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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1100 on: December 07, 2018, 08:40:06 PM »
Sjursen over at antiwar traces the formal beginning of Empire to 1898. He does point out that the origins are earlier:

"The truth, of course, is far more discomfiting. The U.S. was an empire before it had even gained its own independence. From the moment that Englishmen landed at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock, theirs was an imperial experiment."

"the U.S. was a great land empire most similar (ironically) to that of Russia, but an empire nonetheless."

In this context, Chomsky has characterized  the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and Israel as "settler colonialism" where the original inhabitants are extirpated, as opposed to say, India, where the populations survived despite the Late Victorian Holocausts, and other famines.

Sjursen continues:

"Still, there is something profound about 1898 and the years that followed. For it was in this era that the American people—and their leaders—became sick with the disease of overseas imperialism. With no Indians left to fight and no Mexican lands worth conquering, Americans looked abroad for new monsters to destroy and new lands to occupy. "

After a detailed historical discussion, he concludes on a slight note of optimism:

"We live still in the shadow of 1898. The choice between republic and empire still lies before us."

I am more pessimistic. That choice was made long ago. The end of Empire will only come when it's power is violently broken, which I fear will be a long, bloody and vicious process.

A long piece, but very worth reading.

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2018/12/06/tragic-dawn-of-overseas-imperialism/

sidd

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1101 on: December 08, 2018, 01:03:56 AM »
NATO Will Not Stop Itself 

It is clear that NATO’s expansion is aimed at Moscow itself. It will continue until it is forcibly stopped. This means either by Russia warding off NATO expansion until NATO collapses under its own unsustainable weight, or Russia outmatches NATO at the very edge of the West’s extent in areas Moscow clearly holds the military, sociopolitical, and economic advantage.
The Kerch Strait incident and attempts to leverage it as a pretext to place NATO warships in the Sea of Azov is a dangerous provocation – the Sea of Azov is not “international waters” and is considered by both Ukraine and Russia as an inland sea they share control over.

If people like Stephen Blank have their way and warships enter the Sea of Azov – NATO will be one step past many of the proxy wars the West is already fighting Russia through – and one step closer to fighting Russian forces directly.

Blank’s claiming NATO must act to confront Russian “provocations” is an instance of inverse reality. In this case – NATO is encircling Russia, violently stripping it of buffer states where the West and East have and could have continued to share influence to avoid conflict, and is instead turning them into frontier fortresses in preparation for what is clearly further and more direct conflict planned with Russia in the future.

A nation leading an alliance that must cross the Atlantic Ocean and several seas to station its vessels in Russian waters is not reacting to provocations – it is the provocateur.

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/12/07/natos-aggression-reaches-for-russian-waters/

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1102 on: December 08, 2018, 01:09:20 AM »
The United States has long meddled in Latin America’s affairs…

The US-manufactured crisis is forcing Venezuelans to rummage for garbage.
Originally posted on War is Boring September 28, 2018 / Andrew Dobbs

On Sept. 11, 1973, a military junta headed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet completed a coup against the left-wing government of Chilean president Salvador Allende. Allende had given hope to many leftists around the world that socialism could come to power peacefully and coexist with liberal political institutions. The chaos and tumult of his three year presidency and its violent end seemed to demonstrate the impossibility of such a strategy.


Castro and Chavez: Two heroes of Latin American and world revolution. If the CIA or other US intel services had assassinated them, most Americans would have shrugged the whole thing off.
Twenty-five years later, however, another Latin American leftist came to power through a mass movement at the ballot box — Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez — and promised a different path towards the same goal. Chavez proposed a less aggressive, more creative path towards socialism, one with more democracy than ever before for the people of Venezuela

Chavez died of cancer in 2013, and now five years later it seems that his socialist dream, like Allende’s, has failed. Under his successor Pres. Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has descended into economic and political chaos. Hyperinflation has beset the country, with prices rising at an annualized rate of 1,000,000 percent.

Shortages of basic necessities such as toilet paper and bread have caused mass unrest, culminating in violent protests. Now there is open talk about the need to overthrow Maduro or remove him from power, perhaps through U.S. military intervention.

The parallels with Venezuela and Chile, however, should prompt far more skepticism from honest observers. The CIA long ago confessed to years of maneuvering to destabilize the Allende government and to coordinate the forces that would bring it to an illegal and violent end. There is ample evidence now that just such a plot is underway in Venezuela today, and that it is very likely to succeed. The best way to tell, in fact, is to study what happened in Chile.

The outcome in Venezuela is likely to be very different than what happened in 1973, with major security implications for South America, the Caribbean and beyond. If recent U.S. policy has anything to teach us, it’s that the Venezuelan people may wish that they got off as easily as the Chileans did.

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/12/06/to-understand-venezuelas-crisis-look-to-the-past-and-the-cia/

SteveMDFP

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1103 on: December 08, 2018, 02:33:58 AM »
NATO Will Not Stop Itself 
. . .
The Kerch Strait incident and attempts to leverage it as a pretext to place NATO warships in the Sea of Azov is a dangerous provocation – the Sea of Azov is not “international waters” and is considered by both Ukraine and Russia as an inland sea they share control over.

I don't think so.  Control by two states means that the Sea of Azov is, by definition, international waters.  So is the Black Sea. 
Even if the Kerch Strait were solely within Russian territorial waters (this is disputed by most nations), being the sole strait between international waters, then the Law of the Sea says that all vessels must be permitted free access through the strait.
No exception for that military vessels may be intercepted.
No exception that having a bridge over the strait affects the law.

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

"Transit passage exists throughout the entire strait, not just the area overlapped by the territorial waters of the coastal nations. The ships and aircraft of all nations, including warships, auxiliaries, and military aircraft, enjoy the right of unimpeded transit passage in such straits and their approaches."

Ukraine, in this matter, was not the chief provocateur.

