Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 30, 2022

What Presidents Say Does Not Matter. It Is The Execution Of Policies That Counts.

Yesterday, on July 28/29 2022 three independent entities stated the obvious fact that the president of the United States is just a front puppet who has no power to fulfill the promises he makes during various interactions with foreign leaders. The dangers evolving from this state are enormous but rarely noted.

Andrew Bacevich, the head of the Quincy Institute, writes:

Something much bigger than POTUS — call it the MIC or the deep state — has de facto veto power on all matters related to national security.

Writing in the New York Times, veteran foreign correspondent Edward Wong reports that the Biden “administration’s approach to strategic priorities is surprisingly consistent with the policies of the Trump administration.”

What ought to be surprising at this juncture is Wong’s surprise.
...
In practice, the power wielded by the most powerful man in the world turns out to be quite limited. Factors at home and abroad constrain presidential freedom of action.
...
Two factors stand out, one structural and the other ideological.
...
The structural factor refers to the institutions whose wellbeing is dependent upon maintaining arrangements that devolved during the Cold War and survived the Cold War’s passing. Call it what you will — the Blob, the Deep State, the military-industrial-congressional complex — it exercises a de facto veto power on all matters related to basic U.S. national security policy.
...
The ideological factor rests on explicit or tacit claims of American Exceptionalism: That it is incumbent upon the United States to lead the world, with leadership tending in practice to become a synonym for global primacy and primacy tending to be expressed in military terms.

With regards to Joe Biden's recent call with China's president Xi Jinping, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism makes a similar argument:

National leaders never have complete freedom to act; even autocrats have constituencies or power blocs they have to appease. In the US, it has become clear that the President has limited degrees of freedom on foreign policy matters; the military/intel interests call the shots. Mind you, there are factions so a President can push the needle to a degree; that’s why, for instance, Obama was able to check Clinton’s plans to escalate in Syria. But the flip side is that Presidents who want to improve relations with pet enemies get nowhere. In the Oliver Stone interviews, Putin recounts how he had productive discussions with Bush and they agreed on concrete de-escalation measures. Follow ups were unanswered. Eventually Putin got a written bafflespeak climbdown. That and other examples led Putin to conclude that US presidents are hostage to bureaucratic and commercial interests.

Biden is a visibly very weak president. And it appears that that has enabled the neocons to have an even bigger say over foreign policy than usual.

One assumes Xi has to understand that. Yet the Chinese readout has Xi starting from lofty first principles to contend that the US and China, as leading world powers, have a duty to promote peace, global development, and prosperity. From that, Xi reasons that seeing China as a strategic rival is “misperceiving” US-China relations and misleading the world community.

Who is Xi talking to when he goes on like that? It certainly is not to Biden.

On the very same day as Yves published the above, the Global Times, the prime international outlet of the Chinese Communist Party, acknowledged Biden's inability to keep promises by publishing an editorial which makes the same observation:

China-US relations have not only failed to get out of the plight created by the previous US government, but have stagnated and even deteriorated. The root lies in that these positive statements by President Biden have not been translated into the US' practical actions. In other words, from the perspective of many Chinese, there is something wrong with Washington's execution.
...
For the next step, the US side should translate the positive momentum formed in this latest exchanges into dynamics that fully reflects the execution capability, seriously consider China's statements on strategic track which are rational and in line with the two countries' interests and concerns, truly meet China half way, properly manage and develop China-US ties. Particularly, the US needs to show positive execution capability on cores issues that have major impact on bilateral ties.

In this context it is interesting to see the lectures given by Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to the minion in Washington who plays his counterpart:

The ministers discussed current developments in Ukraine. Sergey Lavrov laid out Russia’s principled approaches in the context of the special military operation in the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Lugansk People’s Republic and Ukraine. He emphasised that its goals and tasks will be fully achieved.
...
Mr Lavrov said that US sanctions were aggravating the situation and that US promises to make exemptions for Russian food shipments had not materialised.
...
As for the potential prisoner swap between the countries, Mr Lavrov strongly advised a return to professional dialogue in the context of “quiet diplomacy” without any dubious media leaks.

Ouch.

Reviewing the Blinken-Lavrov call the former Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar asks:

Shouldn’t Biden be talking directly to Putin?

Such conversations as yesterday’s suffer from being totally opaque. Blinken can’t even articulate the substantive issues bothering Biden —the cracks in the western unity.

Curiously, the Biden faces two crisis situations with explosive potential at the moment — in Ukraine and over Taiwan. Indeed, it is crystal clear that both have been precipitated by Washington. Yet, the manner in which Biden is handling them couldn’t be anymore dissimilar.

In the case of Taiwan, Biden didn’t hesitate to call up Chinese President Xi Jinping to calm the tensions. But he has chosen a different path to communicate with President Vladimir Putin.

For sure, into the six month of the conflict in Ukraine, Biden has finally decided to bite the bullet and resume high-level contact with Moscow. But he opted to get through to Putin through his state secretary!

The problem here is, although US-China relations are tense, Biden never took it to a personal level. He never used derogatory language to spite Xi Jinping, as he did to Putin repeatedly.

Did Biden deliver on Taiwan? It is obvious that he did not. A call with him is rather useless.

The problem of a call to Moscow is not that Biden denigrated and insulted Putin. The Russian president is a professional. He doesn't take such things personally. What he cares about is that stuff gets done, that promises once made are being held. The real problem, as the three first writers quoted above state, is that Biden has no say in pretty much anything.

Biden could prevent Nancy Pelosi's fancy but dangerous travel to Taiwan by simply canceling her passport for national security reasons. There is supreme court sanctioned precedence for doing that. Instead he is risking a full blown military response by China.

As for Blinken - for the last two decades he has been little more than Biden's errand-boy, a grifter with no real influence in the deep state bureaucracy. There the Victoria Nulands and other scheming neocons are running the real show. They are carrying their grandparents subjective grievances and are out to revenge those - no matter the costs.

Any president who wants to really run U.S. policies must be a hard nosed brut. He must ruthlessly fire people left and right whenever they even think about sabotaging a stated policy. This must be done down to the third and fourth level of the state department, intelligence and pentagon bureaucracies. The justice department and the internal revenue services must be used to keep congress under control. Any senator,  representative or staff who tries to resist the agenda has to be publicly exposed as the utterly corrupt egoist they all are.

That would be a 'dictatorship'?

Well, look how Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin run their businesses, largely to the benevolence of their people. Both got reelected by their relevant constituencies.

There is no way Joe Biden will achieve that.

Posted by b on July 30, 2022 at 7:21 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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That the cabals infesting US bureaucracy control foreign policy has been known for a long time. The problem is that it seems there is no solution in changing other than war.

Posted by: Persse | Jul 30 2022 8:00 utc | 1

Biden simply was a reaction to Trump as commentators have explained, the man simply is not fit to run a superpower even when he was not suffering from cognitive decline.
Now he is a man of above average intelligence(before his issues with old age came to be an issue) and not like Dumbo bush who was genuinely a man of average/less than average intelligence BUT Biden never had an encompassing vision and the will necessary to carry out that vision.
The empire is in terminal decline. They elected a Dumbo then someone very capable followed by a fraud then a vision less spineless old fart

Posted by: A.z | Jul 30 2022 8:00 utc | 2

All the more reason why America should be hit. Not like 9/11, a Bush stunt, but with incendiary bombs...just imagine how California...Washington would burn...

Posted by: ppp | Jul 30 2022 8:12 utc | 3

Everything from the Steele Dossier to the rioting back by NGOs is a telling and chilling sign that the Office of the President of the United States was indeed usurp and absolutely as damaging to the future of the U.S.A. as was/is the JFK assassination.

Posted by: Donald | Jul 30 2022 8:15 utc | 4

@A.z | Jul 30 2022 8:00 utc | 2

Biden a man of above average intelligence? I don't know about that, but he is certainly a man of less than average integrity.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 30 2022 8:16 utc | 5

@3

The way things are going, you may not have to wait long for that to happen. Not with incendiary bombs but hydrogen bombs. Shame we will all be too busy dying to enjoy the show.

