Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 27, 2021

Pentagon Generals, News Writers Abuse Chinese Test Flight To Argue For More Weapons

The generals in the Pentagon want to get rich. Most strive to take this or that board position at one of the large weapon manufacturers after they retire. But to get there requires that the generals, while still in the military, promote more weapons sales.

Big newspapers are another party with interests in promoting weapon manufacturers and wars. They pay for quite a lot of advertisement. News of weapons and wars also nice clickbait which brings more paying subscribers and again additional advertisement.

These two forces collaborate in their weapon and war promoting efforts which in the best case result in the plundering of the common people. In the worst case the end result is the slaughter of many innocent humans for no sensible cause or reason.

Here is a recent example by the well known warmongers David E. Sanger and William J. Broad of the New York Times:

China’s Weapon Test Close to a ‘Sputnik Moment,’ U.S. General Says

A Chinese test of a hypersonic missile designed to evade American nuclear defenses was “very close” to a “Sputnik moment” for the United States, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday, the first official confirmation of how Beijing’s demonstration of its capabilities took American officials by surprise.

The authors, as well as Milley, are of course wrong.

U.S. ground based missile defenses (GBMD) designed to defend against intercontinental missiles currently exists of 44 missiles housed in silos in Alaska and California. These missiles have tested badly and most often missed their targets. China has more than 44 intercontinental missiles. These have multiple warheads. As long as the number of China launchable warheads is bigger than the number of missiles designed to defend against them some will always evade U.S. nuclear defenses. China thereby does not need any new weapons to evade U.S. nuclear defenses. GBMD is just a boondoggle - useless but for the profits of the weapon industry.

There is also this curious contradiction:

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk - 14:00 UTC · Oct 27, 2021

US: The missile defense system is designed to deal with threats from North Korea and Iran.
China: But you just said you were very concerned with our ability to defeat those defenses.
US: ...

The 'Sputnik moment' in 1957 was the first launch of a Soviet satellite into an orbit around our planet. The capability to launch something into an orbit was new. Its relevance was that things that one can launch into an orbit can also come back down at any place of this planet the launching crew desires to hit. The Sputnik launch thus demonstrated the Soviet capability to launch intercontinental nuclear missiles. A capability the U.S. lacked at that time and had not expected the Soviets to have.

The recent test China did not show anything new. It demonstrated a glider vehicle that - coming down from space at high speed - can maneuver to land in a defined place. That is something the U.S. Space Shuttle demonstrated decades ago. China has already publicly shown weapons which use these elements.


bigger

The relatively low trajectory China has used for its recent test was likewise nothing new. The Soviets had used such trajectories for their Fractional Orbital Bombardment System back in the 1960s. We do not know if China has something similar in mind but experts find that unlikely. The recent test was carried out in the way it was because it was the most practical one.

So while the Sputnik launch in 1957 was indeed a surprise the recent Chinese test was nothing like that at all. China did not show any previously unknown capabilities. Moreover - the U.S. already knew that China was working on these system. They are no surprise at all.

The NYT even confirms that:

Two separate tests took place this summer, conducted in a fashion that Chinese officials knew would be highly visible to American satellites. But the United States said nothing about it.

If the Pentagon already knew of the Chinese tests why did it start now to warmonger about these by leaking 'scary' information about the most recent one?

As usual with NYT pieces on has to go to the last paragraph, which the least people will read, to find the real reasoning behind a story.

The Sputnik moment, the authors write:

.. spurred the nuclear arms race of the 20th century, which was only tamped down in the past 30 years, after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

Now, the arms race is threatening to revive. The United States has an active hypersonic program of its own, as do Russia and, among others, North Korea. But the U.S. program has run into its own technical difficulties, and the Chinese test — which appears to have not been completely successful, either — may well form the basis of a new arms race, at the very moment that President Biden has been looking for ways to avoid a proposed trillion-dollar modernization of the American nuclear forces and delivery systems.

Okay. Now we get it. Biden may wans to cut into the Pentagon plans to spend a trillion dollar on a completely unnecessary program to 'modernize' useless weapons that are already able to fulfill their pretended purpose.

Gen. Milley, as well as Sanger and Broad, are on a mission to prevent that. They do want an arms race. But unfortunately for them that race will be a lonely endeavor. China will not engage in it.

Hu Xijin 胡锡进 @HuXijin_GT - 16:10 UTC · Oct 27, 2021

China won’t engage in a nuclear arms race with the US. We think it’s stupid. I know that the US can destroy China 10 times, but we will MAKE SURE we have full capability to destroy the US once.

Some countries behave responsibly by not wasting their people's resources on unnecessary weapons. Others allow their generals, scribes and weapon makers to fleece the public. Which countries will in the end be the richer ones?

Posted by b on October 27, 2021 at 18:04 UTC | Permalink

Comments

We need to Ban Generals, O-5+, and E-6+ from Serving on MIC Boards, with exceptions made to those who Invented/Patented New Tech Post Active Duty which was later usedby the Military.

