Exclusive: The bigger picture behind Official Washington’s hysteria over Russia, Syria and North Korea is the image of a decaying but dangerous American hegemon resisting the start of a new multipolar order, explains Daniel Lazare.
By Daniel Lazare
The showdown with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a seminal event that can only end in one of two ways: a nuclear exchange or a reconfiguration of the international order.
While complacency is always unwarranted, the first seems increasingly unlikely. As no less a global strategist than Steven Bannon observed about the possibility of a pre-emptive U.S. strike: “There’s no military solution. Forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here. They got us.”
This doesn’t mean that Donald Trump, Bannon’s ex-boss, couldn’t still do something rash. After all, this is a man who prides himself on being unpredictable in business negotiations, as historian William R. Polk, who worked for the Kennedy administration during the Cuban Missile Crisis, points out. So maybe Trump thinks it would be a swell idea to go a bit nuts on the DPRK.
But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi with Russia, it also means that the President is continually surrounded by generals, spooks, and other professionals who know the difference between real estate and nuclear war.
As ideologically fogbound as they may be, they can presumably be counted on to make sure that Trump does not plunge the world into Armageddon (named, by the way, for a Bronze Age city about 20 miles southeast of Haifa, Israel).
That leaves option number two: reconfiguration. The two people who know best about the subject are Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both have been chafing for years under a new world order in which one nation gets to serve as judge, jury, and high executioner. This, of course, is the United States.
If the U.S. says that Moscow’s activities in the eastern Ukraine are illegitimate, then, as the world’s sole remaining “hyperpower,” it will see to it that Russia suffers accordingly. If China demands more of a say in Central Asia or the western Pacific, then right-thinking folks the world over will shake their heads sadly and accuse it of undermining international democracy, which is always synonymous with U.S. foreign policy.
There is no one – no institution – that Russia or China can appeal to in such circumstances because the U.S. is also in charge of the appellate division. It is the “indispensable nation” in the immortal words of Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, because “we stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.” Given such amazing brilliance, how can any other country possibly object?
Challenging the Rule-Maker
But now that a small and beleaguered state on the Korean peninsula is outmaneuvering the United States and forcing it to back off, the U.S. no longer seems so far-sighted. If North Korea really has checkmated the U.S., as Bannon says, then other states will want to do the same. The American hegemon will be revealed as an overweight 71-year-old man naked except for his bouffant hairdo.
Not that the U.S. hasn’t suffered setbacks before. To the contrary, it was forced to accept the Castro regime following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and it suffered a massive defeat in Vietnam in 1975. But this time is different. Where both East and West were expected to parry and thrust during the Cold War, giving as good as they got, the U.S., as the global hegemon, must now do everything in its power to preserve its aura of invincibility.
Since 1989, this has meant knocking over a string of “bad guys” who had the bad luck to get in its way. First to go was Manuel Noriega, toppled six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall in an invasion that cost the lives of as many as 500 Panamanian soldiers and possibly thousands of civilians as well.
Next to go was Mullah Omar of Afghanistan, sent packing in October 2001, followed by Slobodan Milosevic, hauled before an international tribunal in 2002; Saddam Hussein, executed in 2006, and Muammar Gaddafi, killed by a mob in 2011. For a while, the world really did seem like “Gunsmoke,” and the U.S. really did seem like Sheriff Matt Dillon.
But then came a few bumps in the road. The Obama administration cheered on a Nazi-spearheaded coup d’état in Kiev in early 2014 only to watch helplessly as Putin, under intense popular pressure, responded by detaching Crimea, which historically had been part of Russia and was home to the strategic Russian naval base at Sevastopol, and bringing it back into Russia.
The U.S. had done something similar six years earlier when it encouraged Kosovo to break away from Serbia. But, in regards to Ukraine, neocons invoked the 1938 Munich betrayal and compared the Crimea case to Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland.
Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dealt Washington another blow by driving U.S.-backed, pro-Al Qaeda forces out of East Aleppo in December 2016. Predictably, the Huffington Post compared the Syrian offensive to the fascist bombing of Guernica.
Fire and Fury
Finally, beginning in March, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un entered into a game of one-upmanship with Trump, firing ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, test-firing an ICBM that might be capable of hitting California, and then exploding a hydrogen warhead roughly eight times as powerful as the atomic bomb that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. When Trump vowed to respond “with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Kim upped the ante by firing a missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.
As bizarre as Kim’s behavior can be at times, there is method to his madness. As Putin explained during the BRICS summit with Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, the DPRK’s “supreme leader” has seen how America destroyed Libya and Iraq and has therefore concluded that a nuclear delivery system is the only surefire guarantee against U.S. invasion.
“We all remember what happened with Iraq and Saddam Hussein,” he said. “His children were killed, I think his grandson was shot, the whole country was destroyed and Saddam Hussein was hanged…. We all know how this happened and people in North Korea remember well what happened in Iraq…. They will eat grass but will not stop their nuclear program as long as they do not feel safe.”
Since Kim’s actions are ultimately defensive in nature, the logical solution would be for the U.S. to pull back and enter into negotiations. But Trump, desperate to save face, quickly ruled it out. “Talking is not the answer!” he tweeted. Yet the result of such bluster is only to make America seem more helpless than ever.
Although The New York Times wrote that U.S. pressure to cut off North Korean oil supplies has put China “in a tight spot,” this was nothing more than whistling past the graveyard. There is no reason to think that Xi is the least bit uncomfortable. To the contrary, he is no doubt enjoying himself immensely as he watches America paint itself into yet another corner.
