Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 26, 2021

On The Delusion In U.S. Foreign Policy And What Might Change It

The current U.S. foreign policy is delusional. Its attempts to command the world are getting laughed at. How did this happen and what might change it?

Here are excerpts from two smart essays which discuss the theme.

Alastair Crooke asks why somehow nothing seems to be working within Joe Biden's United States. He then observes of its global policies:

At the international geo-political plane, things don’t seem to be working either. Team Biden says it wants a ‘managed competition’ with China, but why then send Wendy Sherman (who is not noted for her diplomatic skills) to China as Biden’s envoy? Why has there been this continuous chip-chipping away at the 1972 ‘One China’ policy with a series of small, seemingly innocuous moves on Taiwan if Team Biden wants contained competition (what he said he wants in a recent call with President Xi), but falters, time after time, to instigate a serious relationship?

Does the Team not understand that it is not ‘containing’ competition, but rather playing-with-fire, through its’ opaque hints that the U.S. might support Taiwan independence?

And then, why of all people, dispatch Victoria Nuland to Moscow, if the competition with Moscow was to be quietly ‘balanced out’ as Biden’s face-to-face with Putin in Geneva seemed to signal? Like Sherman, Nuland was not received at a senior level, and her ‘Maidan arsonist’ reputation of course preceded her in Moscow. And why decimate Russia’s diplomatic representation at NATO HQ, and why have Secretary Austin talk in Georgia and Ukraine of NATO’s ‘open door’?

Is there some hidden logic to this, or were these envoys intentionally sent as some kind of ‘kick-ass’ provocative gesture to underline who’s boss (i.e. America is Back!)? This is known in Washington as ‘capitulation diplomacy’ – competitors are presented with only the terms of their capitulation. If so, it didn’t work. Both envoys effectively were sent packing, and Washington’s relations with these key states are degraded to near zero.

The Russia-China axis have come to the conclusion that polite diplomatic discourse with Washington is like water off a duck’s back. The U.S. and its European protégés simply do not hear what Moscow or Beijing says to them – so what is the point to talking to ‘tin-eared’ Americans? Answer: None.

Prof. Michael Brenner recently sent a longer diagnose of the U.S. political sphere to his mailing list. He sees the same foreign policy problems as Crooke does and tries to answer some of the questions Crooke is asking:

The United States’ mounting hostility toward China should be understood in reference to the anxieties and anguish of a declining hegemon.
[T]he great American experiment itself is now obviously in jeopardy. [..] A country that held the world in awe as the land where the ‘common man’ reigned does not passively accept its degeneration into a predatory oligarchy. It does not experience the degradation of public discourse to the point where candor is an endangered species and truth itself homeless. 
As the connection to reality loosens, disengagement approaches the point where reality ceases to have any claim of primacy over illusion. One inhabits an insular world from which other things, other persons only have meanings as players in the life drama that you have scripted. When those others resist playing those roles, they are cajoled, coerced and then punished. We literally refuse to take ‘NO’ as an answer. Let’s look at the tack repeatedly taken with foreign governments to discern how this dynamic works out in practice. 
On China. Anthony Blinken flies to Anchorage to instruct his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Li, that Beijing should stop doing things that the United States objects to, and instead should do as we tell them. Wang’s response, in diplomatic language, is “shove it!”  Some months later, Blinken calls Wang with the identical message – and gets the identical response. In between, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, flies to the PRC where she meets Foreign Ministry officials to whom she gives a familiar shopping list of American demands spelling out how we want Beijing to correct its misbehavior. Her interlocutor, in exchange, hands her a Chinese shopping list accompanied by a lecture that boils down to “shove it!” And so on. 
On Russia: The exact pattern repeats itself in meetings between Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on the American side, and senior Kremlin officials - foremost being the formidable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. These exchanges are punctuated by an in-person summit between Presidents Biden and Putin held in Geneva at the White House’s request. Biden's main purpose was to calm the waters he himself had churned up by encouraging Ukrainian President Zelensky to make preparations for an assault on the Donbas. Caught by surprise at the stern Russian response, he was forced to backpedal. The diplomatic retreat was covered by a rote restatement of American criticisms re. Crimea, alleged electoral interference, Syria, human rights and Navalny (the born-again democrat who first made his mark as a rabid Muslim-phobic rabble-rouser). As per usual, Putin coolly refuted all the charges, noted some of Russia's own complaints, and make a concrete proposal to open a round of talks on strategic nuclear arms. Washington has shown no interest in the last. So, the two men parted ways. Product? Zero. 
As a final tragic-comic twist, Biden subsequently sends Victoria Nuland to Moscow – yes, the same Nuland declared persona non grata by Russia for her role as provocateur in the Ukrainian coup and notorious vilifier of Putin and the Kremlin. Her rancorous visitation pretty much slammed shut the window insofar as any serious dialogue between Washington and Moscow is concerned [..].
Beyond icing the new Cold War with Russia, did she succeed in the ancillary objective to scare the Kremlin away from too close an embrace of Beijing with a show-down over Taiwan in the offing? Anybody who believes that is possible never has bothered to study Vladimir Putin or to examine Russian history. Sadly, that category includes Washington’s top decision-makers. By comparison, name-calling is more fun and much less taxing on the gray cells. 
The American plan to construct a cordon sanitaire around China exhibits a similar type of repetitive, unyielding behavior. Vietnam, a candidate to join the anti-China alliance, is paid visits by two high-powered American leaders. First, Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin flies into Hanoi to make the case for the Vietnamese to throw in their lot with the United States – the two parties familiar with each other from the last movie. Nothing doing. A while later it’s the turn of Vice-President Kamala Harris who punctuates her fruitless discussions with press conference remarks denouncing China and implying support for an independent Taiwan. Her hosts are not pleased.  
This is not normal behavior; it is pathological. It speaks of the disengagement from reality noted above. And it is exceedingly dangerous since it disregards the actual attitudes and actions of others in the relentless effort to project onto them caricatured images, simplified conceptions of who they are and how they can be manipulated suited to the crude script we authored. Information from without, and the understanding that it encourages, are filtered and excluded whenever inconvenient. Instead, it is the introverted world of self-delusion alone that sources our distorted cognitive maps.  
America’s political elites have fostered a phantasmagoric approach to the world as increasingly is evident. Its multiple manifestations in regard to China seem to include the unfounded belief that Beijing’s leaders are bluffing when they solemnly avow that moves toward Taiwan independence are intolerable, that they are prepared to go to war if necessary and expect to win any contest of arms were it to occur. While it is more likely that Washington is the one bluffing, our greatest fear should be that Biden et al actually think that they can intimidate China. That conceit conforms to mythic notions of American exceptionalism.  
Until now, the war-against-China imaginings have been an elite pastime. The public has been kept in the dark as three successive Presidents have inched the country closer and closer to conflict. How Americans react when they find themselves on the brink is the crucial, unknowable ‘X’ factor in the equation. 

Alastair Crooke closes his essay with a rather hopeful view:

It seems that Russia and China, seeing all this, will remain aloof and patient – waiting upon structures to crack.

That crack in U.S. structures however may become a very dangerous moment for Russia and China. Professor Brenner thinks that only the threat of a potentially very violent scenario can cause the 'structural crack' that brings things the U.S. back to sanity:

I fear that we’ll need something like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the U.S. and Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war in order to get peoples’ heads screwed on straight. At both the elite and popular level, it is only fear of war that, on a purely pragmatic basis, will break the comatose intellectual/political state that the United States is in.

Posted by b on October 26, 2021 at 17:08 UTC | Permalink

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@JackRabbit #92
And so what if that happens?
In my view, what is going on is the normal thrashing of a dying empire - an empire dying mostly as other empires do, from arrogance, incompetence, solipsism and entropy.
But the death of an empire does not guarantee the Sack of Rome.
The race is between kicking out the bastards before they do too much damage, and the brazilianization of the American people.
I am 100% of the belief that the latter is being attempted but will fail. Things are decaying too fast for Americans with memories of a different era to all die off.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:21 utc | 101

The problem with US foreign policy is that it has no foreign policy. It is all about internal political interests, and the short-term gains (internally and externally) for certain donors. This appeared to work as long as the US could intimidate other countries, in that it at least provided for internal consistency of discourse, but the US has no more soft power to exert, and China and Russia have largely rendered US hard power irrelevant (except among compromised leadership of small countries). And the US population is no longer at all onside with US elites. US could easily still dominate the next century, but only if it starts by getting the population onside -- e.g. though public single payer healthcare -- and making Putin's Russia (and thus once again all of Europe) an ally, for instance by recognizing Russia's title to Crimea. Both actions are impossible, not because they are technically difficult or opposed by the US populace, but because of the influence of special interests, e.g. oil and gas interests, banking interests, or the Ukrainian-American vote. Ultimately, therefore, the US position is very weak only because of the endemic, embedded corruption of the US republic, which is the direct product of the design of the US Constitution and Republic. If the US were a parliamentary democracy, with a merely symbolic President, all could be solved.