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1104 on: December 08, 2018, 11:12:48 AM »
The United States was among the nations that participated in the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place from 1973 through 1982 and resulted in the international treaty known as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The United States also participated in the subsequent negotiations of modifications to the treaty from 1990 to 1994. The UNCLOS came into force in 1994. Although the United States now recognizes the UNCLOS as a codification of customary international law, it has not ratified it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

Why Hasn't the US Signed the Law of the Sea Treaty?
If China does disregard the decision, the United States almost certainly will portray the case as yet another instance in which Beijing flouts international law. But any U.S. attempt to pressure China over its rejection of the ruling will be complicated by the fact that Washington itself has not ratified the treaty on which the Philippine complaint is based — the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS.
https://www.voanews.com/a/united-states-sign-law-sea-treaty/3364342.html

Welcome! UNCLOSDebate.org is an effort to expand the debate on U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea (or UNCLOS) while at the same time building a better system to crowdsource policy debate on complex topics (whew!). You can read more about the project here, jump in one of the featured topics on the left, or let us show you around with the tour below (coming soon!) and on most pages.
https://www.unclosdebate.org

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1105 on: December 08, 2018, 12:18:07 PM »
List of treaties unsigned or unratified by the United States
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This is a list of international treaties the United States has either not signed, not ratified, or signed but later withdrawn.

Among these treaties, a few have been singled out by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, as extremely important, and the United States reluctance to ratify them problematic.[1] Some of the treaties are the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Ottawa Treaty.

1930 - Forced Labour Convention, not ratified
1948 - Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, not signed
1949 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949, not signed
1950 - Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others, not signed
1951 - Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, party to only the 1967 protocol
1951 - Equal Remuneration Convention, not ratified
1954 - Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, not signed
1958 - Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, not ratified
1960 - Convention against Discrimination in Education, not ratified
1961 - Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, not signed
1962 - Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, signed but not ratified
1964 - Employment Policy Convention, 1964, not ratified
1966 - International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, signed but not ratified
1966 - First Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, not signed
1969 - Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, not ratified
1969 - Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, signed but not ratified
1972 - Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed but withdrew in 2002
1977 - American Convention on Human Rights, signed but not ratified
1977 - Protocol I (an amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions), not ratified
1977 - Protocol II (an amendment protocol to the Geneva Conventions), not ratified
1979 - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, signed but not ratified
1979 - Moon Treaty
1981 - Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981, not ratified
1989 - Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, not signed
1989 - Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed but not ratified
1989 - Basel Convention, signed but not ratified
1990 - United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, not signed
1991 - United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, not signed
1992 - Convention on Biological Diversity, signed but not ratified
1994 - Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, signed but not ratified
1996 - Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed but not ratified
1997 - Kyoto Protocol, signed with no intention to ratify
1997 - Ottawa Treaty (Mine Ban Treaty), unsigned
1998 - Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, unsigned [2]
1999 - Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, not signed
1999 - Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, signed but not ratified
1999 - Civil Law Convention on Corruption, not signed
2002 - Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, not signed
2006 - International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, not signed
2007 - Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, signed but not ratified
2008 - Convention on Cluster Munitions, not signed
2011 - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, signed but not yet ratified
2016 - Trans-Pacific Partnership, signed but not yet ratified
2017 - Paris Agreement, signed but not ratified
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_treaties_unsigned_or_unratified_by_the_United_States

...and those on the inside looking out wonder why some of those on the outside looking in have such a dim view.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 02:15:38 PM by Red »

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1106 on: December 09, 2018, 12:42:37 AM »
Thanks Red!


Your list should be translated and nailed to the door of every American Embassy in the world.


Whenever an American voice is raised at the United Nations demanding that some other country be held accountable for violating a treaty that the US is not a party to, he should be drowned out by howls of  laughter from those representing those nations actually covered by that treaty.


Ratifying the Law of the Sea would force the States to abandon her hopes of internationalizing Canada's North West Passage. Ending any possibility of Canada's being able to oversee the environmental regulation of vessels passing through her waters.


Unilaterally declaring the Sea of Azov to be international waters invalidates treaties in place prior to 1700. The 2003 treaty with the Ukraine acknowledges this and spells out the rights of both of the countries that share dominion over this sea.


Just as Chinese war ships have no right to ply Lake Superior, NATO warships have no right on the Sea of Azov without permission from both Russia and Ukraine.


To get back closer to our topic, has any further information leaked out re. the status of the Texas accented tug boat captain? Were all of his crew were also Americans? What charges are they facing since their capture in waters that have been acknowledged as being Russian for longer than Philadelphia has been acknowledged as being in American hands.


Terry

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1107 on: December 10, 2018, 11:38:42 AM »
Our collective worries about the collapse of the natural world and the few things we could do to perhaps slow or even stop the possible extinctions are moot in the face of the more likely global war that is being cooked up by the TPTB on our behalf. There will be nothing to save after this goes off and at present rate off it will go!

The United States continues to brandish its military power all round the globe and has recently been concentrating on confronting Russia and China. Its policy and deployments were explained by the US Air Force Secretary in September when she declared that Washington felt threatened because “Less than a week ago Russia began the largest exercise on Russian soil in four decades… with more than 300,000 troops and 1000 aircraft.

On the other side of the world, China’s first aircraft carrier was declared combat ready this year, and promptly sailed into the Pacific to conduct flight operations.”

The absurdity of that statement escaped fitting comment by the West’s mainstream media, which also considers it astonishing that Russia should carry out a military exercise in its own territory following the massive build-up by the US-NATO military alliance along its borders. As pointed out on November 15 by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, this expansion can be seen “along the entire stretch of land connecting the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. Since October, vast operational resources have been concentrated in the Baltic Region and the north of Europe, due to a series of major international exercises. They are being deployed in addition to NATO regiments already present in the countries of the eastern flank. Those regions have never seen such a military presence since the end of the World War II”.

https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/12/09/countering-washingtons-confrontation/


......and then there is this:
Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation for what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.



https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/12/09/seven-days-of-failures-for-the-american-empire/

kassy

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1108 on: December 10, 2018, 01:56:46 PM »
We came through the cold war ok while a species lost is lost forever.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1109 on: December 11, 2018, 10:49:32 PM »
Revealing the "exceptional" mindset that fuels Empire: Gallup inspects the beliefs of the people of the USA

"Three-fourths (75%) of Americans today think the United States has "a special responsibility to be the leading nation in world affairs," up from 66% in 2010. The surge is driven by Democrats, whose belief in this idea has increased from 61% eight years ago to 81% now."