The U.S. Corner
If Trump backs down at this point, the U.S. standing in the region will suffer while China’s will be correspondingly enhanced. On the other hand, if Trump does something rash, it will be a golden opportunity for Beijing, Moscow, or both to step in as peacemakers. Japan and South Korea will have no choice but to recognize that there are now three arbiters in the region instead of just one while other countries – the Philippines, Indonesia, and maybe even Australia and New Zealand – will have to follow suit.
Unipolarity will slink off to the sidelines while multilateralism takes center stage. Given that U.S. share of global GDP has fallen by better than 20 percent since 1989, a retreat is inevitable. America has tried to compensate by making maximum use of its military and political advantages. That would be a losing proposition even if it had the most brilliant leadership in the world. Yet it doesn’t. Instead, it has a President who is an international laughingstock, a dysfunctional Congress, and a foreign-policy establishment lost in a neocon dream world. As a consequence, retreat is turning into a disorderly rout.
Assuming a mushroom cloud doesn’t go up over Los Angeles, the world is going to be a very different place coming out of the Korean crisis than when it went in. Of course, if a mushroom cloud does go up, it will be even more so.
Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).
Who is supplying the components for Rocket Man’s rockets? I hear rogue industries in SW China.
George Meredith MD
Exelent article, but, “This, of course, is the United States?” to serve as judge, jury, and high executioner, where does that come from. What happens to The International Court of Justice the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, which settles legal political disputes.
Matthew 24:6 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
Good points in an excellent article. One must remember that very few Empires give up without a last big fight; then they fad away quickly. One must remember the USSR peacefully gave up empire in 1990 after promises that NATO would not expand one inch eastward. (recall the Indian treaties in what is now the USA). Any country whose currency serves as the global currency gets some benefits but ultimately demand for its currency causes major inflationary trends. The US has had both since 1944. A system built on continuous Debt Expansion and in turn Continuous Consumption in a Finite world is illogical at best and insane at worst. Now add over population to the mix, climate change, a polluted environment, weakened Ozone layer and an elite desperate to maintain control and anything can happen. One example would be awakening to the news: The US just nuked North Korea in a pre-emptive strike as our intelligence sources said an attack on South Korea was imminent…now we do not know what intelligence source and therefore the masses believe it to be justified. China and Russia jump into the fray and we have WW3 , the war to end all life in the Northen hemisphere.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russo-Georgian_War Dont forget the 2008 Georgia conflict. The second time Russia told the US no after the fall of tbe USSR. The first being Chechnya
I don’t understand what these “experts” think they’re doing. It seems to me that forcing China and Russia to set up independent financial systems is about the most stupid thing “we” can do.
A first nuclear attack on North Korea is a perfectly feasable and workable millitary plan, but it will not be instigated by the Americans but the South KoreansTalks are umderway between the U.S. about placing tactical uclear weapons in South Korea. Once those weapons are in place, you can count on Kim Jong Un’s paranoia quotient going sky high. But he will know that any agreessive action on his part will mean that the South Koreans will blow his artillery placings threatening Seoul to smithereens before he can attack. other tactical nukes will destroy his nuclear facilities. Other tactical nukes will destroy his nuclear facilities The U.S, will use its Air Force to completely destroy all of the Korean Air Force’s air bases and facilities, the North Korean rail net work, and petroleum pipelines and refineries. Meantime, the South Koreans will send in a vast team of highly trained commandos into Pyong Yang to take out or capture Kim Jung Un and the leaders of the government. Air supremacy will be handed over from the U.S. Air Force to the South Korean Air Force, The South Korean is vastly better equiped and trained than the North Korean Army and the North is no match. for them. The North Korean Army is so badly equiped that they cannot feed their army and the officers encourage the soldiers to steal from the peasants. Although the North Korean Army is large they are horribly weak and they canot stand up to the South Korean Army, South Korean soldiers are even a head taller than the malnourished ill fed North Koreans. Is a new Korean War inwvitable? Not necesarily. Kim Jung UIn’s advisors and the leaders may finally convince him yo give up his nuclear program or face vcertain doom. The North Korean Army may kill him in a successful coup, possibly with CHINESE help. But once those tactical nukes are in place, war becomes all but inevitable unless something else changes. Such a war will not mean the destruction of South Korea but the destruction of North Korea.
Another “cakewalk” eh?
I love this “dangerous decline”. It can’t come fast enough. Then maybe we can get back to what the people want–peace, work, sharing and happiness. We’ve bullied the rest of the world for too long, most bloodily since Teddy the progressive Roosevelt. We need to get home. Close all the bases overseas, regulate the corporations here and drown our missles in their silos. War is not an answer and corporations are not our government (even tho they own the reps in our government). So let’s try this again and see if we can live up to our ideals this time.
Independently of how we come out of the political USA/NK impasse, I think the time has come for us to start thinking about changing the very structure of our Government into one that will reflect the historical changes of the past 250 years. Here is a proposal:
WE HAVE THE RIGHT: LET US INSTITUTE A NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” (From the Declaration of Independence)
Because circumstances and modalities have arisen in our Society which closely emulate the conditions that gave rise to the original Declaration of Independence, using the original reasoning that gave rise to our struggle for Independence and a New Government for the Colonies, we must now stand and declare that, of right, the time has come to Institute a New Government for these United States of America.