Posted by: Run Rabbit Run | Oct 27 2021 14:24 utc | 102

Re: supply chain disruptions
I posted a link in prior Open Threads about a theory that a California Air Resource Board mandate - which takes about 50% of the existing big rigs off the table for port ops in California, may be a factor in the supply chain chaos.
This has now been posted: The Last Days of the Romanovs: The Port of Los Angeles, Where Is Everybody?

Long and short of it: the cranes aren't operating. They're not operating because it seems there are no places to put empty or full containers. And the empties are stacking up because ships aren't departing with empty containers like they normally do.

This is interesting if true.

Maybe China's way to communicate its displeasure with the US is to simply not ship stuff. Declaring a moratorium would be an overt act of economic warfare, but an undeclared moratorium on taking back empty shipping containers accomplishes the same result without the overtness.
And note this is a great time for China to do this: demand is up all around the world anyway, so the slack induced by not shipping so much to the US is offset by increased demand in ROW.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:30 utc | 103

And on the above note: @Hoarsewhisperer
No, the shipping problems have nothing to do with companies using shipping containers to store stuff. This theory was not strong to begin with given the shortages - why exactly do you need to store stuff in its shipping container when you are short on stuff? Which frees up warehouse space?

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:32 utc | 104

@Run Rabbit Run #101
As opposed to say, the UK with its incredibly well functioning government.
No, can't say I buy your thesis either.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:34 utc | 105

"In 2024 a Republican President will have a Republican majority in Congress. He will declare he's been given a 'mandate' by the people."

Subtext: "So you had better vote Democrat!"

Yeah, that "hidden message" is as subtle as dysentery.

I wonder if people get tired of being manipulated this way?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 14:36 utc | 106

"...the totality of political manipulation, propaganda, and military adventurism show evidence of coordination."

The establishment is omnipotent and omniscient and everything happens according to their plan!

Implication: You cannot beat the establishment so why bother trying? Just go with the least bad choice and get yourself the best possible deal! The Democrats are the least bad, by the way.

At least this party operative doesn't post in all caps like Circe did (and will be doing again in a couple months as the midterm elections heat up).

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 14:49 utc | 107

@c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:30 utc | 102

That's an interesting explanation, thanks for the insight. This may be an asymmetrical response to US hostility towards China?

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 27 2021 14:57 utc | 108

@ Posted by: waynorinorway | Oct 27 2021 7:33 utc | 79

The Third World/Global South continues to be firmly in American hands. For now.

The USA still has a lot of bullets to shoot left. It is a mistake to declare the game as already over - at least on a geopolitical level. For the American working class (and, for that matter, the working classes of the rest of the First World) the game is already over, though.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 15:09 utc | 109

won't it be so horrible when the world can no longer look to the US as a beacon? won't it be so horrible when this fairy tale comes to an end? hard to take seriously the analysis of someone who is lamenting that his childhood fairy tales about US superiority are false.

capitalism is nihilism. the profit motive is nihilism. just ask the Amazon. business "leaders" are already killing us all w/o batting an eyelash.

every thought in the US is about money. every word is self-promoting disneyland horseshit. we in the US annually commit suicide by the hundreds of thousands.

Biden himself shows the future: one child indistinguishable from the Trump brood, thoroughly corrupted, another sacrificed on the altar of US oil lust, biden's proudest moment in his life.

and as US incompetence is checked around the world, the Phoenix programs and the Cyclones and the death squads and Paper clips will be forced to be more active here in the US, in order to maintain the shitshow. The US already looks more and more like Iraq and Afghanistan every day. look at Riker's. look at the child sacrifice in the school system. this whole system of Egyptian bondage runs on a river of blood, called Denial.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 27 2021 15:14 utc | 110

"In 2024 a Republican President will have a Republican majority in Congress. He will declare he's been given a 'mandate' by the people."

Subtext: "So you had better vote Democrat!"

You have to be pretty brainwashed by the establishment to believe the only response to being presented with those facts is "vote Democrat"

Posted by: jinn | Oct 27 2021 15:22 utc | 111

people in the US spend so much of their lives absorbed in sports nonsense that they don't realize the cheerleaders don't win the ballgame. Blinken, biden, bomber, blizten, brave nuland, et al are only cheerleaders waving red white and blue pompoms as team USA gets its ass stomped.

and they don't even watch real sports, it's all "padded". these "warriors on the field" aren't exactly in the Coliseum. One reason why state-manufactured "terrorist" attacks are absolutely essential and will only increase, b/c US football doesn't exactly inspire one to march on Tehran. more like a march to the fridge.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 27 2021 15:24 utc | 112

I am aware of only one 'philosopher king' and he, Marcus Aurelius, has been gone from us two thousand years. What we have today, is an array of putative democracies in the world. One of the most serious flaws I find with democracies, and republics alike, is the political imperative of elected leaders to clamor for war. This, I suppose, is due to the precarity of position these leaders feel any time a fear for security of the nation or loss of dominance appears on the media-scape among a nation's voting public. Elected leaders who value their continued positions of power are overwhelmed by an absolute imperative to become a granite mountain in their support for the MIC and foreign adventure. These imperatives are the subjects of manipulation. This flaw in the incentives of governments must be cured. The tested method has been through checks-and-balances, which must be restored. The wicked have proposed, and the foolish have adopted, replacement of elected leaders with technocrats. We must never, as free people, go there. Ending the overwhelming incentives for politicians to act in the interest of war instead of peaceful diplomacy wherever at all possible, by institutional checks on their behavior is the real way forward.

Posted by: UnionHorse | Oct 27 2021 15:25 utc | 113

William gruff. #39
This is so accurate! I traveled to China in the early 80s with a climbing expedition, Urumqi had a dirt run way. And Kashgar was a small dirt town. The plane to Urumqi was an old Russia bomber fill with chickens and villagers no seats! Our expedition had a CIA agent on boarded we all hated him lol, and we all new what he was. I then traveled to Japan for6 weeks and then worked in Australia in Darwin. The only place where my life was miserable was Darwin. No other people treated me as a woman as some kind of lessor being. The native aboriginals were kept behind lock and key at night. I hated the place!
Later I would live in Asia and travel in every country I possibly could and would get the same responses as you. What was always stunning to me was while our country stagnates I watched China go from no cars to High-speed rail , to amazing cities and huge national parks. Watching all the various people have their lives improved. Yet Americans are sure that Tibetans are better off under the the brutal system the Buddhist kept them under. They are sure that Uighur’s are under attack and living in in a Chinese hell scape. The reality with most westerners is anything outside their little Hilton is un safe. The idea of rats in the walls of your hut in the Philippines or Borneo is a sure sign of a failed state. Lol. When we went Turkey my sister kept backing out because the state dept said it was really dangerous. The fanciest hotel I ever stayed in was in Antalya 30 dollars a night for a 5 star place! With the best breakfast ever! The city outskirts had been bombed a year earlier hence the price. Turkey was a blast and it started my sister on a new political journey. 2 years later we treated my daughter and her boyfriend who were climbing in Turkey to 2 nights at the same hotel. 60$ they said they were stared at when they first arrive with their backpacks and dirty bodies. They then proceeded to spend 2 hours eating every morning! Everyone was shocked about our trip to Turkey and all I have to say is everyone she go to Turkey where east and west meet!! And although I wish my fellow countrymen would educate themselves I am happy to be in Borneo in the jungle without them.

Posted by: Susan | Oct 27 2021 15:27 utc | 114

vk @108: "For the American working class (and, for that matter, the working classes of the rest of the First World) the game is already over, though."

Which means that the "Global North" will be consigned to a "Dark Ages v2.0" anyway. The empire's economic wedgie cannot be resolved within the framework of capitalism so the best case is for it to lurch from crisis to crisis, each one deeper than the one before.

It is game over for the empire. It will just take a while for the corpse to stop twitching and go cold.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 15:41 utc | 115

More observations on "The Crack":

How Democrats Would Tax Billionaires to Pay for Their Agenda

America’s Crumbling Global Position

The Moral Chasm That Has Opened Up Between Left and Right Is Widening

John McWhorter Argues That Antiracism Has Become a Religion of the Left

[Quick observation on the above one: it has become the religion of the American left by exclusion, as accepting Marxism is out of the question to them]

The content of the above articles is irrelevant, you don't have to read them if you don't want to. What's relevant is that they all came out at the NYT, which means it has become official American policy/preoccupation (the first one, by the way, first came out as the main article of the home page).