Empire will not fall until illusions of empire are dispelled.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/245075/democrats-lead-surge-belief-world-leader.aspx

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1110 on: December 12, 2018, 06:01:36 AM »
sidd
That poll is both unexpected and disturbing.
I haven't been south of the border for ~10 years and had dared to believe that Americans were becoming more rational.
Continuous propaganda from all sides is apparently having an accumulative effect where each year's lies and distortions add to past accretions. The more aged they become, the further out of step they are with the rest of the world.
Being out of step with the vast majority may not equate with being wrong, but when it doesn't this reveals a problem inherent in democracy.

International polls in 2013 and 2017 show that the world views America in a much different light, with the citizens of her own allies viewing America as the greatest threat to world peace.
In 2013 13% of Americans recognized their own country as a greater threat to world peace than the 5% who saw China in this light, and the 3% who feared Russia as most threatening.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/polls-u-s-is-the-greatest-threat-to-peace-in-the-world-today/5603342

As one who hobnobs with both Biden's Dregs & Hillary's Deplorables, do you feel that their mindset is being captured in this latest poll? Have their life experiences been such that as they age they are increasingly convinced that America deserves her Greatest Country Label?

Never trust anyone Americans over 30 35.
Terry




sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1111 on: December 12, 2018, 06:32:04 AM »
The kids are figuring it out, but slowly. From the gallup article:

"However, the percentage of younger Americans who hold that view has dropped significantly. In 2010, 80% of those aged 18 to 34 said the United States was the greatest country, but that has dropped to 62% now, while the views of those 35 and older have changed little."

sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1112 on: December 12, 2018, 06:48:51 AM »
O, my. Empire will have to respond to this. Can't have open heresy on the border. Perhaps time for some sweet, sweet liberty and freedom assassination down mexico way.

In an echo of Proudhon, newly elect president of Mexico:

"Privatization is Theft"

"how have Mexicans benefited from the privatization of the telecommunications system?"

"What social benefits has the media monopoly conferred — other than to its direct beneficiaries, who have amassed tremendous wealth ..."
 
"What have we gained through the privatization of [Mexican state railroad company] Ferrocarriles Nacionales  ..."

"How have we benefited from the leasing out of 240 million acres, 40 percent of the country (Mexico has 482 million acres total) for the extraction of gold, silver, and copper? "

" ... in the past thirty years we’ve failed to advance. To the contrary, in terms of economic growth we’ve fallen behind even an impoverished country like Haiti. "

"We must ensure that the democratic state, through legal means, distributes Mexico’s wealth equitably, subject to the premise that equal treatment cannot exist without equal access, and that justice consists of giving more to he or she who has less."

He mentions a dictator whose reign ended in revolution, Porfirio Diaz. I am reminded of a Diaz quote: "So far from God, so close to the United States."

https://jacobinmag.com/2018/12/amlo-inauguration-new-hope-mexico-excerpt

sidd


TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1113 on: December 19, 2018, 09:57:51 PM »
Troops are to be pulled out of Syria within 24 hours!
They are already departing.
This is amazingly good news.
Could Afghanistan be next?

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-19/drastic-reversal-us-prepares-full-withdrawal-forces-syria-immediately

Terry

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1114 on: December 20, 2018, 01:05:50 AM »
Baraka and Ford have parallel columns at the Black Agenda Report on Empire's loosening grip on Africa:

Baraka:

"Therefore, in typical colonialist arrogance in which Bolton’s analysis represents objective truth, he states that African states have a choice. Either surrender to Chinese and Russia interests, or aligned themselves with the U.S. to secure “foreign aid” and avoid subversion from the U.S.! "

" The policy continues to be more guns, more bases and more subversion."

https://www.blackagendareport.com/bolton-speech-africa-case-wolf-and-foxes

Ford:

"The United States does not have an Africa problem, it has a capitalism problem"

"This is not a peculiarly African dilemma, or even strictly a problem of developing nations. U.S. elites have no program for their own citizens other than endless austerity and war. "

https://www.blackagendareport.com/bolton-threatens-force-africa-choose-between-us-and-china

sidd

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1115 on: December 20, 2018, 11:06:01 AM »
Where to post this? If this is correct maybe those american troops in Syria are going to be needed elsewhere. Hmmmm maybe here...


http://halturnerradioshow.com/index.php/news/world-news/3608-ukraine-attacking-donetsk-with-mortar-fire

I delayed reporting it to see where things went.  Things are getting worse.  The Ukraine military is now also attacking with Grenade launchers, armored vehicles and small arms fire.

According to numerous reports (Which I have NOT yet been able to confirm)  the Kiev Government is blasting homes and commercial buildings, which has already killed numerous civilians.  The attacks continue at this writing (6:02 PM EST Wednesday).

Donestsk and Luhansk are provinces (Oblasts) in Ukraine.  When the US and NATO funded and fomented the violent overthrow of the duly elected Ukrainian president, Victor Yanukovich, and installed a puppet regime favorable to NATO,  Donestsk and Luhansk "broke away" from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1116 on: December 20, 2018, 01:08:33 PM »
Do you realize that Hal Turner "is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier"?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Turner
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1117 on: December 20, 2018, 01:17:52 PM »
It should be possible to find better sources. If you can't, that means it's probably overblown.
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1118 on: December 20, 2018, 08:51:56 PM »
Lurk

The unian sites are total BS, part of the "Ministry of Truth" set up in 2014 to "Combat Russian Propaganda". They won't admit that there is a civil war, so it's always  - The Russian Aggressors, The Russians Attacked or The Russians were Driven Back.

The UN reports are also slanted towards Ukraine, but far better than unian. They at least attempt to identify who is doing what to whom.

https://reliefweb.int/report/ukraine/multiplicity-rights-violations-ukraine-fifth-winter-conflict-bites

They note that out of more than 200 recent incidents, the government has been responsible for 147. They continue to consider that the Crimea is "occupied" by Russia.

