Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power

Exclusive: Official Washington’s arrogance in trying to push around Russia and China has pushed the two countries together, creating a dangerous new dynamic in international relations, explains ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Top Russian and Chinese leaders are busy comparing notes, coordinating their approach to President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Hamburg this weekend. Both sides are heralding the degree to which ties between the two countries have improved in recent years, as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visits Moscow on his way to the G20. And, they are not just blowing smoke; there is ample substance behind the rhetoric.

President Donald Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to a state dinner during their summit at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, on April 6, 2017. (Screen shot from whitehouse.gov)

Whether or not Official Washington fully appreciates the gradual – but profound – change in America’s triangular relationship with Russia and China over recent decades, what is clear is that the U.S. has made itself into the big loser.

Gone are the days when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger skillfully took advantage of the Sino-Soviet rivalry and played the two countries off against each other, extracting concessions from each. Slowly but surely, the strategic equation has markedly changed – and the Sino-Russian rapprochement signals a tectonic shift to Washington’s distinct detriment, a change largely due to U.S. actions that have pushed the two countries closer together.

But there is little sign that today’s U.S. policymakers have enough experience and intelligence to recognize this new reality and understand the important implications for U.S. freedom of action. Still less are they likely to appreciate how this new nexus may play out on the ground, on the sea or in the air.

Instead, the Trump administration – following along the same lines as the Bush-43 and Obama administrations – is behaving with arrogance and a sense of entitlement, firing missiles into Syria and shooting down Syrian planes, blustering over Ukraine, and dispatching naval forces to the waters near China.

But consider this: it may soon be possible to foresee a Chinese challenge to “U.S. interests” in the South China Sea or even the Taiwan Strait in tandem with a U.S.-Russian clash in the skies over Syria or a showdown in Ukraine.

A lack of experience or intelligence, though, may be too generous an interpretation. More likely, Washington’s behavior stems from a mix of the customary, naïve exceptionalism and the enduring power of the U.S. arms lobby, the Pentagon, and the other deep-state actors – all determined to thwart any lessening of tensions with either Russia or China. After all, stirring up fear of Russia and China is a tried-and-true method for ensuring that the next aircraft carrier or other pricey weapons system gets built.

It’s almost like the old days when the U.S. military budgeted to fight wars on multiple fronts simultaneously. Recent weeks saw the following:

–The guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem on Sunday sailed within 12 nautical miles of the Chinese-claimed Triton Island in the Paracels in the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry immediately branded this “a serious political and military provocation.”

–The U.S. last week announced a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, placed sanctions on a Chinese bank for its dealings with North Korea, and labeled China the world’s worst human trafficker.

–On June 20, President Donald Trump sent off a condescending tweet intimating that, at his request, China had tried but failed to help restrain North Korea’s nuclear program: “It has not worked out. At least I know China tried.” (Over the centuries, the Chinese have had bad experience with Western condescension.)

Common Concern: Missile Defense

On the eve of his arrival in Moscow, Xi gave an interview to Russia’s TASS news agency, in which he focused on missile defense – an issue particularly close to Vladimir Putin’s heart. Xi focused on U.S. deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles to South Korea as “disrupting the strategic balance in the region” and threatening the security interests of all countries in the region, including Russia and China.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Xi also reiterated that Beijing is urging Washington and Seoul to back off military pressure on North Korea, and he may even hope that South Korea’s new President will react more sensibly than his predecessor who authorized THAAD deployment, which has made the North even more nervous about a possible preemptive strike. [In a seminar on the Web in February, Professor J. J. Suh and I discussed THAAD in the historical perspective of missile defense systems.]

Less than a month ago, Putin and Xi met in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. At that time, Putin predicted that the bilateral meeting now under way in Moscow would be “a major event in bilateral relations.”

The Russian leader added, “By tradition, we use every opportunity to meet and to discuss bilateral relations and the international agenda.”

If Sino-Russian “tradition” is meant to describe relations further back than three decades ago, Putin exaggerates. It was not always so. A half-century retrospective on the vicissitudes of Russia-Chinese relations illustrates the difficult path they have taken. More important, it suggests their current closeness is not likely to evaporate any time soon.

Like subterranean geological plates shifting slowly below the surface, changes with immense political repercussions can occur so gradually as to be imperceptible until the earthquake. As CIA’s principal Soviet analyst on Sino-Soviet relations in the 1960s and early 1970s, I had a catbird seat watching sign after sign of intense hostility between Russia and China, and how, eventually, Nixon and Kissinger were able to exploit it to Washington’s advantage.

The grievances between the two Asian neighbors included irredentism: China claimed 1.5 million square kilometers of Siberia taken from China under what it called “unequal treaties” dating back to 1689. This had led to armed clashes during the 1960s and 1970s along the long riverine border where islands were claimed by both sides.

In the late 1960s, Russia reinforced its ground forces near China from 13 to 21 divisions. By 1971, the number had grown to 44 divisions, and Chinese leaders began to see Russia as a more immediate threat to them than the U.S., which had fought Chinese troops during the Korean War in the 1950s and refused to recognize the country’s communist leadership diplomatically, maintaining the fiction that Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists on Taiwan remained the legitimate government of China.

Enter Henry Kissinger, who visited Beijing in 1971 to arrange the precedent-breaking visit by President Richard Nixon the next year. What followed was some highly imaginative diplomacy orchestrated by Kissinger and Nixon to exploit the mutual fear China and the USSR held for each other and the imperative each saw to compete for improved ties with Washington.

Triangular Diplomacy

Washington’s adroit exploitation of its relatively strong position in the triangular relationship helped facilitate major, verifiable arms control agreements between the U.S. and USSR and the Four Power Agreement on Berlin. The USSR even went so far as to blame China for impeding a peaceful solution in Vietnam.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

It was one of those felicitous junctures at which CIA analysts could jettison the skunk-at-the-picnic attitude we were often forced to adopt. Rather, we could in good conscience chronicle the effects of the U.S. approach and conclude that it was having the desired effect. Because it was.

Hostility between Beijing and Moscow was abundantly clear. In early 1972, between President Nixon’s first summits in Beijing and Moscow, our analytic reports underscored the reality that Sino-Soviet rivalry was, to both sides, a highly debilitating phenomenon.

Not only had the two countries forfeited the benefits of cooperation, but each felt compelled to devote huge effort to negate the policies of the other. A significant dimension had been added to this rivalry as the U.S. moved to cultivate better relations simultaneously with both. The two saw themselves in a crucial race to cultivate good relations with the U.S.

The Soviet and Chinese leaders could not fail to notice how all this had increased the U.S. bargaining position. But we CIA analysts saw them as cemented into an intractable adversarial relationship by a deeply felt set of emotional beliefs, in which national, ideological, and racial factors reinforced one another. Although the two countries recognized the price they were paying, neither seemed able to see a way out. The only prospect for improvement, we suggested, was the hope that more sensible leaders would emerge in each country. But this seemed an illusory expectation at the time.

We were wrong about that. Mao Zedong’s and Nikita Khrushchev’s successors proved to have cooler heads. The U.S., under President Jimmy Carter, finally recognized the communist government of China in 1979 and the dynamics of the triangular relationships among the U.S., China and the Soviet Union gradually shifted with tensions between Beijing and Moscow lessening.

Yes, it took years to chip away at the heavily encrusted mistrust between the two countries, but by the mid-1980s, we analysts were warning policymakers that “normalization” of relations between Moscow and Beijing had already occurred slowly but surely, despite continued Chinese protestations that such would be impossible unless the Russians capitulated to all China’s conditions. For their part, the Soviet leaders had become more comfortable operating in the triangular environment and were no longer suffering the debilitating effects of a headlong race with China to develop better relations with Washington.

A New Reality 

Still, little did we dream back then that as early as October 2004 Russian President Putin would visit Beijing to finalize an agreement on border issues and brag that relations had reached “unparalleled heights.” He also signed an agreement to jointly develop Russian energy reserves.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

A revitalized Russia and a modernizing China began to represent a potential counterweight to U.S. hegemony as the world’s unilateral superpower, a reaction that Washington accelerated with its strategic maneuvers to surround both Russia and China with military bases and adversarial alliances by pressing NATO up to Russia’s borders and President Obama’s “pivot to Asia.”

The U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine on Feb. 22, 2014, marked a historical breaking point as Russia finally pushed back by approving Crimea’s request for reunification and by giving assistance to ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine who resisted the coup regime in Kiev.

On the global stage, Putin fleshed out the earlier energy deal with China, including a massive 30-year natural gas contract valued at $400 billion. The move helped Putin demonstrate that the West’s post-Ukraine economic sanctions posed little threat to Russia’s financial survival.