Posted by: Hidari | Jul 30 2022 8:19 utc | 6

Personally, I think the Biden/Pelosi Taiwan rift is kabuki theatre between their camps.
It's mostly a convenient theme/distraction to drum up in the media, where the powerbrokers can have something to talk about where they ultimately control both sides.

Posted by: Weremore | Jul 30 2022 8:29 utc | 7

The Pelosi affair will serve to illustrate the impotence of the US President, domestically and internationally.

It is reasonable to suppose that Pelosi's return flight from Taiwan will be diverted and that she will be arrested for agitating sedition. Allowing her visit to Taiwan is practically entrapment.

Recall Yang Jiechi: "the U.S. does not have the qualification to say it wants to speak to China from a position of strength."

Posted by: too scents | Jul 30 2022 8:48 utc | 8

@too scents | Jul 30 2022 8:48 utc | 8

Recall Yang Jiechi: "the U.S. does not have the qualification to say it wants to speak to China from a position of strength."
Yes, from the legendary meeting in March 2021, Anchorage. Both Blinken and Sullivan were at the table.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 30 2022 8:52 utc | 9

It has been said that a bowl of Jello®️ could be President ... all it has to do is shake in the direction desired by the “advisors.” President Biden has proven that.

Posted by: Cato the Uncensored | Jul 30 2022 10:00 utc | 10

Cato 10
> …”a bowl of Jello®️ could be President “.
Our “equivalent”, is a drover’s dog…. to be elected PM.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 30 2022 10:07 utc | 11

Posted by: ppp | Jul 30 2022 8:12 utc | 3

oh, the opposite of a concern troll. a world nuclear war fan troll. original.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 30 2022 10:09 utc | 12

It’s probably nothing.
But Pelosi is broomsticking it across the Pacific right now.
https://www.flightradar24.com/SPAR19/2cdb2d95

And the Chinese are target practicing.
(From a nobody on twitter:)
>In Pingtan, Fujian, the Chinese military is exercising with live ammunition to warn the US and Taiwan.

https://twitter.com/NguyenK68421403/status/1553255810759028736

Disclaimer: Neither^^ are fully verified.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 30 2022 10:12 utc | 13

Eight families control the central banks. The central banks control the financial sector. The financial sector has controlling interest in most fortune 500 companies.

These eight royal families are the Deep State.

Posted by: Saul | Jul 30 2022 10:13 utc | 14

can Biden even conduct a coherent conversation at this point without handlers and cue cards? i'm doubtful.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 30 2022 10:15 utc | 15

This is not Presidential-Level Kabuki show.

It is nothing more than Pelosi having bought a shed load of CALLS on selected weapon's manufacturers that she doesn't want expiring out of the money.

Biden has no control, no power, no authority, no idea. He is a corrupted, senile, demented, drugged up marionette.

USA is now officially a rogue state. With multiple actors feasting on its already rotting cadaver.

WWIII will be a blessed relief from this relentless crap. BRING IT ON.

Posted by: joe bloggs | Jul 30 2022 10:17 utc | 16

For more background on this matter, see Michael Glennon's book, National Security and Double Government. Glennon defends the thesis that an unelected national security bureaucracy controls the parameters of US foreign policy.

But there is a problem with this theory; it doesn't connect US strategy and foreign policy to wider dynamics of political economy, in particular, to the class interests of US capitalism.

US capitalism is imperialistic in that it works through and depends upon global relations of exploitation and appropriation. The US capitalist class, and the US capitalist state, maintain and reproduce themselves only through such globalized forms of accumulation. The state and its ruling class are imperialistic *in essence*.

The problem of double government, of the blob, of the deep state, etc., then, is a problem of capitalism, imperialism, and class struggle. It is not simply a product of weak leadership, institutional inertia and individualistic opportunism.

Glennon, Bacevich and the other "acceptable critics" really fail to understand the roots of the problem.


Posted by: Sam B | Jul 30 2022 10:34 utc | 17

Joe Biden is very weak in his position because of his, and his family's corruption, and because he's put in office by fraud.

Posted by: Steve | Jul 30 2022 10:46 utc | 18

"their grandparents subjective grievances".... Yes, message received. (((They))) don't like Russia

Posted by: Seth | Jul 30 2022 10:47 utc | 19

All the more reason why America should be hit. Not like 9/11, a Bush stunt, but with incendiary bombs...just imagine how California...Washington would burn...

Posted by: ppp | Jul 30 2022 8:12 utc | 3

Here in California we burn every day, even without your well-wishing. People like you ppp, should come visit and enjoy our hospitality. Bring marshmallows.

Posted by: Bones | Jul 30 2022 10:48 utc | 20

It might not be very diplomatic, but perhaps to avoid a war, strong leaders like Putin and Xi could try to expose these facts more directly. It wouldn't be the first time backhanded insults were dished out by their deputies and spokesmen anyway.

Exposing the President's weakness could also prove to be a clever tactic in getting the US decision makers' (whomever they may be) OODA loop and manipulate them into proving China/Russia wrong by doing exactly what China/Russia want them to do. Wouldn't that be some 3D chess.

Posted by: Rotto | Jul 30 2022 10:57 utc | 21

"Any president who wants to really run U.S. policies must be a hard nosed brut. He must ruthlessly fire people left and right whenever they even think about sabotaging a stated policy."

One could say that Trump tried that approach. Of course, not enough, not with the right people, and hiring the wrong people to begin with and rehiring even worse ones was his greatest error.

The downside of all the firings though, was that it promoted instability, a lack of continuity in his agenda and an aura of incompetence, deserved as it may have been, for obvious reasons.

Posted by: Bannon's Ghost | Jul 30 2022 11:10 utc | 22

Posted by: Bones | Jul 30 2022 10:48 utc | 20
--

Oh, I've seen the US hospitality somewhere else in the world. Never trust the US ever! The US would stick a knife in you given the slightest chance. The poor Ukrainians are learning...😏

Posted by: ppp | Jul 30 2022 11:15 utc | 23

Of course, it's impossible to know as we don't have exact transcripts of the phone conversation betwen Xi and Biden, but from what we are given it looks as though each is now taking a different tack from the earlier non-dialogue of Putin with Biden, before the special military operation in Ukraine.

If Xi is also addressing an entity behind Biden himself, it may be to say look, you, (whoever you are,) have given us here a powerless leader who does desire peace but cannot accomplish it. And Biden is this time in agreement. The backdrop is Ukraine, dark in so many ways but also light because it is slowly, painstakingly, being restored as a nation. All horror behind that process being due to a nato gone satanically chaotic.

There was a grain deal in Istanbul, and a commenter at the Saker site, emersonreturns, pointed out that the agreement was signed by a representative of one of those powers other than the appointed leaders. Lavrov has also said Guiterrez has agreed to correct the logjam caused by sanctions. Two great Orthodox feasts are approaching - The Transfiguration and finally, old calendar, at the end of August, The Dormition.

Are we finally reaching the bottom of Pandora's box?

Posted by: juliania | Jul 30 2022 11:18 utc | 24

If i were the PLA, why not let the bitch land, and then close the entire airspace around Taiwan for 24-72 hours, and not allow her to leave? It would send a strong message to both Taiwan and the USA on who is the boss around Taiwan, and humiliate the US as its media goes into a frenzy, without actually causing any military confrontation per se.

A fair few assumptions beyond our pay grade on whether they could affectively enforce it and what their contingencies would be for it not being respected, but something akin to a judo move where the one-dimensionality of US policy and its predictability in always doubling down is used against them seems to have had good success where Russia is concerned.

Also, using some veiled cover also works, like calling it a military exercise or use some other bs excuse, kind of like 'fixing turbines' is to shutting gas off to Europe?