It may take a few days to determine what, if anything is going on. RT and Sputnik are slanted, but their facts usually agree with reality.

Good Luck
Terry

gerontocrat

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1119 on: December 21, 2018, 06:35:51 PM »
Not many posts on -

- Trump withdrawing US troops from Syria,
- Reports that half the US troops in Afghanistan to be withdrawn,
- Mattis resigning as Secretary of Defense and writing a strong criticism of Trump in his resignation letter,
- partial Government shutdown likely from midnight tonight.
- the ex-US Ambassador to the UN suggesting that the US may withdraw its membership of the UN. Nikki Haley has the ear of the President?

Nature abhors a vacuum. The law of unintended consequences applies.
As a non US citizen I am driven to the conclusion that Trump's "America First" policy means that other countries need to put "America Last" when considering their own interests.

One might think that this had some relevance to America and its future.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1120 on: December 21, 2018, 07:38:42 PM »
It's a start. Considering that the USA is everywhere:

"There are more than one thousand U.S. military bases dotting the globe. To be specific, the most accurate count is 1,077. Unless it’s 1,088. Or, if you count differently, 1,169. Or even one thousand one hundred and eighty. Actually, the number might even be higher. Nobody knows for sure."

https://www.guernicamag.com/empire_of_bases_20_does/

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175790/tomgram:_nick_turse,_special_ops_goes_global

http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176182/tomgram:_nick_turse,_what_the_u.s._military_doesn't_know_(and_neither_do_you)/

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176048/tomgram:_nick_turse,_a_secret_war_in_135_countries/

Long way to go. Disengagement is one of the most difficult maneuvers.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1121 on: December 22, 2018, 06:19:38 AM »
Re: "As a non US citizen I am driven to the conclusion that Trump's "America First" policy means that other countries need to put "America Last" when considering their own interests."

As always. That's what Empires do. They betray their allies. As Palmerston said, no permanent allies or enemies, only permanent interests. In the last he was mistaken, in that the interests of nations change when their rulers do. But until then his aphorism holds true.

So, the Kurds are betrayed again. The Afghanis never trusted the foreign devils, and those who did have an unfortunate history of meeting lamposts up close and personal. Their neighbour, Pakistan, well recalls that the USA, in the words of a Pakistani general, "treated us like a condom and discarded us like a used one" in the 1980s. Other examples abound.

Coming now to the realization that the actions of the USA advance the interests of the USA, and that others best look to their own, is a little late in the day, don't you think ?

One nation that has never made that error is Israel. Their actions are instructive: if you wish the USA to act primarily for your country's interest, even opposed to its own, you must buy the politicians in the USA. Fortunately, they come very cheap, in terms of returns on investment.

sidd


TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1122 on: December 22, 2018, 01:35:57 PM »
This isn't news, it's war crime propaganda!


https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/this-isnt-news-this-is-war-crimes-apologia-8dd93d4058f4

Shrub Bush isn't a "beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man", he's a monster whose crimes would make his own father blush. (I considered Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Truman, but Daddy Bush seemed more appropriate) :(
Terry

Nemesis

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1123 on: December 22, 2018, 01:42:29 PM »
Aah, Hitler and the Bush clan^^:

" How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power"

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1124 on: December 22, 2018, 09:45:36 PM »
No idea where to put this but at the same time it is an empire thing of some sort. It's my first exposure to such a thing and I don't mind saying it is a bit disturbing.
https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/israel-weaponised-tourism-strengthen-occupation/

Among the different forms of tourism peddled by the Israeli state, war tourism has seen a remarkable expansion in recent years, and today represents a key occupation-strengthening mechanism. According to Haaretz, “IDF-style training for tourists has become a full-fledged industry.”

War tourism in the occupied territories can be divided into two principal categories: Simulatory War Tourism, which trains tourists to shoot at Palestinians through war simulation exercises, and Participatory War Tourism, which aims to recruit non-Israeli, often non-Jewish, individuals directly into the IDF, usually for military holidays on a temporary basis but, in some cases, as an avenue for obtaining Israeli citizenship.

Simulatory War Tourism

The function of Simulatory War Tourism is to acclimatise tourists to the organised violence of the Israeli occupation, thus enlisting them into its contours of power. There are four main organisations specialising in this field: Caliber 3, Funtum, Zikit Extreme and Cherev Gidon.

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1125 on: December 23, 2018, 08:40:51 PM »
Turkey masses troops near Kurdish-held Syrian town 
https://abcnews.go.com/amp/International/wireStory/turkey-masses-troops-kurdish-held-syrian-town-59984033

Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led force, a war monitor said as Turkish media reported Sunday new reinforcements crossing the borders.

The Turkish IHA news agency reported that a convoy of Turkish troops — a commando unit — had been sent into Syria overnight.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the front line with Manbij, where U.S. troops have been based. The Observatory said 50 vehicles crossed into Syria — carrying troops and equipment.

The spokesman for the Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council, Sharfan Darwish, said Turkish reinforcements have arrived in the area. "We are taking necessary measures to defend ourselves if we are attacked," he said without elaborating.
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1126 on: December 27, 2018, 01:42:53 AM »
Taibbi on Trump's withdrawal:

"The real line is between a war party, and everyone else."

"As to the argument that we’re abandoning Syria to Russians — anyone who is interested in reducing Russian power should be cheering. If there’s any country in the world that equals us in its ability to botch an occupation and get run out on a bloody rail after squandering piles of treasure, it’s Russia. They may even be better at it than us. We can ask the Afghans about that on our way out of there."

"The Afghan conflict became the longest military engagement in American history eight years ago."

"NATO persisted mainly as a PR mechanism for a) justifying continued obscene defense spending levels and b) giving a patina of internationalism to America’s essentially unilateral military adventures."

" ... we’ve successfully brainwashed big chunks of the population into thinking it’s normal for a country to exist in a state of permanent war, fighting in seven countries at once, spending half of all discretionary funding on defense.