We need not enumerate the multitude of reasons that lead us to engage in the Deliberation and Exercise of this, the Most Fundamental Right of the People; instead we need to come together as One, and by unanimous consent we must formulate a new Government Institution to Administer the Public Affairs of the People and to fulfill the Promises and the Needs of This and Future Generations.
So that we can achieve such Consecrated Principles, we must organize and cause the Assembly of ONE THOUSAND of the highest recognized INTELLECTS from our several communities, who, in practice and by all evidence, have displayed a high Ethics Quotient (EQ). These “Organic Representatives” will be charged to carry on sufficient and necessary Deliberations to develop a New Blueprint for a more just and equanimous Form of Government that can better reflect and respond to the Social, Political, and Economic dreams and aspirations of our people, and the people of the world.
A new Government will be based upon and reflect the Structural Economic Models on which freedom, equality and opportunity for all can be fulfilled. Therefore, it is imperative that we also institute the framework of a new Economic Model on which our Physical Economy can flourish. At the same time that Model must drastically curtail any form of Fictitious and Superfluous Financial Activity that over time usurps the natural fruits of human physical efforts, intellectual output and creative endeavors.
A new Economic Model must also respond without equivocation to the fulfillment of all the Needs of the People. It must disregard and repudiate any and all Fictitious Entities whose existence is a subversion of the Humanistic and Ethical Principles on which our Society is and must be organized for the further ennoblement of the Human Species and its complete Emancipation from physical needs or constrains.
It is left to the discretion of these One Thousand Organic Representatives to develop the Practical Political Vehicle through which the New Institutions can be brought to fruition.
Those entrenched in the present power structure will not smile upon your idealistic endeavor. You will need to outgun them to gain their compliance. Reminds me of the question posed to a Pope of old, “How many (armed) divisions do you command?”
Or Mao, “All (political) power comes from the mouth of a gun.”
If only sweet reason had more impact on the decisions of the powerful……
Not so Mike. I agree that the power structure will not easily let such an event take place. But at first such a Plebiscite starts with the will of TWO intellects who chose to act rather than just complain. They can grow in geometric progression and it is a quick jump to the “Thousand”. Similarly these can replicate to create an avalanche amongst those who yearn deep change in our society.
Therefore, no guns will be needed (since guns WOULD be a losing proposition anyway).
If “We, the People” cannot have the freedom to “talk” about change, then, in all evidence, we have NO freedom in the USA, which is a more profound reason to make the Plebiscite a must.
I wish I knew enough about this situation to make an intelligent comment. Your first prescription looks, at first glance, to be a good one. But in situations where Inflation dominates, being in debt has been a very good thing. As for the third one, not too many people can afford to stockpile food. Humans are large animals and eat a lot, and storage of “long term” food supplies in modern small dwellings would be a serious problem. In the case of water, learning how to find and purify it would be the best most of us could manage. I sure don’t have a pond in my back yard! Medicines are so strictly regulated these days that getting “long term” stocks would approach impossible. Barter? We live in a heavily armed society. If and when systems break down you’d better belong to a large group, for other large groups you’ll call “gangs” will be after anything you own, including possibly your life.
On another thread is an essay about global warming and the resulting climate changes which are resulting. That’s intertwined with the social chaos you’re writing about, only the “US debt” bubble is probably going to bust quite a bit earlier.
I was mightily influenced years ago when I read Garrett Hardin’s Living Within Limits, and especially Chapter 8. He described a situation eerily like today in the US when Debt has been allowed to explode into a range which cannot continue. The bad things which will pop that bubble are described in the section titled The Necessity of Failure.
Inflation has been the most common way for the Rich Bastards to dump their own debts and to also seize such assets remaining to those who still have a few. These days they might be so brazen as to simply transfer your bank account to their own. Legally, of course. This is a scary read, especially in light of the present situation in the US of A. The link is extremely long, so I’m cut/pasting the title to use in a google search.
“Chapter 8 from Living Within Limits”
American economic primacy is predicated on being the sole reserve currency. Take away that ability and the American economy will suffer catastrophic losses. Dollar-based trade will shift to Yuan/Gold or other channels, not immediately, but the signs are there, and smart people plan ahead. The rest of the world has been financing America’s MMT cost of living binge and many countries have only dead bodies and ruined cities in return.
Is 20 Trillion in debt the magic number? There isn’t a magic number, just a magic trigger. Once a BRICS subset consortium puts in place its competitor currency, that is the trigger. The only outcome that will preserve American economic primacy is war. North Korea could be a proximate cause, but the real cause lurks over the border in China. Yes, they risk some financial writedowns of dollar-demoninated assets and some fall-off in trade, but will gain through control of the world currency.
What can the average American do? First, shed debt as you will not want to be a debt slave once interest rates jump from the artificially low American levels to rest of world levels. Second, shed financial assets as those are the most vulnerable in system resets where all risks become correlated in collapse. Even shorts or inverse instruments will suffer due to counterparty failure that eliminates settlement of whatever you may have left to try to sell. Third, prepare your household by long-term supplies of food, water, medications and items to barter.
Terrible reasoning. The Deep State is the whole problem here. Trump has no authority to negotiate with the DPRK. Congress violated the Constitution to deprive him of it.
This is equivalent to saying fascism is the answer.
