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vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1200 on: September 10, 2019, 05:10:59 PM »
“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

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1201 on: September 10, 2019, 05:51:58 PM »
They changed war from something that effected you like Vietnam to nice media stuff (look we are not even bombing the bridge until the moped guy passes which is probably Iraq 1) to well we are doing it on mercenaries so lets not talk about it at all.

But you must salute the flag at the games.
Can´t protests institutional racism.

No one cares about the wars. It´s a bloody mesh up of Huxley ,Orwell and Smedley Butler except they ran the last one in reverse.

You should care about wars or civil rights being eroded. Also a shared burden is a lighter burden.

And helping people out saves everyone money in the long run so yes there should be safety nets for citizens if you are a first world country. Not having them is unneeded destruction of wealth and also it adds suffering.

The problem is that no one talks issues they just talk puppets.
Very well put!!


Our Masters seem to be preparing us for the next phase. A phase where we shift from fighting with expendable mercenaries to battling with drones & robotic fighting machines.
Few will shed a tear when a hapless AI Tracking Machine Gun is destroyed by a Kamikaze Suicide Drone capable of Autonomous Target Selection.


We were "uncomfortable" when Madam Albrite told us that killing 500k toddlers was "worth it". Saddam was after all was a Monster.
We cringed a little when Hillary laughed as Gaddafi was being sodomized with a bayonet.
"We came, we saw, he died - Ha Ha Ha" - and that was from the lips of one of our "Elite". That was from the lips of the woman who almost became the undisputed "Leader of the Free World."


Lately we've had our mercenaries fighting their mercenaries. A bloody sport, but one in which the participants partake willingly. If civilians should be caught in a crossfire we're reasonably sure that it's their civilians - not our civilians who pay the price.
A "Professional Army", or an army that's in it not for "God and Country", but for "Gold or Currency".


When they die we don't erect monuments or hold mass memorials. No more Gold Stars in the windows of bereaved mothers or recent widows. They fight for us because we pay them to. They are not us.
Terry

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1202 on: September 10, 2019, 10:33:09 PM »
Bacevich at tomdispatch on Afghanistan as Vietnam redux:

" We are a careless people. In Vietnam, we smashed up things and human beings with abandon, only to retreat into our money, leaving others to clean up the mess in a distinctly bloody fashion.

Count on us, probably sooner rather than later, doing precisely the same thing in Afghanistan."

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176602/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_ending_war%2C_american-style/

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vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1203 on: September 11, 2019, 05:54:35 PM »
What’s Preventing the Next World War? Random Luck
https://news.osu.edu/whats-preventing-the-next-world-war-random-luck/

Contrary to popular belief, war is not declining, according to a new analysis of the last 200 years of international conflict.

In fact, the belief that war is disappearing has lulled us into a false sense of security, said Bear Braumoeller, professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

"We really don't get how big a threat war is—not by a longshot," Braumoeller said.

One grim example: If humans continue to fight 50 wars per century, the probability of seeing a war with battle deaths that exceed 1 percent of the world's population in the next 100 years is about 13 percent, Braumoeller found. That would amount to at least 70 million people killed.

Any apparent declines in war initiation or severity can be attributed to random luck—and our luck could run out at any time, Braumoeller said.

The role of chance becomes particularly alarming when you consider the probability that any particular conflict will become a huge, catastrophic war, Braumoeller said.

Scholars have found that the deadliness of war follows what is called a power law distribution. Phenomena that conform to power law distributions have many outcomes that are very small, but a few that are huge. Earthquakes, city sizes and war fatalities are all examples of phenomena that follow power law distributions.

But war fatalities are in a special category. One group of scholars looked at 24 phenomena that expand in proportion to how big they already are and in doing so produce outcomes that follow power law distributions. Only one phenomenon on the list—the intensity of earthquakes—showed a greater tendency to snowball than did war.



... The fact that outcomes of wars are consistent with a power law distribution means that the only difference between a small war and a very large one is random chance, he said.

That may seem hard to believe—don't humans have control over starting and ending wars? Yes, of course, Braumoeller said. But the problem is that leaders don't like to lose wars. So they make a series of decisions, all of which may seem reasonable and maybe even reversible at the time, that can lead to a catastrophic war without any intention to do so.

"People think of huge wars, like the world wars, as something extraordinary, something that has some cause that is distinct from other wars," Braumoeller said.

Quote
... "The profound tragedy is that the most deadly, catastrophic wars are a lot more ordinary than we would think. They result from a series of decisions by people who don't want to stop fighting. That makes them vastly more dangerous than we realize."

Once an armed conflict has had more than 1,000 battle deaths (the criteria for being included in the Correlates of War database), there's about a 50 percent chance it will be as devastating to combatants as the 1990 Iraq War, which killed 20,000 to 35,000 fighters.

There's a 2 percent chance—about the probability of drawing three of a kind in a five-card poker game—that such a war could end up being as devastating to combatants as World War I. And there's about a 1 percent chance that its intensity would surpass that of any international war fought in the last two centuries.
“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

nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1204 on: September 12, 2019, 05:52:00 AM »
Normalized murder.
Example of a soldier who joins the military:

Wanting to be a soldier, you join the government organisation for violence and death.
You get send to a country far away you don't know.
There, from a distance, you kill other humans you don't know,
following an order from someone you don't know.
When you return home you're a hero.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1205 on: September 12, 2019, 06:56:28 AM »
Today is the day that a child born on sep 11 2001 is eligible for military service, and might easily fight in Afghanistan. As perhaps his parent might have done.

War without end, amen.

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1206 on: September 13, 2019, 06:04:40 AM »
Al Quaeda statement on the anniversary of attacks:

"Zawahiri chastises unnamed Islamic scholars for decrying the murder of innocent civilians in the World Trade Center, pointing to the Pentagon as a legitimate military target. Zawahiri also asks these same sheikhs whether it is permissible to strike the U.S. Capitol Building or the White House. "

"Your countries are littered with American bases with all the infidels therein and the corruption that spread. So let us see your jihad, free of ‘defects.’ "

"One way Zawahiri attacks the scholars he finds objectionable is by pointing to all of the jihadist battlefields they could support, but don’t."

