When the USSR collapsed US forces in Europe and NATO lost all relevance and purpose. No matter, 40 plus years created institutional inertia so they just went on as before. Bush promised NATO would not advance eastward but Clinton said, sure why not,it will make our military and our Great Global Strategic Thinkers happy and [...]
rapier51 commented on the blog post Chelsea Clinton Makes $900,000 for Doing Almost Nothing
It was sadly funny that she gave an interview recently where she said she could not bring herself to like money,or some such. I suppose she really believes she doesn’t. Such is a life of privilege.
She went to work in the mid 00′s for a hedge fund. What pray tell could she do for a hedge fund? Glad hand of course. Talk to the right people about investing in the fund because after all all the right people like the Clinton’s were good with the fund. Then she married a hedge fund guy.
I don’t really hold it all against here for she grew up in a bubble and Bill and Hillary were the living embodiment’s of neoliberal ascendancy.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Come Saturday Morning: The Saudis and 9/11 – More New Info?
I’m not sure what this story is supposed to be saying or inferring with the Saudi lead. We already know 19 of the 21 were Saudis and of course Osama was. We sort of know Saudi citizens funded al Queda and later every flavor of Salfi Jihadist right up to and thru todays Syria.
Salfi Jihad is the natural outgrowth of the extreme Muslim fundamentalist sect which is the state religion of Saudi Arabia, the worlds only absolute monarchy. I say natural outgrowth because religious instruction dominates Saudi education and the Saudis have funded purely religious schools in Pakistan and other places. Where total immersion in the Koran and their interpretation of it is all there is. In such cases young true believers emerge who think more purity is needed. Every ideology creates movements demanding more purity.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Secret Recording Reveals Polish Foreign Minister Thinks US Alliance Is ‘Worthless,’ ‘Bullshit’
Nobody likes America anymore. Well the financial and money people of most all the earth do. Those are the people who ultimately now control governments. Indirectly or in cases like Greece and Italy former Goldman Sachs guys were installed as president and prime minister after the elected ones were taken out. Not that Papandreou or Berlusconi were great guys.
How were they taken out? By the threat of cutting off all credit to the governments and even then to the nations businesses and people. No government can survive without credit. None ever could probably.
I can’t speak to Poland but one can assume the Treasurer and the bankers and their version of oligarchs are all in with what America wants.
There are plenty of ways to try and understand the world but I think the best way is to view it through the lens of money/finance/credit.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Max Boot Pretends Saudi Arabia Not Already Funding Extremists In Middle East
rapier51 commented on the blog post Max Boot Pretends Saudi Arabia Not Already Funding Extremists In Middle East
All our elites are dysfunctional because they are all filled with dishonest people. Unless one can mouth the company line, the party line, the institutions line without a moments hesitation one cannot possibly become a significant member of any institutional interest.
For the company, party or institution of any sort person their highest loyalty must be to that institution when making any public statement.
There was zero possibility any of these men would have answered any differently. This absolute certainty is what brought them to power in the first case. If in some bizarro alt universe where one would have said that yes nicotine is addictive he would have been out of a job and without friends in high places very quickly. Reduced to interviews with the likes of Moyers.
The conflicts between Sunni and Shite are real but it has to be understood they did not have to come to define the Muslim world especially the Middle East. That happened because of the Saudi kingdom and its money. Saudi Arabia as you may know is the worlds only pure monarchy and has no civil law really, just religious law. It adheres to a modern version of medieval Islam often called Wahhabism but is more properly called Salafi. An Islamic sect which came to define the region.
al Queda was really just a more radical version of the Saudi state religion.
By making alliance with Saudi Arabia the last 40 years in exchange for oil we made the modern, dysfunctional, Middle East. Today’s events can’t be understood without this history.
As for the Sunni Shite conflict I have no answer to how the region would have developed without the Saudis encouraging religious dominated nations and cultures instead of real development. I think it is safe to say the Sunni Shite divide would not be so violent.
What’s past isn’t past. All today is blowback from things that happened 12, 40, 80 and longer ago in the region.
