.

The dominant issue now is not even Covid, but how much of the massive bailouts of banks and other businesses will be allowed to trickle down to the masses. Trump is determined that evictions take place, that state governments go broke and cut services, that unemployment is the invisible whip hand of the market and that despite the trillions in paper money, debts will be squeezed out of the masses, no matter what, so that money will keep its value.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 8 2020 23:16 utc | 63

I didn't read anyone saying that Israel and Israel *only* directs U.S. foreign policy everywhere. They do play a severely outsized role, though - especially in the ME and SE Asia. And no - it's *not* all because some evangelical Christians and end-of-times folks happen to agree on a couple of things. In fact Israel *does* have its tentacles deep within the ranks of the U.S. government and department of "defense" - and - Israel's geostrategic and Zionist domestic interests are guarded by the U.S. like the sacred cow.

As to the electoral college - you can't really talk about it without mentioning slavery, which is what c1ue did above. I think the readers of this blog are well informed enough to know that it wasn't *just* a fear of plain old democracy. It was deeply influenced by those who benefited from slavery as well.

And yeah, sanctions and embargoes/blockades are acts of war. Period. In that regard I would bet Trump ranks up there with the biggest warmongers of all time (not like there's a whole lot of space between the ones at the top of the list). Trump's administration has taken the precepts and "legal" structures laid out by Bush and Obama and amplified, expanded and put them on steroids - virtually every time with the blessings of the "resistance" "anti-Trump" mainstream corpress news media.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 8 2020 23:25 utc | 64

Whoops, guess I somehow missed bob_sykes at #24 re: Israel.

Yeah that's taking it more than a tad too far.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 8 2020 23:39 utc | 65

Notbob@29
If you haven’t read Caitlin johnstone’s latest, which B linked, you should. She succinctly makes the whole case. May give you a starting point. Or, just recite it to someone. It is truly magnificent..

Posted by: Skuppers | Oct 8 2020 23:51 utc | 66

Hogwash: "The only way to save what remains of the republic is to vote a typical center right candidate like Biden to beat back the Unitary executive doctrine pushed by republicans and eventually repeal Citizens United at the supreme court."

Anyone who thinks that ANY president will "beat back" the unitary executive doctrine is fooling themselves. What meaningful things did Obama do about it? Nothing except continue to take more of the powers that Bush before him did. Maybe Holder drafted a memo or something, but it did nothing to claw back the powers seized along the lines of unitary executive theory. IF anything in that regard is to change it will be CONGRESS that must do it. CONGRESS must take back these powers that they have willingly ceded to the executive over the past 50+ years. So your argument should be that we need to elect Democrats to CONGRESS and pressure them to do this, NOT insisting that some center-right ghoul like Joe Biden will do the first thing about it.

Same thing with Citizens United. Pass better legislation. With teeth. Hoping on the SCOTUS to do anything further about it is false hope. If in fact the issue is to be addressed by SCOTUS, Biden and the Democrats in CONGRESS will need to pack the court(s) and hope it comes up again. Better to just legislate in a manner that won't be overturned AND pack the courts, but they'll likely do neither. Certainly not without majority Democrat House and Senate, and almost as certainly not even with them. I wouldn't hold my breath for any meaningful change either way. TPTB own the U.S. government and that's the way it's gonna stay.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Oct 8 2020 23:51 utc | 67

The direct link for Renegade Inc latest show is here:
Renegade Inc | The War Hawks Come Home to Roost
It's at the top of the playlist, of course.

And I agree it's an excellent interview. It parses current events perfectly into neoliberal Disaster Capitalism and the discarding of US society by an oligarchy that now requires no country to call home. The only thing not mentioned is that for a hundred years, the overarching neoliberal policy goal has been for the universal portability of capital around the world. It is now so portable that this is what has freed the rich from having to call any country their home base.

Also, Escobar's latest piece, linked by karlof1 up-thread, goes to the paywalled AsiaTimes, but it's also out at Saker now:
The limits of Chinese power

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 8 2020 23:59 utc | 68

There's certainly a pattern since the start of the End of History (1991):

1) During the two true End of History POTUSes (George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton), the USA's hegemony over the world was such that it could play cute and obey International Law and its institutions. Rhetoric was chivalrous and very considerate to the inferior countries, and wars were waged with the "consent" of the UN (e.g. Somalia). China was treated as a cute big Third World country, where American capital could be outsourced to without any major consequences. Russia was firmly under American dominance (Yeltsin frequently had to beg Bill Clinton for money on the phone) and on its knees. The only "bump" on the road in this period was the criminal destruction of Yugoslavia, which was clearly intended to do a Communist version of the "Nürnberg Trials" and thus bury socialism forever; in that, it failed. Both economic crises that happened during the period - the 1997 Asian Tigers crisis and the Dotcom Bubble burst of 2000 - were easily fended off by capitalist system, then healthy again thanks to the absorption of the surpluses of the ex-Soviet sphere;