As the Russia-China relationship grew closer, the two countries also adopted remarkably congruent positions on international hot spots, including Ukraine and Syria. Military cooperation also increased steadily. Yet, a hubris-tinged consensus in the U.S. government and academe continues to hold that, despite the marked improvement in ties between China and Russia, each retains greater interest in developing good relations with the U.S. than with each other.

The sports slogan has it that nothing is over “until the fat lady sings,” but on this topic, her tones are quite clear. The day of the U.S. playing China and Russia off against each other is no more.

One perhaps can hope that someone in the U.S. government will inform President Trump that his Russian and Chinese counterparts are singing from essentially the same songbook, the unintended result of arrogant miscalculations by his immediate predecessors. Implications for U.S. national security are enormous.

Ray McGovern works with a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He began his 27-year CIA career in early 1964 with responsibility for analyzing and reporting on Sino-Soviet relations.  He is now a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

 

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113 comments for “Russia-China Tandem Shifts Global Power

  1. Joe Tedesky
    July 3, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I hope that for those who think that now is a time to confront China and Russia militarily, before these two countries further advance their weapons systems, that they take the time to realize that that horse has left the stable. I would also like for those who must deal with our diplomacy, that they also realize how our bullying and hubris has taken us down a blind alley. America should join the rest of the world instead of invading it. Trump has a rare opportunity, and possibly this opportune moment won’t be his last, but he must reach out to these two countries China and Russia and secure a peaceful future. Oh the lone crys of a dreamer. What will really crush U.S. hegemony will be when Germany pivots towards the East. Wait, it’s coming.

    I’d also like to state how fortunate I am to be able to read Ray McGovern’s essays, how wonderful. Thanks Ray Joe

    • CitizenOne
      July 3, 2017 at 11:53 pm

      Trump has been schooled and corralled into a anti Russia and an Anti China position by three forces.
      1. The media.
      With its endless obsession over the fully debunked Russia Gate scandal is now grinding to a halt in a blocked dead end canyon and the cornered media is beginning to fold under pressure from Trump blasting the fake media mantra and a majority of his supporters who see the Russia Gate issue as an attempt by the media to conduct a media assassination of his presidency. Under pressure, the New York Times issued a retraction of their assertion that all 17 government national security agencies concluded that Russia was responsible for hacking the election. CNN has issued new strict orders for their spin masters to pass on any potential news about Russian interference to the senior editors before publishing anything. CNN’s John Bonifield was caught on an undercover video admitting that CNN had no evidence of Russian interference in the election and called it “bullshit” but claimed CNN was doing it for ratings. Trump’s team has effectively won the debate and the media look like the liars they are. But Trump has also been cowed into an aggressive posture.

      2. Obama:
      Obama took unilateral action against Russia early on and ejected 35 Russians and confiscated their property for a punitive reaction to alleged Russian interference in the election. Obama also was fully on board with supplying anti Assad forces which he claimed were responsible allies with arms and military support. Obama clipped Russian deals such as supplying NASA with rocket engines, ending cooperation in space missions, enacting other sanctions against the Russians and doing everything he was told to do including repeatedly asserting that every atrocity committed in Syria was the sole responsibility of Russia when in fact we were supplying arms to ISIS rebels.

      3. Democrats:

      Democrats latched on to the Russia Gate news with an eye to end the Trump presidency. They blindly signed onto the media’s fake news and they continue to attribute everything that the Republicans have up their sleeves to Trump. In a bling reaction to the treatment of Hillary Clinton by republicans, the democrats have signed onto fake BS to further their cause. It has backfired badly. By badly I mean that you cannot become supporters of fake news to fight supposed wrongs perpetrated against their party by republicans. The age old saying “Two wrongs do not make a right” come to mind. What they should have done is an introspection into the ineffectiveness of their parties plan to go along to get along from the start of the Obama Administration. They have become the modern equivalent of Pontius Pilate abdicating their role as responsible politicians and seeking only to destroy their foe at the hands of the media that will skillfully execute a character assassination of Trump that relies on fake news about some foreign enemy in bed with the president and posing a threat to us all.

      By these mechanisms, the media and the democrats have conspired to launch a new cold war with the possibility of Nuclear annihilation as the means to discredit the results of an election which they have chosen to ignore reality and all the real reasons Trump won in favor of creating a foreign boogey man and assigning all blame for all of our own misdeeds which are the misdeeds of the media and our government to arrive at the current situation.

      Trump started his candidacy and his presidency with all of the correct things we needed to do to forge a way forward.

      1. He favored economic relations with Russia. Those economic relations are now being forged with China and Russia thanks to the media and the democrats.
      2. He favored walking away from Syria and letting the Syrian government handle the mess that Obama created. That position was ended in a dramatic fashion by the Sarin gas attack.
      3. He campaigned on the fake media which he called a threat to democracy. The fake news media has certainly proven him correct.

      At every turn whether it was trying to curb military spending or forging alliances with former enemies, Trump was thwarted and forced into a corner and brought to heel by a media system which ignored all of Obama’s and Clinton’s militarism and attacked Trump for wanting to scale down the military and not engage in a military way with Russia or Syria.

      So now we have the result of all of the post election BS coming full circle as any lie must do. Oh what a tangled web we weave when we at first attempt to deceive.

      From “The Lion in Winter”:

      Eleanor of Aquitane [to her sons] Oh, my piglets, we are the origins of war, not history’s forces, nor the times, nor justice, nor the lack of it, nor causes, nor religions, nor ideas, nor kinds of government, nor any other thing. We are the killers. We breed wars. We carry it like syphilis inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can’t we love one another just a little? That’s how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children. We could change the world.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 2:02 am

        I agree. Any accommodation Trump may show towards Putin will most definitely bring about a uproarious reaction from the American media pundit class, and beyond. Don’t forget Late Night Talk Shows are on board with the ridiculing of the Trump Putin love affair, or so as they say. Yeah, detente may need to give way to outrageous headlines, and tv ratings.

        • Danny Weil
          July 5, 2017 at 9:53 am

          The US is not just a Society of the Spectacle but is actually controlled by the spectating of the spectacle. This is why Trump was and is so important for the ruling elites. While they sharpen the knives of austerity they put Trump in front of the curtain to do idiotic social and individual gaffs and tricks. the sick, capitalist culture grabs this up for it is easy to feed the masses a geek, and the knives get sharper and sharper.

          Obama was a Trojan Horse — Trump is a clown and deflector. Both were elected through lies, both govern through culture and the press.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 5, 2017 at 2:42 pm

            At the rate things are going Danny, our governments actions lean mightily towards your accusations of these birds fooling the masses. One thing that is apparent, is that the presidential office isn’t what we think it is. I swear our leaders are dissuaded from doing anything right by being reminded of what happen to JFK, and distracted by the power of lobbyists money, but by any decent standard these politicos ain’t representing the American people. Our country fights wars for other countries agendas, and our government protects us by taking away our rights while enriching a security industry which no one knows anything about. I’m not sure how to change any of this, but I am determined to at least see all of it for what it is.

            Thanks for the response Danny Joe

      • john wilson
        July 4, 2017 at 4:45 am

        Yous are right citizenone about the the three groups you mention, but even more important is the deep state, the industrial military complex and the corporations. I would say they have much more influence than all three of those you list put together.

        • Patricia Victour
          July 4, 2017 at 9:40 am

          Thanks for adding in the Deep State – saved me the trouble. If anything, it is the most powerful influence, the most direct power to move behind the scenes to shape the presidency and especially foreign affairs. What the Deep State wants, the Deep State gets, one way or another. People joke about the Zapruder film being shown to presidents who might step out of line, but I’m not so sure it’s not true, at least figuratively speaking. The CIA is becoming more and more involved in internal affairs of the U.S., a scary prospect when you look at its history.

        • floyd gardner
          July 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

          Right.

        • Danny Weil
          July 5, 2017 at 9:54 am

          It is all one big caravan of criminal and criminal institutions

      • Adrian Engler
        July 4, 2017 at 5:37 am

        I think it is correct, and I think that, especially on the basis of their own proclaimed beliefs, Democrats and media that are close to them act in an extremely irresponsible way. It is said that Trump is irrational and impulsive and puts his big ego above more sober considerations. I don’t know to what degree this is true or whether Trump is just a skilled populist and uses the image of a slightly mad person for strategic purposes (an explanation about the strategic use of the appearance as a madman, something that was also said about Nixon). But it is certainly possible that Trump is too impulsive. Then, it is utterly irresponsible when the “liberal” media constantly vilify Trump for allegedly being too close to other world powers instead of urging him to collaborate with other countries more constructively, even treat communication with diplomats and foreign ministers as something highly suspicious, and only praise him when he launches rockets against another country in violation of international law. They are egging him on to show a hostile stance towards Russia in different international conflicts, which could have very severe consequences. If Democrats proclaimed that Trump had a very calm and responsible personality, such constant propaganda for worse international relationships might not be such a big problem, but if Trump is remotely similar to what his opponents say about him, this constant propaganda against better international relationships is so extremely irresponsible that it cannot be excused in any way.

