Why the U.S. Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran

America’s three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence.

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News

The Trump administration has brought U.S. foreign policy to the brink of crisis, if it has not already tipped into one. There is little room to argue otherwise. In Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and in Washington’s ever-fraught relations with Russia, U.S. strategy, as reviewed in my previous column, amounts to little more than spoiling the efforts of others to negotiate peaceful solutions to war and dangerous standoffs in the interests of an orderly world.

The bitter reality is that U.S. foreign policy has no definable objective other than blocking the initiatives of others because they stand in the way of the further expansion of U.S. global interests. This impoverished strategy reflects Washington’s refusal to accept the passing of its relatively brief post–Cold War moment of unipolar power. 

There is an error all too common in American public opinion. Personalizing Washington’s regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding. This mistake was made during the steady attack on civil liberties after the Sept. 11 tragedies and then during the 2003 invasion of Iraq: namely that it was all  George W. Bush’s fault. It was not so simple then and is not now. The crisis of U.S. foreign policy—a series of radical missteps—are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.

Let us bring some history to this question of America as spoiler. What is the origin of this undignified and isolating approach to global affairs?

It began with that hubristic triumphalism so evident in the decade after the Cold War’s end. What ensued had various names.

There was the “end of history” thesis. American liberalism was humanity’s highest achievement, and nothing would supersede it.

There was also the “Washington consensus.” The world was in agreement that free-market capitalism and unfettered financial markets would see the entire planet to prosperity. The consensus never extended far beyond the Potomac, but this sort of detail mattered little at the time.

The neoliberal economic crusade accompanied by neoconservative politics had its intellectual ballast, and off went its true-believing warriors around the world.

Happier days with Russia. (Eric Draper)

Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad. Then came the “color revolutions,” which resulted in the destabilization of large swathes of the former Soviet Union’s borderlands. The  2008 financial crash followed.

I was in Hong Kong at the time and recall thinking, “This is not just Lehman Brothers. An economic model is headed into Chapter 11.” One would have thought a fundamental rethink in Washington might have followed these events. There has never been one.

The orthodoxy today remains what it was when it formed in the 1990s: The neoliberal crusade must proceed. Our market-driven, “rules-based” order is still advanced as the only way out of our planet’s impasses.

A Strategic and Military Turn

Midway through the first Obama administration, a crucial turn began. What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions. The NATO bombing campaign in Libya, ostensibly a humanitarian mission, became a regime-change operation—despite Washington’s promises otherwise. Obama’s “pivot to Asia” turned out to be a neo-containment policy toward China. The “reset” with Russia, declared after Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state, flopped and turned into the virulent animosity we now live with daily. The U.S.-cultivated coup in Kiev in 2014 was a major declaration of drastic turn in policy towards Moscow. So was the decision, taken in 2012 at the latest, to back the radical jihadists who were turning civil unrest in Syria into a campaign to topple the Assad government in favor of another Islamist regime.

Spoilage as a poor excuse for a foreign policy had made its first appearances.  

I count 2013 to 2015 as key years. At the start of this period, China began developing what it now calls its Belt and Road Initiative—its hugely ambitious plan to stitch together the Eurasian landmass, Shanghai to Lisbon. Moscow favored this undertaking, not least because of the key role Russia had to play and because it fit well with President Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), launched in 2014.

Belt and Road Initiative. (Lommes / CC BY-SA 4.0)

In 2015, the last of the three years I just noted, Russia intervened militarily and diplomatically in the Syria conflict, in part to protect its southwest from Islamist extremism and in part to pull the Middle East back from the near-anarchy then threatening it as well as Russia and the West.

Meanwhile, Washington had cast China as an adversary and committed itself—as it apparently remains—to regime change in Syria. Three months prior to the treaty that established the EAEU, the Americans helped turn another case of civil unrest into a regime change—this time backing not jihadists in Syria but the crypto-Nazi militias in Ukraine on which the government now in power still depends.

That is how we got the U.S.-as-spoiler foreign policy we now have.

If there is a president to blame—and again, I see little point in this line of argument—it would have to be Barack Obama. To a certain extent, Obama was a creature of those around him, as he acknowledged in his interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic toward the end of his second term. From that “Anonymous” opinion piece published in The New York Times on Sept. 5, we know Trump is too, to a greater extent than Obama may have feared in his worst moments.

The crucial question is why. Why do U.S. policy cliques find themselves bereft of imaginative thinking in the face of an evolving world order? Why has there been not a single original policy initiative since the years I single out, with the exception of the now-abandoned 2015 accord governing Iran’s nuclear programs? “Right now, our job is to create quagmires until we get what we want,” an administration official told The Washington Post’s David Ignatius in August.

Can you think of a blunter confession of intellectual bankruptcy? I can’t.  

Global ‘Equals’ Like Us?

There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques.

As I have argued numerous times elsewhere, parity between East and West is a 21st century imperative. From Woodrow Wilson to the post-World War II settlement, an equality among all nations was in theory what the U.S. considered essential to global order.

Now that this is upon us, however, Washington cannot accept it. It did not count on non-Western nations achieving a measure of prosperity and influence until they were “just like us,” as the once famous phrase had it. And it has not turned out that way.

Can’t we all just get along? (Carlos3653 / Wikimedia)

Think of Russia, China, and Iran, the three nations now designated America’s principal adversaries. Each one is fated to become (if it is not already) a world or regional power and a key to stability—Russia and China on a global scale, Iran in the Middle East. But each stands resolutely—and this is not to say with hostile intent—outside the Western-led order. They have different histories, traditions, cultures, and political cultures. And they are determined to preserve them.

They signify the shape of the world to come—a post-Western world in which the Atlantic alliance must coexist with rising powers outside its orbit. Together, then, they signify precisely what the U.S. cannot countenance. And if there is one attribute of neoliberal and neoconservative ideology that stands out among all others, it is its complete inability to accept difference or deviation if it threatens its interests.

This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability. 

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, author, and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him @thefloutist. His web site is www.patricklawrence.us. Support his work via www.patreon.com/thefloutist.

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78 comments for “Why the U.S. Seeks to Hem in Russia, China and Iran

  1. R Davis
    September 20, 2018 at 4:21 am

    adversary: – one’s opponent in a contest, conflict or dispute.

    & I ask this …
    “Is it really thus”
    “Why must it be thus”

    How can China be an adversary of the USA when all their manufactured goods come from China.
    example:- a water distiller – manufactured in & purchased from China retails for AU$70 odd.
    The very same item manufactured in China – but purchased from the USA retails for US$260 plus.
    China should be a most welcome guest at the dinner table of the USA.