At this Rate, we're going to have the MIC/FMS drive the Plutarchy into jumping into another War...

Posted by: IronForge | Oct 27 2021 18:28 utc | 1

Milley is a paranoid weasel and a loser. The elected one just took his Afghanistan toy away and he is now throwing a hissy fit.

Thank you b for calling their game out yet again.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 27 2021 18:58 utc | 2

I was under the impression that Russia and the US agreed not to deploy FOBS some time ago.

Posted by: bob sykes | Oct 27 2021 19:04 utc | 3

"Some countries behave responsibly by not wasting their people's resources on unnecessary weapons. Others allow their generals, scribes and weapon makers to fleece the public. Which countries will in the end be the richer ones?"

No more needs to be said!
Sad when it's all that a nation has left to show to the world!

Posted by: JPC | Oct 27 2021 19:26 utc | 4

You cannot engage in an arms race like the US did in the post WWII period just by wanting to. Such an enormous military buildup requires an equally enormous industrial economy.

Well... unless the US intends to outsource the manufacturing for that buildup. Maybe to China?

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 19:31 utc | 5

Great quote and question at the end b.

As Charles Hugh Smith also points out, the US is a kleptocracy, with "rampant self-interest in which the focus is cloaking all the skims, scams, rackets and bezzles in some virtuous-sounding garb."

"The game is now all about marketing, virtue-signaling" with a "dysfunctional government, which has become nothing more than an invitation-only auction of favors that elevates the relentless pursuit of self-interest and profiteering to new kleptocratic heights."

In other words, plutocracy.

The US/West is hopefully becoming less able to plunder and loot other nations and peoples, but the mostly-pro-military US/NATO taxpayers and their remaining savings can still be looted at will (not sure the brainwashed majority will ever wake up until it's too late.)

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Oct 27 2021 19:35 utc | 6

In the 1980s the Russian economy was on its back and the bigger US economy was picking up steam, an arms race made sense for the US. In the 2020s the US is flat on its back (and swimming in debt and overvalued assets, and a large trade deficit) and the larger Chinese economy (in PPP, pure currency comparisons are useless) is picking up steam after its successful control of COVID. So the US is starting an arms race?

In PPP terms Chinese defence spending is already about 50% that of the US, and when you take into account the global and aggressive dimensions of the US military presence (as against the regional and defensive Chinese orientation), together with the vast waste, incompetence and corruption of the USA MIC, China already has the advantage in Asia. Especially when combined with the Russian military. An arms race will only serve to diminish the US, but it will make a chunk of the elite even richer.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 27 2021 19:44 utc | 7

The number of generals and admirals in the US military is amazing. There is lots of competition for those plum defense contracor Jobs.

Posted by: c | Oct 27 2021 19:53 utc | 8

Note again the lead NY Times reporter: David Sanger, the replacement for the utterly discredited Michael Gordon.

William Broad, the second byline, has been a since tech (but also military tech) reporter for the NYT for decades. He's credulous and gung ho, though nowhere near as bad as Sanger.

Posted by: Jay | Oct 27 2021 20:12 utc | 9

b wrote:
"As usual with NYT pieces one has to go to the last paragraph, which the least people will read, to find the real reasoning behind a story."

Here is an article that gives a breakdown of how people scroll and read and share.

Skip down to the first graph/illustration from Chartbeat labeled "Percent of Article Content Viewed"
for the most pertinent info,
if you like.

https://slate.com/technology/2013/06/how-people-read-online-why-you-wont-finish-this-article.html

Posted by: librul | Oct 27 2021 20:13 utc | 10

thank you b! and in answer to your question at the bottom - china of course!! it is already too late for the usa as they continue, deeper into the ditch...

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2021 20:33 utc | 11

Hu Xijin 胡锡进 @HuXijin_GT - 16:10 UTC · Oct 27, 2021

China won’t engage in a nuclear arms race with the US. We think it’s stupid. I know that the US can destroy China 10 times, but we will MAKE SURE we have full capability to destroy the US once.

Hu Xijin is so right. This quote made me laugh out loud, and I don't laugh often, is there something wrong with me ?

Posted by: Tee | Oct 27 2021 20:48 utc | 12

The generals in the Pentagon want to get rich. Most strive to take this or that board position at one of the large weapon manufacturers after they retire. But to get there requires that the generals, while still in the military, promote more weapons sales.

Big newspapers are another party with interests in promoting weapon manufacturers and wars. They pay for quite a lot of advertisement. News of weapons and wars also nice clickbait which brings more paying subscribers and again additional advertisement.

All of this is true and certainly is the material base of the process, but you can't fool everybody for so long, there must be some ideological backing for this farce for it to be alive for that much period of time in American history, the American people must have some deep reasoning to accept this consensus for so many decades.

And I think there is. The "Sputnik Moment" was the start of the last period of flourishing of the American Empire. JFK immediately reformed the American educational system and filled NASA's ass with money after it. As a result, the USA caught up in the space exploration sector in just seven years.