        • CitizenOne
          July 5, 2017 at 6:54 am

          Adrian,

          You said something that has been on my mind. “but if Trump is remotely similar to what his opponents say about him, this constant propaganda against better international relationships is so extremely irresponsible that it cannot be excused in any way.”

          One would hope that the pols and the media were not deliberately trying to start wars but unfortunately that is exactly what they did in Iraq, Libya, Ukraine,Syria and Afghanistan.

          Who is crazier? Obama for his cool calm and collected decision that we would be funding a war in Syria which has killed a half million people and left millions more homeless and created a global immigration crisis? Was he crazy?

          I think we might as well complain based on which one has an “inny” v.s “outy” bellybutton.

          As you said, they are egging Trump on to show a hostile stance toward Russia. They did the same thing with Obama.

          We keep focusing all of our attention on these figureheads and nobody is talking about the real problem which is the neocon/neolib war mongers who never leave Washington. The elected and unelected killer class.

      • Sam F
        July 4, 2017 at 6:54 am

        Of course the media/democrats/Obama are mere fronts for the MIC/zionist/WallSt oligarchy that runs the show by corruption. Why point to fronts when most readers know the real causes? Their ability to school or corral Trump shows his lack of preparation and conviction.

        • floyd gardner
          July 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

          The former are merely the mouth and fingers of the Imperial Monster.

        • Dave P.
          July 4, 2017 at 11:10 pm

          Sam F: Excellent observation.

        • CitizenOne
          July 5, 2017 at 7:28 am

          Sam,

          1. I am not responding to any particular group. I have no ability to read minds or select who can and who cannot read this based on their level of understanding and how similar it is to my own (or yours). Therefore I cannot carefully filter out anything which you and others might already know. So sorry to offend you. Do you have ESP? What am I thinking right now?

          2. I hardly think I would be the first person to talk about presidents as if your question was “why in the World would I do that”? Fairly sure I’m not alone.

          3. I can hardly fault Trump for his “lack of preparation and conviction” I’ll bet anyone who is not an insider would be shocked to find out how this country is actually run. As far as a lack of conviction, I think he has more of a spine than most. The attacks by the media are so loud and constant because they cannot bring him to heel any other way unlike Mr. Cool, Obama who just went along for the ride. I would say the media’s hype is the result of his convictions.

          4. Since Trump is on trial in a media witch hunt based on lies, I think it only fair to mention the defendant in this case.

          • Sam F
            July 5, 2017 at 8:50 am

            It is sensible to introduce the media/democrats/Obama fronts to those who cannot even see that, although it leaves many readers waiting for the other shoe to drop, as the MIC/zionist/WallSt oligarchy runs that show.

            Also fair to note that Mr. Trump may have “more of a spine than most.” Apparently he should have been backed by advisers who plan for problems and administrators ready to take the reins. He is able to at least tweet the public about any real threats or subversive elements, so I don’t see excuses for being pushed around by holdovers.

            If Mr. Trump has the courage and conviction, I would encourage him to ignore the mass media, purge relentlessly, and move ahead with detente and cooperation.

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 7:22 am

        I love this quote from Lion in Winter. Our artists and poets are our visionaries. Eyes blinded by greed for money and power can not see beyond the near term, or into the depths underlying the happenings of our times.

      • Stephen Sivonda
        July 4, 2017 at 11:42 am

        Citizen one….I like your post as it is in essence a timeline of cause and effect . I do have a problem with, in your #2 point you refer to the “Sarin gas attack” . I would have phrased it the “Alleged Sarin gas attack” . Using a narrative that the MSM would use to maintain the lies is not good . I believe it was an oversight on your part and I find that on my posts a quick review from start to finish there is always some correcting for me to do.

        • CitizenOne
          July 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm

          Thanks for that. For brevity I did not go into the details of the controversy surrounding the alleged sarin event coming a week after Trump stated he was walking away from Syria. There was clearly nothing to be gained by Assad for committing such a heinous crime and he had more to lose. The instant verdict of guilt from Washington and the MSM cobbled together in haste with dubious claims has been thoroughly examined and found to be lacking as is the evidence that it came from an aerial delivery vehicle or that it was Assad who did it. The verdict was fixed and the evidence fabricated to support the verdict. ISIS and Russia had nothing to gain from it either. It looks like a classic false flag staged event to manipulate Trump and Americans to support more military action in Syria.

          The “Deep State” everyone keeps talking about which I assume is the MIC/CIA/DOD/Politician folks had everything to gain. It brought the US back into the fight, it forced Trump’s hand to take action, it resulted in more arms deals and it furthered the cause of Obama to cause regime change in Syria which so far has left half a million dead and millions more homeless refugees. The MSM doesn’t even cover this stuff to the point where Gary Johnson, the presidential candidate did not even know what Aleppo was during an interview.

          It is simply appalling what a horrible criminally negligent organization the MSM has become by omitting so much of the terrible consequences our foreign military actions. It is deliberate. It is designed to keep us in the dark. The MSM have become complete propaganda fronts for the “deep state”. For more, the following quote is helpful.

          “The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — former CIA Director William Colby

          Read this interview with a “bought journalist”

          http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/10/16/cia-owns-everyone-significance-major-media/

          So is Trump wrong when he says the media is the enemy of the American People? I’ll let the readers decide who is telling the truth and who is lying.

          And Stephen, thanks for your constructive criticism.

          • CitizenOne
            July 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm

            Full disclosure about the link in my post about Paul Craig Roberts:

            Here is a link to the “about” section of the Paul Craig Roberts website for a list of his positions held, accomplishments, books etc.

            http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/about-paul-craig-roberts/

            Here is the Wikipedia page about Paul Craig Roberts

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Craig_Roberts

            His “conspiracy” theories are somewhat controversial and no doubt anti establishment but they probably deserve a closer look before they are discounted. I have come to believe that many “conspiracy” theories are branded with that label because they contain elements of truth which officialdom wants to discredit by labeling them “conspiracies” rather than debating them. Other “conspiracies” from sources are completely false like the below referenced quotes from F. G. Sanford’s post July 4, 2017 at 12:46 am

            “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.” That brilliant statement was recently made by our illustrious UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley. In close proximity to this statement, Alex Jones hosted Robert David Steele, a self-proclaimed “CIA insider”, who stated – with a straight face – that NASA runs a child sex slave colony on Mars. Alex nodded in agreement.

            In order to identify “conspiracies” as truthful or not requires research and a healthy skeptics eye which is yet open minded and fair and examines evidence as well as considering the motivations of the source. That’s why I provided the links.

            CO

      • bluebird
        July 4, 2017 at 5:06 pm

        The media, Oblahblah, and the DemocRATS are full of sh*t, they are traitors to America, and they are going DOWN.

      • Gregory Herr
        July 4, 2017 at 5:58 pm
      • Leslie F
        July 4, 2017 at 6:47 pm

        Trump already had one foot in the anti-Russia camp due to his fondness for Israel and Saudi Arabia and his hostility to Russian ally Iran. Maybe he didn’t realize the inconsistancies in his stated policies during the campaign, or maybe he thought Russia would a pushover for a chance to do an energy deal with the US and would be swayed by his charm to just drop an ally. Either way, the writing was on the wall. I had hoped that he might listen if Putin tried to explain reality to him since he (Trump) seemed to admire him (Putin). But Russia-gate got in the way and as it turns out, he really doesn’t listen to anyone anyway, I think people give the deep state too much credit for flipping Trump. Israel and Saudi Arabia were as important, if not more so.

        • Danny Weil
          July 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

          People must understand: Trump is much like Reagan: he cannot reason, cannot think, is arrogant, has no idea what is going on, hustles back and forth where he is told. Trump has leased his name to the White House, he runs nothing, makes no decisions of his own, he is part of the Spectacle

    • Sam F
      July 4, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Good point that Germany calling out the US bullying insanity, so as to have favorable economic relations with Russia, can be seen as a “pivot” of the EU to scare the bullies into moderation.

      The US warmongering will drag on through proxy wars that benefit only the demagogues of the MIC/zionist/WallSt oligarchy. All US wars since WWII serve only to let them pose falsely with the flag as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. They are not foreign wars, but the domestic power grabs of tyrants.