2) The beginning of the end of the End of History, during George W. Bush's reign (2001-2009); Bush II's reign was marked by a much more absolutist, messianic and aggressive policy (Full Spectrum Dominance; For New American Century) and rhetoric. The USA abandoned the cordiality that marked the rhetoric of Bush I's and Bill Clinton's reigns and started to be much more harsh against International Law and its institutions. The break up happened in the invasion of Iraq, which the UN was against. The USA invaded another nation alone for the first time in years. The invasion and destruction of Iraq, plus the invasion of Afghanistan both happened with American troops directly. We now know Bush II also wanted to invade Venezuela, North Korea and Iran, but the Empire was already showing clear signs of exhaustion - symbolized by the meltdown of 2008, which also marked the death of neoliberalism and the end of the End of History (1991-2008).

3) The first reign of post-End of History America, with Barack Hussein Obama, a senator representing the financial sector of Chicago. He bailed out Wall Street (USD 1.1 trn) right after feigning closing Guantanamo (bait and switch tactic). But he started to pull back from Full Spectrum Dominance, by hiring mercenary groups to substitute American troops in Iraq. From now on, regime change operations would happen through color revolutions, not by direct military invasions anymore. He did it in Latin America, Ukraine, other Eastern European nations and tried to do the same with Syria - this time, with a much darker, more gruesome weapon of choice (ISIS). He also intensified the usage of drones so as to keep the troops count officially low.

4) Trump's reign (2017-2021). Trump represents a further pull back from Full Spectrum Dominance. Now, instead of mercenary groups, he's resorting to economic sanctions (Maximum Pressure). Some more color revolutions (Belarus, Venezuela) still happen, but they are getting scarcer. He tried and failed to pull out of Afghanistan at least three times, but peace talks with Taliban begun. He also tried to peace talk with North Korea - a nation George W. Bush tried to destroy. The pattern here is clear: instead of trying to achieve a bunch of small military victories against small countries, Trump is trying to get one big victory against one big country (the biggest): China. Make no mistake: Trump wants to murder 1.435 billion people. To achieve that, he's trying to break MAD (Prompt Global Strike; tactical nukes; expansion of NATO; Quad talks; rapprochement with Australia) plus is trying to gain time with a series of economic sanctions and acts of piracy (ransack of TikTok). But the fact on the field remains that the Full Spectrum Dominance - once considered just a matter of time and execution - is now just a distant dream: the American alt-right (Trump's main supporter base) is already talking on racial terms, imploring him to become an equal partner to Russia in order to annihilate China. The very fact that white supremacy was reborn in America is evidence itself of America's relative decline, as the premise is the USA alone can't do it anymore: it will need to ally with its "white brothers" (Russia) to win its ultimate war against the "yellows" (China).

To sum it up, we have this pattern since end of the Cold War:

USA as "hors concours" Era → Full Spectrum Dominance Era → Mercenaries Era → Maximum Pressure Era

We can thus observe a clear pattern of decline. In this sense, Bush II's "For a New American Century" is extremely symbolic, because, at the same time, it represents the end of the de facto Full Spectrum Dominance (which already existed before his reign, just without the name) and the necessity of a presidential candidate at the time (2000) to "up the ante" on an already very high level (in fact, the highest possible for any nation-state). For a New American Century is, therefore, both an evidence of recognized decline by the American people (i.e. that the unbelievable times of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton could hardly be repeated) and a hope (false hope?) that it could, somehow, come back (even if at a slight inferior form).

Posted by: vk | Oct 9 2020 0:08 utc | 69


President Assad: We don’t usually expect presidents in the American elections, we only expect CEOs; because you have a board, this board is made of the lobbies and the big corporates like banks and armaments and oil, etc. So, what you have is a CEO, and this CEO doesn’t have the right or the authority to review; he has to implement.

Perfectly stated. Unfortunately nothing we didn't already know. And since no one is going to listen to Assad, he might as well not have said it. And since no one in the US can do anything about it, the situation will continue indefinitely, or at least until some external geopolitical forces or internal collapse reduces the US military to the status of a Third World country. Further discussion is pointless.

Posted by: Richard Steven Heck | Oct 9 2020 0:35 utc | 70

Not only are these views that one can disagree with - more importantly though, these are views that are hardly new!

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 9 2020 1:03 utc | 71

Exactly, the world will lose no matter if Biden/Trump wins in November. The best thing that US voters can do is vote for third party candidates, to reject the current neo-liberal political/economic system.

Here is a link to the US Green Party's presidential campaign site:
https://howiehawkins.us/

Posted by: N | Oct 9 2020 1:46 utc | 72

What they Really mean ... is: Get BACK To A BETTER HeLL!"