    • R Davis
      September 20, 2018 at 4:28 am

      While i’m here – where did China get all their surveillance equipment from – the place is locked down tighter than a chicken coop plagued by foxes.

      relevant article – CRAZZ FILES – Bone Chilling Footage Shows the Horrific Tyranny Google is Now Secretly Fostering in China.

      In my opinion Google is not trying to keep information out of China – BUT – preventing information from get out of China – to the world at large.
      A lockdown as severe as this – tells us that there is something seriously bad happening inside China.
      Maybe even a mass genocide

  2. September 16, 2018 at 9:48 am

    This analysis is correct as far as it goes. However, what is lacking is an analysis of the lunatic monetary ideology that has looted the physical economy of the U.S. by putting enormous fake profits of speculative instruments in the hands of our “elites.” It is the post industrial, information age economy which must be transformed by very painful loss of control by these putative elites if the world is to survive their insane geopolitics. What the Chinese are doing by rapid build up of worldwide infrastructure needs to be replicated here. The only way of doing so is first by ending the Wall St./City of London derivatives nightmare and then by issuing trillions of credits needed for that very purpose.

    • September 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm

      Agreed, you speak wisely of the root of the problem. Those who create and distribute money make ALL the rules and dominate the political and media landscape.

    • September 17, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Hit the nail on the head.
      Thanks

  3. September 14, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    This really is an excellent analysis. I would highlight the following point:
    “There is a longstanding explanation for this paralysis. Seven decades of global hegemony, the Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension. Those planning and executing American diplomacy lost all facility for imaginative thinking because there was no need of it. This holds true, in my view, but there is more to our specific moment than mere sclerosis within the policy cliques…”

    Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington.

  4. Don Bacon
    September 14, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    You don’t mention corruption and profiteering, which go hand-in-hand with American Exceptionalism and the National Security State (NSS) formed in 1947. The leader of the world which is also an NSS requires enemies, so the National Security Strategy designates enemies, a few of them in an Axis of Evil. Arming to fight them and dreaming up other reasons to go to war, including a war on terror of all things, bring the desired vast expenditures, trillions of dollars, which translate to vast profits to those involved.

    This focus on war has its roots in the Christian bible and in a sense of manifest destiny that has occupied Americans since before they were Americans, and the real Americans had to be exterminated. It certainly (as stated) can’t be blamed on certain individuals, it’s predominate and nearly universal. How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few.

    • Homer Jay
      September 14, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      “How many Americans were against the assault by the Coalition of the Willing upon Iraq? Very few.”

      Are you kidding me? Here is a list of polls of the American public regarding the Iraq War 2003-2007;

      https://www.politifact.com/iraq-war-polls/

      Even in the lead up the war when the public was force fed a diet comprised entirely of State Dept. lies about WMDs by a sycophantic media, there was still a significant 25-40 percent of the public who opposed the war. You clearly are not American or you would remember the vocal minority which filled the streets of big cities across this country. And again the consent was as Chomsky says “manufactured.” And it took only 1 year of the war for the majority of the public to be against it. By 2007 60-70% of the public opposed the war.

      Judging from your name you come from a country whose government was part of that coalition of the willing. So should we assume that “very few” of your fellow country men and women were against that absolute horror show that is the Iraq war?

      • Don Bacon
        September 14, 2018 at 11:05 pm

        You failed to address my major point, and instead picked on something you’re wrong on.

        Iraq war poll –Pew Research
        http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/old-assets/publications/770-1.gif

        PS: bevin made approximately the same point later (w/o the financial factor).
        “Conformism and its consequences, probably derived in part from Puritanism and further cemented by the alternating racisms of anti-indigenous and anti black attitudes- the history of the lynch mob and various wars against the poor which ended up in the anti-communist frenzies of the day before yesterday constitute the backbone of American history- is the disease which afflicts Washington.”

        • Homer Jay
          September 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm

          Respectfully, Your data backs up my comment/data. And to your larger point, again we must be careful when describing such attitudes as “American”, a country with a wide range of attitudes/ beliefs. To suggest we are all just a war mongering mob is bigoted. You probably will say that’s defensive but it’s also right. And making the recklessly inaccurate claim that “very few” Americans opposed the war in Iraq, without taking into account the disinformation campaign that played into the initial consent, needs to corrected…more than once.

  5. Sari
    September 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I just encountered (via Voltairenet) “The Pentagon’s New Map,” a book written by Thomas Barnett, an assistant once to Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski (now deceased). Barnett wrote an earlier article for the March 2003 Esquire entitled “Why the Pentagon Changes Its Map: And Why We’ll Keep Going to War” (https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a1546/thomas-barnett-iraq-war-primer/) describing their ideas which are introduced thusly:

    “Since the end of the cold war, the United States has been trying to come up with an operating theory of the world—and a military strategy to accompany it. Now there’s a leading contender. It involves identifying the problem parts of the world and aggressively shrinking them. Since September 11, 2001, the author, a professor of warfare analysis at the U.S. Naval War College, has been advising the Office of the Secretary of Defense and giving this briefing continually at the Pentagon and in the intelligence community. Now, he gives it to you.”

    His basic premise: “Show me where globalization is thick with network connectivity, financial transactions, liberal media flows, and collective security, and I will show you regions featuring stable governments, rising standards of living, and more deaths by suicide than murder. These parts of the world I call the Functioning Core, or Core. But show me where globalization is thinning or just plain absent, and I will show you regions plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and—most important—the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of global terrorists. These parts of the world I call the Non-Integrating Gap, or Gap.”

    One more quote gives you the “Monarch Notes” edition: “Think about it: Bin Laden and Al Qaeda are pure products of the Gap—in effect, its most violent feedback to the Core. They tell us how we are doing in exporting security to these lawless areas (not very well) and which states they would like to take “offline” from globalization and return to some seventh-century definition of the good life (any Gap state with a sizable Muslim population, especially Saudi Arabia).

    If you take this message from Osama and combine it with our military-intervention record of the last decade, a simple security rule set emerges: A country’s potential to warrant a U.S. military response is inversely related to its globalization connectivity.”