      Apart from treaties, the federal government has no constitutional power to wage foreign wars, just to repel invasions and suppress insurrections. Treaties must be rigorously restricted to defense. NATO must be renegotiated and warmaking powers taken back by Congress, after it has been purged of corruption.

      Restoration of democracy requires amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power.

      We cannot get those improvements while mass media and elections are controlled by oligarchy. We cannot stop the wars, establish a humanitarian democracy, nor achieve benefits for the people, until the oligarchy is deposed; this is the greatest problem of civilization. That requires:

      1. Education in alternative journalism, history, literature, public debate, and conversation;
      2. New forms of public debate on internet (a College of Policy Analysis/Debate);
      3. Political action: letters to Congress, forming new parties, demonstrations, strikes, secessions;

      Although those are my goals and efforts, I predict a series of defeats in imperial wars, economic embargoes against the US, and severe recessions. The US will end up hiding behind its ocean barriers in disgrace and poverty, dying slowly in its culture of exploitation, unless (if Jefferson was correct) it finds its way to revolution and cooperation.

      Your move, Mr. Trump.

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 7:28 am

        Excellent analysis of our situation. Getting the minds and hands to carry out the corrective program remains our pressing problem.

        • Sam F
          July 4, 2017 at 2:46 pm

          Thanks, I agree that education and political action are the priority.

      • valeriojunio
        July 4, 2017 at 9:53 am

        Hi Sam,
        your words are the most true and balanced. I agree all of your words, I’m from Europe, and We are at our homes not sure and quiet because america bring the war so near to our houses that we became all open to Russia friendship. Very very very genuine than all the american’s lies. America from 11/09 make a coup at home and bring wars and proxi wars all around the world.
        So, after these crimes, Duterte wants american out of Philippines, we all agree, we all want to bring american bases out from Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, same thing inTurkey.
        Another problem are zionists that are perhaps more dangerous than americans.

        At the end I want to give you an advice, if we see to history (true history, not history we learn in 60’s), we must to make a lot of attention to what tell Hitler, please read “mein kampf” in first 50 pages, we can see the photo of world situation after WW1, strangely you can argue that’s the same of the present time……….
        we must have a great fear of the same names (Of the grandchildren of certain characters, of same families, but I can’t tell you what, it’s easy know who are the families which I’m talking about).

        another thing, make informed american people (all the people) of the truth, media’s propaganda cover the truth specially in america

        • Sam F
          July 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm

          Yes, the US has often sent its military instead of real diplomats. Many are too easily deceived that force solves problems, and cannot be persuaded by reason, because the mass media are owned by warmongering oligarchs. Very few have accepted the higher purposes of international action, because social education here is primitive, again due to mass media selling selfishness as virtue. The post-WWI situation of Germany may echo in the declining years as right-wing nationalists try to “make America great again” by force instead of cooperation.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 10:43 am

        Sam at least you understand how our country is in a downward slide. If it wasn’t for arrogance and hubris now would be a good time to craft together a new foreign policy to go forward with, but as it appears no one in our government is even suggesting that. I don’t care how much our country increases it’s defense spending there is no way to change the course America is on now, because while the U.S. spends it’s national treasure down to beyond the bone on weapons and bombs the rest of the world is uniting to build worthwhile projects, and separate themselves from the U.S. Dollar. The best thing the U.S. can do at this moment is to not start something bigger than what we are already confronted with today with war, and leave the world a total ruin. There is more to life than risking it all to stretch oil pipelines where they are not wanted, and to further the Yinon Plan to people who just want to live their lives as who they are.

        • Sam F
          July 4, 2017 at 3:07 pm

          Yes, a change of course is difficult, although in principle quite possible. Just the will of Trump would do much, but I merely entertain myself with any hope there.

          My pessimism is tempered by recognition that a persistently educated public sometimes pulls together when freed from propaganda by obvious media lies and government fiascoes. It recalls fearfully the truths from alternative sources, stumbles in confusion, and sometimes makes progress. Those who know and care must be ready to educate and lead them to a better future.

          • Sam & Shanti
            July 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

            Very true!

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 4, 2017 at 10:14 pm

            I share your pessimism Sam. I also have a hard time believing that anything could change for the better, since our media is so embedded with the CIA/MIC. Then that discouraging thought is replaced with the thought, that in order for anything to change America will need to be confronted with a large catastrophic failure of somekind. Of course I hope that this catastrophic failure is not war, nor anything that bad along those lines, but regardless the wake up call will need to be big enough so as to shake our ignorant society down to it’s basic foundations. Since the government with the people who now run it is so intimidatingly big, something of an even bigger nature will need to happen if the ‘we the people’ are to get a strong grip on what is destroying us now.

          • Dave P.
            July 5, 2017 at 12:18 am

            Sam and Joe: Your comments address the core issues, including how the public can be educated. Affluent or poor, the public gets its information from TV – CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, late night talk shows etc.. As you must have observed too, from my experience with the newly arrived – in my view quite affluent classes compared to working class americans – whoever they are; doctors, engineers, or businessmen do not read anything, or use some other source to get their information. And I don’t think most of them have ever read a book in their lives which was not part of their education. And I was with just this type of professionals last night at a big party we were invited to. I had heated arguments with some of them. There was only one person, who has no professional education, who approached me later on during the evening to discuss the issues facing the Country. He is well informed and understands all what is going on.

            However, a year ago at such a party, some of the very people, who were there last night, were closely following Bernie Sanders message during primaries and voted for him. So, my point is somehow a new young, articulate leader like Tulsi Gabbard participates in the primaries next time, and public can be educated – all public, those who were born here or who were born abroad.

            There is not much chance that a third party can be formed in U.S., where the Total System is controlled by Wall Street Financial, Media, and Entertainment Oligarchy. The only hope is that a candidate like Tulsi Gabbard can get a chance to educate the public during the primaries.

            Bernie Sanders had an excellent chance last year during primaries, but he did not address the core issues: foreign policy, wars, and all this money being spent on Pentagon, Wars, and all these intelligence agencies. He is not a genuine progressive.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

            Dave Bernie sticks to the subject which always wins votes, getting the voter their money while chasing after the robber barons. As has been said, ‘it’s the economy stupid’, Bernie stays in that lane. I used to listen to Bernie on Thom Hartman, so I felt somewhat safe with his thoughts on foreign policies, and recall his opinion on defense spending, but he often at times mentioned how the defense department should have its budget cut, but all politicians say those things. I think the prove is in the pudding when they enter the White House…sorry, that’s the best I got.

            It’s a taunting task we citizens have in front of us with Wall St. standing at the gate. It’s impossible to get any candidate through who may seriously tackle going after reforming the system, with the corporate class locking every door with their heavy donations. Salvation historically comes when least expected, so okay now I’m ready, how about you Dave?

            News knowledge doesn’t seem to be dependent on how smart you are, as much as it is about just knowing it. Data is like left on the sidewalk, and the question comes to be, who will reach and swoop down to pick up the data? I find well informed people in every segment of life. My plumber is way more informed than my lawyer. I will say this though, my lawyer who is retiring asked me to start sending him articles and the stuff I read….he wants to start paying better attention. So Dave there is hope.

          • Sam F
            July 5, 2017 at 9:48 am

            Dave P, it is interesting that those with professional careers or even ordinary jobs do not have time or curiosity to learn and be informed, and so are readily deceived by a sufficiently organized propaganda system such as the mass media. We rely evermore upon specialists to decipher the world, but have ever less ability to evaluate their truthfulness.

            There are some promising candidates like Gabbard, and perhaps Sanders will support her. But we all need to get to work on political education and debate despite all discouragements, as this is our most enduring contribution to civilization.

    • fudmier
      July 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

      One of the websites I visit, suggested there is already a Putin, Trump and Xi Entrepreneurs inc. (PTXE, Inc) deal. designed to force the governed of each of the PTXE owned nations to pay for the Yucon-Siberia-Sub-Sea-Tunnel (YSSST); capable to move gas and oil West to East, and ocean current produced electric energy East to West. I am still learning about this possibility.

      • Anon
        July 4, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        That Putin/Trump/Sino/Development PTSD sounds more like cooperation than conspiracy, but a tunnel between oil producers will not accomplish much.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 6:09 pm

        Do you have a link, or a reference to that news?

    • dieter
      July 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      no, Germany won’t pivot, Merkel is a true servant of the U.S.A.. And though I am not really fond of her and her politics, I have to admit that she is an unparalled mistress of the political power games in Germany and she will be leader for the foreseeable future. (elections are in September 2017 and imho it will be an easy win for her) my best from from Germany

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 6:08 pm

        Is it possible Merkel will try and replace the U.S. with Germany playing the role the U.S. has played?

