Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2020

Another Look At Joe Biden's Foreign Policy Team

The choices the incoming president Joe Biden has made so far are not great at all. The people he so far selected are staunch interventionists who will want to continue the wars they have started during their previous time in office.

Tony Blinken will become Secretary of State. (It was probably thought to be too hard to get Senate confirmation for the similar bad Susan Rice.) In 2013 the Washington Post described his high flying pedigree:

Blinken is deputy national security adviser to President Obama, who has also invoked the Holocaust as his administration wrestles, often painfully, with how to respond to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. One of the government’s key players in drafting Syria policy, the 51-year-old Blinken has Clinton administration credentials and deep ties to Vice President Biden and the foreign policy and national security establishment in Washington. He has drawn attention in Situation Room photos, including the iconic one during the May 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound, for his stylishly wavy salt-and-pepper hair. But what sets him apart from the other intellectual powerhouses in the inner sanctum is a life story that reads like a Jewish high-society screenplay that the onetime aspiring film producer may have once dreamed of making. There’s his father, a giant in venture capital; his mother, the arts patron; and his stepfather, who survived the Holocaust to become of one of the most influential lawyers on the global stage. It is a bildungsroman for young Blinken — playing in a Parisian jazz band, debating politics with statesmen — with a supporting cast of characters that includes, among others, Leonard Bernstein, John Lennon, Mark Rothko, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Abel Ferrara and Christo.

The man is a war mongering psycho:

Blinken surprised some in the Situation Room by breaking with Biden to support military action in Libya, administration officials said, and he advocated for American action in Syria after Obama’s reelection. These sources said that Blinken was less enthusiastic than Biden about Obama’s decision to seek congressional approval for a strike in Syria, but is now — perhaps out of necessity — onboard and a backer of diplomatic negotiations with Russia. While less of an ideologue than Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (a job for which he was considered), he not surprisingly shares her belief that global powers such as the United States have a “responsibility to protect” against atrocities.

He has since shown no remorse about those foreign policy failures:

Blinken maintains that the failure of U.S. policy in Syria was that our government did not employ enough force. He stands by the false argument that Biden’s vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a “vote for tough diplomacy.” He was reportedly in favor of the Libyan intervention, which Biden opposed, and he was initially a defender and advocate for U.S. support for the Saudi coalition war on Yemen. In short, Blinken has agreed with some of the biggest foreign policy mistakes that Biden and Obama made, and he has tended to be more of an interventionist than both of them.

Jake Sullivan will become National Security Advisor. He is a Hillary Clinton figure:

If you can’t quite place Jake Sullivan, he’s was a long-serving aide to Hillary Clinton, starting with her 2008 race against Barack Obama, then serving as her deputy chief of staff and director of the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning when Clinton was Obama’s secretary of state. (...) In 2016, during her failed presidential campaign, Sullivan once again teamed up with Clinton, and he was widely expected to have been named to serve as her national security adviser or even secretary of state had she won.

Since 2016, and since the creation of NSA, Sullivan has emerged as a kind of foreign policy scold, gently — and sometimes not so gently — criticizing those who reflexively oppose American intervention abroad and who disparage the idea of American “exceptionalism.” Indeed, in an article in the January-February issue of The Atlantic, “What Donald Trump and Dick Cheney Got Wrong About America,” Sullivan explicitly says that he’s intent on “rescuing the idea of American exceptionalism” and presents the “case for a new American exceptionalism".

Sullivan send classified documents to Hillary Clinton's private email server. He wrote to her that Al Qaida is "on our side in Syria." He also hyped fake Trump-Russia collusion allegations.

It is yet unknown who will become Secretary of Defense. Michèle Flournoy is the most named option but there is some opposition to her nomination:

[B]ackers of Michèle Flournoy, his likely pick for defense secretary, are trying to head off a last-minute push by some left-leaning Democrats trying to derail her selection, with many progressives seeing her nomination as a continuation of what critics refer to as America’s “forever wars.”

I expect that the progressive will lose the fight and that either Flournoy or some other hawkish figure will get that weapon lobbyist position.

Progressives also lost on the Treasury position. Biden's nomination for that is Janet Yellen who is known to be an inflation hawk. She is unlikely to support large spending on progressive priorities.

As usual with a Democratic election win the people who brought the decisive votes and engagement, those who argue for more socialist and peaceful policies, will be cut off from the levers of power. 

In three years they will again be called upon to fall for another bait and switch.

Posted by b on November 24, 2020 at 16:32 UTC | Permalink

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Circe <- Voted for and hysterical advocate for war
Mark2 <- Hysterical advocate for war

Do know that I will continue to bring this up for the next four years. Debsisdead is absolutely correct @94, and these faux left "Post Trump Stress Disorder" victims are "cruise missile liberals" as One Too Many @93 illustrates.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 10:41 utc | 101

“as China has stated time and again, that if Washington decides to take direct control of their island of Taiwan and the Americans interfere or if they are attacked in the South China Sea, they will defeat the U.S.”

China may be close to nullifying the US aircraft carrier force projection model, but it has little defense against stealth bombers, whereas China has no ability to project force into the United States except by nuclear attack — a no-go as China knows, because of mutually assured destruction.

The equation for China is complicated.

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 10:44 utc | 102

Biden is a tent revival for the aptly named “cruise missile liberals” and some of the more shadowy neo-conservative forces in retreat and determined to bring democracy building home after their colonial expeditions extinguished it at home, hastening the rise of America’s own Saddam in Trump. Biden’s own instincts may be decisive, however, and he was against war in Libya while also in favor of splitting Iraq. The dementia rumors are nonsense; Biden is a canny and often mendacious operator, and while I think Trump is a fascist and quite possibly a Russian mafia sub-boss, Biden may well be the restoration of more homegrown, American mafia rule. An argument that Giuliani has made in so many words, standing as he does on the Russian side and yelling into the shifting parapolitical winds.

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 11:05 utc | 103

Line Islands @102

It's not really that complicated for China. They have no interest in or need to strike the American mainland. That would only be necessary if they were seeking global hegemony like the US, which they are not. Their strategic nuclear capabilities are strictly deterrence. All China has to do is survive the coming conflict arising from the Thucydides Trap that the US and China are caught in with minimal damage to their industrial capacity, infrastructure, and population.

That I specified "survive" and not "win" is not a mistake. The default outcome if nothing is done is that China ascends to uncontested sole global economic superpower status. That is not necessarily their intention but rather the natural outcome of China continuing the development of their domestic human capital and quality of life for 1.4 billion people. China doesn't have to take the fight to the US to end up on top, and the US has no choice but to somehow turn back the economic clock in China to keep its position as global imperial hegemon. Color revolution attempts, trade war, and bioweapon attacks have all failed the empire miserably, so all the US has left is to go kinetic.

The "US aircraft carrier force projection model" is effectively nullified by China, but those assets are still protected by America's delusional reality exclusion zone: "Destroying our carriers is unthinkable! No one would ever dare do that!". That defense will prove inadequate against China's variety of "carrier killer" missiles.

As for America's stealth aircraft, China's defenses will likely be a surprise to many in the American empire. Furthermore, America's only stealth aircraft with sufficient range to reach China's mainland on anything other than a one way suicide mission would be the B-2 bomber, of which America only has 21. Those 21 will not last long in a kinetic conflict. Quite a few will likely simply be destroyed on the runway in Diego Garcia while the survivors will get to find out how well China's nifty new quantum radar works. The F-22 and F-35 would require refueling to get from carrier stand-off distance to the mainland and refueling again to get back, with America's aerial tankers needing to loiter within range of China's air defenses... not a good battle plan for the empire. Those stealth aircraft will not shift the advantage in the empire's favor, and attrition will be much higher than expected among them.