Sorry .. but I'm done with the 30+year blue PIGmented purgatory,thank you very much!
The democrat gang just can't help itself but double-down on ineptitude & cluenessness!

I'm going full Orange Chaos, come Hell or high-water

... as for the so-called blue tsunami .. could be but a pond ripple.

guess we'll see ..?

Posted by: polecat | Oct 9 2020 1:48 utc | 73

Grieved @68--

Thanks for doing those housekeeping chores! What did you think of Dr. HK's statements? IMO, current behavior predicts future actions. I also think it's important to mix in what's being said publicly by the Russians and Chinese, much of which I've linked to, with Lavrov's latest being the most critical, IMO. Also, the test launch of the hypersonic cruise missile by Russia was also a signal. Last, it appears Nord Stream 2 will be finished given what I read earlier today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2020 2:00 utc | 74

Biden & half Wall street are pro China contrary to Trump & the military. Watching "Riding the Dragon" should settle any doubts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRmlcEBAiIs

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 9 2020 2:01 utc | 75

Trying to look at things that might be different. It's just what I could think of and thus extremely limited and misleading. I'm deliberately avoiding "core issues" that all seem to be either bs or unlikely to ever actually happen one way or the other (all the blah-blah stuff).

I am assuming Biden is 100% a non-entity (hasn't he always been?) and further include the possibility that Trump could croak soon (for any reason).

1.
Who will be more dysfunctional as POTUS (not VP) if it's between Trump or Harris?

I think Trump will continue to be the more dysfunctional.

2.
Who will be more dysfunctional as POTUS (not VP) if it's between Harris or Pence?

Hmm that's a harder question but I think it's Pence.

3.
Do I in any way no matter how insignificant, indirect, and remote (I'm European etc.) want to contribute to the first thing that will happen after a D-brand victory when media and entertainment outdoes themselves in fawning over and praising a D-brand victory?

No.

4.
Is the D-brand more likely to contest a R-brand "win" than the other way around?

Maybe not.

5.
Are D-brand supporters etc. more likely to go ballistic than R-brand supporters etc.?

Maybe yes.

Sum:
If 4 and 5 cancel that would make it 3 out of 5 in "favor" of Trump. That's narrow until one also considers that it's 0 out of 5 against.

It still feels closer, guess I care less than before.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 9 2020 2:04 utc | 76

The two political parties differ only in the methods to achieve their objectives, the objectives stay the same.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 9 2020 3:01 utc | 77

Grieved @68,

Thanks for the info about Escobar's piece. However, my understanding is that there are indeed some Chinese scholars in China hold a similar view to Dr. Xiang's- that China should still follow Deng's approach "Dao Guang Yang Hui" to keep a low key and mind its own business. However, that is not practical, given the progress that China has made in the past 10-15 years. It just could not "hide" any more even if China wanted to. Given that, I don't think amerikka would just sit there to give China another decade or so. amerikka is not dumb and that's why there will be not much change in the policies regarding China after Nov. Chinese have a term for this kind of scholars- "Gong Zhi". This kind of scholars are brain-washed very well to believe in the myth of democracy and free speech. Unfortunately, they don't necessarily understand either its own Chinese culture nor the real west under the covers. Their existence is to pollute the air and muddy the water without any actual contribution to the society. Per what Escobar cited from Dr. Xiang, it seems to me that his background is more from the western concepts. IMHO, applying western concepts to China often does not work well. Especially, the west typically use double standards- one for the west and the other for everyone else. And the standard can change at any time for any reason by the west.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Oct 9 2020 3:13 utc | 78

@74 karlof1

I don't know how much influence Kissinger has in US thinking anymore, and I don't give him much thought personally. He's right in what he says of course but it's pretty obvious stuff, spoken to people dumb enough to miss the obvious completely.

I like what Kali @32 says, that something seems to have changed within the ruling powers of the US sphere (the "elites" thereof), and plenty feel the internal clashes and the vying for supremacy within the US system for sure. Someone here suggested that if we watch closely we might learn a lot about who's who in the elite system of rule - it might have been you but I think someone else.

~~

As to other things, I don't fully resonate with Xiang's critiques of China policy or his prognostications. But Pepe rates him highly - so much that he's going to write a column detailing Xiang's book. So I'll just leave my mind empty on all that until that article appears.

I enjoy watching the miracles that China pulls off daily, in this age of everything being filmed. I don't worry too much about the critiques. I know a miracle when I see one - first with Russia and its unyielding morality, and then with China and its unlimited creativity. These two (and other friends of course) have saved the world, even if I go down in my diminishing part of it.

I thought the Renegade show was flawlessly articulate of the current US situation. Bummer. Welcome to the Naomi Klein meat grinder, right here on our front lawns. One hoped for a quiet life. Oh well.