Posted by: Vito | Jul 30 2022 11:28 utc | 25

Apropos:

Posted by b on July 30, 2022 at 7:21 UTC

...Biden has no say in pretty much anything.

and

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 30 2022 8:52 utc

Yes, from the legendary meeting in March 2021, Anchorage. Both Blinken and Sullivan were at the table.

Sullivan, Blinken and Nod

Posted by: Andrew Celestina | Jul 30 2022 11:49 utc | 26

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 30 2022 10:07 utc | 11

Stop picking on drover's dogs. I think most kelpies or blue heelers could do a better job of being PM or president than most of the present incumbents. Smarter than Biden or our Morrison and much nicer personalities

Posted by: watcher | Jul 30 2022 11:50 utc | 27

"All wars are banker's wars." Smedley Butler.

The "problem" was clearly laid out nearly 100 years ago. BANKERS.

Who are the most wealthy, powerful bankers on the planet? Rothschilds, Rockefellers to name just two. Newspaper references to Goldman Sachs as the "vampire squid" stretch back to the 1800's.

Milgram and Zimbardo have amply shown us the "authority figure" mechanism subverted to the banksters' agenda.

Time to stop babbling on about which neo-con "angels" are dancing on the head of the Great Reset pin and openly and actively investigate, reveal and disempower the heads of the medusa, not the tentacles.

Bell the cats, whack the moles so they can't pop up somewhere else. Permanently, if they refuse to stop trying to enslave all humankind.

Drag the Rothschild class out into full view and let the sunshine of truth disinfect the planet.

Posted by: Old canadian | Jul 30 2022 11:59 utc | 28

Pelosi is in the air:

https://t.me/intelslava/34247

Alea Jacta Est.

Will the bitch cross the Rubi-neocon?

Posted by: Et Tu | Jul 30 2022 12:01 utc | 29

Reality has a way of catching up to us. Sometimes it comes via a sudden shock — Sputnik or Tet. Sometimes it creeps up incrementally — as in Ukraine with each thousand round Russian artillery barrage and the steady rise of the ruble now 25 percent higher than at the onset of the crisis.

Dim the lights, the party’s almost over. But that is not the end of the affair. Whatever the exact outcomes, there is no going back to the status quo ante — the world, especially Europe, has changed in fundamental respects. Moreover, it has changed in ways diametrically opposite to what was desired and anticipated.

https://consortiumnews.com/2022/06/16/last-tango-in-washington/

Michael Brenner

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 30 2022 12:08 utc | 30

I'm not sure that I agree. I certainly don't believe the potus has no power to make key executive decisions they clearly have. The question is whether they have the willpower to or whether they want to protect their own vested interests e.g. retaining power and related financial interests. I suspect the latter rules ok. There are many many Presidents around the world who are capable and willing to take tough and key decisions. To me making statements such as the potus is controlled is nonsense. It's just a way of abnegating responsibility away from the potus so they are not held to account for their rogue decisions. We are seeing it now with Zelensky. You know oh dear! Poor old Zell you totally controlled by USA and UK. Well no. His job as president is to make the decisions that are right for his counary and it's citizens. He is fully able to say no. Only he'said addicted to power money and narcotics so it doesn'the suit him to do so.

Posted by: Jo Dominich | Jul 30 2022 12:27 utc | 31

What are the good telegram channels for the Chinese perspective on things, like the pelosi madness

Posted by: ct | Jul 30 2022 12:33 utc | 32

Swiss State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) said that in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, sanctions will be imposed against China, which will be tougher than those taken against Russia

Can't wait to see how EU sanctions China "tougher"

Posted by: rk | Jul 30 2022 12:53 utc | 33

People choose to believe. People choose to disbelieve actions or any lack-there-of they observe. Beliefs are cultivated by those with the power over the media.

This why control of the media means control of the people.

This post is spot on in its' observations.

The question thou always is: Who exactly are the "deep state" and how do they meet/are-governed to coordinate the theatre we are shown?

Posted by: James Cook | Jul 30 2022 13:06 utc | 34

in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan
Posted by: rk | Jul 30 2022 12:53 utc | 35

---

China does not need to invade Taiwan in order to detain Pelosi when she tries to leave the island.

How Pelosi's visit to Taiwan ends is much more interesting than how it begins, especially if an example of accountability is to be made.

China can be very patient with reunification if outside agitators are tamped down. Taiwan is not recognized as an independent country. China is within its rights to defend is motherland.

Posted by: too scents | Jul 30 2022 13:12 utc | 35

Onya Mike.
@mikepompeo The Biden administration caving to the CCP would display very dangerous weakness. We are no one's satellite state. This is a matter between two sovereign Nations - America and Taiwan.
https://twitter.com/mikepompeo/status/1553138741442641927
So according to former SoS… Taiwan is sovereign.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 30 2022 13:13 utc | 36

Posted by: ct | Jul 30 2022 12:33 utc | 34

Don't know about Telegram or English-language sources, but I just read guancha.cn and use DeepL to translate the articles and comments. Some of the comments there are absolutely hilarious, like this one on an article about Trump criticizing Pelosi:

"Comrade Trump, don't worry! We will protect the motherland! You just continue your infiltration mission!"

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Jul 30 2022 13:16 utc | 37

Reply to 3, 21

The US doesn't have to be attacked militarily. The answer to ending this imperial behavior will come from three areas.

First, dethroning the dollar. BRICS is working on this. Once money printing can't support its global hegemony, things will be very different. They will be forced to pull back across the globe.

Second, the emasculation of the US military - as gay, trans, gender fluid and so on. Effective boots on the ground depends on brotherhood and peer pressure - and families (at least indirectly). Terminal List (Netflix) is fiction but it shows the macho mindset that is needed - now disappearing as 'toxic'.

Third, social breakdown. It took a lot of riots and protest to end the war in Vietnam but in the Snowflake era, it may take much less. I also think if conservatives want to save USA, they need to reverse the culture harshly - possibly with "domestic terror" claims and maybe even a military junta.

Posted by: Eighthman | Jul 30 2022 13:17 utc | 38

Re:
or use some other bs excuse, kind of like 'fixing turbines' is to shutting gas off to Europe?

Posted by: Vito | Jul 30 2022 11:28 utc | 26

= = = =

I read sometimes that the "turbine engine/compressor" set is being used as a pretext.
I remember when gas pumping station in Syberia was set aligt, and it was a massive catastrophe, during Soviet days.
The full satisfaction was on US side, that such compressors were equipped with faulty software, on purpose, to sabotage the equipment.

Second: Turbine engine/compressor set is a high-speed machinery. There is little marigin for defects, much more for hidden defects. In USA machines entering the self-respecting factory are being tested right after crossing the gate of a warehouse - motors or other rotating equipment. Papers are being checked.
I can imagine, that the Russians are not allowing for sloppiness or deliberate machinations with any aspect of the gas pumping equipment. Mechanical, Controls/PLC, political, mercantile (borders crossing licenses).
And Germans are surprised? Russians apply the German ORDNUNG MUST SEIN! Jawohl!

Posted by: logosApplied | Jul 30 2022 13:18 utc | 39

rk | Jul 30 2022 12:53 utc | 35
>…Swiss want tuff sanctions on China.
Might be they see a way to seize some of those juicy foreign reserves..??
Swiss National Bank posts record H1 loss, says no policy impact
ZURICH, July 29 (Reuters) - The Swiss National Bank (SNBN.S) reported a first-half loss of 95.2 billion Swiss francs ($100.08 billion) on Friday, the biggest six-month loss since the central bank was founded in 1907.
Stock market declines, falling bond prices and the franc's appreciation severely dented the value of its massive foreign currency holdings.
The SNB reported a second-quarter loss of 62.4 billion francs, also its worst ever quarterly performance.

"The loss is historic, but most of it is an unrealised paper loss relating to lower valuations of bonds and shares," said Credit Suisse economist Maxime Botteron, who said the result was unlikely to be a worry for the SNB.
"I don't think this will have any effect on the SNB's monetary policy at all, the only impact may be on the public finances because the SNB's payout to the government and cantons could be less next year."