My feeling is that the Pentagon generals and the MSM propagandists are trying - in this moment of crisis - to reminisce the glorious moments of the American Empire. They're trying to desperately recreate the circumstances that made it flourish, like a scientist trying to recreate an experiment in another laboratory or a senile man trying to relive his golden years of youth. And I think the American people, deep down, understands it and tacitly approves it.

If my hypothesis is true, then it is very likely the American people already is in a situation of no return: it has chosen the fascist path.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2021 21:27 utc | 13

Really not much to comment on this as what needed to be said was when that article was published and b echoed those comments and dressed the turkey with his final citation. Another Howler is the attempt by the Outlaw US Empire to restrict China's access to semi-conductors that the Empire no longer has the capability to produce and it wants to attempt to modernize its nukes!?! I recall an article I linked to a few months ago that showed the Empire can't even enrich uranium anymore--that's been offshored too!! They must have some very potent drugs at those Flag Officer Planning Conferences. Once upon a time, "Eighteen American shipyards built 2,710 Liberty ships between 1941 and 1945 (an average of three ships every two days)," but those days are long gone as the naval building program is seen primarily as a jobs program within the Outlaw US Empire. As noted, to compete in a arms race a nation must have the proper amount of industrial capacity AND access to the required materials. With most of its industrial capacity gone and just-in-time neoliberal supply chains now the norm, I seriously doubt the Outlaw US Empire's capable of competing in an arms race, nevermind winning one.

One important note. After the USSR's demise, Russia didn't cease its participation in the ongoing arms race that the Outlaw US Empire thought it had already won. Wrong assumption GHW Bush and Slick Willie!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 21:30 utc | 14

The current topical good news is that the US government is in the midst of a Continuing Resolution — a temporary funding mechanism used when Congress needs to avoid a government shutdown when it fails to successfully pass a budget on time. So there's a 10-week spending freeze on all federal agencies, and no allowance for new programs.

And there are other problems. At Bath Iron Works in Maine, the shipbuilder’s largest union said last week it “could lose about 30% of its membership—or more than 1,000 workers” over the administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. That would affect the build of Navy destroyers. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2021 21:34 utc | 15

"O.K. Now we get it. Biden may want to cut into the Pentagon plans to spend a trillion dollars on completely unnecessary weapons..."

In order to endorse this position on Biden and military spending I would need to know more.

To my knowledge the Biden administration has shown little inclination to reverse the spending direction of Trump's proposed overall military budget.

For example the Congressional Budge Office has noted that over the next 30 years the U.S. Navy will be spending close to a total of $1 trillion building ships (over $34 billion a year) investing, among other things, in high-tech unmanned underseas vehicles that appear to look like large torpedos (called Orcas).

Don't we really need to better understand who exactly, in the U.S., is in charge of formulating strategic goals for American foreign and military policy.

In addition who exactly, in the Pentagon draws up a list of what they collectively want--how are priorities then determined and again translated into specific programs in the budget?

For now, I remain quite skeptical of any lessening of military/global ambition under Biden.

Posted by: Gulag | Oct 27 2021 21:40 utc | 16

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2021 19:31 utc | 5

Interestingly, but not surprisingly (as I'm sure you know), the arms manufacturing business is one of the few areas where the U.S. has maintained some industrial capability.

The NYT, i.e., Langley Times, tells us that 10% of American manufacturing output comes by way of weapons. I bet if you subtracted the non-military manufacturing that actually involves simply *assembly* of goods with parts made elsewhere (China) that the percentage gets a lot higher.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/business/economy/military-industrial-complex.html

FWIW:

Manufacturing has always relied on public funding in one form or another, and in particular on outlays for weaponry, even nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War. Roughly 10 percent of the $2.2 trillion in factory output in the United States goes into the production of weapons sold mainly to the Defense Department for use by the armed forces.

And the spending shows. The United States, after all, has 10 aircraft carriers in active service versus just one for China, although China has a bigger manufacturing industry than the United States. One can argue that China is bent on big increases in weapons production and is still in the early stages. Whatever the case, America’s weapons production is still far greater than China’s, while China has burnished its reputation as a manufacturer of civilian goods for export and, increasingly, for its own citizens.

The United States once went that route. In the summer of 1945, after nearly five years of wartime rationing, the civilian population of the United States was starved for new cars and appliances, new clothing and shoes, and new homes and their furnishings. So was the rest of the world, and American manufacturers prospered by meeting that need as well. Converting factories to civilian production was a no-brainer and sufficiently profitable to match wartime earnings.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 27 2021 21:45 utc | 17

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 21:30 utc | 14

I was just thinking about this the other day - Why exactly does the U.S. outsource so much of the microchip fabrication to Asia. Is it really just a question of cheaper labor (and engineers) and lower taxes? I'm genuinely ignorant, but that seems to be a huge chink in the armor of the US and the MIC.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 27 2021 21:49 utc | 18

b correctly states:

U.S. ground based missile defenses (GBMD) designed to defend against intercontinental missiles currently exists of 44 missiles housed in silos in Alaska and California. These missiles have tested badly and most often missed their targets. China has more than 44 intercontinental missiles. These have multiple warheads. As long as the number of China launchable warheads is bigger than the number of missiles designed to defend against them some will always evade U.S. nuclear defenses. China thereby does not need any new weapons to evade U.S. nuclear defenses. GBMD is just a boondoggle - useless but for the profits of the weapon industry.