Merck Will Share Formula for its Covid Pill With Poor Countries

My prediction turned out to be correct: the release of this Merck pill almost immediately shut down all of those "miracle drugs" conspiracy theories. You simply don't see them anymore (I wonder if the website of the FLCCC continues working or updating?).

Those conspiracy theorists were just lobbying for Big Pharma. They were psychologically preparing the American masses to reject the vaccine (which, albeit being paid by the government, is being unconditionally distributed for free at the point of use) only so that they could accept a pill. The charlatan doctors behind those conspiracy theories were just pitching their salesmanship to Big Pharma, so that they could hopefully get a cushy job in one of their companies. They are gonna get very rich with this pandemic.



The Crack is not only restricted to the USA proper (USA Mainland), but also to its European provinces (Western Europe; European Peninsula):

Why we need a new golden age of European rail, by Timothy Garton Ash, for The Guardian (op-ed)

[Observation on the above one: that is illusion of grandeur. Those Guardian experts have been shitting on the remnants of the Welfare State for decades and aping for the further precarization of the European working class; now that the shit is hitting the fan, they're trying to bargain with the masses with pie-in-the-sky projects that have a matchstick chance of ruling the Cocytus of being realized]

"October Revolution" wins in Europe, by Vladimir Kornilov, for Ria Novosti (op-ed)

By the way, this is not some "Judeo-Bolshevik" conspiracy. The liberal MSM has this decades-old habit of mocking terms of the Bolshevik Revolution and of Marx to build their headlines (in order to make both of them look silly and mundane?), so it's not surprising The Economist published an article with such headline. I lost the count of how many "Capitalist of the world, unite!" headlines I have read in those liberal pseudo-intellectual media in my life. If much, it only demonstrates Marx and Lenin still live rent free in the heads of the capitalists.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 15:43 utc | 116

jinn @110: "You have to be pretty brainwashed by the establishment to believe the only response to being presented with those facts is "vote Democrat""

If we assume that the establishment is all-powerful and everything goes according to its plan, as a certain establishment spokesperson asserts, then what alternatives are there?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 15:48 utc | 117

what's funny about the US is when I get auto insurance, my insurance co. spends as much money and energy as it possibly can, all legal, to avoid honoring the contract.

and there is not any contract in this country that isn't run exactly the same way. when biden opens his mouth, when lockheed signs a 5 trillion dollar deal for some jets, when a customer signs up w/TMobile or Aetna or walks into WalMart, when the city contracts w/developers for "low income housing", etc., etc., there is only one goal: to make money. the language-using animal is drowned in advertising and marketing nonsense.

you don't make money by honoring your contractual obligations. the US is not making any deals w/Taiwan or Australia or whoever b/c it plans to honor those obligations, no more than Geico exists to pay out on insurance claims. the "leaders" of countries like Australia know this. they are part of the con job against their own populace.

like everyone, they've got one eye constantly distracted by this null symbol $ and thus can never "make a straight path" toward anything. certainly not "full spectrum dominance" and global hegemony. unless China can be defeated by fighter jets that can't fly in the rain. the USM will have better luck trying to addict everyone to heroin, as its past successes demonstrate.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 27 2021 15:49 utc | 118

@Norwegian #107
Let me be clear: I have no indicators or anything else that China has enacted such a policy.
But I cannot think of any other reason - outside of shipper collusion (which is possible) - why ships would no longer carry empty containers out.
Although on second thought - maybe it is because ships were rerouted due to COVID changes in consumption patterns. Maybe they're going to other ports to pick up containers in a new route - which is why they're leaving their existing route containers in LA.
So it could very well just be a consequence of the COVID economic disruption. i.e. Not COVID itself, but the policies enacted to "combat" it.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 15:55 utc | 119

"The Third World/Global South continues to be firmly in American hands. For now.
The USA still has a lot of bullets to shoot left. It is a mistake to declare the game as already over - at least on a geopolitical level. For the American working class (and, for that matter, the working classes of the rest of the First World) the game is already over, though."
Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 15:09 utc | 108

Thanks for your opinion on the state of the USA decline, vk. I have one also. But I don't think you responded to what I wrote:
"As you are obviously well-read in Marxist literature, I’m curious if you have read the late Samir Amin and have any thoughts of his take on the difficulties facing the Global South. Specifically, are we seeing, with the recent change of attitude of both China and Russia, the beginnings of what Amin characterized as a ‘delinking’ as the only way for the GS to get out of the imperialist era of the West?"

Posted by: waynorinorway | Oct 27 2021 15:56 utc | 120

waynorinorway @79--

Thanks for your reply, which allowed me to decipher your moniker! I first learned of Tromsø by way of Mitchener's The Drifters prior to its WW2 history. Lavrov alludes to there being many like Britta; they go away and never return. Now Norway's being invaded by the Outlaw US Empire and occupied. I wish you well in dealing with that unfortunate turn of events.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 15:58 utc | 121

@ Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 27 2021 15:49 utc | 117

You're late for the party. Do you know who was the first TBTF company to be bailed out because of the 2008 crisis? AIG, an insurance company!

You know capitalism is failing when the government has to bail out a company whose reason to exist is precisely to save capitalism from bankruptcy.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 16:00 utc | 122

@ Posted by: waynorinorway | Oct 27 2021 15:56 utc | 119

I never read Samir Amin, but it is self-evident that the difficulties faced by the Global South on escaping the American sphere of influence are immense.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 16:17 utc | 123

Gruff, jinn, and everyone

The establishment is not all-powerful. They have power that we give them by going-along with the narratives they spin. And so far its been very very successful. Who was held accountable for the Iraq War? For rendition and torture? For the 2008 Global Financial Crisis? For the foolhardy Afghanistan adventure?

I've been calling for a Pro-Democracy Movement for years. I support the Yellow Vest in France. And I advocate for direct democracy (which crypto tech makes possible).

We don't have to remain in the duopoly prison, hoping for a better result from a rigged system. But those who have a vested interest in that system will ridicule any call for a change.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 16:21 utc | 124

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:21 utc
The race is between kicking out the bastards before they do too much damage, and the brazilianization of the American people.
I am 100% of the belief that the latter is being attempted but will fail. Things are decaying too fast for Americans with memories of a different era to all die off.

Gore Vidal made a very similar prediction decades ago wrt the US becoming a Brazil as wealth inequality incfeased
If anyone remembers this essay could they let me know Which magazine/book it's in.

Posted by: JPC | Oct 27 2021 16:22 utc | 125

@vk #108
The 3rd world is in the sway of the US because they're elites sold their own country and people out. The globalist conspiracy theorists are directionally correct in this sense: rich bastards all over do collude in a generic sense to amass and retain wealth and power.
The same dynamic which led to disastrous policies in Central and South America in the 80s and 90s is ironically repeating in the US today.
The difference, yet again, is that most of the people repressed in South and Central America have lost potential opportunity. In other words, they never got what potentially could have been gained - which China's rise has shown.
In the US, however, Americans alive today still remember an era when life wasn't so terrible and continuing to get worse. And wonder why.
The question is when this wondering changes to understand, and thence to action.
This is why I see the ever shriller MSM as an indicator that the American oligarchy is getting ever less secure in their position, in their own eyes, whatever their mouths say in public.
The most extreme propaganda doesn't occur when a regime is secure and safe - it occurs when things are bad and getting worse.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 16:29 utc | 126

@waynorinorway #119
The Global South isn't where it is because of American involvement so much as it is due to their own (lack of) leadership.
Brazil and Argentina's hyperinflations are a great example. They borrowed too much in foreign currency, then destroyed their own economies as a result. Even more specifically - in the process of repaying said debts, they issues foreign currency bonds with yields of 45% or more. The people who bought these dollar bonds payable by the governments of Brazil and Argentina weren't Americans or Europeans for the most part because nobody there wanted to take on the enormous risk.
The buyers were the rich Argentineans and Brazilians. On the one hand, being in the power oligarchy in their respective countries guaranteed that the bonds would not be repudiated or bought back early (as US Treasuries issued in 1982 were). On the other hand, having the respective Argentina and Brazil currencies devaluate as massive belt tightening measures were undertaken made the high yield, dollar denominated bonds even more profitable - and the resulting failures in business also presented enormous opportunities to buy up assets on the cheap.
Thus the term Brazilianization is as much about destroying the populace's faith in government to make life better for all, as it is about the process of holding back an entire country's development for decades or centuries in order to retain power and wealth.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 16:35 utc | 127

@Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 16:00 utc | 121

let me riff off a great, great, American, not greatly good but now greatly dead, who made lots of money off of anal leakage, unsurprising for such an asshole, a very typical American businessman and politico,

"you go to war with the leaders you have." yeah, the US is pretty screwed. not that we can't cause tons and tons of chaos, clearly we can. and then blame someone else. cuz, e.g., who could have predicted Taliban resistance in Afghanistan?

one key to success in US public life is to program oneself to believe unconditionally whatever comes out of one's mouth.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 27 2021 16:39 utc | 128

@ c1ue | Oct 27 2021 14:30 utc | 102... thanks for that post... very interesting~!