    Of course, we all recognize how much prevarication currently exists in “implementing” this strategy, but I would suggest that, very likely, the Pentagon is, indeed, following this “New Map.” And, yes, this “map” shows us why the U.S. has been continually at war since 9/11 and subbornly refuses to leave Syria, Iraq, and the Middle East with their apparent justification being “Might Makes Right.” Thierry Mayssen (Voltairenet) aptly describes the Gap states as “reservoirs of resources” driven into perpetual war, destabilization, and chaos by a preeminently overwhelming hegemonic U.S. military.

    I had to laugh. One of Barnett’s reasons in promulgating this new “map” involves the continued stability of the Core; however, what do we see today? Huge waves of immigration greatly destabilizing every aspect of Europe and chaos and destabilization flooding the U.S. via false/contrived polarization in every sphere of life. BUT! The military has “a Map!”

    Psssstt!! Who’s “creating” the Gap? Who has funded and armed Al Qaeda/DAESH/ISIS in the Middle East? We’ll need GPS to keep up with the Pentagon’s “new map!”

  6. Archie1954
    September 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I have often wondered why the US was unable to accept the position of first among equals. Why does it have to rule the World? I know it believes that its economic and political systems are the best on the planet, but surely all other nations should be able to decide for themselves, what systems they will accept and live under? Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else? The US was more than willing to kill 20 million people either directly or indirectly since the end of WWII to make its will sovereign in all nations of the World!

    • Bob Van Noy
      September 14, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Archie 1954, because 911 was never adequately investigated, our government was inappropriately allowed to act in the so-called public interest in completely inappropriate ways; so that in order for the Country to set things right, those decisions which were made quietly, with little public discussion, would have to be exposed and the illegalities addressed. But, as I’m sure you know, there are myriad other big government failures also left unexamined, so where to begin?

      That is why I invariably raise JFK’s Assassination as a logical starting point. If a truly independent commission would fix the blame, we could move on from there. Sam F., on this forum, has mentioned a formal legal undertaking many times on this site, but now is the time to begin the discussion for a formal Truth And Reconciliation Commission in America… Let’s figure out how to begin.

      So,”Who gave the US the right to make those decisions for everyone else?”, certainly not The People

      • September 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        Jill Stein said if elected she would boycott all countries guilty of human rights abuses and she included Saudi Arabia and Israel. She also said she would form a 9/11 commission comprised of those independent people and groups currently reporting on this travesty. Meanwhile we have the self-proclaimed “progressive” talk show hosts such as Thom Hartmann, defending the PNAC NEOCONS while making Stein persona non grata and throwing real progressive candidates under the bus.

        The PNAC NEOCONS understood the importance of creating a galvanizing, catastrophic and catalyzing event but the alternative media is afraid to call a spade a spade, something about the truth being too risky to ones career, I assume.

        See much more at youtopia.guru

        • Bob Van Noy
          September 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

          Lee Anderson thank you for your response, I agree and I appreciate the link suggestion, I’m impressed and will read more…

  7. didi
    September 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    It is always the unintended consequences. Hence I disagree with some of your views. A president who takes actions which trigger unintended/unexpected consequences can be held accountable for such consequences even if he/she could not avert the consequences. It is also often true that corrections are possible when such consequences begin to appear. Given our system which makes only presidents powerful to act on war, peace, and foreign relationships there is no escaping that they must be blamed only.

  8. September 14, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    A very good article. Spoiler and bully describe US foreign policy, and foreign policy is in the driver’s seat while domestic policy takes the pickings, hardly anything left for the hollowed-out society where people live paycheck to paycheck, homelessness and other assorted ills of a failing society continue to rise while oligarchs and the MIC rule the neofeudal/futile system. When are we going to make that connection of the wasteful expenditure on military adventurism and the problem of poverty in the US? The Pentagon consistently calls the shots, yet we consistently hear about unaccounted expenditures by the Pentagon, losing amounts in the trillions, and never do they get audited.

  9. nondimenticare
    September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    I certainly agree that the policy is bereft, but not for all of the same reasons. There is the positing of a turnaround as a basis for the current spoiler role: “What had been an assertion of financial and economic power, albeit coercive in many instances, particularly with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, took on further strategic and military dimensions.”

    To substantiate this “crucial turn,” Lawrence makes the unwarranted assumption that the goal post Soviet Union was simply worldwide free-market capitalism, not global domination: “Failures ensued. Iraq post–2003 is among the more obvious. Nobody ever planted democracy or built free markets in Baghdad”; and the later statement that the US wanted the countries it invaded to be “Just like us.”

    Though he doesn’t mention (ignores) US meddling in Russia after the collapse of the USSR, I presume from its absence that he attributes that, too, to the expansion of capital. Indeed, it was that, but with the more malevolent goal of control. “Just like us” is the usual “progressive” explanation for failures. “Controlled by us” was more like it, if we face the history of the country squarely.

    That is the blindness of intent that has led to the spoiler role.

  10. Unfettered Fire
    September 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Is it really so wise to be speaking in terms of nationhood after we’ve undergone 50 years of Kochian/libertarian dismantlement of the nation-state in favor of bank and transnational governance? Remember the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski:

    “The “nation-state” as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970

    “Make no mistake, what we are seeing in geopolitics today is indeed a magic show. The false East/West paradigm is as powerful if not more powerful than the false Left/Right paradigm. For some reason, the human mind is more comfortable believing in the ideas of division and chaos, and it often turns its nose up indignantly at the notion of “conspiracy.” But conspiracies and conspirators can be demonstrated as a fact of history. Organization among elitists is predictable.

    Globalists themselves are drawn together by an ideology. They have no common nation, they have no common political orientation, they have no common cultural background or religion, they herald from the East just as they herald from the West. They have no true loyalty to any mainstream cause or social movement.

    What do they have in common? They seem to exhibit many of the traits of high level narcissistic sociopaths, who make up a very small percentage of the human population. These people are predators, or to be more specific, they are parasites. They see themselves as naturally superior to others, but they often work together if there is the promise of mutual benefit.”

    http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3504-in-the-new-qmultipolar-worldq-the-globalists-still-control-all-the-players

    • Jeff Davis
      September 14, 2018 at 11:46 am

      Your comment is astute and valuable, and consequently deserves to be signed with your real name, so that you can be identified as someone worth listening to.

      • Don Bacon
        September 14, 2018 at 5:44 pm

        Screen names don’t matter, content does.

        • OlyaPola
          September 15, 2018 at 11:34 am

          “Screen names don’t matter, content does.”

          Apparently not for some where attribution is sought and the illusion of trust the source trust the content is held, leading to curveballs mirroring expectations whilst serving the purposes of others.