Having lived in the US for a couple years in my distant youth, I have reason to be fond of the American nation and fearful of the American state. As a Canadian, I can’t remember where I was when JFK was shot, but I definitely can remember when Reagan was elected in a landslide: I thought Americans had lost their collective mind. I suppose if it weren’t for Gorbachev, who wisely made his move in the moment when Reagan’s numbers were at their lowest, thanks to the Iran-Contra scandal, Reagan would not have had the opportunity to redeem himself before the end of his second term — which apparently put him on the road to sainthood(!). For such a dangerous and ignorant man, Reagan was certainly good at pulling the wool over the eyes of the electorate.
For me, Ronald and Donald are the bookends of the decline of American hegemony. The super-expensive Cold War deprived the American nation of some of the social and public programs necessary for advancement, e.g., heathcare fell far behind the more progressive Europe and the Commonwealth countries; and US infrastructure was starting to get noticeably shabby in those years when Reagan was on a military spending spree. The Ronald-to-Donald period was also the era of neoliberal globalism, when wages flatlined, the number of billionaires burgeoned, and the Democrat party abandoned its role as the party of the working and middle classes and embraced the causes of Silicon Valley and Wall Street.
But most of all, the Ronald-to-Donald period was characterized by leadership of ever decreasing competence – something that wasn’t exactly glaringly obvious until the appointment of George W. Bush by the Supreme Court at the start of the new millennium. If anyone still doubted that America was in serious decline, using 9/11 as an excuse to start wars for the purpose of achieving the neoconservative goal of “full-spectrum dominance” should have convinced even the most sceptical – especially now that none of those wars or regime changes produced anything that could be called a successful outcome.
I wish I shared Daniel Lazare’s optimism that Washington isn’t likely to put a definite end to this process of decline by waging (nuclear) war. Maybe war won’t be nuclear, but given (1) that the US habitually puts “everything on the table” when practicing its foreign policy, (2) that today “everything” includes only sanctions and the military, and (3) that sanctions are now obviously useless because Asians are now establishing the financial institutions and policies that will allow them to avoid the dollar, its institutions, and thus the impact of sanctions, I can’t see the US going down without doing a lot of physical damage to various parts of the planet.
God help Americans.
Thanks for your intelligent comment.
Bra-effing-vo! So very well said.
The corruption of the Intercept: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/09/how-the-intercept-smears-syria-by-mistranslating-an-assad-speech.html
Thanks. It is very sad.
Ukraine! Nobody can get away from it! The “reasonable modus vivendi” that Trump supposedly yearns for if only those nasty “deep state” people would stop blocking him and the “reconfiguration” Mr Lazare refers to both seem to imply capitulation to Putin in Ukraine. No matter how hard they try, Putin’s American supporters can’t get away from Ukraine. Syria doesn’t matter, North Korea doesn’t matter, Afghanistan doesn’t matter, Iran doesn’t matter. Everybody, both pro- and anti-Putin, sees Ukraine as the “main event”. However, implicit in Mr Lazare’s reconfiguring “reasonable modus vivendi” is that Ukrainians have no rights. They have no right to independence, no right to national sovereignty, no right to defend their country. Their future, who their country “belongs to”, is to be decided by the US and Russia, without any reference to them. (How many other countries fall into the same category?) Thus, disguised as “reconfiguration”, Mr Lazare is preaching the very US hegemonist ideology he claims to be criticising! He isn’t challenging the idea that the US shouldn’t be the global hegemon, he is merely criticising the way that US hegemony is currently being exercised, which he sees as leading to a “dangerous decline” in that hegemony. His solution for restoring US global hegemony: the US should exercise its hegemony so as to appoint “co-hegemons”, in this case Russia and China (but definitely not the EU!) to exercise such part of US hegemony as the US cares to delegate to them in accordance with US wishes and for such length of time as the US shall ordain.
Whose Bread I Eat His Song I Sing
My guess would be the neocons, Ukraine, or both.
Why are you so obsessed with the Ukraine? I for one could not care a toss.
Because he needs some way to get to what it is he is paid to do: promote the EU. It takes a while to get through the unsupported “no other countries matter/Ukraine is the main event” claims, and the convoluted reasoning, which I assume is based on a belief that Russia invaded Ukraine. But he does get to the paymasters keyword towards the end. Does he indicate by his parenthetical inclusion that if the EU were one of the hegemonic partners, that would be more acceptable, or less unacceptable? I can’t tell. We’ll probably never know as Mr. Kenny has a history of not responding.
Wrong in many ways. Relationships between states usually involve a large degree of “comparmentalization”, conflicts in some areas, cooperation in other areas. But the prevailing doctrine in USA seems to be to demand “everything” for a vague benefit of “good relationships with USA”. So Russian Federation killed Magnitsky and violated sacred territorial integrity of Ukraine, so it should be sent to a doghouse, while it is also expected that it will cooperate in “mutual interest”, e.g. on North Korea.
In the same time, the principle of territorial integrity has a less sacred cases, like Serbia/Kosovo, Syria/Golan, Cyprus (USA does not support occupation of northern Cyprus supporting a puppet state, but not a pip on sanctions), Western Sahara, East Timor etc. etc. Folks close to establishment publish fantastic maps for “rational reorganization of the Middle East”, apparently, nothing sacred there. But in the case of Ukraine, we have to demand liberation of Crimea, apparently from its own inhabitants who prefer Russia with a very lopsided majority.