" there is no dividing line between the local and the global battle.”  "

"the real jihad “does not differentiate between the oppressive occupier and the one who supports and protects him,”  "

"we must, in response to this aggression, besiege America with fear"

“It is simply impermissible for us to allow those who deprive us of our security to live in security”

"Zawahiri explains that Iranian militias worked with the Americans to dismantle the so-called caliphate."

"Iran has an understanding with the Americans in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen."

"America does not understand anything except the language of force"

https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2019/09/ayman-al-zawahiri-defends-9-11-hijackings-in-anniversary-address.php

They see things differently. Two points that jump out is the apparent need by Zawahari to refute those Islamic scholars who disagree with Al Quaeda, and the portrayal of Iran.

He sure ain't Osama though.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1207 on: September 13, 2019, 06:15:16 AM »
AbuKhalil at consortiumnews on the schisms in the Middle East: not just jew/muslim, sunni/shia or Arabia/Iran

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/09/11/the-angry-arab-hyping-the-arab-iran-conflict/

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1208 on: September 17, 2019, 12:36:43 AM »
Johnstone shows no mercy at medium: the nature of American privilege

"American privilege is believing your propaganda is the truth, and everyone else’s understanding of the world is fake news."

"American privilege is telling foreigners to butt out of your politics when your politics are literally killing them."

"American privilege is benefiting from cheap goods and oil and a strong dollar and never wondering how many innocent foreigners lost their lives and homes in the wars your government starts to make that so."

"American privilege is living in a nation whose government can murder an entire family one day with explosives dropped from the sky, and yet you never hearing about it because that isn’t considered a newsworthy occurrence."

"American privilege is being fine with being the world leader, but not being too bothered about what exactly that means."

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/american-privilege-c504a3bc96d0

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vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1209 on: September 18, 2019, 05:09:08 PM »
Do As We Say; Not As We Do
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/09/saudi-oil-attacks-arent-game-changing-they-show-how-game-has-changed/159947/

Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for Saturday’s drone attack. But Pompeo, Donald Trump’s top diplomat, blamed the attacks squarely on Iran.

Under international law, a state is accountable for the unlawful actions of a proxy only if an organ of the state ordered the proxy to commit the act. It is not sufficient simply to have provided material support or even encouraged the unlawful act.

For example, in the 1980s, the International Court of Justice found the United States not liable for Contra violations of international humanitarian law, even after concluding that the United States had:


Quote
... “financed, organized, trained, supplied, equipped and armed” the Contras, even to the point of providing training materials that discussed “shoot civilians attempting to leave a town, neutralize local judges and officials, hire professional criminals to carry out ‘jobs,’ and provoke violence at mass demonstrations to create ‘martyrs’.”

https://casebook.icrc.org/case-study/icj-nicaragua-v-united-states

----------------------------

Some Arms Exports Are Riskier Than Others.
https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2019/09/some-arms-exports-are-riskier-others-heres-tool-tell-which-ones/159928/

The role of arms sales in American foreign policy is often framed as a win-win-win scenario. ...

But history reveals several flaws in this logic.
For example, the United States does not only sell weapons to allies. From 2002 to 2018, the United States sold weapons to our 29 NATO allies and 46 non-NATO allies, but also to 110 other countries with which we do not have security agreements. Fifteen riskiest major customers of U.S. weapons, 2002--2018

Since 2002, the United States has sold weapons to 81 percent of the countries in the world rated as “not free” by Freedom House, 86 percent of the nations engaged in conflict, and to six of the nine countries ranked in the worst category for political violence by the State Department.

Many of these customers have been authoritarian regimes that have horrendous human rights records or are engaged in destructive conflicts fueled by arms imports.

In fact, over the past 17 years, the United States sold more weapons — as measured by total dollar value — to non-allies than to NATO allies.

... Despite the obvious risks involved with the arms trade, however, Trump seems no more inclined than past presidents to worry much about the potential consequences. In fact, Trump has championed arms sales not only as a tool of foreign policy but (erroneously) as a major boon for the American economy, reshaping federal policy to encourage a whole-of-government approach to arms sales. It is no surprise that arms sales under Trump have been rising. Nor, unfortunately, will it be much of a surprise years from now when many of those American weapons wind up lost, stolen, or misused with tragic consequences.
“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

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1210 on: September 19, 2019, 05:11:33 PM »
Quote
... "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. - Missionaria Protectiva, Text QIV (decto)”

– Chapterhouse: Dune by Frank Herbert
http://www.systemsthinker.com/interests/systemsthinking/humansystems/pathocracy.shtml 

----------------------------------

Pathological Power: The Danger of Governments Led by Narcissists and Psychopaths
https://phys.org/news/2019-09-pathological-power-danger-narcissists-psychopaths.html

... It's not really surprising that people with personality disorders are drawn to political power—narcissists crave attention and affirmation, and feel that they are superior to others and have the right to dominate them. They also lack empathy, which means that they are able to ruthlessly exploit and abuse people for the sake of power. Psychopaths feel a similar sense of superiority and lack of empathy, but without the same impulse for attention and adoration.

But pathocracy isn't just about individuals. As Lobaczewski pointed out, pathological leaders tend to attract other people with psychological disorders. At the same time, empathetic and fair-minded people gradually fall away. They are either ostracised or step aside voluntarily, appalled by the growing pathology around them.

As a result, over time pathocracies become more entrenched and extreme. You can see this process in the Nazi takeover of the German government in the 1930s, when Germany moved from democracy to pathocracy in less than two years.

Democracy is an essential way of protecting people from pathological politicians, with principles and institutions that limit their power (the Bill of Rights in the US, which guarantees certain rights to citizens is a good example).

This is why pathocrats hate democracy. Once they attain power they do their best to dismantle and discredit democratic institutions, including the freedom and legitimacy of the press. This is the first thing that Hitler did when he became German chancellor, and it is what autocrats such as Trump, Vladimir Putin and Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán have been attempting to do.

... In the US, there has clearly been a movement towards pathocracy under Trump. As Lobaczewski's theory predicts, the old guard of more moderate White House officials—the "adults in the room" – has fallen away. The president is now surrounded by individuals who share his authoritarian tendencies and lack of empathy and morality.

It seems as if the UK is also, closer to pathocracy than ever before. The recent exodus of moderate Conservatives is characteristic of the purges which occur as a democracy transitions into pathocracy.

... the danger of democracy transitioning into pathocracy is always real. It is always closer to us than we think, and once it has a foothold, will crush every obstacle in its way.