        • SteveK9
          July 5, 2017 at 11:10 am

          I think there is no possibility of that at all. I think it will be a few hundred years more before the majority of people in Europe trust the Germans.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm

            You are right, that EU thing that Germany is all about really does piss off a lot of Europeans. I’m just trying to keep my eye on it as it moves. I’m no Merkel expert, but articles speaking to Merkel’s discontent with Trump and the U.S. is starting to build. I’ll just keep watching, and learning, as everything unfolds. Thanks for your reply. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2017 at 10:59 pm

        I’m not trying to beat an old horse, and no doubt you know Angela Merkel better than I, but read this link and you tell me what you can make of it.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/washington-and-berlin-on-a-collision-course/5597596

        Again I’m not being argumentative for the sake of proving how right I am, but with the U.S. Congress voting to put sanctions on Russia over Gazprom supplying gas to Europe, and in effect on the EU, I can’t see how there won’t be a clash between Germany and the U.S..

    • Rob Thomas
      July 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm

      Spot on !

  2. F. G. Sanford
    July 4, 2017 at 12:46 am

    “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.” That brilliant statement was recently made by our illustrious UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley. In close proximity to this statement, Alex Jones hosted Robert David Steele, a self-proclaimed “CIA insider”, who stated – with a straight face – that NASA runs a child sex slave colony on Mars. Alex nodded in agreement. Keep in mind, this program is faithfully watched by the same audience who believes the moon landings were faked, and Stanley Kubrick produced the counterfeit film footage. We also learn from Sy Hersh that, during the discussions about the impending attack on Shayrat Airbase, Rex Tillerson had to be tutored through the basics of antiaircraft defense systems. He’s Nikki’s boss. No surprise there. Everywhere you turn, commentators are complaining about “leftist propaganda” and deriding “liberals” for their excesses. Every problem with America, they claim, is caused by “handouts” – as if tax cuts for the rich, frivolous defense spending and bank bailouts are not “handouts”. Fifty percent of the population are teetering at or below the poverty level, and Betsy DeVos is pushing “charter schools” and vouchers as a back-door scheme to reinstitute school segregation. Gerrymandering is being used to bring back Jim Crow, and cops can now shoot anybody, as long as they claim, “I feared for my life”. Nobody seems to recognize the symptoms of full blown fascism. Even Bernie Sanders and Al Franken qualify as Reagan Republicans by any reasonable standard. There are no longer any “democrats” in the Democratic party. I had some hope that one day, Cynthia McKinney might get another shot at Congress, until she made the regrettable error of appearing in a youtube video with George Webb and Robert David Steele. I think the CIA is still running Steele as a psyop cutout. He never retired.

    Is it any wonder Russia and China would consider a marriage of convenience? I think Germany has already concluded that the US is in a deep state of cultural psychosis. The age of American hegemony is effectively over. All that remains is an edifying military debacle to drive the point home. The best we can hope for is that the message sinks in before abject lunacy results in a nuclear exchange. But I’m thinking even then, Americans still won’t “get it”.

    • Dr. Ip
      July 4, 2017 at 1:32 am

      Not many people have heard about Vilém Flusser (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vil%C3%A9m_Flusser), nor read his work as regards media, which includes photographic images as well as writing. Mostly, his writings are in Portuguese and German. English translations exist, but not of everything.

      Anyway, in one of the books in my Flusser collection, he talks specifically about how important it is for the elite to manipulate images (media) in such a way as to make sure that the upcoming generation of the “meritocracy” will be thoroughly converted to the doctrines which the elite are using as their means of domination in order to remain in power. This must of course happen in the elite universities like Harvard, etc., and Chomsky and others have already spoken about how it does.

      Now, when the process is in the hands of a few intelligent propagandists, these propagandists are completely aware of what they are doing and can watch the process and guide it so that it can be corrected if it veers off course. In this particular era, over 70 years since the end of WW2, the propagandists themselves have been so thoroughly soaked with the doctrine that they no longer recognize the fact that it is only a manipulative technique meant to keep others in line and further the needs of the elite. This new generation are veritable “True Believers” and cannot step away to get an objective look at what they are doing and thus correct the path of their propaganda.

      Contrast this with Mr. McGovern’s statement: “It was one of those felicitous junctures at which CIA analysts could jettison the skunk-at-the-picnic attitude we were often forced to adopt. Rather, we could in good conscience chronicle the effects of the U.S. approach and conclude that it was having the desired effect. Because it was.”

      This shows that back then the senior people responsible for the direction of the political path still had the ability to discern truth from fiction. Of course those same people, now many years older and no longer driving the political buggy, can still see from another point of view. But nobody listens and nobody cares because the current elite in power are incapable of listening and rational analytic thinking.

      And it really doesn’t matter which doctrines you like or dislike and for which political system you hold a flame. The ability to rationally direct your technical prowess at delivering the message is what in the end makes the desired impact effective and allows your message to have “the desired effect.”

      • Dr. Ip
        July 4, 2017 at 5:54 am

        Sources are important, so I went and had a look in my Flusser library and found the source. It’s in the German language “Kommunikologie” (http://tinyurl.com/qqb9qyt) published by Fischer. And the relevant section begins on pg. 63 in my edition. That is, Chapter 3 section (c) Technobilder. The term technobilder refers to images that are technologically created.

        The amazon site allows you to peruse some pages, and although they are not from the exact chapter I reference, there are some interesting illustrations about the various forms of discourse which are easy to comprehend, even if you can’t read the language.

        Also, my interpretation of this chapter is not a scholarly one which would have the expert analysis required for such a venture. It is what I understood. But I think my understanding of the chapter is pretty good.

    • Bruce
      July 4, 2017 at 4:18 am

      Good comment. The US is probably still left of the Nazis, but not by much. They also have much better PR than the Nazis.

    • Sam F
      July 4, 2017 at 6:47 am

      Agreed that we need “an edifying military debacle to drive the point home” that US bullying is over. That point will have to be made several times before the bully-boys in the MIC and their fake-protector demagogues in politics see that the price of bullying has dropped their popularity. But it could easily drag on for a generation of proxy wars lost by all superpowers, so as to avoid direct confrontation, which will further discredit the corrupt mass media with endless witch-hunting.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 7:34 am

      A good summary of our exceptionalism’s demise. But as you say, most of us still don’t get it – we are the dead walking, effectively zombies.

    • Brad Owen
      July 4, 2017 at 9:33 am

      Back some time ago, while I was working on a golf course maintenance crew for chump change ( during one of those Bush recessions accompanied by war), I met an interesting guy there (former real estate construction contractor, also working on golf course for chump change…the Bush recession). He said he was a 33rd degree Mason and that he could travel around the World without a dime in his pocket, if he had to. Anyway, he said something hilarious; he said “‘you know, we live in a country where 75% of the people believe that the moon landing is fake and that wrestling is real”. I laughed hard at that one.

      • backwardsevolution
        July 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm

        Brad Owen – and 7% of American adults think that chocolate milk comes from “brown” cows.

    • SteveK9
      July 5, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I wish people would not refer to a ‘nuclear exchange’ in casual tones. American’s certainly won’t ‘get it’ after that, because there will be no America.

  3. James lake
    July 4, 2017 at 3:28 am

    The election of Trump has only one shining advantage – the Europeans will find it impossible to follow him ( he does not dress up US warmongering in pretty words like Obama)

    His “policies” are crude and he does not spout the hypocritical lies about “spreading democracy and western values” – as with Bush2 the world can see the wars are about oil and stealing resources.

    How can that be sold to the western public? Who wants to send their sins and daughters to die for that?

    Terrorism is the much greater threat. London Bridge! , Manchester! That is not the Russians.

    But all we hear from our leaders even in the UK is Russia, Russia, Russia – it is out of step with what people experience

    Politics needs to realign and Russia and China are ahead of the game

    Germany will be the one to watch – their best chance to assert independence from the America is now.

    The EU wants to be a superpower with its own army and Trump increases the chance this will happen.

    Trump (and obama actually after Bush2) was elected because the people in the USA in key states want jobs, better infrastructure and the end of these pointless wars.

    America if it doesn’t follow the will of the people are heading for collapse

    But both parties they just want to blame Russia!!

