Monday, May 29, 2017

John Helmer — Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Svengali Of Jimmy Carter’s Presidency, Is Dead, But The Evil Lives On

Former President Jimmy Carter, who employed Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor between 1977 and 1981, the only high official post Brzezinski reached, saidhe “helped me set vital foreign policy goals, was a source of stimulation for the departments of defense and state, and everyone valued his opinion.” Of Carter’s three claims, only the first is true; the second is ironic hyperbole; the third is completely false. If Carter cannot tell the truth now about Brzezinski, after having 36 years to reflect on it, Carter reveals the principal source of Brzezisnki’s power, when he exercised it. For Carter was no innocent ventriloquized by the evil Svengali (lead image, left), as in the original Svengali tale. Carter was simply a bigger and more mendacious fool than Brzezinski, and is entirely to blame for doing what Brzezinski told him to do.

Brzezinski was an obsessive Russia-hater from the beginning to the end. That led to the monumental failures of Carter’s term in office; the hatreds Brzezinski released had an impact which continues to be catastrophic for the rest of the world....
The dominant view is that at the close of WWII, the Allies, led by the US, having learned the lesson of what happened in punishing Germany after WWI, brilliantly "forgave" the Axis powers and generally helped to rehabilitate and rebuild them.

While there is some truth to this and it is the way it was sold through propaganda, this narrative is largely a fiction. The reality is that the Allies wished to integrate the former Axis powers into an alliance (NATO plus Japan) to confront the "rising threat" of communist USSR and China to "the Free World," and to do so as quickly as possible. 

ZB was a product of that mindset. But he combined it with a visceral hate of many Poles for Russia (Russophobia) that was the result of historical "path dependence" aka inter-tribal animosity.

Dancing with Bears
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, THE SVENGALI OF JIMMY CARTER’S PRESIDENCY, IS DEAD, BUT THE EVIL LIVES ON
John Helmer

Tom Palley — Trump and the Neocons: Doing the Unilateralist Waltz

The neocon goal is unchallenged U.S. supremacy. If that goal frames U.S. foreign policy, international economic policy must conform with it.

In the Cold War era, the currency of power was provision of weapons and ideology. In the new era of globalization, commerce has become a major new currency of power, making international economic policy a key concern.

Consequently, under Trump, neocon unilateralism is now spreading into international economic relations....
Tom Palley hits one out of the park, connecting neoliberalism (economic) and neoconservatism (political) with globalization and US global hegemony.

The Globalist
Trump and the Neocons: Doing the Unilateralist WaltzTom Palley

Michael Hudson — Another Housing Bubble?


Another good one from Michael Hudson. Covers student debt too.

Michael Hudson
Another Housing Bubble?
Michael Hudson | President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), a Wall Street Financial Analyst, Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Guest Professor at Peking University

Dirk Ehnts — “If I watch a football match”


Elementary institutional economics. Substitute unit of account for a central bank note and banks for the competing teams in a league in this analogy. Without understanding the rules of the game and the relationships of the teams and players, just tracking flows is meaningless.

econoblog 101
“If I watch a football match”
Dirk Ehnts | Lecturer at Bard College Berlin

Brian Romanchuk — The Zombification of Canada


A series of policy errors has trapped the Canadian economy in a near-zombie status.|

Household debt levels are high, leading to a fragile system. The only benign way of reducing this fragility is to induce high wage inflation, which is precluded by the unthinking attachment to the inflation target. There is no reason to expect the system to collapse on any particular forecast horizon; rather the economy can muddle along in a low-growth path. The fact that the brain trust that inflicted this low-growth destiny on the Canadian economy in the name of improving economic efficiency is ironic, but this reflects the general failure of modern policymaking. The situation in Canada may mainly be of interest to Canadians, but it does provide yet another data point for the general thesis that trusting the policy preferences of the financial sector is inherently a bad idea....
Bond Economics
The Zombification of Canada
Brian Romanchuk

Bill Mitchell — World Bankspeak – how to hide the failure of a mission!

As the title of my 2015 book – Eurozone Dystopia: Groupthink and Denial on a Grand Scale – indicates, I am interested in both economics and patterned behaviour within groups and the way groups erect edifices (such as, denial) to defend positions. 
I am also interested in the way groups use language. In an upcoming edition of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, I have an article written with Dr Louisa Connors entitled – Framing Modern Monetary Theory, which discusses this topic. Framing and language is a tool that reinforces Groupthink and allows group (organisations) to engage in denial even though the facts convey a different message. A 2015 analysis of World Bank Annual Reports from 1946 to 2012 is illustrative of the way in which framing, grammar and word usage can be used to clothe reality. The analysis published by the Stanford Literary Lab – Bankspeak: The Language of World Bank Reports, 1946–2012 – documents the shift in language by the World Bank between the first two decades of Annual Reports to the second two decades. They show how the Bank shifts from a language that is readily understood and considers a concrete world and offers very little prescriptive input to a narrative that becomes so opaque and filled with financial buzz words that comprehension is lost. They document the emergence of what they refer to as “Bankspeak”. Groupthink requires a certain language to reinforce the increasingly unsustainable reality that the group lives within. That is the role of the World Bankspeak! The Literary Lab analysis is worth reading because it provides a coherent analysis of the way words and sentence structures (grammar) are manipulated to shift focus, allay concern and basically, undermine accountability mechanisms that were established….
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
World Bankspeak – how to hide the failure of a mission!
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Eric Zuese: Trump Keeps the US - Jihadist Alliance Going Strong