-------------------------------

The Pathocracy Blog
https://pathocracy.wordpress.com/definition/

Definition: pathocracy (n). A system of government created by a small pathological minority that takes control over a society of normal people (from Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes, by Andrew Lobaczewski)

http://www.ponerology.com/evil_2b.html
“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

SteveMDFP

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1211 on: September 19, 2019, 06:57:49 PM »
Quote
... the danger of democracy transitioning into pathocracy is always real. It is always closer to us than we think, and once it has a foothold, will crush every obstacle in its way.
--

This is all accurate in my view.  Democracies can decay into authoritarian regimes, and there are always sociopaths in the scene eager to step into power.

The bigger question, in my mind, is "why now?"  All around the world, robust democracies are shifting towards "populist'' strongmen.  This includes the US and UK, but there are many other more extreme examples elsewhere.


vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1212 on: September 19, 2019, 07:26:42 PM »
Quote
... The bigger question, in my mind, is "why now?"  All around the world, robust democracies are shifting towards "populist'' strongmen.  This includes the US and UK, but there are many other more extreme examples elsewhere.

Societal stress, inequality, and an absent or corrupted gatekeeper of information?

Another possible answer is touched upon in this article. ...

----------------------

Are 'We the People' Unfit for Democracy?
http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/mike-lofgren/86553/are-we-the-people-unfit-for-democracy

... In brief, our lizard brains prevail over our superegos, bypassing the hard work required for responsible self-government in favor of cheap solutions, scapegoating, and emotion-laden rituals of abasement before a charismatic leader (see Trump campaign rallies for details).

During the brief period in which democracies have flourished, Rosenberg posits that conscientious and hardheaded “elites” guided the public to make the right decisions, acting as a social GPS to prevent the befuddled masses from veering off course. In past eras, he says, they would have squelched imbecile conspiracy fantasies like Pizzagate, and the populace would have proceeded to elect leaders like, say, Mo Udall, rather than Steve King.

But newfangled contrivances like the Internet granted ordinary people the ability to send and receive information, meaning misinformation unmediated by elite gatekeepers such as the prestige newspapers (from which local papers syndicate 90 percent of their non-local news) or the three major commercial television networks.

Once the serpent of unfiltered information slithered into the garden, the multitudes were helpless before the onslaught of Breitbart and Alex Jones. Thus, the advent of Donald Trump, Victor Orbán, Boris Johnson, and the other gargoyles littering the globe. Their emergence is, according to Rosenberg, what the innate impulses of the masses, unguided by their elite minders, inevitably produce.

--------------------------

“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

SteveMDFP

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1213 on: September 19, 2019, 07:33:30 PM »
Quote
... The bigger question, in my mind, is "why now?"  All around the world, robust democracies are shifting towards "populist'' strongmen.  This includes the US and UK, but there are many other more extreme examples elsewhere.

Societal stress, inequality, and an absent or corrupted gatekeeper of information?

Another possible answer is touched upon in this article. ...

----------------------
...
Once the serpent of unfiltered information slithered into the garden, the multitudes were helpless before the onslaught of Breitbart and Alex Jones. Thus, the advent of Donald Trump, Victor Orbán, Boris Johnson, and the other gargoyles littering the globe. Their emergence is, according to Rosenberg, what the innate impulses of the masses, unguided by their elite minders, inevitably produce.
--------------------------

I think the above is accurate.  If so, a paradox presents itself.  A robust democratic political system appears essential to prevent the decay of democracy into pathocracy.  However, the democratization of publishing appears to have been a catalyst for that same decay.

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1214 on: September 19, 2019, 07:44:42 PM »
^^
As they said in 'Inglourious Basterds' ...

"That's a bingo!"
“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

nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1215 on: September 20, 2019, 05:53:08 AM »
Thank you vox_mundi and SteveMDFP. Very interesting discussion and articles.

-------

My view on 'democracy':

'Democracy' has embedded in it an assumption that humans are individuals who make their own independent informed choices.
This is a completely false assumption.

'Democracy' also assumes that humans vote for the good of all people, for the good of the whole country. And that these humans have empathy for their fellow humans.
These are false assumptions.

Does 'democracy' assume that governments are truthful and working for all the people?
That would be another false assumption.

To conclude:
In my observations: To have a chance of independent critical thought (depending on information), a human needs at least +1σ IQ score.


edit: changed text of last sentence. Added chance and information details.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 03:25:39 PM by nanning »
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1216 on: September 20, 2019, 08:18:10 AM »
The vulnerabilities of western democracy were evident long ago to the Asian and African subjects of the British empire. Gandhi, who saw democracy as literally the rule of the people, the demos, claimed that it was merely “nominal” in the west. It could have no reality so long as “the wide gulf between the rich and the hungry millions persists” and voters “take their cue from their newspapers which are often dishonest”.

Looking ahead to our own era, Gandhi predicted that even “the states that are today nominally democratic” are likely to “become frankly totalitarian” since a regime in which “the weakest go to the wall” and a “few capitalist owners” thrive “cannot be sustained except by violence, veiled if not open”.

-----------------------

The West’s Self-Proclaimed Custodians of Democracy Failed to Notice It Rotting Away
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/20/west-democracy-narendra-modi-donald-trump-america

... For a very long time, Britain and the United States styled themselves as the custodians and promoters of democracy globally, fighting a great moral battle against its foreign enemies. From the cold war through to the “war on terror”, the Caesarism that afflicted other nations was seen as peculiar to Asian and African peoples, or blamed on the despotic traditions of Russians or Chinese, on African tribalism, Islam, or the “Arab mind”.

The barbarians, it turns out, were never at the gate; they have been ruling us for some time.

While democracy was being hollowed out in the west, mainstream politicians and columnists concealed its growing void by thumping their chests against its supposed foreign enemies – or cheerleading its supposed foreign friends.

... while the principle of one-person-one-vote conferees political equality, it leaves untouched grotesque social and economic inequalities.

... In 1909, Max Weber asked: “How are freedom and democracy in the long run at all possible under the domination of highly developed capitalism?