FWIW, I never did really think that Pres. Hillary would have taken us to any more wars than anyone else, and I don't see that Biden would do more or less than anyone else. I guess there's a bit of discretionary room for a president to crush a small nation here and there - sort of out of his weekly allowance, kind of thing - but I think strategy and tactics are more powerfully held decisions, perhaps even from years of forward thinking. Not that this makes any of the moves smart.

I believe in the tides of history, and I know losing battles when I see them. It's like this business in Iraq that ADKC @31 has linked to in the Middle East Eye report. That's an interesting article. The US gets annoyed because they keep hitting the Green Zone, so they threaten to pull their embassy, and the leadership of Iraq panics - there goes all the baksheesh. And they'll target 80 Iraqi sites of activists and militias.

It's all a threat/bluff, and no one in the article believes the US would pull the embassy - but the US could pull the trigger I suppose - I could see it. One would see the US withdrawing just as Iran promised, and Trump would be the absolute best entertainer to throw out the bluster covering the retreat - and they'd shoot some ordnance at sites long since warned, declare victory and leave.

In a world filled to the throat with the shit dispensed by the long-stale west, it would be a nice vignette.

~~

nice to catch up with you and have the chance to talk with you by the way :) I value your posts as always.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 9 2020 3:21 utc | 79

Addendum: the comments to Escobar's piece at Saker that Grieved@68 referred look more interesting than the piece itself.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Oct 9 2020 3:22 utc | 80

Grieved@79,
Thank you very much for the follow-up comments. I saw it after posting mine.

Your comments, like karlof1's, are very articulated and reasoning. I appreciate your kindness to share your thoughts.

Posted by: LuRenJia | Oct 9 2020 3:29 utc | 81

@81 LuRenJia

Thank you, but no more kind than you or anyone else here. We were saying the other day that there is a human bias towards cooperation rather than competition. Even when people argue here and try to dominate, I suspect they don't see that their competition is actually cradled in the nursery of cooperation. We share. And thus we win.

And we can see this writ large with China.

I agree about those comments at the Saker - they were not very happy with Pepe Escobar's admiration for that analysis by Xiang, were they? But as I said, Escobar will write an article about what Xiang's point of view is, and I suspect it's large enough that this one taste of his thinking doesn't do him, or Pepe, justice.

We often see this with people of large minds such as Escobar, and Crooke for example, that some of their articles seem wrong, because they're really part of a larger theme trying to articulate itself more perfectly. By the third or fourth article these authors usually present something that changes one's paradigms. We can afford to wait.

I agree with your feelings expressed in #78. Nice to talk with you - I don't get a lot of time to stick around here, I'm a drive-by shooter in the comments threads, but I do enjoy this sharing thing that we humans do.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 9 2020 3:43 utc | 82

The reason why much of the American political oligarchy "opposes" Donald Trump is NOT because of his policies (which they largely support) but because he is a boorish, clumsy, and buffoonish salesman for these criminal policies and ultimately for the Anglo-American Empire in general.

So of course US elections do not fundamentally change the Anglo-American Empire's behavior around the world.

That is because Anglo-American "Democracy"--and capitalist Liberal Democracy in general--is an Orwellian deception of the first order.

Indeed, Liberal Democracy itself is a Civilizational Lie--a lie that is deployed to conceal the reality of Anglo American Empire and Capitalist oligarchy, which are the *true* powers behind the throne.

Democracy is a (false) secular religion that the masses of people worship and pay fealty towards--no matter how many times it plays them for losers and suckers.

As H.L. Mencken once said:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

Choose and Lose, suckers.

Posted by: ak74 | Oct 9 2020 4:34 utc | 83

I read some really good comments here and some really stupid ones belonging to the usual suspects. You can smoke out Trumpbots in their delusional interpretation of peacenik Trump (ex:c1ue) and Trump the iconclast (ex:NemesisCalling).

C1ue-less, Trump didn't just kill 1 or 2 people when he ordered the assassination of Soleimani. What a dumb, uninformed statement. Trump killed 9 other people in that strike and previously hundreds of Iraqi militia fighters. Also, Soleimani, a strategic thinker, would have been the next leader of Iran to replace Rouhani. His assassination was an Act of War as are the sanctions.

*******************

On the subject of Israel calling the shots with Congress. It's not Israel; it's Zionists running Congress. Israel is but a strategically-located military fortress governed by inferior Zionists from Eastern bloc countries. Zionism, the wider supremacist power, is not contained within the confines of a piece of desert symbolic of Jewish entitlement. Unlike mere colonialist authority over Palestinians, Zionism in its wider manifestation is superiority over Christendom.

It's really amusing that some here pretend that somehow Trump is different and is not in service of the rulers of the Empire. Trump is a Zionist Fascist and was Chosen not to destroy the Empire as some, particularly non-Americans, fantasized he was doing, but to crush leftist dissent and make America even more undemocratic than it already is. Trump's first move was to cut taxes for the super-rich on Wall Street and then tear up the JCPOA, impose more severe sanctions on Iran than the previous ones and declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Those moves were intended as gestures of gratitude and loyalty to Zionism.