It must be repeated that China doesn't need to destroy the United States. They are not playing the board game "Risk" after all. China just needs to defeat the American empire's military force projection capabilities in their own neighborhood, and China already has that capacity right now. Every day that elapses shifts the advantage further into China's favor, so the empire needs to act while they still have the ability to do so. Trump's unwillingness to do more than bark loudly and his resistance to going kinetic is why the imperial elites had to fraud the elections so openly to get a more compliant figurehead into office ASAP. That the empire couldn't wait another four years means that we will see "interesting times" (yeah, even more interesting than the preceding twelve months!) real soon now.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 11:59 utc | 104

Hey, Defense is still open for Tulsi!

What fraction of a 1% chance is there I wonder that she is even mentioned?
Posted by: Paul Damascene | Nov 25 2020 0:52 utc | 72

Events yesterday I did not expect at all:

A 10 ft tall shiny metallic monolith with triangular cross-section and flat top was found in an inaccessible rocky nook of Utah desert, embedded in rock with no recognizable means of how it was done.

Trump authorized formal and practical step for the transition of Administration to the incoming Biden crew.

Both reported in NYT, and lack any possible agenda for NYT to make it up (they are not in the business of inventing stuff for no reason). So on one hand, I do not expect Gabbard to be even mentioned in establishment media apart from Fox where she may be invited to comment, one the other, one the other hand, I need to re-examine what has a chance to happen.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2020 12:07 utc | 105

@101 William Gruff

🤫 SHUT UP, LOSER. I can't wait til the moving van comes to take grifter Trump and the pretentious old, stretched trophy missus out of the White House. 🍾🥂🎉🎊🎉🍿🍿🍿🍿 red-letter day!

That's all I've been dreaming about! It's gonna be fun watching their sourpuss faces.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 25 2020 12:20 utc | 106

Before trump supporters rant and rave, get your man trump to release Julian Asainge.
Right now your looking like ‘harpy hypocrites’
You have no right to preach to others !
Your just making yourselfs look rediculess !
Have some self respect.
Have some sanity.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 25 2020 12:51 utc | 107

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 10:44 utc | 102, 104

China has escalation dominance all over us in the South China Sea and there is no way we are ever getting it back. Same problem we have with Iran in the Persian Gulf. That's WHY all the sanctions, tantrums, and ineffective arm-twisting of various sorts. That we even try to intimidate them in their own backyard shows mind-boggling incompetence and vainglory.

I do however, like your take on Biden. His wife is no shrinking violet either. They're a team, you can see it. I don't like him at all, but he does not worry me as much as Trump and his clown show, I'm sort of curious to see if he offers anything new, now that he has the reins in his hands and is not a hanger-on himself. But maybe that's just hopium.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 12:56 utc | 108

Bemildred @108

A cornered dog will bite, even if it is obvious that it cannot win.

It was never China's nor Iran's intention to "corner" the empire. That is simply the situation that America finds itself in now that its economy is in "late capitalism" decline. It is really not even anyone's fault, not even Trump or Reagan or any of the other usual suspects.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 13:10 utc | 109

Ta muchly Debsisdead@94 and 100... Not that I hold out any hope with regard to any voter for either face of the Janus party taking the responsibility inherent in voting in another murderous admin.

Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 13:17 utc | 110

"A cornered dog will bite, even if it is obvious that it cannot win."

So will I, so what?

"It was never China's nor Iran's intention to "corner" the empire. That is simply the situation that America finds itself in now that its economy is in "late capitalism" decline. It is really not even anyone's fault, not even Trump or Reagan or any of the other usual suspects."

I agree, but again, so what? I'm not concerned with who is morally correct, I'm mainly concerned with whether there is going to be a big war and what happens if there is, that's not a moral question. I've been waiting around 40 years to watch our collapse, and I still think there is enough that is/was good here to be worth hoping for a soft landing. That's probably better for the rest of the planet too, but it's arguable.

Neither Iran of China is cornered, they are well-prepared, well-supported by "partners", and on their home turf. WE are not ready. We are vunerable. But we are not cornered either, nobody is going to come over here and interfere while we fight among ourselves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 13:10 utc | 109

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 13:29 utc | 111

What scares me about Blinken and Sullivan is the career trajectory. Both had completely unearned and unreasonable success every step of their lives. There is never any explanation for this manner of success but family connections. Neither has done anything of note other than to occupy positions of power.

Sullivan is all of 43 years old, has been a mover and shaker since his twenties. Any who have never read Halberstam’s Best and Brightest might look at that now. We are in for a shit show. Biden is not going to do anything but take his meds and take a lot of naps. Already he is not to be seen. The crew named so far will steamroller Kamala, she is no more than a figurehead. Likely she won’t even stay in the room when it gets serious. Best possible outcome is that kids who have never done anything but suck up won’t know what to do when they are left in charge with no adult supervision. Or there will be shadowy figures in background who steady the rudder.

More likely is war.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 25 2020 13:34 utc | 112

@ Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 10:44 utc | 102

You answered your question yourself: it was never about Taiwan, wasn't it? As soon as the line of argument was followed, Taiwan disappears only to be substituted by the USA.

If China is to use nukes, it certainly won't use them against Taiwan: they'll use them against, probably, the West Coast of the USA, Guam at the minimum, probably against Western Japan (American bases).

Taiwan was never part of the equation. It is just a large piece of rock in the wrong place, at the wrong time (or right, depending on your viewpoint). If the Taiwanese people was part of the equation in the first place, you Americans would be horrified with the atrocities your hegemony is causing against the likes of Latin America, Middle East, SE Asia and Africa.

Posted by: vk | Nov 25 2020 13:42 utc | 113

Bemildred @111

Yes, it is not a moral question, it is an economic one. Wars have never been about morality.

That said, China has for a number of years now been preparing for a minimally damaging escape from the Thucydides Trap, and by "minimally damaging" I mean for the US as well. As I said above the Chinese are not at all interested in hurting the US. The plan is to "spring" the Thucydides Trap in the South China Sea and hopefully confine most of the damage to that area. If successful then the empire gets its soft landing (albeit with significant amounts of military materiel and personnel sacrificed) and humanity moves beyond the Trap.

I have my fingers crossed that the plan works.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 13:45 utc | 114

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 13:45 utc | 114

I think that is around the right idea of what they are up to, and it's always good to have a plan. I've been of the opinion for a while now that the main reason we are still standing is because they don't really want us to collapse. I'm more worried about the crazies here.

I think it is quite possible that scenario you describe never comes to pass though, we should get some "tells" pretty soon once Biden is making policy. They are blabbering on now about "kindness", so they seem to know they have a PR problem following Trump's exuberant gangster tactics. I guess I'm incurably optimistic.