The aristocracies that constitute ‘the Western alliance’ ‘for freedom and democracy’, are actually determined to bring the entire world under their control, and the American aristocracy claims to lead them, but if they were ever to succeed, and both Russia and Iran and their allies were to come under their control, then there would first be a war between the major parties to the alliance in order to determine where the global center of power will be — in the United States, or in Saudi Arabia — one having a Christian majority, and the other being a Sharia law fundamentalist-Sunni-Islamic dictatorship and the symbolic and physical center of the world’s second-largest religion on its way to becoming the largest religion: Saudi Arabia. 
Israel, the Jewish dictatorship over its non-Jews, is on good terms with both the Saudi and the U.S. aristocracy, and Judaism is a tiny religion except amongst the world’s aristocracies, where it constitutes a significant player. Israel’s dictators would be satisfied regardless of whether the world is led from ‘Christian’ Washington, or from fundamentalist-Sunni Riyadh. Either way, no Shia political force would remain. 
However, remarkably little thinking is being devoted to how the world would even be able to reach that stage, a unified dictatorial world government, because both Russia and Iran would need to be conquered in order to reach that stage, and this would inevitably entail a nuclear war between Russia and the United States, which would soon thereafter end life on this planet. 
Why haven’t the leaders and peoples of Europe, Japan, etc., abandoned the U.S government, and joined with Russia, in order to stave off a globe-ending nuclear war — or even just in order to put a stop to international jihadism? 
Will the public in at least one of the nations that claim to belong to ‘the Western alliance’ ‘for freedom and democracy’ need to overthrow their own government (not just its leaders) in order for freedom and democracy and peace to be able to return in even just one country? 
The global dictatorship is already gripping pretty hard. Look at what has happened to the people of Syria. And of Iraq. And of Libya (now so bad that it’s no longer even being polled). And of Yemen. And of Ukraine. And that’s just for starters. 
Douglas Valentine’s acclaimed new book, The CIA as Organized Crime, documents the shocking psychopathy of that organization; and, so, no one should be particularly surprised at the psychopathy of the organization that controls it.

Trump Keeps the US - Jihadist Alliance Going Strong 

We read about this here all the time from reports that Tom and myself put out here. All of the alternative media, including the right wing media and Ron Paul, are full of it. We know what is happening, but the MSM says nothing. With US links to Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern dictatorships it is obvious what's going on. Shia Muslims don't do terrorism and suicide bombing, but Trump says Iran is a terrorist state, and he says that while visiting the biggest terrorist state of all, Saudi Arabia. This is gangster-ism and organised crime and the BBC politely goes along with it. I find it strange and frightening when I watch the News on TV and see all the propaganda, half truths, and outright lies, which everyone else thinks its news.

Ukraine, Kiev: the ‘Titular Nation’ Versus the ‘Non-Titular’ Lebanese

The Ukrainian authorities never seem to tire of talking about the war with Russia. The same goes for the Ukrainian radical nationalists. It turns out, however, that they are actually fighting ‘outsiders’ of every nationality except Ukrainian.

In the last few days alone, fighting has broken out with Moldovans in Odessa, with Bulgarians in Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, with Hungarians in the Zakarpattia Oblast, and with Lebanese in Kiev. There has also been fighting with the Turks and with peoples from Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Middle East, who have all had the misfortune of annoying the ‘titular nation’.


The dispute with Linas Caffe arose because of the difference in the price of coffee – it was cheaper to take-away than to drink in the café itself. The ‘patriots’ wanted to drink coffee inside Linas Caffe, but at the take-away price. The result was a scandal that was very quickly given a nationalist hue and moved from the sphere of public catering to the sphere of politics.


«Remember Ukrainians are the boss here!» shouted several dozen ‘activists’ led by Mikhail Kovalchuk, leader of the National Patriotic Movement of Ukraine, as they marched to close the ‘Arab eatery’ (a café run by Lebanese).