Also, the US MIC and its captured outlets of "journalism" nearly always fail to mention the flawed logic in their missile defense systems that dates back to Ronny Raygun's "Star Wars" debacle in the 80s. Namely, all that's required to defeat it is a sufficient number of 'dummy' ICBMs carrying no payload to overwhelm the defenses and drive the hit rate far below the already pathetic numbers and test results.

Of course the goal of such systems (and the media coverage), should they ever leave the realm of science fiction - or just plain fiction - is not to actually defend the US mainland from nuclear attack. The goal is to fatten the bank accounts of a small number of MIC elites and create weapons manufacturing jobs. As many others have noted, it's not going to work out this time around for the 'working class' like it did early on in the Cold War.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 27 2021 21:59 utc | 19

The most stupid thing the Pentagon currently is engaged in, is modernizing the half-million person Army ground force (with huge personnel costs being a major portion). This has to be justified by repeatedly spewing hatred about the "Russia threat" which is mostly unrecognized in western Europe. Milley, an army general just as stupid as the rest, because that's they way they get promoted, despite the wars they lose, is of course totally behind this misspending of funds which if they're going to spend it ought to go to Navy, given the predominate "China threat" which lacks a ground component.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2021 23:41 utc | 20

My son is a computer engineer who had a really good thing going as a semiconductor fabrication consultant, until the business went west to the east. (Now he's in robotic surgery.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2021 23:45 utc | 21

Tom_Q_Collins @18--

It's really quite simple. As Hudson shows, neoliberal bankers now do the planning, and their aim is to maximize profits over all else. They know the MIC and geopolitics are mostly a charade, the easiest way to make lots of money while doing close to nothing. Are the tensions real? Yes, but what of the vaunted #1 policy goal articulated 25 years ago--to attain Full Spectrum Dominance? Doesn't seem much effort's really gone into making that a reality. And the tension game needs to be constantly churning; can't have an apparent lull like the end of the first Cold War. China has announced several times and Russia's echoed the goal to create a world of shared prosperity for all humanity. Yet, NATO led by the Outlaw US Empire rejects and opposes that very sensible and laudable goal. Why? There's not nearly as much money in peace as in war; so, can't have peace. Gotta keep everything on edge forever to keep the profits rolling in while the rest of the nation--and world--loses out.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2021 23:50 utc | 22

Tom_Q_Collins @17:

As is so often the case the New York Langley Times gets everything bass-ackwards.

The fact is that you cannot grow an economy with military spending unless you use that military to go out and steal other people's stuff. Without theft military spending has no economic multipliers. Military spending is just economic masturbation unless you intend to go out and subjugate some people. In other words, the more you spend of your resources on the military the less you have to spend on things that have real economic multipliers and can grow your economy.

But things are even more dire for the empire. The larger the percentage of your manufacturing base that is devoted to the military the less responsive your economy can be to efforts to quickly ramp up military production. That should be self-evident as the less production facilities that you have producing civilian widgets then the less that you have available to convert over to production of military widgets.

And we have not even begun to consider the steep difficulty of transitioning a workforce of fey coffee baristas into skilled industrial blue collar workers. Trust me on this, that is a non-starter. These sad Millennial narcissists cannot even open a can of tuna and you want them to build battleships? Not gonna happen.

The reality here is that with America's industrial capacity in its current depleted state there is no room for a new arms race. The Chinese will win it while you are still trying to train your barista workforce how to don safety gear and avoid getting their heads caught in the machinery.

This notion of a new arms race is just more American delusion and Mickey Mouse fantasy. The best you will get out of it is a few big budget Hollywood movies about how awesome it would be.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 28 2021 0:26 utc | 23

@23 William Gruff

Well said.

One could argue that there is some tangible payoff, in terms of taking other countries' stuff. That is, from the money-printing and thus trade-deficit privilege the US has, being the hegemon in relation the important tech and industrial suppliers like JP, ROK, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, and relevant parts of EU.

At the same time, the MIC being optimized for max profit adds to the difficulty of ramping up for any genuine competition.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 28 2021 0:42 utc | 24

based on our own experience in the US, aka the facts of history, why would anyone think the US populace would benefit from winning another Cold War (forgetting for the moment that "winning" is impossible)? why don't people realize the same crowd that let them eat Twinkie's Hostess' Little Valerie's yellowcake is banging the drum about the hypersonic wuhan flu sputnik Uighur genocide moment? (wait! didn't we have our own sputnik moment the other day, when shatner's bloated corpse went up into space? bringing him back to earth is no small technological miracle. wasn't that a similar feat as China's latest hypersonic antics? no? too many people in the US can't distinguish James Bond and Avengers from reality.)