      • JuanPZenter
        September 17, 2018 at 7:31 am

        Why? The better to dox him with?

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doxing

    • OlyaPola
      September 14, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      ““The “nation-state” as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970”

      The date of publication is of significance as was Mr. Paul Craig Roberts’ Alienation in the Soviet economy of 1971, as was Mr. Andrei Amalrik’s “Can the Soviet Union last until 1984 published in 1969.

      The period 1968 – 1973 was one significant trajectory in the half-life of “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident” which underpinned and maintained the “nation state” misrepresented/branded as the “United States of America” through a change in the assays of the amalga mutual benefit/hold these truths to be self-evident.

      The last hurrah of the “red experts” – Mr. Brezhnev and associates – despite analyses/forecasts from various agencies agreed, detente based on spheres of influence facilitating through interaction/complicity various fiats including but not restricted to fiat currency, fiat economy, fiat politics all dependent on mutations of “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

      This interaction also facilitated processes which accelerated the demise of the “Soviet Union” and its continuing transcendence by the Russian Federation – the choice of title being a notice of intent that some interpreted as the “End of History” whilst others interpreted as lateral opportunity facilitated by the hubris of the “End of History”.

      The “red experts” were not unique in their illusions; another pertinent example is the strategy of the PLO in maintaining the illusion of the two state solution/”Oslo accords” facilitating the continuing colonial project branded as “Israel”.

      Mr. Brzezinski was one of the others who interpreted the “End of History” as linear opportunity where the assay of amalga of form could be changed to maintain content/function which was/is to “still” control all the players.

      However in any interactive system neither omniscience nor sole agency/control is possible, whilst by virtue of interaction the complicity of all can be encouraged in various ways to facilitate useful outcomes in furtherance of purpose, whilst illusions of the “End of History” and the search for the holy grail of “Full Spectrum Dominance” acted as both accelerators and multipliers in the process of encouragement, whilst obscuring this process in open sight through the opponents’ amalga of reliance on “plausible belief based in part on projection”, “exceptionalism” and associated hubris.

      The “nation state” subsuming illusions of mutual benefit and mutual purpose has always been a function of the half-lives of components of its ideological facades and practices – sexual intercourse wasn’t invented in 1963 and “The “nation-state” as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force” wasn’t initiated in 1970.

    • Unfettered Fire
      September 14, 2018 at 1:43 pm

      “In our society, real power does not happen to lie in the political system, it lies in the private economy: that’s where the decisions are made about what’s produced, how much is produced, what’s consumed, where investment takes place, who has jobs, who controls the resources, and so on and so forth. And as long as that remains the case, changes inside the political system can make some difference—I don’t want to say it’s zero—but the differences are going to be very slight.” ~ Noam Chomsky

      Giants: The Global Power Elite – A talk by Peter Phillips
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np6td-wzDYQ

      The Elite World Order in Jitters
      Review of Peter Phillips’ book Giants: The Global Power Elite
      https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/09/the-elite-world-order-in-jitters/

      • backwardsevolution
        September 14, 2018 at 5:14 pm

        Unfettered Fire – good posts. Thank you. Peter Phillips is definitely worth listening to.

  11. Jon Dhoe
    September 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Israel, Israel, Israel.

    When are we going to start facing facts?

  12. September 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Yet there is a thread that leads through US foreign policy. It all started with NSC 68.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSC_68. Already in the 1950’s, leading bankers were afraid of economic depression which would follow from a “peace dividend” following the end of WWII. To avoid this, and to avoid “socialism”, the only acceptable government spending was on defense. This mentality never ended. Today 50% of discretionary govenmenrt spending is on the military. http://www.unz.com/article/americas-militarized-economy/. We live in a country of military socialism, in which military citizens have all types of benefits, on condition they join the military-industrial-complex. This being so, there is no need for real “intelligence”, there is no need to “understand” what goes on is foreign countries, there no need to be right about what might happen or worry about consequences. What is important is stimulate the economy by spending on arms. From Korean war, when the US dropped more bombs than it had on Nazi Germany, through Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc the US policy was a winning one … not for those who got bombed (and could not fight back) but for the weapons industry and military contractors. Is the NYTimes ever going to discuss this aspect? Or any one in the MSM?

    • September 16, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      All that and we constantly have to endure the bankster/MIC-controlled media proclaiming everyone who joins the military as “heroes” defending our precious”freedoms.” The media mafia is evil.

  13. Walter
    September 14, 2018 at 9:26 am

    The “why” behind the US foreign policies was spoken with absolute honest clarity in the “Statement of A. Wess Mitchell
    Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs” to the Senate on August 21 this year. The transcript is at :

    https://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/082118_Mitchell_Testimony.pdf

    Quoth the esteemed gentleman (inter alia)

    “It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration’s foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundamentals of American power. ”

    Tellingly the “official” State Department copy is changed and omits the true spoken words…

    See yourself: https://www.state.gov/p/eur/rls/rm/2018/285247.htm

    This is the essence of MacKinder’s Thesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geographical_Pivot_of_History and was the underlying reason for both world wars in the 20th century.

    An essay on this observed truth https://journal-neo.org/2018/09/11/behind-the-anglo-american-war-on-russia/

    A deeper essay on the same subject https://www.silkroadstudies.org/resources/pdf/Monographs/1006Rethinking-4.pdf

    I would propose that the zionish aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of “Forward Operating Base Israel”…lookit a map, Comrade… The ISIS?Saudi?Zionist games divides the New Silk Road and the Eurasian land mass…and exists to throttle said pathways.

    Interestingly the latter essay is attributed to Eldar Ismailov and Vladimer Papava

    Brother Comrade Putin knows the game. The US has to maintain the fiction for the public that it does not know the game, and is consequently obliged to maintain a vast public delusion, hence “fake news” and all the rest.

    • OlyaPola
      September 14, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      “I would propose that the zionish aspect exists due to the perceived necessity of “Forward Operating Base Israel”…lookit a map, Comrade”

      Some have an attraction to book-ends.

      Once upon a time the Eurasian book-ends were Germany and Japan, and the Western Asian book-ends Israel and Saudi Arabia.

      This “strategy” is based upon the notion that bookend-ness is a state of inertia which in any interactive system is impossible except apparently to those embedded in “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

      Consequently some have an attraction to book-ends.