... What went unnoticed until recently was that the chasm between a political system that promises formal equality and a socio-economic system that generates intolerable inequality has grown much wider. It eventually empowered the demagogues who now rule us. In other words, modern democracies have for decades been lurching towards moral and ideological bankruptcy – unprepared by their own publicists to cope with the political and environmental disasters that unregulated capitalism ceaselessly inflicts, even on such winners of history as Britain and the US.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 04:58:34 PM by vox_mundi »
“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

ivica

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1217 on: September 20, 2019, 10:44:02 AM »
(fits several threads)

"The establishment doesn’t fear Trump. It doesn’t fear Bernie, and it doesn’t fear Tulsi. It fears you. It fears the people. A single politician they can deal with. The public rising up and using the power of their numbers to force change is what keeps your rulers up at night."

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/09/20/notes-from-the-edge-of-the-narrative-matrix/

Quote
We are bulldozing a paradise while praying we go to Heaven when we die. We are killing off giant-brained leviathans in our own oceans whose mental lives we know little about while searching the stars for intelligent life. We are burning our home in our search for a sense of home.

nanning

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1218 on: September 20, 2019, 04:09:12 PM »
Beautiful quote ivica :)
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1219 on: September 23, 2019, 10:42:53 AM »
This is just a variation on the 'deplorables' narrative:

But newfangled contrivances like the Internet granted ordinary people the ability to send and receive information, meaning misinformation unmediated by elite gatekeepers such as the prestige newspapers (from which local papers syndicate 90 percent of their non-local news) or the three major commercial television networks.

Once the serpent of unfiltered information slithered into the garden, the multitudes were helpless before the onslaught of Breitbart and Alex Jones. Thus, the advent of Donald Trump, Victor Orbán, Boris Johnson, and the other gargoyles littering the globe. Their emergence is, according to Rosenberg, what the innate impulses of the masses, unguided by their elite minders, inevitably produce.

Whereas, this is the real problem:

Quote
During the brief period in which democracies have flourished, Rosenberg posits that conscientious and hardheaded “elites” guided the public to make the right decisions, acting as a social GPS to prevent the befuddled masses from veering off course.

If these elites were ever conscientious (which I doubt), they most certainly no longer are. They serve one master and one master only: Concentrated wealth. And concentrated wealth has become so large, wanting only to become larger and concentrating itself, that something like Trump et al. is a logical outcome. Because in the end, concentrated wealth always destroys itself through economic downturns and war.

So, instead of pining for some 'conscientious and hardheaded elites', you need to do something that breaks the dynamic of concentrated wealth that causes the vicious cycle we've been in since the advent of agriculture. Make sure it can no longer concentrate itself. Put a cap on how much a person can own.
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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1220 on: September 25, 2019, 07:48:57 AM »
Rumblings in the satraps: Pakistan chafes at the bit

"[Prime Minister] Khan said Pakistan "committed one of the biggest blunders" when it joined the US war on terror "

"the Pakistani government should not have pledged what they could not deliver"

"In the 1980s, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan, helped by the US, organised the resistance "

"And so we created these militant groups"

"adding that Pakistan should have stayed neutral in the conflict. "

"  thanked China for helping "when we were at the rock bottom".  "

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/pakistan-committed-one-of-the-biggest-blunders-by-joining-us-after-9/11-imran-khan/articleshow/71265201.cms

I kinda thought it was China lifting the IMF boot off Pakistan's neck, good to have it confirmed.

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1221 on: September 25, 2019, 08:03:05 AM »
Borders everywhere: Empire walls itself in

"the United States border arriving 1,000 miles to the south ...U.S. help in strengthening Mexico’s southern border ... Mexico had already functionally been “hired” to protect the U.S. border from 1,000 miles away. "

"this country’s borders have, in a sense, undergone a kind of expansion not just into southern Mexico (as I witnessed in 2014), but also into parts of Central America and South America, the Caribbean, and other areas of the world. "

"blockaded urban areas on our actual southern border like Brownsville, El Paso, Nogales, and San Diego, would later spread internationally."

"the American homeland is the planet."

" the defense of the Southwest border starts 1,500 miles to the south in Peru."

"wherever you go, the border story turns out to be about how the rich and powerful deal with the poor and marginalized."

"most prominent are those run by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Export Control and Border Security Related Program (EXBS). The INL works in 71 countries, EXBS in 60, including every country in North Africa and every island state in the South Pacific."

"there are our territorial borders, of course, but increasingly there is a global empire of borders meant to promote Washington’s geopolitical, economic, and military interests"

 “Border controls are most severely deployed by those Western regimes that create mass displacement... and are most severely deployed against those whose very recourse to migration results from the ravages of capital and military occupations.”

"  “The nation-state has become the policeman for the corporate world,” creating borders to “clear the landscape for those... for whom borders don’t exist”; that is, the “1 percent.” The power of that one percent can go wherever it pleases, extracting natural wealth and fossil fuels, while destroying livelihoods and the living earth. Borders aren’t for them, but for those who find themselves unable to make ends meet and so are vulnerable to every threat. "

Miller at tomdispatch: read the whole thing

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176608/tomgram%3A_todd_miller%2C_%22the_american_homeland_is_the_planet/


sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1222 on: October 01, 2019, 08:50:19 AM »
Sjursen at antiwar looks to the Philippines of a hundred years ago and to Afghanistan today:
"I took command of B Troop, 4th Squadron, 4th US Cavalry in a ceremony at Fort Riley, Kansas. It was, for me, a proud day. Army officers are taught to revel in their unit’s history, and the 4th Cavalry Regiment had a long, storied past indeed. On that cool, late fall day, the squadron’s colors – a flag with battle streamers – fluttered. One read: Bud Dajo, Philippine Islands – a reference to one of the regiment’s past battles."

"Bud Dajo was hardly a battle at all. It was a massacre ...  The victorious troopers then proudly posed for a photograph, standing above the dead – which included hundreds of women and children"

"Most of the generals were veterans of the vicious Indian Wars of extermination in the previous decades."