@ Susan | Oct 27 2021 15:27 utc | 113... i can back your story up on turkey.. we had a wonderful time in turkey, and although the erboy hotel where we stayed was about 100$ a night, the free breakfast was fantastic! the people of turkey were wonderful and they are now offering direct flights vancouver to istanbul, so i have no reason not to go again!

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2021 16:43 utc | 129

@Jackrabbit #123
What do mean by "crypto tech"? Encryption or Crypto-currency/blockchain?
Either one is wrong.
Encryption doesn't do squat when all the government needs to do is lean on the tech platform - whether Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, ISP or mobile provider (or all of them at once).
Blockchain is even worse. How secure is a permanent record of activity extending into forever?
The notion that technology makes any difference is a lie perpetrated by those tech billionaires.
Even the so-called democratizing Internet: all it has done is fragment resistance into millions of dispersed, useless debating societies.
My own view is simple: when life gets bad enough, that's when revolutions happen.
They're not bad enough yet but we are closer.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 16:47 utc | 130

vk @ 121

You know capitalism is failing when the government has to bail out a company whose reason to exist is precisely to save capitalism from bankruptcy

Hey, maybe we'll get a second wind!

Posted by: john | Oct 27 2021 16:47 utc | 131

Jack Rabbit @123 I've been calling for a Pro-Democracy Movement for years. I support the Yellow Vest in France. And I advocate for direct democracy (which crypto tech makes possible).

How would you propose a pro Democracy movement be initiated? The oligarchs have not authorized propaganda to inform the Americans what democracy is, the constitution does not define a democracy, its defines a republic and Google and the news media would not allow any PDM message access to their media. Without access to the media, the Pro-Democracy Movement would fail.. for lack of boo tube members. China shut down crypto tech all of the other nation state system members will follow.

Maybe the Dallas Cowboys would run scrimmage on the White house. but likely the propaganda bandits would exert their lies to make the white house look black..and the cowboys would end up the Atlantic ocean.

Posted by: snake | Oct 27 2021 16:49 utc | 132

@c1ue #102

Even if "the Chinese" (which carries the implicit and probably deliberately misleading assumption that the Chinese government has that much control over the actions of individual companies) wanted to disrupt shipping at the US end, the majority of shipping lines are European-controlled or controlled by companies from other Asian countries. Only two Chinese companies are in the top 15 and one controls 12.3% and the other 0.6% of the market. The larger one (COSCO) is described as "formerly government owned".

Posted by: Billb | Oct 27 2021 16:49 utc | 133

Gruff wrote:

If we assume that the establishment is all-powerful and everything goes according to its plan, as a certain establishment spokesperson asserts, then what alternatives are there?
One simple alternative is to make some popcorn and sit back and watch the partisans bash the political targets that have been created for that purpose.

Posted by: jinn | Oct 27 2021 16:52 utc | 134

c1ue @Oct27 16:47 #129: What do mean by "crypto tech"?

I'm using "crypto" to refer to a chain of encryption.

That is much harder to break than encryption on a single document.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 16:52 utc | 135

"...those who have a vested interest in that system will ridicule any call for a change."

Sez the Dem party spox.

"Vote Democrat until the great savior of 'direct democracy' springs forth fully formed from the forehead of Pete Butt-gig!"

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 16:53 utc | 136

jinn @133

That is not an alternative to anything. It is just submission. Try again.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 17:01 utc | 137

snake @Oct27 16:49 #131: How would you propose a pro Democracy movement be initiated?

People would find a way out of the snake pit it they simply realized that they are in a snake pit.

The snakes have mesmerized us and told us that there are far greater evils outside the pit. And those that try to leave first will suffer the worst.

The snakes wouldn't lie to us - they like us! They need us! They even let us vote on which of them is the best snake!


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 17:02 utc | 138

@JackRabbit #134
Encryption only matters in transit or at rest - it does not help whatsoever when communication is being composed or even when it is stored, after composition, on a user's computing device. Thus it is irrelevant when there is direct access to the user's device.
All of the modern (i.e. 10 years or less) platforms send data directly to the platform owners, and so do many of the software programs.
Nor is PGP or comparable secure public/private key systems really relevant. Less than 1% of all emails involve PGP or similar encryption schemes - meaning anyone who uses such is trivially flagged as trying to hide something at which point warrants can be obtained to get direct info from ISPs and what not.
Note further that encrypted contents doesn't protect identification of who is sending and receiving.
And even should the public/private key encryption % of email increase, it is trivial for a government to attack those users: the actual keys used have to be exchanged beforehand.
As we already know various intel agencies are recording everything on the internet - just how likely is it that they aren't flagging emails which contain such keys and storing them forever? Or texts or Messenger or whatever platform you care to name. Miss a key exchange? Alter emails in transit so they fail to decode - at which point a new key exchange will be done.
None of this is rocket science - it is basic game theory (and some is actual practice).

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 17:04 utc | 139

William Gruff @Oct27 16:53 #135: Sez the Dem party spox.

This is nonsense.

  • I criticize the Democrats as much as the Republicans.
  • My main thesis is that the duopoly is controlled. That kind of understanding does not show a preference for either side.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 17:06 utc | 140

@Billb #132
The Chinese government doesn't need to own/control the shipping companies directly.
China is THE largest shipping source/destination in the world, and the Chinese government controls all the permits to docking, loading, unloading, certification, import, export etc etc.
Are you really so naive as to think they could not get any shipping company, anywhere, to change its empty container policy if they really wanted to?
Again, note that I am not saying this is what is happening.
But it is possible.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 17:08 utc | 141

@JPC #124
Vidal was promoting his book "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace" in 2005 - that's probably where it came from.
I don't know about Brazil though.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 17:13 utc | 142

vk @122
OK, thanks. I think you'd find Amin worthwhile. Some good stuff on China as well.

c1ue @126
How is that any response to what I wrote in #119?

karlof1 @120
"I wish you well in dealing with that unfortunate turn of events."

Thanks, it's quite shocking to hear the roar of fighter jets practicing touch and go here. A few years ago US Marines were the first foreign troops to be stationed here since WWII. But it's OK as they're not here permanently. After 6 months they get rotated out and another contingent takes their place. That's right, they're only temporarily permanent. We're building a new harbor just up the water a bit and right in the middle of construction the dictate came (from the US) to make it big enough for US nuclear subs. Can't wait to have drunken sailors in the streets! And all that of course is not to mention the corruption of the Nobel Peace Prize. Our peaceful rep is getting hammered, sigh.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Oct 27 2021 17:25 utc | 143

Piotr Berman @ 78, thank you for your beautiful response! This morning I felt my own exercise was out of place, but as I read the entirety of the Alistair Crooke link b posted -- its buildup to foreign policy issues dealing with each of the US government's internal decisions and ending with the query was this an end in itself? -- I realized the essay's final foreign policy blunders depend upon those internal policies going right.

And they are not going right. We may have been led on divisive, channeled paths orchestrated for our ultimate peonage and decimation by our overlords, but we are not cattle. Hatred of one's peers is not a natural condition - see what is happening in New Zealand at present. They were led into the covid crisis/vaccine only channel, and from a distance it looks a testbook case of that contrived hatred/mindlessness that for a while has shackled the economy here in the US.

Someone from that country please correct me, but I see few voices raised against the bitterness expressed by the vaccinated against the nonvaccinated. That brings on a disruption of the economy at its basic level - that of workers in needed places, either as the nonvaccinated quit where they are needed, or as draconian measures fail. Plus, as here, the policy surely will not in the long run work.

In the US, workers are indeed starting to individually rethink their lives. And that is the key to better times leading to better foreign policy. As Putin said in answer to one of the final questions after his Valdai speech, the important word is "individual".

Posted by: juliania | Oct 27 2021 17:31 utc | 144

"My main thesis is that the duopoly is controlled."

Nobody here disagrees with that.