As a central bank the SNB cannot have liquidity problems because it can meet its payment obligations by printing money.

https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/swiss-national-bank-posts-biggest-ever-first-half-loss-2022-07-29/

Posted by: Melaleuca | Jul 30 2022 13:21 utc | 40

Eric Li, a Chinese venture capitalist and political scientist, said it best: "In America, you can change political parties, but you can't change the policies. In China, you cannot change the party, but you can change policies."

Here is his awesome TED Talk about why China's system of governance aka the CPC works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0YjL9rZyR0

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 30 2022 13:26 utc | 41

The US president is nothing more than a puppet, and those who control him, and the entire US Congress, are members of a certain tribe represented by AIPAC. With their vast wealth and their iron grip over the media they decide who gets elected to Congress, who makes it into the President's cabinet, what legislation is passed and who gets to become US America's enemy du jour. They even decide what organisations people are not allowed to join because these are seen as contrary to their interests. In many states now you can be refused a government job or contract if you are a member of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions organisation. In reality the United States is run from Tel-Aviv, Wall Street and the City of London.

Posted by: repsinec | Jul 30 2022 13:32 utc | 42

@ Sam B Your contention that the dual-state theory of Glennon is insufficient to analyze US politics is followed by Aaron Good who has a tripartite vision of the American State. He elaborates this theory in the very excellent 'American Exception', https://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/9781510769137/american-exception/

Posted by: Tedder | Jul 30 2022 13:33 utc | 43

It's called Class Rule: the class that owns the means of production etc, owns the government which acts in its interest.
There are differences between FDR and Joe "Burisma" Biden but the parameters in which they can operate are narrowed by class interest and material circumstances.
It is a perculiarity of our brains- after generations of careful laundering- that there were dozens of commentators on this board who were instantly aware that Bernie Sanders-if elected- would be constrained to the extent that he would be unable to make any real changes, but that Obama and Biden's failures in that regard, required explanation. That was because bourgeois culture had made certain that all of us learned, at an early age, that 'socialists' would betray us, because of their inherent dishonesty whereas CIA candidates (are there any others?) would do their best for America, and its beloved people.
Sometimes, at moments of crisis, candidates like Kucinich (advised by Hudson) run on populist programmes. They almost never win and if they do they are crushed (Corbyn in the UK). And that is the best thing that they can do, because they not only remind us that Marx(and generations of predecessors in this matter) was right: those who own the economy own the government. But that he (they) were also right in saying that if you want to change it you have to be part of a mass movement and ready to make a revolution.
Defeat in war can weaken the power of the Ruling Class and act as a catalyst for revolution but only if people understand what they want and how they intend to get it. Otherwise it simply consolidates the power of the ruling class. The key, always, is what Marx called consciousness. It couldn't be simpler, to do anything we first need to be conscious.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 30 2022 13:46 utc | 44

One the best and funniest talk is given by Michael Parenti on the US War on Yugoslavia. It's a lot more than just about Yugoslavia. His talk encapsulates the HOW and WHY the US does what it does, and it addresses the unasked question in this article:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YZ6QpjPTaG8

Of course, he does talk about the tribe, but he is extremely close.

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 30 2022 13:50 utc | 45

b said

Any president who wants to really run U.S. policies must be a hard nosed brut. He must ruthlessly fire people left and right whenever they even think about sabotaging a stated policy. This must be done down to the third and fourth level of the state department, intelligence and pentagon bureaucracies. The justice department and the internal revenue services must be used to keep congress under control. Any senator, representative or staff who tries to resist the agenda has to be publicly exposed as the utterly corrupt egoist they all are.

Was not there a president who was famous for saying "You're Fired" on a television reality show?

LOL

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 30 2022 14:09 utc | 46

c1ue@49:

Too bad we couldn't bring Ike back. b is correct but the only current politician with the gonads to take b's advice imo is Ron Desantis.

Posted by: morongobill | Jul 30 2022 14:19 utc | 47

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Once upon a time Sam had a well-equipped tool shed with all sorts of useful tools for all sorts of tasks. For reasons Michael Hudson explains so eloquently Sam started throwing away his tools... "I never use that one, that one takes up too much room, I've lost the handbook for that one, I can't use that one without someone on the other end..." You get the picture.
Now a sensible person, with a modicum of humility, might realise they do need that fretsaw or those needle-nose pliers, and perhaps they should start restocking their tool shed, and may be even asking the fellow Vlad or that nice Mr Xi down the street for some help and advice. But sadly, Silly Sam can't bring himself to admit that while his house is falling down around his ears, Vlad's place, which was a bit run down, is starting to look pretty nice, while Mr Xi's place is looking really flash, and the people from Home Beautiful are coming around to do a photo shoot.
So, tell me, what should Sam do?
Will he be Sensible Sam, or will he be Sad Sam?

Posted by: Old Bill | Jul 30 2022 14:23 utc | 48

Posted by: Old Bill | Jul 30 2022 14:23 utc | 50

Yosemite Sam

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 30 2022 14:38 utc | 49

We have engaged in war with Russia, the largest country on earth. And now we are looking for conflict with China, the most populated country on earth. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: Passerby | Jul 30 2022 14:49 utc | 50

Something much bigger than POTUS — call it the MIC or the deep state — has de facto veto power on all matters related to national security.
We shall see if they veto the Taiwan visit. Trump ran afoul of this as an outsider. He thought the US was one big corporation with him at the top. This is why insiders must be elevated through decades of subservience. Biden is perfect for them. He fills that role perfectly.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 30 2022 15:02 utc | 51

In looks to me that the three American authors quoted are looking past Biden and Blinken to find someone... anyone who is calling the shots. They want to believe it is not a rudderless ship.

What is missed in the debate is the division in the administrative wings of the US government. In recent years, State has been more aligned with the Democrats and Defense more aligned with Republicans. That was the reason behind Obama's purge of Generals many years back, and the rank and file did not forget that.

I believe the Afghanistan withdrawal was deliberately botched to make the Biden (Obama 2.0) Admin look bad.

Blinken's recent public diplomacy is a lame, politically motivated attempt to stem losses in support for the D Team.

Which leaves the CIA as the wildcard in foreign policy. They believe they own both teams, and may not be wrong since, they have all the skeletons in all the political closets.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 30 2022 15:14 utc | 52

Putin recounts how he had productive discussions with Bush and they agreed on concrete de-escalation measures. Follow ups were unanswered. Eventually Putin got a written bafflespeak climbdown. That and other examples led Putin to conclude that US presidents are hostage to bureaucratic and commercial interests.

The problem with the US is that once the neocons have decided you're the enemy, there is no negotiation. There can't be because you can't give the US anything it wants because in almost no situations we've seen since the end of the cold war is the US acting on it's interests. You're not negotiating with the US which also means you can't negotiate with the US. The neocons are simply Zionists and those they have brought onboard to help them through their mature system of patronage. (Or the likes of John Bolton who simply love using state power for their own psychopathic gratification) See the many 'Friends of Israel' all over the top of UK politics and how Corbyn was treated. Their only interest is Israel and since they're playing with free money (A country they don't care about) they peruse a policy of complete submission from anyone they deem an obstacle to further Israeli colonialism. (If Israel was openly engaging in this policy itself it'd have to think about the consequences)

It was the Russian interference in the Israel/US regime change and civil war in Syria that triggered the neocons so hard and then Trump's aversion to further US involvement led them to make the 'Russiagate' smear which was taken up progressive liberals who found it psychologically gratifying in their ability to understand why Trump won the election. (The Russians did it! I knew it! He wasn't really elected! All so that they could... Well, they never really explained why when asked.) Since then and as a consequence of their 'Russiagate' hoax being taken seriously and never refuted by the media, Biden and his neocon-infused admin (They returned to the Democrats after decades of exile when they felt the Republicans were more amenable to foreign wars) he is forced to act in 'revenge' for something that didn't go through the formality of actually happening. This heightened tensions enough to bring things to breaking point for the Russians. (IF you were Putin watching US news for the last 6 years it'd be hard not to feel like you were already at war or that large amounts of the American public wished you were)