    Russia, China and Germany are the ones to watch

    • Brad Owen
      July 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

      I think deep down, Trump doesn’t want to lead Europe. He wants to break with them. He thinks NATO is pointless and reckless, casting about trying to find a mission to justify its existence and its crippling (to us) budget. He wants good working relationships with Russia and China, since being a businessman and real estate developer, he sees massive opportunity for us in China’s BRI. He has people in his admin who are good friends with Putin and Xi. He is hard-pressed by Deep State actors trying to herd him into maintaining a Cold War status vis-a-vis Russia and China. Most of all, Germany is going to have an even harder time bucking the Synarchy Internationale than are we, since they are ground zero for its operations in reviving a “Holy Roman Empire”…too many powerful dynastic families live there with definite plans for an oligarchic Pan-European Empire, with the rest of the World as its colony. Trump is just the first step in our mutiny from this plot (foisted upon us since the post-war/post-FDR forties), where Hillary represented continuation of status quo. This analysis I gathered from EIR website (“Return of the Monarchs” and “Synarchy against America”, “Inter-Alpha Group” ” Black Nobility”, “Cecil Rhodes RoundTable Group”, from their search box).

      • July 4, 2017 at 6:35 pm

        Brad,…I think you may be giving Trump too much credit for actually making foreign policy decisions himself. He’s most likely under the influence of his ambitious son-in-law and Europe just doesn’t provide a receptive market for his business expansion(or Ivana’s merchandise). i agree, however, about the “Deep State actors” trying to herd him into the Cold War, but find it hard to believe he won’t throw improved relations with Russia under the bus. Re Germany, I assume you are talking about the German banks’ stranglehold on the debtor nations of Europe…a very sticky problem since none of the debtor nations have been able to bolt the burden, as yet, but also think they will eventually. German manufacturer’s interests aren’t the same as the bankers and they need the markets of So. Europe to come out of stagnation(or more likely a global financial meltdown will do it). As you, no doubt, know NATO is a nest of neoliberal idealogy and Trump being the consummate neoliberal is unlikely to be able to work against the pack without answering to his Deep State overlords.

        • Brad Owen
          July 5, 2017 at 3:36 am

          I only give Trump the credit of common sense that any man-in-the-street or businessman has. He has influential people around him who are pro-Russia/China. He has one (Mnuchin) who is pro-Wall Street/The City, therefore pro-Trans-Atlantic Empire and anti Russia/China. He can be easily influenced like any man in the street. That is unfortunate.

  4. Michael Morrissey
    July 4, 2017 at 4:16 am

    I wonder if there is any way to find out who is in Ray’s former position now as “CIA’s principal Soviet analyst on Sino-Soviet relations.”

  5. john wilson
    July 4, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Not only doesn’t America have few friends in the world, most countries and populations hate the sight of them. Over here in the UK there are a few idiots in the government like that half dead fish Mrs may and people like that old fool Michael Fallon who think the sun shines out of the Americans rsoles, but most ordinary people loathe the Americans. Its such a pity because the ordinary Jo American is just like we ordinary Brits who get along together just fine. Its the stinking governments of both countries that’s the problem. The fact is, nobody likes a bully and the American state with its military are the biggest bullies in the world. Russia, China and all the rest of the nations in the East would do well to club together and leave America friends with just Israel, Saudi Arabia and Britain, because they don’t have much else!

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Good one John.

    • Brad Owen
      July 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

      It is City-of-London/Wall Street, John…one Bloc, united in their solidarity, that rules three quarters of the World, to the detriment of the Brit and American 99%ers. The Brit and American 99%ers have common cause in pulling down these “economic Royalists” as FDR called this financier cartel whose roots go back to the 1690s central Bank of England and 1913 Federal Reserve, and many “secret society” types of operations all along the way. Jeremy Corbyn and Tulsi Gbbard, with the people rallying around THEIR flags in 2020, may just be the antidote to this malaise of gangrenous oligarchy.

    • July 4, 2017 at 10:33 am

      John your right on most Americans are ok they love there partner there kids and want to get along you have that 10 percent that love the military and the deep state. You want to fix the problem take everyone who has dual citizenship in power positions in USA and send them back to the country they have dual citizenship with. Start with the Kagan Klan the most warmonger crew on the face of the earth. You all have a nice Peacefull day.

  6. Sam F
    July 4, 2017 at 6:37 am

    The article is a valuable summary, although why the USSR-China warming should have “important implications for U.S. freedom of action” and why “implications for U.S. national security are enormous” is unclear. Loss of domestic and foreign markets for US goods is due to inevitable development. The effects are primarily potential pushback against US bullying on behalf of the MIC and Israel. That is solved by giving other superpowers their own sphere, their own Monroe doctrine, which we would finally have to do anyway.

    Only the MIC/Israel/WallSt stand in the way of good superpower relations, and the sooner we dump them forever the better the world will be.

  7. Alister
    July 4, 2017 at 7:12 am

    We spend billions of dollars searching for life on other planets, and trillions of dollars killing life on this one. As long as that occurs nothing will change.

    • John wilson
      July 4, 2017 at 11:20 am

      That has to be the best comment of the year so far, Alister. Short but in every way a truism. If after all the billions we spend we do find life on another planet, you can be Sure the first thing the Americans and we stupid poodle British will do is bomb them.

  8. Skip Scott
    July 4, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Another great article from Ray McGovern with many insightful comments. I have said many times in previous comment streams that we must learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world. It seems to me that the USA may finally be forced into it. Despite our grossly over-sized military, we can no longer impose our will around the globe. The choice is becoming cooperation or Armageddon. If Dr.Ip’s analysis is correct (and I suspect it is), I fear that hubris and ignorance will lead to Armageddon. It is ironic that it is up to a man like Donald Trump to steer us off that course. His foreign policy platform during his campaign was one of cooperation and bilateral trade deals. If he could just “stick to his guns” and overcome the Intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, and the MSM maybe we have some hope for the future. The collapse of Russia-gate may supply a window of opportunity, but never underestimate the deep state oligarchs. I wish Trump could imagine the possibilities that would arise from closing down our foreign bases and bringing all that manpower home to rebuild our infrastructure and take it to the next level with Hi-speed rail and alternative energy. Someone needs to rebuild the middle class and usher in a new age of peaceful cooperation; I just wish I had more faith in the intelligence and emotional stability of our current President.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 7:42 am

      I agree that an unstable President plus our over the top national hubris is a dangerous combination. I am hoping for some unforeseen miracle to ease us through this bottleneck…..

      • mike k
        July 4, 2017 at 7:44 am

        Maybe Germany breaking free from the US choke hold could be that miracle?

  9. mike k
    July 4, 2017 at 7:50 am

    If Trump would only back up his outsized ego with some real toughness……..he could change our world for the better, and become something more than just another failed President.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 7:53 am

      He wants to be the boss, but he has allowed the deep state termites to undermine his Presidency.

  10. Solomon Kane
    July 4, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Highly informative and timely – cogent implacable logic – an excellent and crucial paper, but why no reference to the operational roles of Victoria Nuland, Robert Kagan in planning and orchestrating the Ukraine fiasco as part of the overarching neocon influence on Obama’s foreign policy?

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Mr. McGovern is fully aware of the concerns you express. It’s just that one can’t cover all the bases in short articles – there’s just too many of them!

      • July 4, 2017 at 11:51 am

        Mr McGovern is aware , most Americans are not as to this dangerous family. The most warmongering family on the face of this earth. Any article hat mentions war that does not mention the Kagans is not complete. You are absolutely right Solomon Kane,

    • Mild-ly Facetious
      July 4, 2017 at 9:29 am

      That initiative seemed to have died with the demise of Mr. Brzezinski and his Grand Chessboard scheme of U.S. domination of Central Asia.

      The now energetic thrust is the also doomed “Putin Hacked” gambit.

  11. Mild-ly Facetious
    July 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

    China, Russia plan deal on new Far East transport routes

    Analysts estimate that Chinese freight transporters could save up to $700 million a year using these shorter Far East routes

    By IRINA DROBYSHEVA
    JULY 3, 2017

    As China’s leader Xi Jinping visits Moscow to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, deals worth US$10 billion may be signed between the two neighbors, according to media reports.

    Xi’s visit on July 3-4 will include possible signing of other agreements, including joint development of two international transport and trade corridors in the Russian Far East to link China’s landlocked northeast provinces to Pacific ports.

    Analysts estimate that Chinese freight transporters could save up to $700 million a year using these shorter routes. Investment in the two transport projects is estimated at about $5 billion, mostly on roads, rail and ports.

    Putin announced on Thursday he will be attending a forum for Xi’s flagship One Belt, One Road initiative.

    As much attention is focused on China’s so-called One Belt One Road initiative linking the country with South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, talks on these Far East transport corridors fly under the radar. But the links are nonetheless vital for the regions involved.