Trump has been filling the Courts with Conservative judges and using federal militia to squash dissent. He has cracked down on leakers and whistleblowers, and had Assange arrested and imprisoned for the purpose of extradition. Had it not been for Covid, Trump would have succeeded in bringing fascism to America.

In 2016 I foolishly believed that Trump's moves towards fascist rule would trigger revolution on the Left to take down the system but Trump has already proven that he will decimate any uprising.

For now, all prospects for change are limited, and challenging the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United will be made even more impossible with Trump's latest nominee for Justice to the Court. Trump wants to ensure that Citizens United is never overturned.

The first step for now is to get Trump OUT.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 9 2020 4:49 utc | 84

Circe @Oct9 4:49 #84

It's really amusing that some here pretend that somehow Trump is different and is not in service of the rulers of the Empire.

YES!

But why do you then go on to pretend that somehow Trump is different by saying things like:

Trump wants to ensure that Citizens United is never overturned.

No!

The Deep State/Empire wants to ensure that Citizens United is never overturned and both Trump and Biden will do their bidding.

<> <> <> <> <>

The only hope for real change is a concerted effort to restore Democracy in USA. That will take a Movement.

Don't Waste Your Vote on a duopoly candidate!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2020 5:15 utc | 85

The Escobarometer is broken

Escobar does a disservice by asserting that Russia wants Trump to win the election and China wants Biden to win.

This plays into the Deep State game. And I see no evidence that Russia and China actually side with either US Party or candidate. I'm sure Russia and China leadership understand the US leadership dynamic much better than the ordinary Americans/Westerners. THEY KNOW that the Deep State controls the duopoly and selects the President. Western propaganda and lies are targeted at the Western public.

<> <> <> <>

Caitlin Johnstone wrote about exactly what Escobar is doing: Liberal NPCs Hate Russia, Conservative NPCs Hate China

And now we’re seeing one of America’s two mainstream factions cheerleading for increased hostility toward America’s primary rival, while the other faction cheerleads for increased hostility against that rival’s right arm. This two-pronged propaganda campaign has enabled the establishment via the Trump administration to escalate tensions not just with China but with Russia as well.

Caitlin also previously explained how the population are manipulated into this nonsensical behavior:
Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment. Arguing over whether it’s better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it’s better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whom should be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2020 5:35 utc | 86

Readers should not miss these recent Caitlin Johnstone posts:

On Vote Shaming: 21 Ways Supporting The US Establishment Is Worse Than Voting Third Party

The vote-shaming engines have predictably kicked into high gear in America as the presidential election approaches, with shitlib pundits like Bill Maher doing their part to paint third-party voters as the most toxic people in the world.

Americans Who Support Status Quo Politics Are American Supremacists

That said, Trump is not a uniquely bad president. The only way to see him that way is to believe that American lives are far, far more important than those of the millions of mostly brown-skinned human beings who have been murdered by the US war machine under the leadership of both Trump and his predecessors.

. . .

Americans who support status quo politics, whether by the oligarchic warmongering Democratic Party or the oligarchic warmongering Republican Party, are American supremacists. They might not know it, but they are. They support a political paradigm in which people in other parts of the world are violently butchered to protect a US-centralized power structure which exists solely for the benefit of the powerful. Their American supremacist worldview allows them to see their own emotional discomfort as more significant than human bodies getting ripped apart by explosives every day around the world in support of the status quo their mainstream political faction promotes.

. . .

It would be one thing if Americans actually benefited from all the bloodshed; that would just be garden variety human predation. But it’s not even that; the American supremacist worldview serves nobody but a few elite sociopaths who’ve enmeshed themselves with the world’s most powerful government. Ordinary Americans consent to the interminable churning of the US war machine at their own expense and to their own detriment because they are kept ignorant, poor and propagandized so they don’t get any grand ideas about intervening in the empire-building of the manipulators.


Don't Waste Your Vote on a Duopoly Candidate!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2020 5:47 utc | 87

Posted by: N | Oct 9 2020 1:46 utc | 72 The best thing that US voters can do is vote for third party candidates, to reject the current neo-liberal political/economic system.

Except they're not going to. So why bother advocating it?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 9 2020 5:15 utc | 85 The only hope for real change is a concerted effort to restore Democracy in USA. That will take a Movement.

To quote Percival Rose yet again: "That ain't gonna happen."

Posted by: ak74 | Oct 9 2020 4:34 utc | 83 As H.L. Mencken once said: “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” Choose and Lose, suckers.