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 28 2021 0:52 utc | 25

This is exactly the sort of hoopla I.F. Stone was so effective at revealing. The Pentagon must have an Office of Enemy Exaggeration to assiduously concoct stories justifying budget looting. Seymour Melman, author of Pentagon Capitalism, was also very good on this, but Stone's legwork, or deskwork, spending hours poring over the blathering of colonels and generals before congressional committees and subcommittees, really got the ball rolling on this scammery. It would be very worthwhile to retrieve some of his work in I.F. Stone's weekly, and also in the New York Review of Books back in the 60s and 70s, to demonstrate a pattern. While I'm at it, Andrew Cockburn continues to plug away at this quite well.

Posted by: dadooronron | Oct 28 2021 2:04 utc | 26

I think it's awesome, in an AmeriKKKan kind of way, that the Pentagoons snuggle up to the disgusting MSM, to help fleece the people they swore to protect from internal enemies such as ... the Pentagoons and the MSM.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 28 2021 2:07 utc | 27

the NYTimes article, as usual, must add more lies to cover for initial lies that defy sense. it claims the china tests are radically new in their implications -- false -- yet it must concede that these tests didn't happen recently. so why suddenly make a fuss about it how? (besides the upcoming military spending decisions).
the NYTimes implies that the Pentagon's previous silence about it was due to their being so surprised by it. hahahah

that makes me imagine a room of decorated generals sitting around with mouths agape for months, so paralyzed with commie surprise that they cannot utter a word. (mind you, they haven't even been hit with the Havana syndrome). wow, give these guys a promotion and board seat, they deserve it.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 28 2021 2:57 utc | 28

If VK's @ 13 hypothesis is that the Pentagon generals, the propaganda distributors, the content developers, the biological s, the transports, the commodities, the auto, the steel, the science supply and equipment, the heavy equipment, the oil, the farm, the engineering, the research industries and the government contractors, many of whom have moved their operations out of America or the affected nation state, to cheaper labor and to less protected environmental regulation, and that some how Americans are doomed. Think Again. Each and every governed person is trying to establish circumstances that will force these industries to return home and trying to find ways to defang the Oligarch. The clash between those at the top and those at the bottom is coming. Government is in the middle, and changing it, is a matter of elections, so I do not believe it will be a target outside of elections.

To the Oligarch, it is immaterial which nation states he produces his goods and services in, to the Oligarch the choice is a matter of profit, but to Americans and to those governed humans in Oligarch raped nation states, it is a matter of human pride and sense of security which demands that these departed industries be returned home. Another thing most Americans have become aware of is the oligarch is in control of their government. That too will change abruptly I believe. The wealth the oligarch has accumulated belongs to those the government governs not to those the government bows to.

I agree with you the American people and the people trapped in the other affected nation states, deep down, do understand they have been raped by the Oligarch and their corporate powerhouses. These powerhouses have
have forced government to enact private ownership of monopoly powers in laws and have allowed the Oligarch to use the rule of those laws to gain the unprecedented wealth enjoyed by the Oligarch.

These monopoly powers created by rule of law, have drained domestic economies in order to feed the global ownership over everything and everyone. Until the Pandemic, few Americans understood, that copyrights and patents were inventions that do not exist in nature, and are created from laws that allow the Oligarch to pick and choose where it is he conducts his privately owned, business for profit.

I do not agree the American people and other nation state governed persons tacitly, explicitly or in any way approve of any part of what the Oligarch have done to their livelihoods or to their security or to their nation. Nor do I agree governed people similarly affected intend to allow the oligarch to rule their governments for much longer. Its just that it takes time for people to see what has caused the catastrophic losses nearly all governed non Oligarch persons have experienced.

Every governed person in America is working on how to fix the problem of the private operators known as the Oligarchs. Everyone one in America is disappointed in the stooges that have been elected to the government. And AFAICT everyone affected are just as fed up with this digital platform stuff, this spying on everyone stuff, and this everything is secret stuff and this every thing is owned by the oligarch stuff.
have a look.at the following
https://consortiumnews.com/2021/10/25/us-appeal-in-assange-case-begins-tomorrow-help-us-cover-it/

If the vk hypothesis is true, it is likely the affected governed people will rise to the occasion, for they value their freedom and will defend their right to democracy and human rights over private interest in economic power. People power works in a fashion similar to neuron transport, before the explosion of power needed to transport a message can happen, there first must be an action potential. Action potentials are quick release of built up energy.

The situation in the west is everywhere similar to pre-revolutionary colonial America, that is the corporations are working with many governments at once[global partners so to speak], gathering the power they need to rape the govern, but the situation is not intractable, instead, I believe its about to come to a head.