    The Russian Ministry for the Development of the Far East held extensive talks in June on building the infrastructure and the management of the corridors — known as Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 — with authorities in the Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, according to Russian officials.

    http://www.atimes.com

  12. Polly Ester
    July 4, 2017 at 9:20 am

    The US Military and the CIA have proven to be dangerous as seen in the chaos created in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe, it will be interesting to see how China and Russia assert themselves at the G20 and cause those at the Pentagon to think twice about any insane future preemptive attacks.

  13. July 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

    What I disagree with here is the article seems to imply that we have something to gain when two giants dispute. The Nixon-Kissinger policies protracted the Vietnam War until it became obvious that we had to withdraw. It seems to me that early negotiations with Ho-Chi Minh would have been a much wiser policy that could have saved countless lives and restored the tarnished image of the U.S. globally.After all it was Nixon’s clique that promoted the war in the first place and Kissinger’s “spheres of influence” realpolitik should have been consigned to the archives of historical folly a long time ago.

  14. Bill
    July 4, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Why is the new dynamic “dangerous”?

  15. July 4, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Thanks, Ray, for a good overview survey of international relations that have deteriorated ever since the arrogant little Bush led America to its position as bully killer of the world starting with Iraq, very well pointed out by the European who said over in Europe they view Russia positively and America negatively. F. G. Sanford had the perfect description of America, “cultural psychosis”. Interesting that Poppy Bush declared China the “Most Favored Nation” and started them on the way to the economic powerhouse they have become. And trying to bring down Russia in the ’90’s only strengthened Russia’s resolve. The USA if a student couldn’t even pass Psych 101, that’s how stupid they are about psychology and basics of human nature. Since American leaders only want to play bully, the isolation of the America from multipolar participation will continue. The real problem is the fact that agents of world justice do not arrest this serial killer, USA.

  16. Truth First
    July 4, 2017 at 10:31 am

    It is patriotism day however I doubt that many Americans will be thinking about the Oscar Wilde quote, “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”.

    As Ray says, “Nixon and Kissinger were able to exploit it to Washington’s advantage.” This is what the USA does, exploit some country somewhere for their advantage. Sometimes the USA kills a few million people in the process.

    This exploitative attitude wrecked what could have been a great country starting when many of the indigenous people were slaughtered. Only when the USA becomes a peaceful country at home and abroad will their killing ‘solutions’ stop.

    In the meantime the entire world is threatened by idiotic American actions.

  17. July 4, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Well said, Truth First, and it was Samuel Johnson who said in 1775, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

      We’ve got a dangerous maniac on our hands – and it’s us!

  18. Roscoe
    July 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I hate to even mention it but lurking in the background are memories of the assassination of our President for lesser transgressions than suggested here. Certainly Obama feared for his life and family and Trump got the message as soon as he was elected. Why else would they steer so far from the course of their campaign platforms? I do not intend my observation to start a thread on conspiracies but you cannot deny our history.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      The stain on our National Conscience is deeper than Donald Trump. Eliminating him would not expunge it, but only make it worse.

    • Bart in Virginia
      July 4, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      From the VVP interview with Le Figaro:

      “I have already spoken to three US Presidents. They come and go, but politics stay the same at all times. Do you know why? Because of the powerful bureaucracy. When a person is elected, they may have some ideas. Then people with briefcases arrive, well dressed, wearing dark suits, just like mine, except for the red tie, since they wear black or dark blue ones. These people start explaining how things are done. And instantly, everything changes. This is what happens with every administration.”

  19. Patrick
    July 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

    No wonder that the author is not working with the CIA anymore. He is fully ready to join he Russian FSB, no additional brainwashing needed anymore. He can hit the ground running.

    • Skip Scott
      July 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      He has left the CIA and is involved in a much more enlightened group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. Sanity is something you could use more of yourself. You are outclassed on every side around here. I would have thought you’d have realized that by now, but like Sally Fields says in Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

      • Anon
        July 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm

        Yes, Patrick appears to know more words than meanings, likely a junior conformist in troll training, and deserves rebuke. Pretending patriotism by accusation of disloyalty is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

        • mike k
          July 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm

          Patrick is like any troll, he delights in trying to jerk our chain and get a rise out of us. He knows full well that those here have no use for his shallow ignorance. But he is like a child jabbing at something he doesn’t understand, just to see what it will do. The time tested wisdom on dealing with rolls remains “don’t feed the trolls.” Just ignore him. He feeds on your negative reactions to his nonsense. He crafts his BS to provoke us. Just ignore him, he doesn’t belong here.

  20. David Smith
    July 4, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Mr. McGovern, it could be seen as progress that you have dropped “Russian annexation” for “Russia’s approval for reunification” in your characterization of the Crimea situation, but it remains a troubling distortion, unacceptable given your “job experience”. Can you not use the former official name Autonomous Republic Of Crimea? Can you not explain to CN’s readers what rights under international law are enjoyed by an Autonomous Republic, and that ARoCrimea simply invoked them?

  21. July 4, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    The best thing for mankind to happen will be the best possible association of Russia and China within a better performing BRICS union welcoming other decent states. America must cease to believing being the master of the World. She is only the greatest troubles’ makers of the World. Stoping her hegemony must be imperative ! In my opinion, this can be done peacefully by simply decreating a total embargo of everything made in America. This until the decent US people will have remade some order in their country. The tiny minority of US Citizen responsible of that outrageous materialisme and desire of a full worldwide hegemony must be eradicated…
    We need decent leaders giving us the best possible example. The présidents of Russia and China fit exactly the model, other can join.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Some good thoughts.

  22. David Smith
    July 4, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Mr. McGovern, you entirely misrepresent both the motivation and the events of the Nixon administration’s diplomatic initiatives to USSR and PRC in 1971. The motivation was to get the Paris Accords signed and the events did not turn on a mythical adroit playing of USSR/PRC conflict by the incompetent and arrogant bar mitzvah boy Kissinger. Key to getting the Paris Accords to work, whose dual goal was to permanently prop up the Saigon regime while alowing the US to “crawl out standing up”, was go get the collaboration of the USSR, who provided nearly all the domestic/military aid to Hanoi. A deal was hatch(not by the dolt Kissinger) whereby USSR suspended military aid to Hanoi in return for Most Favored Nation trading status. USSR honored its pledges and cut off military aid for 1974, leading to the desired result, no NVA offensive. This agreement was sabotaged by the jewish lobby when it came to congress for approval with Scoop Jackson’s amendment requiring jewish emigration to the zionist entity in return for Most Favored status. The USSR rightly balked, renewed military aid to Hanoi for 1975, with the well known, but not well understood result. The diplomatic approach to PRC had two motives. The first related to Vietnam as nearly all military aid both Soviet and Chinese came overland by rail through China, but this was minor compared to the second, far more subtle and long term reason. In 1971, Mao Tse Tung, the greatest Chinese patriot in its long history, was close to death. Mao’s communism made China undefeatable, but a capitalist China was defeatable. The ” capitalist roader” faction in the communist party was the key, and they would take over after Mao’s death, and the sly bastids in Washington were ready to meet them. What was next? How about Special Economic Zones with masses of Chinese capitalist slaves making cheap garbage for export to the USA? Of course, there are masses of Chinese “entrepenuers” getting “rich” ruining the lives of their fellow Chinese. And that is the key to the defeat of China. This so-called economic wonder built on the backs of unemployed Americans now needs a vast river of imported resources that must come by ocean, and it is an ocean controlled by the US Navy.

  23. Craig Holtzclaw
    July 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Ray, you are too well informed of LaRouche’s role in the consolidation of a New Paradigm of China-Russia led giant Infrastructure projects of the Belt and Road Initiative. This is the New World Economic Order that Putin and Xi are discussing today.
    British Geopolitics is Dead, which is why the dead hand of their Deep State (BLimps–British Liberal Imperialists) is so desperate to stop Trump from responding to this invitation from the Eurasian Future.
    You know all this, but comment on the Past! Imagine this beautiful JFK World–the mag-lev tunnel under the Bering Straits, the honest Indusrialization of Africa–it is now at hand, with the China-Russia leadership that you left out.

  24. michael lacey
    July 4, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    The petrodollar

    Initially, the dollar’s role was underpinned by U.S. gold holdings, until Richard Nixon removed the convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971. That should have spelled the end of U.S. financial power, but instead a new unit assumed a central role — and that was the creation of the “petrodollar”. In what was then a secret agreement, Nixon’s National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger negotiated with the Saudis an agreement whereby, in exchange for U.S. arms and security commitments, oil would henceforth be traded only in U.S. dollars. That dynamic has now changed as well!