But then look at plucky freedom loving Ukrainians, united behind the government with single digit popular support and somewhat sketchy control over events in territories it oversees (and, on a good day, governs). Roving bands blow up power lines, stop road and train traffic and after much hesitation, the government approves. The latest funny events centered on Sakaashvili, an exiled president of Georgia welcomed in Ukraine as anti-corruption expert (at least Georgians know what corruption is, so he is somewhat of an expert), awarded governorship, then stripped of citizenship, and now, crossing the border into Ukraine as his political allies took control of a road crossing from Poland for the occasion. I guess he is in the capital by now, very much at large.
EU is no longer enthusiastic in lavishing money for more countries to integrate, in fact the feeling grows in the richer countries that the new, relatively poor members are a bunch of ingrates. And Ukraine is sufficiently disorganized and has sufficiently many citizens who feel closer to Russia than EU and NATO that the idea of supporting them with weapons gives many experts a deep pause. The worst case scenario is that Russia will get specimens and full instruction sets for every type of weapon furnished as the aid, then the government will make a bold offensive to liberate Donbass and the resulting shooting practice will end in misery for the Ukrainian side.
There is already a shift going on in the country with emphasis moving toward infrastructure development. This bodes well for President Trump to move into cooperation with China’s Belt and Road Intitiative. megadevelopmen plan. If we can put the kabosh on the Russia hacking hoax,,using the July 24 V.I.P.S. memo published on this website, we may see increased collaboration with President Putin to deal with these hotspots.
However, the MIC will refuse to be replaced by infrastructure expenditures. The militarist momentum of the American Empire dominates all aspects of our lives. Try getting a bill through congress. to cut military spending. No way. A large scale movement by the public is the only way the military will be cut back, but the public is deluded by propaganda, ignorant of political and economic realities, and addicted to it’s dreams of business as usual. They can’t even see global heating when it hits them in the face, like Harvey and Irma are doing. They think that Russia is the Evil Empire, when in fact they are residing in it themselves.
I agree that cutting the military will not pass at this time.However, infrastructure need not and should not be funded from the operating budget, but rather through the extension of public credit through an institution modeled on FDR’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation and Hamilton’s National Banks. We need $1-3 trillon immediately and more in the the next decade into frontier technologies, such as maglev trains, a crash fusin program and expansion of NASA space exploration. The nation will be paid back moany times over in increased employment and productivity. This needs to be done in conjunction with restoring Glass-Steagall to shut down the Wall Street gambling casino, a measure advocated by both 2016 party platforms.
You would have to rise late at night to go to the graveyard where Glass-Steagall has been mouldering away all these years. Upon exhuming it you would discover it is too far gone to reanimate into a useful Frankenstein monster for today’s problems…………
All the threats of the US to China seem to me to be a shame. Doesn’t China own and buy a large part of it’s debt?? No one mentions this at all. Why would the NY times and all assume that the US can order China around? I don’t get it!!
I meant a sham not a shame!!
When Germany challenged Great Britain, when Japan tried to grab the western Pacific and northwest Asia, great vistas of capitalist industrial growth beckoned. The U.S. zoomed in and grasped the prize after WW I and clenched it firmly after WW II. It has become clear, though, that no vast growth is possible under capitalism after a society industrializes. The U.S. overtook Britain economically during the latter half of the nineteenth century. As Veblen noted, Germany and Japan raced through initial industrialization faster than that. China did it even more rapidly, from the mid-1980s to today — and heads into the same economic impasse as the U.S.
Yep, sounds about right. Good riddance, too. I’m tired of my country’s government launching a new murder campaign every year or two.
URGENT: SouthFront’s Youtube channel needs your support!
SouthFront has been facing false claims that content violated “YouTube Community Guidelines”
These systematic ‘false flagging’ efforts on YouTube represent a clear violation of the freedom of speech and an attempt to eliminate an independent media.
Mr Lazarre great analysis but don’t under estimate the cabal behind the hydra pax-americana. Follow the money dwell into the rabbit hole and viola historical facts gives us more than enough evidence on how these vile entities work. Do you recall the sinking of the Maine, or the Lousitainia , or the well established facts of how the Rosevelt regime cornered the Japanese to retaliate to guarantee US entry in the second world war. Gulf of Tonkin, USS liberty and the grand daddy of them all 9/11. lets look how the masters of the universe have played the latest Psy-op. If u were to go around the US and ask anybody about Russia they would emphatically state that they had hacked the last election. If you were to go and ask most people in the USA about North Korea they would emphatically state that they have threatened to bomb the US. See it’s all how they frame events and pre ceed their next event. Their Ponzi- scheme the Petro -dollar is coming to an end. The ME fiasco has hit a snag. OBOR one bridge one road Sino initiated economic project is gaining steam. Russian sanctions have failed . Israel out of desperation timely bombs Syria just as the UN puts out a fraudulent statement that ASSAD has gassed his people. Read between the lines. Myanmar and the Phillipines are being infested with CIA /MossaD and MI6 deadly deeds in order to put a spanner in the spokes of the Eurasian Russian and Chinese initiatives. The Chinese and the Russians have basically stated without saying it that they will have the North Koreans back. Hence I conclude that these next coming months will see the next false flag cause the can they r kicking down the road has almost been kicked to the point of none existence.