      • Walter
        September 15, 2018 at 12:31 pm

        If I understand you correctly, then yes, some imagine that a static situation can exist. This a natural but delusional way of seeing the world, of course – especially because Chin and Rus are able to liquidate any counter-forces that attempt to create or maintain “book-ends.

        The actual spoken words to the Senate of Mr. Michell are very significant, as the removal of them from the ostensibly real, but actually false, State Department “Transcript” implies. Foolish Mr. Michell! He accidentally spoke the true objective of US foreign policy…and also the domestic objective – total bamboozlement of the US population “prepare the country for…” (Obvious, world war against the Heartland states that fail to “cooperate” (surrender).

        People ought to read the pdf…what Michell actually spoke…all of it…and consider the logical implications. Michell has a big mouth… Good. He confirms the dark truths…

        The guilty according to circumstantial evidence has confessed his guilt…so to say; confirming the crime…

        An Israeli-Saudi “Greater Israel” dividing Syria between Saud and zion is of course a goal that in effect would be a “book-end”.

        Too late now…as it is clear that Syrian skies are probably going to soon be “no-fly-zone” for foreign invaders…

        Then will come the “pitch-forks”, as Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow illustrated…

        • OlyaPola
          September 16, 2018 at 4:25 am

          “If I understand you correctly, then yes, some imagine that a static situation can exist. This a natural but delusional way of seeing the world”

          Absolutes including stasis don’t exist but the belief of others in book-ends including extensive foreign bases are lands of opportunities for others facilitating pitch forking without extensive travel.

          Consequently some perceive that the opponents have hopes and wishes which they seek to represent as “strategies” and “tactics” and some opportunities of lateral challenge derived there-from.

          Some would hold that the opponents’ have a greater assay of the rubbing sticks school of thermo-dynamics in “their” amalga of perception, in some regards even less perceptive than Heraclitus although Heraclitus lived in his time/interactions as the interaction below suggests.

          One of the consequences is the opponents tendency to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort through iteration and subsequent projection, facilitating lateral opportunities for others with greater perception of fission/metamorphosis/transcendence including the “unintended consequences” -at least in the opponents’ perception – without resort to Mr. Heisenberg’s deliberations, leading to some of the opponents resorting to snake-oil sales techniques suggesting that their intent/purpose was always what they perceived to be the concept/construct “chaos”.

          A further illustration of this and how it was/is not limited to present opponents citing trajectories during the period 1968 – 1973 and some subsequent consequences was broadcast through this portal on the 14th of September 2018 but not “published” possibly in ignorance of Mr. Bulgakov’s contention that manuscripts don’t burn.

          The examples used were detente on the bases of spheres of influence agreed by the Politburo despite contrary advice from many agencies, the strategy of the PLO and half-life of these beliefs in the strategies of Hamas.

          Detente on the basis of sphere of influence facilitated fiat currency, fiat politics, and fiat re-branding – “neo-liberalism” -, colonial projects in Western Asia, and how opening Pandora’s box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process (Stop the Empires War on Russia slogan being a useful example) and those not so immersed helped facilitate the ongoing transcendence of the “Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation – the title being a notice of intent that opponents perceived as the “End of History” as functions of their framing and projection.

          • OlyaPola
            September 16, 2018 at 7:51 am

            Some hold that New York, New York was so good they named it twice, whilst some others wonder whether they named it twice to make it easier for the inhabitants to locate.

            Following the precautionary principle I attach below a further illustration of :

            “…. the opponents have hopes and wishes which they seek to represent as “strategies” and “tactics” and some opportunities of lateral challenge derived there-from …..

            “One of the consequences is the opponents tendency to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort through iteration and subsequent projection, facilitating lateral opportunities for others with greater perception of fission/metamorphosis/transcendence including the “unintended consequences” -at least in the opponents’ perception – without resort to Mr. Heisenberg’s deliberations, leading to some of the opponents resorting to snake-oil sales techniques suggesting that their intent/purpose was always what they perceived to be the concept/construct “chaos”.

            which was alluded to in the “unpublished” broadcast which referenced

            1. “The “nation-state” as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” ~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970.

            2. Mr. P.C. Roberts’ Alienation in the USSR (1971)

            3. Mr Andrei Amalrik’s Can the Soviet Union last until 1984 (1969).

            in illustration of interactive amalga which some call Russiagate, presumably because the water had flowed but apparently not under the bridge.

            The recent US presidential election process including the “outcomes” were relatively easy to predict
            and required no encouragement from outside – doing “nothing” being a trajectory of doing for those not trapped in the can do/must do conflation.

            Some don’t understand Russian very well and so instead of understanding Mr. Putin’s remark that Mr. Trump was “colourful” which has connotations to some with facility in the Russian culture/language, some sought to bridge doubt by belief to attain expectation on the basis of “plausible belief”.

            An increasing sum of some are no longer so immersed as illustrated in

            https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/438556-america-book-conversation-economy/

            whilst perceptual frames often have significant half-lives.

  14. exiled off mainstreet
    September 14, 2018 at 12:42 am

    This is a great series of articles and the comments, including those having reservations, are intelligent. Since those comments appearing not to appear later seem to have appeared, mechanical difficulties of some sort seem to have been what occurred. I hope Mr. Tedesky, one of the most valued commentators writing in the comments, continues his work.

  15. September 13, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    Patrick Lawrence’s essay makes perfect sense only when it is applied to US foreign policy since the end of WW2. It is conventional wisdom that the US is now engaged in Cold War 2.0. In fact, Cold War 2.0 is an extension of Cold War 1.0. There was merely a 20 year interregnum between 1990 and 2010. Most analysts think that Cold War 1.0 was an ideological war between “Communism” and “Democracy”. The renewal of the Cold War against both Russia and China however shows that the ideological war between East and West was really a cover for the geopolitical war between the two. Russia, China and Iran are the main geopolitical enemies of the US as they stand in the way of the global, imperialist hegemony of the US. In order to control the global periphery, i.e. the developing world and their emerging economies, the US must contain and defeat the big three. This was as true in 1948 as it is in 2018. Thus, what’s happening today under Trump is no different than what occurred under Truman in 1948. Whatever differences exist are mere window dressing.