Posted by: snake | Oct 28 2021 3:45 utc | 29

@23 William Gruff

The fact is that you cannot grow an economy with military spending unless you use that military to go out and steal other people's stuff. Without theft military spending has no economic multipliers.

This is a very important calculus, and I highlight it just to give it the prominence it deserves. Nicely said.

~~

The calculation always seemed clear in history that a prince could not spend on an army unless that army could bring home the bacon. The soldiers get the rapine, the prince gets...what? Something must repay the expenditure of war (or the banking houses that loaned the money to start it would bring mercenaries or intrigues down on the prince's own holdings).

One can see this in history but I confess I used to think that the modern age had ended this model of reimbursement; that expansion to new territories rich with plunder and extraction was over as the world had shrunk; that the colonial model was ended; that nations conducted wars at a loss. I was wrong of course.

Nowadays we see clearly in the modern world that the plunder is pipelines, wellheads, dams and lakes, water rights, mineral rights, discounts on vast corporate contracts, tithing from subjugated populations through government subsidies, arbitrage and preference - and not to mention the physical resources not chained down, such as the gold in the central bank, the art and other treasures, the land and its produce, the manufactured goods free standing, and even the skilled and unique personnel of the fief.

~~

Yes, paying for a military is the irreducible cost that must be accounted for, either by plunder or tithe. I have no point to make, but I wanted to keep that dynamic alive, because it seems vital in all history, and still today, and presumably forever.

The Pentagon and the CIA, both with armies, love their bit of plunder, but can fall back on the tithe of the domestic population. But there is no free military, ever.

Thank you for pointing this out in modern economic terms.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 28 2021 4:24 utc | 30

@ snake 29
I do not agree the American people and other nation state governed persons tacitly, explicitly or in any way approve of any part of what the Oligarch have done to their livelihoods or to their security or to their nation.

Yes, blaming citizens for accepting the crimes the government is committing, calling them sheeple, is dead wrong. This is not a democracy where the people have any influence on wrongful actions, and the polls indicate that the citizens are not happy with the president, the Congress, and the direction of the government.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2021 5:00 utc | 31

Under Reagan, the U.S. ploughed many billions of dollars into developing advanced semiconductor technology so that it could catch up with competitors in Japan. It also wasted a lot of money on useless military technologies, but the end product was a semiconductor industry which was competitive with global players.

I fail to see how this sort of practice could be carried out under Biden by pretending that an experimental Chinese reusable spacecraft (of a kind tested by the Americans in the 1960s and the Russians in the 1980s) is a vast nuclear menace to the nation. Building more anti-ballistic missile defenses will simply take money away from potentially valuable investment opportunities without making the U.S. militarily safer.

b's suggestion that it is a kind of corporate scam makes a lot of sense in this context. However, the fact that it has to be couched in the form of an existential threat to the U.S., and that the corporate elite is happy to go along with this and lend their media to the lie, is rather frightening. One single thermonuclear bomb on one U.S. city could kill as many people as the Holocaust, or ten times as many people as have been killed by the U.S. government's rampant and corrupt neglect of COVID.

Posted by: MFB | Oct 28 2021 7:36 utc | 32

Whites don't have a "Chinaman's chance " .

Posted by: Mehmood Mayet | Oct 28 2021 9:06 utc | 33

and changing it, is a matter of elections, so I do not believe it will be a target outside of elections.
Posted by: snake | Oct 28 2021 3:45 utc | 29

Come now, Snake, do you really believe the US elections can be swung by human voters, even after 2020? Do you really think Biden got real votes from real eligeable voters, not stuffed with fraudulent fake votes? And the sudden dumps of huge numbers of votes in the middle of the night, almost all for Biden? Even ignoring the overwhelming and very diverse evidence of massive vote fraud, what of the fact that the official vote count is massively greater than the number of registered human beings who voted?

The Dumbocrat Party apparatus has set everything in stone for a permanent monopoly of power. Come 2024 the same will happen again - massive vote fraud, accusations of fraud will be stifled and any objectors will be criminalised and cancelled. US elections are a show 100%, never were much more than a stage-managed show. If you want real elections you need to move to another country: try Venezuela, Russia, or China.

Posted by: BM | Oct 28 2021 9:17 utc | 34

@Don Bacon (No. 31)

This is not a democracy where the people have any influence on wrongful actions, and the polls indicate that the citizens are not happy with the president, the Congress, and the direction of the government.

My thoughts exactly.

It pisses me off every time I visit a news site, read an article where a politician in a particular country does/says something stupid, and find a comment claiming that the people are stupid, deserve to die, etc.

Case in point, I've seen examples about politicians in Germany, e.g. defense minister Kramp-Karrenbauer's bellicose statements regarding NATO and nuclear war with Russia, being met with comments saying that Stalin should have destroyed Germany, genocided the Germans, etc.. I don't know about you, but to me at least, it shows the inability to differentiate an entire nation of 84 million from the politicians that run said nation, however badly. Chances are, said politicians weren't elected by the people of the nation, nor do said politicians represent the nation's interests.
If one were to substitute Germany with Japan, similar statements from the government in Tokyo would be met with responses claiming that Japan didn't learn its lesson from two nuclear bombs, that two weren't enough, etc..