Sam Power's Twitter

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 14:03 utc | 115

@ PB 75
visible costs of vassaldom . . costs of American presence....decreasing the national security. . .participating in sanctions
Yes, plus a primary reason . . .Cost of buying US military junk like F-35. Foreign military sales is a mainstay of the US economy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 3:43 utc | 83

When you add the numbers, "military junk" has notable prestige -- with matching prices, but the total loot of American companies is probably many times larger. For example, Trump waged a series of trade wars to perpetuate negligible taxation of "technology giants" like Google or Amazon. "Intellectual property" was a stumbling block in the trade war with China, with dire consequences for soy growing farmers in USA (and a boon to their colleagues in South America). Then there is pharma. It seems that the really big companies are comfortable being in relative shadow behind arms makers, and discourse on security threats and needs --because Russian use trolls to interfere with elections, we (all countries that cherish what is good and precious) need new generations of nukes, planes, ships and toilet seats. However illogical, it is more noble sounding than preventing the likes of Apple from more than nominal taxation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2020 14:31 utc | 116

Toilet seats still play a role in the defense of the Free World etc.
Washington Post, Aaron Gregg,July 14, 2018 at 8:57 p.m. EDT

The Air Force’s $10,000 toilet cover
A latrine cover for a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane used by the Air Force, designed to protect the area from corrosion. The Air Force paid a contractor $10,000 for this item on three separate occasions, most recently in 2017, before the service started using 3-D printing to make the part.
A latrine cover for a C-5 Galaxy cargo plane used by the Air Force, designed to protect the area from corrosion. The Air Force paid a contractor $10,000 for this item on three separate occasions, most recently in 2017, before the service started using 3-D printing to make the part. (U.S. Air Force)
To the Air Force, it’s a “cover-center wall, troop compartment latrine . . . required to protect the aircraft from corrosion damage in the latrine area.”

To the rest of us, it’s a toilet cover. And until recently, it had a price tag of $10,000.

Officials said last week that the U.S. Air Force paid about $10,000 each to replace toilet seat covers on the C-5 Galaxy, a Vietnam-era military cargo plane that is still in service, at least three times and as recently as last year.
I think that "toilet cover" comes together with the seat, at least when I replace one, but that may be inadequate for our planes and ships. And with Cosmic Forces instituted by Trump, uniform specs for toilet seats and cover will include operating in the outer space.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 25 2020 14:39 utc | 117

The US warmongers may have something to ponder very soon, a list of names coming out of China which will give the brilliant minds something to comment on.
. . .from Bloonberg:
China Confirms Watch List Targeting Taiwan Independence Backers

China confirmed it’s compiling a global watch list of Taiwanese independence backers it plans to “punish,” marking an escalation in Beijing’s pursuit of its critics.
“The list is only targeting the extremely few stubborn Taiwan independence activists and their funders, not targeting the majority of Taiwan compatriots,” Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a briefing on Wednesday. She didn’t provide details on the size of the list or specific names of people identified.
The targets include “those who make arrogant remarks and conduct malicious actions to seek independence, and the leaders who organize, plan, and implement secession activities both inside and outside the Taiwan island, as well as their main funders and supporters.” . .here

Think 'terrorist list.' . . .And from another source: "the list will include the following people: core members of the DPP, and members of radical secessionist groups and political parties like Formosa Alliance, Taiwan Solidarity Union and the New Power Party, who are pushing a so-called "independence referendum" . .probably (my guess) including ROC(Taiwan) "president" Tsai Ing-wen.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 14:41 utc | 118

With a bellicose cadre taking over the US, France (who helped destroy Libya) is thinking big.
WASHINGTON: The French and US armies have exchanged general officers to coordinate preparations for the Warfighter 21-04 exercise beginning next April. France is increasing its defense budget for the first time after decades of decline, and it’s eager to collaborate with the US against both Russian and Chinese threats. But that doesn’t mean buying US weapons, copying US doctrine, or embracing America’s obsession with high technology. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 14:53 utc | 119

@Line Islands etc
Re China/USA vs ____

Vulnerability is a central reality of cold-war / MAD / deterrence. Nothing new.

Also to repeat my thought from the lovely and disturbing discussion a few days ago: starting a war over Taiwan doesn't "win the game" for China. Why? Because US forces elsewhere almost as close by. But this action could cause a massive setback, as there's nothing to gain from a war with a much better equipped US military. I'm open to hearing why it could be wrong.

Similarly, starting a war over Taiwan doesn't "win the game" for US either. Why? Because Chinese path to grow to be wealthier and more powerful than US is not affected. To complete the symmetry, would want to say that starting a war with China has lots of downsides for the US. This conclusion isn't watertight, but goes like this. Attack too hard (i.e. strike mainland) and you have risk the MAD situation. Attack too light or merely threaten, and you can have anything from a symbolic defeat, to a symbolic victory but with no lasting value. Most likely an indecisive outcome. Distant possibility of Russia getting involved too, which alters the balance quite a bit. In all cases, major economic pain is pretty much guaranteed due to deep US reliance on imports from both China AND Taiwan.

So there is little room for a plausible theory of how US "wins" via Taiwan. Other than in the PR sense, like winning a limited Naval engagement like "Ha! We sank your battleship!". And no doubt some are trying to figure out how to make that happen. Again, doesn't "win the game", but from a certain point of view, no harm in trying.

The other neocon fantasy is to provoke an incident that can be used as an excuse to lead a boycott of China by all of Europe and half of Asia - which, simply put, isn't realistic. But again, no harm in trying, they'll say.

Summary: there's room for proxy actions, and endless ambiguous smaller escalations, limited only by the creativity of both sides. Forget all the nuclear war stuff, isn't happening.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 25 2020 14:59 utc | 120

Biden and Blinken will be BETTER than Trump/Pompeo
because they can improve things on the issues where they are better and cannot change where they are worse.

-Biden/Blinken: favor rejoining the JCPOA, Trumpeo brought us to the brink of war.

- Biden/Blinken: favor stopping Saudi support or are neutral, Trumpeo was a genocidal maniac.

- Biden/Blinken: favor nuclear treaties and calling Putin names, Trumpeo have already imposed maximum sanctions. Say what you want about the blob but they have always stopped short of starting a shooting war with Russia, they only bomb small countries.

- Biden/Blinken: favor regime change but it's too late now. Trumpeo have imposed maximum sanctions. The only thing left is massive bombing and that will start a war w/Russia.

Latin America
- Biden, Blinken, and Trumpeo are identical.

- Biden/Blinken might be better then Trumpeo. Trumpeo has already started a full fledged Cold War.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 25 2020 15:03 utc | 121

Bemildred @115

Absolutely! No sane people would pass up a plan of action in which nobody is hurt at all.

The problem, and the Chinese understand this I believe, is that it doesn't really matter who is the figurehead for the empire. The empire is a capitalist empire, and its actions are predicated on the needs of capitalism. Capitalism is incapable of moral thinking or any kind of reflection at all. The fact that capitalist market forces bypass human volition (and thus supposedly human corruptibility) is capitalism's selling point: "The Market™ (hallowed be Its name!) fixes all!"

But the Market also leads to war.

Were people in leadership positions in July of 1914 or September of 1939 all stupid and immoral? Perhaps Hitler was, but the fact is that WWII would have begun regardless of who Germany's leader was then. It was Krupps and Siemens and so on who needed the war and Hitler was just the tool to make it happen.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 15:03 utc | 122

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 12:56 utc | 108

"China has escalation dominance all over us in the South China Sea and there is no way we are ever getting it back"

Of course USN is not completely full of imbeciles, some of the commanders and chiefs fully understand is a suicide to send some carriers close to China or the South China Sea in case of war with China.