"the conventional conflict and counterinsurgency raged from 1898-1913, making the Philippine War the second longest in American history, after Afghanistan"

"Back home in the states, many prominent consciences were indeed shocked by the massacre, and, in particular, the trophy photo taken by the victorious troopers. The image flooded the papers, the 1906 version of going viral. "

"Nothing even approaching that level of intellectual outrage exists now"

"After 18 indecisive and bloody years of combat, the US military and its Afghan allies now kill more civilians annually than the vicious Taliban. "

"These war crimes hardly crack mainstream media and the macabre photo evidence barely raises an American eyebrow. "

"Want to be a true patriot, a forceful educator, and decent human being? Well, do your students a favor: post the photos of recent US military airstrikes upon civilians in Afghanistan – the war crimes of the 21st century – on your classroom walls. Du Bois, and Twain, would be proud…and that’s hardly bad intellectual company to keep…"

read and weep:

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/09/30/a-picture-of-a-war-crime-is-worth-a-thousand-words/

sidd

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1223 on: October 01, 2019, 10:07:15 PM »
Brutalization comes home: Looting furriners ain't enuf, now we need to loot our own

"police officers accused of stealing more than $225,000 while executing a search warrant are protected by qualified immunity and thus cannot be sued"

"concluded that they "did not have clear notice that it violated the Fourth Amendment." In other words, the cops weren't equipped with enough information to deduce that robbing people is a violation of their constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures"

"judges demurred at the opportunity to issue a definitive ruling on whether the Fresno police violated Jessop and Ashjian's rights"

https://reason.com/2019/09/20/court-rules-fresno-police-accused-of-stealing-over-225000-protected-by-qualified-immunity-and-cant-be-sued-fourth-amendment/

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1224 on: October 01, 2019, 10:17:10 PM »
Empire at home: one way outta jail is an expensive medical condition

" blood sugar reading was at least 15 times his normal level when sheriff’s deputies took him to the hospital. But before they loaded the inmate into the back of a car, deputies propped up his slumping body and handed him a pen so he could sign a release "

"he didn’t know what he was signing at the time"

"By signing the document, which freed him on bond from the small jail in south Alabama, Tidwell had in essence agreed that the Washington County Sheriff’s Office would not be responsible for his medical costs"

"tactic to avoid having to pay when inmates face medical emergencies or require expensive procedures — even ones that are necessary only because an inmate received inadequate care while incarcerated."

"once they recover, some inmates are quickly rearrested"

"four inmates beat Leroy Owens with a metal pipe; stabbed him with a screwdriver; kicked, stomped and punched him; and left him in a pool of blood"

"For nearly an hour, no one answered Owens’ cries for help or those of other inmates who banged on the jail’s walls,"

"driven to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for his injuries."

" hospital released Owens into the custody of two sheriff’s deputies, who were given a discharge document detailing “specific procedures to care for Owens’s head wounds and other injuries"

"insisted that the bloodied inmate sign a bond granting his release"

"drove him almost to the county line and dropped him off at about 3:30 a.m. on July 4, 1996, on the side of a desolate stretch of highway, without shoes,"

"Your best bet is to leave town"

https://www.propublica.org/article/these-sheriffs-release-sick-inmates-to-avoid-paying-their-hospital-bills

sidd

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1225 on: October 03, 2019, 02:22:10 PM »
The 'fruits' of our 'labor' ...

Several Killed as Iraq Protests Escalate, Spread Nationwide
https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2019/10/iraqi-police-open-fire-day-protests-hit-baghdad-191002120630933.html

Reports of curfews in southern cities and nationwide internet access largely cut off as anti-gov't rallies turn violent.

- 3 killed and hundreds of people wounded in clashes between police and protesters angry at  unemployment, corruption and poor public services.

- On Wednesday, authorities deployed counterterrorism troops in Nasiriya after police "lost control" when gun battles erupted between protesters and security forces, police sources told Reuters news agency. Curfews were later imposed in Nasiriya and two other southern cities, Amara and Hilla.

"All through the evening, we've been hearing the sound of gun fire and sirens," said Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad. The demonstrations have spread to several cities across the country, with demonstrators in Najaf reportedly setting fire to government buildings, he said.

The Iraqi government is restricting live broadcasts from the protest scene, as well as social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter."

All military units were placed on high alert, the defence ministry said.

Quote
... "This is a war-torn country, very close to being a failed state. And there are rivalries among United States, Iran and Turkey. And for these reasons, the situation inside Iraq is very fragile"

-------------------------

Internet Down Across Most of Iraq on Third Day of Protests
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/03/internet-down-across-iraq-third-day-protests

So far, 19 people have been reported killed, including one police officer.

Restrictions were first limited to certain social media sites but were expanded later on Wednesday, leaving Iraq “largely offline”, according to the cybersecurity monitor NetBlocks.

By Thursday morning, approximately three-quarters of the country including the capital, Baghdad, was disconnected after major network operators Earthlink, Asiacell and Zain “intentionally restricted” access, said NetBlocks.

----------------------

Iraq Protests: Shots Fired as Demonstrators Defy Baghdad Curfew
https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-middle-east-49919919

Security forces in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, have fired live rounds at protesters defying a curfew.

The prime minister says the open-ended curfew - which has been in place since dawn - is needed to maintain order and protect protesters from "infiltrators".

At least 18 people have been killed since Tuesday in clashes with security forces in Baghdad and other cities.

After two days of protests in Baghdad, the government imposed an indefinite curfew that started at 05:00 (02:00 GMT) and applied to everyone but people travelling to and from the capital's airport, ambulances, and religious pilgrims.

Overnight, explosions were heard in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, where government offices and foreign embassies are located.

The protests appear to be the result of a spontaneous upwelling of frustration at Iraq's high youth unemployment rate, its dire public services and chronic corruption.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 02:55:20 PM by vox_mundi »
“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

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1226 on: October 05, 2019, 03:20:50 AM »
Violence Escalates in Iraq as Powerful Cleric Urges Government to Resign
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-protests/dozens-killed-as-uprising-sweeps-across-iraq-idUSKBN1WJ0NW 
https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-middle-east-49937451

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi called for calm as more than 190 people were wounded in the capital on Friday, but protesters scorned his promises of political reform.

One of Iraq’s most influential clerics called on Friday for the government to resign as the death toll rose to 65 in three days of violent national protests against official corruption.

... “There’s no electricity, no jobs, people are dying of starvation, and people are sick. It is a curse,” said one young protester, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal.

On the streets of Baghdad, police appeared to be targeting individual protesters. Reuters reporters saw one fall to the ground after being shot in the head. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

... As a group of Iraqi journalists were interviewing another protester in the square, a policeman opened fire and wounded the youth in the leg. None of the journalists were hit

Elsewhere, a Reuters television crew saw a man critically wounded by a gunshot to the neck after snipers on rooftops opened fire at a crowd. Sporadic shooting could be heard in Baghdad into the late evening.