It’s not. It’s insane. And we’ll never be a healthy society, or truly respected abroad, until we stop accepting it as normal."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-syria-withdrawal-772177/

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SteveMDFP

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1127 on: December 27, 2018, 02:55:42 AM »
Taibbi on Trump's withdrawal:
. . .
It’s not. It’s insane. And we’ll never be a healthy society, or truly respected abroad, until we stop accepting it as normal."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-syria-withdrawal-772177/

sidd

Thanks, sidd, it's a very good article.  Clear, coherent arguments, clear facts and references, well-written.  I agree with every word, *except* one paragraph:

"You’ll hear we’re abandoning allies and inviting massacres by the likes of Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. If there was any evidence that our presence there would do anything but screw up the situation even more, I might consider that a real argument. At any rate, there are other solutions beyond committing American lives. We could take in more refugees, kick Turkey out of NATO, impose sanctions, etc."

This is terribly vague, glib, and indefensible.  Our 2000 troops are what stand between the Kurds (and SDF) and an impending multi-pronged attack from all other sides active in Syria.  This is where the execution of the Trump's excellent goal (withdrawal from quagmires) is being conducted with criminal incompetence.  Remember that the Kurds did most of the fighting and dying in the fight against ISIS in Syria.  All they asked was the tools with which to do the fighting. 

Taibbi is correct that we might fix that problem by offering refugee status to our best ally there.  But that's incompatible with a quick withdrawal.  Besides, he knows damn well how Trump feels about refugees. 

The devil is in the details.  Details matter.  The details of exactly *how* we execute a withdrawal are as important as whether and when to withdraw. 

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1128 on: December 27, 2018, 06:16:21 AM »
Re: detail as excuse for delay

That is exactly the argument that the generals have given presidents since time immemorial. I have zero faith that the USA, after decades of screwups in the Middle East can execute anything with grace and mercy. Including disengagement. But remaining is worse.

Consider this:

Everyone on the street in your warzones hates you. Every man's hand is against you. Your only supporters are cruel strongmen puppets and head choppers you or your proxies funded. And those hapeless people who trusted you. Like the Hmong, for example, in another war.

You can do nothing for the last. Your own polity will not allow you to resettle them en masse in the USA, which would be the best thing you could do.

Yes, people will die if you leave. But it is my strong conviction that more will die if you remain. You are generating more terrorists every minute you stay, and soon, if you continue, one of them will inflict worse grief on your home than Osama did. And as usual, you will react in even greater spasmodic fury. Hundred year war, anyone ?

People like Sjursen actually served and commanded men to their deaths for the greater glory of Empire. They will tell you.

Get the fuck out. Now.

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1129 on: January 02, 2019, 08:27:36 AM »
Well. Well. Well. Xi comes out for Taiwan unification. Here is a Chinese government statement:

http://en.people.cn/n3/2019/0102/c90000-9533881.html

and our pal Al (jazeera)

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/xi-change-fact-taiwan-part-china-190102030037389.html

Reunification has been a stance of PRC forawhile. But when they choose to voice that stance is significant. So i think either

a) Xi feels now confident enuf to in alliance with russia, africa, latin america, belt and road to voice that stance

and/or

b) Xi wants to stretch Empire into provocation over Taiwan and South China Sea into another unwinnable trillion dollar plus war . But why now ? Empire is in decline, China ascendant anyway. Why precipitate matters ? Does he see hidden weakness ?

On the whole, I think a). But if Empire can be drawn into unwinnable war, i do not think he would mind. Sorta like Osama, but with a much longer Chinese history to draw on.

sidd
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 09:28:07 AM by sidd »

Red

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1130 on: January 02, 2019, 11:36:33 AM »
Beijing has also been proclaiming the success of its own hypersonic missile program, stating it gives them the power to drive the United States out of the South China Sea by sinking its aircraft carriers.

The electromagnetic rail gun is another incarnation of the advantages of extreme speed.

"Railguns use electromagnetic energy to attack targets and are considered an advanced technology that offers greater range and more lethality, while the cost is even cheaper than traditional guns," the China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation announced in 2015.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12184829

Thems fighting' words.

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1131 on: January 03, 2019, 10:32:46 PM »
At wsws, a thoughtful look at ethnographies of Empire and the role of hidden control of ostensibly independent nations:

"The flags flying over the guard gate of the prison in Lukavica were those of Bosnia and the European Union, and the US was officially involved in the imprisonment of the men there only through diplomatic channels, generous funding and the assistance of American trainers and advisers. And yet the US empire was the thinly veiled power behind the very existence of the prison and all that happened there."

" the fates of people from specific countries were largely determined by the nature of US imperial relations with the countries involved. "

"President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana wrote, "The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside ... the worst form of imperialism. For those who practice it, it means power without responsibility, and for those who suffer from it, it means exploitation without redress." "

"Nkrumah was deposed in a military coup orchestrated by the CIA the year after his words were published ..."

Read the whole thing:

https://original.antiwar.com/Nicolas_Davies/2019/01/02/the-hidden-structure-of-us-empire/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1132 on: January 07, 2019, 02:13:05 AM »
Watch out Canada: might need a wall

"while only 11 percent and 10 percent wanted to leave the county under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively, that number surged to 16 percent in 2018 under Trump."

" Most—26 percent, Gallup found—would head north to Canada."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/record-numbers-of-americans-want-to-leave-the-u-s-because-of-trump/

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TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1133 on: January 07, 2019, 03:05:34 AM »
Watch out Canada: might need a wall

"while only 11 percent and 10 percent wanted to leave the county under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively, that number surged to 16 percent in 2018 under Trump."