Prior to this, foreigners started being harassed on social networking sites. «Get the hell out of our city, you filthy degenerates! Arrest and deport immigrants», «You have no say in our country!», «They must be eradicated», «Ukraine for Ukrainians», and «They’re guests here and most are unwelcome; racism is good when you respect your own kind more than another», said ‘soon-to-be Europeans’ who recently received the right to visa-free entry into the EU. The least offensive comment from racially correct Ukrainians regarding ‘outsiders’ was «the world’s garbage».
There were familiar faces among those fighting to clean up the national ranks such as Mykola Kokhanivsky, head of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, and neo-Nazis Vita Zaverukha and Igor Krivoruchko, who, in 2011, stabbed two Crimeans in Kiev in a racially-motivated attack because they did not belong to the ‘titular nation’. Immediately noticeable were nationalists from the Misanthropic Division.




The café’s Lebanese owners called the police, but police officers did nothing other than calmly watch as the café was invaded by nationalists.


The Lebanese owners were eventually forced to close the café to stop the attack, but this was not enough for the hardcore nationalists, who were buoyed up by their success. Yet another call for mobilisation appeared on Facebook with a view to closing the entire chain of Arab cafés. «Friends, we need to see this through to the end. I urge you to carry out any actions at your discretion that will close this dump once and for all,» wrote Kovalchuk in his call for reprisals.




As a result, the Lebanese owners were forced to comply with all of the nationalists’ demands: they promised to sack all personnel objectionable to the ‘titular nation’, switch to Ukrainian, and «take part in various social projects» (i.e. give money to racketeers). Nowadays in Ukraine, this is known as «a full 100 percent understanding» (Kovalchuk). «We are proud! Glory to the nation! Death to all enemies!!!» shouted these ‘soon-to-be Europeans’ joyfully.


And the Ukrainians fighting to cleanse their nation have not stopped at the Lebanese. They have already warned staff at the Lyubimy Dyadya café that the name of their establishment is «in the language of the enemy». In another small Kiev restaurant, Aroma, members of the ‘titular nation’ did not like the «non-Ukrainian» menu. They have also targeted the Katyusha café chain.


It seems that before long, the ‘patriot racket’ will be in full swing, except that unlike the 1990s, the gangsters are now calling themselves ‘patriots’. Kiev is a real honeypot for these people: the ‘titular nation’ can now walk into any shop, any business and any café and demand they dance the Ukrainian hopak, sack ‘non-titular’ personnel, and, at the same time, «take part in social projects». Any business in Ukraine (not belonging to the authorities) can now be closed at the request of competitors under the slogan «Ukraine for Ukrainians!»


It is more than likely that the name of the Lyubimy Dyadya café will now be translated into Western Ukrainian, and hand in hand with the Ukrainisation of anything and everything will come racketeering, gang violence and the further ‘Galicianisation’ of Kiev (Galicia is regarded in Ukraine as the ancestral home of the ‘titular nation’).


No doubt the fascists get a lot of their support from the authoritarian working class. This is from Strategic Cultures which Malwarebytes says is a suspicious site, so I can't view it on my tablet or PC. I can view it on my phone so I have reprinted it in full. The US again backs fascists, authoritarians, and criminals. I won't put it out here in case it is said to be a conspiracy theory, but I saw a good documentary once linking the Mafia, organised crime, the CIA, and the elite as all in cahoots with each other. War for them is big business and they don't want it to stop.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Jacob Heilbrunn — Is Trump Pushing Merkel to Create A German Superpower?

Trump's approach to Europe and elsewhere has been predicated on the notion that he can singlehandedly defy the rules of the game and extract what he wants. The problem is that he is emboldening Germany to become the superpower of Europe and inevitably it will pursue what it considers its own interests. This is after all the nation that invented the term realpolitik....
The National Interest
Is Trump Pushing Merkel to Create A German Superpower?
Jacob Heilbrunn | editor of the National Interest

SouthFront — ISIS Imposes Own Currency In Controlled Areas

In early May, ISIS forced traders to use its currency in the areas controlled by the terrorist group, especially in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor.…

Each silver dirham equals 100 fils of copper, and each gold dinar equals 85 silver dirhams. According to ISIS, the value of currencies determined by its “Monetary Authority”.
ISIS is trying to promote its currency by claiming that it has “real value unlike paper currencies.” ISIS also claimed that its currency maintains its value during wars and crises becauseit is made of valuable metals.…
ISIS currency carries the value of the metals it’s made of. However, its exchange rate is manipulated and does not reflect the true value of these metals. In addition, ISIS is the one who determines the exchange rates, thus making this currency one of the biggest financial scams in the current decade....