That reminds me of that line from "Blazing Saddles": "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

Or don't bother choosing. Everyone needs to get it through their heads that there is *Nothing* with a capital N that is going to change the course of this country short of what I said above: external force or internal collapse that reduces the US military to a Third World capability. Which will pretty much require reducing the US population by a third to a half, at a minimum, as a by-product, if it's done by nuclear war.

So the only question of interest is: what are you doing to prepare for that?

And in the meantime, I just read about polls that show over half of Americans expect a civil war in the next five years and over 50% are stockpiling food and guns in preparation:


Nearly half of US voters believe the election will not be 'fair or honest' and 61% are worried the outcome could spark a civil war, surveys find
A YouGov survey of 1,999 registered voters found that 47% do not think the election will be 'fair and honest'
51% said they did not think that Americans will 'generally agree' on the outcome
56% said they expect to see 'an increase in violence as a result of the election'
Another survey found that 61% of 491 respondents fear the election could spawn a new 'civil war'


The poll asked questions related to the practice of hoarding supplies in anticipation of everything going south, with 52 percent of respondents indicating that they’re stocking away supplies because of recent events — like social unrest and Covid-19 — taking place across the country. Interestingly, a question posed to people who have already chosen to stockpile supplies show that 58 percent of them chose to do so because they fear a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Meanwhile, another survey covering 491 registered voters said 61 percent feared that the US could slip down towards a civil war in the wake of the poll. While 40 percent strongly agree with the view, 21 percent somewhat agree. The survey was conducted on September 23 by three firms, namely, Engagious, the Sports and Leisure Research Group, and ROKK Solutions, and was named ‘Back to Normal Barometer’.

“This is the single most frightening poll result I've ever been associated with,” Rich Thau, president of Engagious, said in a report while announcing the results. The ‘civil war’ part was the most prominent point of the ‘Back To Normal Barometer’ survey with 52 percent of ‘very liberal’ and ‘very conservative’ respondents backing the concern. In the case of ‘somewhat liberal’, ‘moderate’, and ‘somewhat moderate’ respondents, the figures were 32 percent, 34 percent, and 35 percent, respectively.

And while I still don't believe it will be a civil war in the sense of, say, Bosnia, it could develop into that eventually. And if you haven't read Selco Begovic's articles on the sort of things that happen in wars of that kind, you probably should. Because there's a good chance we're looking at something in the US in the next few years that will be similar, if not identical, to Bosnia.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 9 2020 6:05 utc | 88

/He wanted to follow or pursue his own policy, and he was about to pay the price – you remember the impeachment issue./

-President Assad

I’ve always said the opposition to Trump was too ferocious, too no holds barred for it to be fake. He is not and never has been part of the board. They’ve managed to co-opt him on certain issues but they desperately want to be rid of him. The question is, to what lengths will the board go to be rid of him ?

Biden-Harris is the deep state choice. Trump is not.

Where I disagree with Assad is that they’ve managed to hamstring Trump but not put him down. The attacks on him would not be as ferocious as they are now if the deep state controlled him as people think.

I think Trump will win the elections. Forget about the polls. If I was going to vote for Trump and CNN phoned me to ask who I would vote for, I sure as hell wouldn’t tell them.. The real metric is the Republican voter registrations. In some places they outnumber Democrats 2:1.

Trump is a nationalist not a globalist. That is why they hate him. The two systems are incompatible. You are either one or the other.

The question remains, what will the board do when Trump wins?

No I am not American.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 9 2020 7:34 utc | 89

Heh, so many posts considering the issue of the amerikan empire's brutality, greed and illegality in terms of amerika's domestic politics.

IOW just more of the same old 'we are the world' amerikan exceptionalism which may still delude amerikans, but it doesn't fool the other 8 billion of US - all of us who aren't amerikan, who have absolutely had enough of this nonsense.

For the rest of the world it is a matter of complete indifference whether amerika chooses to shit or just get off the pot, still as constipated as always.

Maybe amerika can reform itself, that is doubtful to me, but maybe it can.
One thing is for sure it hardly matters cos if amerika doesn't fix its rapacious behaviour, others will do the job.

We all know that some of the empire's 'decision makers' sorta comprehend that, which is one of the reason's why they use the MIC as a route for transferring the wealth of ordinary citizens to the mob in charge, PTB or whatever we're currently calling 'em.

Anyway since amerika always telegraphs its punches, it is unlikely that direct conflict, no matter how hard those same P'sTB may want it, manoeuvre for it, will be the way that the rest of us force change, wars are messy and not very popular with the normal decent people who inhabit the rest of this planet, so it is more likely that, initially at least, amerika's crimes will be stopped by the application of intense economic pressure.

It won't happen tomorrow which may be why amerikans only look to a domestic solution.

Sure China could 'bring the amerikan economy down' but not only will that cause economic loss to China, it will also make it easy for the P'sTB to crank up a whaddathe arseholes call it, 'a kinetic conflict'.