Anthony Blinken makes very clear what his deep motivations are. Indeed his whole career has been putting himself in places to advance a neocon agenda for Israel. Time and again we also see US politicians who feel they must make statements to the effect that the US or US forces are prepared to burn in a fireball for Israel.

https://twitter.com/walkerbragman/status/1331159077397929985

The neocons need a strong, hegemonic US to act as a golem for Israel (See the establishment of PNAC), ready to blast it's enemies to dust for it but they neglected that 40 years of Reagan/Thatcherism (Because they also feared and loathed a strong society that might notice or curtail their power) and it's uptake by the centre-left had made the US weaker and 20 years of the US giving it's industrial power to China so that now they have established a president for strong US military intervention at their bidding and a situation where US hegemony is based on a foundation of sand. So they are lashing out to try to hang on to this hegemony but doing it so carelessly that they are hastening it's demise. Again and again they provoke fights to look tough but shirk away when the time comes to test US power. Done more thoughtfully it might have worked to secure some more time for them to try and put the US in the best position to try and see off China or negotiate a new multi-polar world in a stronger position than now seems likely.

At some point the necessity for psychopathy and delusions of omnipotence seems to have selected for more deranged types among the neocons. Here is an interview Obama was forced to give (Almost like an ambassador being summoned to account) by arch neocon Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic for not being a bigger warmonger, particularly on Russia and Syria. Goldberg argues Obama should act with no sense of restrain or empathy for those he will kill or conflicts he will provoke. I reminds me of the South Park episode with the Scientologists, 'This is what neocons actually believe'. Instead of people like Goldberg being treated as the grotesque evil people they are, Obama is forced talk to him like he isn't insane.
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/the-obama-doctrine/471525/

Obama’s theory here is simple: Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one, so Russia will always be able to maintain escalatory dominance there.

“The fact is that Ukraine, which is a non-nato country, is going to be vulnerable to military domination by Russia no matter what we do,” he said.

I asked Obama whether his position on Ukraine was realistic or fatalistic.

“It’s realistic,” he said. “But this is an example of where we have to be very clear about what our core interests are and what we are willing to go to war for. And at the end of the day, there’s always going to be some ambiguity.” He then offered up a critique he had heard directed against him, in order to knock it down. “I think that the best argument you can make on the side of those who are critics of my foreign policy is that the president doesn’t exploit ambiguity enough. He doesn’t maybe react in ways that might cause people to think, Wow, this guy might be a little crazy.”

“The ‘crazy Nixon’ approach,” I said: Confuse and frighten your enemies by making them think you’re capable of committing irrational acts.

“But let’s examine the Nixon theory,” he said. “So we dropped more ordnance on Cambodia and Laos than on Europe in World War II, and yet, ultimately, Nixon withdrew, Kissinger went to Paris, and all we left behind was chaos, slaughter, and authoritarian governments that finally, over time, have emerged from that hell. When I go to visit those countries, I’m going to be trying to figure out how we can, today, help them remove bombs that are still blowing off the legs of little kids. In what way did that strategy promote our interests?”

It is obvious to everyone that this whole situation is like the Cod War, one which Britain was destined to lose since it would never care enough and find the price of further escalation to win not worth it compared to Iceland. So now we have a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine with the next point of escalation being US/NATO attacks on the Russians and from there it's nuclear escalation.


Again the narrow ethnic interests of Goldberg is not mentioned by either party and until we deal with this the neocons will continue to be able to escape true accountability or curtailment. How can you curtail the power of a group you can't even describe properly?

Posted by: Altai | Jul 30 2022 15:22 utc | 53

Eight families control the central banks. The central banks control the financial sector. The financial sector has controlling interest in most fortune 500 companies.

These eight royal families are the Deep State.

Posted by: Saul | Jul 30 2022 10:13 utc | 14

Perhaps you could name the 8 and the CB's that they control as well as the mechanism of control. The fact remains that the ownership of most Fortune 500 companies is through public and private pension funds and insurance companies.

https://www.sifma.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/SIFMA-Insights-Who-Owns-Stocks-in-America.pdf

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 30 2022 15:31 utc | 54

Extremely Rare Photos Inside Taiwan’s Underground Fighter Jet Caves

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 30 2022 15:32 utc | 55

Defeat in war can weaken the power of the Ruling Class and act as a catalyst for revolution but only if people understand what they want and how they intend to get it. Otherwise it simply consolidates the power of the ruling class. The key, always, is what Marx called consciousness. It couldn't be simpler, to do anything we first need to be conscious.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 30 2022 13:46 utc | 46

Great point!

Could this be an impetus for the constant barrage of war propaganda that we in the west are subjected to?

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jul 30 2022 15:32 utc | 56

Reading Twitter...

It seems as if one half of America wants China to shoot down Pelosi's plane.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jul 30 2022 15:44 utc | 57

One of the things people don't understand is the knowledge gap.

I've learned from reading Guancha and other Chinese sites that the Chinese media reports everything happening in the West to the Chinese people without spin. Absolutely everything. The Chinese completely understand the essence of the modern West to its core.

Meanwhile, literally everything the Western media says about China is lies and propaganda. Westerners know absolutely nothing about China. They only know lies.

In this respect, the leaders of the respective nations represent their people well. Western leaders soak in their own lies about China and live in a fantasy land. China's leaders live in reality. It can only end in one way.

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Jul 30 2022 15:45 utc | 58

Disagree. Yes it would take a serious effort by a president to bring the “deep state” / MIC / etc. down a notch. But it’s not that they can’t do so. It’s that they don’t want to. Biden’s foreign policy team has been orbiting around he and Clinton forever. He is an idiot, but he chose them again for a reason. And if any president could get away with doing whatever he wants without political consequence, it’s grandpa Joe. He may not live through his first term.

Trump is just an idiot. He has semi-reasonable instincts on foreign policy to an extent, but he’s into macho America and “take the oil” military operations. He would have needed a VP was good at foreign policy and had free reign (plus trump’s ear).

They’re all constrained, but by choice. Their choice is that they’d rather not rock that boat because of personal benefit. If any of them acted on behalf of the American people they could do it (but they might get assassinated). I’m not giving the benefit of the doubt to these leaders, nor the excuse that they’re helpless.

Posted by: Lex | Jul 30 2022 15:46 utc | 59

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 30 2022 15:31 utc | 56

Global reasearch had an article a while ago:

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-federal-reserve-cartel-the-eight-families/25080

"According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stock holders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.[1]"

The fortune 500 do have creditors, as well. I suspect, the big banks may be prominently among them.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jul 30 2022 15:46 utc | 60

The US is a mess. We’re involved in a war with Russia, a sanctions war with the world, picking a fight with China using the disastrous Ukraine playbook, rampant inflation, a recession, internecine war (red/blue) , upcoming elections, incompetent and senile leadership incl. senate dementia caucus. Just peruse the top 20. How many are Americans and in positions of importance in foreign policy/MIC
https://m.jpost.com/50-most-influential-jews-2021

Posted by: Ben | Jul 30 2022 15:48 utc | 61

@In response to
"
Eight families control the central banks. The central banks control the financial sector. The financial sector has controlling interest in most fortune 500 companies.
These eight royal families are the Deep State.

Posted by: Saul | Jul 30 2022 10:13 utc | 14

Perhaps you could name the 8 and the CB's that they control as well as the mechanism of control. The fact remains that the ownership of most Fortune 500 companies is through public and private pension funds and insurance companies.

Posted by: Opport Knocks | Jul 30 2022 15:31 utc | 56
"

I would like the 8 families named also....I think one of the God of Mammon hierarchy is Pope Frank

To Opport Knocks and the claim/link about who owns the Fortune 500 companies, I would say you haven't been around MoA long or have an agenda. How about you come back when you can produce the Fortune 500 Trust fund owners of the world....your ignorance is glaring.