  25. siberiancat
    July 4, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    So what exactly is the Chinese plan regarding North Korea? Just “back off”?!

    • July 4, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      That’s exactly what they did after the Korean war cooled.

  26. mike k
    July 4, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    There is no way playing the same old geopolitical games will result in anything other than nuclear Armageddon. All the skill and subtlety in analyzing and gaming the grand chessboard will not save us from extinction. An entirely new basis for sharing our lives together will be necessary for our continuance. Otherwise we will be toast, however we cleverly we play our games of mutual domination.

    • mike k
      July 4, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      One we too many.

  27. delia ruhe
    July 4, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    The Nixon-Kissinger exploitation of Sino-Soviet rivalry you refer to here, Ray, had a big advantage: unchallenged US economic power. However, starting with Reaganomics, there is a whole chain of self-inflicted financial and economic wounds that a Wall Street dominated neoliberal globalism, founded on the Washington Consensus and featuring amoral institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, has pretty much paved the way for the spectacular rise of China.

    Today, China is doing something that the US hasn’t done for decades, if only on the domestic level. That’s the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) — the greatest development project in the history of humankind. China is making a lot of mistakes so far, but a project of this magnitude can hardly be expected to proceed error-free. Besides, China is learning. It’s also teaching. And that’s a lot to expect of the Chinese with Washington breathing down their necks, sending warships into the South China Sea, threatening the very freedom of navigation Washington pretends to be defending.

    The US is not the kind of state to step away peacefully from its heavily eroded hegemony and offer its assistance in smoothing the tectonic shift in the centre of economic and geopolitical gravity that has been underway for a couple decades or more. That is just not America’s style. There will be war, and we’ll be unimaginably lucky if it doesn’t end in nuclear annihilation.

    • mike k
      July 6, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Yes. The US Oligarchs, drunk with power and hubris, are playing a game they cannot control, and are putting us all at risk of annihilation.

  28. July 4, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    The pivot to the Pacific was a propaganda marketing tool.

    China pivoted to the Atlantic with a rail line that visits European capitals. One train a week reaches London from China.

    Meanwhile, Russia send healthy non gmo food both ways.

  29. HIDE BEHIND
    July 4, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    PIE IN THE SKY AND HOPE WITH ONE HAND ANX POOP IN THE OTHER THEN SEE WHICH ONE FILLS FIRST,COUNTING YOUR EGGS WITH ONLY ROOSTRRS IN THE COOP, BUT ONE CANNOT MAKE AN OMLET WITHOUT BREAKING SOME EGGS FIRST; WISHFULL DREAMERS.
    Breaking the hard shell of the past will only be done from the outside as those who think you can breakout from the inside ( and we damn near all are), have dull peckers and are too comfy to do anymore thsn do cheep cheep talk.
    First and foremost those who are allied with US policy makers which is 130 nations all profit by US actions.
    Europe sells arms and supplies US military with everything from aviation fuel and diesel to vast tonnage of food and comfy items, a d the pipelines throuhh Afghanistan warms Ejro butts in winter, electrical generation and fuels its factorys.
    More nuclear warheads are stored in Netherlands, Israel, British Isles than active US military war machinery carries.
    The natural gas that is scheduled to come from Qatars’and Iranian Caspian basi and Sea is mostly destined to France and German Industrial need that climbs by some 10-15% ler year.
    Not one of those who play the games will ever lose money, and that includes their butt kissing bureaucrats. War making takes flesh and blood and every damn country on earth hasthose who will kill even for the adrenaline high of fake nationalism heros,ad of course the sheckels
    Those who talk nice are themselves almost all beneficiary of their National leaderships behind the scenes supporers of USA Empire.
    Lets just say United Eurocentric Empire.

  30. July 5, 2017 at 1:23 am

    McGovern only speaks of Russia and China but America may be hurting itself even more. The US relationship with Europe ex UK is also damaged and deteriorating. America wants to remove the German $150b imbalance in trade by somehow making Germany buy more American goods, principally fracked LNG.

    Europe gets gas from Russia by pipeline. Its reliable and inexpensive. A new pipeline is under construction. Washington has drafted a Bill to stop that and replace Russian energy with US gas.

    These frackers are financed by clever hedge funds and the drillers have thoughtfully connected with the financiers by their spherical objects. Not only are they on the hook to guarantee existing loans but they have to either write off everything or make further loans as wells dry out and new ones are required. The time for the financial industry to escape has long passed but they have a loud voice and their piteous cries are quickly heard in the corridors of power.

    European reliance on Russian energy is long standing. Europe is not reluctant to do business with Russia. Washington never amended its policy after communism was repudiated – once an enemy always an enemy – but Europe moved with the times. Europe is not after a monopoly on political power – we know that’s the way to oblivion. So USA pushes for more exports to Europe but jeopardises friendliness which transfers from the west to the east.

  31. dan
    July 5, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Thanks for the good overview.

  32. JOHN DURHAM
    July 5, 2017 at 6:15 am

    This joining at the hips between Russia-China was apparent within 3 months after the U.S. sponsored Feb., 2014 coup in Ukraine and a “massive 30-year natural gas contract valued at $400 billion” was signed before June 1st, 2014. Ukraine was the great wake up call for the entire World’s governments which have all secretly signed on to the new Y. Primakov inspired world order of which the BRICS, AIIB, AEC (Brief #1 6/1/17), etc. are most visible. There is no greater hope given the Peoples of the Earth than the effort of these two nations which were predicted in 1944 to become “…the Hope of the Earth…” and “…the Cradle of Christianity…”.

  33. Herman
    July 5, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Mr. McGovern notes:

    “But there is little sign that today’s U.S. policymakers have enough experience and intelligence to recognize this new reality and understand the important implications for U.S. freedom of action. Still less are they likely to appreciate how this new nexus may play out on the ground, on the sea or in the air.”

    Don’t disagree there are intellectual limitations but more significant is the lack of will and the political muscle aligned against such a change, albeit obviously in our nation’s and the world’s interests.

  34. LJ
    July 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Blame Obama for starting a new Cold War against Russia then going all in on Regime Change in Ukraine and sanctions. The backdrop was Russia had to give up Snowden and accept the coup against Assad in Syria and lose their military base on the Mediterranean. If the Soviet Union wouldn’t give up Assad’s daddy why would Putin? And the call for rendition on Snowden was an outrage. By the way, the Supreme Court pre-Gorsuch weighed in that Snowden exposed an illegal intelligence gathering scene in the United States of America waged against the American People by our own intelligence services. . …..,We all know about Napolean and Hilter trying to defeat Russia and how The Bear historically escapes eastward in times of extreme duress . At this time in History with China ascendant and in need of energy and Europe and the USA putting conditions on energy interdependence with Russia this was a COLOSSAL blunder/ Our leaders, who have been bought and paid for and have had their asses tatooed are not very smart. The US cannot compete with the Russia/China/ Iran axis under this arrangement and we have no bargaining chip. Eurasia is where Economic Growth will be focused for the next 50 years. What I just typed is called the “Realist” position. Kissinger, the old man, who is once again a leading figure in US Foreign Policy was a ” Realist” .So sad. Or Trump might say, “So very, very sad”. The Neoconservatives slit our nations wrists and they still have power and the backing of Corporate Media. So very, very sad.

  35. Tom
    July 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    A key point in dealing with China. They continue to be our biggest creditor. That being said, even Trump isn’t stupid enough to do anything to risk having them call in our $20 trillion in debt. Yes, he continue to put out his Il Duce tough talk soundbites and video clips. But that’s all just political posturing to make him look good (or so he thinks).

    Why won’t China call in our debt? Buying more debt means they maintain leverage over us. They also continue to invest globally with their foreign currency to build their economy into being #1. If you really believe in capitalism, criticizing that is just hypocritical.

  36. HIDE BEHIND
    July 5, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    I see mention of education, when the best and brightest minds are set to rask and each has to vie with other brigt minds and politic while doing so, in order to get paychec:ks and stature, we all know of the human torturing fellow humans by those who displayed apparently moral character
    .In the final analasys they are no different than a soldier who “just followd orders”
    About the only real definitive cultural trait in US is that of thode wjo are part pf the militsry/scientific, financial and their federal oldline inbread bureaucrats of the DC Beltway, and that is the true “New England “lords and Ladies of nations founders.
    They exchanged a king for their new brand of Royals true believers that it is their Devine Right and Manifest Destiny to rule world.
    Self made individuals , who love their creator.

    • mike k
      July 6, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Your comment needs some major proof reading!

  37. Tom
    July 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Why are Russia and China working together? Why shouldn’t they? Why would anybody trust anything that Trump says or does?

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