I am completely sure, in the case a war or a "strong incident" in the South China Sea, the USN will impose a total oil and food blockade on China by sea, there are dozens and dozens of American bases in SE Asia, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Pacific Ocean.

All the USN has to do is to sink any ship with oil going to China in the Persian Gulf or in the Indian Ocean or the in the Strait of Malacca or in the open Pacific Ocean, and the same with all the ships full of food (soy, corn, etc....), from a very very long distance from the Mainland. Of course China could sink many USN ships, but only that will not open the pass for supertankers from the Persian Gulf or Venezuela or Nigeria to China, there are hundreds of drones, planes (for example in Oz) and dozens of subs to finish the Chinese oil tankers far away from China.
And then wait the situation rot inside China.

China is the first case of a powerful country with a huge dependence of energy, and in general resources, from far away that try to become a superpower without controlling the Seven Seas, he cannot succeed in a battle against those who rules the sea, as was the case of Napoleon, or WWI and WWII or even the Roma against Carthage in the Mediterranean Sea.

China if attacked conventionally in the supply routes will never retaliates with a nuclear first strike, because the nuclear escalation favors USA, and the Americans will never give in to nuclear blackmail (as the Russians).

I do not want to compare China with Germany, but even a mad dog like Hitler didn't dare to use their huge nerve gases stockpile against the soviets when they were advancing inside Germany, because he knew perfectly what kind of retaliation they would suffer.
I think the same apply to China and a nuclear first strike against US (even outside USA mainland), they will never do one.

Of course I do not think this is probable to happens, but if happens a war between China an US will be fought in this way by US.
Of course China can do damages by other means...

Posted by: DFC | Nov 25 2020 15:33 utc | 123

@ Posted by: DFC | Nov 25 2020 15:33 utc | 123

You're basically reenacting the USA's war against Japan in WWII. Copy and paste with only the substitution of "Japan" with "China".

Meanwhile, those artificial islands continue to be built and to operate in the South China Sea (which is geopolitically more important for Chinese oil supplies than Taiwan), with the USN only watching and whining.

Posted by: vk | Nov 25 2020 15:43 utc | 124

Posted by: DFC | Nov 25 2020 15:33 utc | 123

I am completely sure, in the case a war or a "strong incident" in the South China Sea, the USN will impose a total oil and food blockade on China by sea, there are dozens and dozens of American bases in SE Asia, Indian Ocean, Persian Gulf and Pacific Ocean.

All the USN has to do is to sink any ship with oil going to China in the Persian Gulf or in the Indian Ocean or the in the Strait of Malacca or in the open Pacific Ocean, and the same with all the ships full of food (soy, corn, etc....), from a very very long distance from the Mainland. Of course China could sink many USN ships, but only that will not open the pass for supertankers from the Persian Gulf or Venezuela or Nigeria to China, there are hundreds of drones, planes (for example in Oz) and dozens of subs to finish the Chinese oil tankers far away from China.
And then wait the situation rot inside China."

Right. I don't think we can do that. Purely as a practical matter. Iran is surrounded by a bunch of handy targets too, it's one of their advantages. I will start to worry when we start evacuating all those "advanced bases".

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 15:48 utc | 125

Piotr B - Don'tcha think there is something appropriate - image wise if nowt else - in a lavatory (toilet) seat cover costing $10K each on aircraft owned by the US population via their Air Force???

Is it gold plated?? Shit and piss covered by a piece of whatever plastic at a cost per item that is a quarter to a half of what the poorer rungs of American society earn in a bloody year (folks who are lucky if they HAVE a toilet/lavatory/water closet)...

The real question is: Why the F*** do these toilets/lavatories/chem loos NEED a cover of any description????? The shit and piss fall into chemicals? And/or are sprayed out into the (breathable) atmosphere (goody, goody)...

All too reminiscent of those hammers and screwdrivers....

Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 15:54 utc | 126

Blockading China it would take time for our blockade to ruin them and in the meantime it would wreck the global economy. Wouldn't be something if the countries getting crushed by our blockade of China decided to embargo the U.S. and we got a taste of our own medicine?

I wonder how resilient we are, 30% of our GDP is tied to foreign commerce, oh the vaunted 401k's, ouch. Even if the other countries did not embargo us for our illegal blockade of China, just the spike in energy and disruption to the global economy would scorch our economy too.

BTW the U.S. navy isn't going to sink Russian ships running that blockade and are they also going to blockade S.Korea and Taiwan or let them be conduits for smuggling.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 25 2020 15:58 utc | 127

@ Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 15:54 utc | 126

Most likely, it is a very old/unique design that isn't produced anymore. The Pentagon is then paying all the costs of a dedicated line of production for a very small number of units.

That, on top of the natural surcharge that always exist in the public contract model.

Posted by: vk | Nov 25 2020 16:01 utc | 128

Circe and mark2 are clearly barbaric warmongers with a Smiley Murican Face rather than the grotesque fizzog of the Strumpet...Anyone who voted for Either Evil is responsible for all the deaths and destruction that are murderously enacted by the Corporate-capitalist-imperialist Barbarian Plutocrats in DC. Smiles and pink lipstick all the way...

Perhaps the big C and M2 have pension plans that are invested in such as Raytheon, Boeing etc...or they work for them??????

We need a NON warmongering Prez and admin... A Non imperialist, Non exceptionalist - we're so wonderful, perfect - killers for sure...

Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 16:02 utc | 129

☝🏿 Look at the state of them, that’s right above this comment.
They wrongly predicted the election, (failed pundits)
This bunch of tankies not content with filling the US streets with troops and armoured cars. Murdering their own.
Now having lost the election. Presume to game plan war with China !!
You lost. Spare us your kill, kill, kill. War war war.
Sort ya own house out. And STFU

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 25 2020 16:11 utc | 130

Mr Mark2 - You really refuse to accept (of course) that there are those among us who - out of principle and morals - REFUSED to vote for EITHER Front of the Corporate-Capitalist-Imperialist Plutocratic MICIMATT run State. Third Party or Write In or NO Voting at all because a waste of time. NOT supporters of EITHER the REDS or BLUES of JANUS party (do you understand what Janus means???).

Truly deliberately, consciously gormless.

Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 16:18 utc | 131

Christian J. Chuba @Nov25 15:03 #121

Biden and Blinken will be BETTER than Trump/Pompeo

And you believe them?

- When Obama entered office, we were told that he was a "black Jesus" peacenik and SJW.

- When Trump entered office, we were told that he was pro-Russian (possibly a Putin stooge) and a closet isolationist.

So there's more reason to be cynical than hopeful. I take any 'positive signs' with a big grain of salt. I'm very doubtful that we'll see USA rejoin JCPOA, end the 'Cold War' with China, or end support for the Saudi war on Yemen.

Policy is set by the Deep State. Their Presidential spokespeople sell it to the public.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25 2020 16:24 utc | 132

Strange that only Circe and Mark2 use emoji images like ☝🏿.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25 2020 16:31 utc | 133

Anne | Nov 25 2020 15:54 utc

the price of that toilet seat pales in comparison to a full tank of fuel. The C5 will take about 193,600 liters of jet fuel. JP5 is about the same as diesel fuel and is used in the US military for both jet aircraft and diesel vehicles.

btw, the weight of all that fuel is roughly 332,475 pounds.

I am always amazed how something so heavy can fly through the air. obviously it takes a lot of power to do so.