Our world is in a revolution over public/private finance and MoA has become infested with obfuscation types as part of the narrative war....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30 2022 15:51 utc | 62

It couldn't be simpler, to do anything we first need to be conscious.
@ bevin | Jul 30 2022 13:46 utc | 46

Contexturalization from bevin much appreciated, as usual -- but we might over-simplify the problem with consciousness. The complication resides in range of our periscope: The mind can only grasp so much, we need skill in discerning that which matters most, which we select to consciously illuminate, to contemplate. (And implicitly that which we consciously opt to ignore, to forget about.)

Caitlin Johnstone's latest piece -- and much of her work -- accidentally engages a conscious paradox when she calls out the most extreme mass-manipulation campaign, on all fronts, in memory. The paradox is: We who know about the manipulation are not being manipulated. That's my own first clue: Whatever the man wants to keep from me is a strange attractor for my own consciousness: where knowledge is a threat to power, it might be powerful knowledge.

When Frederick Douglas realized why master forbade reading, literacy became his youthful obsession.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jul 30 2022 16:04 utc | 63

This from Pepe Escobar's latest on SCF. It's really about Lavrov and I've been saying this forever, he is the foremost diplomat and statesman of our era:

Once again [Lavrov] had to recall two basic facts that continue to escape any serious analysis across the collective West:

Fact 1: “All our proposals for their removal [referring to NATO-expansion assets] on the basis of the principle of mutual respect for security interests were ignored by the US, the EU, and NATO.”

Fact 2: “When the Russian language was banned in Ukraine, and the Ukrainian government promoted neo-Nazi theories and practices, the West did not oppose, but, on the contrary, encouraged the actions of the Kyiv regime and admired Ukraine as a ‘stronghold of democracy.’ Western countries supplied the Kyiv regime with weapons and planned the construction of naval bases on Ukrainian territory. All these actions were openly aimed at containing the Russian Federation. We have been warning for 10 years that this is unacceptable.”

It’s also fitting that Lavrov would once again put Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in context: “Let us recall the example of Afghanistan, when even wedding ceremonies were subjected to air strikes, or Iraq and Libya, where statehood was completely destroyed, and many human lives were sacrificed. When states that easily pursued such a policy are now making a fuss about Ukraine, I can conclude that the lives of Afghans and Arabs mean nothing to Western governments. It’s unfortunate. Double standards, these racist and colonial instincts must be eliminated.”

Putin, Lavrov, Patrushev, Madvedev have all been stressing lately the racist, neocolonial character of the NATOstan matrix. The SCO and other pan-Eurasian organizations play a completely different – respectful, consensual – ball game. And that’s why they are catching the full attention of most of the Global South. Next stop: Samarkand.

Pepe Escobar

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2022/07/30/going-to-samarkand/

Dangerous times to be sure, it's do or die for the Empire but aside from the ecological crisis breathing down our necks, I surprised myself by actually feeling a little optimistic about the future! How ironic that it should be two, former socialist states, once again showing us the way! And clearly, it's their socialist past that informs them! So all was not in vain, comrades.

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 30 2022 16:04 utc | 64

"Any president who wants to really run U.S. policies must be a hard nosed brut. He must ruthlessly fire people left and right whenever they even think about sabotaging a stated policy. This must be done down to the third and fourth level of the state department, intelligence and pentagon bureaucracies."
100%. If Trump runs again, and if he wins, does anyone think he has learned his lessons? I mean, will he really clean house. Years ago, Putin addressed this exact issue when he said, and I paraphrase: "US presidents come and go but, the foreign policy never changes". This has to change abruptly.

Posted by: joseph | Jul 30 2022 16:05 utc | 65

This is an article in early 2020 about the total insanity of US push to develop strategy and weapons to "fight and win" a nuclear war, i.e. nuclear primacy which I posted in an earlier thread. This is total insanity which was noted during the trump era but it has not changed!

There will be no winners in a nuclear war and it cannot be limited.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/24/limited-nuclear-war-game-us-russia

Posted by: Taras77 | Jul 30 2022 16:19 utc | 66

It is nothing more than Pelosi having bought a shed load of CALLS on selected weapon's manufacturers that she doesn't want expiring out of the money.

Posted by: joe bloggs | Jul 30 2022 10:17 utc | 16

I don't know if that's true, but it certainly would be consistent with her past (mis)conduct.

Posted by: David Levin | Jul 30 2022 16:21 utc | 67

IMHO the smartest thing Chinese could do is to NOT militarily-physically attack or apprehend Pelosi but to use all media at Chinese disposal to broadcast her visits -- to the nations that host Economic Interests that have made her and her husband multi-millionaires, at the expense of US taxpayers.

Posted by: ChasMark | Jul 30 2022 16:26 utc | 68

Posted by: Sam Smith | Jul 30 2022 13:26 utc | 43

I heard Li in Pilger's documentary, The Coming War on China (2016). For a several years, it was free access on YouTube. Now it's not. I listened and laughed aloud. I saved that annecdote, because it perfectly illustrates my understanding that eurocentric antipathy toward real and imagined asian mores and institutional cohesion is profoundly ignorant. High brow or low (read: British-*), discourse on "civilization" begins and ends with referencee to Orwell. Proving the rule, "they know their own history better than you know yours," and they are not playing the same game anymore.

[LI]

Li is one of several US, UK, CN, JP, PIC subject matter experts interviewed to propound historical, political economy pressed by western capitalists' to subjugate post-Edo, post-Qing industry, traditional alliances, and social structures. Their commentaries are informed not only by archival documents and speeches, but film footage memorializing calumny, mendacity, and determination of "Great Powers" (G7) marines and nuclear "testing" to foreclose so-called territorial integrity of their "overseas territories"...

[1914]

... no matter how often NATO's leaders project authoritarian and imperial aspirations onto COMMUNIST CHINA.

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 30 2022 16:30 utc | 69

Pelosi herself seems to be past her used-by date, and like Biden, in a downward trajectory intellectually.

How else can you describe someone that prefers to exacerbate superpower relations for personal big-noting and gratification? *Yes, I'm still relevant despite my political mediocrity and I'll prove it by instigating World War 3! That's what we Americans do since I/we are so exceptional!*

Posted by: Ant. | Jul 30 2022 16:43 utc | 70

joseph @ 67
If Trump runs again, and if he wins, does anyone think he has learned his lessons? I mean, will he really clean house.

NO. Trump is a master at hitting the nerves of groups on both sides. The lovers of him and the haters of him. If he runs and wins, and at this point I think he will do both, he will probably have learned his lesson and be far more compliant. In the meantime, he will continue to bullshit his followers with the usual stuff.

At his core I believe he believes what he is saying. He is a Nationalist Zionist; irreligious at his core. Sort of a Kabballist. Certainly his former wife, his daughter, and his son in law are and were hardcore Kabbalist. Odious to say the least.

They are waiting for their messiah to arise and it is not Jesus. All this bullshit is at the core; powerful and deeply hidden in many tentacles of religion and irreligion.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 30 2022 16:46 utc | 71

Apparently American politicians are now trying to introduce some "lend-lease" bill to send weapons to Taiwan to coincide with Pelosi's trip. Transparently trying to play the same Ukraine game.

Relevant comment from a Chinese netizen on Guancha:

"I just think it's kind of funny. This country that is half a step behind North Korea in hypersonic speed wants to compete with us in terms of weapons capacity, right? These idiots are watching too much anti-China news and treating China as a big North Korea? I don't know."

Posted by: Ghan-buri-Ghan | Jul 30 2022 16:46 utc | 72

Just to get a feel for the magnitude, I want to compare the energy a gas pipeline like North Stream delivers with what I can produce with muscle power, .

A human can produce 100 Watt for longer periods, or 1000 Watt for short bursts. When in good shape, the static bicycle at the gym says I generate 100 Watt. If I were to spend 10 hours a day on the static bicycle, cycling all the time, I would generate 1 kiloWatt hour (1 kWh) of energy.