... The unrest occurs on the eve of Arbaeen, a Shi’ite pilgrimage which in recent years has drawn 20 million worshippers, trekking for days on foot across southern Iraq in the world’s biggest annual gathering, 10 times the size of the Mecca Hajj.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 03:31:27 AM by vox_mundi »
“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

blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1227 on: October 05, 2019, 08:45:16 PM »
Refugees welcome

vox_mundi

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1228 on: October 07, 2019, 06:38:25 PM »
bk: it's worse



Add to that

+ $16.5 billion for  the NNSA, a semiautonomous agency within the Department of Energy that has oversight on America’s nuclear weapons stockpile. NNSA’s proposed budget comprises 52 percent of the DOE’s total budget request.

+  $ 8 billion for State Departments' Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism (OCO/GWOT)

+ many billions buried in the DHS budget
 
Meanwhile, in Iraq, so far, 104 people have been killed and 6,107 have been wounded in the unrest, according to figures released by Iraqi security officials. Also, the U.S. turns its back on its Kurdish allies (who fought and won against the ISIS Caliphate). They have long memories in the Middle East.
“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

Rob Dekker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1229 on: October 08, 2019, 11:10:59 AM »
...Also, the U.S. turns its back on its Kurdish allies (who fought and won against the ISIS Caliphate). They have long memories in the Middle East.

Correction : Trump turns his back on Kurdish allies. Not the U.S.

Trump's decision to pull back troops and allow Erdogan to proceed with his military offensive in Northern Syria resulted in scorn across the political spectrum from Bernie Sanders all the way to Lindsey Graham.

Expect Trump to back-paddle over the next couple of days.
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blumenkraft

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1230 on: October 08, 2019, 04:55:24 PM »
Thanks a lot for the additional information, Vox.
Refugees welcome

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1231 on: October 09, 2019, 06:13:46 AM »
Both Pat Buchanan and Danny Sjursen have weighed in at antiwar on Empire in Syria:

Buchanan:

"Trump tweeted this defense of his order to U.S. forces not to resist Turkish intervention and the creation of a Turkish corridor in Syria from the eastern bank of the Euphrates to Iraq: "The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. … I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home." "

"We have to consider reality. Assad, the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah have won the war against the Sunni rebels we and our Arab friends armed and equipped. "

"And how long must we stay in Syria to defend the Kurds against the Turks? Forever?"

"al-Qaida and ISIS are in many more places today than they were when we intervened in the Middle East. Must we fight forever over there – to be secure over here? "

" if Trump’s decision risks throwing the region into "further chaos," what, if not wholesale U.S. intervention, created the "present chaos"? "

"Among those objecting most loudly to an American withdrawal from the forever wars of the Middle East are those who were the most enthusiastic about plunging us in."

"And, yes, there is a price to be paid for letting go of an empire, but it is almost always less than the price of holding on."

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2019/10/07/is-trump-at-last-ending-our-endless-wars/

Sjursen:

"First, the (mostly) good news: President Trump appears poised, finally, to end the US military mission in Northeast Syria. The move would constitute the first actual follow-through on the promises of candidate Trump to avoid "stupid" and terminate "endless" Mideast wars. That’s no small thing."

"Personally, I think it just as well that the US military get out of a risky morass in yet another fractured Mideast country. That said, this latest in a long line of American betrayals (often of Kurds), demonstrates the broader tragedy of US imperialism and hyper-interventionism. Time and again, Washington has used and abused it’s "partners" on the ground in the Mideast locales it regularly invades and occupies."

"As for the Kurds, consider the latest betrayal in Northeast Syria to be at least the third American sellout of these stateless, at-risk people. It’s unlikely to be the last. None of that should be taken to imply the US should remain in Syria indefinitely – although that’s precisely what the neocon/neolib media and intelligence apparatus now clamors for – but is a reminder of the "blowback" associated with US militarism, imperialism, and hasty interventionism."

"My advice to the various peoples of the region: next time, and there will be a next time, don’t even consider trusting Uncle Sam."

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/10/07/the-united-states-of-betrayal/

sidd

Rob Dekker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1232 on: October 09, 2019, 07:14:40 AM »
Both Pat Buchanan and Danny Sjursen have weighed in at antiwar on Empire in Syria:

Buchanan:

"Trump tweeted this defense of his order to U.S. forces not to resist Turkish intervention and the creation of a Turkish corridor in Syria from the eastern bank of the Euphrates to Iraq: "The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. … I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home." "

"We have to consider reality. Assad, the Russians, Iranians and Hezbollah have won the war against the Sunni rebels we and our Arab friends armed and equipped. "

"And how long must we stay in Syria to defend the Kurds against the Turks? Forever?"

"al-Qaida and ISIS are in many more places today than they were when we intervened in the Middle East. Must we fight forever over there – to be secure over here? "

" if Trump’s decision risks throwing the region into "further chaos," what, if not wholesale U.S. intervention, created the "present chaos"? "

"Among those objecting most loudly to an American withdrawal from the forever wars of the Middle East are those who were the most enthusiastic about plunging us in."

"And, yes, there is a price to be paid for letting go of an empire, but it is almost always less than the price of holding on."

https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2019/10/07/is-trump-at-last-ending-our-endless-wars/

Sjursen:

"First, the (mostly) good news: President Trump appears poised, finally, to end the US military mission in Northeast Syria. The move would constitute the first actual follow-through on the promises of candidate Trump to avoid "stupid" and terminate "endless" Mideast wars. That’s no small thing."

"Personally, I think it just as well that the US military get out of a risky morass in yet another fractured Mideast country. That said, this latest in a long line of American betrayals (often of Kurds), demonstrates the broader tragedy of US imperialism and hyper-interventionism. Time and again, Washington has used and abused it’s "partners" on the ground in the Mideast locales it regularly invades and occupies."

"As for the Kurds, consider the latest betrayal in Northeast Syria to be at least the third American sellout of these stateless, at-risk people. It’s unlikely to be the last. None of that should be taken to imply the US should remain in Syria indefinitely – although that’s precisely what the neocon/neolib media and intelligence apparatus now clamors for – but is a reminder of the "blowback" associated with US militarism, imperialism, and hasty interventionism."