David Lazare — Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy


Donald Trump throws in the towel.
Reeling from the onslaught, Trump began to realize that he was in a no-win situation, just as Obama had eight years earlier when he gave Hillary Clinton and her neocon allies control of the State Department.
Bucking Washington’s foreign-policy establishment, a.k.a. “The Blob,” was a losing proposition. The neocons were too powerful. Resistance was pointless. So Trump surrendered to the “truisms” of Official Washington’s foreign-policy elite regarding the Middle East conflicts: Saudi Arabia and its allies: good; Russia, Syria, and Iran: baaaad....
Consortium News
Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy
David Lazare

Also
As part of the drive to drive President Trump from the White House, some “never-Trumpers” are rehabilitating George W. Bush as a relative “moderate” and thus whitewashing his war crimes, notes Lawrence Davidson.
George W. Bush’s Horrific Legacy

also

Sputnik International
Daesh and the West's Solid Stench of Death
Pepe Escobar

Dave Lindorff: American conservatives love to bash Canadian health care — but U.S. corporations love it

Canada's affordable, efficient and widely popular single-payer system saves millions for U.S. corporations


President Donald Trump has been pushing hard, along with Republicans in Congress, to eliminate former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. But as he and leaders of the Senate and House struggle to come up with some alternative health care law, they might ask themselves why large companies like General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (now Fiat Chrysler) over recent decades have shifted roughly half their car and truck production — and the jobs that go with them — across the Detroit River into Canada. 
Here’s one big reason they did it: Canada’s government-run single-payer health system, known as Medicare — to be clear, not the same Medicare as the American health care system for senior citizens — lowers those auto companies’ health care costs from more than $15,000 per worker in the United States to just a few thousand dollars in Canada, with all Canadian taxpayers, not just employees and their employers, picking up the tab. 
Although few if any executives of large firms in the U.S. have advocated a similar single-payer system here, executives of Canadian subsidiaries of those same companies not only say they like the system, but enthusiastically make use of it not just for their workers, but for themselves and their families. In fact, a decade ago, those executives of U.S. Canadian subsidiaries joined with executives and union presidents of Canadian-based firms to lobby the Canadian government to expand and increase funding for Medicare, seeking to have it cover long-term care, dental care and drugs. 
Nobody would call Francis Buckley, a professor of contract law at George Mason University in Virginia, a liberal. A Canadian by birth who became a naturalized U.S. citizen a few years ago, Buckley is a senior editor of the conservative American Spectator magazine, and was an occasional speechwriter for Donald Trump last year during the presidential campaign. But he also sits on the board of Physicians for a National Health Program, an advocacy group for single-payer health care in the U.S. Buckley said, “My experience with Canada’s health system is that it works very well, and at about half the cost per person of the U.S.” 
Buckley added, “Trump in the past has said good things about Canada’s Medicare system. Ideologically I don’t think he’s opposed to it. But given the fecklessness of the Republicans in Congress, he may feel that it would be too hard to push through.”
American conservatives love to bash Canadian health care

Max Blumenthal: The Manchester Bombing is Blowback from the West’s Disastrous Interventions and Covert Proxy Wars


How the US and UK helped bring jihadists like Salem Abedi to Libya and Syria


A secret 2008 US embassy cable described Qaddafi’s government as a bulwark against the spread of Islamist militancy. “Libya has been a strong partner in the war against terrorism and cooperation in liaison channels is excellent,” the cable read. “Muammar al-Qadhafi’s criticism of Saudi Arabia for perceived support of Wahabi extremism, a source of continuing Libya-Saudi tension, reflects broader Libyan concern about the threat of extremism. Worried that fighters returning from Afghanistan and Iraq could destabilize the regime, the [government of Libya] has aggressive pursued operations to disrupt foreign fighter flows, including more stringent monitoring of air/land ports of entry, and blunt the ideological appeal of radical Islam.” 
The author of that cable was the late foreign service officer, J. Christopher Stevens. 
A rogue former officer of Britain’s MI5 intelligence services named David Shayler alleged that his government had covertly funded the LIFG [Libyan Islamic Fighting Group] to carry out the failed 1996 assassination attempt on Qaddafi. Two years later, Libyan state television produced footage of a failed grenade attack on Qaddafi that it alleged was carried out by a British agent. At the time, the LIFG was an affiliate of Al Qaeda whose members included Anas al-Libi, a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden. 
When the Libyan uprising broke out in March 2011, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates immediately pumped arms and logistical support into the armed opposition. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saw the insurgency as an opportunity for America to assert its influence amidst the tumult of the Arab Spring. She advocated arming the rebels on the grounds that Washington could get “skin in the game,” according to her Middle East advisor, Dennis Ross. 
Ignoring warnings from NATO’s supreme allied commander Adm. James Stavridis about the presence of Al Qaeda in the opposition, President Barack Obama approved shipments of TOW missiles, armored Humvees, and advanced radar systems to the Libyan insurgents.
I read Qaddafi's Green Book many years ago and agreed with everything in it. The West said it was propaganda,  as if the West doesn't do propaganda. I'm not into backing dictators, most are brutal, but the Libyans  had the highest standard of living in Africa; they had free education; low cost public banking;  help buying their homes and starting their businesses; so did they really want him removed?