But look on the bright side. Goldman Sachs guys and their ilk are buying up Greek beaches and islands after helping sell off Greek railroads,airports,water utilities and just about anything else you can think of.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Does Cantor’s Defeat Spell Doom for a Jeb Bush Presidential Run in 2016?
Getting lost is the other populists, faux or not, got killed. This was an outlier race.
All the money in the world wants Bush. A way might be found.
The Bush family project has always been the marriage of government and corporations/business interests. The worlds 1% all want that, from Russian oligarchs to Chinese princeling billionaires. From Silicone Valley tech titans to bankers in The City. Obama delivered for them and Clinton would too but all the drama from the populists when a Dem is in and the bases growing dislike and distrust of corporatism makes Bush a perfect choice.
rapier51 commented on the diary post Over Easy: US Undermines Europe While Driving Russia East by yellowsnapdragon.
Russia does in fact need the sell gas to Europe. Perhaps not as much as the obverse but they need the money. As for ‘old Europe’, the hell with them we have bigger fish to fry. Well to a point. Still the gas will keep flowing but not as much or freely as it could. [...]
rapier51 commented on the blog post Government Demands Whistleblower Organization’s Encrypted Files
It has to be understood that loyalty to ones institution is the most important duty of individuals in today’s world. Everyone allowed above the middle rungs of any institution understand this totally. Perhaps not even consciously as much as down to their bones, as a cultural imperative. Such is the reason why the rise in organizations. The whistle blower is therefore the most despicable of all people now. Traitors to their institution.
Protecting the organization, the institution, in this case the VA was ultimately the cause of the bureaucratic breakdowns. That’s of no concern to the IG and even less to the gigantic White House staff. However this being a government institution is of little general importance. Corporation or church or exclusive club, the same applies.
The surveillance state exists mainly to protect against the whistle blower. Discouraging the last straggling independent individuals from even entering an organization. Again be it corporation, government or quasi governmental entity, or any place inbetween.
rapier51 commented on the blog post After Six Years You Shouldn’t Need to Tell People What Your Foreign Policy Doctrine Is
He can’t really define a doctrine because that would entail admitting things about the world as it is that cannot be acknowledged. The Bush doctrine might be said to be the US can act unilaterally anywhere in the world any way it chooses. A stupid doctrine which failed in the real world, see the results in Afghanisatan and Iraq, and it failed because it would not view the world as it is but rather as we want it to be. That is as the worlds essential nation because Jesus and capitalism make it so
So any politically possible American foreign policy doctrine that is made public is one that cannot possibly work.
The most important foreign policy challenges now are the worlds flat line energy production and the fragility of the US/dollar centric financial and trade system. Russia, China, Iran and the New Silk Road region intends to break the latter by using the regions still abundant energy for themselves and not exchanging hands in dollars. Plenty of other counties are on board to. This is a kick in the balls to our dream doctrine.
So Obama is stuck talking about terrorism since that’s the only thing he can talk about. He can’t talk about the world as it is or how we could make it as we wish it to be. That would be to blow up the rest of the world.
rapier51 commented on the diary post Documents: Petraeus Fracking Field Trip Reveals ND Government, Oil, Private Equity Nexus by Steve Horn.
It looks to me like they can’t find anything for Petraeus to do. Nothing except be a spokes-model that is. I see this sort of thing as a flag planting ceremony. Look, KKR is here, we’ve got your back. They, the we, KKR that is, is the elite of the elites. Not that anyone could [...]
Kinsley’s a player. We aren’t. Why bite the ankles of the powerful when you can dine with them? Why spend time analyzing what the empires decision makers decide when you can be there as the next decision is made. Judiciously studying the past is a fools errand.
The same holds true for the NYT as well when it comes to matters of the empire.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Victoria Nuland Accused Of Meeting With Neofascists In Washington
What a tangled mess. Putin’s Russia is now essentially of the right also now. won’t use the ‘f’ word. Uncomfortably, and sadly, Russian official rhetoric on Ukraine is more true than US/EU/NATO’s.