"My advice to the various peoples of the region: next time, and there will be a next time, don’t even consider trusting Uncle Sam."

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/10/07/the-united-states-of-betrayal/

sidd

So the opinion is that it's a bad thing that the US withdraws from Syria, betraying the Kurds, but it's a good thing the US withdraws from Syria.

When you make up your mind, sidd, you let me know, OK ?

And of all people, you quote Pat Buchanan ?
The special consultant to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan ?

Couldn't you at least TRY to hide your preferences ?
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Rob Dekker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1233 on: October 09, 2019, 07:33:30 AM »
In my opinion, it is a huge mistake to pull out of Syria now.

The US was a stabilizing force in the region, with no major events in Eastern Syria over the past year or so since the Kurdish SDF and the US-led coalition destroyed ISIS in Eastern Syria.

We should be there for a LONG time to come, at least as long as a permanent peace agreement is not negotiated yet.

Now, after Trump took the US out in an impulsive decision, we see the results immediately :

- ISIS sleeper cells awakened and there are now at least 3 suicide bomber attacks in Raqqa and fights are erupting.

- Now that US is pulling out, Russian/Assad forces are on the move, in what will likely escalate the violence in Syria and prolong the civil war, with many more casualties.

- Meanwhile, Turkey is preparing for a full - scale invasion, with an agenda to eliminate the very same Kurdish forces that helped eliminate ISIS in Eastern Syria.

Another great win for Trump !
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Neven

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1234 on: October 11, 2019, 12:01:12 AM »
And of all people, you quote Pat Buchanan ?
The special consultant to U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan ?

I do hope you are not in any way trying to smear these great American heroes. They are no different from John McCain or George W Bush.

We should be there for a LONG time to come, at least as long as a permanent peace agreement is not negotiated yet.

When are you sending your kids there?
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gandul

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1235 on: October 11, 2019, 12:28:36 AM »
Wow cheap shots easy to get here.
Like ‘remind me of an Austrian war hero and some war criminals and put them side by side’. Yes, the balance would fall toward the second category, iirc.
No me lo trago

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1236 on: October 11, 2019, 02:30:32 AM »
I think the Americans should set up intergenerational fortresses throughout the Near East, the Mid East and the Far East.
In the spirit of equality each American family should pledge their eldest son to this great cause, 'cause pledging someone else's son reeks of servitude and feudalism - not Truth, Justice and the American Way!


Pax Americana, with the world squeezed in the iron grip of the world's one and only Superpower.
What could possibly go wrong - ask any Haitian. ::)
Terry

Rob Dekker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1237 on: October 12, 2019, 08:24:23 AM »
International reaction to Turkey's invasion of Syria :



Notably absent from condemnation are Russia and the US (Putin and Trump).

Why am I not surprised.

Obama built an alliance with the Kurds.
The Kurds then defeated ISIS in Eastern Syria with US help.
They lost 11,000 fighters along the way.

For six months there was peace in Eastern Syria.

Then Trump comes in and betrays the Kurds, and then insults them, and
allows Turkey to bomb them. Many will die.

For nothing.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 04:05:21 AM by Rob Dekker »
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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1238 on: October 13, 2019, 10:58:40 PM »
Ten years ago Sylvan and Majewski published U.S. Foreign Policy in Perspective

http://www.us-foreign-policy-perspective.org/index.php?id=295&L=-1%27%2F%2F%2Fwp-content%2Fthemes%2Ftwentythirteen%2Farchive.php

" key policies have been remarkably stable over the last hundred years, not in terms of ends but of means. "

I attach a figure from their work. Now that regime change is coming home to DC, it is interesting to see which of the tactics from the chart applies.

sidd

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1239 on: October 14, 2019, 03:08:51 AM »
Another look at military budgets
This one begins back in 1841

https://youtu.be/muGvRYDd-lo?t=3

It's interesting to pause it & examine certain years.
Terry

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1240 on: October 14, 2019, 03:24:03 AM »
The top 16 countries by Foreign exchange & gold reserves - from 1960 to 2018



What happened?
Terry

TerryM

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1241 on: October 14, 2019, 03:37:02 AM »
One more for the evening. This is exports by country from '61 through 2018.



Terry

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1242 on: October 14, 2019, 01:19:38 PM »
No it´s not (yet...i only saw different time frames on the channel so maybe the 61 version is from a different channel?).  ;)
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Jim Hunt

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1243 on: October 14, 2019, 02:19:33 PM »
Apropos nothing in particular:

https://twitter.com/GenMhayden

Quote
Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of Evil
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1244 on: October 15, 2019, 12:43:37 AM »
Engelhardt at tomdispatch: Trump and decline of Empire

I dont agree with all that he says, but Engelhardt is always worth reading.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176615/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_ultimate_brexiteer/

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Rob Dekker

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1245 on: October 15, 2019, 06:26:16 AM »
Apropos nothing in particular:

https://twitter.com/GenMhayden

Quote
Trump Just Enlisted America in a New Axis of Evil

Gen Hayden refers to this article :
https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-just-enlisted-america-in-a-new-axis-of-evil?source=articles&via=rss

Quote
Trump has for the first time in our history aligned the U.S. with our enemies and against everything we should stand for and that is in our interest.

The article is very worthwhile reading in full, but if you don't want to do that, skip all the fact-checks and read at least the conclusions in the last paragraph :

Quote
This is at once not just a four-fold regional policy failure for the U.S.—betraying the Kurds, throwing ISIS a lifeline, strengthening Russia and Iran and validating the authoritarian regime of Erdogan—it is also something much worse. It represents a new kind of collapse of moral leadership from a U.S. that has done grave damage before. It represents a new kind of breakdown of our system for harnessing the best minds and resources of the U.S. when making national security decisions. And it represents a low point in presidential leadership from a president who at this point can only be counted on to act in the interest of himself, his family or his apparent sponsors in the Kremlin.
This is our planet. This is our time.
Let's not waste either.

sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1246 on: October 15, 2019, 09:39:44 PM »
Kushner at the Guardian on the continuing rape of Haiti: Grifters and graft