Good time to buy 1oz gold plated bars from alibaba then. Tungsten filled of course, like the Federal buys on the sly:)
reply to Mr. Bob Beal
American Resources ==> USA extraction machine==private capital conversion to economic vitality machine=> global markets
<return of capital to vitality machine investors
Americans are being ripped off, the USA is making American resources available to private industry, who adds value and sells the resources overseas. All sounds ok, until you trace the dollars returned from those foreign sales; not one red cent ends up in the hands of the people that were scalped of their resources. There is no export tax on most items.
I recall a game we played as kids.. make hot pads and sell them door to door. Parents would foot the bill and supply the raw materials and equipment to make the hot pads, but any proceeds from the sales were the exclusive property of the kid that sold the parent financed goods. Successful hot pad sellers could make a hugh profit from no cost goods, but such success threatened to bankrupt parents.
This is similar to the USA extraction machinery. The UsA extracts resources from America and transfers the extracted resources to industry, who processes the resources into finished goods and sells the product produced abroad. [without any net benefit being returned to extracted Americans] such deals make global industries massive profits, but the profits and sales proceeds rarely return a net benefit to UsA extracted Americans.
Stephen J. most Americans could not point Yemen out on a map..
Are the U.S and its “allies” trying to impose their “hegemony” on Yemen?
September 9, 2017
“The Genocide in Yemen by a Coalition of War Criminals”
[more info at link below]
Recent anti-dollar developments:
1. Gold Trade Between Russia and China – A Step Closer Towards De-Dollarization?
Transcript of Sputnik – SKYPE Interview
By Peter Koenig
September 08, 2017
is largely based on:
Oops I only got to the end of para 5….
Welcome To The City of Haifa
District of Haifa
???? – ?????? Palestine
Ethnically cleansed 25,334 days ago
In their desperation, would the D[e]C[eit] Cesspool bottom-dwellers/feeders resort to the nuclear option AGAIN? DUH!
The Multipolar Alliance is winning the Hybrid Third World War, but the end is still beyond the horizon. The reigning political-economic paradigm must evolve into some form of sustainable/resilient communalism globally for humanity to survive the onslaught capitalism has wrought on the planet–Ecological Overshoot.
A good piece that nicely encapsulates the current state of the world, especially America’s scatter-brained attempts to control it.
When you stop to count the many recent own-goals and self-inflicted wounds of US foreign policy, it really staggers the mind. And these blunders have come along, one on the heels of the other, in such a rapid pace that it begins to feel like a bloody route. Take this one additional example. There is no military solution to the NK crisis — none whatsoever. Only a long-term diplomatic solution is viable. Yet, President Trump has recently been pushing his national security services to do anything, anything at all, to allow him to declare that Iran is in violation of the JCPOA — the Iran nuclear deal — so that he can tear it up. (What exactly he plans to do after painting himself into that nasty corner is anyone’s guess, although the musical refrain, “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!” is always a popular tune in DC.) In other words, the President intends to render the word of the US itself once again completely worthless, not even worth the paper it is written on. And this occurs at precisely the moment when the US will have to try to convince North Korea that the US can be trusted to make some kind of agreement with them and will stick with it.
And President Trump is not alone in this kind of self-sabotage; the Republican Congress infamously interfered in nearly every conceivable way with former President Obama’s foreign policy, often at the behest of a certain Middle East head of state who has so much pull with Congressional members that they often appear to be little more than marionettes dancing to whatever tune he chooses to sing. Even the Pentagon itself has no compunction about injecting itself into foreign affairs as a rogue element. It was not that long ago that they scuttled an agreement between the US and Russia to work together in Syria. They did this by opportunely bombing and killing a good many Syrian soldiers merely a day or two after the agreement had been reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. It was so blatant an act of sabotage, that Lavrov demanded to know who was actually in charge in Washington?
American foreign policy is a runaway crazy-train with no conductor on board.
US power figures are crazy with delusions of invincibility and righteousness. Failures cannot be acknowledged in their delusional state. They MUST WIN! Anything but victory is incomprehensible to them. Those who the Gods would destroy, they first render insane. Hubris is the ultimate intoxicant, clouding the minds of those under it’s spell, rendering them incapable of admitting mistakes or making course corrections. Full speed ahead and damn the consequences!
Like Germany in 1941. They were going to be in Moscow in 6 weeks.
I don’t believe this is a safe way to describe China’s attitude. That nation is in a tough spot. Probably it wants to singe North Korea’s feathers at least as much as the Trumpies do, but cannot possibly be seen as “knuckling under” to the neocons. So it appears to be getting prepared to do whatever is necessary.
“‘Lips and teeth’ no more as China’s ties with North Korea deteriorate”
Possible bias – it’s an Indian site, and maybe with an ax to grind.
“China Just Sent a Big Military Warning to North Korea”
“China Prepares for a Crisis Along North Korea Border”
Returning to the essay:
All that is correct. And the situation could well get worse, especially if “dollar” hegemony continues to falter.
The worse it’s situation gets, the worse it’s military aggression is likely to be. The people really in charge are not going to accept second place without a fight – even a nuclear fight. Putin is exquisitely aware of this ultra dangerous dimension, and so far is playing a masterful defense and waiting game. Like a chess master, he is letting the over aggressive US hang itself over time, while being careful not to risk directly challenging it and creating a chaotic disaster.
Those addicted to power are like drug addicts. It is just not in their thinking to every quit or cut back; and anything it takes to keep their habit going, however crazy or dangerous, they will do it automatically without a thought of consequences. For this reason it is important to deal with these crazy power addicts very carefully – they are truly not in their right minds.