    • Rob Roy
      September 15, 2018 at 12:16 am

      Mr. Etler,
      I think you are mostly right except in the first Cold War, the Soviets and US Americans were both involved in this “war.” What you call Cold War 2.0 is in the minds and policies of only the US. Russian is not in any way currently like the Soviet Union, yet the US acts in all aspects of foreign attitude and policy as though that (very unpleasant period in today’s Russians’ minds) still exists. It does not. You says there was “merely a 20 year interregnum” and things have picked up and continued as a Cold War. Only in the idiocy of the USA, certainly not in the minds of Russian leadership, particularly Putin’s who now can be distinguished as the most logical, realistic and competent leader in the world.
      Thanks to H. Clinton being unable to become president, we have a full blown Russiagate which the MSM propaganda continues to spread. There is no Cold War 2.0. It’s a fallacy to create a false flag for regime change in Russia. Ms. Clinton, the Kagan family, the MIC, etc., figure if we can take out Yanukovich and replace him with Fascists/Nazis, what could stop us from doing the same to Russia. The good news: all empires fail.

  16. Maxwell Quest
    September 13, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    “This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability.”

    Mr. Lawrence is much too accommodating with his analysis. Imagine, linking US “foreign policy” in the same thought as “global stability”, as if the two were somehow related. On the contrary, “global instability” seems to be our foreign policy goal, especially for those regions that pose a threat to US hegemony. Why? Because it is difficult to extract a region’s wealth when its population is united behind a stable government that can’t be bought off.

  17. Walter
    September 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    US is attempting to stop a process, to prevent Change… see https://www.fort-russ.com/2017/10/v-golstein-end-of-cold-war-and/

    Conjuring up Heraclitus..Time is a River, constantly changing. And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past.

    The attempt has an effect, many effects, but it cannot stop Time.

    The Russian and the Chinese have clinched the unification of the Earth Island, “Heartland” This ended the ability to control global commerce by means of navies – the methods of the Sea Peoples over the last 500 years are now failed. The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante….

    Thus World War, as we see…

    Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites…as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US…

    • OlyaPola
      September 14, 2018 at 9:38 am

      “Conjuring up Heraclitus……”

      “And we face downstream, unable to see the Future and gazing upon the Past.”

      Time is a synonym of interaction the perception of which and opportunities derived therefrom being functions of analysing interactions which require notions and analyses of upstream-perceived transition point (similar to the concept/construct zero)-downstream lateral processes, which Heraclitus perceived and practiced.

      Heraclitus lived in a previous time/interaction and the perception and uses of thermodynamics have laterally changed since Heraclitus’ time.

      Omniscience can never exist in any lateral system, but time/interaction has facilitated the increase of perceptions and lateral opportunities to facilitate various futures and their encouragement through processes of fission – the process of strategy formulation, strategy implementation, strategy evaluation, and strategy modulation refers.

      Framing including attempts to deny agency to others and hence interaction thereby denying time, leads to strategic myopia, and when outcomes vary from expectations/hopes/wishes lead the myopic to attempt to bridge doubt by belief to attain comfort.

      Categorical imperatives are kant facilitating can’t, best left to Kant, although apparently some are loathe to agree.

      “The US has no way of even seeing this fact other than force and violence to restore the status quo ante….”

      The temporary socio-economic arrangement misrepresented/branded as “The United States of America” has a vested interest in seeking to deny time/interaction including through “exceptionalism” and a history of flailings and consequences derived therefrom.

      “Recollecting Heraclitus again, the universe is populated by opposites…as we see, China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US…”

      As above, Heraclitus lived in a previous time and the perception and uses of thermodynamics have laterally changed since Heraclitus’ time although apparently not informing the perceptions and practices of some.

      Understandably Heraclitus sometimes relied within his framing on notions of moments of stasis/absolutes (steady states) such as opposites, where as like in all areas of thermo-dynamics a more modern framework would include the notions of amalga with varying interactive half-lives.

      It would appear that your contribution is also subject to such “paradox” as in “China and Russia represent a cathodic opposite to the US…”

      Perhaps a more illuminating but more complex formulation would be found in :

      “In other parts of planet earth the assay of amalga and their varying interactive half-lives differ from those asserted to exist within the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as “The United States of America” thereby facilitating opportunities to transcend coercive relationships such as those practiced by the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as “The United States of America”, by co-operative socio-economic relations conditioned by the half-lives of perceptions and practices derived therefrom.

      In part that contributed and continues to contribute to the lateral process of transcendence of the “Soviet Union” by the Russian Federation previously leading to a limited debate whether to nominate Mr. Brezhinsky, Mr.Clinton, Mr. Fukuyama or Mr. Wolfowitz for the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts facilitating the transcendence of the temporary socio-economic arrangements misrepresented/branded as “The United States of America”.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    September 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I guess I missed this one, Patrick. Great overview but let me put it in a slightly different context. You start with the end of the cold war but I don’t. I could go all the way back to the early days of the country and our proclamation of manifest destiny. The US has long thought that it was the one ring to rule them all. But for most of that time the strength of individual members of the rest of the world constrained the US from running amok. That constraint began to be lifted after the ruling clique in Europe committed seppuku in WWI. It was completely lifted after WWII. But that was 75 years ago. This is now and most of the world has recovered from the world wide destruction of human and physical capital known as WWII. The US is going to have to learn how to live with constraints again but it will take a shock. The US is going to have to lose at something big time. Europe cancelling the sanctions? The sanctions on Russia don’t mean squat to the US but it’s costing Europe billions. This highlights the reality that the “Western Alliance” (read NATO) is not really an alliance of shared goals and objectives. It’s an alliance of those terrified by fascism and what it can do. They all decided that they needed a “great father” to prevent their excesses again. One wonders if either the world or Europe would really like the US to come riding in like the cavalry to places like Germany, Poland, and Ukraine. Blindly following Washington’s directions can be remarkably expensive for Europe and they get nothing but refugees they can’t afford. Something will ultimately have to give.

    The one thing I was surprised you didn’t mention was the US’s financial weakness. It’s been a long time since the US was a creditor nation. We’ve been a debtor nation since at least the 80s. The world doesn’t need debtor nations and the only reason they need us is the primacy of the US dollar. And there are numerous people hammering away at that.

  19. Gerald Wadsworth
    September 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Why are we trying to hem in China, Russia and Iran? Petro-dollar hegemony, pure and simple. From our initial deal with Saudi Arabia to buy and sell oil in dollars only, to the chaos we have inflicted globally to retain the dollar’s rule and role in energy trading, we are finding ourselves threatened – actually the position of the dollar as the sole trading medium is what is threatened – and we are determined to retain that global power over oil at all costs. With China and Russia making deals to buy and sell oil in their own currencies, we have turned both those counties into our enemies du jour, inventing every excuse to blame them for every “bad thing” that has and will happen, globally. Throw in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and a host of other countries who want to get out from under our thumb, to those who tried and paid the price. Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and more. Our failed foreign policy is dictated by controlling, as Donald Rumsfeld once opined, “our oil under their sand.” Oil. Pure and simple.