It is also for this same reason that I never understood the logic in boycotting a whole country in response to misdeeds committed by its government. If someone wants to boycott any products made in said country in response to said misdeed(s), that's his/her choice, and I respect that. That being said, why should privately-owned businesses lose revenue just for being based in said country even if they disagree with/oppose their government's actions? Especially when the governmental misdeed is met with protests from ordinary people and sometimes the industries? That's what makes me stop and think.

Long story short, not everything in the world has to be black or white.

Posted by: joey_n | Oct 28 2021 9:33 utc | 35

... This has to be justified by repeatedly spewing hatred about the "Russia threat" which is mostly unrecognized in western Europe. ...

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2021 23:41 utc | 20

Until now, it is "mostly recognized". All three major European counties, UK, France and Germany, are engaged in warmongering based on gigantic lies. They include chemical weapons in Syria, poisonings by Russia, and the Russian guilt for the unresolved conflict with Ukraine. Germany is perhaps least involved and UK most, but each does a piece.

As Europe contains many countries, maintaining uniform "information space" that allows the lies to dominate the "public knowledge" is not totally tight, but it is still going strong. Nevertheless, this posture is much less aligned with economic interests than in USA, so cracks are showing, perhaps with more to come. I was much more optimistic at the beginning of Trump's turn when the European trio of mental midgets (castrates? they are not THAT small...) postured about preserving the nuclear deal with Iran, with fat nothing coming out of it.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 28 2021 9:37 utc | 36

C.Wright Mills in his monumental book The Power Elite already in 1956 dedicated many pages on the militarization of everyday life and the ascendancy of a belligerent militancy throughout every American institution. And this was way before the famous Eisenhower farewell address.

Posted by: vato | Oct 28 2021 11:18 utc | 37

The question remains, part of a space program or a weapon If it was manned (don't think so) or landed rather than hit the ground and broke apart that would indicate space program. But anything that can detach from orbit like that could be weaponized. It is prudent to view it as a potential weapon.

China's propaganda war movies the DC crowd claims that China owns Hollywood as if we never made, 'Saving Private Ryan', 'Pearl Harbor', 'We Were Soldiers', 'Iwo Jima', ...
Along with TV series such as 'Seal Team'.

I notice that hyper-aggressive bullies always act like victims. 'Hollywood is doing reality shows about Pete Buttigieg while catering to Chinese propaganda films'. Yep, the MSM is busy making China look heroic in their mind as the State Dept is in the middle of a full spectrum warfare against China.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Oct 28 2021 11:48 utc | 38

@grieves and gruff
great points made. I would add that Hudson's Superimperialism is also about the relationship between military expenditure and plunder, though not framed in those terms per se. if you expand the notion of plunder to include, say, Saudi Arabia having to spend its USD to buy US treasuries and stocks, that's a more complex form of plunder.

ultimately, the greatest plunder and corruption is what is done under the trapping of legality and normative market practices. brazen stuff like the US seizing Venezuela's and Afghanistan's sovereign accounts is a pittance compared to normalized plunder.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 28 2021 12:04 utc | 39

@William Gruff, 23, Grieved, 30

R2P was jokingly referred to as "Right to Plunder". In view of your comments, it looks like this meaning reflects reality.

Posted by: cirsium | Oct 28 2021 12:57 utc | 40

@mastameta, 39

or the UK seizing Venezuela's gold.

Posted by: cirsium | Oct 28 2021 12:59 utc | 41

@ PB 36
the "Russia threat" which is mostly unrecognized in western Europe. ...Until now, it is "mostly recognized"

Yes with some lip service, no with actual military expenditures and operations. In particular, the German armed forces are in a sorry state. It's the 'Taiwan syndrome' . .i.e. the US will protect us, which is fine with Washington's global hegemony supporters. The latest charade of "Russia massing a hundred thousand troops on Ukraine's border" (not Russia's border!) didn't result in any Europe troop movements that I know of.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2021 14:19 utc | 42

The real "Sputnk moment" for the US/NATO will occur when a swarm of hypersonic anti-shipping missiles put a US Carrier Battle Group on the bottom of the South China Sea or the Mediterranean. That will be an event the MSM will be unable to hide or misrepresent.

If you read Andrei Martyanov's books and blog (see The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs then you understand that the US lost the "hypersonic race" a long time ago. The US hypersonic prototypes continue to fail tests (when the rocket fails to fire, the MSM reports that other "components" of the weapon passed the test lol). Meanwhile Russia has a variety of deployed and operational hypersonic weapons, with new generations on the way. But the propaganda machine here would have you believe that we are in a "race" . . .