Posted by: dan of steele | Nov 25 2020 16:43 utc | 134


That's one of the first reasons for subsidizing all the overland connections in the belt-road scheme. A hypothetical blockade at China's near-shore is circumvented by land (rail) routes. I.e. through Russia, which is connected to: Iran and thus Iraq, all of central Asia - and that is good for half of China's existing oil imports right there.

All the other countries would have to be forbidden from selling the oil to a country with a land connection to China, requiring ability to coerce their governments. And if that is in place, no need for naval blockade.

Besides that, Asian countries, whether oil exporters like Malaysia, or extremely vulnerable importers like Korea or Japan, would not be amused. Not only would they be vulnerable to have their seaborne supply seized in retaliation, the effect on the global economy from this path would be even more devastating than "hot" conflict localized to Taiwan. In the energy world alone, oil prices would be destroyed and US-friendly Arab dictatorships would need to be rescued from bankruptcy.

As vk says this is something you would see in a WWIII scenario, not a regional conflict.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 25 2020 16:44 utc | 135

Anne @131

Those individuals have real psychological damage. This isn't hyperbole. Consider their logic: Any vote not for Biden (for Howie Hawkins, for instance) was a vote for Trump, while their own vote for Biden wasn't really a vote for Biden.

Lunacy? Absolutely, and their "Post Trump Stress Disorder" (PTSD) will be a lifelong affliction. They can never recover from it because that which caused the damage only existed in their own imaginations to begin with, so of course it is still there.

Maybe lobotomies would help? Probably not...

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 16:47 utc | 136

DFC @123

Stop being silly. Within days of the US beginning to sink tankers and freighters in the Pacific and Indian Oceans half the US Seventh Fleet would be resting on the ocean floor.

Note that sinking civilian merchant shipping is an act of war, so there is no option of a "strong incident". There is just war.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 17:05 utc | 137

Debsisdead @94, I understand your disgust with the US 'party against party' talk, but I see very little of that sort of conversation here. What I see is disgust with both 'parties', even from Circe. I think there's a consensus that neither deserve to be called such any longer. Both are oligarchical, both cater to the plutocracy, which here is a teeny percentage of the one percent. 'Elites'doesn't really cut it, because that term connotates excellence and these people are far from excellent.

It IS, however, a matter of speech. The Supreme Court in its Citizens United ruling gave the term "speech" a new meaning when it allowed corporate riches into the political arena. More money meant more access to politicians than ever, and campaigns and speeches became the private domain of those who had, totally excluding those who had not.

That ruling in effect said MONEY IS SPEECH; SPEECH IS MONEY.

Gave a new meaning to the term "free speech". Which is what we the people in the US of A have lost.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 25 2020 17:19 utc | 138

@JR133 Its not strange at all both of them are CONplete partisan tools.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Nov 25 2020 17:27 utc | 139

ditto debs @ 94 and william gruff @ 101... thanks you two for saying that... i see it the very same...

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2020 17:34 utc | 140

@ 133 jackrabbit... they're clearly in the same box! the wider community here is seeing this clearly too...

Posted by: james | Nov 25 2020 17:37 utc | 141

Interesting discourse this morning! As most here know, I'm a systems guy, and China's system has defeated that of the Outlaw US Empire and its Neoliberal allies. Call it China's Collectivism versus Western Neoliberalism. China just announced its having defeated Poverty. None of the Neoliberal nations can make that claim. Hand-in-hand with that accomplishment is the elimination of hunger, and thirdly lack of shelter--the first three of China's 2030 Development Goals. Not one Neoliberal nation has made any of those accomplishments--let alone even seeking to attain them!!!!

While Russia's System isn't the same as China's, its goals are the same, and it appears to be using a similar feedback system to get them accomplished. The great differences in their populations means Russia will never be as statistically massive economically as China, but that doesn't mean it won't be as sophisticated or on the cutting edge of tech as it already is in some areas. Their operating as a team in tandem despite any formal alliance is what makes them unbeatable.

Now look at the other nations in Eurasia that have just become partners with China. Some like Vietnam have a collectivist system, while others have collectivist cultures that have resisted the inroads of Neoliberal efforts to control their nations. Even Japan, South Korea and Singapore fall into that grouping. New Zealand culturally is moving in that direction. Many have written Australia's destiny lies with the grouping it just joined, so we shall watch what transpires there.

What we're witnessing is the emergence of the Outlaw US Empire's #1 fear--the threat of a better system's example. Indeed, that fear goes back to the latter third of the 19th Century when the rollback against Capitalism becoming Socialism began in earnest in England and Europe generally. IMO, China has already won--the pandemic sealed its victory. All the RCEP nations just acknowledged that victory and are now aboard the bandwagon. The Neoliberal nations are too mired in their lies about themselves to see reality. They too can become winners, but they must jettison their current systems and enact extremely deep reforms.

IMO, the only reasonable way to avoid war is to tell the Neoliberals they've already lost in no uncertain terms. That unless they drastically alter their policies--effectively abandoning Neoliberalism--they will never have any chance of competing, never mind catching up.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 17:46 utc | 142

Dear Mr Gwuff @132 Indeed. Quite honestly, I've not understood the distorted perception that the vote for a third (let alone, g.. forbid 4th -10th party - would only) party or avoiding the whole set-up is a vote for the "hated" lot...

This culture really needs to waken, to recognize that, in fact, many in the population do NOT fall in line with the deliberately created Janus party system....

Posted by: Anne | Nov 25 2020 17:47 utc | 143

Tac Zacks, Moderna’s chief medical officer says that vaccine trial results only show that they prevent people from getting severely sick — not necessarily that recipients won’t still be able to transmit the virus

ChasMark | Nov 24 2020 17:57 utc | 17

Even worse: . AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer have primary analyses that distribute the vaccine to only 100, 151, 154, and 164 participants respectively.

Vaccine efficacy is typically proved by large clinical trials over several years. The pharmaceutical companies intend to do trials ranging from thirty thousand to sixty thousand participants. This scale of study would be sufficient for testing vaccine efficacy.

Puzzling higher AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy for smaller dosage explained: It was reportedly tested on people only under 56

While Hedge funds sold Moderna, BioNtech (Pfizer) shares before vaccine news.

There is not much beeps in the media that Pfizer CEO sells $5.6mn of stock on record surge the day he praised Covid-19 vaccine’s 90% effectiveness, denies insider trading

Yet the corporate propagandist Bloomberg's presstitute Kate O'Keeffe is laughing at Beijing appears to be totally blowing the coronavirus vaccine race .

While China has 4 vaccines in Phase III trial, 1 million Chinese injected with Sinopharm vaccine , and World’s vaccine testing ground deems Chinese Covid Candidate "the safest, most promising"

MSM does not give Chinese vaccines any credit by shadowing/ignoring to report them because China has promised to make its vaccines as "public goods"for the world , which of course will hurt the big pharms' pursue of $$$.

Posted by: lulu | Nov 25 2020 18:05 utc | 144

Holy Smokes!

This article by Greenwald provides much meat for a follow up article by
none other than b himself. imho

A Long-Forgotten CIA Document From WikiLeaks Sheds Critical Light on Today's U.S. Politics and Wars

The Agency knew that their best asset for selling their wars was Barack Obama -- the same reason so many in the security state were eager to get rid of Donald Trump.