"I criticize the Democrats as much as the Republicans."

If true (which is isn't), and if both are controlled (which nobody here doubts), then why bother criticizing either of them? Why not just criticize those doing the controlling?

No, it is obvious that the poster is shilling for the Democrats in one of the only ways it could possible work in an environment like the MoA discussions.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 17:34 utc | 145

excuse the off topic,, but there are people here who would mostly likely would want to follow this case..

Posted by: snake | Oct 27 2021 17:38 utc | 146

I'll write the obvious: For any change for the better to occur in Outlaw US Empire policy foreign or domestic, the current Duopoly must be neutralized. The best recent discussion I've read on that topic was the Paul Jay/Michael Hudson interview/discussion. The picture painted is bleak, which I see as an optimistic word given reality. We've had 5+ years to build on Sanders's movement to form the required Countervailing Force, but nothing's been accomplished aside from the application of more Divide and Rule. Leaders of other nations look at our body politic and shake their heads at what they see--a convoluted mass of contradictions going nowhere other than downward rapidly. Paul Jay still believes the D Party can be coopted from the inside; I say that's a fantasy, and I'm not alone. Hudson sees the impossibility of any change occurring given the current nature of the system and those in control and somewhat meekly recommends revolt for which no where near enough solidarity exists. IMO, Hudson's correct to say the required changes can't be forced through given the current electoral situation and political climate. Others looking in from the outside hope Grieved's result--the Empire collapsing into its own footprint--happens sooner rather than later, although that will cause massive collateral damage since the footprint is bigger than the USA's geographical space.

Another movement does exist, but we don't discuss it much, and that's Trump's. As Jay and Hudson reviewed, the Ds have thrown those supporting them under the bus so many times many have defected to Trump, and I don't blame them one bit. From what we've seen, the Establishment seems to fear their insurrectionary potential much more than that of the Ds; and from my own experience, I know they can be talked to as our fundamental grievances versus the Establishment are the same. IMO, the primary point that needs to be emphasized to the nth degree is that all the "Culture Wars" crap we're forced to contend with is just that--forced--because the Establishment knows it hasn't a chance if our two sides combine into one massive coalition--for we both have the same goal: To Oust the Bastards Once and For All. Yes, such a coalition seems easy to break, but the current political ferment is at a pitch not seen since the 1930s. And such an approach IMO must be tried since all else has failed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 17:48 utc | 147

karlof1 @Oct27 17:48 #146: Another movement does exist ... and that's Trump's

It's delusional to think that Trump is a savior. And the Movement that he now leads (formerly the Tea Party) was virtually dead until Trump revived it as a means of furthering Deep State goals.

Trump is as much a faux populist as Obama was. As President he did everything that the establishment/Deep State would've wanted him to. Among many examples: he cut taxes and increased defense spending, he pardoned an Israeli spy but not patriot Snowden; he assassinated Gen. Soleimani (for Israel) and let US troops suffer the consequences (but he wasn't impeached for THAT!); He lied to the American people about the pandemic virus.

What's needed is fundamental reform of our democracy, not another false hero.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 18:05 utc | 148

"It speaks of the disengagement from reality noted above" This is the problem with being an empire and creating your own reality. You get away with it so long that you begin to believe your own bullcrap. As the empire begins to decline it becomes even more detached from reality which of course just speeds the collapse up. You can't function in the real world in order to make crucial decisions. At some point nobody believes your garbage anymore or takes your foreign policy seriously. Your own citizens can't live on propaganda alone so they lose faith in you too.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Oct 27 2021 18:07 utc | 149


It's pointless to try to do anything unless you have a political "savior". In the meantime vote for the lesser evil! Vote for the Democrats!

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 18:49 utc | 151

@Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 17:48 utc | 147

A lot of the "left" are like Paul Jay, believing that change can be made through the Democratic Party against all the countervailing evidence. The same goes for British Labour after the obvious internal coup (greatly aided by their outside allies) against Corbyn. Few can come overcome their lifelong programming and accept the message of Hudson, Parenti etc. In the US, the belief in Trump as a saviour has the same level of delusion. As you say, the Western working class is finished - perhaps barring a sudden crisis on the level of the Great Depression that caused the "grand bargain" of Roosevelt. I personally consider the ruling elite much less flexible than then, and the US at a much lower level of geopolitical strength, so the outcome of any such crisis may simply be intensified authoritarianism and domestic violence (with the working class leaderless in the absence of unions and other working class political organizations).

The future will belong to China (and ASEAN, Russia, Iran to a lesser extent), as long as it can somehow find a way past nuclear war and climate change.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 27 2021 18:58 utc | 152

William Gruff @Oct27 18:49 #151 savior

Gruff wants to keep us locked into the duopoly.

People saw Obama and then Sanders as saviors also. I've denounced Obama's betrayals and Sanders sheepdogging.

The Democrats co-opting of progressives with faux populists has been as detestable as Trump's doing the same with the Tea Party.

We have to be our own saviors. The Yellow Vests in France came to realize this. They just go out and protest. They don't wait for an establishment blowhard to get in front of the parade.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 18:59 utc | 153

@Posted by: Reminder | Oct 27 2021 18:30 utc | 150

Langley, is that you?

Posted by: Roger | Oct 27 2021 19:01 utc | 154

I don't know about Brazil though.

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 17:13 utc | 142

Thanks for the help clue.
I'll check that out, but I think the Brazil observation was back further in time.
Vidal was pretty precient in how the US would potentially evolve society wise.

Posted by: JPC | Oct 27 2021 19:14 utc | 155

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 18:59 utc | 153

The level of state violence directed at the Yellow Vests was extreme (and covered up by the Western press) and showed the loss of domestic hegemony by the ruling elite. Its notable that a right-wing candidate comes "from nowhere" (remember Obama?) to split the opposition at the point when Macron's defeat seemed certain. The French left are lost in their post-modernist navel gazing and their self-defeating worship of the EU.

An old left party, socially conservative, economically left, nationalistic (i.e. against supra-national authorities such as the EU and NATO) and against immigration designed to lower wages would sweep the polls - but of course, that will not be allowed to be. If the French elites failed to stop it the US and NGO complex dirty tricks brigade would be rapidly utilized (as would be the world media, "anti-semitism", etc.). If that failed, maybe a sex scandal, an "accident", an unfortunate heart attack, or even a right-wing nutter or rebel group to kill the leader (a la Yitzhak Rabin, Olof Palme, Patrice Lumumba, Dag Hammarskjöld).

Posted by: Roger | Oct 27 2021 19:18 utc | 156

Wanted to get some examples of the state violence against the yellow vests (search "state violence yellow vests") and google loaded me up with establishment media links - pages of them. Went to DuckGoGo and got what I wanted (this is not an advertisement for DuckGoGO, I am sure other independent search engines would do the same). Google has turned into complete garbage (same for youtube searches) when you are looking for a non-MSM/establishment position.

All down the memory hole now, just like the crushing of Occupy Wall Street through state violence.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 27 2021 19:37 utc | 157

Roger @Oct27 19:18 #156

You are saying there's nothing we can do? You suggest we just 'bend over'?

I think TPTB inundate us with propaganda because they actually fear the people.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 19:38 utc | 158

Roger @Oct27 19:37 #157

The protests stopped mostly because of pandemic restrictions but then the same people began protesting this year against vaccine mandates/passports.

I'm pretty certain that the protests will start up again in full force because nothing has improved.

Yellow Vest-inspired protests have also occurred in other places.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 19:42 utc | 159

Do Please Take Note that I do NOT name Trump as a savior, nor anyone else as the only "savior" is that of the public joining together to bail itself out as I wrote. PLEASE don't try to twist my words into something else!!!! Argue that any coalition's impossible or take some other point in attempting refutation. Thank You.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 20:46 utc | 160

karlof1 @160

That is the bunny's style though. If you think the disruption caused by Trump's victory due to voter revolt had some positive consequences then he will assert that means you think Trump is a savior. In fact, say something marginally positive about anyone who has disrupted establishment plans, such as Sanders, and the bunny will accuse you of worshiping that individual.

But you can say positive things about Biden or any other political figure solidly aligned with the establishment with no criticism from the bunny. No accusations that you think Biden or whoever is a "savior".

Odd, isn't it? The bunny saves his harshest attacks for those destabilizing the establishment plans.

The fact is that karlof1 posts frequently enough and clearly enough that his position should be obvious, so why the backhanded accusation that he thinks of Trump as a "savior"? First it is clear that karlof1 was talking about a movement surrounding Trump and not Trump himself. It is the movements surrounding figures like Trump and Sanders that are a threat to the establishment, so it is those movements that must be discredited and maligned, even as those movements are the ones that can eventually lead to the "direct democracy" that the bunny claims to champion.