" Most—26 percent, Gallup found—would head north to Canada."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/record-numbers-of-americans-want-to-leave-the-u-s-because-of-trump/

sidd
If 16% of the Never Trumpers escape to the north, Trump will be a shoo in for the next term. :(


Do these prospective immigrants know how to pick fruit?
Terry

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1134 on: January 09, 2019, 08:18:51 AM »

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1135 on: February 07, 2019, 08:58:25 PM »
How Empire works: a wealth pump into the USA

--
 While the U.S. can ask almost any other nation’s banks for financial information about American citizens, it has no obligation to provide other countries with the same. “The United States had bullied the rest of the world into scrapping financial secrecy,” Bullough writes, “but hadn’t applied the same standards to itself.” A Zurich-based lawyer vividly spelled out the consequences to Bloomberg: “How ironic—no, how perverse—that the USA, which has been so sanctimonious in its condemnation of Swiss banks, has become the banking secrecy jurisdiction du jour … That ‘giant sucking sound’ you hear? It is the sound of money rushing to the USA.”
--
The script laid bare the reasons for wealthy foreigners to funnel money through Nevada: The state is the ideal place to hide money from governments and avoid paying U.S. taxes. The draft acknowledged a truth that bankers don’t usually admit in public, which is that the United States has “little appetite” for helping foreign governments retrieve money laundered within its borders. In fact, it has grown into “the biggest tax haven in the world.”
--

read the whole thing:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/03/how-kleptocracy-came-to-america/580471/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1136 on: February 07, 2019, 10:37:23 PM »
Lears at nybooks reviews two books on decline of Empire: "It is hard to give up something you claim you never had."

"Americans, we have been told, do things differently: they bestow self-determination on backward peoples who yearn for it. The refusal to acknowledge that Americans have pursued their own version of empire—with the same self-deceiving hubris as Europeans—makes it hard to see that the US empire might (like the others) have a limited lifespan. "

" “Nothing can be more preposterous than the proposition that these men were entitled to receive from us sovereignty over the entire country which we were invading,” Secretary of War Elihu Root said in 1900 about the Filipino rebels. “As well the friendly Indians, who have helped us in our Indian wars, might have claimed the sovereignty of the West.” "

"American disregard for international law helps explain the incoherence of contemporary strategic thought."

"Barring a dramatic shift in public discourse, the American empire will not go gentle into that good night; more likely it will, as Dylan Thomas counseled the old, “burn and rave at close of day.” "

"No one burns and raves more flagrantly than Donald Trump. "

" Hendrickson concludes, “It is crystal clear that the empire is fully determined to stick around,” despite our desperate need to dismantle it. "

Read at

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/02/07/imperial-exceptionalism/

sidd

ASILurker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1137 on: February 14, 2019, 03:37:16 AM »
Actor Danny Clover tears apart the American Neoliberal Corporatist Disinformation Anti-Democracy Propaganda Campaign over Venezuela and South America.




07:06
"... so this whole thing this whole way we were watching we watched and we saw this we witness we were drawn to it the left may have criticized parts of it it wasn't didn't go far enough what was explained as socialism may have been considered to be social democratic etc etc but this movement was in the process and everything else.

At the same time all these conspiratorial forces were there to try to undermine it, to limit its effectiveness and subvert it. And those things were happening and we see this in Venezuela especially because the ideas came out of Venezuela."


Because Venezuela is not a country of 200 million people so it's difficult to get a consensus among 200 million people you know, but Venezuela it's a very small country so the sample size of building two million homes, training doctors, of having doctors to service communities, in the Barios  and other communities that had been disenfranchised and not served at all, well all that
was doable on the way to eliminate eradicate illiteracy as well
.

All this was doable in the sense so all these things which we would take out to the world (as real PROGRESS) were necessary, necessary demands for the human existence and their progression in their lives, everything, those things were happening right here.

So what we see now is a brutal attempt to stop it all and whether it whether it finds itself in the  illegal imprisonment of Lula Da Silva (in Brazil) or the illegal coup that occurred, the coup it happened a Legislative Coup it happened with President Dilma Rousseff, so all these things are happening right now ...."


(this time in Venezuela with Maduro after several attempts by the very same Criminal Conspirators to get rid of Chavez which failed.)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2019, 04:20:00 AM by Lurk »

ASILurker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1138 on: February 14, 2019, 04:18:03 PM »
Last year Chris Hedges' new book tour gained some attention. Several refs to that were shared here at the time.

Here's another one from Canada radio which is a nice reminder of his key points and upon which they were built. It's a good interview. Boy he sure covers some territory even about corrupt pastors.

But most pointedly is that Chris hedges is so far to me the only person who has been able to cogently assemble an accurate self-sustaining grounded in reality critique of Trump and the imminent dangers of the movement he now leads.

The Bernies, the Tulsis and the AOCs are good and they're way too nice and cute about it while Pelosi Obama et al are simply useless - Chris Hedges on the other hand is cut throat about it. He calls it as it truly is and still connects the dots back to every other ill and egregious myth and falsehood.

Hey, but that's just me and my take. I'm weird as I much prefer 'stories' that are still grounded in historical facts. You may think differently about it. I mean, he does have an RT TV show after all. Gotta a be a big bad cross that one, right? ;)


sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1139 on: March 06, 2019, 10:14:19 PM »
Satrap defends Empire: no justice for the dispossessed

"The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Britain to hand back the Chagos Islands, including Diego Garcia, to Mauritius"

"an overwhelming majority of 13 to 1, with only the US voting against"

" Diego Garcia, the largest island, is the site of one of the largest US airbases with some 4,000 US troops as well as British troops stationed there. "

"The British government, determined to hold onto its colonial possessions, has rejected both the ICJ’s order ..."

" Britain allowing the CIA to use Diego Garcia as a “dark site” where it detained and tortured people"

"forcibly evicted the vast majority of Chagossians from the archipelago and prevented their return."

"a sordid deal with Washington that was kept secret from both Parliament and the US Congress. This granted the US a 50-year lease on Diego Garcia in return for an $11 million discount on the US-made Polaris nuclear weapons system"

" the islanders were illegally deported to Mauritius and the Seychelles, another former British colony, where they have lived in desperately impoverished conditions"

"the Foreign Office finally announced that Chagos islanders would not be given the right of return to resettle, arguing that the cost and US objections made it impossible"

Read and weep:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/03/06/chag-m06.html

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1140 on: March 15, 2019, 11:30:05 PM »
Surprise, surprise: Rogue state admits it is rogue state

https://apnews.com/08e538e370914f6e8243e237dbde50b5

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1141 on: March 17, 2019, 07:19:41 AM »
Costs of Empire: Sjursen at truthdig

"Our country—your country—has waged perpetual war, across the globe, against an ill-defined enemy and with scant hope for “victory,” for nearly two decades. It’s cost some 6 trillion tax dollars, sacrificed 7,000 soldiers and contributed to the killing of perhaps 500,000 foreigners, including 240,000 civilians. It has done so with a professional, volunteer military, one that’s disjointed from the populace and largely operates in the shadows. Through it all, you’re no safer now—maybe less so—than on 9/11, when many of the damaged vets I met were just children. America, your government owns the fractious world it helped create, and—like it or not—owns the hundreds of thousands of PTSD-afflicted vets living within its borders."