However over the next decade more & more nations will realise things aren't what they should be as amerika's situation worsens & so more demands are made on other states in order to keep the greedies in the manner they expect.
Those once willing allies will keep touching their forelocks to the empire while they quietly develop solidarity with all the states being callously exploited.

Not all states will behave as australia has, there are too many reasons to enumerate here, much less detail, why Australia has meekly toed the DC line whereas Aotearoa has not, after all we are pretty much the same people.

Yep we do have some tools of fukus among the political class in Aotearoa but the level of investment in taking control of Aotearoa's pols has never come close to that which they poured into Oz.
eg in Aotearoa amerika didn't spend billions organising a coup, they just murdered our Prime Minister, then blew less than a hundred grand interfering in the next couple of elections - mostly by paying off the news media, back then they were only a handful of 'targets'.

It is Australia that is the outlier, not Aotearoa and I cannot see amerika investing the time and resources in developing such control over every nation that they did over Australia or the other few nations which had resources amerika just could not do without.

That is especially true when one considers that despite all that control, amerika's greed & foolishness has caused the dichotomy among Oz's elite, on one hand they own a mob of Oz's pols of all persuasions but on the other hand the bulk of the Oz elite's wealth is garnered from trade with China.

As for oil, the 'investments' of several million deaths in the ME hasn't worked out great. All they really have remaining is the toxic Saudi Arabia; Iraq & Iran are gone for good plus 95% of the citizens of the ME justifiably loathe amerika with a passion.

Not what anyone would call a stable situation, eh?

amerika's most rancid interference in the domestic politics of other nations has always been concentrated on those nations in possession of resources which amerika most wanted to steal.
As amerika's ability to generate real wealth, I don't mean their already overused ability to print more dollar bills, but generating items which have a real, definable & transferable wealth, declines, then so will the amerikan empire's ability to control puppet politicians all over the planet.
The only variable is time, for me I may kark it with a smile on my face yet cos I reckon one decade, 10 years, should do it.

It isn't if, the only question is when amerika bites the dust.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 9 2020 7:49 utc | 90

Karlof1 @74:

Lavrov's message, in essence, is that will Russia now forge it's own path - giving up on the work to join a West Europe 'happy family' where all are treated equally and with mutual respect.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova outlines the new rules today:

"By all appearances, now France and Germany are heading the anti-Russian coalition that is taking shape in the European Union, contrary to the earlier statements by Paris and Berlin on their commitment to partnership with Russia.

...we reaffirm that if our colleagues are willing to revise this course towards confrontation and give up their attempts to dictate to us, it is still possible to normalise our dialogue.

If they are not willing to do this, we will draw our own conclusions.

At any rate, we do not consider it possible to conduct “business as usual” with Berlin and Paris."

https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4372528

Posted by: powerandpeople | Oct 9 2020 7:49 utc | 91

For those interested, Alaistar Crooke was on the Around the Empire Podcast with Joanne Leon talking about the current political and ideological battle within the US, Sino-US relations, Dollar-decoupling,... basically a more in-depth roundup of his latest two articles.

Posted by: vato | Oct 9 2020 8:00 utc | 92

I am voting for Biden chiefly because of domestic policies: health insurance, minority, women's and LGBT rights, immigration policy, etc.

I hate to say it, but foreign policy will not change much regardless, other than that positions in the State Department, embassies and other key government agencies will finally be occupied by people who are at least qualified in terms of background and training.

Right now, many are unoccupied or filled with complete political hacks.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Oct 9 2020 9:23 utc | 93

"I am voting for Biden chiefly because of domestic policies: health insurance, minority, women's and LGBT rights, immigration policy, etc."
that is simply insane given that there is absolutely nothing in any of Biden's political history, IE his voting record which indicates anything ther than he is a sexist and racist purveyor of favours to the elite.
He represented Delaware, an enabler of corporate protection from monopoly investigation, tax evasion or oppressive & deliberately sexist/racist misbehaviour.

Despite running as a friend to 'northern values' his political cronies have always been the 'dixiecrats' a mob of white supremacist anti-democratic vote suppressors who worked hard to build this ersatz northerner's career.

He supports 'Obamacare' an instrument for taxing impoverished working people by giving their wealth to insurance companies while providing the sort of 'free' healthcare that even the most impoverished states in Asia were forced to eschew decades ago.

Even worse Biden's behaviour throughout his political career makes it plain that it is corruption, not ideology which drives him.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 9 2020 10:09 utc | 94

TPTP

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2020 10:12 utc | 95

@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2020 19:39 utc | 39

What you said.
Nailed it.

Its exactly same, for those who dont pay attention.
Even in Syria, there's been substatial difference - more so in other parts of m/e.
I think what b meant to say was that changing outcome of election does not mean you will get what you want or expect. There a point that the technocrats wont abide - populism (aka democracy).

