Anatomy of the Deep State

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo.

– The Martyrdom of Man by Winwood Reade (1871)

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power. [1]

During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system. On one level, the critique is self-evident: In the domain that the public can see, Congress is hopelessly deadlocked in the worst manner since the 1850s, the violently rancorous decade preceding the Civil War. {…}

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. [2]

Diplomacy Is a Four Letter Word

Now, the Deep State also caters to AIPAC’s every whim…

Example #1…

Israel’s ideas about Iran ‘important’ for Washington: Top US negotiator

As Gareth Porter reported…

U.S. Adopts Israeli Demand to Bring Iran’s Missiles into Nuclear Talks

…White House spokesman Jay Carney highlighted the new U.S. demand in a statement Wednesday that the Iranians “have to deal with matters related to their ballistic missile program.”

Carney cited United Nations Security Council resolution 1929, approved in 2010, which prohibited any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including missile launches. “So that’s completely agreed by Iran in the Joint Plan of Action,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif not only explicitly contradicted Carney’s claim that Iran had agreed to discuss ballistic missiles but warned that a U.S. demand for discussion of its missile programme would violate a red line for Iran.

“Nothing except Iran’s nuclear activities will be discussed in the talks with the [six powers known as the P5+1], and we have agreed on it,” he said, according to Iran’s IRNA.

The pushback by Zarif implies that the U.S. position would seriously risk the breakdown of the negotiations if the Obama administration were to persist in making the demand.

Contrary to Carney’s statement, the topic of ballistic missiles is not part of the interim accord reached last November. The Joint Plan of Action refers only to “addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council’s consideration of this matter” and the formation of a “Joint Commission” which would “work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern”.

It is not even clear that the U.S. side took the position in the talks last fall that Iran’s missile programme had to be on the table in order to complete a final agreement. But in any event it was not part of the Joint Plan of Action agreed on Nov. 24…

Example #2…

Yes, Obama Would Use Force in Iran

Saudi ‘seeking Pakistani arms for Syrian rebels’

Pepe Escobar has also been screaming about the House of Saud’s recent perfidy… Warning: Saudi mayhem ahead

Saudi Arabia’s Arms Rush To Syria

…This Friday, President Obama promised an increasingly reticent Jordanian monarch, King Abdullah II, whose country has been in essence turned into a permanent military base against Syria and its allies, to pay up $1 billion in loan guarantees as well as the renewal of a memorandum of understanding that provides the kingdom with $600 million in US financial and military aid. In return King Abdullah II promised to look the other way while his kingdom has become ground zero against the last Arab line of defence against Zionism in the Levant.

On the same day, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the Defence Department was looking at a possible military deployment in Syria. “There’s an interest in coming up with other options in Syria moving forward,” he noted.

Arab diplomats privy to such plans have already told the press that Saudi Arabia aims to tip the balance of power in Syria by challenging President Al Assad’s air power and heavy weaponry capacity on the ground.With Turkey and Jordan having become but pawns in Saudi Arabia’s chess game, Syria finds itself surrounded by enemies, its people pinned down by pro-Zionists. {…}

While western powers have been keen to paint the Syrian regime as difficult to deal with, alleging that when the opposition had shown flexibility and good faith, Damascus had met such efforts with inflexibility, Russia has evened out the situation, reminding the West of its own political inconsistency.

“The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body,” stressed Sergey Lavrov, Russia Foreign Minister this Friday, adding “Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism … I am very worried about the systematic attempts to disrupt the political settlement in Syria, therefore forcing the [Syrian] government to slam the door.”

Lavrov recalled that when western powers first floated the idea of peace talks, it was agreed that no mention would be made of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad departure, since he had been democratically elected by the people of Syria in accordance with the constitution. Instead, all parties agreed that they would discuss the creation of a transitional political body, the holding of free and fair elections, and a national dialogue prior to the implementations of a set of reforms in keeping with popular wishes.

Irritated and frustrated at western double talks and political hypocrisy, Lavrov told reporters, “Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn’t want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles.”

Echoing Lavrov’s unease, Syria Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal Mekdad emphasized, “I deeply regret to say that this round did not achieve any progress … We came to the Geneva conference to implement Syria’s declared position to reach a political solution. … Unfortunately the other side came with another agenda, with an unrealistic agenda.”

Moar DroneZ…

Obama may escalate role in Syrian war

Congressional officials say that the idea of using unmanned aerial vehicles against targets in Syria has gained currency inside the administration in recent weeks, but caution against expecting an imminent shift, much less announcement of a new policy.

But it would fit with the strategy Obama announced last year at the National Defense University, when he proclaimed that such strikes were legal and effective and reserved the right to use them when the local government cannot, or will not, confront a threat to the United States.

“Where foreign governments cannot or will not effectively stop terrorism in their territory, the primary alternative to targeted lethal action would be the use of conventional military options,” including drone strikes, he said.

In wrapping up…