It is all just guerrilla marketing for the Democrat party.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 21:31 utc | 161

karlof1 @Oct27 20:46 #160

Ok karlof1. I didn't mean to label you.

When you mentioned "savior" it struck a chord with me because too many line up behind a media-concocted 'hero' without much thought.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 21:40 utc | 162

William Gruff @Oct27 21:31 #161

Gruff continues his smears of my valid criticism of the Deep State and their manipulation of the media (propaganda) and Duopoly ("managed democracy" aka "illusion of democracy").

Has anyone noticed that he offers no alternative?

He's been attacking me ever since I started to point out how the Left's self-destruction is helping to move USA to the right. He's apparently happy to see that rightward move. No matter how contrived it is. No matter what dangers it may bring.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2021 21:47 utc | 163

The point of Trump was never that he is the Savior a la the Second Coming.
The point was that even a billionaire New Yorker, infamous for his harshness and flippancy towards other people, can clearly connect to tens (if not hundreds) of millions of Americans with messages that were anathema to the mainstream political establishment - both Republican and Democrat.
The "steal" in 2020 was not so much a Democratic party victory as it was a Republican party concession; it is now abundantly clear that the normal Republican watchdogs against Democrat shenanigans in voting policies were not doing their jobs.
And the ongoing point of Trump is not that he is going to change everything. It is that he at least acknowledges things need to change and pushed for it.
Sanders has never been more than a gadfly; when push came to shove, he caved. This is ignoring his F35/MIC thing.
We are now in late October in a year where both President and both houses of Congress are controlled by the Democrats. This is looking the same as Obama in 2008: which is to say, nothing of substance happened except a further selling out of the American people via ObamaCare.
This is why I am very interested to see what happens in 2022. Will the many people who are really angry at the 2020 election results be reinforced by those who notice how everything is more expensive and crappier?

Posted by: c1ue | Oct 27 2021 22:03 utc | 164

William Gruff 51

So true.
I traveled all around México, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, etc and my country Puerto Rico, visiting small towns and cities and never encountered this feeling of "we dont like foreingners" that is so common in the good USofA. Sick country.

Posted by: Vic | Oct 27 2021 22:49 utc | 165

IMO, Gruffy is correct about Trump and JR is wrong.
Trump got in because of the negative bashing coming from the PTB. People sensed that the PTB didn't want him and the voters gladly voted against the wishes of the PTYB.
Also he had the Zionists on his side so he didn't get the crushing that Jeremy Corbyn got.
Again I agree with Gruff that JR sees a plot behind everything and some brilliant future seeing geniuses that never miscalculate. He claims that the PTB actually wanted Trump.

Posted by: arby | Oct 27 2021 23:24 utc | 166

@ arby... i remember saying to myself i would vote for trump if i was in the usa.. he spoke out about saudi arabia and even hinted at releasing assange as memory serves.. bottom line - trump was just a different type of head fake... i liked his outspokenness... i am only used to seeing slick politicians with well scripted lines who i wouldn't trust one iota... unfortunately that is all there seem to be in canada and usa... just a bunch of bullshit artists furthering their own self serving agenda... my take is trump got in because a lot more people are fed up with the politically correct politicians who are full of shit in retrospect... they all fall into this category... trump was a temporary departure - however it was quite temporary.. he was a momentary breathe of fresh air.. once he got into power - same b.s. as all the others... maybe - he started less wars, but he sure didn't give a rats ass about yemen and of course he was completely subservient to israel moving the embassy to jerusalem and all the rest of the same type b.s. which marks a present day politician... they just can't veer from the script on a number of topics.. trump was no different in many respects..

frankly, i am tired of the back and forth between gruff and rabbit on this topic.. it is reminded me of the circle jerk, but a different type of distraction...

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2021 23:43 utc | 167

Karlof1 wrote:

Another movement does exist, but we don't discuss it much, and that's Trump's. As Jay and Hudson reviewed, the Ds have thrown those supporting them under the bus so many times many have defected to Trump, and I don't blame them one bit. From what we've seen, the Establishment seems to fear their insurrectionary potential much more than that of the Ds; and from my own experience, I know they can be talked to as our fundamental grievances versus the Establishment are the same.
Well I can sort of agree with your analysis
but (and this is a big but)
Trump exists as a politician precisely because TPTB have understood what you are saying for a very long time and they are always looking for a way to quell that "insurrectionary potential" of which you speak. Trump is their most recent answer.

Now I appreciate that what you are trying to say is that the working class knows that system is structured so that they are being screwed and that the lowest levels of the working class have glommed on to Trump as their response to being screwed. But examine closely what trump has done for the working class.

Trump goes around the country holding rallies in places where the MIC employs these people as the only available decent paying working class jobs and they cheer him. But really? Is selling your soul to the MIC the answer?

Posted by: jinn | Oct 28 2021 0:17 utc | 168

arby wrote:
Trump got in because of the negative bashing coming from the PTB. People sensed that the PTB didn't want him and the voters gladly voted against the wishes of the PTYB.
Well of course you would have to be pretty damn stupid not to see that. You nailed exactly why Trump was elected.

As for what TPTB want- they want to remain the TPTB and that means they will gladly pretend that trump is a thorn in their side and bash trump if that helps them remain TPTB.

What I find astonishing is that so many people can't see that trump did practically nothing for the people that voted for him and did an enormous amount for TPTB.

Posted by: jinn | Oct 28 2021 0:30 utc | 169

lol. Maybe Gruffy is correct. You and the rabbit are a tag team.

Posted by: arby | Oct 28 2021 0:40 utc | 170

c1ue wrotez:
it is now abundantly clear that the normal Republican watchdogs against Democrat shenanigans in voting policies were not doing their jobs.
No that is not at all clear.
Trump lost the election fair and square for the simple reason that more people showed up to vote for the opponent. The opponent could have been daffy or donald duck and more people would have shown up to vote against trump.

In the US presidential race the rigged elections are the primaries that is where there are no checks against fraud. After the primaries are over it doesn't matter who you vote for the establishment will happily accept whomever you choose.

Posted by: jinn | Oct 28 2021 0:43 utc | 171

jinn @Oct28 0:30 #169

What I find astonishing is that so many people can't see that trump did practically nothing for the people that voted for him and did an enormous amount for TPTB.

Yeah, and on the Left they just can't see that Obama did nothing for them and Sanders did nothing also.

Voters are allowed little more than smug satisfaction that they support a candidate that speaks to their hopes and fears - even if he or she doesn't actually deliver anything and actually works against our interests much of the time. We call that democracy and we applaud our corrupt leaders that wax on about how exceptional we are. Yeah, exceptionally gullible, self-centered, and ignorant.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 1:22 utc | 172

Why are some anti-imperialists at moa are so determined to defend the US political system? Either by ridiculing insightful analysis, casting aspersions on those making the analysis, expressing frustration that there is any such discussion.

Most of what I'm saying is well accepted by numerous critics of the US electoral system and the Empire:

  • Illusion of democracy, "managed democracy", and plutocracy
  • The existence of a Deep State
  • The many failures/failings of the faux populist leaders

    I've provide a partial list of these for Obama, Sanders, Trump during the course of this discussion. This list is damning as it shows betrayal after betrayal by multiple "populist outsiders".

  • That USA runs an Empire
  • That the Left is self-destructing because of over-reaching and over-promising
  • That the US electoral system is based on money and Empire-aligned 'special interests' provide a good deal of that money.

The only real dispute revolves around this question: Is Trump connected to the Deep State or is he despised by the Deep State? Not surprisingly, the US 'conservative populists' (whose hero is Trump!) vehemently refutes any suggestion that Trump has such connections. To them, anyone suggesting otherwise must be shilling for the Democrats.

moa commentators are falling victim to pervasive tropes meant to shut down dissent: if you criticize Israel, you are labeled anti-semetic; if you criticize the liberal establishment, you are passing on Russian talking points; if you criticize Trump you're a Democratic Party shill. If you express ANY concern about racism or LGBT then you are a 'woke' monster.

Despite my long-time criticism of anti-democratic forces, the ideologues and ideologies behind the Empire, and BOTH Parties, there is no push-back from readers/commentators to Gruff's repeated partisan accusations that I'm shilling for the Democrats. Just a wish for the discussion to end and smearing of others that have the a similar opinion.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 2:09 utc | 173

@173 Jackrabbit - "there is no push-back from readers"

My guess is that most people reading this are waiting for you and William Gruff to cut us all some slack and stop bad-mouthing each other.