The West always wanted him gone and so they backed Jihad Islam to oust him. The Jihadists always hated his secular regime, just as they do in Syria. The West backs Jihadists dictatorships and the Russians back moderate and secular regimes. So who's the bad guy? The ME is now a complete mess, millions of lives ruined, and now they are going to do the same to Iran.

They say Qaddafi run a brutal regime, but the CIA and he Jihadists always wanted him out, so he had to have a strong Intelligence. Left alone, Libya may have progressed to a liberal democracy. But what does democracy mean in the West anyway: it usually  means being a vassal state of the US where democracy is a sham. When we voted for New Labour and when Americans voted for Trump, they got the same old hidden government back in.

Opening up a country to democracy and free markets just means privatising everything so the Western elite can buy it all up. They can use Western banks, which create money out of nothing, to buy up the world. This isn't capitalism, this a small group of people controlling the planet. If the Chinese get better at it, because they have a superior banking system and realise the importance of industry to create wealth, you can bet the Western elite won't like capitalism much anymore. They will demand that China becomes more 'democratic'' - as if the US is democratic - and open up its markets so the West can buy up everything.

In the UK the Royal Mail got privatised and now the elite can make a packet. But they want the NHS too. Haven't they got enough billions already, what do they want more for? But they want all of Russia's and China's wealth too, and everything in South America and the ME even if that means destroying those countries. Greg Palest has apparently caught one of the Koch brothers on tape saying - when he was cheating the native Indians out of their oil by stating that the tankers which sucked up the oil were smaller than they were - 'I want everything, I want it all'.


Felicity Lawrence: Who will pay for the UK’s multi-billion corporate tax grab? We all will


Imagine you are presented with a brilliant new wheeze to reclaim your taxes from more than 40 years ago: taxes that have long ago been spent on services from the NHS to schools to welfare. Clever lawyers and accountants sell the idea to you; they spotted the opportunity at the turn of the millennium. But just like elaborate transnational tax avoidance, it only works if you are a large multinational business operating in different jurisdictions. What would you do? Balk at something that sounds so unfair? Ask: how is this possible? Or take up their invitation and ask who to call? 
Lots of multinational companies made that call, and it is a huge but little-known problem facing any incoming UK government that HM Revenue & Customs acknowledges it may have to repay big business a staggering £55bn of old tax.The figure is enormous: that is nearly half the NHS’s annual budget. It’s more than the total amount of corporation tax and capital gains tax collected by HMRC in 2015. It makes arguments about whether Labour’s manifesto is properly costed look footling, and the Conservative promise to move in to surplus look wild
HMRC now has a last shot at appealing to the supreme court on an aspect of the BAT group claims: whether the corporates are entitled not just to simple interest on repayments in the way that you and I would be if we were being repaid tax collected, but to compound interest going back to 1973. It is this claim that turns the sums from disturbingly large to public finance-busting. The revenue declined to say to what extent its liabilities relate to challenges under EU law, but a source has told us the great majority of them do.

Who will pay for the UK’s multi-billion corporate tax grab?


If Labour wins the election it could wreck its spending plans, then Labour will
look like it failed again. But as usual it wouldn't be their fault, it would be down to the city gents. I hope the British Labour Party catches onto MMT.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Zero Hedge Dollar General Accounts For 80% Of All New Store Openings In The US


Bottom feeding increases as bottom (refuse of society) expands. Walmart becomes upscale.
It seems that in the otherwise gloomy US bricks and mortar industry, a source of tremendous growth continues to shine: catering to America's growing poor.
Zero Hedge
Dollar General Accounts For 80% Of All New Store Openings In The US
Tyler Durden

Alleen Brown — Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies”

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept.
The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

Internal TigerSwan communications describe the movement as “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and compare the anti-pipeline water protectors to jihadist fighters.
"It can't happen here," morphs into "It can't be happening here, can it?"

Warning: SCARY.

Patrick Armstrong — When Intelligence Isn't


What passes for intelligence these days.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
When Intelligence Isn't
Patrick Armstrong

See also

"Anatoly, you will not believe what the idiots proposed to me!" (Dramatization)
Col. W. Patrick Lang, US Army (ret.), former military intelligence officer at the US Defense Intelligence Agency

The Duran
Another story from the Deep State soft coup plotters: Kushner, Flynn and the ‘back channel’ to Russia
Alexander Mercouris

Also
On Thursday, the leaders of NATO member countries met for the first time with President Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels. On the same day, ahead of her trip to Brussels, Angela Merkel met with former US president Barack Obama in Berlin. Polish political analyst Jan Hartman commented to Sputnik on the occasion.…
Sputnik International
No Coincidence: Why Obama Visited Merkel Hours Before Trump Joining NATO Summit