But mike–like all drug addicts, they eventually die of their “high” if left untreated. And, as they are dying, their drug of choice renders their brain is ever more hapless, helpless and benighted. You can see it in T-rump already. It was there in Ronnie. What we really need is a 12step program for power freaks that begins with, you guessed it, the 1st step: I’m powerless over power.
Losing the Empire is a fate worse than death so don’t expect the U.S. to go quietly in the end. The Imperial Project is 70 years in the making and has required the ultimate sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Americans and came at the expense of our social and economic fabric, such as it is. We are no longer a society or even culture because our identify rests solely on being an Empire. If we walk away without a fight, it will open the door to civil unrest, our currency will lose its reserve status and our old allies will turn us in reprisal for years of subjugation. To maintain the Empire, and thus avoid losing everything we’ve sacrificed for the cause, we must be willing to inflict more pain and suffering on ourselves and rest of the world. We are now more dangerous than ever because we are cornered and only through ruthless acts of destruction can we remain the world’s hegemon. Time to put on the Empire’s Big Boy Pants.
“China Prepares for a Crisis Along North Korea Border”
They are preparing for a US invasion of North Korea and just as Xi has said they will fight along side the North Koreans and push the Americans out just like the first Korean War.The Chinese know what the North Korean missiles are aimed at and it ain´t Bejing. But obviously you have not been listening to Xi who has said that they will not allow war on the Korean Peninsula. that means any war, US , NATO or UN Led, no matter the invading force will have to fight the Chinese Military and most likely the Russian Armed Forces and we do know how that will turn out. hint, look for a coupele of US Aircraft carriers at the bottom of the sea.plus their support ships.And if the US should decided to go nuclear look for every major city and town on the US mainland being wiped off the map.
They beat the snot out of the UN and US forces in the first Korean War and more than half the Chinese and North Korean soldiers did not even have rifles. Now they are a modern well equipped military, So do you think the US wants to take them on again for the best two out of three? Not very likely.
Well stated. Despite the U.S.’s bluster and “hegemony,” and the brainwashing of its citizens to believe the fairytale about it being the “exceptional nation” and having the “biggest military in the world,” the fact of the matter is that the U.S. has not won a war in over 70 years – and it only won that one with a ton of help from several other nations, and the assistance of committing massive war crimes in the form of 2 atomic bombs.
The U.S. cannot even win a war in an impoverished nation against a relatively small loosely-knit “army” of insurgents and guerilla fighters using improvised weapons, with no air force and no navy, and despite throwing trillions of dollars at them – what makes anyone think the U.S. could win against two massive militaries like China and Russia, especially combined? The fact of the matter is that the U.S. would get its collective ass kicked in such a war – and rightly so. The Only way, as you state, that the U.S. would have a ghost of a chance would be by turning to nukes – which would automatically mean the end of the U.S. in the process, as well. So either way – the U.S. loses. As it has been doing now for over 70 years, in every military endeavor it has attempted.
Vladimir Putin’s article BRICS: Towards New Horizons of Strategic Partnership was published ahead of the BRICS Summit, which will be held in Xiamen, China, on September 4 and 5.
I thought it may help to understand the BRICS determination to create a multilateral world, which also seeks to unite together with liked minded nations getting behind worthwhile projects. While Russia helped to beat ISIS in Syria, Putin’s tone regarding other world matters, is a tone of leadership being above the usual saber rattling we hear on a regular basis. Call me a Putin apologist, but his words should speak for themselves.
Salvatore Babones is an associate professor of sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. Professor Babones writes about how America hegemony is here to stay.
I will encourage to read Professor Babones essay all the way to the end, where he references what America must do to stay the world’s leader.
I’m not posting any of the linked articles as an endorsement, but rather as references to what other nations are doing, and to what certain scholars believe is America’s claim to fame.
I myself only wish the U.S. were to quit fighting all these wars.
The cited hegemony article was written in 2015 and much has changed. In contrast to the article,
Russia and China are now overt allies and their cooperation has been cemented through BRICS and OBOR,
China is acknowledged to have a larger economy than the US and the offshoring of jobs and capabilities means less resilience and less income in US (leading to anti-immigrant sentiment and other social divisions),
Trump is now POTUS,
the GCC is fractured and Turkey seems to be turning from NATO,
and it was written before the US’ plans for the Balkanisation of ME were upset by Russia’s intervention in Syria and Syria’s ascendancy and strengthened alliances.
“The American presence in Africa is in large part the legacy of centuries of European colonialism. China has no such legacy to build on.” Djibouti has a Chinese military base, perhaps precisely for this reason.
Australia has a neo-liberal government that was elected on a slim margin with many (but less extreme) of the social factors present in US. There is little space between the two major parties and apparently unqualified support for the Trumpian chest thumping over NK and China. The majority of Australians are more equivocal; trade with China is important, and even if NK is a threat it is regional and Trump is seen as an idiot.
Despite being Australian with an academic past I had never heard of Babones until today. It is interesting that an unknown US scholar based in Australia can be published in NI yet be unheard of locally. Is this the way policy is manipulated by the hegemon?
Just think, as you point our, how much has happened in the last two years. I thought about the 2015, but I also thought of how this article may reflect what some would still think. I also thought the author of who I didn’t necessarily agree with, was right with his history, and I liked what he said within the last four paragraphs. I apologize I was attempting to present some diverse opinion.