Posted by: librul | Nov 25 2020 18:12 utc | 145

lulu @144--

Thanks for your comment! It proves yet again the China has already won; that the only tool remaining for Neoliberals is The Big Lie as dutifully performed by their media seals. I trust Russia's and China's testing and certification systems whereas I don't trust Neoliberal BigPharma whatsoever--the former are in it to protect people whereas the latter are in it to make money any way they can, and the quicker the better.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 18:17 utc | 146

"On the previous thread, Paco linked this video of a BBC reporter having her ass handed to her when it comes to media freedom and Assange. It's awesome and really needs as much help as it can get to go viral ..."
Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 24 2020 19:57 utc | 47

I found this screamingly funny, and even better when run at 1.5x speed. Well worth watching!

Posted by: Groucho | Nov 25 2020 18:30 utc | 147

Diane Johnstone on the Davos re-set plan .

"...But the real danger of all power going to the Reset lies not with what is there, but with what is not there: any serious political opposition.

"The Great Reset has a boulevard open to it for the simple reason that there is nothing in its way. No widespread awareness of the issues, no effective popular political organization, nothing. Schwab’s dystopia is frightening simply for that reason.

"The 2020 presidential election has just illustrated the almost total depoliticization of the American people. That may sound odd considering the violent partisan emotions displayed. But it was all much ado about nothing.

"There were no real issues debated, no serious political questions raised either about war or about the directions of future economic development. The vicious quarrels were about persons, not policy. Bumbling Trump was accused of being “Hitler,” and Wall Street-beholden Democrat warhawks were described by Trumpists as “socialists.” Lies, insults and confusion prevailed...."

Posted by: bevin | Nov 25 2020 18:52 utc | 148

@Posted by: Groucho | Nov 25 2020 18:30 utc | 147

"Well worth watching!"

Oh Yeah!

This is the link to your video:

Posted by: librul | Nov 25 2020 18:56 utc | 149

More petit-bourgeois propaganda:

Quarantine May Negatively Affect Kids’ Immune Systems

Well, no immunologist was complaining - let alone the NYT inviting one to complain - about excess of hygiene over the middle class' children when their parents were buying a lot of useless Big Pharma crap.

Posted by: vk | Nov 25 2020 18:57 utc | 150

@lulu 144

Re: AstraZeneca 90% when tested on people only under 56

no kidding...

Posted by: ptb | Nov 25 2020 19:47 utc | 151

China-EU investment agreement to be signed by the year end, says ambassador
The long-awaited China-EU bilateral investment treaty (BIT), for which talks have been ongoing for seven years, will come to a conclusion by the end of the year, China's ambassador to the European Union, Zhang Ming, has said.
"Thanks to the political leadership, the talks are moving more quickly. This year alone, we have had nine rounds of talks with good progress on the text and the negative list," Zhang told CGTN Europe's The Agenda with Stephen Cole program. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 25 2020 19:55 utc | 152

librul @Nov25 18:56 #149

From your link:

"You like only to accuse."



Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25 2020 19:59 utc | 153

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 25 2020 19:59 utc | 153

The "views" count, according to YouTube (wink) currently stands at 68392.
I wonder if that is an honest count.

Bet YouTube has more than one level of censorship.
They can delete or block a video, but I'll bet
they have an algorithm to throttle down the view counter so that a video
has a tough time rising to a popular or even viral level.
That is, 10 honest views might only add 1 to the view counter.

Think I'll keep an eye on that counter. Hey! I just checked it again. It stood at 68392 when
I began typing and now it is 68372 !!
I may have written it down incorrectly in the beginning (an honest mistake) but I
did double check it when I first wrote it down. Jeepers!

Here is another video I have watched over the years:

Back in July of 2019 the view count stood at 2413, it is now 2458.
This is a video capturing a WAR CRIME by Obama.

Even before the targets in Yemen had been "legally" designated as
a Foreign Terrorist Organization Obama used cluster bombs to shred
dozens of women and children in a failed attempt to hit members of
"al Qaida in Yemen (AQY)".

The war crime immediately became a dirty Obama secret, covered up
with the help of the MSM, in particular ABC.

An enthusiastic White House had leaked to their contacts at ABC that
Obama had escalated the War on Terror, taking it to another country,
Yemen. This was December 17, 2009 only days after Obama had returned
from his ceremony in Oslo where he proudly accepted the Nobel Peace

ABC was thrilled with their scoop and in manly voices announced
the escalation in the War on Terror.

The very next day ABC went silent forever about it, joining the cover up
of a war crime.

Wikileaks cable corroborates evidence of US airstrikes in Yemen (Amnesty Intl)

Actual cable at Wikileaks:

Posted by: librul | Nov 25 2020 20:27 utc | 154

@104 “It's not really that complicated for China. They have no interest in or need to strike the American mainland. That would only be necessary if they were seeking global hegemony like the US, which they are not.”

Thanks for replying. My point is that China has to take into account, in thinking about any war with the U.S., that major military and governmental installations have little protection against the B-2. The U.S. won’t have to fear anything like that. China has no credible way of inflicting damage on the U.S.’s cities and core institutions. I don’t say that with any bias toward either side, though I live in the U.S. and have an objective interest in U.S. security (not empire).

“America's only stealth aircraft with sufficient range to reach China's mainland on anything other than a one way suicide mission would be the B-2 bomber, of which America only has 21.”

You’re forgetting about bases in the Pacific and Alaska. They’re well within range. You say some of the stealth bombers could be destroyed on Diego Garcia. I think that’d be impossible. China doesn’t have any reach in the Indian Ocean.

You cited quantum radar. It’s speculative — at best — and the scientist who theorized it now thinks it’ll never work. I’m not including supposed wonder weapons in my basic war game.

“It must be repeated that China doesn't need to destroy the United States. They are not playing the board game "Risk" after all.”

But it really is a game of Risk, in which one side can effectively see parts of the other’s board. U.S. stealth bombers (and fighters) create air and naval supremacy all over the place, even when you grant, as I do, that aircraft carriers close to China would be as good as sunk. They complicate China naval maneuvers and troop movements, especially because U.S. conventional bombs are now so powerful. The stealth bomber is the often overlooked trump card (no Trump reference intended) in any U.S.-China war. They make the entire Chinese mainland vulnerable to attack while the U.S. mainland sleeps mostly soundly. That’s a major, major disparity.

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 20:33 utc | 155

Yes I liked the line "you ask questions like a prosector".

Something like that

Posted by: arby | Nov 25 2020 20:36 utc | 156

@108 “China has escalation dominance all over us in the South China Sea and there is no way we are ever getting it back.“

Carriers are vulnerable and maybe even bunk. But China’s bases and ships in the South China Sea don’t have any defense against U.S. stealth bombers and their precision ordnance. (Thanks for replying.)

I don’t think the U.S. has any business meddling in the South China Sea. The idea of going to war over some shipping lanes and uninhabited islands is just nuts.

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 20:40 utc | 157

Posted by: Line Islands | Nov 25 2020 20:40 utc | 157

I think stealth is uh, over-rated, but there is no way to tell for sure out here in TV-land, so let's leave it. Appreciate the civil response. "Combat brings clarity" they say, but I think we agree it's probably better to keep things murky.

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 25 2020 21:09 utc | 159

Line Islands @155: "I think that’d be impossible."

Don't take it too hard when it happens. It would be a tragedy if the shock hit you like Trump's impossible victory did to so many in 2016.

"You’re forgetting about bases in the Pacific and Alaska. They’re well within range."