There is no room in this thread for anyone to make a point - because, why waste it in a thread already polluted with noise?

People don't "push back" - they discuss ideas, in an effort to tease out the most likely reality from those ideas.

Attacking other commenters is bullshit. Keeping a dead argument going for the sake of some imagined correctness is bullshit. What you two have left steaming on the path for others to navigate around is bullshit.

There's some fucking push-back for you.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 28 2021 2:23 utc | 174

@ Grieved | Oct 28 2021 2:23 utc | 174... kudos for saying that!! you said it way better then me!!

and my bottom line is i like both of these posters and do enjoy their insights and participation, but something else is happening here..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2021 3:23 utc | 175

Grieved @Oct28 2:23 #174

waiting for you and William Gruff to cut us all some slack

No sure what this means. It seems to me that Gruff is getting 'slack' for false accusations.

moa readers that know my commentary know that I am not a Democratic shill.

There is no room in this thread for anyone to make a point ...

Anyone can make a point if they feel they have something to add but I was only calling for the community to ensure a fair debate via 'push-back' on false accusations.

People don't "push back" - they discuss ideas

Once again, I think you misunderstand what I was asking for. Maybe I wasn't clear.

dead argument

I have added commentary when information comes to light that supports my thesis of an orchestrated move to the right. When I do so, Gruff attacks me as a Democratic shill and the argument over that false accusation is once again touched off.

This is likely to continue until: 1) I stop posting supportive info; 2) Gruff stops making false accusations.

As far as I'm concerned, the 'dead argument' is chiefly over the false accusation. And readers can end those false accusations by simply acknowledging my prior commentary.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 3:30 utc | 176

More delusional policy: touting 'freedoms' while crushing dissent

The Assange Persecution Is Western Savagery At Its Most Transparent

The goal is to set a legal precedent which allows journalists who expose the crimes of the powerful to be persecuted not covertly as is normally done in “free democracies”, but right out in the open. To tell journalists “We’ll just throw you in prison if you cross us.”

What makes this precedent uniquely dangerous is that it is not just threatening to imprison American journalists who expose US crimes, but any journalist anywhere in the world...

This is the savagery of the western world at its most transparent... It’s the most powerful part of the most depraved power structure on earth looking us all right in the eyes and telling us exactly what it is.

And if we can really look at this beast and what it is doing right now, really see it with eyes wide open, it reveals far more about those who rule over us than anything any journalist has ever exposed.

<> <> <> <> <>

And to briefly return to my theme of Deep State political control: some would have us believe that the Deep State cabal, as craven and cruel as they may be, would NEVER screw with US elections using proxies like AIPAC, faux populist political operatives, and media manipulation - even when stressed by the emergence of a new (unexpected) peer adversary.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 4:03 utc | 177

I’d rather have Putin as POTUS.
I’d feel a lot more secure about the future of the US, if that were the case.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Oct 28 2021 7:03 utc | 178

And Jack Rabbit,
Get over yourself, bro.
Nobody cares, except you.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Oct 28 2021 7:06 utc | 179

An excellent and timely discussion. Many thanks.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Oct 28 2021 8:01 utc | 180

"I fear that we’ll need something like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 when the U.S. and Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear war in order to get peoples’ heads screwed on straight. At both the elite and popular level, it is only fear of war that, on a purely pragmatic basis, will break the comatose intellectual/political state that the United States is in."

As if we hadn't already had World Wars I and II. Only the Third World War, but depending on its outcome, could bring a new attitude from the Americans, but not only from them, to the War.

Posted by: MundiWar | Oct 28 2021 10:47 utc | 181

Say what you will about US politics, the walled garden nature of the system is absolute perfection. I cannot think of any other example where consumers aren't merely satisfied to be stuck in a captive market, they actively participate in the thorough weeding out of any possible alternative.

The rules of captive markets apply and as free choice disappears, prices go up and quality goes down. A natural reaction would be: "will you look at that, isles and isles, floor to ceiling, of nothing but soft drinks. Screw this sugar water, I'm outta here."

So how does it work? What drives the masses of disappointed consumers to the same tired shelves to load their karts with products they neither need nor want?

What distinguishes this system from the common consumerist model is that products are packaged with the intention, not to appeal, but to repulse. This is the brilliant trick that turns passive consumers into active recruits.
"Brothers, these are troubled times! We are this close to having the WRONG brand on our tables. For the love of all that is good, we must channel all this hate and make sure it doesn't happen."

Works like a charm. And the angry soldiers don't merely load their karts with the desired product, they will fight tooth and nail to defend their choice. This means marching off to whack an assortment of pinatas placed in their path. Russia. Whack! Iran, Syria, - whack! Healthcare - whack!

Sectarian division invariably involves manipulating egos to fight over inanities while ignoring common grievances.

Posted by: robin | Oct 28 2021 11:39 utc | 182

Hurun China Rich List:

Vaccine maker Zhong Shanshan of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy jumped to 3rd place from below 20 with US$ 53700 Billion, while Xu Jiayin of Evergrande dropped from 2 nd to 5th with his US$ 34600 Billion.

Communism with Chine$e character$, love it or leave it.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 12:38 utc | 183

Then again Zuo HuiMale from KE real estate came up from 159 to 36th with US$ 15400 B while Xie Bing of Sino Biopharmaceutical dropped from 21st to 59 with only US$ 9400 B.

Market or CCP forces at work?

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 12:53 utc | 184

@ Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 2:09 utc | 173

The only real dispute revolves around this question: Is Trump connected to the Deep State or is he despised by the Deep State?

Who was trying to unseat president (elect) Trump four years long? Deep State = FBI/ CIA/ DOJ / NYT / WaPo-Bezos etc.

Not a question, a total fact.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 13:21 utc | 185

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 13:21 utc | 185

Who was trying to unseat president (elect) Trump four years long? Deep State = FBI/ CIA/ DOJ / NYT / WaPo-Bezos etc.

Not a question, a total fact.

Ever since my subscription to Deep State Digest has expired, I have to rely on actual occurrences and their consequences to interpret what may be the intentions of different state and non-state actors.

My observation is that the former US president has not been unseated from power during his four year tenure. As amatter of fact, the country has followed the same direction it has been following since, well, forever. Nothing new on that front.

The circus show, however, has been particularly loud, shrill and constant. Trump trump trump. Everywhere, anytime. Trump trump trump. And did I mention Trump? Dontcha hate him? What a god awful man. Or maybe you hate those that hate him? Bunch of snotty righteous commie woketards. Golly gee I hate them. I'm just going to focus all my attention, hate and energy in following their every step, forever obsessing on their every move.

Posted by: robin | Oct 28 2021 14:26 utc | 186

Antonym @Oct28 13:21 #185: ... a total fact.

WMD in Iraq was a 'total fact' too. Until it was revealed that it wasn't.

Another 'total fact': Obama's dedication to the Constitution (he's a Constitutional lawyer!), inclusiveness (first black President!), love of peace (Nobel Peace Prize winner!), and desire for "Change You Can Believe In" (his 2008 campaign slogan). Until he:

  • droned weddings (then bragged about his skill at drone targeting);
  • killed an American citizen without due process;
  • allowed ISIS to rise;
  • broke his promise to end the wars;
  • broke his promise to not make the Bush tax cuts permanent;
  • bowed to the Saudi King;
  • admitted that he believed in exceptionalism "with every fiber of my being";
  • refused to hold CIA accountable for rendition and torture;
  • refused to hold NSA accountable for pervasive spying;
  • refused to hold Clapper accountable for lying to Congress;
  • lied about Benghazi (it wasn't prompted by an anti-Muslim video);
  • turned a UN-authorized 'No-fly Zone' into a bombing campaign;
  • refused to prosecute bankers responsible for the Global Financial Crisis;
  • etc.

I'm sure that readers can think of other "total facts" that turned out to be lies/psyops.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 14:39 utc | 187

@ robin & Jackrabbit

Obama and Biden could fulfill US Deep State's agenda practically unopposed = assets. They didn't have any own money for campaigning so they were "owned".