Of course, all that cycling makes you hungry. For every kWh your muscles produce, you need to eat 4 to 5 times that in food. So my food intake would increase from 2000 calories per day now to 5500 calories per day. I could eat more than double what I eat now, and I'd burn it all.

Before this crisis, in 2019, North Stream 1 - that is the old gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, laid in 2011 - was going at 1.750.000.000 kWh per day. That is the equivalent of 1.7 billion people - all of Africa and Europe - pedalling a bike, 10 hours per day.

Even today, North Stream 1 moves about 350.000.000 kWh per day. That is the whole EU adult population pedalling on a static bike, 10 hours per day.

(If someone wants to check my numbers, feel free..)

Posted by: Passerby | Jul 30 2022 16:49 utc | 73

Civilian control of the military (and police) is a key attribute of a 'democracy'.
If the military (or police) refuse to follow the orders of the elected civilians, then the elections are largely meaningless charades.

America has not had civilian control of the military for a long time. It was perhaps lost in WW2. The earliest record I've seen of the military telling the elected civilians to go stuff themselves was in Daniel Ellsberg's "The Doomsday Machine". He recounts, from his front row perch as a RAND specialist with high level Pentagon access, that the Joint Chiefs of Staff absolutely refused to let the then civilian President Eisenhower and his staff even see the top-secret plans for Global Nuclear War (which were much less complicated than as shown in Dr. Strangelove ... there was only Plan A).

This makes Ike's warnings about the Military Industrial Complex appear more clearly. A former top General, apparently absolutely trusted with the plans to defeat Hitler, was forbidden by the Generals in the Pentagon from even seeing the Nuclear War Plan. Same with his staff.

That's the earliest point I've seen where the Generals were obviously in control and refusing to take orders from the elected leader of the American people.

There was still some doubt. JFK was able to stand up to General LeMay and refuse to launch a first strike at Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then of course, JFK got a bullet in the head.

Posted by: Major Kong | Jul 30 2022 16:52 utc | 74

@Taras77 | Jul 30 2022 16:19 utc | 68

Trump wants to nuke something. There is an old interview with him where he basically dreams about having the nuclear button and the power it gives and wets himself during the interview.
He also ordered MIC to build him small nukes to replace regular bombs. Are they in service already? It's unclear. The first president to send weapons to Ukr and the first president to order the use of nukes instead of regular explosives. Concidence?

Posted by: rk | Jul 30 2022 16:55 utc | 75

Too bad we couldn't bring Ike back
Posted by: morongobill | Jul 30 2022 14:19 utc | 49

christ Ike didn't even take his own advice. And his aging daughter is on the YT tanky circuit shilling for DOD. What message are you attempting to communicate?

Posted by: sln2002 | Jul 30 2022 16:55 utc | 76

Thanks to circumspect | Jul 30 2022 15:32 utc | 57 for the link to the photos released by Taiwan of the complex of underground bunkers with F-16s armed with Harpoon missiles. These photos were clearly released as a warning to China as Pelosi's Armageddon Express heads towards Taiwan. (I have to wonder if China will use the photos to assist with targeting?)

There is another article at the War Zone site which is also noteworthy. See Huge Armada Of Allied Ships Gather For U.S. Navy’s RIMPAC Photo Op The ships are off the coast of Hawaii, and the article states that its purpose is to sen "a message of strength and resolve to Beijing." Pelosi's visit to Taiwan was obviously planned to coincide with the RIMPAC exercises.

The insanely arrogant neocon fools running Washington still think as they did in 1996, that they can make China back down on Taiwan by means of a show of force. The uneducated ignorant fools believe their own propaganda . . . all hell is going to break loose.

Posted by: Steven Starr | Jul 30 2022 17:04 utc | 77

Donald Trump says whatever makes the crowd cheer.

There was a story about "Drain the Swamp" that came out after the '16 campaign. The phrase had been suggested by an aide, and Trump had rejected it. Then, later, since he appeared to ad-lib his performances, he used it anyways. The crowd when wild. After that, it became a standard bit of every campaign rally. Drain The Swamp!

Except, there was never any plan nor intention to do any draining should he get to Washington. It was just something that made the crowd cheer, so Donald kept using the line. It is therefore not a surprise that the water levels in the DC Swamp continued to rise and that after four years the alligators were bigger and stronger and richer than ever.

Comments against War were obviously in the same category with Trump. They made the crowd cheer. They were not anything that Trump really believed, but they made the crowd cheer. Thus, they were quickly abandoned after Trump won and he proceeded to put Generals in power in his cabinet and acted like a big, loud bully during his regime. And of course, he threw money hand over fist at the military, and spent little on Americans.

The thing about Trump is that you can not believe anything he says. None of it. It only has two purposes, an immediate purpose in that he likes a cheering crowd. And the bigger purpose which is to put him back into power again and give him lots and lots of money.

Posted by: Major Kong | Jul 30 2022 17:05 utc | 78

@Steven Starr | Jul 30 2022 17:04 utc | 79
ignorant fools believe their own propaganda

Yes, her trip was well prepared in advance
And clearly they haven't seen Scarface: don't get high on your own supply

If she indeed wants to land in Taiwan I highly doubt China will prevent the plane from landing. They want to see what she really wants first. Will she announce that Taiwan belongs to US now? Or simply vomit something like Slava Taiwani and goes home.

Posted by: rk | Jul 30 2022 17:28 utc | 79

Thanks, b! The frozen president. Do read Hudson's latest for a meld with Crooke, Escobar, and the other writers mentioned above. I'd comment further but domestic chores have me captured today.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 30 2022 17:33 utc | 80

Pelosi is riding to Asia on a Boeing C-40C, the military equivalent of a 737-700. Not so bad as the MAX, but bad enough. It is a 1967 airplane pushed to the limit. All symbolic. The 82 year old hag on the mid-twentieth century plane.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 30 2022 17:34 utc | 81

@Ben #63

Just a note: Biden and the Democrat party are actually correct in that 2 quarters of negative GDP does not automatically signal a recession. Traditionally, the NBER calls it but only many months after the 2nd negative quarter data comes out.

So while it isn't a recession in the US, officially, yet - neither is it NOT a recession. The jury (NBER) is simply still out.

The people who look at the other indicators are saying that it is probably not a recession yet - the secondary indicators are still positive although they have all declined significantly.

The thing is: whether we are in a technical recession now or not - does anyone think the economy is going to turn around in the next 3 months? With the post 2/24/2022 + sanctions food prices kicking in?

It seems highly unlikely we will not have a 3rd quarter of negative GDP growth; between that, more Fed interest rate increases and continuing decline of secondary indicators - hard to see how a recession can be avoided.

The only real question is: how bad?.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 30 2022 17:40 utc | 82

Nunca es tarde para descubrir el Mediterráneo.

Posted by: Frasco | Jul 30 2022 17:42 utc | 83

Zero Hedge links always get blocked here.

What a shame, it came with a funny joke :(

Posted by: Negative Hedge | Jul 30 2022 17:49 utc | 84

@Steven Starr #79

Hmmm Harpoons on F16s. Seems like an amazingly stupid idea in this context.

While the F16 has a payload of 15000 lbs or so and can certainly fly with one or two AGM84s on board - the problem is that Taiwan is well within the SAM envelope of China.

How stealthy/survivable is an F16 with Harpoons on board, with the Chinese military shooting surface to surface missiles at the air bases, surface to air missiles at the F16 and Chinese planes flying combat air patrols overhead?

The Harpoon on F16 is like the Exocet on the Argentinian Super Entendards in the Falklands war: 20ish years newer plane, lighter anti-ship missile...but Argentina is 12000 km from Argentina whereas Taiwan is 160 km.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 30 2022 17:50 utc | 85

Major Kong | Jul 30 2022 17:05 utc | #80:

Excellent points. Trump had and has the balls of a gnat. Look at the cretins he had in his "cabinet:"
Pompass, bolton, haley, the generals, and worst of all, the grifters, kushner , ivanka/.