They are well within range of the twenty-one B-2 bombers that the US has. Those 21 bombers are not invulnerable and they will be shot down. Perhaps some will survive one or more sorties, but there is only 21 of them. It won't take long before there are none. Furthermore, China has various missiles that can hit any bases that tiny handful of bombers launch from or land at in the region. China has plenty of missiles that can reach Diego Garcia even if they were launching them from outside Beijing. Once the shooting starts then America's bases out to the third island chain will be fair targets and will be destroyed cleared of hostiles.

Of course, once the shooting starts lots of other things will happen beyond just US bases in the region getting hammered. GPS will be destroyed and America's spy and military comms satellites will be wiped out in the first few days of the conflict. That'll make a mess in orbit, but hey, it's war. Messes happen, but the US Navy will be blind and deaf... and then they will be sunk. Well, they will be getting sunk all along, but they won't be able to see it coming any more after the first few days.

But it really is best for this fight to take place in the South China Sea. It will be tough for the Americans since there are few civilians in the area for them to "collateral damage" (that's Americans' favorite part), but it will be a good "Shootout at the OK Corral" kind of martial slugfest.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 21:48 utc | 160

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 25 2020 17:05 utc | 137

"Stop being silly. Within days of the US beginning to sink tankers and freighters in the Pacific and Indian Oceans half the US Seventh Fleet would be resting on the ocean floor."

I am not silly, may be you are silly. Read some history about how the conflicts in the past have been fought, and how the naval powers won all main world wars; I am not talking about insurrection wars or something like that, I am talking about world power competition.
WWI and WWII were lost by Germany in a good part for lack of access to natural resources, specially oil, in the case of Japan is even much more clear, and China is in similar situation as Germany and Japan, the supply lines are mainly by ship and they have to past near dozens of US bases.

Have you even wondered why USA has more than 800 bases scattered around the world?, and why are so many around the ME?, well this is the reason....

Of course China could sink the enire 7th fleet or some more fleets, and wreacking havoc in US bases far away from China, and they will never receive a single drop of oil by ship (or any resource), and then, of course, they can try to sink Australia...You do not need GPS, satellite or any sofisticated technology to stop ships, that was made by the british navy from XVII to XX century without those systems, and USA could make it again by air and navy patrols from many many places, supertankers are not easy to conceal.
The chinese can try to establish a new "sphere of co-prosperity" enlarging the military perimeter and taking more resources from the neighbors, or even try to reach the ME by force, I do not recommend any of this....

Posted by: DFC | Nov 25 2020 22:33 utc | 161

DFC @161--

You're mistaken about Naval Powers winning "main world wars". First, both France and the USA fought WW1 as Land Powers, the UK being the only true Maritime Power involved. In WW2, the USSR/Russia won the war in Europe and could've defeated the Japanese in Asia by itself if it had been required, and it was certainly a Land Power. Maritime Powers have tried to capture the Eurasian Heartland since the dawn of the Colonial Era and failed, and they will continue to fail, particularly now that modern missiles don't allow for any amphibious operations that would begin to facilitate a Naval Power to conquer a Land Power. Mahan's Doctrine is as they say History.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 25 2020 23:09 utc | 162

I think that Circe who is an american and Mark2 who at more than one occasion has claimed to be a british citizen livin in Britain,66 years old and who has a spelling problem ,whether this is a form of dyslexia,or that he prefers ideologically to write words as he thinks they sound (always been a lost cause because the same lettersigns being pronounced differently in different languages),I think they have a view on their fellow citizens as being much more worthy of respect than the citizens of faraway countries.They do not give a damn about what's happening in those countries and clearly think of anglosaxon dominance as something natural.They fail to see however that the powers that be who rule the world do not make the slightest difference between faraway countries population that suffer fromù anglosaxon mischief and tyranny and the american folk ,the deplorables that are colonized within their own country.

If I recall correctly Mark2 popped up in the beginning of Covid,about februari 2020,as well as Richard Steven Hack ,followed by H.Schmatz.Circe is present much longer of course,but the thing that all those four did to the comment section of MoA was bringing in insults,threat and anger unto other commentators,even if they made worthy comments themselves from time to time.

Like suzan wrote some week ago,it is easy to guess the pseudo of the commentator,even if you read only the first two or three lines.The lay-out gives some goodindication as well.I make a game out of it,then I decide to read or to skip comment.

Posted by: willie | Nov 26 2020 12:52 utc | 163

This fine exemplar of the superior race apparently doesn't know how to write:

Did Kraken eat the proofreader? Sidney Powell publishes typo-ridden lawsuits alleging mass vote fraud in Georgia & Michigan

Time for the Aryan race to go back to school.

Posted by: vk | Nov 26 2020 13:33 utc | 164

DFC @161

You are being silly here. You are fighting the next war in your mind with conditions that no longer exist in the real world. You are trying to project wars of a century ago into present conditions. Every imperialist who has ever done that has ended up losing.

"...USA could make it again by air and navy patrols from many many places..."

And how do you do that with all of your ships sitting on the floor of the ocean and all of your airbase runways cratered? America doesn't have the shipbuilding capacity to replace its losses. America doesn't even have the steel making capacity to do more than another ship every few years. When the 7th Fleet is gone it will be gone for good. You will have no ships to patrol with. What do you think you will do? Send out Marines in kayaks?

A major war with China will end the American Empire. The empire is on its way out already, but a major war will bring the "New American Century" to a very rapid close.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 26 2020 13:41 utc | 165

@129 Anne

Don't deride Mark2 and me for wanting the worst President besides George W out! The only sure way to get rid of the criminal Trump and Cheney's kindred brother Pompeo was Biden! You can't fu*king change the American duopoly with a third party option unless Jesus Christ himself came back to lead that party, dimwit, and even then it might not work! You're howling at the moon and screaming at a hobby horse to take you somewhere! The only way to make the change is with insurrection from within and people voting for every Progressive candidate out there and that will take great patience and time, something you obviously know nothing about, and losing some battles with the hope of winning the war of permanent change.

Now quit cranking that crap!

Read someone reality-based who gets it.:

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 25 2020 15:03 utc | 121

and then STFU pegging Mark2 and me as warmongers you imbicilic sharpie.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 26 2020 13:49 utc | 166

@163 willie

When you confront people all day long who think they invented the wheel and are passing fool's gold for reality then you gotta slap them around hard.

Every time you read me, think of this!

YOU Trump fascist enablers! I don't give a sh*t for your spin; I'm here to slap you with the truth and I want it to hurt like hell. Don't like it...SCROLL.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 26 2020 14:11 utc | 167

Circe <- Voted for war. It's a simple fact. A "cruise missile liberal" with "Post Trump Stress Disorder".

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 26 2020 14:43 utc | 168


From the Greenwald piece:
What prompted the memo was the CIA’s growing fears that the population of Western Europe was rapidly turning against the War on Terror generally and the war in Afghanistan specifically — as evidenced by the fall of the Dutch Government driven in large part by the electorate’s anger over involvement in Afghanistan. The CIA was desperate to figure out how to stem the tide of anti-war sentiment growing throughout that region, particularly to shield France and Germany from it, by manipulating public opinion.

Fits quit exactly what I was trying to say in a four times lost comment a few weeks ago:There is an information shield between english and french news outlets,even between french and german,and in my view this was deliberate,and from a long time ago,if I judge by the many (wilful nonchalance?) translation errors that I've been witnessing half my life in french spoken or subtitled american and british movies and series.