Posted by: Perimetr | Oct 28 2021 15:06 utc | 43

Understand then that Epstein Guilty zioTrumpy P0S will NOT change anything. Same SWAMP. Will continue billions to our ENEMY ISRAEL. Candidate Trump LIED about defunding the Y-35 stealth fighter bomber TURKEY and as president threw billions more at it. he is the SAME GARBAGE. Not a 'solution' to ANY of our problems.

Posted by: Larry | Oct 28 2021 15:12 utc | 44

Following live on The Crack:

The U.S. recovery slowed [to only 2% - N.E.] in the third quarter as the Delta variant surged.

The above headline is fake news. New COVID-19 cases plummeted (by 70%) in the USA after the vaccine mandates and booster shots were (kinda) enforced - that's per NYT sources. The Delta variant is not the cause for the American economic slowdown.

The true cause the USA slowed down sharply this quarter is because the "sugar rush" induced by Trump's and Biden's indiscriminate USD printing since 2020 is wearing off (i.e. MMT is fundamentally wrong). Marxist economist Michael Roberts correctly diagnosed it and predicted it would end in a series of articles he published in his blog throughout this year.

Both Keynesians and Neoliberals are wrong. Here is one case each:

When the World Is on the Brink, $3.5 Trillion Is a Pittance (Keynesian side)

The problem is not that USD 3.5 trillion is a pittance, but that those USD 3.5 trillion (it could have been the original USD 10 trillion, it doesn't matter for the sake of this argument) don't have any economic foundation: they come from simple USD printing.

When you print money, the total amount becomes irrelevant at some point. The problem is not that we know that USD 3.5 trillion is not enough, but that the American elites don't know which amount will do (and they never will, as the money is fiat, pure imagination); if they did, they would've already printed it.

Forget Yellen’s promises… US inflation is out of control, and we could be heading back to the dark days of the 1970s (Neoliberal side)

Stagflation is apparently coming back, but, if it indeed do, it will be completely different from the original one from 1975-1980.

In 1975, stagflation happened for the polar opposite: capitalism flourished so much that it overheated. It was the excess of manufacturing and growth in the world (at least the First World) that caused the 1970s stagflation. In that scenario, a simple rise in oil prices was enough to cause a shock in the world industry, which generated the stagflationary scenario. This was so clearly the case that the crisis was only "solved" by the rise of the neoliberals, who started to deindustrialize and financialize the First World and some key Third World countries; this wave of dismantling of the world manufacturing eased the pressure on the system.

Today's stagflation - if it indeed materializes (I think it will) - will be for a completely different reason. It will happen because of excess money printing, excess exploitation of labor power and excess financialization. It will happen not because of excess of manufactured goods, but by absolute scarcity of goods (collapse of Toyotism), which will enforce even more the relative scarcity of goods (more exploitation of labor), in a vicious cycle.

Besides, the author should stop being a drama queen. The 1970s marked the end of an era (of the post-war miracle), but it was very far from being a "dark age". The conservatives are as sensitive and easily offended as the leftists.

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2021 15:36 utc | 45

Or the US seizing Afghanistan's gold. Or Libya's gold. Or Iraq's gold. Or Syria's gold. Or knocking sovereign governments over and sending in mining companies to get the gold. Etc.

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Oct 28 2021 17:03 utc | 46

"Now he's in robotic surgery."
Don Bacon I can't imagine very many robots needing surgery... yet.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 28 2021 20:09 utc | 47

"Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Oct 28 2021 17:03 utc | 46,


I read somewhere that Mali, a colony of France has {i'm guessing here. I can't recall exactly. } has 280 gold mines. France has 2800 tons of Gold in its reserves and Mali has zero Gold in its reserves.

Posted by: arby | Oct 29 2021 0:21 utc | 48

And oh yeah, France has no gold mines.

Posted by: arby | Oct 29 2021 0:38 utc | 49

The US has lost so much of its industrial capacity that it cannot possibly keep up with China (or Russia) in an arms race. Recent weapons systems have been massively expensive and functionally suspect. As b and others have said, this new push is all about keeping the river of taxpayers’ money flowing into the weapons industry’s coffers. No one in a position of power is prepared to put a dam on that river.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 29 2021 0:40 utc | 50

@kadath 56
‌the premise of your theory is that the elites are plotting to bring manufacturing back to th US. there is no evidence for thst, and no money to be made from such. the trends that accelerated from the 90s will not stop till they reach their conclusion. there is no plan, not until the inevitable collapse forces new planning to materialize.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 29 2021 2:25 utc | 51

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 28 2021 4:24 utc | 30 and William Gruff

The Langley Times seems to be arguing that war time manufacturing (ergo weapons systems these days?) can easily be switched over to consumer goods and other products. But of course you're both spot on and to add to your points, there is obscene profit attached to the taxpayer funded weapons systems; even the ones that get sent to the Sawdis, etc. That's why those manufacturers can afford to continue operations in the USA. Otherwise, they'll just use another captive country when it gets too expensive at home, per another commenter's observation that the oligarch class is supranational. They don't give a shit who builds their crap, including weapons, so long as the profits are good.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 29 2021 3:04 utc | 52

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