After failing to thwart two terror attacks that have occurred in the U.K. so far this year – both of which were carried out by suspected jihadis who were known to U.K. authorities – intelligence agencies have identified 23,000 potential jihadis living in Britain, according to a report published in the Times of London on Saturday.
The report emerged after U.K. Prime Minster Theresa May downgraded the terror threat to “severe,” after raising it “critical” on Tuesday in the aftermath of the attacks.
Of this 'pool' of potential terrorists, 3,000 are suspected of posing an “imminent threat” and are being investigated accordingly, the Times reports. Meanwhile, the other 20,000 have been involved with past investigation....
Zero Hedge
Intelligence Agencies Admit 23,000 Jihadis Live In Britain; 3,000 Pose "Imminent Threat"
Tyler Durden

Moon of Alabama — The Activities Around Trump's Foreign Policy Are Scandalous - But The Media Won't Tell You Why


Important. Spoiler: The title is snark.

Moon of Alabama
The Activities Around Trump's Foreign Policy Are Scandalous - But The Media Won't Tell You Why
b

RIP Zbignew Brzezinski


A Russian view of Zbig and his legacy.

Geopolitica.RU

Laying the trap for Russia in Afghanistan aka creating Russia's Vietnam.

Defend Democracy Press
Brzezinski: CIA entered Afghanistan before the Russians
Translated from the French by Bill Blum
Published by the French site les-crises.fr
As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people.
Because freedom and democracy.

Moon of Alabama
Al-Qaeda's Godfather Is Dead - Good Riddance
b
Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Mujahideen: "Your cause is right and God is on your side!"
The Duran
Zbigniew Brzezinski: Death of an anti-Russian terrorist
Adam Garrie

As the New York Times explains, Brzezinski’s “rigid hatred of the Soviet Union” guided much of America’s foreign policy “for better or worse.” From the Times:
“He supported billions in military aid for Islamic militants fighting invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He tacitly encouraged China to continue backing the murderous regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia, lest the Soviet-backed Vietnamese take over that country.” [emphasis added]
While it is progressive of the New York Times to note Brzezinski’s support for Islamic militants, downplaying the effect of his vindictive foreign policy agenda with a mere sentence does an injustice to the true horror behind Brzezinski’s policies....
The Anti-Media

Bob Johnson: President John Kennedy's Idea to Protect Elections From the 1% Can Work


The night before, Kennedy had gone to dinner with a small group of wealthy and prominent Jews in New York. An episode of the evening trouble him deeply. Describing it to Bartlett as an 'amazing experience," he said one of those at the dinner party - he did not identify him by name - told him he knew his campaign was in financial difficulty and, speaking for the group, offered 'to help and help significantly' if Kennedy as president 'would allow them to set the course of Middle East policy over the next four years.' It was an astounding proposition." 
This experience inspired Kennedy to come up with an idea that would break the legs of the powerful 1% and their special interest groups while protecting true democracy. That idea is to have a law that would subsidize presidential campaigns out of the US Treasury. He felt that the cost incurred by this would be well worth it as it would "insulate presidential candidates in the future from this kind of pressure and save the country a lot of grief in the long run." 
If this idea of President Kennedy's had been made a reality, just imagine how much better things would be today. In just one aspect of world politics and life, Israel and the Middle East, the billions of American tax dollars US politicians from both parties take from Americans and give to Israel every year would more than likely stay in the US and put to use helping American citizens instead of a warmongering foreign state. The overly powerful Israel lobby (Kennedy tried to require the Israel lobby to register as a foreign agent) would not be able to virtually, and in some cases, literally, write US foreign policy for the Middle East which would mean the Iraq War, which was launched for Israel's benefit, never would have happened. If the Iraq War never happened, al Qaeda never would have gotten into Iraq and the Islamic State terror organization never would have come into existence. 
President Kennedy's plan to subsidize presidential campaigns should also be applied to all political campaigns. This would virtually guarantee protection on all levels from the damaging influence of the 1% and their special interest organizations.
President John Kennedy's Idea to Protect Elections From the 1% Can Work 

The Guardian: Labour poll rise suggests Manchester attack has not boosted Tories


The narrowing of the Conservative lead over Labour to five points in the first opinion poll since the Manchester suicide bombing on Monday punctures the widespread political assumption that the attack would improve the Tories’ standing. 
The Times/YouGov poll putting the Conservatives on 43% and Labour on 38% was based on interviews conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, and included the period in which Theresa May declared a critical threat level and announced the deployment of nearly 1,000 troops on to the streets of Britain.
If only our media was less biased and concentrated more on the Tory support for international terrorism through its cosy links to Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Tory Lead Cut to 5 Points 

Mark Curtis: The British Establishment Is Putting Our Lives at Risk: Our State’s Key Ally Is a Major Public Threat