Joe,…i believe Putin doesn’t seriously want a confrontation with the U.S., but with oil being tied to the petro-dollar the Brics countries need an alternative for converting revenues, The logical answer is gold. China has already made a move in that direction and several notable economists as diverse as Jim Rickards, Peter Schiff and Richard Wolffe agree. i believe this prospect is scaring American corporate interests shitless!
I have read that about the gold, and I think you are right.
Thanks for the link…Russia and China are taking a more sensible and active role in international leadership. At the same time, we’ve been floundering. We can’t move forward because the Oligarchs have become oppressive forces against progress.
It’s what happens when you place profits before people. We need to stop looking at GDP, NYSE, and military exercises. These are unsustainable and no longer effective investments. Instead of ruling over the people, our leaders need to serve the public.
The hegemon has invoked a corporate hierarchy over our country with an off-balance apparatus called the Deep State. Time to reign in the beast and invert the hierarchy so the public is at the top and those who serve, fall below.
“But this is one of the good things about having a Deep State, the existence of which has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt since the intelligence community declared war on Trump last November. While it prevents Trump from reaching a reasonable modus vivendi with Russia, it also means that the President is continually surrounded by generals, spooks, and other professionals who know the difference between real estate and nuclear war.”
…I’m not so sure that those shadowy figures in the intelligence community are any less crazy than Trump. The bluster doesn’t help but there are many passive /aggressive figures in the Deep State and congress that would be just as inclined to start a war(as proven in the past). The victims don’t know the difference between a nuclear weapon and a cluster bomb.
Good point. “Trust the Generals to do the right thing” does not inspire a lot of confidence. Whether there is a written mutual defense pact or not, China and Russia understand that an attack on one of them is an attack on the other as well. The neocons are essentially bullies; they only want to beat up on nations that are much weaker. Taking on Russia and China together is not something they want to do. The RC portion of the BRIC’s is what gives it real power. These two super powers are moving through the silk road and pipeline projects to take charge of the huge Eurasian Continent. When they can manage to get Germany on board, that project will be unstoppable.
World leaders are getting tired of being dictated to and robbed by he US Empire. They are aware that the way ahead for them is dependent on their unseating the US from it’s position of dominance, and false assumption that it is the sole super power.
That might not be true. Think of WWII. The Japanese generals were quite comfortable with the project that their nation, comprised of 5 islands off the coast of Asia, could conquer Korea, China, Indochina, Indonesia, Burma, and India. By landmass and population, it should have been obvious that they cannot control that even should they win every battle. The German generals were quite comfortable with the project that their nation, which on a map of Eurasia can be covered with thumb, could conquer Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Soviet Union. By landmass and population, it should have been obvious that they cannot control that even should they win every battle.These generals must spend a lot of their time looking at maps, and they still seem not to have noticed the stupidity of their military goals. In both cases, some early successes made the generals confident that the whole project was sensible. I think generals, regardless of nationality, are like that. US generals, too.
Except this time, the victims will be us.
The “dangerous decline” part was correct. Beware the wounded dinosaur!
I was wondering myself about the title, thinking, “Why is it so dangerous that the world’s greatest rogue nation, that routinely violates rule of law while invoking rule of law, that routinely violates human rights while invoking human rights, why is it so dangerous that such a nation becomes dysfunctional? The wounded dinosaur metaphor is a good one. I wonder how many millions of people in the world, including millions in the USA, had been hoping and praying that Irma would hit Chesapeake Bay and fill “the swamp” with seawater before draining it.
I was hoping that Hurricane Jose would’ve done it; wouldn’t that have been a full plate of schadenfreude…
There will be no mushroom cloud over LA. And the Deep State is not about to go quietly into that goodnight. Lazare is making too much of the NK impasse. The schemes of the neocons and oligarchs are not going away soon – they might even go into overdrive. This cannot be accurately predicted at this point. A lot of wishful fantasizing in this article.
You need to keep in mind that the US is governed by “a dysfunctional Congress [29 ovations to Bibi from the bribed idiots]” and that “a foreign-policy establishment is lost in a neocon dream world.” The unnatural selection on the top of the US governance and among the deciders has produced the most horrifying arrangement – the rule of the incompetent and opportunistic mythologists.
The rule of the arrogant, the venal, the corrupt, the deluded and the irredeemably ignorant.
The neocons and oligarchs won’t go away, but they will increasing fail to get their way. It is the beginning of the end.
Who wore it better? DJT or HRC? Us fashionistas want to know.
As far as the neocons/neoliberals and grossly overwealthy and greedy oligarchs are concerned, I hope they find their end just so happens to be at the end of a rope for all the death, illness, starvation, homelessness, etc. they are responsible for because of their greed and selfishness.
If there was such a mushroom cloud, it might finally cure our US friends of their love affair with war, like the Germans were cured in 1945. At least when only people in weak and defenceless countries far away are dying.
You are right, Mike. Whilst I hold no brief for biblical history or the bible in general, its worth noting a passage from somewhere in the scriptures where there’s saying, and I quote: “there will be wars and wars and rumours of wars until the end of the world” . I also seem to remember another saying which goes: “man will surely destroy himself and the meek shall inherit the earth” also coming from the bible. The truth is, ‘man’ is a wild beast who has unfortunately acquired a high degree of brain power but no intellience and he’s running amok over this once beautiful planet.
You miss his point. His point is that other world leaders see how the US is a paper tiger and their power can be challenged. It doesn’t matter what the US leaders think or what makes neocons mad when the rest of the world learns this lesson.