"Even if the wars ended tomorrow (they won’t, by the way), American society has another half-century ahead of it, laden with the burden of these unnecessary disabled veterans. It’s inescapable. "

Read the whole thing:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/uncle-sam-sent-me-to-rehab-for-ptsd/

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1142 on: March 18, 2019, 10:47:49 PM »
Taibbi at rollingstone on uncountable costs of eternal war:

"the Department of Defense has remained an organizational black box throughout its history. It’s repelled generations of official inquiries, the latest being an audit three decades in the making, mainly by scrambling its accounting into such a mess that it may never be untangled."

"At a cost of $400 million, some 1,200 auditors charged into the jungle of military finance, but returned in defeat."

" “These systems,” as one Senate staffer puts it, “were not designed to be audited.” "

" the Defense Department a few years ago found about $125 billion in administrative waste, a wart that by itself was just under twice the size of that $74 billion Enron bankruptcy. Inspectors found “at least” $6 billion to $8 billion in waste in the Iraq campaign, and said $15 billion of waste found in the Afghan theater was probably “only a portion” of the total lost."

"In a supreme irony, the auditors’ search for boondoggles has itself become a boondoggle. In the early Nineties and 2000s, the Defense Department spent billions hiring private firms in preparation for last year. In many cases, those new outside accountants simply repeated recommendations that had already been raised and ignored by past government auditors like the Defense inspector general."

"Taxpayers, in other words, are paying gargantuan sums to private accounting firms to write reports about how previous recommendations were ignored."

"Those DFAS accountants in the Reuters exposé were told by superiors that if they couldn’t find invoices or contracts to prove the various services spent their one-year money and two-year money and five-year money on time, they should execute “unsubstantiated change actions,” i.e., lie.

The accountants systematically “plugged” in fake numbers to match the payment schedules handed down by the Treasury. These fixes are called “journal voucher adjustments” or “plugs.”

As a result, those year-end financial statements will look like they match congressional intentions. In truth, the statements packed with thousands of plugs are fictions, a form of systematic accounting fraud Congress has quietly tolerated for decades."

"You’ll see the invented numbers called “forced-balance entries” by the General Accounting Office (which is run by Congress), “adjustments not adequately supported” by the Defense inspector general, and “journal vouchers” or “JVs” or “workarounds” by the Pentagon’s own comptroller general. On the Hill, everyone refers to “plugs.” "

"the Army — with an annual budget of $122 billion — generated accounting plugs 54 times that amount, a full $6.5 trillion worth, in 2015 alone."

" when a suspicious number pops up anywhere in the military’s multiple accounting silos, it typically isn’t investigated, but simply fixed on paper and sent on its way"

"Congress really has only two ways to respond when the DoD breaks the law. Elected officials can shout and criticize the Pentagon, or withhold funds. The former is not terribly effective, and the latter has so far proved politically impossible."

"“We were trying to make chicken soup out of chicken shit,” says an auditor, with a sad laugh. "

"A major problem is campaign finance reform. Ask Hill staffers why it’s hard to pass any bill that even contemplates withholding funding for the Pentagon, and they say you’ll run smack into a bipartisan batch of refuseniks who’ve been gorging on defense-sector campaign contributions, thanks to their status on committees like Armed Services or Appropriations."

"The Pentagon can keep accountants busy forever simply doing the taxonomic job of describing its inauditability. "

"The system of campaign contributions that keeps key committees captive probably locks this problem in place, until there’s reform on that end."

"It’s the ultimate example of the immutability of the American political system."

My fucking tax dollars at work. Read the whole thing:

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/pentagon-budget-mystery-807276/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1143 on: March 21, 2019, 08:41:48 AM »
Sjursen at antiwar on failing empire:  no one is paying attention anymore

"most of the world simply ignores it"

"No amount of American cash, no volume of our soldiers’ blood, no escalation in drone strikes or the conventional bombing of brown folks, has favorably changed the calculus"

"See those pesky locals – Arabs, Asians, Muslims, Slavs – don’t know what’s good for them, don’t understand that (obviously) there is a secret American zipped inside each of their very bodies, ready to burst out if given a little push!"

"The opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference"

Read the whole thing:

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/03/18/empire-of-absurdity-recycled-neocons-recycled-enemies/

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1144 on: March 26, 2019, 08:11:10 AM »
Sjursen has been writing a history and i have been reading some forawhile. His latest is on the cold war after WWII, quite long but worth reading.

"Nothing is inevitable."

"Weren’t the U.S. and the Soviet Union ideological enemies long before they were allies (of convenience)? "

"The United States has never ceased, in the postwar era, to have an allegedly existential enemy. "

"Stalin knew, better than anyone else, the limits of Soviet power and potential. As a result, he would push only so far and no further. There was no serious consideration of conquest of Europe or global empire in the late 1940s. That fear, as is so often the case, was in Americans’ collective heads—projection rather than reality. It was to remain so for nigh on 50 years."

"it is the United States, primarily, that must bear the larger share of responsibility for early escalation of the Cold War"

He quotes Niebuhr: "Our copybook versions of democracy are frequently as obtuse as Russian dogmatism."

"the Republicans and conservative Democrats would never forgive Truman for “losing China”—as if it ever was ours to lose—a sentiment that inflicted a psychological wound far deeper than any actual strategic wound on the capitalist West."