Some of his rabid supporters will say that oh, it was the swamp/deep state that hampered and blocked his "plan." He never had a plan other than to enrich himself and cronies. He does not have a plan now that I can discern other than to play to the crowds. And kushner, ivanka are not far away to bring in more disaster and rabid zionist pandering.

Posted by: Taras77 | Jul 30 2022 17:54 utc | 86

Again the narrow ethnic interests of Goldberg is not mentioned by either party and until we deal with this the neocons will continue to be able to escape true accountability or curtailment. How can you curtail the power of a group you can't even describe properly?

Posted by: Altai | Jul 30 2022 15:22 utc | 55

Thanks for your long post and the closing interrogatory.

A small addendum: you say the neoconservative s' primary loyalty is to Israel. Fine, as long as we understand that the latter is not only a nation state but also a huge mafia nexus blending covert ups, slush funds from their diaspora networks which include the central banks and credit cartels, huge Intelligence operations world wide and so forth. No doubt many the movers and shakers in this cosmopolitan tribe hate Israel and much prefer far more elegant cities and countries. So their prime loyalty is not to Israel but themselves and their power networking tribal class (with whom most so-called Jews have little to no contact) .

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 30 2022 17:56 utc | 87

"If Trump runs again, and if he wins, does anyone think he has learned his lessons? I mean, will he really clean house. Years ago, Putin addressed this exact issue when he said, and I paraphrase: "US presidents come and go but, the foreign policy never changes". This has to change abruptly."

Posted by: joseph | Jul 30 2022 16:05 utc | 67

I saw somewhere in right-leaning press that plan is to re-sign an old Exec Order that will change firing policies without which no President has authority to fire any senior officials etc. They have many thousands in their sights. This might be chum for the Patriots but it also might indicate that this time around they will be prepared.

I think they are 60 years too late (JFK) but what do I know? ..

Posted by: Scorpion | Jul 30 2022 18:14 utc | 88

It must be noted that any President who defies the Deep State will run the very real risk of receiving the JFK treatment. Moreover, simply firing those who attempt to foil the President’s plans (which I generally support) will leave the governmental bureaucracy depleted of people who know how to execute his orders. In other words, restoring real power to the Presidency will not be as easy as it may seem.

Posted by: Rob | Jul 30 2022 18:24 utc | 89

“Biden is a visibly very weak president. And it appears that that has enabled the neocons to have an even bigger say over foreign policy than usual.” (Necked Capitalism).
==================
The neo-cons and the war hawks in the CIA and National Intelligence Agency took advantage of Ronald Reagan’s long goodbye to run amuck in Central American, also using a proxy military force (the Contras), and it looks like the Victoria Nuland’s “and other scheming neocons [that] are running the real show” (B) today are doing it again with Joe Biden.

Posted by: Ed Nelson | Jul 30 2022 18:27 utc | 90

Posted by: Ben | Jul 30 2022 15:48 utc | 63

That is some very lazy reporting. Those on the list are not the most influential; they are the most famous. Can't anyone tell the difference anymore? Kamala's husband is influential?

Posted by: Platero | Jul 30 2022 18:38 utc | 91

If the list had been made this year, it would have to have included the Z-man

Posted by: Platero | Jul 30 2022 18:40 utc | 92

Posted by: Ed Nelson | Jul 30 2022 18:27 utc | 92

just like Biden, Reagan made a career out of supporting us warmongering, but admittedly he may have been even more senile at that point. hard to say.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 30 2022 18:47 utc | 93

@c1ue "Just a note: Biden and the Democrat party are actually correct in that 2 quarters of negative GDP does not automatically signal a recession. Traditionally, the NBER calls it but only many months after the 2nd negative quarter data comes out."

What counts is not some technical definition, it's what people believe. A little like pornography - hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

Posted by: ian | Jul 30 2022 18:52 utc | 94

Posted by: Barofsky | Jul 30 2022 16:04 utc | 66
“Once again [Lavrov] had to recall two basic facts that continue to escape any serious analysis across the collective West:”
====================
Lavrov should have added a fact#3: The US coup in February 2014 ousted the democratically elected president (and government) and replaced it with an unelected rump government beholding to the United States. The UN and the EU should have investigated the US roll it the Maiden coup, but they never did, because the US and NATO are the boss, and the Rule Based Internal Order (RBIO) is the only law that the west understands or respects. That is why the western power structure must be brought to its knees and made to accept a democratic system of internal law not RBIO.

Posted by: Ed Nelson | Jul 30 2022 18:54 utc | 95

"As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance."

that one dewey quote sums up the US "system". it's a capitalist "society" and capital is unaccountable. firing some apparatchiks will just "attenuate" the shadow. china keeps their moneyed class - for the most part - on a leash where they belong. they obviously have corruption (mostly generational and vultures who feasted during the troubled times of the last century) but there's always the iron fist of the government waiting to come down hard. sorry, ayn randtards: that's how it should be.

biden is just a retro reagan in any case. trump was easily manipulated and obama was a diversity hire who basically thinks like a mocha patrick bateman. the bushes were the most visible and pure distillation of this particular fascism (CIA, oil, bechtel/carlyle) but there hasn't been a truly autonomous president (or congress) in the past century. not many before, either.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 30 2022 18:55 utc | 96

@ian #96

You said

What counts is not some technical definition, it's what people believe. A little like pornography - hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

I don't know what exactly you're trying to say with the above.

The Democrats/Biden are trying to say it isn't a recession; the Republicans are saying it is.

They are both pushing their own narratives.

All I am pointing out is that there is a historical process for declaring a recession - and both narratives are wrong with regards to this historical process.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 30 2022 19:07 utc | 97

The fact that Biden can't act autocratically is a plus, not a problem. The Constitution gives the president no such authority. He is to implement and administer laws in the US "democracy" and execute treaties with Senate consent. In fact the president and the Congress are bought-and-paid-for so it doesn't matter exactly how this broken system works, or fails to work.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 30 2022 19:07 utc | 98

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jul 30 2022 18:47 utc | 95

"...Biden, Reagan made a career out of supporting us warmongering, but admittedly he may have been even more senile at that point. hard to say.
==================
This is true, and I was going to make that point, but I assumed it was unnecessary. Biden and Reagan are/were war hawks, but in the last days of their administration's (yes, I do thing Biden is a one termer) they did not seem to be the final abature of "their" decisions.
Obama, on the other hand, still has a fine mind and a sharp wit, and there was never any sign in his past life that he was a war hawk, yet he became on once he took office: Libya, Syria. the continuation of Iraq and
Afghanistan, the us supported coup in Honduras. It was clear that he was limited in his actions when he could not close Gitmo, the illegal prison camp in Cuba.

Posted by: Ed Nelson | Jul 30 2022 19:14 utc | 99

In the UK things are slightly different in addition to his representative function the chief celebrant and purveyor of class power is leader of the Tory Party and head of the Tory Government currently Boris Johnson. However. Unlike the US members and sycophants of the ruling class are deeply embedded in Parliament and Government institutions to ensure the regular continuity of class dominance of the democratic system. Inevitably Tory leaders are quickly beheaded should they threaten Tory Party control of Parliament and similarly any movement in the Labour Party and its leadership to promote policies inimical to ruling class power however mild is rudely suppressed or eliminated the most recent example being smearing and subsequent removal of Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party. The UK National Security State including the Military and the Police are the guarantors of ruling class power and consequently it is imperative that their leadership is rooted in the imperialist mythology and ideology of the class that governs this monarchical state. It is noticeable that the smooth ascension of class warriors including parliamentarians to control these government organs is ensured a continuity that is unchallenged by changes of Government. This does much to explain the dangerous involvement in fomenting the Ukraine crisis of the UK National Security State (MI6 MOD etc) whose modus operandi is directed by a historic class hatred of Russia and China.

Posted by: Rick | Jul 30 2022 19:15 utc | 100

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