    • Maxwell Quest
      September 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      I agree, Gerald. Enforcing the petro-dollar system seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If it were to unravel, the dollar’s value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases. Death Star’s aren’t cheap, ya know.

    • Maxwell Quest
      September 13, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      I agree, Gerald. Along with ensuring access to “our” off-shore oil fields, enforcing the petro-dollar system is equally significant, and seems to be the mainspring for much of our recent foreign policy militarism. If this system were to unravel, the dollar’s value would tank, and then how could we afford our vast system of military bases which make the world safe for democracy? Death Star’s aren’t cheap, ya know.

    • Anonymous Coward
      September 13, 2018 at 10:40 pm

      +1 Gerald Wadsworth. It’s not necessarily “Oil pure and simple” but “Currency Pure and Simple.” If the US dollar is no longer the world’s currency, the US is toast. Also note that anyone trying to retain control of their currency and not letting “The Market” (private banks) totally control them is a Great Devil we need to fight, e.g. Libya and China. And note (2) that Wall Street is mostly an extension of The City; the UK still thinks it owns the entire world, and the UK has been owned by the banks ever since it went off tally sticks…

  20. MichaelWme
    September 13, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    It’s called the Thucydides trap. NATO (US/UK/France/Turkey) have said they will force regime change in Syria. Russia says it will not allow regime change in Syria. Fortunately, as a Frenchman and an Austrian explained many years ago, and NATO experts say is true today, regime change in Russia is a simple matter, about the same as Libya or Panamá. I forget the details, but I assume things worked out well for the Frenchman and the Austrian, and will work out about the same for NATO.

    • Jeff Davis
      September 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Very dry. Kudos.

  21. September 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Putin said years ago, and I cannot quote him, but remember most of it, that it doesn’t matter who is the candidate for President, or what his campaign promises are, or how sincere he is in making them, whenever they get in office, it is always the same policy.

    Truer words were never spoken, and it is the reason why I know, at least, that Russia did not interfere in the US elections. What would be the point, from his viewpoint, and it is not only just his opinion. You cannot help but see at this point that that he said is obviously true.

    • TJ
      September 13, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      What an excellent point. Why bother influencing the elections when it doesn’t matter who is elected — the same policies will continue.

    • Bart Hansen
      September 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Anastasia, I saved it: From Putin 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.”

    • rosemerry
      September 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Pres. Putin explained this several times when he was asked about preferring Trump to Hillary Clinton, and he carefully said that he would accept whoever the US population chose, he was used to dealing with Hillary and he knew that very little changed between Administrations. This has been conveniently cast aside by the Dems, and Obama’s disgraceful expulsion of Russian diplomats started the avalanche of Russiagate.

  22. September 13, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Great to see Patrick Lawrence writing for Consortium News.

    He ends his article with: “This is the logic of spoilage as a substitute for foreign policy. Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability. ”

    Speaking of consequences, how about the human toll this foreign policy has taken on so many people in this world. To me, the gravest sin of all.

  23. Bob Van Noy
    September 13, 2018 at 8:46 am

    I agree with Patric Lawrence when he states “Personalizing Washington’s regression into the role of spoiler by assigning all blame to one man, now Donald Trump, deprives one of deeper understanding.” and I also agree that ‘Seven decades of global hegemony have left the State Department, Cold War notwithstanding, left the State Department with little to think about other than the simplicities of East-West tension.’ But I seriously disagree when he declares that: “The crisis of U.S. foreign policy—a series of radical missteps—are systemic. Having little to do with personalities, they pass from one administration to the next with little variance other than at the margins.’’ Certainly the missteps are true, but I would argue that the “personalities” are crucial to America’s crisis of Foreign Policy. After all it was likely that JFK’s American University address was the public declaration of his intention to lead America in the direction of better understanding of Sovereign Rights that likely got him killed. It is precisely those “personalities” that we must understand and identify before we can move on…

    • Skip Scott
      September 13, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Bob-

      I see what you’re saying, but I believe Patrick is also right. Many of the people involved in JFK’s murder are now dead themselves, yet the “system” that demands confrontation rather than cooperation continues. These “personalities” are shills for that system, and if they are not so willingly, they are either bribed or blackmailed into compliance. Remember when “Dubya” ran on a “kinder and gentler nation” foreign policy? Obama’s “hope and change” that became “more of the same”? And now Trump’s views on both domestic and foreign policy seemingly also doing a 180? There are “personalities” behind this “system”, and they are embedded in places like the Council on Foreign Relations. The people that run our banking system and the global corporate empire demand the whole pie, they would rather blow up the world than have to share.

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 13, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        You’re completely right Skip, that’s what we all must recognize and ultimately react to, and against.
        Thank you.

        • JWalters
          September 13, 2018 at 6:46 pm

          I would add that human beings are the key components in this system. The system is built and shaped by them. Some are greedy, lying predators and some are honest and egalitarian. Bob Parry was one of the latter, thankfully.

      • JWalters
        September 13, 2018 at 6:30 pm

        Skip, very good points. For those interested further, here’s an excellent talk on the bankers behind the manufacutured wars, including the role of the Council on Foreign Relations as a front organization and control mechanism.
        “The Shadows of Power; the CFR and decline of America”
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6124&v=wHa1r4nIaug

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 13, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward’s new book ‘Fear’ that he describes a pan ‘almost tragic incident’ whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his ‘anonymous’ staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk…. wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can’t have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

      Were these ‘anonymous’ staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

      The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it’s good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

      • Bob Van Noy
        September 13, 2018 at 2:51 pm

        Many thanks Joe, I admire your persistence. Clearly Bob Woodward has been part of the problem rather than the solution. The swamp is deep and murky…

        • JWalters
          September 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm

          Bob and Joe, here’s a solid review of Woodward’s book Fear that points out his consistent service to the oligarchy, including giving Trump a pass for killing the Iran deal. Interesting background on Woodward in the comments as well.
          https://mondoweiss.net/2018/09/woodward-national-security/

          • will
            September 15, 2018 at 10:30 pm

            people have been pointing out that Woodward is the exact kind of guy the CIA would recruit since shortly after Watergate.