" we do know that throughout the Eisenhower administration no more than a handful of U.S. soldiers died in combat the president had initiated. How many U.S. presidents—before, but especially since—could boast such an accomplishment? "

"If Eisenhower detested conventional wars and the deaths of American soldiers, he showed no such concern for the sovereignty, liberty or lives of foreigners."

"Truman made two monumental decisions ... 2) not to seek congressional approval or a declaration of war ... it is the second decision that looms larger and turned out to be more fundamental."

"That (mostly) Korean blood must rest, at least partially on America’s hands."

" the Cold War, such as it was, existed most fervently in the head of America and Americans; more real, there, in fact, than along the divided frontier of East and West Berlin. "

"By the mid-1950s three-fourths of the federal budget went to military spending. "

"Then came Korea—which, as NSC-68 proponent Dean Acheson exclaimed, “saved” the campaign for higher spending. "

"Washington’s goals and actions are always mostly benevolent; conflict, on the other hand, results when nefarious actors don’t realize what’s good for them, don’t play by the (American) rules. It is through this twisted prism that the U.S. citizenry views its history and its conflicts. "

"The Cold War that the two sides waged was never as “cold” as it was touted to be. More than 100,000 U.S. soldiers died in various local hot wars; so did millions of (mainly Asian) civilians caught in the crossfire. "

Do read the whole thing:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/american-history-for-truthdiggers-a-cruel-costly-and-anxious-cold-war/

In fact, every chapter of the series that i have read is quite good. The previous chapters are linked in the article.  I shall have to read them in sequence someday.

sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1145 on: April 04, 2019, 08:56:24 PM »
A nice review by Schrader at bostonreview on Immwerwahr's book "How to Hide an Empire" : imperialism endures today in the logic of capitalism

"About 4 million people live in U.S. colonial possessions today"

" the imperial logic of capitalism thrives even as holding territory is no longer essential. "

"The United States developed three commitments: to republicanism, to white supremacy, and to overseas expansion. But as the bait-and-switch in the Philippines showed, it could only ever maintain the latter two. "

"not simply that empire is hidden, but that empire eroded and debilitated the cardinal civic virtues of republicanism. The book could be called How to Prevent a Republic."

"How do you really hide an empire? You seat it in the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve."

"The empire of bases exists to protect the dollar’s exorbitant privilege, including by sheer intimidation."

"the French philosopher Ernest Renan wrote that “Forgetting . . . is a crucial factor in the creation of a nation, which is why progress in historical studies often constitutes a danger for [the principle of] nationality.”  "

Read the whole thing:

https://bostonreview.net/war-security/stuart-schrader-imperialism-after-empire

sidd
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 07:06:07 AM by sidd »

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1146 on: April 05, 2019, 07:12:27 AM »
Sjursen at truthdig: bring back the draft

"the same all-volunteer force Nixon left us with that the U.S. wages war across the breadth of the planet."

" In a sort of economic draft, the military mostly began to draw servicemen from the third and fourth income quintiles. Those who needed the money the military offered and were lured by modest cash bonuses would serve, while the wealthiest, perhaps unsurprisingly, opted out. This meant the U.S. elites would no longer serve and, in fact, would become almost totally absent ... "

" post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide rates have skyrocketed, topping off recently at 22 self-inflicted veteran deaths per day "

"When the citizenry isn’t subjected to the possibility of military service, it becomes apathetic, ignores foreign affairs and fails to pressure Congress to check presidential war powers. "

"In sum, throughout this century the U.S. military has won zero wars, achieved few, if any, “national goals” and cost Americans $5.9 trillion tax dollars, more than 7,000 troop deaths, and tens of thousands more wounded soldiers. It has cost the world  480,000 direct war-related deaths, including 244,000 civilians, and created 21 million refugees. Talk about unsustainable."

"with the children of bankers, doctors, lawyers and members of Congress subject to service, the government might think twice before embarking on the next foolish, unwinnable military venture."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/was-ending-the-draft-a-grave-mistake/

sidd

kassy

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1147 on: April 05, 2019, 01:43:26 PM »
It´s not about winning wars but fighting them:

Quote
CHAPTER ONE
War Is A Racket
WAR is a racket. It always has been.
It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one
international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in
lives.
A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the
people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the
very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new
War Is A Racket Page 1 of 12
millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many
admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires
falsified their tax returns no one knows.

https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf

Check out the PDF for his solution. Basically conscript everyone.

Quote
The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations
manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of
the nation -- it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and
the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our
shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide
profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted -- to get $30 a month,
the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Just a draft is not enough since the rich will suffer debilitating conditions like bone spurs.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1148 on: April 08, 2019, 01:24:51 AM »
Thrall at cato (that is really his name) on elite warmongering:

"Americans increasingly disagree with Washington about how to engage the world."

"decades of survey data has identified a stable set of attitude gaps between the public and their leaders. Moreover, while many of the gaps are quite large – often in the range of 30 percentage points or more – the gaps between Republican and Democratic leaders on the key issues are quite small – typically just a few percentage points."

"27% of Democrats, 40% of Independents, and 67% of Republicans view “large numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into the U.S.” as a critical threat in the next 10 years, compared to just 5% of Democratic leaders and 19% of Republican leaders."

"Defenders of the status quo tend to view the public as too inattentive and too ignorant to form meaningful opinions about foreign policy."

"This obstinance might be defensible were the United States not a democracy or if the American track record on foreign policy were more glorious. As it happens, the track record of American foreign policy is far from glorious  ... "

"The American public wants a less ambitious and less aggressive foreign policy than the United States has pursued since the end of the Cold War, and especially over the past 18 years. "

https://www.cato.org/blog/mind-gap-foreign-policy-disconnect-between-washington-america

With views like these, Thrall will not remain in thrall to cato for very much longer.

sidd
 

wili

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1149 on: April 08, 2019, 05:56:36 AM »
"The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries. "

Soooo, people get lambasted here for citing established news sources, but Koch-founded rightwing think tanks and other rightwing propagandists are just fine with everybody (not to mention RT, etc)? Really?

I'm just trying to understand the rules, here. What kind of a site are we trying have here, exactly?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."