Trump stopped the love affair between US and Chinese business elites, tried to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan, tried to close the US southern border for cheaper labor, didn't kneel to the Saudi king, couldn't hold the FBI, CIA or NSa accountable because they were after him etc.
He also made many mistakes, like not letting Assange or Snowden go free or declassifying a lot of material against him, not pursuing HRC official closet server crap etc. etc.
He was a patriotic buffoon without much swamp or legal experience. Most of all he isn't the typical globalist US billionaire in cahoots with most of the rest,
Not perfect at all but a fresh wind.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 15:07 utc | 188

Roger,thank you for recalling french state violence against pêaceful protesters that called themselves Yellow Vests.To measure the full extent of fascist boots trampling on citizens faces ,please look for

Posted by: jonas | Oct 28 2021 15:45 utc | 189

Foreign policy delusion and what might change it? Look at what's happening in France, Washington could be next.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 28 2021 15:55 utc | 190

Antonym @Oct28 15:07 #188

Trump is a billionaire insider who got 'outsider cred' via a Deep State witch hunt that (predictably) led nowhere.

Trump got in front of the Tea Party parade - essentially a "reboot" of the McCain strategy in which the "Maverick" (as McCain styled himself) brought Sara Palin on as his running mate.

Trump engaged in kayfabe with the Democrats as he did virtually everything that the establishment would've wanted him to.

There are many things about Trump that don't add up about this 'America First' "outsider", such as his forgiving the Clintons, his saying "I love wikileaks" then (after Assange was arrested) saying that he didn't know wikileaks, his lying to America about the pandemic virus, etc.

It's hard to 'spin' Trump's inconsistencies, and it's hard to excuse actions/inactions of his that ultimately benefit the establishment that was supposedly out to get him.

<> <> <> <>

Trump stopped the love affair between US and Chinese business elites,

This was already slated to happen after USA recognized the threat from a combined Russia and China.

tried to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan,

The Commander-in-Chief couldn't control the military? (And you acknowledge that he couldn't control the securities services either).

tried to close the US southern border for cheaper labor,

America is addicted to cheap labor just as it's addicted to cheap gas and recreational drugs. No President was going to end that quickly.

didn't kneel to the Saudi king,

No, he participated in their ceremonial sword dance and stroked the Kings ego orb.

couldn't hold the FBI, CIA or NSa accountable because they were after him etc.

Sounds suspiciously like the national security state (aka "Deep State") was really in control.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2021 16:18 utc | 191

jinn @169--

Yes, agreed that Trump did nothing for the working class aside from the rhetorical and actually caused them great harm with his Trade Wars and Do Nothing Covid policy. But, it's very hard to discern if those actions caused his 2020 defeat; although given the continuity of both foreign and domestic policy, that doesn't really matter.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 28 2021 16:47 utc | 192

@ jonas | Oct 28 2021 15:45 utc | 189

What Macron did to the Yellow Vests is worse than anything Marine Le Pen could have done to any citizens of France. How he came to power from nothing is another case of black magic.

Posted by: Antonym | Oct 28 2021 16:57 utc | 193

Given that this "Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962" was actually initiated by placing Saturns in Turkey the analogy may even be closer.

Posted by: JR | Oct 28 2021 18:48 utc | 194

America's delusion is ultimately one based on religious fanaticism--albeit one disguised behind a liberal democratic veneer.

This American delusion is very similar to that of its self-styled democratic allies like Zionist Israel or Hindu Fascist India, both of which are religious apartheid states that always (unconvincingly) boast about being "secular democracies." This is despite the reality that both countries are degenerating into quasi-fundamentalist theocracies that border on the absurd--such as exemplified by India's "cow protection" laws.

Indian court exhorts Modi to “protect Hindu rights” with further communalist “cow protection” legislation

In terms of Americans, they possess a fervent delusion that the United States is God's Chosen Democracy, which has been uniquely selected as a "Beacon of Liberty" for the entire world.

This is a founding moral and political dogma by which America was spawned as a nation and is derived from the original Puritans who colonized the continent. And this dogma is peddled across the political spectrum in the USA from Liberal to Conservative, from Democrat to Republican, from war criminals like Donald Trump to war criminals like Joe Biden.

America is the New Jerusalem, the Select, the true "children of Israel," as described in the Bible.

Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion

In the warped worldview of America and its allies, any nation that opposes America by definition thus must the opposite of godly and likely to be evil incarnate.

Hence, America has a divine mission to bomb these "Evil-Doers Who Hate Our Freedoms" back to the Stone Age and destroy their nation ... in order to save it.

This sick belief system is fundamental to the political and cultural DNA of America and is used to rationalize the Land of the Free's many genocidal wars and other crimes against humanity around the world.

In sum, Americans (and their allies) are a crusader empire, possessed by a messianic fanaticism, that will likely usher in, not a Kingdom of Heaven, but rather a Hell on earth.

The Messianic Character of American Foreign Policy

Posted by: ak74 | Oct 29 2021 5:16 utc | 195

Trump met the fucked up global economy head on.
He expanded and enabled energy production.
He fought to keep fed interest rates from rising.
He cut regulatory capture.
He cut taxes.

All those efforts promoted the health of the US economy.
And he said fuck you to the the global green bullshit.
Trump was the best Pres the US economy could hope for.
He fought inflation with growth,
A losing battle, admittedly

But, Biden has no plan for growth.
Inflation is here. Trillions of dollar injection without growth….
He’s only making it worse.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Oct 29 2021 5:43 utc | 196

UnionHorse | Oct 27 2021 15:25 utc | 113

How about making it illegal for anyone in a position to influence foreign policy (or their relatives) e.g. MPs, ministers, Newspaper editors have any stake in the armaments industry? How about, at the same time closing the "Revolving Door"?
While we are at it, how about making it illegal for learned journals and university medical departments, to accept advertising/donations from pharmaceutical companies or for doctors to accept any goodies offered by them? A heavy fine and instant disqualification would seem to be an appropriate punishment for either offering or accepting such.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 29 2021 11:40 utc | 197

jinn @169: "What I find astonishing is that so many people can't see that trump did practically nothing for the people that voted for him and did an enormous amount for TPTB."

Precisely, almost word for word, the argument the bunny makes, but it is most curious because that argument is totally irrelevant. The point that the bunny and his Mini-Mes artlessly dodge is not that Trump was some rebel "savior" (the bunny's characterization and nobody else's in this forum) but that he simply wasn't the one the establishment wanted. In fact, it is these insistent efforts by the bunny and its surrogates to recast discussion of failures of establishment plans to be Trump advocacy that exposes them as not only establishment tools but ones tasked with salvaging the Democrats.

The "deep state" isn't going to start briefing someone about all of their dirty deeds the day after the election. They want someone in the White House who already knows where the bodies are buried. Someone who has already been "blooded" or is otherwise already vetted by the "deep state" by deep involvement in the CIA/State Department. We know that Trump was never briefed on the empire's operations by the simple fact that the "deep state" lied to him about ducks, kids, and Novichok. Rather than tell him the truth and trust him to play his part they lied to Trump to manipulate him into staying on narrative. Note that this is another point our lagomorph establishment spox will (and has repeatedly in the past) attempt to recast as Trump advocacy even though it is nothing of the sort.

Aside: Being "blooded" is how criminal gangs and special forces units assure loyalty and reliability of new members. You have to murder an innocent to gain full membership and the confidence of the gang. Trump had never been "blooded", and in fact he was much too "clean" for the "deep state" to trust. Verbal assurances of loyalty are not enough to gain access to the "inner circles" of power. Blood-on-hands or crucifixion-class blackmail material are required for that. Note once again that the bunny will try to recast this away from being criticism of the establishment and towards Trump advocacy, proving yet again that he is a fraud.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 29 2021 11:56 utc | 198

vk | Oct 27 2021 15:43 utc | 116

My prediction turned out to be correct: the release of this Merck pill almost immediately shut down all of those "miracle drugs" conspiracy theories. You simply don't see them anymore (I wonder if the website of the FLCCC continues working or updating?).

You aren't looking. (
This contribution by vk seems to me to be entirely misconceived. The medicine that the FLCCC was promoting (ivermektin) is so cheap ($2.68/kilo) that it is almost impossible to make much money out of selling it. It is also at least as effective as vaccines at preventing the spread of CV19 (probably much more so). (See the experience of Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Zimbabwe.) The pill that Merck is selling is many times more expensive and much less available. Also, the medicine that the FLCCC is promoting is one of the safest medicines ever used. There have been 3.7 BILLION doses prescribed since it was first introduced and around 5,500 cases of adverse reactions to it, none, I think fatal.
Personally, given the way the pharmaceutical industry kills off people wholesale, which they do, I would be much less surprised if the doctors in the FLCCC met with "surprising" accidents, than if they were given posts on the boards of Big Pharma.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 29 2021 12:34 utc | 199

c1ue | Oct 27 2021 16:35 utc | 127

Very interesting analysis. If you are correct, maybe we should expect the USG shortly to start issuing Yuan-denominated bonds to be bought by rich Amerikistanis ?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 29 2021 12:48 utc | 200

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