It would have been nice if what the last three had been offering Ukraine was clearly superior to what Russia was offering. I suppose on some very long term it might or could have been but in the meantime what we were offering was Greek style austerity and dictatorship by bankers who would buy up everything worth buying. The neo liberal dead end.
The only liberals were many of the original protesters in the square who wanted more freedom especially freedom from corrupt oligarchs. All well and good but the freedom to freeze and go hungry while bankers divy up the place was a sad sort of freedom.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Somehow not discussed at the beltway cocktail parties
Most people do not get this but total credit must expand or the system collapses.
That is why the massive post 2007 deficits were an existential necessity for the political economy. Government borrowing plus student loans kept the system afloat.Therefore any way possible must be found to increase borrowing and students fit the bill. That’s why nobody but nobody in a position of authority even bothers to mention this as an issue must less a problem.
In 1991 the banks were impaired and credit growth was moribund. That is when Greenspan embraced the GSE’s and mortgage credit as a way to expand credit outside traditional bank lending. Which then went on a 15 year tear. This was a plan. The collapse was a problem but in every possible short term pre real estate collapse reigning it in was not an option. Which was why no politician in America was against it. Just like they are all for ‘education’.
When this collapses it will be another systematic problem but until then it’s necessary.
rapier51 commented on the blog post Putin Calls For Postponing Regional Referendum Vote In East Ukraine
I think Pepe Escobar is essentially right here.
“Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s juvenile delinquent school of diplomacy remains on track: the plan is to entice Moscow to “invade.” Benefits would be immense. Washington would destroy once and for all the emerging strategic partnership between the EU, especially Germany, and Russia, part of a more organic interaction between Europe and Asia; keep Europe perennially under America’s thumb; and boost Robocop NATO after its Afghan humiliation.
Well, they are not juvenile delinquents for nothing. Yet this brilliant plan forgets a key component: enough competent troops willing to apply Kiev’s designs. The regime changers dissolved the Berkut federal riot police. Big mistake – because they are pros; they are unemployed; and now, holding a monster grudge, amply supporting Ukrainians in favor of federalization.
What the Ministry of Truth script imposed on all Western corporate media insists on labeling “pro-Russian separatists” are in fact Ukrainian federalists. They don’t want to split. They don’t want to join the Russian Federation. What they want is a federalized Ukraine with strong, autonomous provinces.”
This is about oil and currencies/finance. Driving a wedge back between Europe and the East. Only war will do it. A cold war at a minimum is needed.
One long forgotten thread from the right is that from after WWII up until the 70′s if you listened closely you would hear we should have bombed, nuked, Russia and China when we had the chance.
An odd choice of word here, Kiev losing control. Normally such statement would be ‘the government in Kiev….’. Is the odd wording a conscious choice indicating that for all practical purposes there is no ‘government’ in Kiev?
That is in fact the situation. President Turchynov, our guy inserted after Yanukovych fled the scene, entered a fluid situation. Half the army at least in the East quit and other commanders said they would not take orders from him. The police are not necessarily on board either. As to day to day governance, that’s a joke too.
The ‘Ukrainian’ forces, or security forces, or whatever you call them in the east are composed of, who knows. Part regular army, part EU and US mercenaries and probably real special forces and various pick up outfits comprised of far right nationalists.
The April 17 Geneva agreement was between Russia, EU and the US. Ukrainian government officials were there, essentially to observe. We and the the EU believing or pretending to believe that Ukraine actually had a real government to go back to in Kiev and have it act on the agreement. Apparently they can’t. The whole thing has an Alice in Wonderland dynamic. Unless and until the government can actually govern on some basic level it’s hard to see things improving.
TPP is losing it’s importance. The T-TIP, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is the big game now. Don’t lose sight of this one.
In either case I think people are missing the prime driver, the primary strategic goal, of these. All the stuff about regulation or lack thereof and the myriad ways specific corporations and industries will get benefit are just tactical. The overall goal is to try and maintain the US Dollar as the defacto world reserve currency. Especially in regard to oil and the trading of financial assets. Trading denominated and settled in dollars. Everything you know or think you know depends upon king dollar.
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