Posted by: jared | Oct 9 2020 10:22 utc | 96

Biden-Harris is the deep state choice. Trump is not.

Where I disagree with Assad is that they’ve managed to hamstring Trump but not put him down. The attacks on him would not be as ferocious as they are now if the deep state controlled him as people think.

I think Trump will win the elections. Forget about the polls. If I was going to vote for Trump and CNN phoned me to ask who I would vote for, I sure as hell wouldn’t tell them.. The real metric is the Republican voter registrations. In some places they outnumber Democrats 2:1.

Trump is a nationalist not a globalist. That is why they hate him. The two systems are incompatible. You are either one or the other.

Posted by: Down South | Oct 9 2020 7:34 utc | 89

1.) Deepstate do not exist. If they do and Trump is not their choice as per your belief it is easy to set him up for something he can't get out of as their impeachment cause. Setting him up for warcrime, or gross misuse/overreach of president authority is a simple thing to do given illiterate simpleton behavior of Trump.
What happen is DNC and their left are much more entrenched in governmental offices after winning presidency for consecutive times giving them strong influence to media as well the government in every level and they've been answering to their own political base creating a loyal border to radical supporters on their end.
This blatant biased pandering in turn create opposition that later became Trump political base given his outsider origin and rightwing populist talking point that are largely ignored by the left.
2.) Trump is as globalist as they come. He's no more nationalist than Biden or Hillary Clinton. Where he differs is where he is much more straightforward and unsophisticated in expressing his belief that is just like everyone of his ilk believe that USA is indispensable and exceptional country that deserve more than they already has. If he's nationalist he would've try to answer the very basic problem of USA. The dollars and free trade.

No Trump did not defeat the so called deep state/DNC design by winning presidency neither that it displays some sort of strategical geniuses behind them. His win are pretty much explainable.
The first reason that Hillary Clinton lost is that she's not the left popular choice in the first place. That was Bernie Sanders. The second reason is Hillary Clinton does not tried her best in the campaigns as she did not try hard to win the swing voters. Within her campaign she also less vocal about their current economic problems which Trump use and blamed on immigrants. Last one is wikileaks.
Trump riding on the populists agenda right get free publicity from the left aligned media. This give him more than enough chances to win presidency against Clinton.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 9 2020 10:43 utc | 97

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2020 17:00 utc | 19

Thanks for Escobar's interview with Mr. Xiang, very smart man there. Very informative.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 9 2020 12:25 utc | 98

Ms. Johnstone weighs in on the Kleptocracy:

‘Successful’ People Are Misery Super-Spreaders

Mr. Xiang also seems to be aware of this problem, which I would characterize as intra-species competition, most of the misery of the human species today comes from competition for social status, e.g. Trump and Trump-like people, people for whom there is not "enough" of anything. The result is nobody at the top looks out for the common good, they are all busy trying to undermine each other and grab as much as they can.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 9 2020 12:42 utc | 99

Well, If I ever had any doubt that the comfortably off, well-educated bourgeoisie actually considered anything deeper than epidermal "Diversity," my perceptions were reinforced by a little FB exchange.

A former student of my late husband posted that their child "loves" Harris because of her skin color, and therefore they feel a deep connection (the parents are of Biden's hue). The sum up: the Harris ticket (no one expects Biden to survive the 4 years or to do so as Prez, anyway).

To this I responded: "Really? Her skin hue and sex matters more than her actual, really existing actions as first SF city attorney and then CA attorney general????? I .... find this mind boggling."

I was not referring to the child's reactions - they will not be voting for many a long year.

The response to my remark was that Harris's really existing actions as city/state attorney were of no import, only her skin hue and sex... And apparently not a few of this former student's former classmates were in full agreement...

If ever one needed confirmation that the electorate care NOT one fig about what we are doing to the other peoples, their lives, livelihoods, cultures, only about their essentially petty demonstrations that they are "woke," that anyone but the Strumpet, that they care only about their own comfortable, bourgeois lives...They seem incapable of recognizing (or wanting to) that it really, as Assad and B note above, makes no difference which face of the Janus party is in the WH. Nothing really changes except for a few frills and fancies...

If they really cared about the poor (black, brown, and white) and their lack of access to healthcare, decent affordable housing, decent paying jobs (including as cleaners, care assistants), then they would really want the wars to end, the military seriously downsized and defunded, and an end to mass incarceration with slave labor, solitary confinement. They would demand the end to the Electoral College; demand that there be half a dozen truly different political parties from which to choose a prez, the US Congress.

Instead, they like the diversity - all aspects - angle because it allows them to buff their consciences even as they continue to (wilfully?) ignore the grotesque, despicable actions of our government (all aspects) at home and abroad. They also ignore the fact that this is a plutocracy, not a democracy, run for the benefit of the top 10% only.

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 9 2020 13:16 utc | 100

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