      • September 13, 2018 at 6:21 pm

        The document Gary Cohen removed off Trump’s desk – which you can read here – states an intent to end a free trade agreement with South Korea.

        “White House aides feared if Trump sent the letter, it could jeopardize a top-secret US program that can detect North Korean missile launches within seven seconds.”

        Sounds like Trump wanted to play the “I am such a great deal maker, the GREATEST deal maker of all times!” game with the South Koreans. Letter doesn’t say anything about withdrawing troops or missiles.

        Funny how ***TOP-SECRET US PROGRAMS*** find their way into books and newspapers these days, plentiful as acorns falling out of trees.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 13, 2018 at 7:59 pm

          Thanks for the clarification. Joe

        • September 14, 2018 at 1:38 pm

          You’re welcome, Joe. These things get confusing. Who knows anymore what is real and what isn’t?

          Trump did indeed say something about ending military exercises and pulling troops out of South Korea. His staff did indeed contradict him on this. It just wasn’t in relation to the letter Cohn “misplaced,” AFAIK.

          Nobody asked me, but if they did, I’d say the US interfered enough in Korean affairs by killing a whole bunch of ’em in the Korean War. Leave’em alone. Let North and South try to work it out. Tired of hearing about “regime change.’

          Republicans buck Trump on Korea troop pullout talk

    • Joe Tedesky
      September 13, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Bob once again my comment disappeared… I hope someone retrieves it. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Here’s what I wrote:

        Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward’s new book ‘Fear’ that he describes a pan ‘almost tragic incident’ whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his ‘anonymous’ staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk…. wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can’t have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

        Were these ‘anonymous’ staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

        The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it’s good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

        Again…

        Bob, you are right. I find it most interesting and sad at the same time that in Woodward’s new book ‘Fear’ that he describes a pan ‘almost tragic incident’ whereas Trump wanted to sign a document removing our missiles and troops out of S Korea, but save for the steady hand of his ‘anonymous’ staffers who yanked the document off his presidential desk…. wow, close one there we almost did something to enforce a peace. Can’t have that though, we still have lots to kill in pursue of liberty and freedom and the hegemonic way.

        Were these ‘anonymous’ staffers the grandchildren of the staffers and bureaucracy that undermined other presidents? Would their grandparents know who the Gunmen were on the grassy knoll? Did these interrupters of Executive administrations fudge other presidents dreams and hopes of a peaceful world? And in the end were these instigators rewarded by the war industries they protected?

        The problem is, is that this bureaucracy of war has out balanced any other rival agency, as diversity of thought and mission is only to be dealt with if it’s good for military purposes. Too much of any one thing can be overbearingly bad for a person, and likewise too much war means your country is doing something wrong.

        • Joe Tedesky
          September 13, 2018 at 2:03 pm

          Thanks for retrieving my comments…sorry for the triplicating of them. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        September 13, 2018 at 12:25 pm

        3 of my comments disappeared… boy does this comment board have issues. I’m beginning to think I’m being targeted.

        • Deniz
          September 13, 2018 at 5:58 pm

          Dont take it personally, I see it more of a lawnmower than a scalpel.

      • rosemerry
        September 14, 2018 at 8:36 am

        My comment has disappeared too-it was a reply to anastasia.

  24. Kiwiantz
    September 13, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Spoiler Nation of America! You got that dead right! China builds infrastructure in other Countries & doesn’t interfere with the citizens & their Sovereignty. Contrast that with the United Spoiler States of America, they run roughshod over overs & just bomb the hell out of Countries & leaves devastation & death wherever they go! And there is something seriously wrong & demented with the US mindset concerning, the attacks on 9/11? In Syria the US has ended up arming & supporting the very same organisation of Al QaedaTerrorists, morphed into ISIS, that hijacked planes & flew them into American targets! During 2017 & now in 2018, it defies belief how warped this US mentality is when ISIS can so easily & on demand, fake a chemical attack to suck in the stupid American Military & it’s Airforce & get them to attack Syria, like lackeys taking orders from Terrorist’s! The US Airforce is the airforce of Al Qaeda & ISIS! Why? Because the US can’t stomach Russia, Syria & Iran winning & defeating Terrorism thus ending this Proxy War they started! Russia can’t be allowed to win at any cost because the humiliation & loss of prestige that the US would suffer as a Unipolar Empire would signal the decline & end of this Hegemonic Empire so they must continue to act as a spoiler to put off that inevitable decline! America can’t face reality that it’s time in the sun as the last Empire, is over!

  25. Sally Snyder
    September 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Here is what Americans really think about the rabid anti-Russia hysteria coming from Washington:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/08/americans-on-russia-will-of-people.html

    Washington has completely lost touch with what Main Street America really believes.

  26. Waynes World
    September 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Finally some words of truth about how we want our way not really democracy. A proper way to look at the world is what you said toward the end a desire to make people’s lives better.

  27. mike k
    September 13, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Simply put – the US is the world’s biggest bully. This needs to stop. Fortunately the bully’s intended victims are joining together to defeat it’s crazy full spectrum dominance fantasies. Led by Russia and China, we can only hope for the success of the resistance to US aggression.

    This political, economic, military struggle is not the only problem the world is facing now, but is has some priority due to the danger of nuclear war. Global pollution, climate disaster, ecological collapse and species extinction must also be urgently dealt with if we are to have a sustainable existence on Earth.

  28. OlyaPola
    September 13, 2018 at 4:39 am

    Alpha : “America’s three principal adversaries signify the shape of the world to come: a post-Western world of coexistence. But neoliberal and neocon ideology is unable to to accept global pluralism and multipolarity, argues Patrick Lawrence.”

    Omega: “Among its many consequences are countless lost opportunities for global stability.”

    Framing is always a limiter of perception.

    Among the consequences of the lateral trajectories from Alpha to Omega referenced above, is the “unintended consequence” of the increase of the principal opponents, their resolve and opportunities to facilitate the transcendence of arrangements based on coercion by arrangements based on co-operation.

    Opening Pandora’s box was/is only perceived as wholly a disadvantage for those seeking to deny lateral process.

    • HomoSapiensWannaBe
      September 13, 2018 at 8:23 am

      John Chuckman,
      Wow. Thanks! I have just begun reading your commentaries this week and I am impressed with how clearly you analyze and summarize key points about many topics.

      Thank you so much for writing what are often the equivalent of books, but condensed into easy to read and digest summaries.

      I have ordered your book and look forward to reading that.

      Cheers from Southeast USA!

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