"As US president in the 1990s, Bill lobbied for sweeping changes to Haiti’s agricultural sector that significantly increased the country’s dependence on American food crops. In 1994, three years after a military coup in Haiti, Bill ordered a US invasion that overthrew the junta and restored the country’s democratically elected president to power. Fifteen years later, Bill was appointed United Nations’ special envoy to Haiti, tasked with helping the country to develop its private sector and invigorate its economy. By 2010, the Clintons were two of Haiti’s largest benefactors. "

" Bill was selected to co-chair the commission tasked with directing relief spending. As US secretary of state, Hillary helped to oversee $4.4bn that Congress had earmarked for recovery efforts by the US Agency for International Development, or USAid. "

"the US’s largest post-earthquake project – a $300m, 600-acre industrial park called Caracol, on the country’s northern coast. To make the park more attractive, the US also agreed to finance a power plant, and a new port"

"Ten years later, the industrial park is widely considered to have failed"

"Last year, after sinking tens of millions of dollars into the port project, the US quietly abandoned it"

"Haitians themselves had remarkably little control over these plans. Between April 2010 and October 2011, decisions about how to rebuild Haiti were made not by Haiti’s parliament, but by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which Bill co-chaired. "

“In reality, Haitian members of the board have one role: to endorse the decisions made by the director and executive committee,”

" In the past 100 years, the US and the international financial institutions it partners with have been the most important of these creditors, indebting Haiti by extending foreign development loans and creating a trade imbalance – an early form of the neoliberal model."

" The US pressured Haiti to reduce its tariffs on imported crops, then shipped surplus American crops into Haiti’s ports under the guise of “food aid”. Haitian farmers could not compete ...  The strategy was to create another market for American farmers while pushing Haiti’s labour force away from the fields and into factories. As president, Bill Clinton furthered this programme, creating massive surpluses of crops such as rice by extending hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to US farmers. In Haiti, the result was that thousands upon thousands of farmers lost their land"

“The United States has followed a policy … that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food ...  It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked"

"The largest piece of real estate of Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction was not built for poor Haitians at all, but for wealthy ones and foreigners: a new Marriott hotel in Port-au-Prince, financed by a multinational telecoms corporation whose chairman was a friend of Clinton’s."

"The audit offered a damning account of USAid’s efforts to build the port ...  “no current projection for when construction of the port may begin or how long it will take” "

"Not only was the port not viable, it was not even wanted"

"In 2013, USAid reallocated almost all of the $72m that was supposed to be used to build a new port to instead expand and modernise the small, dilapidated port"

" In May 2018, almost three years after a new port was originally supposed to be completed, USAid entirely abandoned its plans to build a new port or expand the old one. "

"Haitian port authorities were unaware that USAid had scrapped the project"

"When I asked Gervè what the US’s $70m had achieved, he pointed to two concrete electricity poles, erected as part of a plan to connect the port to the public grid. USAid had paid for the poles, but had not strung the cables needed to electrify them"

"By January 2019, nine years after the earthquake, USAid had spent $2.3bn in Haiti. Most of it was given to American companies and hardly any passed through Haitian hands. Less than 3% of that spending went directly to Haitian organisations or firms, according to research by CEPR. In contrast, 55% of the money went to American companies located in and around Washington DC. Most likely, according to the research, the majority of what USAid allegedly spent on Haiti’s recovery ended right back in the US."

"Over the past 12 months, I have repeatedly asked USAid spokespeople for a breakdown as to how the $70m allocated to the Cap-Haïtien port was ultimately spent. In July 2018, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act ... has yet to send me a single document in responsehas yet to send me a single document in response"

"In a country where 59% of the population lives on less than $2.41 per day, the US could have simply given Haitians the money. "

Read the whole thing:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/11/haiti-and-the-failed-promise-of-us-aid

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1247 on: October 16, 2019, 01:44:40 AM »
Jenkins at the guardian: USA out of Syria, now get out of the rest

"The US should get out of Syria as it must leave Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf."

" desertion of the Kurds and his licence to Turkey to invade Syria must rank high in the annals of diplomatic treachery – but for realpolitik they are hard to fault."

"It is as if the defeat of the Soviets in 1989 had cheated western armies of a third world war, leaving them determined to visit one on someone else – if not communism, then Islam. If Trump manages to end this self-defeating cycle, he deserves credit."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/14/trump-troops-syria-leave-iraq-afghanistan-us

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1248 on: October 17, 2019, 08:56:55 AM »
Kimberley at blackagendareport: Syria, Obama and Trump

" Donald Trump is presiding over the – agonizing slow – demise of Barack Obama’s illegal and immoral scheme to overthrow the government of Syria using jihadist terror armies."

"It is always difficult to determine what Trump intends to do and what he achieves by accident."

"The Kurds bet on the wrong horse and now are forced to accept help from the Syrian government, the only entity with any rights under international law to determine what happens there. "

"Not one Democratic Party critic has questioned the premise of U.S. imperialism which brought the Kurds and the Syrians to this point. Barack Obama had better manners, greater intelligence and an in with all the right people. He won a Nobel Peace Prize and then proceeded to kill thousands of people and years later very few are willing to point out his wrong doing. "

https://www.blackagendareport.com/freedom-rider-trump-obama-and-syria

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sidd

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Re: Empire - America and the future
« Reply #1249 on: October 22, 2019, 07:12:54 AM »
Sjursen at antiwar: congress in the USA is a war party

"I’ve lambasted the U.S. Congress for shirking it’s constitutionally mandated duty to actually declare and oversee America’s wars. Now, in a cruel joke of sorts, it has finally decided to do so, symbolically voting to condemn the president for pulling troops out of a Syrian war it never sanctioned in the first place."

"When a president (Obama, in this case) unilaterally sent American soldiers to combat in a new theater (Syria), Congress looked the other way. The same was true in Yemen, Libya, Iraq 3.0, and across West Africa. However, should a president (Trump) dare try end one of the plethora of endless wars, well that same Congress will assert itself in a New York minute."

"After all, the House voted 414-0 to support President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that essentially green-lighted America’s tragic war in Vietnam. And this week, in a particularly bizarre and ahistoric analogy, Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed that the decision to pull a handful of troops out of Northeast Syria constituted "Trump’s Saigon." Yes, Susan, and like failed American intervention in South Vietnam, the war in Syria was from the start illegal, unsanctioned, and unwinnable."

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2019/10/21/crackpot-congress-the-hyper-hypocrisy-of-the-syria-vote/

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