This wave of terrorism driven by Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, derives from a complex infrastructure of forces, working over time. But it springs ultimately from the ideology promoted by the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, who were at least until recently funding and backing IS: they have done so to support their goal of overthrowing Assad in Syria and championing Sunni Islam in the face of rivalry with Iran. These are Britain’s allies. Whitehall has a deep, long-standing special relationship with the extremist Saudis: it is arming them, backing them, apologising for them, and supporting their regional policies. At the same time, the Saudis have been helping to create the monster that now threatens the British public. So, too, have the policies of the British government.
The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism. In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires IS terrorists. 
Theresa May’s government, as previous governments, have endangered the British public by the relationship they choose to have with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In recent months, May has signed up Britain to a new generation of special relationships with these states, based on selling more arms and providing more training of their militaries and security forces to keep the ruling families in power. All this has been done on the quiet, with scant government or media reporting. We are set for another generation of domestic tyranny in Gulf and foreign Islamist adventures, all now helped by raising the enemy of ‘Iran’ – a foreign policy agenda being set by Riyadh and recently helped by President Trump’s preposterous invocation of Iran as the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.


The media is trying to say that Corbyn is soft on terrorism, but why don't they mention how the Conservative party backs terrorism? Total media bias.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Ron Jacobs — The Deep State is the State

The deep state is not some enigmatic entity that operates outside the US government. It is the US state itself. Like all elements of that state, the so-called deep state exists to enforce the economic supremacy of US capitalism. It does so primarily via the secret domestic and international police forces like the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies. The operations of these agencies run the gamut from surveillance to propaganda to covert and overt military actions. Naturally, this so-called deep state operates according to their own rules; rules which ultimately insure its continued existence and relevance. Although it can be argued that it was the 1950 National Security Directive known as NSC-68 along with the Congressional Bill creating the Central Intelligence Agency that launched the “deep state” as we understand it, a broader understanding of the “deep state” places its genesis perhaps a century prior to that date. In other words, a structure designed to maintain the economic and political domination of certain powerful US capitalists existed well back into the nineteenth century. However, the centralization of that power began in earnest in the years following World War Two.…
Backgrounder.

Counterpunch
The Deep State is the State
Ron Jacobs

Doug Bandow — How America Could End Up in an Unexpected War with China


The US is now involved militarily on five fronts — Central Asia (Afghanistan), the Middle East (Iraq, Syria and Iran), Europe (Ukraine, Russia), China (South China Sea), and North Korea. How can this be a good idea?

The National Interest
How America Could End Up in an Unexpected War with China
Doug Bandow | senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Moon of Alabama — Syria - Truth Slips Through In The New York Times - NATO Preps to Fight Iran And Russia

Make no mistake - "fighting ISIS" is not the real purpose of the move. The U.S. wants NATO support to invade Syria from the north in Idleb as well as from the south near Deraa and from the south-east starting at the al-Tanf border station to Iraq. Syria and its allies will now be fought under the disguise of "fighting ISIS" which factually can no longer be the purpose. Thus NATO, together with Wahhabi Gulf forces, will now be engaged in an expanded war not only against the Syria government but especially against its Russian and Iranian allies. Trump's endorsement of anti-Iranian rhetoric on his visit in Saudi Arabia served a similar purpose.
Syria and its allies will try to prevent a further invasion by cutting off al-Tanf and holding on to Deraa city - thereby blocking any wider military moves. But those measures will probably be in vain. Unless some sane voices intervene we are now at the beginning of a far wider and more dangerous war that can easily slip out of anyone's control.
Trump just got his marching orders from Riyadh and Tel Aviv. WWIII appears to be on.

Moon of Alabama
Syria - Truth Slips Through In The New York Times - NATO Preps to Fight Iran And Russia
b

See also

The Vineyard of the Saker
Trump: dancing with wolves on the Titanic
The Saker

James Kwak — How Markets Work


Argument for single payer based on health care being a public good rather than a private good.

Baseline Scenario
How Markets Work
James Kwak | Associate Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law

Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror by Andre Vltchek

Southeast Asian elites “forgot” about those tens of millions of Asian people murdered by the Western imperialism at the end of and after the WWII. They “forgot” about what took place in the North – about the Tokyo and Osaka firebombing, about the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs, about the barbaric liquidation of Korean civilians by the US forces. But they also forgot about their own victims – about those hundreds of thousands, in fact about the millions, of those who were blown to pieces, burned by chemicals or directly liquidated – men, women and children of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor. 
All is forgiven and all is forgotten. 
And once again the Empire is proudly “pivoting” into Asia; it is even bragging about it. 
It goes without saying that the Empire has no shame and no decency left. It boasts about democracy and freedom, while it does not even bother to wash the blood of tens of millions off its hands. 
All over Asia, the “privileged populaces” has chosen to not know, to not remember, or even to erase all terrible chapters of the history. Those who insist on remembering are being silenced, ridiculed, or made out to be irrelevant. 
It is all forgotten and forgiven, and the reason “why” is clear, simple. It pays to forget! 
“Forgiveness” brings funding; it secures “scholarships” just one of the ways Western countries spread corruption in its client states and in the states they want to draw into their orbit. 
The elites with their lavish houses, trips abroad, kids in foreign schools, are a very forgiving bunch! 
But then you go to a countryside, where the majority of Southeast Asian people still live. And the story there is very different. The story there makes you shiver. 
Before departing from Laos, I sat at an outdoor table in a village of Nam Bak, about 100 kilometers from Luang Prabang. Ms. Nang Oen told me her stories about the US carpet-bombing, and Mr. Un Kham showed me his wounds: 
“Even here, in Nam Bak, we had many craters all over, but now they are covered by rice fields and houses. In 1968, my parents’ house was bombed… I think they dropped 500-pound bombs on it. Life was unbearable during the war. We had to sleep in the fields or in the caves. We had to move all the time. Many of us were starving, as we could not cultivate our fields.  
I ask Ms. Nang Oen about the Americans. Did she forget, forgive? 
“How do I feel about them? I actually can’t say anything. After all these years, I am still speechless. They killed everything here, including chicken. I know that they are doing the same even now, all over the world…” 
She paused, looked at the horizon. 
“Sometimes I remember what was done to us… Sometimes I forget”. She shrugs her shoulders. “But when I forget, it is only for a while. We did not receive any compensation, not even an apology. I cannot do anything about it. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and I cry.” 
I listened to her and I knew, after working for decades in this part of the world: for the people of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and East Timor, nothing is forgotten and nothing is forgiven. And it should never be!

 Millions of people were killed in Southeast Asia, but today they do not know what the West did. The installed puppet regimes teach in schools how the US saved them from murderous communism. They love Americans.

Tom talks about terrorism but nothing can compare to this. Here in the West we know nothing about it either, the bombing was often done in secret. It is banished from our history books. It's amazing, or terrifying rather, to think that millions could be killed over many years and then it gets whitewashed from history. Paul Craig Roberts calls it The Matrix.

The above excerpt does do the article justice, if you found it interesting it's worth reading the whole thing.


Ramanan — Jeremy Spoke In Class Today

In this brilliant speech, Corbyn talks about how the West’s foreign policy is responsible for terrorism....
Of course, none of this doesn’t mean that this is the only factor responsible for global terrorism. But via deceit, western governments and the media has prevented this main reason from being discussed.
The Case for Concerted Action
Jeremy Spoke In Class Today
V. Ramanan

See

Osama asks two questions.

The first is why do we attack you. The answer is you attacked us first and it is a Muslim's obligation to come to the aid of the community.

The second is what do we want. This is based on Wahhabism, the official religious doctrine of Saudi Arabia, which it seeks to promote among Muslims.

The obvious response is to ask, first, whether it is is worth it to continue to aggress in Muslim lands and, secondly, whether the Western support of and alliance with Saudi Arabia is good policy.

The Guardian (24 NOV 2002)
Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'
Osama bin Laden

David F. Ruccio — “We need people to go to work”

Emily Badger is right:
 "The new White House budget proposal is built on a deep-rooted conservative belief: The government should help those who are willing to work, and cull from benefit rolls those who aren’t."
But it’s also a deep-rooted liberal belief. Lest we forget, it was Bill Clinton who signed the original let-them-work-or-starve welfare reform in 1996 (two years after signing the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the largest crime bill in history).*
There is not much difference between conservatism and bourgeois liberalism. Two sides of the same coin, as Clinton, Blair, and Obama proved.

The fallacy of substituting workfare for welfare is several fold. First, there have to be enough jobs which there likely won't be without a job guarantee. Secondly, as Ruccio points out, many of the job will pay below the subsistence level so that government has to subsidize employers that don't pay a living wage and whose business plan includes this as a policy. Sam Walton, I am thinking of you.*

* "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment."
— Attributed in Adam L. Penenberg, "Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart", Wired, 21 April 2005 (Wikiquote)

Occasional Links & Commentary
“We need people to go to work”
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

See also
Zuckerberg said that, because he knew he had a safety net if projects like Facebook had failed, he was confident enough to continue on without fear of failing. Others, he said, such as children who need to support households instead of poking away on computers learning how to code, don't have the foundation Zuckerberg had. Universal basic income would provide that sort of cushion, Zuckerberg argued.
Altman's view is similar. A year ago, Altman said he thinks "everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don't yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this." Altman believes basic income will be possible as technological advancements "generate an abundance of resources" that help decrease the cost of living.

Barkley Rosser — Some Saudi-US History


Backgrounder.

Angry Bear
Some Saudi-US History
J. Barkley Rosser | Professor of Economics and Business Administration James Madison University