Posted by: willie | Nov 26 2020 15:40 utc | 169

@146 karlof1 - "...China has already won"

Yes I agree that China has already won. I did read your article at last:
China's System is the Winner

Your point here is worth expanding on a little:

IMO, the only reasonable way to avoid war is to tell the Neoliberals they've already lost in no uncertain terms. That unless they drastically alter their policies--effectively abandoning Neoliberalism--they will never have any chance of competing, never mind catching up.

I think this can be done as well militarily as economically, since both those systems run pretty close together, and neocon and neoliberal are part of the same whole. This was my point about the US currently taking slaps, but one day taking a full defeat in battle - which as kiwiklown pointed out recently, would be like the Suez moment when Britain handed the empire to the US. This defeat would be the shoe finally dropping for the US. I don't think it has to be a major war, just a hubris-filled intended skirmish that goes all wrong - a "Blackhawk Down" event, two or three orders of magnitude larger.

I've lost track of which thread my suggestion was in, and I didn't mean to give our friend juliania anxiety over the thought. It would simply be a situation in which the US has to sue for peace first. I'm sure there must be many such games in the defense ministries of countries.

I've been reading Twilight's Last Gleaming by John Michael Greer. All the scenarios in that book for the US, both foreign and domestic, reverberate strongly - I see much plausibility there. Great book - here's the Saker's review - and obviously influenced my recent comments. Still pondering a lot of it.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 26 2020 16:23 utc | 170

Ho yes Mr Gwuff @168 - definitely the Big C (obviously views itself as superior writ large, along with the M2 - [is that a motorway in the UK????]) needs something or other and is also - comme M2 - clearly happy that peoples, cultures, societies, nations 5K miles away or so can be obliterated by our bombs, missiles, drones - whatever. So long as the people directing the killing, the barbarism are "THEIR" people....Talk about immoral, lacking - absolutely - a conscience, barbaric...

And they simply will not accept (???) that there are folks out there/here who loathe and detest the WHOLE corrupt, corporate-capitalist-imperialist plutocratic DC ruling elites and want a truly demos organized society and one that is Pacific....One that accepts that All societies have the right (sovereign) to govern, run themselves as they determine NOT as We determine...

Posted by: Anne | Nov 26 2020 16:36 utc | 171

I suppose it’s just life in a whiskey bar, that the person sitting on adjacent stools just has to be tolerated and their opinions listened to.

But I wonder if we took a vote, how some of these boors would last who bang away on one piano key, and the few notes unfortunately adjacent to it, discordantly day after day, and never develop an ear, can’t sing a new song. And who further harrang any bar mates who won’t accept their simplistic, naive, childish opinions. I suppose some allowances must be made in an open minded society.

Nevertheless, if a vote were taken, I think a few loud mouthed commenters, who think they have any influence, who think they individually changed the course of history, or that their infinitesimal voice will have any effect in some future outcome, who do their utmost to shout anyone else down and not listen, I wonder if they wouldn’t be tossed out of the bar on their backside quicker and more decisively than Trump?

In a few months, when the new administration starts fulfilling Chomsky’s prophesy of the “lesser of two evils,” and we are revealed the worst of the worst of the worst, some of these commentators will vanish into thin air, when they see the results of their lack of life experience, I anticipate some will never to be heard from again on their own accord. No vote will be required.

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 26 2020 19:13 utc | 172

Harris/Dead Guy are the "lesser evil" to the "cruise missile liberals" because they will put put a kinder and gentler face on imperial slaughter. It is important to the faux left that the empire has a figurehead who reassures them that they are killing people to guarantee their right to be referred to by their preferred pronouns, not because the empire wants to take their oil.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 26 2020 19:42 utc | 173

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 26 2020 13:41 utc | 165

"You are being silly here. You are fighting the next war in your mind with conditions that no longer exist in the real world. You are trying to project wars of a century ago into present conditions. Every imperialist who has ever done that has ended up losing."

Yeah you can continue insulting me and that wouldn't gives you any more reasons, only you show everyone your bad education.

I am not sure of the future, but what I have is a knowledge of the past and the geopolitical conditions then and now, and now, USA has a big strategic advantage, based in the strategic reserves of resources and controls of the seas, in order to continue a war; of course the tricky part is "if the population want", but I have to recognize the merit of anglo-saxon governments of achieving support and close the ranks in their imperial wars, normally this is made, in the case of USA, by democrats administration (Wilson, FDR, Obama), cause people in the left are always suspect of the "fascist" presidents of the right and won't fight "for them", but they will enthusiastically support the imperial wars of "theirs".

Be sure if a big imperial war started (as that of the past) it will be started by a "leftist" president à la FDR, that made the war with Japan unavoidable after the full oil embargo, and if times come, all of you probably, as usual, will close the ranks and work for Victory to defend your country and save "democracy" from "tyranny" following the lead of your "progressive" messianic president, because the reps always support the troops, and the dems will follow "their" president to the hell.

For example the case of the Noble Prize Obama that destroyed the more prosperous country in Africa, Lybia, with a health care, social nets, and education system better than USA, with a stable and modern society, that was sent to the stone age, and now with around 1.700 warbands controlling the country and making slave markets in full light, all because the Obama administration said that "the butcher" Gaddafi was mass killing thousands of unarmed civilians and giving soldiers Viagra to rape protesting women, all demonstrated plain "fake news", but hey!, they are "our fake news"!.
I did not see too many leftist demonstrations protesting the sheer destruction of Sirte after the NATO bombing, or the massacres and the "collateral damages" in all the country, or the start of the war on Yemen in 2015 green lighted and fully assisted by the US, or after arming to the teeth almost all jihadist factions in Syria, or the full throttle hunting drones campaigns in Asia, ME and Africa, etc...
Because this is your "good" US empire.

I think the US empire will probably dissolve internally (long deserved) by the sheer division of the country (cultural, political, economic, etc...), that is accelerating, but probably not by a military defeat, in fact another imperial war with China could strengthen the empire instead of weakening.

China has also his own set of huge internal problems.

Posted by: DFC | Nov 26 2020 21:08 utc | 174

Grieved @170:

"...I've lost track of which thread my suggestion was in, and I didn't mean to give our friend juliania anxiety over the thought. It would simply be a situation in which the US has to sue for peace first. I'm sure there must be many such games in the defense ministries of countries..."

Do not worry, and apologies to all if my deep commitment to Thanksgiving has caused me to overstep my bounds, interrupting deep analysis or argument -- chalk it up to family concerns that may have nothing to do with the subject at hand. There's been a lot going on of interest here and in several other threads that I've only just been catching up on. And, my goodness, Saker is still pursuing Trump leagal manipulations when I'd thought 'the cause' was done and dusted. So, speaking in "d's" I feel like a proper dunce.

I was interested (and I don't know which thread this was in either)in your suggestion for a Constitutional Convention to de-Federalize. And would throw into that melting pot that New Mexico seems to have started some sort of progression that way by using leftover stimulus money to do a stimulus for at least the unemployed. Maybe not though, as that just means they didn't give it all out when expected.

And in the general spirit of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, that really was what China did as the timeline of my last link through Harvard I'd filched from naked capitalism actually showed, with their delayed recognition coming at the start of their own huge national holiday season. (Totally agree with what you said about trust vs. 'freedom' also.)

Posted by: juliania | Nov 26 2020 22:03 utc | 175

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